Hofstra Horizons: Fall 2010

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HOFSTRAhorizons FALL 2010

Hofstra Educator Brings Art Therapy for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease to the World

Research and Scholarship Promoting Excellence in Teaching at Hofstra University

president’s COLUMN


his year, we celebrate our 75th anniversary. In our relatively short history, we have grown from a faculty of 19 teaching several hundred students in one building, to having more than 1200 full-time and adjunct faculty. The primary reason for our growth and success throughout our history is the ambition, dedication and accomplishments of our faculty, dedicated equally to their students and their scholarly endeavors. In this issue of Hofstra Horizons, you will have the opportunity to explore our faculty’s scholarship and understand how their expertise benefits our students and our community.


table of contents 4 The LLT Lab: Scientific Research at Hofstra Law School

This year, we prepare to open our newest school, the Hofstra-North Shore LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University. The medical school, as well as other planned graduate and undergraduate programs in the sciences, health and engineering, will expand our scholarship in the sciences. Critical to our success is the involvement of our faculty, who have played an integral role in the transformation of Hofstra University from a respected regional college to a renowned national university. In this issue of Hofstra Horizons are four examples of the breadth and excellence of faculty scholarship. Hofstra School of Law, under the direction of Professor Vern Walker, has established the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology. The lab conducts research on the reasoning in legal decisions and links evidence in the case to the findings of fact. Nanette Wachter, associate professor of chemistry, focuses on magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, explaining how the process enables physicians to detect a tumor and chemists to visualize a molecule. Assistant Professor of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations Mary Ann Allison discusses the restoration of one of Long Island’s oldest communities, New Cassel. Her research on community revitalizations, under the direction of The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University®, will focus on the establishment of new apartment buildings and businesses and the progress of the New Cassel community center. Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, assistant professor of counseling, research, special education and rehabilitation, describes how her team of professionals has developed a program that targets the negative symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease with the use of art therapy. These are but four scholarly articles by our faculty, and as always, they serve as examples of how our faculty use excellent scholarship to connect to the professions, the communities around us, and the greater world. I hope you enjoy this issue of Hofstra Horizons. Sincerely,

Stuart Rabinowitz President

10 Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Studying Hydrogen in Different Environments Cover photo courtesy of Professor Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff.

Stuart Rabinowitz, J.D. President

Herman A. Berliner, Ph.D. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Sofia Kakoulidis, M.B.A. Associate Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs

Alice Diaz-Bonhomme, B.A. Assistant Provost for Research and Sponsored Programs



t is once again my pleasure to introduce the latest issue of Hofstra Horizons. The faculty whose work is presented in this issue, as in past issues, are representative of our colleagues and their dedication to the University and their disciplines through research as well as teaching. These articles are one way for us to share their enthusiasm and commitment to the questions and projects they explore.

18 Against Formidable Odds: Community Revitalization in New Cassel, New York

26 Hofstra Educator Brings Art Therapy for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease to the World

HOFSTRA HORIZONS is published semiannually in the fall and spring by the Office for Research and Sponsored Programs, 144 Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11549-1440. Each issue describes in lay language some of the many research and creative activities conducted at Hofstra. The conclusions and opinions expressed by the investigators and writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect University policy. ©2010 by Hofstra University in the United States. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of Hofstra University. Inquiries and requests for permission to reprint material should be addressed to: Editor, HOFSTRA HORIZONS, Office for Research and Sponsored Programs, 144 Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11549-1440. Telephone: 516-463-6810.


In the first article presented in this issue, Professor Vern Walker tells us about a laboratory that integrates research, legal education and practice. As director of the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology, Professor Walker and his colleagues have developed a systematic approach to creating logic models in fact-finding with the goal of increasing accuracy, efficiency and justice in legal decision making. Professor Walker is also working on a joint research project with the International and Comparative Law Research Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, conducting comparative analyses of medical malpractice decisions in the United States and Italy. The next featured piece is written by Nanette Wachter, associate professor of chemistry. Her research focuses on two techniques, a diagnostic procedure best known as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and a spectroscopic technique known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Professor Wachter’s current work explores the relationship between hydrogen bonding and electron delocalization. The third article in this issue, by Assistant Professor of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations Mary Ann Allison, details the revitalization of one of Long Island’s oldest African American villages, New Cassel. Professor Allison, now in Phase 2 of her research, has documented the results of the first phase, focusing on the methods and reasons for the community’s successful revitalization, as well as the remaining challenges. The last article, by Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, assistant professor of counseling, research, special education and rehabilitation, discusses her participation at the Second World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow, Scotland. As an invited speaker, she was asked to present her work in bringing art therapy to Parkinson’s patients. She was also asked to conduct two clay manipulation sessions with clinicians, caregivers, and those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Professor Elkis-Abuhoff and her research team utilize a medical art therapeutic approach that has been shown to reduce negative symptomology in some Parkinson’s patients. I believe strongly that faculty who distinguish themselves in intellectual endeavors such as these also bring extraordinary enthusiasm and vigor to the classroom. We are enormously proud of their accomplishments. Sincerely,

Herman A. Berliner, Ph.D. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

The LLT Lab: Scientific Research at Hofstra Law School Vern R. Walker, Professor of Law and Director of the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology, Hofstra Law School


ofstra Law School has created a new kind of research institution: a research laboratory for law modeled on research laboratories in the sciences. The Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology (LLT Lab) conducts empirical research on the reasoning in legal decisions that connects the evidence in the case to the findings of fact (usually called “fact-finding�). In conducting this research, the LLT Lab operates out of a theoretical framework, formulates and tests hypotheses, and disseminates its


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work products for replication and use by others. This innovative and unique program employs a team approach to data generation and analysis, and integrates research with legal education. The goal is not only improving legal research and education, but also having an impact on legal decision making in society. Many important aspects of life depend upon accuracy and fairness in decision making – such as legal decisions about employment, housing, education, immigration, disability, and health care benefits. Decisions in these areas by courts

or administrative agencies have two components: deciding what the legal rules are (conclusions of law), and deciding whether those rules apply in a particular case (fact-finding). Factfinding is critical but under-studied. Justice and the rule of law require that findings of fact be based reasonably and transparently on the evidence, that similar cases be decided similarly, and that outcomes be reasonably predictable. At the same time, an increased complexity in legal rules and evidence (including expert and scientific evidence) has increased societal costs and has limited access to

justice for many Americans. By making its work available to all participants in legal decision-making processes, the LLT Lab aims to increase the transparency, accuracy, efficiency, and accessibility of such decision making.

