Fordham Notes: 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Clavius Professor Wins IBM Faculty Award

Frank Hsu, Ph.D., is the Clavius
Distinguished Professor of Science.
Frank Hsu, Ph.D., the Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science, has received a prestigious IBM Faculty Award, a distinction that this year was bestowed upon just 180 individuals worldwide.

The IBM Faculty Award is an annual initiative that fosters collaboration between university professors and researchers and IBM research, development, and service organizations.

Hsu, who also directs the Fordham Laboratory for Informatics and Data Mining, received an award in the field of cyber security.

The award comes with a grant intended to promote curriculum innovation and educational computer programs, encourage the computer science industry to adopt emerging technologies, and create opportunities to attract exceptional technical and business talent.

"Fordham University has established itself as a leader in creating a cyber security ecosystem that fosters the relationship among government agencies, academia, and industry," said Marisa Viveros, IBM's vice president for cyber security innovation. "We are excited to work with Dr. Hsu in scaling such a partnership and bring innovation into academic programs."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

University Honors Long-term Employees

On Dec. 13, the Office of the President celebrated those men and women whose generous work ethic and longstanding dedication shape Fordham’s life and character every day.

Five employees received the 1841 Award Medal for Service of 20 or 40 years. Together, they represented more than 100 years of University service. They are:

Fernando Castillo, Facilities Services at Lincoln Center: Castillo began his Fordham career as a mechanic and was promoted to engineer. A native of the Philippines, Castillo works on the 2nd shift at the Lincoln Center campus, where he frequently handles heating and cooling operations for after-hour events in Pope Auditorium, the 12th-floor Lounge, and the Law School Amphitheatre.

Anita Bisecco, Custodial Services at Rose Hill: Recognized by her supervisors for exceptional work and polite disposition, Bisecco had worked in custodial services cross-campus—from Dealy Hall, to the William D. Walsh Family Library, to her present position in the Administration Building. She has earned numerous citations for her outstanding performance.

Nathan Bahny, Quinn Library Staff: Bahny has bar-coded books and periodicals, maintained hundreds of library stacks, and now helps run the library’s online Reserve system. His encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything on reserve in the Quinn collection makes him a favorite among faculty and staff, as does another essential quality for a library staffer—his patience.

From l to r, Fernando Castillo, Anita Bisecco, Linda Lo
Schiavo (accepting for Nathan Bahny), Rosemary
DeJulio, assistant to the President, Dr. Freedman,
Father McShane, Marc Valera, vice president for
facilities, and Msgr. Joseph Quinn, vice president
for mission and ministry (Photos by Chris Taggart)
Anthony “Tony” Romeo, Facilities Services at Rose Hill: A 40-year employee, Romeo ran the Rose Hill Gas Station when it was in existence. Since the station’s closure, Romeo has worn several other hats in facilities, including serving as s a shop steward for the facilities workers, acting as their advocate and ensuring everyone receives a fair shake.

Debra L. Rivera, Fordham Law School: Rivera works in the Office of Faculty Support, where she provides administrative support to tenured, tenure-track and visiting professors. Among her duties are providing teaching support, article and book editing, conference planning, and online course-ware maintenance. Rivera is also a Fordham alumna; she holds a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

On hand to present the awards were Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., University provost and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, employees’ area supervisors, and friends and family.

“It’s my pleasure to acknowledge personally the dedicated service of our loyal Fordham employees,” said Father McShane. “Their efforts and commitment make a difference in the life of the University.”

The 1841 Award was established in 1982 by former Fordham President James C. Finlay, S.J., in honor of the year the University was founded by Archbishop John Hughes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

900,000 Followers Can't Be Wrong

Photo: Alberto Pizzoli, AFP/Getty Images

Tom Beaudoin, Ph.D., Fordham's associate professor of theology in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, weighed in yesterday in a USA Today article on Pope Benedict XVI's new Twitter feed.

The new handle, which launched today  in Rome, is @pontifex, and it is expected that the Pope will tweet answers to questions about faith (#askpontifex). He has some 900,000 followers, the article states.

