Asif Khan to Discuss Mobile Health Initiatives

Asif Khan, from the UN Foundation (UNF), will be making an appearance at Seidenberg on March 27th to introduce the UNF and Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) to anyone interested in learning about the ways in which mobile apps can help solve age-old issues around the world.

“The UNF links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and US-UN relations.”

Asif, who has been with the UNF since 2011, currently works with the Director of Global Partnerships, based in New York, on sustaining and building corporate and NGO partnerships for the UN Foundation. His previous role was as the Global Coordinator for MAMA, where he oversaw communication, coordination, finances and outreach for MAMA Global in Washington as well as MAMA’s three country programs in Bangladesh, South Africa and India.

Through the MAMA Global Learning program, a team creates tools and resources to strengthen new and existing mobile health programs that provide trusted information to mothers. MAMA has developed free, adaptable messages informed by experts in maternal, newborn, and child health. These evidence-based, culturally sensitive mobile messages are currently in use by 300 organizations in 70 countries around the world.

As MAMA is an innovator in mobile health, which is one of Seidenberg’s top initiatives, Asif will be demonstrating how his work with the alliance can involve you, the students (or whomever else may be interested), in the futures of your careers. The event will be on Thursday, April 3rd, 6pm, at 163 William St (Seidenberg HQ).

Seidenberg and AHRC Are Hosting an International Film Festival

As many of you know, one of Seidenberg’s outreach programs works with AHRC of New York City, an organization for helping individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Together, with Pace’s Dean of Students, Dr. Marijo Russell-O’Grady, they will be hosting an International Film Festival in celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film.

This is the second annual film festival to be held at Pace for the occasion. According to an official media release for the festival, “the festival focuses on individuals with disabilities expressing dreams and hopes to be contributing members of society like other individuals without disabilities.”

A discussion of the films will be included, featuring distinguished panelists

  • Alice Elliott (Director, Welcome Change Productions)
  • Dr. Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz (Member, Board of Directors, AHRC New York City)
  • Maria Hodermarska (Parent and Teacher, NYU)
  • Gary Lind (Executive Director, AHRC New York City, Community Engagement Partner with Pace University)
  • Adil Imran Sanai (Self-Advocate)
  • Issac Zablocki (Co-Founder and Director, ReelAbilities: New York Disability Film Festival)
  •  and Dr. Marijo Russel-O’Grady, Dean of Students, who will act as Moderator.

The festival is free and welcomes all members of the public. For seat reservations and RSVPs, you may email Dr. James P. Lawler, Chair of the International Film Festival and Professor of Service-Learning of the Seidenberg School, at lawlerj@aol.com or at 212-346-1013.

The festival will take place Monday, March 31, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street, Manhattan, New York City.

First Week Back to School

We are officially into the Fall 2013 semester of class. This post is to recap all the things that are going on around NYC and Pace for you to enjoy before classes get serious.
First off, it’s Broadway Week for anyone interested in seeing some excellent performances. Broadway Week means all shows are doing a 2 for 1 ticket deal, but it only lasts until the end of the week! Seats are disappearing fast, so grab some before they’re gone!

From left to right, Dr. Richard Kline, Dr. Christelle Scharff, Kalevi Ekman, Dean Amar Gupta, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and professor Bryn Haffey all stand together, prepared for Fall 2013.

Quick note on classes that you may have been to that you’re already dreading. Our advice: drop them and substitute another. You have a few weeks to do this without penalty or before you miss too many hours of the class you may switch into. If you don’t like a professor or the syllabus makes the upcoming weeks seem dreary abort the mission. It’s not worth your time and effort to suffer through terrible classes and there are enough options available for you to switch without mussing your schedule. College is meant to be flexible and enjoyable. Some classes you will eventually have suffer through, but at least ease your pain by waiting until a decent professor comes along.

In Seidenberg news, the Finns have struck again. If you haven’t met our partners from Aalto University (including Peter Tapio who was here during the Summer Scholars Experience), they’ve been around for the last few days and leave this evening, unfortunately. They will be back eventually, so catch them while they are around. They are all a wonderful resource available to learn about project development in many fields.

The aforementioned workshop with Kalevi Ekman was a delightful afternoon. Photos from the event and a video that showcases Kalevi’s lessons on design will be available for viewing on Thursday. He himself is another one of our Finnish partners, also a head professor for the PDP (Product Development Project) program that Seidenberg takes part in. This program is an incredible opportunity for students and also gives students involved the chance to visit Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.

Lastly, don’t forget that Computing Society meets on Wednesdays and there will be free pizza, just so ya’ know.