Legal Reasoning and the Need for Empirical Research Law is a pragmatic profession. Judges and regulators always balance two different types of objectives: the epistemic objective of producing findings of fact that are as accurate as possible and warranted by the evidence available, and non-epistemic objectives such as procedural fairness to parties, administrative efficiency, and

specific substantive objectives (such as protecting public health from unsafe food). In addition, judges and regulators must make important decisions in real time, based on incomplete evidence. The reasoning structures they employ have evolved to serve this pragmatic orientation. Legal reasoning tends to be dynamic and probabilistic in nature, efficiently arriving at plausible conclusions, but those conclusions are subject to revision if new evidence arises or old evidence needs reanalysis. These characteristics make legal reasoning a leading example of what logicians call “default reasoning.” The pragmatic nature of legal reasoning requires empirical research into how

such competing values are being balanced in different legal contexts. Trying to solve legal problems under the rule of law creates reasoning patterns that are effective in solving such problems. Each particular area of law evolves new concepts and modes of reasoning tailored to achieving its own balance of objectives. Only empirical research into the reasoning of actual decisions can discover what factfinders in different areas find plausible, and how those factfinders evaluate nonexpert and expert evidence to reach their conclusions or findings.

Aspects of a New Research Paradigm

Figure 1. Part of the vaccine rule tree, showing three sub-issues for proving causation and the logical connectives AND, OR and UNLESS.

Just as science laboratories generate data by classifying and measuring real-world objects or events, the LLT Lab generates data by modeling the logical structure of the reasoning recorded in legal decisions. Such “logic models,” which capture the essential inference structure of the factfinder’s reasoning, have two major components: the legal rules applicable to all similar cases, and the evidentiary reasoning applying those rules to the particular case. First, lab researchers create “rule trees” constructed out of propositions and logical connectives, as models of the legal rules governing the decision-making process. These rule trees are inverted, with the (root) proposition to be proved at the top, and branches extending downward containing the propositions needed to prove the immediately higher proposition. A complete rule

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tree identifies all the issues of fact in the case, and all the acceptable lines of proof for the ultimate issue. For example, a major research project in the LLT Lab studies proof of causation in vaccine cases – that is, how to prove whether or not a vaccination caused a patient’s later injury or medical condition. Such difficult issues are decided by “special masters” within the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. Figure 1 shows part of the lab’s rule tree for compensation claims in vaccine cases. The top proposition of the entire tree is the ultimate issue the petitioner must prove – namely, that the petitioner is entitled to compensation. At the bottom of the diagram is a three-part test for proving causation. The petitioner filing the claim must prove: (1) that a “medical theory causally connect[s]” the vaccination and the injury; (2) that a “logical sequence of cause and effect” shows that the vaccination “was the reason for” the injury; and (3) that a “proximate temporal relationship” exists between the vaccination and

Figure 2. Illustration of a portion of the logic model for the Casey decision using the Legal Apprentice™ software.


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the injury. (The quotations are from the lead case of Althen v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 418 F.3d 1274, 1278 (Fed. Cir. 2005).) Figure 1 also shows three logical connectives used in constructing rule trees: “AND” (all connected conditions must be true in order to prove the conclusion); “OR” (at least one connected condition must be true); and “UNLESS” (if the defeating condition is true, then the conclusion is false, even if the other conditions are true). Second, in modeling the evidentiary reasoning in a particular case, LLT Lab researchers attach the findings of fact to the issues identified by the rule tree, and then create logic models of the reasoning supporting those findings. Thus, the logic model for an entire case includes the generic rule tree with the reasoning of the particular factfinder attached. For example, Figure 2 is a picture of a computer screen showing some of the modeled reasoning from the vaccine decision Casey v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Case No. 97-612V (December 12, 2005).

The special master found that there was indeed an adequate medical theory of causation, and supported that conclusion by two alternative lines of reasoning based on two causal pathways (direct viral infection and immunemediated inflammatory response). In modeling this reasoning, LLT Lab researchers used the plausibility connective “MAX.” This connective assigns to the conclusion the highest degree of plausibility assigned to any one of the supporting lines of reasoning. On a color computer display or a page printed in color, the round icon before each sentence in the model has a color that indicates the plausibility value assigned to the assertion. In the complete case model, each of these two alternative lines of reasoning also contains further reasoning, which proves each of these two conclusions. The LLT Lab uses special software called Legal Apprentice™ (a product of Apprentice Systems, Inc.) to create its logic models. The software keeps track of the logic, and propagates plausibility values and truth values up the tree,

from individual items of evidence to the ultimate conclusion. The software also creates HTML documents of the logic models, as well as files of the models formatted in XML (a standard format used in Internet-based programs). As with any scientific research, the next phase in the LLT Lab is to analyze patterns and trends within the data collected. After a lab project (such as the Vaccine-Injury Project, illustrated in Figure 2) selects a sample of decisions to study and generates models for the reasoning in those decisions, lab researchers identify, abstract and formalize the inference patterns that re-occur within those decisions. The LLT Lab is especially interested in discovering “plausibility schemas,” which are patterns of reasoning that warrant default inferences to presumptively true conclusions. The research tries to identify which patterns the factfinders consider persuasive or not, and why. Because complete evidence is almost never available, this usually means developing “theories of uncertainty” – explanations about what evidence is missing, what uncertainty (potential for error) is inherent in drawing the conclusion, and how it could be reasonable to draw the conclusion even without the missing evidence. The mission of the LLT Lab is not merely to study fact-finding using scientific methods, but also to improve actual decision making in society. The lab uses its website to make publicly available its database of logic models of decisions. Lab researchers also post commentary on those decisions in the form of blogs, as well as articles about patterns and trends they discover across multiple cases, and about broad aspects of the reasoning they study. A priority

is developing and providing useful tools that will assist parties, attorneys and decision makers in reaching accurate decisions more efficiently. The LLT Lab’s systematic focus on description and critique of reasoning and its mission to improve actual decision making in society, together with its organizational structure, enable an integration of research, education and practice. Faculty and students work in teams – reviewing each other’s logic models for decisions, orienting and training new researchers in the LLT Lab’s methodology, writing commentary on cases and topics through blog entries and articles, and brainstorming about hypotheses to test and the patterns discovered in decisions. Research, education and practice are three dimensions of the same core activity. Conducting the research is simultaneously training in logic skills and education in reasoning, while the research products are useful tools in legal practice.

