Something to Chew On

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A recent study has confirmed that a healthy, Mediterranean-style combined with regular exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies have linked and exercise, independently, to reduced Alzheimer’s risk, but the recent investigation, at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at University Medical Center, reveals that combining these life choices helps even more.

“We wanted to tease out which of these two behaviors may be associated with lower risk for AD, or if the combination of the two is associated with decreased risk even further,” Nikos Scarmeas, M.D., lead author of the study, said.

Researchers interviewed 1,880 elderly subjects in a multi-ethnic community in upper Manhattan. Their average age was 77, and all the subjects did not have Alzheimer’s. They answered questions about their level of physical activity and dietary habits. The scientists then followed them over the next five and a half years and observed which subjects developed Alzheimer’s.

It turned out that a Mediterranean-type diet—characterized by fish, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals and monounsaturated fatty acids—was the most effective at preventing Alzheimer’s. Subjects who adhered to the diet had a 40 percent risk reduction. Those who were physically active—without the added benefit of the diet—had a 33 percent risk reduction, and those who adhered to both the diet and the exercise had a 60 percent reduction.

Dr. Scarmeas emphasized that even small lifestyle changes can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Baruch College President Resigns; Dr. Stan Altman Named Interim President
Baruch College President Kathleen Waldron announced her resignation August 18, according to a statement released by CUNY Chancellor Matthew, and said she will be returning as CUNY professor.

“We are grateful to Dr. Waldron for her presidential service during the past five years and join with all members of the Baruch College community in expressing our very best wishes,” Chancellor Goldstein said.

Interim President Stan Altman, who served with distinction as Dean of the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College from 1999 to 2005, has been named by the Board of Trustees Executive Committee, on the recommendation of the Chancellor. “Interim President Altman has extensive academic and administrative experience in higher and we are fortunate that he is available to serve the college in this interim capacity,” Goldstein added. “A national search for a permanent president will be quickly initiated, consistent with university guidelines. Given the stature of Baruch College, it is our expectation that a high-quality pool of candidates will emerge. As the start of the fall semester nears, I look forward to an outstanding year at Baruch. The exemplary work of the college’s faculty and staff has always been at the core of Baruch’s historic reputation.”

The Princeton Review named Baruch College one of the best in America, according to their 2010 Edition of “The Best 371 Colleges.” Baruch College is also named one of the nation’s 50 best value public undergraduate institutions, according to the 2008 Princeton Review’s America’s Best Value Colleges. Forbes magazine and the Kaplan/Newsweek 2008 edition of America’s Hottest Colleges also rank Baruch highly.

Hunter College Partners with City to Prevent Nursing Shortage
The Hunter-Bellevue Accelerated Second-Degree Pathway, an intensive 14-month nursing program, was recently launched by Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing as part of an effort to stem the critical shortage of nurses in New York City. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn lauded the Hunter program at a press conference at Bellevue Hospital on July 27 and announced a $500,000, five-year grant to CUNY nursing programs. According to sources, the money will help fund the Hunter-Bellevue accelerated nursing program in addition to other initiatives, such as one to place working nurses in short-term teaching positions at Lehman College and Borough of Manhattan Community College. CUNY will also be able to admit an additional 500 nursing students over five years. “We need to fill jobs that are in demand,” Quinn said.

Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab called the new program a “great idea” and went on to state: “We can take career changers and move them into the much-in-demand field of nursing.”

According to a Hunter College release, it is estimated that another 7,000 more nurses will be needed in New York by 2020, as the workforce continues to age. According to Hunter, however, 575 CUNY nursing applicants were turned away last year because of the lack of teaching capacity.

Kristine Gebbie, Dean of the School of Nursing, supports the initiative, stating, “As these adult learners become RNs, they increase our ability to meet the nursing needs of the city and elsewhere.”

U.S. Department of Education Gives Grant Moey to John Jay College to Support Improvements
It’s not all CSI all the time. The U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools awarded a $768,000 Emergency Management for Higher Education grant to the John Jay College’s Office of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Among other things, the grant money is meant to strengthen the “bridges” that link CUNY to the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as well as developing and installing a secure, searchable “IT/GIS-based emergency management tool.”

According to Project Director Richard Glover, “The goal of this project is to develop a single, CUNY-wide, structured, comprehensive all-hazards, fully integrated plan between July 2009 and December 2010. As this goal is accomplished, the CUNY community will realize an increase in campus safety and the safety of the New York City physical communities of which the individual colleges are an integral part. The resulting CUNY ACEMS is intended to become a model of higher educational institution readiness and emergency management for small, medium and large campuses throughout the county.”

To this end, John Jay College will partner with the Borough of Manhattan Community College to expand the training offered to members of the CUNY campus community. As stated in a recent release from the college, this joint effort between a two-year and a four-year CUNY campus reflects a strategic plan to create a synergy resulting from the two campuses having been recipients of two of five grant awards made in New York State under US DOE’s EMHE grant program. John Jay College will coordinate overall emergency readiness management for CUNY while BMCC will function as the emergency management training center, taking full advantage of its new training facility in lower Manhattan.

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