The past academic year was a time for change at Hofstra, particularly in the academic makeup of the University. 2011-2012 marked several firsts – including the welcoming of the first class of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, as well as the first students to Hofstra's M.F.A. in Creative Writing program. There were announcements of a new school and a number of academic programs that will broaden Hofstra's offerings in technology and science.
Over the summer of 2011, the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine welcomed an inaugural class of 40 students to campus. The School of Medicine is New York state's first new allopathic medical school in 40 years and the nation's 133rd medical school.
The school, which started classes on August 1, received more than 4,000 applications for the first class, which ultimately consisted of 20 women and 20 men, ranging in age from 22 to 36 years old, and hailing from 14 states and 33 universities. Dr. Lawrence Smith, dean of the School of Medicine, said at a welcoming ceremony for the students, "They represent a unique and diverse cross section of educational and life experiences and were selected not only for their test scores, but equally for their character and core values."
For the first nine weeks of school, students trained as emergency medical technicians and worked shifts on North Shore-LIJ ambulances, responding to 911 calls. The EMT training culminated in a Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI) conducted at the FDNY Training Center on Randall's Island where the students were expected to provide emergency care during the exercise, followed by a full debriefing. The day at Randall's Island offered a unique opportunity for the students to gain hands-on, realistic experience – right down to encountering fire, smoke and seriously wounded victims. The students are also required to log in 16 hours every three months in the ambulance system throughout their time in medical school.
On October 14 the students took part in a White Coat Ceremony, marking the beginning of their transformation into medical professionals.
Online M.B.A. Brings the Studies to the Students
Professor of Marketing and International Business Barry Berman (far right) speaks to the online M.B.A. students at the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room.
Like the School of Medicine, the online M.B.A. began over the summer of 2011 with a cohort of 18 students. Dr. Sengupta said, "Geographically, we have folks from Utah, Arkansas, Bermuda, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. We have several who live and work in Manhattan who wouldn't have joined a Hofstra M.B.A. program if it wasn't online. About 30 percent of the group are Hofstra alumni, including people who have earned master's degrees and law degrees from Hofstra. A few of the students are already doing really well in their respective careers, and all of these people looked at the program as a way to increase their knowledge and perform even better in their professional roles."
The flexibility of the online M.B.A. program exists in its cohort option, which allows for completion of the degree within two years. In addition, there is a non-cohort option that can be customized to accommodate students' working schedules.
"In terms of the structure and recognition," explained Dr. Sengupta, "this program is no different from our on-campus M.B.A. offerings. For instance, the degree and transcripts do not indicate that the program is being delivered online. This program is also AACSB accredited. Technology just allows a different way to deliver the courses.
"However, there are several components that make this program unique – residencies in New York allow students to come together as a group for a few days and interact with faculty members and industry leaders; the global practicum, which consists of an international trip to supplement the global focus of the program; the availability of campus services, including The Career Center; and outstanding distance learning courses taught only by full-time faculty members, most of whom have experience teaching online. The strategic business management concentration is also new and unique for this program, and it was designed again with an eye toward the type of students we thought would be attracted to this program – students with several years of work experience, looking at a more general, strategic focus in their M.B.A. while anchored in the functional basics and a global setting. I think all these elements together set the program apart."
M.P.H. Program Addresses Future Needs in Health Care
Summer 2012 will see the debut of an innovative, interdisciplinary Master of Public Health that combines the expertise and resources of Hofstra's Health Sciences and Human Services programs, the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and North Shore-LIJ Health System.
The new M.P.H. program, offered through Hofstra's programs in Health and Human Services, follows a curriculum that reflects a broad-based approach to the study of public health and faculty who bring decades of experience in community, government and private sector settings as clinicians, administrators, researchers and policymakers.
In less than a decade, the nation will be facing a shortfall of more than 250,000 public health workers, according to the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). To meet that projected need, public health schools would have to train three times the current number of graduates, ASPH estimates show.