You can read Beaudoin's comments, and the entire article, here. And you can sign on to follow the Pope  here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Brings Good Cheer, Gifts, and Gratitude

Santa made his annual appearance at Fordham on Dec. 8 when the Fordham University Association held its Children’s Christmas Party at the McGinley Center Ballroom. Members of the University's faculty, administration, and staff came with their families to participate in arts and crafts, cookie decorating, a luncheon, and a chance for all good boys and girls to get a special holiday gift from jolly old (and all around good-guy) Saint Nick.

In all, nearly 300 guests attended.

(Photos by Ken Levinson)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lucinda Williams Headlines WFUV’s Most Successful Holiday Show Ever

Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams

Artists and music lovers alike came out to support WFUV at the station’s most successful Holiday Cheer concert since the benefit’s inception eight years ago.

More than 2,400 fans packed the Beacon Theatre Dec. 5 to see alt-country legend Lucinda Williams headline a bill of artists that embody the “rock and roots” format of Fordham’s public radio station.

A rabble-rousing rocker with a haunting, unmistakable voice, Williams opened her set with some soulful ballads, including “Drunken Angel,” from her crossover Grammy-winning CD Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Folk-country songwriter Steve Earle, who co-produced the gold album, emerged to play harmonica and sing harmony on the song.

Cranking up the heat on the frigid evening, Williams delivered electrifying performances on foot-stomping tunes such as “Honeybee,” “Essence,” and encores “Joy” and “Get Right With God,” which drew Earle from the wings once again.

Williams chatted easily with the crowd in the nearly sold-out house, praising FUV for playing the music “we were sometimes told fell through the cracks.” To great applause, she added, “I don’t think it’s falling through the cracks anymore.”

A longtime FUV favorite himself, Earle played his own set that included “the only Christmas song that I have,” a tune the industry mainstay wrote for the Oak Ridge Boys in the ’80s, “Nothing But a Child.”  He was followed by folk songstress Shawn Colvin, who self-deprecatingly bemoaned her middle age but revealed a voice that rang as pure as it did in her early Greenwich Village days.  Reaching way back, she performed a tune from her 1989 debut album called “Diamond in the Rough,” also the title of her 2012 memoir.

Only in its second year at the Beacon, the Holiday Cheer show had originally been held at the much smaller, 600-seat New York Society for Ethical Culture concert hall.  But filling the legendary Upper West Side venue proved to be no problem for WFUV, which boasts nearly 350,000 listeners each week in the New York area and thousands more worldwide on the Web.

Reminding fans early in the night what FUV is all about, country blues singer Shelby Lynne took the stage with nothing but her acoustic guitar and her big voice. Her honest, stripped-down tunes followed the show-stopping opening act Lake Street Dive—a Brooklyn-based quartet whose slow, sultry cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” left show goers in awe.  It was one of the many reasons why, as FUV’s music director Rita Houston said as the house lights came up, “we won’t be forgetting tonight any time soon.”

Lake Street Dive
–Nicole LaRosa

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Beautiful Flow of Music and Word

On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, the Fordham community launched its celebration of the holidays with the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, held, respectively, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle near the Lincoln Center campus, and in the University Church on the Rose Hill campus.

The celebration takes its format from the Service of Lessons and Carols, a British Christmas tradition, and features performances by the Fordham University choirs, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, and the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program.

Year after year, the event fills the churches to capacity.

(photos by Michael Dames)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Italy and Japan Documented in New Exhibit

Photo taken in Rome by senior Joseph Mottola.
Drawing parallels between Italy and Japan might strike some as a complicated exercise, with Japanese restraint competing against Italian effusiveness, but it's exactly what the photography show at the Center Gallery attempts to do. The show, Documentary Photography: Italy/Japan, finds unity in graphically composed prints that play off one another. 

The straightforward title springs from two programs run by the Department of Visual Art, which took photography students to Tokyo and Rome during the 2011-2012 school year. The show's November 28 reception felt more like a reunion, said senior Teresa Salinas.

"It's a little nostalgic," said Salinas. "But having so much time pass I can see everyone's work with a new perspective."

