Friday, February 15, 2013

Hofstra in the Community

Relay For Life: The fifth anniversary of the American Cancer
Society Relay For Life at Hofstra raised more than $107,000.
Five years ago at a meeting of the Long Island Women’s Agenda (LIWA), Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz addressed a large group of local elected officials and business leaders. He said that as Hofstra continues to move into the 21st century, it is vital for the University to further ex tend the use of its resources and facilities to the community and eliminate the delineation in what is termed “town and gown.”

Since that time, every contingency of Hofstra has amped up its presence in the community. Students, both individually and as groups, have been working with local residents in a variety of capacities. Faculty and various offices and centers at Hofstra plan programming to which local schools and community members are invited for free or a very nominal charge. Anita Ellis ’88, ’90, who was known for many years as Hofstra’s director of student activities, has been assigned to a new role: director of off-campus living and commuting student services. In this position she works closely with local civic associations and community organizations to address residents’ University-related concerns and also to make them aware of available Hofstra programs and services.

Since 1991, on the westernmost part of the South Campus, the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center has enabled faculty and students from a wide variety of disciplines to provide clinical services and early childhood education to members of the Hofstra community and local residents. In recent years more clinics and institutes have been added, including the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Clinic; Anxiety and Depression Treatment Program; Child and Parent Psychotherapy Services Clinic; Institute for Family Forensic Psychology; Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression; and Phobia and Trauma Clinic.

On the North Campus, Hofstra’s Scott Skodnek Business Development Center is focused on enhancing the skills of local business leaders and assisting small business owners, while the Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies brings together the expertise of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business and the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, as well as the Institute of Real Estate at Hofstra University to provide real estate professionals, municipal officials, developers and the public with information about complex issues in the real estate field.

The University is also home to the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia’s problems, as well as its promise. The National Center studies a broad range of issues from local and national perspectives. The tasks of identifying, analyzing and solving the problems of suburbia are essential for the health of the country – and central to the National Center’s mission.

This concerted effort to be not just a presence in the community, but a resource, has brought high praise to Hofstra. For three consecutive years, Hofstra University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for “exemplary commitment to service and volunteering.” Hofstra was one of 114 colleges and universities – out of 851 that applied nationwide – to receive the “Honor Roll with Distinction” designation as an institution whose students, faculty, staff and alumni show the highest level of dedication to community service and civic engagement.

Hofstra offers students opportunities to volunteer in the community in a variety of ways, through the Office of Student Leadership and Activities. Among these opportunities are Service Days, in which students spend time during the weekends doing community service in the local area; volunteer as mentors and tutors at local elementary schools; and work in community soup kitchens and homeless shelters. For the past three years, Hofstra has offered first-year students an optional pre-orientation program, the Discovery Program, in which students learn about social and environmental issues and engage in related experiential learning activities.

Recent Community Events

Middle School Musical ...

More than 300 seventh graders played alongside 110 members of the Hofstra Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble at the ninth annual Middle School Honors Band Festival, hosted by Hofstra University on October 20 and 21.

Every fall since 2002, Hofstra University’s Department of Music has hosted the Middle School Honors Band Festival, which welcomes hundreds of seventh graders from Long Island, New York City and occasionally from New Jersey and Pennsylvania to work with members of the Hofstra Symphonic Band and a renowned guest composer/conductor who is invited to campus for the event.

Over the course of the two days, the Hofstra Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble members act as teachers and mentors to their younger counterparts. The mission of the Middle School Honors Band Festival at Hofstra is to encourage middle school students to continue their music education, as well as expose them to the excitement of a university campus.

Hitting the Streets with Shake and Rake ...

On November 12 Hofstra students participated in the Shake and Rake program, sponsored by the Office of Off-Campus Living and Commuting Student Services. The program allows students to give back to the community by assisting in cleaning local parks and neighborhoods. More than 142 students visited 12 homes in the Hempstead and Uniondale communities to provide yard work assistance to local residents.

