Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Top-Notch Creative Writing Program


Our Creative Writing Program (CWP) is among the most prestigious writing programs in the country. The program is distinguished by its progressive coursework and renowned for its highly acclaimed faculty, which includes esteemed writers such as Zadie Smith, Charles Simic, Jonathan Safran Foer, Deborah Landau, and Darin Strauss (among many more).

Of course, a one-of-a-kind program like this produces extraordinary alumni. We'd like to take this post to highlight some of the recent accomplishments of those who have completed the CWP.

Jacob Appel's short story collection "Scouting for the Reaper," has won the 2012 Hudson Prize.

Solmaz Sharif is a winner of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Standford University. She was also a winner of the 2010 "Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest and a 2011-12 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship.

Paula Bohince's second poetry collection, "The Children," was published by Sarabande Books in May 2012. She was also named the 2012 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place.

Aracelis Girmay was nominated for a 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for her poetry collection Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions Ltd.)

Holly Thompson's novel "Orchards" received the APALA 2012 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and is a YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. Her anthology "Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories" launched in March 2012 and benefits teens affected by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Angelo Nikolopoulos is the winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award for his manuscript "Obscenely Yours," which will be published by Alice James Books in 2013.

Rashad Harrison (NYU CWP '07), who was a Javits Fellow, recently published his debut novel, "Our Man in the Dark" (Atria/Simon & Schuster).

Matthew Shaer published a nonfiction book, "Among Righteous Men: A Tale of Vigilantes and Vindication in Hasidic Crown Heights," in October 2011 (Wiley).

Beth Bosworth has won the Drue Heinz fiction award for 2012, comprised of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Alison Roh Park's "What We Push Against" was selected by Joy Harjo for a 2011 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship.

For a list of other alumni with recently published work, check out the Spring 2012 NYU Alumni Magazine Class Notes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tune in to Culture Shock this Sunday at 10PM

Culture Shock: Sneak Preview from part2 pictures on Vimeo.

Rawan Jabaji (GSAS '06) is a graduate of the Journalism Institute who has been working as producer and correspondent on Culture Shock, a television special airing this Sunday, July 22 at 10PM on OWN. Jabaji is one of three correspondents on the show who travel to different parts of the world to explore the nature of relationships and love across cultures.

"By delving deep into the private lives of people around the world, Culture Shock will expand our concept of what defines a relationship and what connects us across the globe." --OWN

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to speak with Rawan about how she grew from a classmate-biting kindergartner into a cross-cultural television producer.

NYU Arts and Science Alumni Relations: Tell us more about how the concept for Culture Shock was born. What initially spurred your interest in the ideas of love and marriage across cultures?

Rawan Jabaji: We set out to try and make a film of portraits of people around the world --intimate, detailed, seen through the eyes of us, the filmmakers. I worked together with a great Brooklyn-based production company, part2 pictures, to develop a show that took us on an atypical travel adventure -- one that tried to really get to know how people live in different parts of the world. Love and marriage are as universal as it gets, so it seemed like a good theme to start with.

Alumni Relations: Culture Shock will explore cultures from Moscow, India and China. How were these three locations chosen?

Rawan: The team at part2 pictures spent quite a bit of time trying to find the perfect stories and locations to take our audience. In addition to Russia, India, and China, the team looked into Morocco, Brazil, and Jordan, among many others. But there are only so many stories that can be told in an hour! The three stories we chose worked thematically. Three stories in three different countries that examine three different stages of love and marriage. I went to Hyderabad, India and followed a matchmaker, Farooqui, who was arranging the marriage of a couple.


Alumni Relations: Did any experiences from your time at NYU influence how you approached this project?

Rawan: While I was getting my master’s at NYU’s Journalism school, I was enrolled in the Portfolio program, which encouraged longform, literary non-fiction reportage. I remember spending hours and days with my characters trying to learn what makes them tick, observing their habits and trying to grasp their stories so I could rush home and re-create what I observed in words. Those experiences taught me to be a better storyteller.

Alumni Relations: Is there any particular lesson that you, personally, learned through the production of Culture Shock?

Rawan: We’re far more similar than we are different. Farooqui, the matchmaker, may dress, eat and talk differently than we do but he’s really just trying to earn a living by finding members of his community the perfect match. He wants to provide for his family and he has dreams and aspirations just like we do.

Alumni Relations: Tell us about the first time you experienced culture shock.

Rawan: I was born in the US but I grew up in the Middle East speaking only Arabic. I moved here to start Kindergarten. I remember having no idea what was going on the first day of class. I spoke no English! But it’s not nearly as traumatic as it sounds. I was so excited to be in school that I figured out my own way to communicate with the kids. And if they didn’t understand me, I bit them!

Alumni Relations: You bit them!? What did your teacher say?

Rawan: Yes! I got in trouble but I think my teacher understood it was more out of frustration. Geez, I just wanted to play with the other kids! Soon I got an ESL teacher and learned English. And I've been fluent ever since!

Alumni Relations: When did you become interested in producing?

Rawan: During my time at NYU I interned at ABC Nightline in the evenings. I remember sitting in the newsroom researching a story for a senior producer on the Haditha Killings in Iraq. I was incredibly moved by the topic and storytelling. I decided that one day I wanted to be a producer and tell those stories.

Alumni Relations: Do you have any projects lined up after Culture Shock?

Rawan: I’m very excited about Culture Shock! I can barely contain myself! That’s my main focus now. I’m allowing myself time to absorb and enjoy what’s happening. And then once I’ve experienced this to the fullest, I’ll take some time to figure out my next steps. Hopefully you’ll be seeing more of me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Blast from the WSC Past

5th Avenue has a changed a bit since 1931, no?


You may recall last October when we announced that the Heights Yearbooks had been digitized. It is our pleasure to also announce that Washington Square College yearbooks (from 1924 to 2005) are now available as well - to be viewed in the Welcome Center.

The high-quality PDF's are fully searchable. So simply come in, type the name of a person or organization you'd like to see, and voilĂ !

The Jeffrey S. Gould Welcome Center, located at 50 West 4th Street, is open 9 to 5 PM, Monday through Friday and from 10 to 4 PM on Saturday.

Also from the 1931 yearbook:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Scientists May Have Found the Key to the Universe

Scientists around the world are clinking champagne glasses after last week's promising discovery. The finding of a new particle, the Higgs boson, could possibly challenge "The Standard Model" of physics, which has ruled our view of the very nature of reality for the past half-century.

In an article published by the New York Times, NYU Physics Professor Neal Weiner states, "If the boson really is not acting standard, then that will imply that there is more to the story — more particles, maybe more forces around the corner... What that would be is anyone’s guess at the moment."

Check out the article for more details.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We're Now on Instagram


That's right, we've started an Instagram account. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Instagram is a popular photo-sharing mobile application that was recently bought by Facebook for $1 Billion.

For us, it's a great way to snap shots around campus and share them with you. And although Instagram is only a mobile app (it can only be viewed from a smart phone), the photos are automatically shared onto our Facebook and Twitter pages.

For anyone who is unsure of how to get started using Instagram to share photos with family and friends, here is a fantastic, easy to follow 14-step guide, complete with photos and video. To follow us on Instagram, search our account name: @NYUArtsandScience. And when posting photos, be sure to tag us and use the hashtag, #nyualumni.

Finally, if you're not already convinced to follow us, enjoy this slideshow from our first month of Instagram photos. Happy Fourth of July!