Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Faculty Publications and Research Activities - Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Margaret Abraham, professor of sociology and special adviser to the provost on diversity initiatives, was appointed the international representative for the American Sociological Association (ASA). Dr. Abraham’s four-year term began on July 1, 2010, and among her first duties was to represent the ASA at the 17th International Sociological Association’s World Congress of Sociology, which was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The International Sociological Association is a nonprofit organization that represents sociologists from 167 countries.

Ralph Acampora, associate professor of philosophy, was named the HCLAS 2010 Teacher of the Year by graduating students in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Habib M. Ammari, assistant professor of computer science, and Timothy Daniels, associate professor of anthropology, were awarded Hofstra’s 2009-2010 Lawrence A. Stessin Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication. Dr. Ammari was recognized for his first book, Challenges and Opportunities of Connected k-Covered Wireless Sensor Networks: From Sensor Deployment to Data Gathering (Springer), and Dr. Daniels was honored for his book Islamic Spectrum in Java (Ashgate). In other news, Dr. Ammari was awarded a five-year, $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue his research of wireless sensor networks. The grant from the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development program is Dr. Ammari’s second NSF award in as many years.

Charles Anderson, adjunct associate professor of English, published a new book, The Reunion Murders: Playing for Blood V. This book continues his mystery series about two retired teachers who become private investigators.

Barbara Bengels, adjunct professor of writing studies and composition, had an article titled “The Care and Feeding of Science Fiction Writers: Parental Influence in the Making of a Writer,” published in the December 2010 edition of The New York Review of Science Fiction. The article was the second in a series she has written for the publication. She also presented a paper similar to this topic at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in March 2011.

Peter Boonshaft, professor of music, co-wrote Sound Innovations, a revolutionary new band and string teaching method that was recognized at the 2010 Winter Convention of the National Association of Music Merchants with a “Best in Show” honor and “Best Tools forSchool” award. On February 17, 2011, Dr. Boonshaft served on a panel of speakers at a one-day advocacy workshop that was part of the
MENC Northwest Division Conference in Seattle, Washington. Later in February, Dr. Boonshaft was invited to guest conduct the U.S. Marine Corps Pacific Forces Band in Honolulu, Hawaii, for a performance held during the Hawaii Music Educators Association Conference. In addition to rehearsing and conducting the band, he taught master-class workshops and worked with the conducting staff as a clinician over the course of a two-day residency.

M. David Burghardt, professor of engineering, received the 2011 Award for Distinction in Teaching, Scholarship and Research in Engineering and Technology Education at the annual conference of the International Technology and Engineering Education Association. Additionally, as part of his membership on the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, he was selected as a member of the Peer Review Committee of the Fulbright Specialist Program in Engineering Education. Russell Burke, professor of biology, was awarded a $3,000 grant from Montclair State University for a project titled “Tracking Wood Turtles – From Egg to Maturity.”

Simone Castaldi, assistant professor of romance languages and literatures, authored Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s, published by the University Press of Mississippi.

L. Stephanie Cobb, associate professor of religion, was selected to participate in a five-week NEH summer seminar in Tunisia where she and other scholars focused on two early Christian texts, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas and Augustine’s Confessions. Both texts are geographically related to ancient Carthage (modern day Tunis).

G. Thomas Couser, professor of English, delivered the spring 2011 Distinguished Faculty Lecture, titled “The Work of Memoir” on March 16. The lecture explored how reading a memoir is different than reading fiction and why this difference matters. Dr. Couser’s current scholarly project is a book about what he calls “patriographies,” memoirs of fathers by their sons and daughters.

Pellegrino D’Acierno, professor of comparative literature and languages, directed the Hofstra Cultural Center conference For a Dangerous Pedagogy: A Manifesto for Italian and Italian American Studies, April 14 to 17, 2010.