The Healing Power of Music ...

The Hofstra Symphony Orchestra, directed by Professor David Ramael, teamed up with the Long Island Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) to present a December 4 concert featuring two famous child-themed compositions, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Gustav Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. This performance was part of a continued effort to present music with social themes, and the concert was just one way that the Hofstra Symphony Orchestra worked with CCAN. Throughout the spring, Hofstra student musicians worked with and mentored students receiving services from CCAN.

Holiday Toy Drive for The INN ...

Hofstra students, faculty and staff participated in a holiday toy drive that benefited The Interfaith Nutrition Network. From November 28 through December 9, more than 300 unwrapped toys were collected to be distributed to children from families in need during the holiday season.

Commerce Plaza ...

The Hofstra University space at Commerce Plaza teaches fourth and fifth grade students the ins and outs of running an Admissions Office, University Relations Office, and Financial Aid Office. Curriculum for the space was created as a collaborative effort between the Frank G. Zarb School of Business and the School of Education. Capital One provides support for the program, a partnership between the nonprofit group Commerce Plaza Inc. and Long Island schools.

Annual Student Press Day ...

On December 12 Hofstra University’s School of Communication hosted its annual Student Press Day, where approximately 300 Long Island high school students got a close-up look at how print, TV and online journalists work in today’s changing media landscape. The day included a presentation by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman of Newsday, as well as a special panel on covering disasters that featured media professionals Michael Amon of The Wall Street Journal, Mario Diaz of WPIX-11 News, Craig Allen of WCBS Radio and Bruce Avery of WRHU Radio Hofstra University. Special workshops on social media, investigative journalism, layout and design, and sports and business reporting featured experts from The New York Times and Newsday.

Tommy, Can You Shear Me? ...

On March 14 Hofstra University and the Hofstra Roller Hockey Club raised more than $19,000 with the annual St. Baldrick’s Day event, a fundraiser at which more than 40 Hofstra students, administrators, and faculty shaved their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research. Alumnus and Roller Hockey Club member Thomas Kostiw first brought the event to Hofstra in 2009. “I attended a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at a restaurant on Long Island and thought it was a great way to raise funds,” Kostiw said. “I thought that our team needed to do some more community service work, and the event seemed to fit us well, as many of us had very long hair.”

Hofstra LI Regional Spelling Bee ...

Dean Creedon, a fifth grader at Oaks Street School 3 in the Oceanside, NY, school district, was the champion of the first Hofstra Long Island Regional Spelling Bee at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on March 18.

Creedon’s winning word was “mordacious.” Prior words he answered were “temerity,” “stratification,” and “heliosis.” More than 100 fourth to eighth grade students from schools across Nassau and Suffolk County participated in the Hofstra Long Island Regional Spelling Bee.

The March 18 Bee was the first to be held at Hofstra, and the head judge was Hofstra Associate Professor of Writing Studies and Composition Carole Papper. Creedon went on to represent Long Island at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Hempstead for Hofstra/Hofstra for Hempstead ...

The 38th Annual Hempstead for Hofstra/Hofstra for Hempstead Scholarship Dinner, which raises money to help Village of Hempstead students attend Hofstra University, was held on March 29. Since the founding of the dinner, more than 300 young men and women have benefited from these scholarships. The dinner also marks the presentation of the prestigious Unispan Award, given to individuals whose professional or personal lives have enriched the Hempstead community.

This year’s Unispan Award recipients were Evangelist Reginald Benjamin, founding executive director of Able Body of Believers Alliance (ABBA) Leadership Center, Inc.; Thelma Burnett, owner and president, Carl C. Burnett Funeral Home, Inc.; Dr. Rodney Gilmore, principal, Jackson Main School; Michael McGowan, assistant chief, Hempstead Police Department; Major General Joseph A. McNeil, USAF, Ret., one of the original four students who took part in the Woolworth sit-in on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina; Reginald V. Terry, director, football administration, Arizona Cardinals; and Timothy L. Terry, assistant director, pro personnel, Green Bay Packers.

