When Nelson Mandela Gave NYU Wagner a Helping Hand
It is only a footnote in the life of a great historical figure, but the gesture of support that Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) made for NYU Wagner more than a decade ago marks a spectacular moment in the life of the public service graduate school.
Initially postponed by the September 11, 2001, attacks, the campus visit the following May by the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of the emancipation of South Africa helped to catalyze an innovative Fellowship designed to bring students from Africa to Wagner to study public policy and management. The new Fellowship launched that day attracted generous financial backing from Oprah Winfrey, and today is known as the African Women's Public Service Fellowship.
Many dignitaries attended the event, punctuated by thunderous applause for Mandela. But Mandela, with quietly overpowering dignity, delivered a simple message. The Wagner school's commitment to Africa represented an opportunity for mutual learning in the important work of nation and community building, and Mandela exhorted the next generation of public service leaders to take up the struggle for equality, justice, and liberty for all.
"The struggle for true and universal human emancipation still lies ahead of the children, youth and future generations," he said, in words that continue to resonate with urgency and truth.
The Wagner community joins the world over in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela.
NYS RISE Storm Preparedness Initiative Taps Prof. Rae Zimmerman
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the launch of the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE), an “applied think tank” led by New York University and Stony Brook University -- and NYU Wagner professor Rae Zimmerman will participate as a researcher. According to the Governor’s announcement, the new Institute “will serve as a hub of research and education on emergency preparedness, as well as a clearinghouse of information regarding extreme weather and natural disasters.”
Rae Zimmerman, Professor of Planning and Public Administration, has been working under the leadership of NYUPoly and other members of NYS RISE as a researcher in infrastructure resiliency and planning-related issues in connection with extreme weather events.
In addition to NYU and Stony Brook University, partners in the research consortium include Columbia University, Cornell University, City University of New York, and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Professor Zimmerman has been involved in considerable research in the infrastructure and environmental fields, especially in the context of extreme events, and is the Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS) at NYU Wagner. She currently directs a National Science Foundation-funded “RAPID” grant on infrastructure-related effects of Hurricane Sandy, as well as a University Transportation Research Center (Region 2)-funded study of transportation connectivity, in part covering how connectivity is related to adaptation during extreme events.
For more information, visit http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/11012013-nys-rise.