Jason Davidow, assistant professor of speech-language hearing sciences, was awarded the 2010 Advancing Academic-Research Careers (AARC) Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Neil H. Donahue
Neil H. Donahue, associate dean of Hofstra University Honors College and professor of comparative literature and languages, recently published several articles: “Suchbilder: Looking for Christoph Meckel” (in Aesthetics and Politics in Modern German Culture [2010]); “The Unbearable Ich: The Hunt for the Self on the Verge of Extinction in Gerhard Falkner’s Bruno” (2008) in the German studies journal Glossen 31 (2011); a memoir “John O. McCormick: Man of Action, Man of Letters” in the College Hill Review; and “The Honors Differential – At Home and Abroad” in the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council. Associate Dean Donahue also published two encyclopedia entries: on the poet Karl Krolow (in German in Killy Literaturlexikon) and on Expressionism (Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics). In 2010 he chaired the German Studies Association book prize committee in the humanities; the laudatio he wrote appeared in the association’s newsletter (35, 2 [2010-11]: 9). He is currently working on images of the Third Reich in detective fiction as historical inquiry into everyday life and questions of personal guilt and complicity during that period.

Simon Doubleday, associate professor of history, was awarded a five-month NEH Teaching Development Fellowship for a project titled “The Berbers in Medieval Iberia and the Maghreb,” aimed at enhancing course offerings on the medieval relationship between the “West” and the “Islamic world.” Dr. Doubleday’s project focused on the period between the 11th and 13th centuries in which a Berber dynasty known as the Almohads was dominant both in northwest Africa and across the Straits of Gibraltar in Spain.

Lisa Dresner, assistant professor of writing studies and composition, presented the 38th Hofstra University Distinguished Faculty Lecture, titled “Representations of Teen Sexual Decision-Making in American Popular Culture, 1980-Present,” on October 6, 2010.

Lisa Filippi
Leslie Feldman, professor of political science, wrote the book Spaceships and Politics: The Political Theory of Rod Serling, which examines the political themes in The Twilight Zone, where Serling used fantasy and the supernatural to explore political ideas such as capital punishment, the individual and the state, war, conformity, the state of nature, prejudice and alienation.

Laurie Fendrich, professor of fine arts and art history, had a solo exhibition at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery in Claremont, California, titled Sense and Sensation: Paintings and Drawings, 1990-2010, a retrospective of her work, from October 30 to December 19.

Lisa Filippi, associate professor of biology, had her research about the parenting behavior of a rare Japanese “red bug” featured in an episode of the Discovery Channel series Life. Dr. Filippi has spent more than 20 years studying theParastrachia japonensis, a shield bug found in eastern Asia.

Jeffrey Froh, assistant professor of psychology, conducted a study that found that grateful young people feel better about their lives and are more likely to want to get involved in charitable causes or volunteer work, and those effects last up to six months after feeling or expressing gratitude. The study, conducted at a Long Island school district, surveyed 700 students in grades 6-8.

Charles Forsberg
Charles Forsberg, associate professor of engineering, received a $3,440 grant from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers for a project titled “Solar-Powered Gas Refrigeration Experiment.”

Harold Hastings, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, presented the 37th Hofstra University Distinguished Faculty Lecture, titled “Black Swan in Complex Systems: Examples From Economics, Ecology and the Power Grid.”

David Henderson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Drama and Dance; David Ramael, assistant professor of music; and Peter Sander, professor of drama and dance, collaborated on a student production of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (“The Soldier’s Tale”) on November 6 at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. The performance marked one of the few times that faculty and students in the drama, dance and music programs have collaborated on a single production.

William E. Hettrick, professor of music, attended the spring meeting of the Greater New York Chapter of the American Musicological Society at New York University in May with one current student and one former student: Steven Baker ’11 and Dr. Michael A. Beckerman ’74. Drs. Hettrick and Beckerman both delivered papers at the meeting.

Theresa V. Horvath, director of the Physician Assistant Studies Program, was elected to the board of directors of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the national organization that represents physician assistant programs in the United States. She began her two-year term as a director-at-large in January 2011.

Greg Maney, associate professor of sociology, was awarded a $108,825 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project he is directing titled “News Media Coverage and the Dynamics of Contention.

