Seidenberg Junior wins the Northeast-10 Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Sport Excellence Award for the second year in a row

Swimming and computer science don’t have much in common, but when a Seidenberg student wins an award for academic and athletic success, they intersect quite well. Jana Ciric is a junior Computer Science major and Division II Swim Team member on the Westchester campus. She just earned the Northeast-10 Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Sport Excellence Award for the second year in a row.

The third-year student explains that she started swimming when she was in the third grade; “when I was a little kid, my parents would take me to Greece every year and all I wanted to do was play in the water. They helped me make the right choice and choose swimming when I was ready to take on a sport.”

Growing up, Jana was on Serbia’s National Swimming Team for four years. During that time, she participated in European regional meets, like the Balkan Junior Championship, where she won the silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle. She was also the captain of the “Sveti Nikola” swimming club in Serbia for six years, helping to coach and organize a team of ten swimmers for practices and swim meets.

She notes that her time swimming for Pace has been excellent, but it definitely differs from her experience in Europe: “at Pace, we have dual meets every week, but very little championship meets (one or two per year), whereas in Europe we have championships more often but have no dual meets.”

https://paceuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=4224
Jana Ciric from Pace U Athletics website

The amount of time she spends with the Pace Swimming and Diving team has allowed her to form close friendships that she considers the most important part of her experience.

“I consider my team to be the closest thing I have to home since I am really far from home,” she explains.

Even with the homesickness that she endures, Jana found time to rack up quite a list of accomplishments. She holds six (out of over 20) of Pace University’s swimming records, earned Dean’s List First Honors for Fall 2018, completed a spring internship as a Junior Programmer/Analyst at Central National Gottesman, and lined up an exciting internship at AQR Capital Management for this summer. She also did all of this while working as a Tutor the Pleasantville Tutoring Center and a Student Assistant for the Athletic Department! Maintaining those records, grades, and workload is not easy.

“I have always had a really good work ethic and determination. Once I set my mind on something, I work really hard until I get it,” Jana notes. “I have unconditional support from my family which has been pushing me to do better every day. Even though they are almost 5,000 miles away they are always with me, helping me to achieve my dreams.”

How does it feel to earn her second straight NE10 Swimming and Diving Sport Excellence Award? Jana says that it “feels amazing,” and rightfully so.

“I am really proud to have won that award again since I put a lot of emphasis on my education. I am a student first and an athlete second. I wouldn’t have even come to the U.S. if it weren’t for my passion for academics and education (as well as swimming). This is why I think this award is so important to me – it really celebrates why all of us are here at college: to get a better education.”

Jana’s success is a success for all of Seidenberg. Her hard work showcases just how possible it is to obtain friendship, accomplishments, and a degree while being a student-athlete, intern, and employee. We’re proud to show off all that Jana does within the Pace community!

Jana would like to note that she really appreciates that Dean Hill and Andreea attend her swim meets and cheer her on. You can always check the swim team schedule to see when Jana will be competing. We’re sure that she’d love to have a crowd there cheering her on.

Revolutionizing the healthcare industry: CIO Daniel Barchi talks innovative technology at NewYork-Presbyterian

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital stands tall and proud next to the Pace University New York City campus. The building is located just across from 1 Pace Plaza, offering healthcare to a vast number of patients each day who are seeking the best services that the city has to offer. It is because of NewYork-Presbyterian’s unique focus on rendering services using artificial intelligence (AI) and telemedicine technologies that the Seidenberg School is presenting the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award to NewYork-Presbyterian at April 24th’s Seidenberg Innovation Awards.

The award is being presented to the entire IT team at NewYork-Presbyterian, a team which has driven many exciting initiatives that use pioneering technologies to provide the hospital’s patients – and its medical and administrative staff – with excellent and effective service. These initiatives have been driven in large part through the leadership of Chief Information Officer, Daniel J. Barchi.

Headshot of Daniel Barchi from his LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-barchi-8719a63/

Many of us at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University first met Daniel when he visited campus in the fall semester of 2018. He was here to participate in the Tech Leadership Series, a run of guest speaker events that bring high-level industry workers to campus to share their stories, tips for success, and to inspire students to achieve. During that event, Daniel shared stories of hacking scares, the fascinating applications of AI in healthcare, data privacy, work ethic and leadership, and more – so when the opportunity to get to know him better in interview came up, we jumped at the chance to share more of his story.

Daniel has had a very interesting career, in which many of his experiences are what he attributes his success to. Before he became CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian, his life as a naval officer was his primary identity. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1991, he spent six years serving at sea and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for Leadership. After deciding to leave the Navy for a new opportunity, he grew as a project manager within the telecom industry.

