Hits from the 80s, 90s, and today
Three Degrees of Matt Ganis
Kevin Bacon may require six degrees, but for Matt Ganis, BS ’85, MBA ’91, and DPS ’07, three’s the magic number. And if you’ve been on the Pace campus any time in the last 30 years, you’re probably already only one degree removed from the current adjunct professor of computer science and astronomy who has not only helped Pace students turn ideas into patents, but also helped them reach for the stars—literally. When the International Space Station wanted to set up a telescope for K-12 schools and individuals to use, Ganis knew who could do it: his undergraduate class, which won the job to write the registration system for the project. This feat earned Ganis the Innovation in Teaching Award, high praise for a professor who only teaches part time. By day, Ganis is the lead architect for IBM.com, responsible for its corporate internet portal. He is also responsible for the IBM.com Islands in Second Life, a virtual world that Ganis hopes to turn into a money-making venture. It’s not a surprising role for Ganis, who helped build the first infrastructure for the internet and the first firewalls for IBM, developing code that allowed people to pass through firewalls to connect to their browser. “Today, everybody’s browser has my little piece of code in it,” he says. That’s not the only impact Ganis has had on the internet. If you’ve ever watched sports scores online, you can thank Ganis and his team at IBM, who became the first to bring high-end sporting events to the internet with the 1996 Olympic Games. In fact, Ganis and his team’s infrastructure for the site landed a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Ganis also acts as a liaison between IBM and Pace in the role of Academic Ambassador. “What I like about the intimate universities is that you have the opportunity to develop relationships that you really will have for a long time,” Ganis says. “I mean, look at my whole career… interactions with Pace all the way through.”
A Peace of the Action
While many people talk about the concept of world peace, Elaine Hsiao JD ’09, LLM ’10, is working to make it a reality. Hsiao, who graduated from Pace Law School with a juris doctor and a master of laws in environmental law, has been granted a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholarship to study trans-boundary peace parks in Uganda. Also known as trans-frontier conservation areas, peace parks are created to help protect natural resources and human and animal migration patterns across countries, while promoting sustainable economic development and tourism, and fostering goodwill among often-warring neighboring countries. In October 2010, Hsiao began work on her 10-month long research project in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, with the faculty of law at Makerere University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa, to help develop a peace park to provide the people of Uganda with safety and relief. “The idea is to look at the peace park process in the midst of actual conflict,” Hsiao says. “If we can’t have peace where there is conflict, how do we deal with conflict then?” No stranger to this work, Hsiao spent the summer of 2007 at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica, where she researched the legal framework for creating a peace park between Honduras and Nicaragua and ultimately drafted a resolution for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) supporting this park, which was adopted at IUCN’s 4th World Conservation Congress in Barcelona.
In the midst of conflicts and environmental change, Hsiao’s work with trans-boundary conservation and peace is crucial. “There isn’t any better time than now,” Hsiao says.
A Summer Vocation
For the past three years, Herby Jeanty BS ’10 has spent his summers getting his feet wet, but we’re not talking about a day at the beach. Jeanty, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in biology, spent the summer of 2008 interning at Beth Israel’s cancer research office and the summer of 2009 conducting orthopedic research at Columbia University as part of a prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship. This year, just two days after graduation, Jeanty boarded a plane to South Africa for his final Watson Internship at Hoops4Hope, a nonprofit that uses basketball and mentorship to help children face the challenges of growing up in communities plagued with poverty, crime, and HIV/AIDS. “I wanted to do something different, where hopefully I could make a big contribution to communities,” Jeanty says. No stranger to going where there’s a need, Herby joined the U.S. Marines prior to enrolling in Pace, where he spent four years on active duty in Japan, the Philippines, and Iraq, and was awarded nine military awards. Jeanty, who plans to attend medical school in fall 2011, is already thinking about where he’s needed next. Born and raised in Haiti, he recalls seeing the pain and suffering of people around him, where many of the illnesses were easily curable. “I want to go back to Haiti to serve there,” says Jeanty. “I want to help these people that don’t have anything, that don’t have any hope. They live in a place where everything is upside down, and I can’t abandon them because I am a part of these people.” “Some of us have jobs, others have careers,” said Associate Professor Christopher Malone, PhD, of Jeanty. “For Herby, what drives him is nothing less than a calling—a vocation.”