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The Voice of WIC

NYU Students Reach Out to International Pen Spinning Community January 13, 2009

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 8:51 pm



Erica Swallow, JC (pen spinner), Josh Oh (video director and editor), Xero (pen spinner), and Daniel McCoy.

From left: Erica Swallow, JC (pen spinner), Josh Oh (video director and editor), Xero (pen spinner), and Daniel McCoy.

NYU students, Daniel McCoy and Erica Swallow, have created a line of promotional videos for Pentel Recycology called Spin the Pen, as part of a marketing competition hosted by Alloy Marketing and Pentel.  The videos feature expert pen spinners, Xero and JC, spinning and having fun with Pentel’s line of Recycology products.


Pentel has been historically recognized as an environmentally-friendly company, leading the way for controlling production pollution since 1974.  The creation of the Recycology program enhances their continued efforts to go green by promoting recycling and reducing waste during manufacturing.  All Recycology products are made with a minimum of minimum of 50%, and up to 100%, recycled content.  Recycology products offer the same high quality of performance and reliability that is found in other Pentel products.



Spin the Pen demonstrates a new approach to interacting with Pentel’s online audience through the creation of, a website dedicated to the Spin the Pen promotion.  The website hosts the entire line of promotional videos and pen spinning tutorials.  Links to Spin the Pen online communities on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube are also available for visitors to join and spread the word. In such a little time, the videos have already received responses from pen spinners across the world, including spinners from France, Japan, Korea, Brazil, China and the United States.


View Spin the Pen videos on the Pentel Recycology YouTube channel:

Join the Pentel Recycology Facebook group:

Keep a look out for more to come from Pentel Recycology and Spin the Pen. For additional information on Spin the Pen, visit


NYU Students Break the Pop Culture FBI Image with their Ad Campaign December 9, 2008

Filed under: Around the city,Media Commentary — NYU WIC @ 3:34 am

In Professor Jacob Jacoby’s Advertising Management class, textbooks are hard to find. Hired by the FBI through Edventure Partners, an organization that assigns students to a company or organization in order to create a “real world” marketing experience, Jacoby’s class dove headfirst into the world of advertising. Divided into various departments, including Account Management, Marketing Research, Media & PR, Creative, Production and Budget, over the past three months the class has successfully executed a multifaced campaign targeted at NYU undergraduates.

The FBI, popularly misrepresented with the solo “special agent jacket” image, wanted to educate NYU students about the OTHER professional staff opportu

nities within the FBI. They figured there was no better way than recruiting NYU students to create the messages behind their advertising campaign. Jacoby’s class created a series of original advertisements in order to reposition the FBI in the minds of students as a feasible career choice and to build awareness about the FBI’s professional staff positions, which include options such as intelligence analysts, linguists, lab technicians and surveillance a


Over the past two months, posters, flyers, online placements and one major on-campus event helped to educate NYU students about the “other side” of the FBI. On November 19, the class hosted an on campus event where FBI professional staff employees spoke about their experiences and the benefits of working with the FBI. Many interested students with a wide range of majors attended the event. After the event, one student said, “I had no idea there was this other side of the FBI, and since I am a biology major, I am thrilled to know that working with the FBI is an option!”

Continue to look out for original FBI Professional Staff ads created by Professor Jacoby’s class in the Washington Square News and at There is also a Facebook group. For more information about FBI job opportunities, please visit: and use marketing code “Edventure Partners” when submitting applications





I Heart PV: Bringing Solar to NYC February 11, 2008

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 1:00 am

iheartpv.jpgMost college students use their studies to prepare for a job in the future. Chris Neidl, a graduate student in Gallatin, is doing the opposite. With courses in environmental policy and museum studies, Chris uses his school projects to supplement his work as Outreach Coordinator at Solar One, an alternative energy education center, and founder of a new solar energy advocacy group called I Heart PV.

Chris started working at Solar One in 2004 when the organization was still fairly small and so he largely defined the position he held there. “I had a lot of room to say, ‘This is what I want to do. This is what I want to do,’” says Chris. However, Chris wanted to take more of an active political role in promoting solar energy that Solar One didn’t have. Last summer, he started I Heart PV (short for photovoltaic, the technical term for solar panels that convert sunlight to electricity). The goals of this group are to petition lawmakers to make policies favorable to the solar industry and to encourage New York citizens to do the same.

“The problem with solar in this city is not that people don’t think it’s a good idea,” Chris says. Rather, most just assume it’s not possible here. Moreover, restrictive government policies keep New York State, and the city, far behind the curve when it comes to solar energy, especially compared to its very solar-friendly neighbor New Jersey.