Daniel’s new job within the telecom industry “was full of many global challenges, and that experience of solving problems around the world led me to work for a health system and run a biomedical institute which needed to be improved.”

After running Carilion BioPhile Biomedical Institute as CEO and then President for several years, Daniel was invited to step into the role of Chief Information Officer – “and I’ve been doing healthcare IT ever since,” he says.

Once Daniel entered the world of healthcare IT, it was clear he’d found his niche.

“I think the amazing thing about healthcare IT is that people with technical and process skills can help impact patients’ lives,” Daniel says. “Without being physicians or nurses ourselves, our work is deeply critical to the outcome of patients. We develop and implement and maintain the systems that provide clinicians with the right tools they need to take care of patients, and the . . . analytics that they need to make decisions.”

While the tools that NewYork-Presbyterian IT specialists create and implement build a stronger service for patients, it’s the IT team itself that really stands out. According to Daniel, healthcare IT is “80% people, 15% process, and only 5% technology.” That means that alongside having smart and innovative individuals on staff, it’s also important to have open and attentive communication across all departments.

“The way we make this work best . . . is to listen to what the clinicians need and make sure the systems are working for them,” he states.

An example of these systems is one that is providing more accessible healthcare to all patients: kiosks. NewYork-Presbyterian has placed kiosks in Walgreens stores as part of their NYP On-Demand strategy. Patients can use these kiosks to get direct access to a physician on call. Daniel believes this is a fundamental part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s service.

“We have world-class physicians . . . but not everybody has immediate access to those physicians either from a time or geography perspective. We wanted to make sure that we could reach many more patients when and where they are via virtual medicine.”

Another example of the hospital’s drive to use technology to provide better service is its ‘mobile stroke ambulances’. If a 911 call is placed where the patient is displaying symptoms of a stroke, a radio ambulance (an ambulance that interrupts nearby car radios with information about whether the ambulance is responding to an emergency and which direction it is traveling, intended to assist drivers in moving out of the way as it passes) and one of the stroke ambulances are immediately dispatched to their location. “Right there on the side of the road, we take a CT of the patient’s head and beam the information back to a neurologist who can . . . start the treatment right there,” Daniel explains. This service speeds up the treatment process up as much as 45 minutes which can save critical brain cells. The ambulances don’t just save lives—they prevent life-threatening situations in the first place.

“Not only are we leveraging technology for the good of that one patient . . . we use telemedicine to allow one neurologist to provide care to all three, remotely,” Daniel says. NewYork-Presbyterian operates the largest fleet in the United States, including three mobile stroke ambulances.

These strategies and innovations are the reason why NewYork-Presbyterian is so notable for its patient care system.

Adopting technology into healthcare creates widespread care at a smaller cost.

“We are rapidly adopting artificial intelligence as a way to improve operations and the care of our patients. Quality is delivering outstanding care at a good value, and we’d like to reduce the cost of delivering care,” Daniel says, going on to emphasize that the introduction of AI technologies was pulled from the vision of the organization’s CEO, Dr. Steve Corwin.

“Several years ago, he encouraged us to invest in telemedicine and advanced technology as a way to continue to grow the quality of care that we deliver, but also to reach a broader population.

“NewYork-Presbyterian serves more underserved New Yorkers than just about any other health system, and we wanted to make sure that we could meet the needs of everybody, not only the patients who come to one of our hospitals.

“We started implementing artificial intelligence in the back office, rolling it out on timekeeping, [invoicing], follow-up, and other financial areas as a way to make the work that we do more efficient.”

That efficiency has grown over time.

“We’ve now started rolling it out in clinical workspaces as well: sending nudges to physicians, letting them know when patients are due for specific tests or other things that we can do to speed up a patient’s discharge, so their length of stay in the hospital is reduced,” he states.

One thing that is clear is that NewYork-Presbyterian does not implement new technology just for the sake of doing so. Every decision leads toward achieving the goal of providing faster, better, and more efficient care to as many patients as possible.

“Telemedicine—over the past three years—with the support of NYP leadership, our trustees, and philanthropy has allowed us to invest in advanced technology as a way to provide that outstanding care.”

AI and telemedicine are the present and future of healthcare and NewYork-Presbyterian is at the forefront of utilizing those resources. During Daniel’s visit to Pace University, he discussed many of these innovations with the Seidenberg student community.

Daniel Barchi’s visit to the Seidenberg School was “fantastic.”