The exhibit was curated by artist-in-residence Stephan Apicella-Hitchock and associate professor Joseph Lawton. Apicella-Hitchock and Lawton also edited two books that were published from the show: R and Six New Photographers in Japan.

The exhibit continues its run through December 14.

--Tom Stoelker

Photo taken in Tokyo by senior Teresa Salinas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Panel Explores Trends in Young Adult Literature

From Harry Potter to the Twilight series, the young adult literature industry is booming.

In recent decades, the young adult (YA) market, which targets 12- to 18-year-old readers, has become a multi-million dollar enterprise, said panelists at a creative writing colloquium on YA literature, held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

The Nov. 29 event, which drew dozens of undergraduate and graduate writing students, featured several prominent names from the YA field:

·      Sangeeta Mehta, book project consultant and former acquiring editor at Simon Pulse, the teen paperback division of Simon & Schuster, and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers;
·      Ted Malawer, also known by his pennames Ted Michael and Theo Laurence, author of several YA books, including The Diamonds (Delacorte Press, 2009) and Crash Test Love (Delacorte Press, 2010); and
·      Sharon Dennis Wyeth, associate professor of children’s literature at Hollins University and adjunct professor in Fordham’s creative program, and author of several YA books, including My America: Freedom’s Wings: Corey’s Underground Railroad Diary (Scholastic, Inc., 2002), and A Piece of Heaven (Turtleback Books, 2002).

Although youth-oriented books have existed for centuries, the YA category has only been formally recognized since the mid-20th century, Mehta said. J. D. Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye marked an important transition into this burgeoning category, followed by S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders (1966) and Paul Zindel’s The Pigman (1968).

These coming-of-age books were written for and about adolescents, dealing with taboo topics such as drinking, drugs, gangs, and suicide.

In 1997, YA literature took another turn with the publication of the first Harry Potter novel, Mehta said. Stories of the supernatural caught on quickly for young readers, sparking legions of books dealing with vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, and other magical creatures.

Dystopian books, such as Lois Lowry’s The Giver (1993) and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008), also became popular among adolescents.

“For the first time, these books weren’t just selling as well as adult books—they were selling more,” Mehta said.

YA authors Malawer and Wyeth agreed that writing for young adults requires a particular set of literary skills and strategies.

“They are voracious readers. They know what they like, they know what they hate, and they’ll blog about it,” said Malawer, whose latest novel Mystic City takes a futuristic twist on Romeo and Juliet. “This is an industry where people get really excited to read.”

Because of the ages of the YA audience, Wyeth said, it is important to retain certain elements in the literature, such as writing in a tone that appeals to adolescents and including a villain. In addition, YA books must be authentic.

“You can’t fool a young audience,” she said.

“I would say there also must be hope,” she added. “There are books out there that deal with very heavy topics… These must be something that provide growth.”

The colloquium was sponsored by the English department’s creative writing program.

— Joanna Klimaski

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Book Launch Draws Seasoned Scholars

 On Nov. 28, Nicholas Tampio, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, had a launch party for his new book, Kantian Courage, at Book Culture in upper Manhattan, one of the city's premier academic bookstores.

The launch event attracted Ira Katznelson, Ruggles professor of political science and history at Columbia University, and Giovanna Borradori, professor of philosophy at Vassar College, who joined Tampio to discuss the future of the Enlightenment. In Kantian Courage, Tampio contends that political progressives should embody a critical and creative disposition to invent new political theories to address the problems of the present age.

Students from Tampio’s Manresa course (The Enlightenment and its Critics) attended, as did faculty and graduate students from the Fordham political science and philosophy departments.

From left to right, Ira Katznelson, Nick Tampio, and Giovanna Borradori. 

Celia Fisher Named 2012 AAAS Fellow

Celia Fisher, Ph.D., has been named
a 2012 Fellow by the AAAS.
Contributed Photo

The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) has named Celia Fisher, Ph.D., the Marie Ward Doty University Chair and professor of psychology, as a 2012 AAAS Fellow.

Fisher, who is also the founding director of Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education, is one of 702 AAAS members around the world to be named a Fellow for their significant efforts to advance science.