Christopher Matthews, associate professor of anthropology, is one of the principal investigators on a historical archaeological project that is researching the indigenous minority community in the Three Village area of Suffolk County, New York, dating back to the 17th century. The minority community in this area reflects the diverse heritage of the Native American Setalcott tribe, who were the original inhabitants of the region, and African Americans who were enslaved by many local white families. Dr. Matthews is leading the effort to excavate and examine the remains from household sites associated with community in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The goal is to collect data that will support a better understanding of the historic community’s everyday lives after emancipation and their interactions with the local landscape and the majority white community. This research comes out of a partnership between
Hofstra University’s Center for Public Archaeology and the Higher Ground Intercultural and Heritage Association, Inc.

William McGee, adjunct associate professor of English, served on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, to examine the state of the U.S. airline industry. Professor McGee is an award-winning investigative journalist on airline safety and travel issues for Consumer Reports magazine and also has a travel column on

Joseph McLaren, professor of English, co-authored I Walked With Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath, published in January 2010. The book was nominated “Best Book About Jazz” by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Martha McPhee, associate professor of English, saw the publication of her fourth novel, Dear Money, a Pygmalion tale of a struggling but critically acclaimed writer who leaves her world of creativity and fine art to become a high-earning banker.

Paul J. Meller, associate professor of psychology, director of the Institute for Family Forensic Psychology at Hofstra’s Saltzman Community Services Center, and assistant director of the School- Community Psychology Doctoral Training Program, presented a breakfast seminar for the Saltzman Center titled “The Turning Points Model of Therapeutic Visitation” on May 7, 2010.

Christopher Morrongiello, adjunct assistant professor of music, performed a recital featuring lute works of the Galilei family at the Custer Observatory in Southold, New York, on March 2, 2010. Professor Morrongiello is director of the New York-based Bacheler Consort (an early music group named after English lute virtuoso Daniel Bacheler that specializes in instrumental music) and a member of the Venere Lute Quartet.

Phyllis Ohr, associate professor of psychology, received the Raymond D. Fowler Award at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Diego on August 14, 2010. The award, sponsored by the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, is granted to a psychologist who has made outstanding contributions to students’ professional development.

Richard Pioreck, adjunct associate professor of English, wrote several 10-minute plays for staged readings at off-Broadway’s Abingdon Theatre Co.

Richard Puerzer, associate professor and chair of the Department of Engineering, gave a lecture titled “Talking Baseball: Engineering, Math, Science and the ERA,” for Hofstra’s IDEAS Institute on May 5, 2011. The lecture explored the history of baseball and its roots in science and engineering.

Stanislao Pugliese ’87, professor of history, was installed as the Queensboro UNICO Foundation Distinguished Professor of Italian and Italian American Studies on April 30, 2010. Earlier that year, his book Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone was a finalist for a National Book Critics Award for biography and also received the 2010 Premio Flaiano di Italianistica, one of Italy’s major literary prizes. Dr. Pugliese appeared in the documentary Let Fury Have the Hour, about global citizenship and progressive politics. His work on Italian Jewish history was recognized with the Lehman-LaGuardia Award for Civic Achievement on May 22, 2011. The award was given in recognition of his scholarship and outreach to the Jewish and Italian American communities. Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi’s Science and Humanism, a volume of conference proceedings edited by Dr. Pugliese and published by Fordham University Press in April 2011, was favorably reviewed by literary critic and philosopher Carlin Romano in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Sina Rabbany, professor of engineering, served on a team of scientists that devised a new method of turning embryonic stem cells into durable blood vessel-forming cells, a breakthrough with potential to dramatically improve the treatment of health issues ranging from stroke to cardiovascular disease. The technique was outlined in a study that appeared in the January 17, 2010, online issue of Nature Biotechnology. He received a $10,873 grant from Weill Medical College of Cornell University in support of the project “Biophysical Activation of the Vascular Niche: Mechanisms for Leukemia Survival and Relapse.”

Connie Roberts ’99, ’05, adjunct instructor of English, was awarded the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for her memoir in verse, Not the Delft School, inspired by her experiences growing up in an orphanage in Ireland. Professor Roberts attended the awards ceremony and gave a reading in County Monaghan, Ireland, on November 26, 2010. Her work appeared in the Long Island anthology Toward Forgiveness and in the Irish literary journal Boyne Berries. In spring 2011 she was awarded a Literature Bursary Award by the Irish Arts Council.

