From Mercy College…
Mercy College Adjunct Professor Thomas Culhane has been named to the 2009 class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers, along with nine other visionary young trailblazers from around the world.
National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists, photographers and storytellers making a significant contribution to world knowledge through exploration while still early in their careers. The Emerging Explorers each receive a $10,000 award to assist with research and to aid further exploration.
Thomas Taha Rassam Culhane (also known as “T.H.”) is an urban planner whose organization Solar CITIES teaches residents in Cairo’s poorest neighborhoods how to build and install rooftop solar water heaters and other renewable energy, water and waste management systems. “I believe Egypt could solve at least half its energy needs by immediately going solar,” says Culhane. More than 30 solar tanks now dot the rooftops of Coptic Christian and Islamic neighborhoods. “I divide my time between the two, working to bring them together,” he adds.
T.H. Culhane grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where both his parents are professors at Mercy College. He graduated from Harvard with honors, earning a degree in biological anthropology. After graduation, Culhane spent a year doing rain forest research in Borneo as a Michael Rockefeller Fellow and later worked as a science writer. Thomas and his brother, Michael Culhane, went on several musical good will tours of the Middle East with their band “Circus Guy” to promote understanding between cultures after 9/11.
Culhane also taught science in inner-city Los Angeles schools and presented workshops across the United States and abroad, sharing his methods for “bringing the science textbook to life.” Culhane currently lives in Essen, Germany, where he is completing his Ph.D. for UCLA, but he spends part of the year in Cairo and in California, working on renewable energy multimedia projects.
Despite his global lifestyle, Thomas Culhane stays closely connected with his Westchester County and Mercy College roots. He teaches distance learning classes in Environmental and Sports Psychology for Mercy College from his home base in Germany. His mother, Dr. Hind Culhane, is Mercy College’s Interim Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is also a renowned expert on education in the Middle East and a Fulbright scholar. His father, John Culhane is an adjunct professor who teaches “The History of Animation” at Mercy College and is one of the world’s foremost experts on both animation and the circus.
“T.H. has been ‘emerging and exploring’ since his school days,” reflects John Culhane. “One time he was at a science museum watching a chick-hatching display and he said, ‘Those eggs could be curiosity and what they hatch could be ideas.’ Human curiosity and morality—those were always his interests.”
Dr. Hind Culhane adds, “He has always followed his dreams. His biggest strength is working with people from different backgrounds, in different settings, to be partners in his projects.”
National Geographic Emerging Explorers may be selected from virtually any field, from the Society’s traditional arenas of anthropology, archaeology, photography, space exploration, earth sciences, mountaineering and cartography to the worlds of art, music and filmmaking. “National Geographic’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet, and our Emerging Explorers are outstanding young leaders whose endeavors further this mission. We are pleased to support them as they set out on promising careers. They represent tomorrow’s Edmund Hillarys, Jacques Cousteaus and Dian Fosseys,” says Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Mission Programs.
PNY Technologies is a presenting sponsor of the Emerging Explorers Program and a National Geographic Mission Partner for Exploration & Adventure. The program is made possible in part by the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, which has supported the program since its inception in 2004.
The new Emerging Explorers are introduced in the February 2009 issue of National Geographic magazine. A Web feature at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/emerging includes comprehensive profiles of the explorers and their activities.
About Mercy College: Mercy College (www.mercy.edu
About National Geographic: The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 325 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.
About PNY Technologies Inc.: Established in 1985, PNY Technologies® Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of memory upgrade modules, high capacity flash memory cards, solid state drives, USB flash drives, as well as consumer and professional workstation graphics cards. The company’s photography, mobility, 3D gaming and business solutions are widely available from major retail, e-tail and wholesale outlets internationally. Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., PNY maintains facilities in North America (Santa Clara and Orange County, Calif., Miami, Fla., and Parsippany, N.J.), Europe (Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom,) Asia (Taiwan and China) and Latin America. For more information, visit www.pny.com