Fisher has been recognized for her “distinguished contributions that enhance the responsible conduct of science across disciplinary boundaries through innovative research, regulatory leadership, and ground-breaking education and training initiatives.”

“I am thrilled and honored that through this award, this prestigious group of scientists has recognized the importance of creating an evidence-based approach to research ethics and the contributions that social science can make to enhancing regulation and training that promotes the best of science- and research-participant protections,” Fisher said.

The 2012 AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS “News & Notes” section of the journal Science on Nov. 30, and will be presented on Feb. 16 at the Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

In addition to directing the Center for Ethics Education, Fisher is a past chair of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board and a founding editor of Applied Developmental Science. She is the author of Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists (Sage Publications, 2009) and is the co-editor of eight books.

In 2011, Fisher was awarded a five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop the Fordham HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) to offer ethics training and financial support for a mentored research project that will contribute to evidenced-based research ethics practices.

Her research interests include ethical issues and the wellbeing of vulnerable populations, including ethnic minority youth and families, active drug users, college students at risk for drinking problems, and adults with impaired consent capacity.

— Joanna Klimaski

WFUV to Tape 'An Irish Christmas' Live at Fordham Prep

This holiday season, the Irish Arts Center and WFUV are joining forces to present the debut radio broadcast of An Irish Christmas. The live taping will take place at Fordham Prep on Dec. 9.

Led by traditional Irish musician and scholar Mick Moloney, the critically acclaimed concert is a celebration of music, dance, and storytelling, accompanied by the strains of the banjo, fiddle, accordion, and piano. Surprise guests, including Gabriel Byrne, Dan Barry, and Christine Quinn, have been know to drop by the Irish Arts Center’s annual holiday show.

An Irish Christmas: A Musical Solstice Celebration
Sunday, December 9 | 3 p.m.
The Leonard Theatre | Fordham Preparatory School | Rose Hill Campus
$35 General admission
$250 VIP tickets

Buy tickets through the Irish Arts Center.
To book a VIP package, contact Kim McGoorty at 914-641-4322 or

Proud Irishman and Fordham alumnus James J. Houlihan, GSB ’74, a partner at Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC, is serving as chair of the event in support of the Irish Arts Center. A longtime benefactor of the University and WFUV, Houlihan was a recipient of the 2011 Fordham Founder’s Award, and the baseball diamond at Rose Hill bears his name.

WFUV will air the concert on its Celtic programs, Ceol na nGael, on Sunday, Dec. 16, and A Thousand Welcomes, on Saturday, Dec. 22.

Nicole LaRosa

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fordham Theology Professor Lauded with Award for First Book

Peppard is one of ten junior scholars of theology and religion from around the world to win the award, which is administered by the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.

The award, which had previously been funded by the Templeton Foundation but was renamed this year in honor of its new benefactor, is based on a scholar’s first book and other application materials, including detailed evaluations by two full professors of an applicant’s choosing and an international committee of evaluators. 

Peppard’s book, In The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in Its Social and Political Context (Oxford University Press, 2011), examined in detail the term “Son of God” and the concept of divine sonship as it appeared in Christian theology during the Roman Empire.

The award comes with a $10,000 prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Heidelberg from May 30 to June 4, 2013. 

In addition to a reception, Peppard will meet with the other winners to form proposals for collaborative colloquia. Two of these proposals will then be funded by the foundation.

—Patrick Verel

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cleanup Continues . . .

Fordham’s Sailing Team executed the Jesuits' credo, "men and women for others" on Nov. 13 when they helped the owners of Sailmaker Marina on City Island clean up debris and start reconstruction on their marina, which was largely decimated by Tropical Storm Sandy. 

Nineteen of the 26 active student-athletes participated in the cleanup, which, co-owner Maura Mandrano said resulted in more cleanup in two hours than she and co-owner Paul Laddamada could have accomplished in 17 weekends.

“It really did feel great helping them,” said Fordham College at Rose Hill freshman Jackie Cappellini. “I can only imagine how hard it has been on them. I'm glad . . . to partake in the group effort that so effectively worked in assembly lines to move all the wood and clean in such an effective manner,”

Sailing club students will be returning this Friday, Nov. 16 for another work party. 