Professor Walker and Professor Giovanni Comardé, director of the International and Comparative Law Research Laboratory (Lider-Lab), standing on the steps of the courthouse in Pisa.

Finally, the LLT Lab’s research methodology is designed to be collaborative not only within the lab itself, but also with other research laboratories. Because the methodology is logic-based, it is possible to compare rule trees and evidentiary reasoning across different areas of law, across different legal systems, and across time. And because the methodology is standardized, it can be used to produce comparable data (models) in multiple labs. For example, the lab currently

has a joint research project with the International and Comparative Law Research Laboratory (Lider-Lab) of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. Together, the two labs are conducting comparative investigations of medical malpractice decisions in the United States and Italy, looking for similarities and dissimilarities in the rule systems and proof patterns. Using a single modeling framework allows the two labs to create logic models that can be compared directly to each other.

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Hypotheses at the Cutting Edge True to its roots in scientific method, the LLT Lab formulates and tests hypotheses about both its legal subject matter and its own methodology. For example, one objective of the lab is to refine its protocols for generating the logic models for legal decisions, and to test the reliability of those protocols and the validity of the resulting models. Scientific “reliability” here means the degree of variability in modeling when different researchers model the same decision, and scientific “validity” means the degree to which a model accurately captures the reasoning reported by the factfinder. It is a working hypothesis of the lab that it can develop protocols that will reliably produce acceptably accurate models for legal decisions written by a variety of authors in a natural language such as English. Such protocols provide orientation materials for training new lab researchers, as well as general educational materials for training students in logic skills. Such protocols may also make it possible to automate parts of the modeling process by developing computer software. An example of a substantive hypothesis about the law involves the influence of legal policy on fact-finding. The hypothesis being tested in the LLT Lab’s vaccine project is that the special masters who act as factfinders have developed default inference patterns peculiar to this area of law, in which the presumptive warrant is furnished in critical part by social policies. The lab is investigating the extent to which those policies guide decisions about how much evidence is sufficient to establish an issue of fact, when residual uncertainty is acceptable, and when burdens of proof shift among the


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parties. Gathering data about whether and how this actually occurs may lead to a normative critique of the extent to which it should occur. A third example of a testable hypothesis involves the dynamics within factfinding processes. The hypothesis is that certain fact-finding structures are more likely to develop “soft rules” of inference. Soft rules are general patterns of default reasoning that have become “safe havens” of inference because a reviewing authority (such as an appellate court) has decided that a particular finding is a reasonable inference from particular evidence. The hypothesis is that in an area of complex cases (such as the vaccine compensation cases), with a small number of repeat factfinders (the special masters), and documentation of the supervisory decision once it occurs (the court judgments), at least some patterns determined by authority to be reasonable would become “safe havens” for factfinders who do not wish to be reversed and who have an incentive to be efficient in deciding cases. Such patterns might become de facto default rules of inference in evidence assessment, and carry over from case to case. They are not rules of law, but “soft rules” of practice. The extent of such a phenomenon might have implications not only for increased efficiency in factfinding, but also for decreased fairness to parties in later cases.

Expected Impact of the LLT Lab The LLT Lab’s approach to research and education has considerable potential as a paradigm. With respect to benefits to society generally, the goal is to produce databases of logic models for legal decisions in important social areas (such as vaccine-injury compensation),

together with libraries of reasoning patterns that may be useful across many areas of law. By making this research publicly available to all participants in the legal process, the LLT Lab’s work should increase the transparency and predictability of future decisions, and help ensure that similar cases will be decided similarly. Accuracy should increase as fact-finding reasoning is scrutinized. Moreover, decision-making processes should become more efficient because all participants will be able to better organize their evidence and better assess the settlement value of their cases. Finally, justice should increase because information and insights generated by the LLT Lab will be accessible to parties that could not otherwise afford such expensive and challenging research. These benefits to society (increased transparency, predictability, accuracy, efficiency, and access to justice) should be achievable in many areas of the law, as work at the LLT Lab and other legal research labs progresses. With respect to impact on research, the LLT Lab demonstrates how to apply scientific methods of modeling and measurement to legal reasoning, and especially to the reasoning of factfinders in actual cases. The research develops libraries of plausibility schemas, or normative patterns of default reasoning, and tests important hypotheses about the structure and dynamics of fact-finding. Moreover, the LLT Lab shows how the model of a research laboratory in the sciences can be applied in a legal setting, so that teams of students and faculty, employing tested methods of data gathering and analysis, can produce research that is valuable to society. This work can also provide a paradigm for research in non-legal

areas where documented decision making is available. The LLT Lab’s databases and pattern libraries should also provide valuable resources for research in related fields outside the law. The lab’s modeling protocols and databases of analyzed legal decisions should provide resources for formal and informal logic theory, as well as for natural-language research in linguistics (especially semantics). Moreover, the LLT Lab’s work should expand the empirical basis for research on artificial intelligence and law, particularly in the area of

evidentiary reasoning, and the lab’s modeling protocols should assist artificial-intelligence researchers in automating the extraction of reasoning from natural-language documents. The subtleties of legal reasoning are difficult for non-lawyers to study, but the LLT Lab’s methodology makes legal logic more accessible to non-lawyers. With regard to the impact on education, the LLT Lab provides a unique paradigm for legal education and for higher education generally. The same techniques developed for analyzing the reasoning of a factfinder

will be useful in training students in logic and argumentation skills. The database of modeled cases provides numerous examples of evidentiary reasoning for students to study. Through the use of a team approach to research, the LLT Lab demonstrates how students can acquire logic skills in a research laboratory, while simultaneously producing important databases and tools for society. As a result, the education process, in both law and elsewhere, might become more effective pedagogically, more engaging to students, and more productive for society.