“I’m impressed by Pace and, particularly, the programs of the Seidenberg School. The quality of the students, the focus of the faculty and curriculum, and the idea that Pace is creating a learning environment which ties directly to the needs of New York and other institutions allows us to create this pool of advanced technologists who are ready to implement everything that they’ve learned at Pace in a real-world environment immediately.”

Daniel Barchi chats with Dean Hill for a Seidenberg event.

Daniel also took some time to discuss what this honor means to him and his team.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I’m proud that we’re recognized by a great institution: Pace University, here in New York, for this advancement. I think that recognition like this is good because it encourages us to do more and it also highlights for other health systems what is possible.”

We will be honoring the achievements of Daniel’s team at the Seidenberg Innovation Awards on April 24th, where the IT group at NewYork-Presbyterian will receive the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award.

The Seidenberg Innovation Awards (SIA) recognizes the remarkable work done by individuals and organizations in our community. Proceeds from the event will directly support our students as they progress into the “advanced technologists” Daniel described. Tickets, tables, and student sponsorships are available by clicking this link.

Pace professor Miguel Mosteiro wins Best Paper at ICALP 2018 conference

A paper written by Miguel Mosteiro, assistant professor of computer science and algorithms whiz at Pace University, was selected as best paper at ICALP 2018. Known internationally as one of the top theory conferences worldwide, the achievement is significant for Dr. Mosteiro and collaborator Dariusz Kowalski, a computer science expert from the University of Liverpool.

The paper, titled “Polynomial Counting in Anonymous Dynamic Networks with Applications to Anonymous Dynamic Algebraic Computations,” is just one of the results of a series of research that Miguel and collaborators, including Seidenberg students, have worked on over the past few years.

“It was during my research visit to the University of  Bordeaux in 2015 when my host, Alessia Milani, made me aware of the Counting problem in Anonymous Dynamic Networks,” explains Miguel, who is based at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems’ New York City campus. “At that point, the problem had already attracted a lot of attention because knowing the number of processors is fundamental for Distributed Computing, but the best upper bounds known on the running time were DOUBLY-exponential. Jointly with Alessia Milani, we improved the running time exponentially designing a novel protocol during that visit. Later on, my student Maitri Chakraborty showed experimentally that our protocol completes the computation in polynomial time, but not having a theoretical bound better than exponential we could not guarantee termination in practice. Anyway, this research was a first big step that resulted in three publications and university-wide researcher- and mentor- awards for my student and me.

Dr. Mosteiro, on the right, displays the award certificate. On the left is Paul Spirakis, Chair of the European Association of Theoretical Computer Science.

“The interest on solving Counting in polynomial time continued, and by last year we were three research groups heavily working on it independently. During my 2017 summer visit to the University of Liverpool and the University of Wroclaw, I worked intensively with my host Dariusz Kowalski in designing a new Counting protocol. Our plan was to transform Incremental Counting so that we could apply Markov Chain analysis to bound the running time. There is always a magical moment in these developments and ours was when I was giving a talk to Kowalski’s students. Explaining the challenges of Counting, and what was the core technical difficulty, the key idea for a new protocol became apparent. Seminal ideas are fundamental but one still needs to work a lot on the technical details to realize them in theorems, which we did last Fall.”

Dr. Mosteiro and Dr. Kowalski presented the paper at ICALP 2018, which took place in Prague over summer, where the importance of the problem it addresses and the strength of the contribution will be recognized with the award for best paper.

The Chair of the Computer Science Department, Dr. Christelle Scharff, congratulated Miguel on the achievement, noting that it was a great achievement, mentioning “how prestigious it is!”

Seidenberg School Dean, Dr. Jonathan Hill, also offered his compliments: “We are, indeed, in the presence of greatness! Congratulations, Miguel, on this accomplishment.”

“We are very grateful,” says Miguel about the award, and added: “as I am for the support of Seidenberg School, SRC, and Kenan Fund. Without that support, I would not have been able to visit my colleagues and focus on this research.”

Congratulations Dr. Mosteiro! If the feedback from our students is anything to go by, there is a lot to be proud of!

Seidenberg Director of Development Deth Sao wins Business Council of Westchester Rising Star award

Our very much loved Director of Development, Deth Sao, will be honored by The Business Council of Westchester on June 21, 2018, at an event celebrating 40 of the most promising young professionals in Westchester County.

In an announcement about the winners, the President and CEO of Business Council of Westchester, Marsha Gordon, wrote: “Each year I am impressed with the quality and diversity of candidates, and this year is no exception. I congratulate the winners who represent a new generation of up and coming professionals in public relations and marketing, education, healthcare, real estate and other fields.”

