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Battlelines have been drawn in the fight over the future of the federal investigation into Donald Trump’s purported links to Russia’s alleged effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. As the White House scrambled to defend the apparently hastily-planned decision of the president to fire FBI Director James Comey, Democrats insisted the only just course of action was to appoint a special prosecutor. Republicans immediately said they would not agree to such a move. With the shock from Mr Trump’s move still reverberating, the Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, called on the same Trump administration official who had recommended Mr Comey’s ousting, to now appoint a special investigator. Mr Schumer said Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had the power to take such a step. Speaking in the Senate, the senator called on Mr Rosenstein to do so. “Mr Rosenstein has the authority to appoint a special prosecutor right now. He needs no congressional authorisation. This would simply be a step that he could take,” he said. He added: “A special prosecutor is not subject to day-to-day supervision by the Attorney General or anyone else at the Justice Department. That means the special prosecutor would have much greater latitude in who he can subpoena, which questions they ask, how to conduct an investigation.” His Republican counterpart, majority leader Mitch McConnell, said Republicans would not agree, saying it would interfere with the work already done by the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation which could only serve to impede the current work being done,” Mr McConnell said. “Partisan calls should not delay the considerable work of Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Warner. Too much is at stake.” Video not available for syndication Vladimir Putin responds to James Comey firing: 'We had nothing to do with it' In a brief letter to Mr Comey that was delivered to the FBI headquarters in Washington by hand, Mr Trump told the 56-year-old he had been fired as part of an effort to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. Other officials, Mr Rosenstein among them, claimed one of the main reasons was Mr Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, something for which Mr Trump had praised the FBI Director during the election campaign. Mr Trump on Wednesday also defended the move to fire him, first on Twitter and later again when he appeared in the Oval Office with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “He wasn’t doing a good job. Very simply. He was not doing a good job,” said a stern-looking Mr Trump. At a press briefing at the White House, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the FBI Director had committed “atrocities”. But there were many people, who did buy the explanation of Mr Trump of the flurry of surrogates who rushed to defend him in the television studios. Many seized on the revelation that in the days before his firing, Mr Comey had asked the Justice Department for extra resources to help him pursue the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the election. The person he spoke to on that occasion was Mr Rosenstein. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, and Democrat ranking member Mark Warner, said they had asked Mr Comey to appear before the committee next Tuesday. Jeanne Zaino, Professor of Political Science at Iona College in New York, said the future of the investigation into Mr Trump would now rely to a great degree on the behaviour of Republicans in the Senate. If sufficient pressure was exerted on Mr McConnell, he may be obliged to give in to agreeing to the appointment of a special prosecutor. “Donald Trump did this to himself,” she told The Independent. “He went and threw gas on the fire. Had he not done this, the investigation would have stayed with the FBI. [The prospect of a special prosecutor] is 100 per cent more likely than at 5pm on Tuesday.”


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

NESCONSET, NY, May 18, 2017-- Gary F. Smith is a celebrated Marquis Who's Who biographee. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Mr. Smith a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Mr. Smith celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field.A respected and prominent figure in his field, Gary F. Smith has over 40 years' experience in the practice of law having been admitted to the Bar by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department on December 20, 1974. He currently runs his own practice, which he started in 1979. He has maintained offices for the practice in Hauppauge, Suffolk County, New York since 1988.In addition to his status as a Lifetime Achiever, Mr. Smith has received the Phi Beta Kappa Award from the Long Island Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association for graduating first in his High School Class of 1966 and is the recipient of membership in the Cornelian Honor Society from Iona College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in June of 1970. He has long been a featured listee in Who's Who in the East.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com Contact:Fred Marks844-394-6946