Professor Vern Walker holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, with specialization in knowledge theory, artificial intelligence, deductive and inductive logic, and the conceptual foundations and methodologies of the sciences. His doctoral dissertation was on the perception of objects by biological and mechanical systems. He taught philosophy for four years at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, including courses in logic, philosophy of science, ethics and bioethics. He earned the J.D. at Yale Law School, where he was also an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Prior to joining the Hofstra Law School faculty, Professor Walker was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Swidler & Berlin. His practice included representation before state and federal administrative agencies and before courts on judicial review of agency Vern Walker actions. His administrative practice focused primarily on issues concerning public health, safety, and the environment. He also represented clients in civil litigation alleging products liability and toxic torts. While in law practice, he worked extensively with expert witnesses and scientific evidence, and he co-authored the book Product Risk Reduction in the Chemical Industry. At Hofstra, Professor Walker teaches courses in scientific evidence, torts, administrative law, administrative health law, and European Union law, and he is director of the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology. He is on the editorial board of the journal Law, Probability and Risk, as well as the editorial review board for the International Journal of Agent Technologies and Systems. He is a past president of the Risk Assessment and Policy Association. He has been a consultant to both private and governmental institutions in both the United States and Europe. Professor Walker has published extensively on the logic of legal reasoning and fact-finding, the design of fact-finding processes, and the use of scientific evidence in legal proceedings. His writings also explore the substantive topics of risk assessment, risk management, and scientific uncertainty. In addition, he designs computer software for capturing legal knowledge and modeling legal reasoning, and he explores ways to use logical analysis and artificial intelligence in his teaching.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Studying Hydrogen in Different Environments

Photo courtesy of thinkstock.com.

Nanette M. Wachter, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry


ost of us know someone who has had an MRI scan, or we have undergone the diagnostic procedure ourselves. MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, is a technique used by health professionals to acquire internal images of a patient without contrast agents or ionizing radiation. This noninvasive medical technique was developed in the early 1970s when scientists realized that a spectroscopic technique discovered in the mid-1940s, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, could be applied to the analysis of tissues


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and tumors. Chemists and physicists employ NMR spectroscopy to characterize molecular structure and probe chemical dynamics. How does magnetic resonance enable a chemist to visualize a molecule and a physician to diagnose a tumor? Both techniques use electromagnetic radiation in the radio frequency range to perturb nuclear spin. The subatomic particles of nuclei, protons and neutrons (collectively known as nucleons), produce a total angular momentum referred to as the nuclear spin. The most abundant element, hydrogen, has

one proton in its nucleus and, except for its heavier isotopes (i.e., deuterium and tritium), no neutrons. Because it has an odd number of protons and no neutrons, a hydrogen nucleus has a spin that is easier to study than those of some other elements. A spinning particle is associated with a magnetic moment, that is, it behaves like a magnet and can be affected by a magnetic field. Nearly all organic and biological molecules contain hydrogen atoms. Since the hydrogen nucleus (which is a proton) possesses a magnetic moment, it can be observed by placing it in a magnetic field.

When hydrogen is placed in a magnetic field, the field imposes a torque on the nuclear magnetic moment so that its spinning nucleus rotates, or precesses, about the applied magnetic field.1

to change its spin state (direction of precession). The absorption of energy is termed resonance, and so the technique is called nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR.

The rate of precession depends on the type of nucleus (i.e., the number of nucleons) and on the magnetic field strength. It is often helpful to use vectors to demonstrate the direction of the magnetization with respect to the direction of the applied magnetic field (Figure 1). Hydrogen nuclei can precess in one of two directions, clockwise or counterclockwise, relative to an applied static magnetic field. Nuclei spinning clockwise (the alpha spin state) will act like little magnets and produce a bulk magnetization (M) aligned with the magnetic field. The direction of magnetization of those spinning counterclockwise (the beta spin state) will be opposed to the applied magnetic field and have higher energy than those aligned with the field. If energy is supplied that matches the difference between the energies of the two spin states, a quantum of energy will be absorbed and cause the nucleus

How do chemists acquire structural information about molecules from NMR? NMR can be used to identify the connections of atoms in molecules because variations in the electronic environments of protons, such as the types of elements bonded to the hydrogen, affect the precessional frequencies of the nuclei. This phenomenon causes a shift in the frequency of the proton with respect to a reference and is referred to as the signal’s chemical shift. The resonant frequencies for hydrogen nuclei, however, are dependent on the strength of the applied magnetic field as well as the molecular environment of the proton. In order to compare NMR signals acquired on different NMR spectrometers, the frequencies are reported relative to the strength of the magnet used. Modern superconducting magnets typically employ field strengths ranging from 2,100 to 14,100

“ When hydrogen is placed in a magnetic field, the field imposes a torque on the nuclear magnetic moment so that its spinning nucleus rotates, or precesses, about the applied magnetic field.’’

Figure 1. Precession of nuclear magnetization, M. Ma represents the magnetization produced by population of nuclei with a-spin state, while Mß represents the magnetization produced by population of nuclei with ß-spin state.