Deth has been the Director of Development for the Seidenberg School for the past four years, during which she has helped forge excellent relationships with many Pace alumni and prominent business and industry communities. She has successfully organized and run our annual fundraiser, the Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards, and in recent years spearheaded a set of distinctive speaker series that bring expert tech leaders onto campus to share their knowledge with our students.

Regarding her nomination, Deth said “I am honored and humbled to be recognized for this distinction, which is an affirmation of the Seidenberg School’s commitment and continuing success in advancing our STEM mission and students. It is also a privilege to be part of and play a role in the fruitful collaborations among Pace and the business and alumni communities in Westchester.”

Deth in her usual state of being hard at work.

We at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University were delighted by the news, and even more so to find that the nomination for the honor came from Pace’s own Government & Community Relations office.

“Deth is the type of colleague you want to work with and strive to be,” said Bill Colona, Director of Government & Community Relations. “She is hard-working, creative, unflappable, and has unquestionable integrity and character. She is the type of professional we hope our students will become when they graduate.”

The Assistant Vice President for Government & Community Relations, Vanessa Herman, added: “Deth is smart, gracious and an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a tremendous asset to not only Seidenberg but to the University as a whole. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.”

Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School, praised Deth’s work. “Under Deth’s stewardship, the Seidenberg School has seen notable increases in charitable gifts received, and highly proactive working relationships with the tech industry in the greater New York area, including major corporations and key players in the start-up scene.”

A hearty congratulations to Deth – we look forward to your many successes to come in the future!

LST Honoree Speaker Series: Nicholas Donofrio

The second of our LST Honoree Speaker Series took place on our Westchester campus. Butcher Suite was looking mighty full as a crowd of Pace students, staff, faculty, and our alumni and friends at IBM stopped by to listen to our spotlight day’s speaker, Nick Donofrio.

Similar to the previous LST Honoree speaker event with Judy Spitz, the format was interview style, with Seidenberg student Christian Nahshal (BS in Information Technology ’17) taking the stage alongside our guest. What followed was a fascinating conversation, where our 2013 LST Honoree, Nicholas Donofrio, shared his incredible insights, experiences, and wisdom.

Nick Donofrio led IBM’s technology and innovation strategies from 1997 until his retirement in October 2008. He spent the early part of his career in integrated circuit and chip development as a designer of logic and memory chips. In the years that followed, he advanced and succeeded in numerous technical management positions and, later, executive positions in several of IBM’s product divisions. Notably, he was vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chairman of the Board of Governors for the IBM Academy of Technology.

One of the first things Nick spoke about was what he gained from doing co-op assignments with IBM while he was at college. “I can’t say enough about co-op assignments, this idea of work study,” he said. One of the best things about doing relevant work while studying is that it helps cement theoretical learning with practical training.

As an engineer, it was useful to Nick to combine the two as it helped him learn to find solutions for specific problems. “You need to be more problem-based in the way you learn and the way you think, because that’s what engineers are.”

Nick also spoke about how important it was to get and maintain technical skills. Even though the higher up the ladder you go the fewer technical skills you typically use, it’s important to try to stay technical as long as you can.

He also introduced the concepts T-shaped and I-shaped personalities, and the importance of practicing the behaviors and traits of a T-shaped person. An I-shaped person is one that is an expert in one area and does not (and therefore cannot) solve problems outside of their field. However, if one takes the time to advance their knowledge in related areas, they spread their field of expertise – become T-shaped – and can apply a broader range of knowledge to solve different problems.
Expanding your area of knowledge also means you can connect two disparate ideas and create new things. “When you intersect things that don’t normally, or never have been intersected, you become an innovator,” said Nick. “It also allows you to explore the gaps,” finding new ideas within existing areas of knowledge.

“How do you bring that into a leadership aspect?” asked Christian, bringing the conversation around to Nick’s experiences in executive positions.

“Focus on how value is created, where, and how it is created,” Nick said. A good leader should see the strengths and weaknesses of their staff and assign them tasks and roles that allow them to work to their greatest strengths, individually and within the team.

He also spoke about how important it is to be honest. “Transparency, openness, collaboration,” Nick said. If something goes wrong, it is always better to be upfront about it so a solution can be figured out sooner. “We’re going to find out the truth in the end anyway. Because that’s how it works. You may as well tell me now that you screwed up, that the project is 6 months late, that you’re not going to deliver, you might as well tell me NOW so I can help you.”