Jenny Roberts, associate professor of speech-language-hearing sciences, and Kathleen Scott, assistant professor of speech-language hearing sciences, were awarded a $15,450 grant from the Edith Glick Shoolman Children’s Foundation for a “Language and Literacy Project” for at-risk kindergartners that they have been running since 2006 at a local elementary school. To date, the program, run by Drs. Roberts and Scott and Clinical Supervisor Melissa Fitzgerald, has provided service to approximately 70 children on an ongoing weekly basis throughout the school year.
Kathleen Scott, Melissa Fitzgerald, and Jenny Roberts

Michael Salzman, adjunct associate professor of music, presented a March 27, 2011, lecture and recital on the teachings of his mentor, Harvey Phillips, called a “Titan of Tuba” by The New York Times and highly regarded as one of the most important instrumentalists of our time. Professor Salzman noted that Mr. Phillips, who passed away in October 2010, is credited for starting Octubafest, a concert tradition at many universities and communities around the country, including Hofstra.

Christopher Sanford, professor of biology, received a $1,199,438 grant from the National Science Foundation in support of the renovation of Hofstra’s animal research facility.

Bhaswati Sengupta
Bhaswati Sengupta, assistant professor of economics, was named the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was recognized at the May 5 Hofstra Gala and at the commencement activities on May 22.

Sabrina Sobel, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, collaborated with Gregory Theophall ’09 (B.S.) on a research project and presented posters on their work at the Metals in Medicine Gordon Research Conference, in Andover, New Hampshire. The titles of their presentations were “Evaluation of Simultaneous Equilibria of Poorly Soluble Zinc Salts With Select Amino Acids to Determine Potential Bioavailability” and “Potential Bioavailability of Cu(II): Evidence for Mixed-Ligand Formation in Aqueous Cu(II) Succinate Amino Acid Systems.”

Gayl Teller, adjunct associate professor of writing studies and composition, received an award from the 2010 Long Island Decentralization Grants for the Arts Regrant Program for her project Poetry of Forgiveness. Professor Teller is the Nassau County poet laureate for 2009-2011. Her most recent book of poetry is titled Inside the Embrace: Poetry of Forgiveness.

Paula Uruburu
Paula Uruburu, professor of English and vice dean of the School for University Studies, spoke about her book American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century at the Centre for American Studies at the University of Western Ontario on September 30, 2010.

Nanette Wachter, associate professor of chemistry, continues to direct Hofstra’s annual Summer Science Research Project (HUSSRP). During the summer of 2010, the project received a generous grant from National Grid as part of the “Engineering Our Future” program. The program offered high school students the opportunity to work on “green” research projects ranging from household energy demand and alternative fuels to environmental engineering.

Kathleen Wallace, professor of philosophy, delivered a talk for Hofstra’s IDEAS Institute titled “Sustainable Life: A Citizen’s Guide to Ethics and Sustainability.” She discussed the concept of sustainability, its ethical basis, and how it can and should guide individual behavior. 

David E. Weissman, professor of engineering, was installed as the Jean Nerken Distinguished Professor in Engineering. He has been on the Hofstra faculty since 1968 and has played a major role in the development of Hofstra’s B.S. in Electrical Engineering program and in the expansion of the Department of Engineering. 

Joann Willey, professor of biology, was issued a grant from the National Science Foundation totaling $185,933 for the first year of a three-year project titled “RUI: Exploring Regulation of a Morphogenetic Peptide in a Filamentous Bacterium.” 

Benjamin Wolff, adjunct assistant professor of music, presented “Galileo’s Muse: A Tale of Music, Physics, Creativity and Insight” for Hofstra’s IDEAS Institute on March 10, 2011. The performance explains how Galileo’s love of music and his experience as a lute player held the key to one of his most important scientific accomplishments – the formulation of his “Law of Falling Bodies.” 

Phyllis Zagano, senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of religion, gave a presentation titled “Rome, Women and the End of Catholicism” at Hofstra in spring 2010. She completed a Fulbright Fellowship to the Republic of Ireland, where she examined the historical place and status of women in the Catholic Church. Dr. Zagano currently writes a biweekly column for the National Catholic Reporter (


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