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Figure 2. Ball-and-stick models of phenol, 2’-hydroxyacetophenone (2HA) and 4’-hydroxyacetophenone (4HA), respectively. Gray spheres represent carbon atoms, red spheres represent oxygen, and white spheres represent hydrogen.

gauss (7-14.1 tesla), which corresponds to proton resonant frequencies of 300 MHz to 600 MHz. By convention, chemists report proton frequencies as a ratio of the signal’s chemical shift (in hertz) relative to the strength of the magnet (in megahertz) as parts per million. The NMR signals for hydrogen in organic molecules typically appear between 0 and 12 ppm, regardless of the strength of the magnet used. The region of the NMR spectrum closer to 0 ppm is referred to as “upfield,” while signals with higher chemical shift values are said to be “downfield.” NMR as a tool for probing resonanceassisted hydrogen bonds. The threedimensional structure of many biological molecules is dependent on hydrogen bonding interactions; for example, alpha helices and beta sheets in a protein’s tertiary structure or base-pairing in the DNA double helix. In much smaller molecules, the formation of inter- or intramolecular hydrogen bonds also has pronounced effects on their physical properties and reactivity. Regardless of the size of the molecule, intramolecular hydrogen bonds can form only if the molecular configuration can adopt conformations


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that allow the hydrogen bond donor group (typically an O-H or N-H substituent) to approach an acceptor atom on the molecule, such as another oxygen or nitrogen atom. Let’s consider three organic compounds capable of forming hydrogen bonds: phenol, 2’-hydroxyacetophenone (2HA) and 4’-hydroxyacetophenone (4HA), shown as ball-and-stick molecular models in Figure 2. All three compounds have hydroxyl (O-H) groups and can therefore form intermolecular hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl group on one molecule and an oxygen atom on another molecule. Only 2HA, however, is capable of forming an intramolecular hydrogen bond between the hydroxyl group and the oxygen on the carbonyl (C=O) group attached to the benzene ring (Figure 3). NMR analysis of dilute chloroform solutions of each compound shows distinctly different signals for the hydroxyl protons. At room temperature, the chemical shift for the hydrogen attached to the oxygen of phenol appears at 4.8 ppm, while that of 4HA appears at 7.7 ppm, and the signal

for the hydroxyl hydrogen in 2HA appears much further downfield at 12.2 ppm! What do these drastic differences in chemical shift imply? As noted earlier, hydrogen chemical shifts typically fall between 0 and 12 ppm, although values below 0 and above 12 ppm are not uncommon. The electrical environment of the nucleus is dependent on the molecular framework (i.e., the connectivity of the elements) and on the types of chemical bonds involved. Changes in the number of electrons near the nucleus alter the effective magnetic field felt by the proton. Signals closer to 0 ppm indicate that hydrogen experiences more electronic shielding from the magnetic field, while protons that give rise to NMR signals further downfield are said to be deshielded and encounter stronger effective magnetic fields. The large chemical shift observed for 2HA’s hydroxyl proton’s signal is partly attributed to weakening of the O-H bond by the proximal oxygen of the carbonyl (C=O) group. Let’s back up a moment and examine an even simpler molecule, water. Small amounts of water in chloroform (a typical nonpolar organic solvent)

produce a signal at 1.5 ppm for the hydrogen nuclei of water. The signal is therefore upfield of even the hydroxyl proton of phenol. In the water molecule, the oxygen atom is surrounded by two hydrogen atoms (H-O-H). Phenol, on the other hand, has a benzene ring attached to its oxygen atom. The benzene ring is made up of carbon

atoms that have loosely held electrons hovering above and below the plane of the ring like two doughnuts (Figure 4). The electron network outside the plane of the molecule occupies pi bonds. When an oxygen atom is attached to benzene, it can push its electrons into the pi bonds of the ring. Oxygen,

Figure 3. Representations of intermolecular hydrogen bonding in phenol (3a), and intramolecular hydrogen bond formation in 2HA (3b).

Figure 4. Delocalization of pi electrons above and below the plane of the benzene ring.

therefore, becomes less basic, or, another way of looking at it, more acidic (i.e., better at donating a proton). As a result, the hydrogen of a hydroxyl group on a benzene ring is more easily dissociated from the oxygen. Interactions with oxygen atoms on other phenol molecules in solution, and even with the chlorinated solvent, weaken the O-H bond so that the hydrogen nucleus experiences less electronic shielding and appears further downfield. These weak intermolecular interactions are dependent on the chemical environment and temperature.2 If the solvent used to prepare the solution has a hydrogen bond acceptor atom (e.g., oxygen or nitrogen), then solute-solvent hydrogen bonds will compete with solute-solute hydrogen bonding. Variations in the number and types of intermolecular hydrogen bonds cause the signal to broaden. Since the solvent we are using in the current example, chloroform, does not contain oxygen or nitrogen atoms, it is not expected to compete with solute hydrogen bonding interactions. Temperature, however, can have a pronounced effect on molecular dynamics. The energy of a system is dependent on the temperature of its environment. Lowering the temperature of the system slows molecular motion and, consequently, enhances hydrogen bond interactions. As a result, the bond between the proton and hydrogen bond donor atom is weakened, and the chemical shift of the proton moves further downfield as the temperature is decreased. Chemical shifts that show little dependency on temperature variations imply that the hydrogen associated with that signal has less sensitivity to conformational or environmental changes.3 On the other hand, strong temperature dependence reflects a proton’s susceptibility to alterations in the molecule’s environment.

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Figure 5. Plots of hydroxyl proton chemical shift versus temperature (Kelvin) for chloroform solutions of 2HA.