Germs Be Gone ... 

Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine students worked with second graders from the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District to teach them about “germs” and the necessity of proper hand-washing techniques. The medical students visited four elementary schools and conducted a hand-washing lesson. Following the lesson, students were asked to go home and share what they learned about hygiene.

Remarkable Relay For Life ... 

The campus community gathered together on April 28 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life at Hofstra. The event raised more than $107,000 and featured approximately 1,137 participants. Event co-chair Zach Dane, a senior at Hofstra, lost his mother to lung cancer that spread when he was in the seventh grade. “I relay for my mom,” he said. “She is the reason that I am doing everything that I can to promote a cancer-free world.”

Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out in tents on the campus’s intramural fields, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening.

“Money & Me” Program ...

Fifth-grader Gabriel Lazo doesn’t have a bank account yet, but he knows how to write a check. He doesn’t have a credit card, but he knows when he gets one, he should pay off the balance in full every month.

That’s because for the last two months, Gabriel and his classmates at Drexel Avenue Elementary School in Westbury have been participating in a financial literacy program sponsored by the Zarb School of Business and Capital One Bank called “Money & Me.”

Taught by Hofstra business and education students, the program was launched in several Long Island school districts in fall 2011, and has served more than 1,700 fourth and fifth graders. The curriculum, designed by Hofstra and Capital One, teaches basic money management concepts and skills.

Capital One Bank’s Long Island Market President Andrew Corrado (M.B.A. ’92) and Zarb School of Business Assistant Dean Gioia Bales visited the Drexel Avenue School to see the program in action. “It’s never too early to start teaching kids about money management,” Corrado said. “This is really a building block for them.”

The “Money & Me” program includes eight interactive lessons that teach students basic financial skills involving managing savings and checking accounts, creating budgets, credit reports and debit cards.

Generating IDEAS ... 

IDEAS (Hofstra’s Institute for the Development of Education in the Advanced Sciences) provides a focus on cutting-edge issues in science and technology for the general public, local public and private school teachers and administrators, and college educators. It seeks to create public visibility and enhanced understanding of advances in science and technology. Evening lectures are free and open to the public. Spring events included “Space: The Asteroid Frontier,” presented in February by Dr. Lucy McFadden of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and a special Earth Day event in April on “Climate Change Now and in the Next Decade.”

Hofstra Dance and Dance Ed Programs Partner With AHRC-Nassau ... Hofstra University’s Dance and Dance Education Programs and AHRC-Nassau (Association for the Help of Retarded Children) hosted a celebratory, end-of-year showing, titled Picture This, on May 9. Hofstra’s Dance and Dance Education Programs have been working with AHRC-Nassau for the past four years to help adults with mental disabilities explore their creativity through dance. All Hofstra participants volunteer their time by choreographing and leading one-hour workshops each week for the AHRC-Nassau participants under the direction of Anita Feldman, director of the Dance Education Program at Hofstra.

Lead instructors for the spring 2012 semester were Keyla Hiraldo and Priscilla Velazquez, both dance education majors.

Medical Scholars Pipeline Program ... 

The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine’s Medical Scholars Pipeline Program offers a very special opportunity to outstanding, yet economically disadvantaged, high school students from surrounding communities to take part in a unique five-year summer program that puts them on the track to medical school and other careers in health care. The School of Medicine has designed this program to increase diversity of the health care workforce by providing a viable way for academically exceptional students from traditionally underrepresented minority and low-income backgrounds to attain the exposure, support and educational tools necessary to become competitive college and medical school applicants, and eventually, successful physicians. Several of the first-year medical students are working with the Pipeline students during the summer of 2012.

For more examples of Hofstra in the community, visit


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