A non-varsity sport, the Fordham Sailing Team is supported largely by private funds that come from former sailing alumni and sailing enthusiasts. The team practices out of City Island’s Morris Yacht & Beach Club and is under the direction of Reed C. Johnson, head coach, and Joe Sullivan, FCRH ’58, director of sailing operations. 

"As proud as I am of our student-athletes on the water, I am equally proud of their current volunteer efforts on land," said Sullivan.

(photos by Joe Sullivan)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fordham Alumnus Elected to New York Supreme Court

Fordham's own John J. Leo, FCRH '76, LAW '81 was elected to the New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Leo, a resident of Huntington Station, was one of six Democrats, five Republicans, and a Conservative, running for six 14-year terms as New York State Supreme Court Judges in the 10th Judicial District in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Five of the six judgeships were won by Democrats, while the sixth was won by Republican incumbent Peter Skelos.

In addition to the Democratic ticket, Leo also ran on the Independence and Working Families lines.

He has served as attorney for the Town of Huntington since 2002. He is also an attorney in private practice, concentrating on labor-management relations, collective bargaining, arbitration, civil litigation, civil RICO, real estate, trust and estates, and election law, in addition to a general commercial practice.

—Patrick Verel

Gabelli Student Entrepreneurs Help the Good Times Roll

With the slogan "Whether you are raving or behaving, FURI Rental has you covered," Gabelli School of Business students Ross Garlick and Alex Bourland are looking to make it easier for Fordham students to rent essentials for dorm living.

The pair started FURI rental, which rents Swiffer wet jets, air mattresses and laser light projectors, and were recently featured in an article in The idea is to provides items most college students need for when visitors stay over night, but don’t often have on hand.
—Patrick Verel

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Toast to Those Who Have Seen a Century

Top Row from left to right:Willie Diament, 102; Susan Schrag, 101 years old; Ann Collins, 104 years old; Junius Barber, 99 years old; Henrietta Johnson, 102 years old. Front Row from left to right: Irving Kahn, 106 years old; Lilian Sarno, 103 years old; Marie Mantel (age uncertain), Mary Glen, 103 years old, Dorothy Silberstien, 101 years old
It is a rare event to have even one centenarian in the room; but on Sunday, Nov. 11, there were 10 centenarians in the Lowenstein Center's 12th-floor Lounge at a reception to honor a Fordham University centenarian study headed by Daniela Jopp, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology.

The reception was attended by centenarians, their families and friends, researchers, and some members from the Brookdale and X Prize Foundations who supported the study.

The goal of the Fordham Centenarian Study is to document what it means to live at age 100 and above, and to raise awareness around the growing but little-studied population.

Jopp detailed results from her two-year study, including the challenges and psychological strengths of centenarians, and honored the unique stories of the individuals who were able to attend the event.

Grant Campany, senior director of Archon Genomics X Prize, gave a presentation on their "100 Over 100" competition, and its role in identifying rare genes that increase longevity and good health.

Two centenarians were interviewed before those in attendance and shared their feelings about longevity.

To read more about Jopp's study, see Inside Fordham's article on her research.

Kate White Shares Her Secrets to Having It All

Next week, former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Kate White comes to Fordham to share the "Go big, or go home" advice that launched her to the top.

Secrets to Having It All
Monday, Nov. 19
6:30 p.m.
Pope Auditorium | Lincoln Center Campus

In addition to leading Cosmo for 14 years, White is a prolific author, having published four smart and savvy career guides, two thrillers, and a bestselling mystery series.

White's discussion about her career and her newest how-to guide, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know (HarperCollins, 2012), is hosted by the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and the Center for Communication.

For the full story and information about the event, read the story on GSE's blog.