Imagine you are on a boat at sea. If you’re on a large cruise ship, you are less likely to be aware of the fluctuating conditions at sea. However, if you’re in a 20-foot sailboat, you’re much more susceptible to environmental factors. The cruise ship model applies to hydrogen in less polarized bonds, such as a carbon-hydrogen bond, while the sailor represents hydrogen in a more polarized O-H or N-H bond. By varying the temperature (i.e., weather conditions), we can explore the susceptibility of the hydrogen to external factors. NMR investigations of dilute chloroform solutions of 2HA and 4HA at temperatures ranging from +50 C to -50 C reveal that the chemical shift for the hydroxyl proton in both compounds moves downfield (higher chemical shift values) as the temperature is decreased. This suggests that the hydrogen, or rather, the proton (the hydrogen without


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its electron), is moving away from the oxygen. Some other species with electrons must be attracting the proton; otherwise, why would the positive charge move away from the relatively electron-rich environment the oxygen provides? If we plot the chemical shift with respect to temperature, it is immediately apparent that the inverse relationship between chemical shift and temperature is linear. The graph shown in Figure 5 illustrates the relationship between the hydroxyl proton’s chemical shift and temperature for chloroform solutions of 2HA. Although a linear inverse relationship between chemical shift and temperature is observed for both 2HA and 4HA, the slopes of the lines for each graph are quite different. The magnitude of the slope for the dilute chloroform solution of 4HA is much steeper (-30 ppb/C) than the slope observed for the chloroform solution of 2HA (-1.9 ppb/C).4

It should be noted that the large temperature dependency for the chemical shift of the hydroxyl proton in chloroform solutions of 4HA is sensitive to the concentration of the solution. At high concentrations (five times greater), the slope’s magnitude is reduced to -20 ppb/C. When similar concentrations of 4HA are prepared in a more polar solvent (acetone) that is capable of hydrogen bonding with 4HA, the slope decreases to -8 ppb/C and there is little sensitivity to concentration changes. The significantly small magnitude of the slope for the plot of the 2HA’s hydroxyl proton’s chemical shift versus temperature suggests that the hydrogen is much less sensitive to environmental changes. Moreover, the chemical shift is not concentration dependent and the slope does not vary with increasing concentration. These observations lead us to conclude that the hydrogen is

involved in a more stable hydrogen bond than 4HA’s hydroxyl proton (recall the cruise ship). As noted earlier, 2HA can form an intramolecular hydrogen bond with the carbonyl oxygen adjacent to the benzene ring. Earlier we saw that the oxygen in phenol can push its electron density into the pi bonds of the aromatic ring. The carbonyl group also contains pi electrons. However, in the carbonyl group the pi electrons delocalize from the carbonyl carbon to the oxygen, and since the carbonyl carbon is directly attached to the benzene ring, the pi electrons from the benzene ring can move out of the ring, or delocalize, toward the carbonyl group. Electron delocalization is referred to as “resonance.” This is unfortunate, as it is the same terminology used to describe the energy flow when nuclei transition between spin states. On the one hand, we’re observing energy frequencies necessary to excite nuclei. In the extended pi bonded systems, we are trying to describe the electronic structure and properties of the loosely held network of electrons outside the

plane of the molecule. Organic chemists typically use multiple structures, referred to as resonance contributing structures, to represent electron delocalization. Figure 6 depicts resonance structures for 2HA. The resonance structures help us conceptualize why the hydroxyl proton in 2HA is so far downfield (further removed from the hydroxyl oxygen and more exposed to the magnetic field), and why it shows much less sensitivity to temperature variations. 4HA has to seek out other molecules to form intermolecular hydrogen bonds. 2HA, conversely, has a hydrogen bond acceptor (the C=O oxygen) suitably located near the donor O-H group. Moreover, the basicity (anionic character) of the acceptor oxygen is enhanced by electron delocalization (resonance) from the pi system of the adjacent benzene ring. Resonanceassisted hydrogen bonding (RAHB) applies to systems in which electron delocalization is responsible for decreasing the electron density of the donor and increasing the anionic character of the acceptor.5

“ Organic chemists typically use multiple structures, referred to as resonance contributing structures, to represent electron delocalization.’’

Figure 6. Resonance forms of 2HA depicting charge localization due to delocalization of pi and unshared electrons.

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Figure 7. Resonance structures for DMAHC depicting variations in electronic structure and charge distribution.

In my laboratory, we are exploring the relationship between hydrogen bonding and electron delocalization by developing more extensively conjugated compounds capable of forming intramolecular hydrogen bonds. One of the compounds we have synthesized, 4-N,N-dimethylamino-2’hydroxychalcone (DMAHC, Figure 7), is a donor-acceptor system similar to 2HA but with a more extensive pi bond network. Additionally, there is a nitrogen atom attached to the second benzene ring on DMAHC. Nitrogen is better than oxygen at contributing electron density to an adjacent pi system (i.e., the benzene ring). As depicted in Figure 7, electron density from nitrogen donated into the ring is further “pushed” along the carbon chain to the carbonyl oxygen (the hydrogen acceptor atom). Empirically, electron delocalization can be observed by the human eye as well as NMR. DMAHC is much more colorful than most organic molecules. Colorful


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molecules have loosely held electrons. NMR analysis of DMAHC reveals that the chemical shift for the hydroxyl proton of DMAHC is even further downfield than that observed for 2HA, and in chloroform solutions appears at 13.3 ppm at room temperature.6 Perhaps of more significance, the signal for the hydroxyl proton in acetone solutions of DMAHC is found even further downfield, 13.5 ppm at ambient temperature. While acetone is capable of hydrogen bonding with the hydroxyl proton, there is no evidence that the solvent is interfering with intramolecular hydrogen bonding in DMAHC. In fact, it appears as if the polar solvent actually enhances intramolecular hydrogen bonding by stabilizing polarization in the molecule. Computational investigations of the electronic character performed by other researchers support the growing contribution of the zwitterionic form of the molecule.7

Why is it important to explore the contribution of hydrogen bonding to electron delocalization? Purine and pyrimidine rings found in DNA also contain conjugated pi electron networks with hydrogen bond donor and acceptor groups. The stability of the DNA double helix is attributed to hydrogen bond interactions between purine and pyrimidine bases, and stacking interactions between the adjacent base pairs.8 RAHB between the N-H donors and the oxygen or nitrogen acceptors of the purine and pyrimidine bases enhance polarization of the conjugated ring systems and may also contribute to base stacking electrostatic interactions important for the thermal stability of DNA. Since biological molecules exist in aqueous environments in living systems, it is important that we study hydrogen bond dynamics in solution.

Footnotes 1

Claridge, Timothy D. W. (2009). High-Resolution NMR Techniques in Organic Chemistry, 2nd ed. Oxford: Elsevier, Ltd.


