IN THIS ISSUE:
Designing for Life
Latin American Experts Speak
on Urban Design
Wentworth Students and
Faculty Get Their Computers
President Gets Appointed
Governor Honors President
Author of House of Sand and
Fog Speaks to Students
Documenting Her Struggle With
Cancer and a Bone Marrow
Mission Hill Road Race
Wentworth Wins Puddingstone
Pot Fourth Year in a Row
Incoming Freshman Start Off on
the Right Foot
Faculty Profile: Professor
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Designing for Life
Latin American Experts Speak on Urban Design
Sergio Fajardo Valderrama, former mayor of Medellin, Columbia
The Wentworth architecture department invited government officials and
design leaders from Venezuela and Columbia to campus to speak about their
achievements in urban redevelopment. The week-long event began on Monday,
September 22, and included a panel discussion, an exhibition, and a photographic
display showcasing examples of redevelopment.
Robert Cowherd and Manuel Delgado, the organizers of the event, opened with
some welcoming remarks and introductions of the panel speakers. Professor
Cowherd spoke about his goals and a desire to translate the successes of Latin
American cities into a blueprint for the successes of our own cities. “Design,”
Cowherd emphasized, “is not a silver bullet solution to helping the underprivileged
communities of the developing world. It is an essential ingredient in reform
however, and it needs to be accompanied by change in public policy.”
The first speaker was Jorge Perez Jaramillo from Columbia’s Regional Planning
department in Medellin. His speech focused on the cooperation and organization
between government officials, city planners, and the people of Medellin. He
urged anyone with an understanding of the political process to get involved with
city designing. “As a result of globalization,” explained Jaramillo, “the world is
demanding a new role for designers.”
The first day concluded with an address from the keynote speaker, Sergio Fejardo
Valderrama, Medellin’s former mayor. A photo exhibit was displayed throughout
the week in Watson Hall and the exhibition was displayed for two weeks in the
Wentworth Students and Faculty Get Their Computers
Students set up their new laptops
President Gets Appointed
Governor Honors President Zorica Pantić
Governor Deval Patrick appointed President
Zorica Pantić as a member of the Massachusetts
Workforce Investment Board for a two year term.
The newly appointed board members (including
Dr. Pantić) were sworn in as part of a September
10 board meeting. Regional members assist in
providing information about local labor markets
and help build stronger ties between business,
labor, and higher education in the area.
“I am extremely honored to be trusted with this
responsibility,” said Dr. Pantić. “I look forward
to contributing to the future success of local
businesses and to building lasting ties between
higher education and employers in the area.”
Dr. Pantić’s role will include overseeing projects
that will promote and further workforce
development. This in turn will help to keep the
region a competitive force in business and labor.
The line stretched from the doors of Tansey
Gym to the Beatty stairs as Wentworth students
patiently waited to receive their new laptops on
Thursday, September 2.
The laptop program started as a pilot in fall
2004 for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in
the architecture department. In fall 2005, the
program was implemented across all majors for
all incoming students. The program provides
Wentworth students and faculty members with
laptops and software customized to their specific
major. For this reason, the Institute supports
two platforms – Mac and PC. Students in
Wentworth’s architecture department, and the
design & facilities department, are provided with
Mac Book Pro laptops. Students in the other
academic programs - applied math and science;
civil, construction and environment; computer
science and systems; electronics and mechanical;
humanities, social sciences, and management
– are provided Lenovo (which purchased IBM
Students keep the laptops for two years and then they are refreshed in their junior year. Once a student
graduates, he/she keeps the laptop that was issued to them during their junior year. This year marks
the first time that all students are outfitted with laptops. The implementation of the laptop program
represents a shift from a centralized model of education, based on computer labs, to a decentralized
mobile computing environment that can be closely integrated with each individual’s work in the studio,
classroom, workshop, library, and many other areas on campus.
President Zorica Pantić is fourth from the left in
the back row. Governor Deval Patrick is seated
in the center of the front row.
Campus News 2
Andre Dubus III
Author of House of Sand and Fog Speaks To Students
Author Andre Dubus III shared his thoughts and offered
insights into the writing process during his book talk held
in Watson Auditorium on Thursday, September 25.