There is huge potential for solar energy in New York and Chris is working hard to get people to realize this. The biggest hurdle though is getting people’s attention and keeping them interested. “In a post-literate, ADD age you’re not going to get people to read a lot of shit,” says Chris, referring to the numerous academic studies and policy papers available on solar energy. As one idea for his thesis project, Chris envisions an exhibition where artists produce works showing the possibilities of solar.

dsc00347.jpgUltimately, changes in solar policy need to come from the grassroots level, Chris says. California’s landmark laws on solar energy came about because thousands of people signed petitions and held events promoting the idea. Chris hopes to achieve the same success here in New York City with I Heart PV, but it can be difficult to get people to care when there are far more pressing issues like poverty and homelessness. “We’re talking about something that’s sort of a ‘neato’ thing,” says Chris. The focus has to be more on why solar energy is essential to New York rather than a high-minded philosophy on saving the planet. New York has a long history of innovation and its time the city came up to speed when it comes to solar.

–Liz Webber


Roosevelt Island – NYU’s new campus? January 26, 2008

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 6:45 pm


Earlier this week, NYU announced a plan to house 58 faculty members on Roosevelt Island. As a student who lived on Roosevelt Island all of last year, I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Roosevelt Island is quite an interesting place. The tiny island lies in the East River halfway between Manhattan and Queens, but it feels like a completely different world. I had never even heard of the island until my boyfriend suggested looking at an apartment out there. I had my doubts, but I fell in love with the place when I saw it – it’s like a small haven in the city. There are trees, and grass, and even open land. It has the feel of a college campus, something that NYU is entirely lacking. It’s also said to be the safest area to li ve in all of New York state.

The island is primarily known for its tram car, which enjoyed a spot in the Spiderman ri-tram.giffilm. Before the F train started running to the island in 1989, the tram was the only way to get directly from the island to Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island, named after Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of the monument that was planned but never build, formerly went by the name of Blackwell Island and, later, Welfare Island. It was home to the city’s undesirables—prisoners, chronically ill, and the insane. But in the 1930s, Roosevelt Island rid itself of the prisoners due to the opening of the Rikers Island penitentiary. In the 1950s, the insane asylum moved over to Manhattan. All that remained were the sick, residing in two hospitals on opposite ends of the island.

ri-apartment.gifThese days, the island features several luxury apartment complexes at a considerably lower rent than right across the river. Due to the proximity, it’s home to a large number of United Nations diplomats, and the reduced cost has recently been drawing in a large number of young people. If you can deal with the slight inconvenience, it’s totally worth it – the apartments are gorgeous. There’s not much to the island, but it has your basic necessities – a grossly overpriced Gristedes (FreshDirect is a much better option), Starbucks, a deli, diner, hair salon, library, dentist, florist, and video rental store. It was nice to live in a place that felt like a suburb while still being a part of the city.

walkway.jpgAfter a year of living there, though, the seclusion started to bother me. It’s easy to feel trapped on the island, especially when they’re doing work on the subway or when the tram car is closed (both of which happened fairly often). If you want to drive from the island to Manhattan, you have to take a bridge over to Queens and navigate your way over to the Queensboro Bridge – there’s no direct route to Manhattan.

The Washington Square News article says it’s less than 20 minutes to campus from the island, which is a blatant lie. It’s more like 30 on a good day, 40 on a typical day. The F train is arguably the worst in the city.

While right now NYU is only housing faculty on the island, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if the next step was building dorms out there. I would expect nothing less from a school that houses half of their students 30 minutes from campus… and at least this is a much nicer (and safer) area than Water Street.

 –Kristen O’Gorman


Can Anyone Really Be No Impact? One Man Shows NYU How It’s Done November 13, 2007

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 1:35 pm

“I’m just a liberal schlub who all of a sudden snapped,” said Colin Beavan, a.k.a. No Impact Man, as he opened his talk at Cooper Union’s Great Hall Monday, the culmination of a week of environmental activities sponsored by NYU’s Bronfman Center.

blog-no-man.jpgBeavan must have snapped pretty hard, as what he decided to do involved a complete overhaul of the way he (and his wife and daughter) lives his life – he resolved to have no impact on the environment whatsoever. Naysayers told him it couldn’t be done, while some posts on his blog suggested the best way to have no impact would be for him to commit suicide. Still, by Beavan’s completely unscientific calculations, he figured if he reduced his negative impact and increased his positive impact that would leave no net impact on the environment.

The way Beavan went about doing that incorporated everything from buying only local food at the city’s greenmarkets to getting electricity solely from solar panels on the roof of his building to not creating any waste whatsoever. If that sounds extreme, it was. Beavan joked that his wife had no idea what she was getting herself into, but also conceded, “This is how I earn my living. I know not everyone can do this.” (He’s a writer and is currently working on a book about his experiences.)