Schneider, W. G., Bernstein, H. J. and Pople, J. A. (1958). Proton Magnetic Resonance Chemical Shift of Free and Associated Hydride Molecules. J. Chemical Physics, 28(4), 601-7.


Gung, B. W., MacKay, J.A., and Zhu, Z. (1999). J. Organic Chemistry, 64, 700-6.


Wachter, N. M. (2009). VT NMR Investigations of Hydrogen Bonding in Phenolic Systems. 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Nanette M. Wachter


Jeffrey, G. A. (1997). An Introduction to Hydrogen Bonding. New York: Oxford University Press.


Wachter-Jurcsak, N., and Detmer, C. A. (1999). 1H NMR Investigations of Resonance-Assisted Hydrogen Bonding in 4-(Dimethylamino)-2’hydroxychalcone. Organic Letters, 1(5), 795-8.


Garcia-Viloca, M., Gonzalez-Lafont, A., and Lluch, J. M. (2001). The 1H NMR chemical shift for the hydroxyl proton of 4-(dimethylamino)-2’hydroxychalcone in chloroform: A theoretical approach to its inverse dependence on the temperature. Organic Letters, 3(4), 589-592.


(a) Yakovchuk, P., Protozanova, E., and Frank-Kamenetskii, M.D. (2006). Base-stacking and base-pairing contributions into the thermal stability of the DNA double helix. Nucleic Acids Res., 34(2), 564-574. (b) Bloomfield, V. A., Crothers, D. M., Tinoco, I. (2000). Nucleic Acids: Structure, Properties and Function, Sausalito, CA: University Science Books. (c) Hobza, P., and Sandorfy, C. (1987). Non-empirical calculations on all 29 DNA base pairs. J. American Chemical Society, 109, 1302-7.

Nanette M. Wachter is an associate professor in the Chemistry Department at Hofstra University. She also directs Hofstra University’s Summer Science Research Program (HUSSRP). Dr. Wachter is an organic chemist and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut in 1995. Her dissertation research involved the design of reactive organolithium species for the synthesis of more complex polycyclic molecules. Since joining the Hofstra faculty, Dr. Wachter has mentored scores of undergraduate students in research projects. For three years she served as a counselor on the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national intercollegiate organization promoting high-quality student-faculty research activities. Dr. Wachter has been actively involved in the American Chemical Society, having served as chair of the Long Island subsection of that organization and as a member of the New York section’s committee on undergraduate research. She has received support from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation and Merck/AAAS. She also was co-principal investigator on an NSF Major Research Instrument grant. In 2000 Dr. Wachter began laying the groundwork for HUSSRP, a summer program that places science-oriented high school students with Hofstra faculty mentors. In eight years, the program has produced 16 Intel semifinalists. For the past two summers, HUSSRP has received support from National Grid to promote research in energy sustainability and areas of environmental concern. As a graduate student, Nanette Wachter used NMR spectroscopy to structurally characterize the compounds she synthesized. Her more recent interest in intramolecular hydrogen bonds arose when she synthesized a surprisingly colorful yet relatively simple molecule in her laboratory at Hofstra. According to Professor Wachter, “Its color was so brash and gaudy, it just screamed for attention.”

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New Cassel’s new athletic shoe store, Worthy NYC: 8821 Prospect Avenue Source: Town of North Hempstead

Against Formidable Odds: Community Revitalization in New Cassel, New York Source: Town of Hempstead

Mary Ann Allison, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations


he unincorporated hamlet of New Cassel, New York, located in the Town of North Hempstead, is less than five miles from the center of the Hofstra University campus. Yet when I ask students in my classes – many who grew up on Long Island – very few know of, or have visited, this small community. The same is true for many Long Islanders and even some government officials. Those who do know of New Cassel often know only what is most often reported in the press: crime and corruption.


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While there is crime and corruption in New Cassel, this is not the only story. Between 1998 and 2008, against odds that were formidable even before the recent recession, a powerful government-community partnership raised more than $100,000 to support a series of ongoing revitalization projects.

The Hamlet of New Cassel One of Long Island’s oldest African American villages, New Cassel was first settled as a farming community by former slaves, who had been freed in

the mid-1700s by Quakers. Historically a predominantly African American community, New Cassel became home to an increasing number of Latino and Haitian residents in the latter half of the 20th century. By the 2000 U.S. Census, 47 percent of the community’s roughly 13,000 residents self-identified as Black/African American; 32 percent as white; and the remaining 21 percent as other races or mixed race. New Cassel had the highest concentration (41 percent) of Latino/Hispanic population of any community in Nassau County.

The Challenge At the turn of the 21st century, New Cassel suffered from a lack of affordable housing, no downtown center, environmental contamination, overcrowded and illegal housing, and community despair and discord. Residents, government officials, and nonprofit leaders cite a number of complex factors that may have interacted to precipitate a need for revitalization, including:

v The Town of North Hempstead’s conscious or unconscious designation of New Cassel as a marginal area, which it therefore neglected during much of the 20th century. v The effects of race, gender, and class segregation and discrimination in housing, education, employment, and access to resources. v The lack of a regional development plan that adequately responded to the changing and diverse needs of all Long Islanders. Ten years later, the picture was changing significantly. Community members had been mobilized, a vision for the community’s future had been developed, and a committed government team was actively implementing the community’s plan.


Initial Successes At the end of 2008, many New Cassel residents felt their community was both cleaner and safer than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. Residents noted with delight the construction of seven (soon to be nine) new buildings in downtown New Cassel. The pictures on page 20 show the transition of the site that is now called the Gateway to New Cassel.


1. New Cassel, New York 2. New Cassel situated in New York state Sources: 1. U.S. Census (2000) 2. Wikipedia Commons

As it entered 2009, the community was looking forward to more affordable housing and a new park; a bank, full-service grocery store, and pharmacy (among other new and expanded businesses); and a new community center. To support the safe, attractive, and “walkable” downtown

center called for in the vision plan, a streetscaping program was scheduled for 2010. Some elements of the rebirth – such as the summer youth programs and community participation in planning processes – were not as visible as buildings, but were equally important to the community’s health.