Dubus is the author of House of Sand in Fog, a bestselling
book, and finalist for the 1999 National Book
Award for Fiction. Dubus has written one other novel
and various other published works including essays and
collections of short stories. He now teaches writing at
Tufts University and Emerson College.
Incoming freshman were required to read Dubus’ House
of Sand and Fog this summer, and prepared questions
for his appearance. By the time the talk began at 6 p.m.,
the auditorium was full of students and faculty members
from the department of humanities, social sciences, and
The book talk began with Dubus reading a short excerpt
Dubus signs student’s book
from the book, which was followed by discussions and
a question and answer session from students. Students said they were impressed by Dubus’ frank
answers and down-to-earth demeanor. In turn, Dubus said his favorite part of the visit was hearing from
the students. Dubus also stayed after the talk for a book signing.
Valerie Rosenberg Exhibit
Documenting Her Struggle With Cancer and a Bone Marrow Transplant
In an exhibit entitled ‘Rebuilding Again,’ Valerie
Rosenberg shares her courageous story of
overcoming a battle with cancer and surviving
a bone marrow transplant. As Rosenberg
commenced her exhibit at an opening reception
on October 6, she expressed her pride and
pleasure in being able to share her work with
others. The exhibit was displayed in the Casella
Gallery from October 6-17.
When Elaine A. Slater, Assistant Professor of Art
History in the Department of Humanities, Social
Sciences, and Management, saw her exhibit, she
was so impressed that she knew she needed to
bring it to Wentworth. Rosenberg was honored
and excited to be able to share her work with
the Institute. She plans on applying to graduate
school in expressive therapy within the year.
Valerie Rosenberg poses with one of her sculptures
‘Rebuilding Again’ was first compiled for the one year anniversary of Rosenberg’s bone marrow
transplant to which her brother, a perfect match, was the donor. Creating the artwork gave her a sense
of accomplishment on her road to recovery. Rosenberg explained that putting the show together was
something to live for when she was not sure she wanted to live; she was literally and figuratively putting
back together the pieces of her life.
Rosenberg’s work consists of sketches that were done during her stay at the hospital, as well as small
and large sculptures done in her parents garage during her isolated recovery. The large sculptures are
created using chicken wire and starched paper, making the sizeable structures quite easy to carry. “I
see those large sculptures as an exuberant declaration of ‘being alive,’” explains Slater. “I think that the
elements of the structure mirror the resiliency of the human body and spirit.”
Campus News 3
Mission Hill Road Race
Wentworth Wins Puddingstone Pot Fourth Year in a Row
On September 20, Wentworth participated in the annual Mission Hill Road Race, a 5k road race/walk to
benefit the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park in Mission Hill.
The Center for Community and Learning Partnerships (CLP) has made a strong effort every year to encourage
students to participate in the event. For the past three years their efforts have resulted in Wentworth
winning the Puddingstone Pot, the award given for most participants. This year, Wentworth was once again
presented with the Puddingstone Pot for an astounding total of 101 runners, walkers, and volunteers.
Included in the final
tally of participants was
President Zorica Pantić,
who briskly walked
along with CLP staff
members Sean Bender,
Doris Rubio, Kerri Foley,
and co-op student John
of the hockey, track,
volleyball, and lacrosse
teams ran the winding
5k through the streets
of Mission Hill. Mayor
Thomas Menino was in
attendance to kick off
the start of the event.
President Pantić and Wentworth volunteers proudly display the
Puddingstone pot after the Mission Hill Road Race.
Incoming Freshman Starting Off on the Right Foot
As part of Wentworth’s Opening Week (WOW),
incoming freshmen students participated in
the Sixth Annual Service Day, a community
service activity where students visit different
locations across the Mission Hill and
Fenway neighborhoods, including local high
schools, assisted living facilities, and service
agencies, and perform a variety of tasks to
benefit the local communities. This year,
students contributed approximately 3,500
hours of community service on service day.