He shared a saying he likes to use: “You be forthright, I will be forthcoming. Tell me the truth; I will get you the resources.”

Christian then asked about what Nick considers to be one of the most important successes of his life.

“The impact I have had on the lives of people and the impact they’ve had on me,” Nick replied, explaining that the opportunities he has had to help other people have had a powerful effect on him, particularly the ability to lend an empathetic ear or be a sounding board. “To know the answer, but to know to listen is a very important gift.”

Nick is also a big advocate of paying it forward: “I want you to remember what I did for you and do something for somebody else. Too often, sadly, that does not happen. People get where they want to be, and the first thing they do is to lock the door. Don’t be that person.”

Several members of the audience then got to ask questions, which Nick happily answered, including a question about his experiences working with Steve Jobs. He described the kind of innovative thinking that enabled Steve Jobs to get to where he did: “Steve Jobs would solve your problems a different way. That’s what innovators do. He understand workflow better than anyone – that was what his gift was – and he would start with the problem. Any time he started with the answer he was wrong. He didn’t really create anything, he just studied it from the end user perspective.”

Another student asked “What qualities do you have that make you a T-shaped person?”

“You have to know your limits and your abilities, but that doesn’t mean you stop asking the questions,” Nick responded, and went on to recommend reading up on the Medici family who were around in Renaissance Florence. They were a very rich and powerful family who brought around the beginning of the industrial revolution. “They were T-shaped,” Nick said. “They thought about combining this craft with that craft,” which exemplifies the king of T-shaped thinking described above.

Bringing his point a little closer to the present day, Nick spoke about his time as a manager at IBM. “I didn’t know how to do a lot of things at IBM, but I would teach people how to teach themselves. T-shaped people are enablers, open, collaborative, multi-disciplined, global thinkers. They enable others to be better.”

There was a final question – what was Nick’s favorite project?

“Probably the most embarrassing and the most rewarding,” Nick said. “When I became a manager back in the early 70s. I managed a group as the lead circuit designer. We were all friends. After a year, we had an opinion survey. For every group in IBM, you had the best and the worst. The best got rewarded by the chairman and the worst… we never heard from them again!”

When the survey results rolled around, Nick was dismayed to learn that he’d received a 1.2 out of 5 – from a team of people he considered his close friends. However, the more time he spent ruminating on his management style, the more he realized that perhaps he hadn’t been the best manager he could be. In fact, as his background had been doing the same job as the rest of the team, he realized that he’d spent the last year continuing to do that job, a job that wasn’t his any more.

“Now IBM wants me to go into a meeting with them and ‘find out why they think you’re a jerk, but you can’t outright ask them as the survey is anonymous’. I went into the meeting and told them, I am so sorry, I obviously let you all down. I know I must have been a jerk the last year, it’s clear to me that I was trying to do your job instead of my job. It’s clear to me that I may be fired. It’s also clear to me that if you’ll have me, I will change. I will be more collaborative, more open, the manager you want me to be. I will be a manager, not a circuit designer. To a person, they all agreed to keep me on.”

As luck would have it for Nick, there was one other person in the entire company with a score of 1.0, so Nick got to keep his job (it was decidedly unlucky for the other guy, though!)

“So my advice is that if you’re going to be bad, be bad early in your career!”

Following the Q&A, Nick stayed behind to chat with students and meet the community. We would like to thank Nick for spending an incredible couple of hours with us and for sharing the amazing stories and lessons he has learned over the years.

We hope to have you back soon! As Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of Seidenberg School remarked, “There is a reason why this gentleman fills a room.”

The final event in our LST Honoree Speaker Series will be held on April 19th, with guest speaker Austin A. Adams. RSVP here!

Pace U recognition awards for Seidenberg faculty and staff

Fran O’Gara receives her award

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, several of our hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff members received Pace University Employee Recognition Awards.

Pace President Stephen J. Friedman was on site at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus to congratulate the recipients, who were being recognized by the University for their years of service. Pace employees typically start to garner recognition for service after 5 years, but these awardees are just a tad past that point!

Susan Feather-Gannon with Stephen Friedman

Lisa Slingerland, the Online Student Services Coordinator for NACTEL, was recognized for 15 years of service.

Associate Dean Susan Feather-Gannon and Administrative Director Fran O’Gara received awards for 20 years of service.

Faculty members Jean Coppola and Ron Frank were recognized for an amazing 30 years of service!

Jean Coppola receives her award

We are proud of the amazing people that work so hard to make Seidenberg great. Thank you to our awardees for your excellent contributions to our school and our students!