 

Participants Respond to Saturday’s Event: BlackGirlsCODE

The aforementioned BlackGirlsCODE event has now come to pass, but before its closure, participants had a few things to say not only about their involvement in the event itself, but also in BlackGirlsCODE as a movement.

Some of the more important members of the community are the parents; these parents have urged their daughters to open up to the world of computing, especially when the girls are naturally inclined to do so. Monica Jeffery and her daughter Shameya attended the event together. Monica expressed that she “[wants Shameya] to get more in-depth and  learn how to problem solve. [She wants] her to learn how to code and wants something more technical.”  Other parents voiced similar wishes, but also said they appreciate that these workshop opportunities are available to a range of age groups. Meibell Contreras brought her 10 year old daughter Maya (both pictured below), believing that her age is prime for learning how to code.


Along with the parents, volunteers and instructors are crucial to the workshops and the BlackGirlsCODE community. Errol King, game designer, actor, business owner, and instructor at the event made a statement about why the BlackGirlsCODE movement is so important: 

 “You have something really beautiful to offer the tech space that is missing. When there is a critical mass of black females created in the tech space, I think there will be something that will come out of that that we won’t even expect and that’s why we are here–to create that catalyst.”

Volunteers also expressed their excitement about the workshops. Harlo Holmes and Michael Hackney agree how fantastic it can be to see girls of a young age grasp these programming concepts so quickly and so thoroughly and continue to remain enthusiastic about it. Holmes called it ‘heartwarming.’

The girls themselves had a lot of comments after Saturday’s workshop. Most agreed that they liked having a class with all girls, and that learning about programming in Beta was a great introduction–one that sparked an interest in pursuing further education in engineering and programming. 

 

Seidenberg to Host BlackGirlsCODE Event

BlackGirlsCODE is coming to Pace to teach girls how to develop video games using Beta! The class encourages girls of 10-17 years to participate in the workshop, which will promote student-driven learning about game development. Seidenberg grad student Peta Clarke has taken the initiative to make good use of our spaces here for this event.

Kimberly Bryant, founder of BlackGirlsCODE, started the organization to eliminate the sense of isolation that hangs over black girls in the programming world–the same sense of isolation Bryant had to deal with, herself, during her studies in the field of technology.

In the organization’s own words, “BlackGirlsCode is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, BlackGirlsCode introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. BlackGirlsCode has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow. By promoting classes and programs we hope to grow the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become the masters of their technological worlds,”  (source).

The event will take place this Saturday, August 17, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Click here to register. Space is limited, so register now!

We would like to see more of this! [click through to Instagram]

About.com’s Matthew Knell Gives Seidenberg His Executive Advice

About.com‘s Social Media Executive and Pace alumnus (BS/IS ’00) Matthew Knell stopped by last week to explain a thing or two about his work experiences. He has been employed at a number of positions at a number of companies, including JetBlue,  AOL, and About.com. If you recall the blog post from June, Knell was also the moderator for the AOL Social Media Salon. The students who stayed at Seidenberg last Tuesday for the free food ended up staying for the free advice Knell dished out. Not only was he highly informative about Social Media, but he covered a multitude of topics within the world of computing.

To begin with Knell’s forte, Social Media (hereby shortened to SM), a few things he was adamant about. In SM, Branding, or Website appearance, Knell stressed the importance of choosing the right font and having consistent graphics. Specifically, he said to avoid Arial and Verdana (and everyone knows that Comic Sans is the butt of all font-related jokes) and suggested trying out different fonts from Type Kit. As far as consistent graphics go, Knell used the example of the slide show banner that many websites use on their home pages; he explained that it’s visually enticing when the changing graphics have an underlying similarity to them whether it be color schemes, text placement, font, or all three.

For the students who aren’t as concerned with SM, and cared more about the programming and software related positions Knell had experienced, Knell had a few things to say. One student expressed his concern in starting a project, but having it become invalid before it is complete. He asked how Knell would deal with such a sense of failure, to which Knell’s simple reply was, “Drink.”

Everyone got a laugh out of his response before he elaborated with an anecdote. He told the group of a project he had been working on at JetBlue that had failed miserably. The airline had been trying to create it’s own reservation system, but once they were deep into the process, they realized it was necessary to use the system Sabre, which was less restrictive than an exclusive system. Knell’s advice to dealing with the failure was to learn from it and notice the signs before things go sour, and later, when a recruiter asks about it, let it be known where the faults were and they were not your own mishaps.

Everyone thanked Knell for dropping by and giving us his advice. He even looked over Seidenberg’s SM sites to give them a quick review and offered a few constructive points. We have already began implementing them into our posts! So, thank you, Matthew. It was a pleasure having you around and we hope to collaborate on similar events throughout the years.