— Joanna Klimaski

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Law School Tops Out

The final beam being secured at 8:52a.m., on Monday, November 12.
Photo by Thomas Walsh
At 8:52 a.m. this morning, November 12, the final steel beam of the new law school building was fastened into place. The new structure has been gaining steady attention over the the past two and a half years as it continues to steadily rise. The cast stone panels cladding the facade are quickly racing up after the steel, leaving quite an impression on theatergoers at Lincoln Center Plaza. The $250 million building, designed by the firm of Pei Cobb Freed, broke ground on February 3, 2011, and is scheduled to be completed by Fall, 2014, and will add 468,000 square feet to the Lincoln Center Campus.

The northwest corner receives the final beam.
Photo by Thomas Walsh
A ceremony commemorating the topping out will be held this Friday and will be officiated by Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the president of Fordham, and Michael M. Martin, dean of Fordham Law School.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fordham's Resident "Wild Man" Is Back for More

When Matthew Maguire, the head of Fordham University's theater program, performed his one-man show "Wild Man" in January 2010, the New York Times lauded it in a review as an "affable, absorbing, buzz-inducing production."

Maguire is back again, with "Wild Man in Rome," a new incarnation of that play. Here's what he has to say about the production, which will be directed by Elizabeth Margid:

"The Wild Man runs a gauntlet to escape the Devil, and his flight takes us on special tour of the Eternal City.  Wild Man in Rome asks:  Where is our wild side and how do we unleash it?"

"Wild Man in Rome" will run November 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, and 24 at 8 p.m.

Wild Project

195 E. 3rd Street, between Aves A and B.
Tickets are $18, $13 for students
For tickets, visit or call (212) 352-3101 

—Patrick Verel

Dean Vaughan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of GSS
On Nov. 7, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Foundation honored Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) with the Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement award for his efforts in social work education, military social work, and social work with aging.

Vaughan was presented with the 2011 award, which was announced last June, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. at the NASW headquarters. The awards recognize individuals who are models of excellence and have made significant contributions in the field of health and mental health.

Vaughan has served as dean of GSS since October 2000. Previously he was the associate dean for academic programs and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.

Under Dean Vaughan's leadership, the GSS has become Fordham's highest-ranking school, named No. 11 in the nation among graduate schools of social work by U.S. News & World Report.

"Dr. Peter Vaughan has served our profession with extreme sensitivity, skill, and respect for professional values, organizational vision, and compassion for the vulnerable who are so often put aside or ignored in our society," said Julia Watkins, outgoing executive director of the Council on Social Work Education. "He never hesitates to step forward and make a commitment to the work at hand."

"Peter Vaughan has dedicated his life to serving others both in the military and out," said Robert Arnold, director of the NASW Foundation. "The Social Work profession has been fortunate to have such a dedicated worker."

The NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers and has nearly 145,000 members nationwide.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Twins Travel the World on The Amazing Race

Natalie and Nadiya Anderson, twin sisters and 2008 graduates of the Gabelli School of Business, are on a global adventure as one of 11 teams competing in The Amazing Race.

The TV show pits each two-member team against the others in a series of challenges—both mental and physical—on a grueling monthlong trek around the world. Teams are gradually eliminated from the competition as the show progresses, and the first team to reach the final destination will win $1 million.

The twins, who were born in Queens and raised in Sri Lanka, won the second leg of the race, shown in the episode “Long Hair, Don’t Care.” The episode, which aired on Oct. 7 on CBS, began in Shanghai, China, where Nadiya sported a maroon 2007 Fordham football Patriot League Champions T-shirt. After traveling from China to Surabaya, Indonesia, the twins completed several challenges—including racing bulls on Madura Island, making balloon toys for kids while riding a stationary pedicab, and transporting and displaying fish at a market—to take the lead in the race.

Nadiya and Natalie showed even more school spirit in the Oct. 28 episode. Nadiya wore her Fordham football shirt again and Natalie donned a gray T-shirt with maroon Fordham lettering for the whole episode, which featured The Amazing Race teams completing challenges at different sites in Bangladesh. The twins finished the day in third place.

“Right now we’re the only girl-girl team left. Every other team either has some powerhouse man or two men and we’re not only hanging with them, we’re beating them, which feels amazing,” Nadiya said in the episode.

“So we’re not going anywhere,” added Natalie.

The Amazing Race airs Sundays on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.

—Rachel Buttner