There are few people Mr Trump trusts more than his daughter and her husband: Getty He’s the man Donald Trump considers “a very smart guy”, “a very good guy”, and “a quality person”. So smart, so good and with such qualities, indeed, that he blessed his marriage to his eldest daughter, gave him a White House job and tasked him with bringing peace to the Middle East. Now, it has been confirmed Jared Kushner is a “focus” of the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s alleged effort to influence the 2016 election. The Washington Post said investigators were looking at a series of meetings Kushner held last year with Russian officials, including Moscow’s Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. “Right now, we’re at the door of the Oval Office,” Juliette Kayyem, a political analyst who served in Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, told The Independent. “It’s getting wider in terms of its theory, and it’s getting faster. All of these things explain why the President is lawyering up.” There are few people Trump trusts more than Kushner, who is married to his daughter Ivanka , and who is himself the scion of a real estate empire. Although the 36-year-old had no political experience, Mr Trump trusted him at the helm of his election campaign, and in a perhaps unprecedented step, insisted both Kushner and his daughter take up jobs within the White House. Just this week, it was Kushner who sat in on Trump’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, while national security advisor HR McMaster was excluded. But Trump’s trust in Kushner, and his obvious closeness to him, may now come back to haunt the New York tycoon. If things start to get hot for his son-in-law, does he stick by him, or drop him? “I don’t think it comes as a surprise that they want to speak to him. He was the man at the centre of things. They would want to speak to him even more than people like his former campaign manager Paul Manafort,” says Jeanne Zaino, a professor of Political Science at Iona College in New York. “It’s obvious they are very close. That’s not to say Jared Kushner has done anything wrong, but if he does emerge tainted, that would be very difficult for Trump to shake. It’s hard to think Jared Kushner was involved in anything that Trump didn’t know about.” The Post article stressed it had not been told Kushner was the central focus of the FBI investigation and said he had not been accused of any wrongdoing. Yet he is one of the people in Trump’s inner circle known to have had a number of meetings with Russians, including an official from a Russian bank, Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, which is owned by the Russian government and which has been the subject of US sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. On Friday, asked for comment about the revelation that Kushner was the focus of the FBI probe, the White House forwarded a statement from his lawyer Jamie Gorelick, which suggested he was prepared to cooperate with the investigation, now being led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller. “Mr Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings,” it said. “He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.” Sarah Flores, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, said: “I can’t confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of investigations or subjects of investigations.” NBC said the FBI has collected data on computer bots, programs that perform repetitive functions like searches, allegedly linked to Russia that helped target and push negative information on Hillary Clinton and positive information on Donald Trump through Facebook. Kusher oversaw his own data mining operation for the Trump campaign out of Trump Tower in New York. Trump has yet to comment on the revelation that Kushner is a reported focus of the FBI’s investigation. Previously, Trump said one of the reasons for his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was the ongoing probe. ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,” he told an interviewer. Later, it was reported that a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, the President described Mr Comey as a “nut job”.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has evaluated the top colleges in New York state for 2017. Of the 50 four-year schools who made the site’s “Best” list, Columbia University in the City of New York, Cornell University, Yeshiva University, University of Rochester and New York University were in the top five. Of the 39 two-year schools that were included, Monroe Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY Westchester Community College and Genesee Community college took the top five spots. A full list of schools is included below. “New York state offers a wide variety of educational options, but the schools on our list are those going the extra mile for students,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Not only do they offer outstanding certificate and degree programs, they also provide students with resources that help them make successful career choices after college.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in New York” list, institutions must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit schools. Each college is ranked on additional statistics including the number of degree programs offered, the availability of career and academic resources, the opportunity for financial aid, graduation rates and annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in New York” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adelphi University Alfred University Barnard College Canisius College Clarkson University Colgate University College of Mount Saint Vincent Columbia University in the City of New York Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Cornell University CUNY Bernard M Baruch College CUNY City College CUNY Hunter College CUNY Queens College Daemen College D'Youville College Fordham University Hamilton College Hartwick College Hobart William Smith Colleges Hofstra University Houghton College Iona College Ithaca College Le Moyne College LIU Post Manhattan College Manhattanville College Marist College Molloy College Nazareth College New York University Niagara University Pace University-New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rochester Institute of Technology Saint John Fisher College Saint Joseph's College-New York Siena College St Bonaventure University St John's University-New York St Lawrence University Stony Brook University SUNY at Binghamton Syracuse University Union College University at Buffalo University of Rochester Vassar College Yeshiva University The Best Two-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adirondack Community College Bramson ORT College Bronx Community College Cayuga County Community College Clinton Community College Columbia-Greene Community College Corning Community College CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY LaGuardia Community College Dutchess Community College Erie Community College Finger Lakes Community College Fulton-Montgomery Community College Genesee Community College Herkimer County Community College Hostos Community College Hudson Valley Community College Jamestown Community College Jefferson Community College Kingsborough Community College Mohawk Valley Community College Monroe Community College Nassau Community College New York Methodist Hospital Center for Allied Health Education Niagara County Community College North Country Community College Onondaga Community College Professional Business College Queensborough Community College Rockland Community College Schenectady County Community College Stella and Charles Guttman Community College Suffolk County Community College SUNY Broome Community College SUNY Orange SUNY Sullivan SUNY Ulster SUNY Westchester Community College Tompkins Cortland Community College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


