ExxonMobil V.P. Ponders The Future of Fossil Fuels

Yesterday afternoon Elissa Sterry ’81, the vice president of ExxonMobil’s Intermediates Chemical Company, returned to her alma mater to give a lecture about the future of the world’s energy dependence. Sterry’s presentation, entitled “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030,” turned into what she called a “conversation” with the 40 students and professors gathered in Anabel Taylor Auditorium.
“The world uses 245 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. By 2030, we see that number increasing to 325 million barrels per day; it’s an enormous challenge for our company and others to meet that demand. What’s going to meet that need? We see the energy mix becoming more rich and we feel that’s a good thing,” Sterry said.

Weill Doctor Tests New Drug To Fight Resistant Strain of HIV

Between 25 and 30 percent of HIV-infected patients have a resistant strain of the virus which is not curable by current medications, but a recent Cornell study found that a new drug may be able to help. Dr. Roy Gulick of the Center for Special Studies at Weill Cornell Medical College, authored a 48-week study on the effects of Maraviroc, a drug approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We were able to suppress levels of HIV below the level of detection in about 40 to 50 percent of patients,” Dr. Gulick said. Furthermore, the patients did not report any negative side effects due to the new medication.

C.U. Profs Donate to Obama Campaign

In June, presidential nominee Barack Obama opted out of public financing for his presidential campaign, choosing instead to accept private donations. As of yesterday, over $92,000 of Obama’s campaign money came from 143 of Cornell’s professors and administrators; only three chose to give money to John McCain, totaling $1,300.
The private donations of Cornell employees to various political campaigns total over $223,500 since 2004, according to statistics gathered from the Fundrace online database.

Officials Ponder Gorge Safety

Ryan Lavin ’09, president of the Student Assembly, was at the scene two years ago when a group of students helped pull the body of a drowned teenager out of one of the gorges. Now, Lavin, along with other student leaders, Cornell administrators and Ithaca city officials, participated in a meeting on Friday to discuss new tactics for enforcing gorge safety issues in light of recent deaths and injuries.

Fulbright Awards 20 Cornellians Scholarships for Research Abroad

While most victims of armed robbery quickly put the incident behind them, John Bruno ’08 turned his own unsettling experience into an inspired research proposal that won him a Fulbright Scholarship.
“I was robbed at gunpoint the first time I visited my family in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After this eye-opening experience, the Fulbright seemed like the perfect opportunity to actually contribute to a critical issue facing Ecuador and immerse myself in my ancestral heritage,” Bruno said. A Sociology major while at Cornell, Bruno chose to study delinquency and problems surrounding the “revolving door” of the prison system for 10 months in Ecuador.

Speaker: Africa Needs Researchers

Sub-Saharan Africa does not need any more dollars in aid from the U.S. or other countries in order to alleviate malnutrition, poverty and starvation — Africa needs researchers, according to former Vice-President of Uganda Dr. Speciosa Wandira.
On Wednesday night, Wandira spoke about the politics surrounding her country’s food systems in a lecture entitled, “Achieving Freedom from Hunger, Poverty, and Poor Health in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“There are countries in Africa with no war that still have huge food security issues. So what’s the real problem? You have the answers — that’s why we’re here at Cornell University,” Wandira said.

Online Learning Goes the Distance

Over 3.5 million students at universities across the country took an online course last fall, according to a recent survey by the Babson Survey Research Group. The study, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning,” reported a 10 percent increase in popularity for the cyber classroom over the past year — a trend that Cornell students seem to follow.

New Hybrid Grapes Aid Finger Lakes Wine

Like most Cornell students, local winemakers in the Finger Lakes region have to learn how to cope with bitter winters, sickness and fierce competition. Research on hybrid grapes done by Prof. Bruce Reisch, horticultural sciences, however, has produced new disease resistant varieties that can tolerate the icy temperatures of upstate New York and still maintain a flavor quality that some say rivals the sophistication of European wines.

Protests and Publicity Impact Business Norms

The voices of activists booming from megaphones on the picket line have a significant impact on big-name corporations and investors, according to a recently released study by Prof. Sarah Soule, sociology. In the report, “Social Movements as Extra-institutional Entrepreneurs: The Effect of Protest on Stock Price Returns,” Soule examines how media outlets help both businessmen and their outspoken, sign-wielding opponents.
“What entrepreneurship and social movements have in common is that they’re both trying to change the status quo,” said Brayden King, Assistant Professor of sociology at Brigam Young University, who collaborated on the study with Soule. King said that by nature, both protesters and entrepreneurs are attempting to change the norms of business.

Cornell Racecar Wins First Place in Int’l Race

With the power to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds, the racecar designed and built by students in Cornell’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers team could leave a Ferrari spinning its wheels in the dust. On Sept. 15, Cornell FSAE won first place for fastest time in the sixth annual Toronto Shootout, an autocross competition between university teams from the U.S. and Canada.
“The thrill of a roller coaster can’t even come close to driving this,” said David Porter ’08, the team’s leader for this year.