October 15, 2010
At the early hour of 5:45 a.m. EST on September 15th, a Dowling College research team consisting of administration, faculty, and staff delivered a live presentation to Slovakia and spoke with participants over 4,200 miles away.
Principal Investigator, Dr. Ryan Leick, along with several members of Dowling College’s School of Aviation, School of Arts and Sciences and Grants Office, gathered around a computer to deliver a live presentation, via Skype, at a conference in Zilina, Slovakia which Dowling College was co-hosting, titled, “From Zero to ATPL.”
Because of ever-changing technology, Dowling College was able to participate in this conference via Skype. The early morning Skype session was a first for the University of Zilina and for many of the attendees at the Conference. The Zilina Conference, “From Zero to ATPL,” is an international conference on Flight Training and Aviation Education.
The participants of the virtual conference included Dr. Paul Abramson, Acting Dean of Operations for Aviation; Dr. Ryan Leick, Assistant Professor of Aviation, Principal Investigator AV-Eden/Atlantis Grant; Mr. Stephen Ferrara, Chief Flight Instructor; Dr. Herbert Bernstein, External Evaluator for the grant’s project design; Mr. Arthur W. Perri, Jr., Director of Grants and Research Funding; and Mr. Joseph Donofrio, Assistant Professor of Aviation.
“The U.S. Department of Education’s European Union-United States ATLANTIS program has served as a wonderful catalyst to spur innovative ideas and research that can have profound international impacts. The actions and participation by the faculty and administrators involved in this program from both Dowling College and the University of Zilinia serve as a testament to the hard work and dedication necessary to furthering international curriculum development and related student exchange in the field of Aviation.” —Arthur W. Perri, Jr., Director of Grants and Research Funding.
Dowling College’s participation in the conference was in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE), AV-EDEN/Atlantis grant of $75,600 which Dowling College was awarded in September 2009. This grant is one of 84 projects funded by a U.S. and European Union Department of Education partnership that is designed to promote transatlantic degree consortia projects, excellence in mobility projects and policy oriented projects. Dowling’s project is a policy oriented measure funded to collaborate with the University of Zilina in Slovakia to develop a best practices guide concerning the proper educational model for future pilots.
By Melissa Theodorakatos
October 4, 2010
On September 22nd, 2010, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after he became the victim of a vicious prank set off by two of his fellow classmates. Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, was secretly taped while having a private and intimate encounter with another male student in his dorm room. Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, set up a webcam in their dormitory to film the encounter in order to stream the video live on an internet chat site. Molly Wei, a student at Rutgers, allowed Ravi to use her dorm room for the streaming and took part in invading Clementi’s privacy.
On September 19th, Ravi began the cruel “prank” when he posted on his Twitter, “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” He later prompted chat site users to tune in while he set up a live feed over the internet. Investigators are almost certain they have found a forum account of Clementi’s online, which, if his, shows conversations he posted verifying that he knew about the first live stream and wanted to do something about it. On these forums, Clementi continues by saying he was going to ask for the dorm room once more and see if Ravi was, in fact, filming him. He later posted that he found the camera and disconnected it, deciding he was going to talk to his RA later that week about the incident. He went on by asking advice of his fellow forum users about the situation as he tried to deal with what Ravi had done to him. Ravi tried to stream another live video again that same night, on the 21st, when he posted, “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes, it’s happening again.” He was unable to show the video since Clementi had disconnected the camera earlier, proving that Ravi was the one filming him.
Three short days after the first internet incident, Clementi posted on his Facebook, “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” This was his final contact with the world. His post became true shortly after, when a witness saw Clementi jump off the George Washington Bridge. A few of Clementi’s personal effects were found on the railing of the bridge as well. His body was identified on Wednesday the 29th by police investigators. His Facebook page has been turned into a memorial by his friends and family in order to acknowledge how significant a simple “prank” can become.
After the first live incident, Ravi claimed that the broadcast was an accident and that, while chatting online, he had unintentionally connected to his own computer, which was in the room with Clementi. Even if this were the case, the knowledge of the web feed was spread around the entire dormitory, and there was no way to erase what had happened. Ravi was charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, with an additional two added after investigators learned he had tried a second live feed on the 21st. Ravi was released on $25,000 bail, with his lawyer refusing to release a statement at this time. Ms. Wei was released on “her own recognizes.”
Not many people knew Clementi on campus. He kept to himself and was extremely dedicated to his music as a violinist. His death came as a shock to all his classmates, with students claiming they never knew that anything was going on in regards to the week prior to his death. The university released a statement claiming the acts against Clementi go against the main policy of equality on campus. Ironically, Clementi’s death was announced on campus moments before an annual event began that was meant to teach civility on campus. Clementi’s family released a statement on Wednesday the 29th, confirming that Clementi did commit suicide, and that they would be working closely with investigators during the investigation of Ravi and Wei. The statement included the following: “Tyler was a fine young man and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words.”
Tyler is one of five homosexual youth suicides that have been publicized throughout the last three weeks.
Dowling’s own GSA will be hosting a Candlelight Vigil on Monday October 11th at 7PM from the Dowling well to the PAC building. Details on the vigil will be posted on the GSA group page on Facebook later this week. Please visit the page at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=317716817022&ref=ts
I urge all of you to try and attend the vigil. I know Clementi was not a student at our school, and most likely no one on campus had known him personally; but his death affects everyone regardless of the circumstances. What happened to Tyler was a hate crime; and as a student body, we must learn from this. We must gather together as a group and unite to end any form of discrimination that may take place on campus. We must stray from the use of derogatory words. We must accept others for who they truly are, instead of criticizing them, driving them to deny their identity.
For all students on campus who may be suffering from discrimination of any kind, I encourage you to refrain from trying to cope on your own. The Dowling GSA Co-Presidents open their emails to anyone who may need help dealing with a situation, coping with a loss, or talking about a particular subject. The goal of the GSA is to ensure that no student is alone and that no student is turned away regardless of their sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. Email information is provided below for reference. Do not hesitate to use them. Dowling also has its own Personal Assistance and Counseling Center on campus with trained professionals that are available whenever you need them. Information is also provided below.
Melissa Theodorakatos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Goodman: email@example.com
Education North Building Room 103
Building A, Room 206A
Hours: Monday 10 am-6 pm; Tuesday 12–8 pm; Thursday 10 am-6 pm