Entries in New York University (2)


Yankees Fan Sonia Sotomayor Addresses Graduates at Yankee Stadium

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had three opening words as she addressed the graduates of New York University on Wednesday who were holding their ceremony at Yankee Stadium.

“This is a-w-e-some," she said.

“I grew up in a public housing project in the Bronx just a few miles away from the old Yankee Stadium,” the nation’s first Latina Supreme Court justice told the graduates. “So, for me, this event at the new stadium is momentous."

"Nothing in my childhood hinted to me that I would be in a position someday to stand on this field and speak to such a large crowd,” she said. “As a child, I only saw the stadium on television when I watched baseball games next to my dad on the sofa. So it is not hard to understand how delighted I am to be here with you today."

Next, Sotomayor launched into a nostalgic tribute to her hometown.

“I have felt excitement in returning to New York,” she said. “My new home, Washington D.C., is lovely, and I have been warmly welcomed by my new colleagues, the court family and the residents of my new city, but every time I cross a bridge or a tunnel to return to New York for a visit my heart sighs with joy. I love this city and all it has given me."

“Stand in the middle of a New York City street and you sense immediately the magnitude of this city. I remember coming to Manhattan as a child to visit the Empire State Building, looking up and being amazed that I could not see its top. Walk around Manhattan and you will inevitably see tourists craning their necks upwards to find the tops of buildings and bumping into new Yorkers hurrying somewhere. The feeling of bigness can be overwhelming initially, but there is a magic in being a part of this city once you have lived here. I love having New York in me....The cacophony of New York is as overwhelming, at times, as its size. Nothing is small in this city. Everything is large, big and noisy -- including its problems. Yet the city does not merely survive -- it thrives.”

Sotomayor encouraged the audience to tackle challenges.

“I dreamed about graduating from college,” she said. “Up to that point, none of my family in New York had done that. Then I grew bold and dreamed about becoming a lawyer and, someday, becoming a judge. But the only kind of judge I knew about was a trial judge on Perry Mason. I did not know what the Supreme Court was, and you can’t aspire to do things you don’t know.”

She said that fear is a part of the game and admitted to being a little frightened during every step in her life, including becoming a Supreme Court justice.

“Just keep dreaming,” she concluded, “and keep enjoying the process of new discoveries.”

Video of the speech can be viewed here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: College Students More Social Than Studious

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new study has found that students are more locked in to their social lives than they are to their studies.

The study followed 2,322 traditional, college-aged students from the fall of 2005 to the spring of 2009 at 24 different United States colleges and universities. The research is closely tied to a book, entitled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, soon to be released by one of the co-authors of the study.

Two professors, one from New York University and another from the University of Virginia, found in their research that 45 percent of their subjects "demonstrated no significant gains in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and written communications during the first two years of college." After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in those same areas.

It also found that students spent 51 percent of their time socializing or on extracurricular activities.

The study is based on data from the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test that examines critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing skills. The test does not examine specific knowledge gained relevant to a particular field of study or major.

"These are really kind of shocking, disturbing numbers. Students are able to navigate through the system quite well with little effort," said New York University professor Richard Arum, lead author of the book.

ABC News Radio