Not surprisingly, Beavan’s experiment has gotten a lot of press attention, an overall positive thing he thinks because it draws attention to the environmental problems our society faces. He hasn’t enjoyed all the publicity, however – thanks to an article that appeared in the New York Times, Beavan is known as “the guy who doesn’t use toilet paper.”

One of the best parts about the experience for Beavan has been riding his three-wheeled bike around the city. His two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Isabelle likes it too. “If you happen to pull up to us at a traffic light and yell out the window, ‘Nice bike,’” Beavan said, “Isabella will yell back acerbically, ‘It’s not a bike, it’s a rickshaw!’”

There have also been downsides. “Having one solar panel and not having very much light and the sun going down at 4:30 – this is one part of the project that has not made us happier,” said Beavan.


Beavan said his involvement with the Bronfman Center’s Footprint Forward program has helped him get back to the larger purpose of his project. “They’ve reminded me of the importance of community in this whole thing,” he said. According to Beavan, a breakdown in a sense of community has contributed immensely to our destruction of the environment. Without it, he said, we rely on our culture of consumption to fill the void and have no sense of accountability towards others.

As for the project as a whole and what he has gotten out of it, Beavan said, “I didn’t feel like I was saving the world, but I did feel like I was doing something.”

For more on Colin Beavan and his experiences, visit

-Liz Webber


Prof. Esther Katz & the Margaret Sanger Papers Project November 1, 2007

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 2:05 pm

The other day, Professor Esther Katz came to speak to one of my classes about her work with the Margaret Sanger Papers Project. As editor and director of the project, Prof. Katz has been working to publish the writings of Margaret Sanger since 1987. So far, two volumes of Sanger’s papers have been published, with a third due out in 2008. There is also a digital edition of the project which began three years ago.

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) is considered the founder of the modern birth control sangerportrait.jpgmovement. Most notably, she started the organizations that would become Planned Parenthood. Sanger believed that there was no way men and women could truly be equals until they were equal sexually. Giving women the power to decide when they wanted to have children put them one step closer to sexual equality.

In addition, Sanger led an exciting and often scandalous life. “These are great documents to read,” Prof Katz said of Sanger’s papers. “These are not boring documents at all.” For example, Sanger fled to England during the World War I and lived under an assumed name, while still publishing graphic (at the time they were called obscene) explanations of birth control methods. She also had a number of high profile affairs, including one with H.G. Wells, and met with Gandhi to convince him that celibacy was not an effective way to deal with overpopulation.

One portion of the digital edition of Sanger’s papers focuses on her newspaper “The Woman Rebel,” a monthly newspaper that aimed to free women from gender oppression and educate them on contraceptive methods. “Birth control” is a term first coined in the pages of Sanger’s newspaper. The content of “The Woman Rebel” violated laws on distributing lewd and lascivious materials, and so Sanger left for England to avoid standing trial.

prof_katz.jpgProf. Katz said the Sanger site is often blogged about because there are many people with anti-abortion views who dislike Sanger and try to use her writings against her. “There are lunatics out there,” Prof. Katz said. Sanger also believed in the eugenics movement, and so some try to label her as racist. On the other hand, Prof. Katz noted that Planned Parenthood advocates tend to play down Sanger’s faults to present a positive image of the movement’s founder.

The NYU project enlists undergraduate student interns for both the print and digital editions of the papers. Usually there are one to two interns during the school year and more during the summer. Book interns tend to work mostly on research, while digital interns can work on proofreading, research and tagging the documents.

For more information, visit the Margaret Sanger Papers Project site.

-Liz Webber


NYC Is Canine Crazy October 30, 2007

Filed under: Around the city — NYU WIC @ 12:12 am

spaceball2.gifIt’s said that dog is man’s best friend, and with a recent Halloween parade and a canine competition, it seems that nothing could be more true.






On Sunday, NYC’s furry friends trotted through Tompkins Square Park during its 17th annual Halloween Dog Parade. With over 400 primped pooches, the largest Halloween fanfare for dogs saw canine companions dressed as bunnies, clowns, gypsies, and even Britney Spears. Hugh Heffner and playmates Erica Shea, Stephanie Farah and Joanna Farah even made an appearance. You can see more of the festivities at







The city’s showing of canine love also doesn’t stop at Tompkins Square. Popular Manhattan daily, amNY, is now asking its readers to submit photos of their dogs for a later crowning of NYC’s top dog, which is a fun way of getting your pet’s picture in the paper. Read here for more information:,0,2851264.story




– Nia Tran & Kristen Dolle