Patent
Iona College | Date: 2013-05-17

In one aspect, embodiments of the invention provide a method, the method comprising contacting at least one osmotic body and a droplet comprising solvent and at least one solute. The contacting forms at least one thin film between the droplet and the at least one osmotic body. The method further comprises allowing solvent to transfer between the droplet and the at least one osmotic body, to form a precipitate of the at least one solute.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Cyber-Human Systems (CHS) | Award Amount: 165.79K | Year: 2015

The Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia, define the skills a student should demonstrate by the end of each grade. One key skill emphasized by CCLS is reading ability, which is the precursor for learning in all content areas. In New York State, students in grades 3-8 take an English Language Arts (ELA) test each spring to measure their CCLS achievement in reading. An ELA test contains both multiple choice questions and open-ended questions based on short text passages; to do well, students should be able to read a passage closely for textual evidence and draw logical inferences from it. To report the results, the number of correct student responses is converted into a scale score; this in turn is divided into four performance levels: NYS Level 1 for well below proficient, NYS Level 2 for partially proficient, NYS Level 3 for proficient, and NYS Level 4 for exceptional in grade-level standards. Schools arrange academic intervention services for students whose performance level is either NYS Level 1 or NYS Level 2. To drive change in students who are at risk for not meeting academic expectations, the Response-to-Intervention model aims to deliver instructions as a function of these assessment outcomes. But the PIs argue that a single performance score as the assessment outcome is often insufficient for identifying underlying learning problems, especially in reading comprehension. In this exploratory project they will focus on discovering error patterns in assessment outcomes at the lexical level, in the expectation these will ultimately lead to improved understanding of how the raw data from a pool of underperforming text-based analytic reading assessments can be transformed into an informative and understandable structure for delivery of effective reading comprehension interventions. Project outcomes will complement the current scoring system by supporting diagnosis at an individual level, and by facilitating grouping of students with similar reading disabilities in the same intervention group in order to optimize school teaching resources. The approach will also support a data-driven instruction framework by maximizing the information gain from each test, which can result in fewer tests taken and more hours for teaching per school year.

This is an interdisciplinary collaboration between a computer scientist (Tsai) and an expert in literacy education (Zakierski). PI Tsai will be responsible for computer algorithm development and data analysis, whereas PI Zakierski will be in charge of data collection and evaluation of the proposed approach based on findings in literacy and pedagogy. The team will build a database containing words with lexical properties from literature for children up to grade 3, assessment materials from NYS ELAs, and intervention records. They will annually collect ELA assessment materials from a pool of approximately 120 third grade students with performance at NYS Level 2 or below, for both research development and evaluation. They will develop a computer-aided intervention system that performs data-mining on underperforming individual ELA assessment materials to discover error patterns, which should assist the teacher in identifying a students underlying reading comprehension problems in order to prepare a more effective instruction plan. And they will evaluate the performance by doing both formative and summative assessments, the former to consist of questionnaires for teachers and mock ELA tests for students taken during the period of intervention, and the latter being the real ELA tests in April following the intervention. From the computer science perspective, the main challenge is the small size of the dataset. The PIs will develop new techniques that are domain-knowledge driven for performing meaningful analysis to discover error patterns in such situations; if successful, the approach will open the door to broad research opportunities in other cases where small data is easier to come by. In addition, the exploration of data mining on literacy education itself will constitute a unique contribution, since the marriage of the two fields has not yet received much attention from the research community and there are many interesting questions waiting to be addressed using computational approaches.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 184.15K | Year: 2014

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program, Iona College will acquire an inverted confocal Raman microscope. A microscope, which combines a Raman spectrometer with a confocal optical microscope, provides qualitative and quantitative vibrational information for structural and molecular analysis of materials at both the microscopic and bulk level. By scanning across a sample with high spatial resolution it provides analytical information on a wide range of samples, including biological matrices. The acquisition will provide training to undergraduate students in the use of this modern analytical tool. It will strengthen research opportunities for students in STEP and CSTEP (Collegiate STEP) programs funded by New York State that encourage underrepresented groups and outreach activities to high school teachers and students.

