University of Rochester

Rochester Review
January–February 2013
Vol. 75, No. 3

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In Review

Notable Organ Has Debut
inbriefNEW ADDITION: A restored 19th-century organ originally built by a premier American organ company has joined Eastman’s collection. (Photo: Eastman School)

Rochester’s collection of notable organs has expanded by one, with the addition of a restored 1893 organ. Originally made by Hook and Hastings, one of the premier American organ builders of the 19th century, the instrument has a new home in Christ Church on the city’s historic East Avenue.

Acquired by the Eastman School as part of its Eastman-Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI), the instrument will be used for teaching, practice, and public recitals and concerts by Eastman students and faculty and other guest musicians, as well as for services at the church. For more than a decade, EROI has worked to make Rochester a center for organ research and performance.

The organ had its inaugural concert at the end of November.

Library Leader Installed as Dean

inbriefNEILLY DEAN: Mary Ann Mavrinac is the new dean of River Campus Libraries. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Mary Ann Mavrinac, an internationally recognized library leader, was formally installed as the new Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries during a December ceremony. A

n expert in the creation of learning spaces and the development of digital services, Mavrinac served for a decade as chief librarian at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, part of the University of Toronto Libraries. Appointed to the position last June, Mavrinac is the third recipient of the library deanship, one of the few endowed library directorships in the nation. The deanship was established in 2000 through a gift from Andrew Neilly ’47 and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly. The former president, CEO, and vice chairman of the board of John Wiley & Sons, Andrew Neilly is a life trustee of the University.

Bridging Stem Cell Therapy and Research

The Medical Center in December opened the doors of a new facility expected to bridge stem cell research and therapies.

The Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility—which will be used by academic and private-sector scientists from across the state—was created with $3.5 million in support from the Empire State Stem Cell Board.

“One of the critical barriers to moving cell-based therapies into clinical trials is the requirement that these cells be manufactured in a facility that meets strict federal requirements,” says Steve Dewhurt, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and principal investigator for the state grant. “Without this resource, much of this science remains stuck in the lab.”

The “cGMP” in the facility’s name stands for “current good manufacturing practice,” a term that means that the facility, its operation, and the people who work in it meet federal manufacturing guidelines to ensure that biological materials produced at the center are suitable for human clinical trials.

There are more than 40 labs at the Medical Center that are working with stem cells.

The new, 3,600-square-foot facility, located in the Ernest J. Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute, consists of three separate labs that can each support different cell production projects.

inbriefFIRST COUPLE: President Joel Seligman and Delores Conway, professor of real estate economics and statistics, were married in the fall. Conway is also associate dean for master’s degree programs at the Simon School. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

New University Counsel Appointed

inbriefLEGAL COUNSEL: Gail Norris has been named University vice president and general counsel. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Gail Norris became vice president and general counsel for the University on January 1, succeeding Sue Stewart after a national search. Since joining the University in 2005, Norris has served as senior legal counsel for all aspects of operations. In 2007, she became director of the College Office of Technology Transfer, and in 2009, was named vice provost of technology transfer, responsible for the development of University-wide policies in that area, as well as procedures for review of invention disclosures, patenting, and licensing.

Popular Music Institute Founded

Scholars of popular music have a new academic resource at Rochester. A new Institute for Popular Music, directed by John Covach, chair of the College Department of Music and a professor of music theory at the Eastman School, was formally established late last year.

Dedicated to promoting the scholarly study of popular music among students and professional scholars, the institute will also work to support research in fields touched by popular music, including musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, and performance.

Jocelyn Neal ’02E (PhD), associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South, will deliver the institute’s Inaugural Lecture on January 23. For details, visit

MSNBC Host and Scholar to Deliver 2013 MLK Address

inbriefGUEST SPEAKER: Melissa Harris-Perry will deliver the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address. (Photo: Courtesy of MSNBC)

Melissa Harris-Perry, a noted scholar and host of her own MSNBC current affairs program, will deliver the University’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address on January 17. As a political analyst and professor of political science at Tulane, Harris-Perry will focus her address on racial issues, religious questions, and gender concerns related to American politics.

In her book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale, 2011), Harris-Perry argues that persistent, harmful stereotypes can limit black women’s ability to participate in the political process. Her first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (Princeton, 2004) won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Free and open to the public, the address kicks off the University’s Black History Month Celebration.