Hofstra Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Herman A. Berliner said, "Given the importance of the health professions and especially the importance of the Master of Public Health degree for leaders of the profession, we are pleased to have developed such a distinguished M.P.H. program."
The program includes a part-time track for working professionals, which can be completed in less than three years, using a combination of distance learning, hybrid courses and traditional classroom instruction. The program is working toward accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. Medical Physics Program Set for Summer Launch
Hofstra University and North Shore-LIJ Health System have announced a new Master of Science in Medical Physics program to begin in August 2012.
Medical physics focuses on applying physics concepts, theories, and methods to medicine. Medical physicists are dedicated to the safe use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Employment opportunities in medical physics involve clinical practice; regulatory compliance; patient safety; and research and development in therapeutic, diagnostic, nuclear, and medical health physics. Program applicants are expected to have earned a bachelor's degree in physics or a closely related field, with excellent GPAs, GRE scores and recommendations.
The program courses will be taught by a combined staff from Hofstra University, North Shore-LIJ Health System, and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University, under the joint supervision of the Department of Physics at Hofstra University and the Department of Radiation Medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Countdown to the School of Engineering and Applied Science
Over the summer of 2011, Hofstra announced the establishment of a School of Engineering and Applied Science. The new school will combine and expand Hofstra's existing departments of Engineering and Computer Science to develop a curriculum that emphasizes high-tech research, practical work experience and interdisciplinary study, integrating resources and faculty from other parts of the institution, including the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business. One key feature of the new school will be a co-op program in which partnerships with a network of industry leaders will offer students substantial work experience before they graduate.
On June 14, 2012, Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz announced the appointment of Dr. Simon Ben-Avi, an acting dean at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art – one of the nation's top-ranked engineering schools – as the inaugural dean of Hofstra's School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Dr. Ben-Avi began his career at The Cooper Union in 1984 as a professor of electrical engineering, and became an associate dean in 1997. He also served as the institution's C.V. Starr Distinguished Professor of Research for a decade. Dr. Ben-Avi has experience as an entrepreneur and consultant, and has performed clinical trials and research projects with medical institutions, including Lenox Hill Hospital.
"It is a rare opportunity to create a new educational model, building on the existing strengths of an outstanding national institution of higher education, partnering with other science and art programs," Dr. Ben-Avi said.
In conjunction with the new school, Hofstra is investing $4.5 million to upgrade facilities for the engineering and applied science programs, including $3 million to renovate labs, classrooms and offices in the programs' current home in Weed and Adams halls. The University is also building a $1 million biomedical engineering lab funded by the Empire State Development Corporation and supported by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. The renovations are funded in part by a New York state grant, ENGine, in which Hofstra and Stony Brook University have partnered to increase the number of engineering students in the region.
The new school makes Hofstra only the third university in the New York metropolitan area to have schools of law, medicine and engineering.
M.F.A. Program Focuses on the "Write" Stuff
Hofstra's Creative Writing faculty welcomed author John Edgar Wideman to campus as part of the "Great Writers, Great Readings" Series. The series brings renowned authors from a variety of genres to campus, where they participate in a free public reading and also meet privately with creative writing students to discuss their craft. (Lto r) Martha McPhee, Erik Brogger, Wideman and Patricia Horvath.
The M.F.A. allows students to concentrate in dramatic writing, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, exploring the art and craft of writing while grounding themselves in the rich literary traditions that offer exemplary models of these forms. The M.F.A. is considered a terminal degree – appropriate for those who want to pursue specific writing disciplines and/or careers in publishing, teaching, and editing, among others.
M.F.A. student Ali Arje said, "The thing I love most about the program so far is the fact that it gives me the opportunity to find out what my strengths are and where I feel my writing future lies. I had been a newspaper reporter and columnist and wanted to branch out into fiction writing. This [program] was almost in my backyard, so how could I not go after it?"