The acquistion is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) studying in-situ microdroplet crystallization; (b) designing nanoparticle intracellular probes and small-molecule delivery/detection devices and probing cellular uptake of the nanocomplexes in situ for synthesis of drug delivery vehicles; (c) elucidating fundamental biotoxicity mechanisms of type-2 alkenes via examination of intracellular tracking of various molecular indicators for prediction of the toxicity of environmental chemicals; and (d) characterizing copper nitrosyls compounds and mechanisms of nitrosylations and denitrosylations to develop denitrosylations and catalysis for environmental/biological applications.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Macromolec/Supramolec/Nano | Award Amount: 325.00K | Year: 2016

In this research program, with support from the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program of the Division of Chemistry, Professor Sunghee Lee of Iona College and her undergraduate students gain greater fundamental understanding of how living cells maintain their water balance - a property that is essential to life. They use nature-inspired techniques to create tailor-made particles - these particles are cell-sized water droplets which are used as models for natural cellular systems. A large number of undergraduate students are engaged in this research and many of these students publish peer-reviewed manuscripts. Diverse outreach seminars and science symposia involving high school students and teachers are conducted to inspire and encourage the next generation of STEM educators. Professor Lee reaches out to underrepresented groups in particular. In addition to understanding the water balance in living cells, the research could also have industrial applications in the design of reverse osmosis systems used to purify water.

This project focuses on understanding how supramolecular aggregates assembled at liquid-liquid interfaces (including surfactant bilayers) mediate the passage of small molecules and direct biomineralization. Systematic studies determine the effect of bilayer-incorporated materials (e.g., nanomaterials) upon the characteristics of water transport through the droplet interface bilayer (DIB). Experimental activities primarily focus on acquisition of water permeability parameters for osmotic flow in conjunction with the determination of electrical properties, and compositional studies via Raman quantification. Experimental strategies provide insight into how bilayered supramolecular assemblies promote the crystallization of important targets (biominerals and proteins), through nucleation studies of biomineral formation. Biomineralization is the process by which living organisms produce minerals that are often used to harden or stiffen existing tissues.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 649.63K | Year: 2016

The Iona College DESIRE program supports twenty-four (24) economically disadvantaged students with high academic aptitude, for scholarships in STEM fields, through targeted, hands-on high school outreach and recruitment programs. The STEM disciplines targeted by the DESIRE program include Chemistry and Computer Science. To ensure intellectual merit, the DESIRE Program uses proven high-impact educational practices (HIEPs) to develop the Academic, Professional, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Intercultural dimensions of scholarship recipients for success in STEM.

These Scholars will be exposed to HIEPs that increase student retention, and will benefit from the various resources at Iona dedicated to intervention, resilience, and enrichment: tailored core courses, an interdisciplinary academic learning community, a science living and learning community residence, undergraduate research, and experiential/service learning. For professional development, the scholars will be offered industrial internships and professional mentors through Careers in Science seminars and established science alumni network. The DESIRE program will serve as a model for peer institutions for the improvement of their programs to support and retain students in STEM. The broader impacts of the program ensure that STEM workforce needs are addressed and highly trained STEM professionals willing to embrace scientific pursuits at the graduate and professional levels are produced. The high school partnership will provide an enduring and sustainable pipeline for identification and matriculation of high caliber students with financial need. The DESIRE program will lead to completion of STEM degrees by an increased number of underrepresented students, and an increased number of underrepresented high school students becoming interested in STEM careers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: Macromolec/Supramolec/Nano | Award Amount: 270.00K | Year: 2012

The Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN) Program of the Division of Chemistry (CHE) at the National Science Foundation supports the work of Professor Sunghee Lee at Iona College, concerning how supramolecular aggregates direct the crystallization of substances at a liquid-liquid interface. The research includes: (1) investigating the effect of surfactant monolayer structure upon crystallization by employing polymorphic organic crystal systems as reporters for subtle changes in monolayer structure; (2) studying the mechanism by which lipid bilayers in mesophases promote the crystallization of important protein targets through establishment of the droplet interface bilayer as a model; and (3) determining the nature and extent of interaction of ions with bilayers using the droplet interface bilayer model.

The research will enhance the body of empirical and systematic knowledge regarding arrangement of molecules which preferentially reside at the liquid-liquid interface. The understanding of molecular assemblies at the liquid-liquid interface will be an important contribution to fields which rely on these structures, such as biomimetic materials synthesis, electronics, diagnostics, drug delivery, and the plastic and pharmaceutical industries. Undergraduate students will perform research, co-author the relevant publications, and present their findings at national meetings. Thus, the research will impact the future career pathways in science available to numerous undergraduates, through enhanced availability and depth of research training at Iona College, a predominantly undergraduate institution.

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