Students provided help with landscaping,
classroom preparation, painting, cleaning,
and other activities at areas such as the fire
Students planting flowers around the community
station, the Landmark Assisted Living Facility,
the Lenox/Camden Apartments, New Mission
High School, the Tobin Community Center, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Students
are encouraged to continue contributing service to their community, and are encouraged to get more
involved with the CLP (www.wit.edu/clp).
CLP Updates 4
Faculty Profile: Professor Durga Suresh
For Professor Durga Suresh, department
of computer science and systems,
teaching is a privilege.
That is saying a lot coming from someone who describes
herself as being born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Originally from India, Suresh is a self-proclaimed
daddy’s girl. When she came to the U.S. after getting her
undergraduate degree in electronics and communication
engineering, she was in search of a job. She did not expect
to find herself teaching in a small school “somewhere in
a place called Boston.”
Suresh originally planned on a career in engineering,
but after realizing that teaching positions offered more
job security she applied to Wentworth, and is still here
eight years later. Suresh says, “I live and breathe for
the students and I have a wonderful support system in
Wentworth with all the faculty members.”
Suresh teaches for both the day and the evening
schools at Wentworth. Although there are some
differences between the day and evening students,
Professor Durga Suresh
such as background and learning styles, Suresh gains
a lot from teaching both groups. “You understand and you become a better faculty member by
teaching day and evening school because you take that experience and you compare – it is very
satisfying. My job here at Wentworth is very fulfilling.”
Aside from teaching, Suresh’s hobbies are as interesting as they are diverse. From poker to community
building, to watching every New England Patriot’s game, to playing Guitar Hero, to alcohol counseling,
to BMW racing—one wonders how she was able to complete both her master’s degree in computer
science and her master’s degree in teaching and learning.
Although she spends her free time doing many interesting things, teaching and learning are her passions.
In the eight years Suresh has been teaching at Wentworth, she has not gone one semester without
taking classes. Her addiction to learning is caused by her insatiable ego. “I still get A’s and I send my
test back to India and my mom puts it up on the refrigerator,” she joked.
Suresh is high-energy, positive, and often joking, yet she has learned to be serious about things as well.
In 2005 doctors told her she had ovarian cancer. Although the diagnosis was reversed seven days later,
Suresh believes this experience has greatly impacted the way she views life. She felt that it forced her
to grow up and appreciate every opportunity she had.
She uses her knowledge and her job to leave lasting marks on her students. “I try to change 25
students’ lives at a time.” Each year, she tries to be more innovative in her teaching, and experiment
with new things. Recently she took her computer science students on a field trip to the MIT Museum,
which had never been done before.
Although Suresh enjoys teaching no matter what the circumstances, there is a reason she has stayed
at Wentworth for so long. She values the close relationships and interactions she is able to develop with
the students. Small class sizes allow her to connect in a way that she otherwise could not. She also
attributes her hobbies, such as car racing and computer games, to her popularity among the students.
Their appreciation is very fulfilling for her, and she shows it off with great pride. “If you come into my
office, you will see thank you cards all over my walls.”
Faculty Profile 5
Faculty and staff gathered to commemorate
the start of another semester at the Welcome Back
BBQ on August 26. Attendants enjoyed a country
western theme cookout, including country linedancing
lessons and Karaoke.
The American Red Cross came to Wentworth
on October 1 to hold a blood drive. The drive was
sponsored by Peer Educators Advancing Knowledge
(PEAK), a student run wellness group on campus
that tries to inform and encourage students to take
care of themselves and make healthy decisions.
There were a total of 65 donors and 56 units of
blood collected at the drive. Wentworth with be
hosting another blood drive on January 29, 2009.
The 14th Annual President’s Cup
Challenge took place on September 16. The
president enjoyed a day of golfing with Wentworth
alumni and friends at the Pinehills Golf Club in
Plymouth, MA. An award ceremony and dinner
were held in the evening.
Move-In Day at Wentworth ran like a well-oiled
machine thanks to students, faculty, and staff
volunteers on August 27-28. The freshmen drove
into West Lot during designated times, and were
assisted in getting their things from their cars, to
large bins, and finally into their rooms. Move-in
was a smooth-running, highly-organized, handson
“Wentworth Welcome” for new students.
Scene around 6