Studying Community Revitalization I am interested in understanding what sustains or, when necessary, revitalizes communities and the ways in which groups of people – whether in government, community organizations, or business – can address complex problems in a sustainable way. Community revitalization is rare, complex ... and never finished. We should celebrate New Cassel’s initial successes and continuing progress. At the same time, it is important to study the process carefully so that we understand what happened. For example, one of the key factors in New Cassel’s success was a community visioning process in which more than 800 community residents came together to create a plan for what they hoped would be the community’s future. At the press conference to announce the results of the first New Cassel case study, it was heartbreaking to hear questions from a community group based in the nearby community of Roosevelt. Roosevelt shares many characteristics with New Cassel and had hosted a visioning process that took place earlier than the one in New Cassel. “Why,” they wanted to know, “had New Cassel been more successful than Roosevelt?” There is no simple answer to this question. This is why research into community revitalization is so important.

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1. 2.


Gateway to New Cassel: 701 Prospect Avenue 1. The area before construction. 2. Construction as of August 2008. The plaza includes room for a large Christmas tree, which is the centerpiece of a longstanding community tradition. 3. The Gateway in September 2010. All of the apartments are rented. The retail space is not yet fully occupied. Sources: 1. 2. Nassau County Office of Economic Development 3. Catherine Stutts

Case studies of this type are most useful when they continue over decades. Revitalization takes a long time, and the best of plans are disrupted by many things, including, for example, swings in the economy; changes in government, laws, and funding; and new residents with different ideas. Once we have documented an accomplishment such as a new building – one that has ground-floor retail space and affordable housing rentals above it, for instance – we will want to know who moves in. What types of


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businesses lease space? Do they serve the locals and bring in new business from neighboring communities? Who rents the apartments? How do the new and traditional residents mix? Do residents and business owners take pride in the new streetscape with broad sidewalks, planters, and benches? How do people rate the quality of life overall in New Cassel? Fifteen years from now, it will be important to look at how well the buildings and streets are maintained and the longer-term success of residents and the community as a whole.

I am the principal investigator for this research, which is conducted under the auspices of The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University® and which will, I hope, continue for at least the next two decades. Phase 1 was commissioned by Sustainable Long Island, an organization that acted as a catalyst and facilitator in the early days of this renewal process. The results of the first phase of this research are documented in a monograph that is available online at hofstra.edu/Academics/CSS/ncss_ newcassel.html.

Phase 1 Research Results

“ In New Cassel during this decade, we saw evidence of some excellent processes and teamwork.’’

Phase 2 research began this summer; it is presently funded in part by Hofstra University’s School of Communication and is in part self-funded.

Student Researchers I take great pleasure in involving students in this research whenever possible. While they are learning, students can provide information that is useful to community organizers. As part of New Cassel research, students have visited government offices to study voting records, analyzed Census information, created surveys and interview templates, conducted online research, and accompanied me during site visits and interviews.

In addition to documenting the results, Phase 1 research focused on what lay behind the successes and the remaining challenges. Community activists have been investing significant time and energy for years. The decade of 1998 to 2008 was far from the first time that New Cassel had been promised renewal by government officials.

What Made It Work This Time? Mobilizing a community and its government is hard work. In the late 1990s, Reverend Patrick Duggan, then executive director of Sustainable Long Island, and Bishop (then Reverend) Lionel Harvey, chairman of the local community group, the Unified New Cassel Revitalization Corporation (UNCCRC), formed a coalition. They helped to create the conditions under which discouraged and divided community residents could come together and form an organization with a unified agenda that represented everyone in New Cassel. They met with church and civic leaders, business owners, the superintendent of schools, and Town of North Hempstead officials and commissioners – more than 500 meetings in all. They made presentations at church services, in schools, at meetings in homes, and for individuals and families. Although there was some small resistance from discouraged residents, one member of the organizing team remembers that “much of the resistance came from the community leaders ... who felt that they had already done this. Why are you trying to do it again?” In 2002, after four years of community outreach, education, and organization, more than 800 community residents

and stakeholders, through a facilitated community participation process, developed a comprehensive vision plan describing their hopes for New Cassel. Formally adopted by the Town of North Hempstead in 2003, this plan has helped a committed multilevel government partnership raise more than $100 million in public and private funding and continues to guide the ongoing renewal work. Some of the elements that enabled New Cassel’s recent successes include the strong support of civic and faith-based groups, the outstanding government teams working on behalf of the community, the presence of existing infrastructure such as sewers (not the case for some other communities on Long Island), the Town of North Hempstead’s ownership of many development sites, and significant attention to brownfields and underused lots (with considerable work remaining).

What Else Did We Learn? Despite the “odds” – the prior failures and complex, constantly-changing challenges – success is clearly possible in some situations. In New Cassel during this decade, we saw evidence of some excellent processes and teamwork. We learned that: v Formal community participation fuels energy and optimism as well as government revitalization processes. It also helps to ensure that suburban renewal initiatives actually address community wants and needs. v Government partnerships can work to the benefit of communities. Town of North Hempstead, the town’s Community Development Agency, Nassau County, New York state, and federal agencies all worked together

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to benefit New Cassel. Partnerships of this type work only when officials are strongly motivated. v A third-party organization with expertise in participatory planning and community asset building, such as Sustainable Long Island, can be useful in bringing diverse community members and government officials together in ways that can sustain long-term development. v A strong mandate from the community is one of the keys to successful fundraising. Both the New Cassel Vision Plan and the formal legal partnership between the community and the Town of North Hempstead were important. v As in other areas of the United States, a faith-based approach, involving the participation of multiple religious organizations, can be effective in mobilizing communities even – and perhaps,

especially – where there is a history of discrimination and neglect. v A n effective block captain program can serve as an effective communication system and mobilize resident participation. v Community organizations can take responsibility for achieving goals, not simply representing a community. By sponsoring block captain and summer youth programs, New Cassel’s community group (UNCCRC) has demonstrated its ability to provide services on its own as well as in concert with others. v The willingness of businesses to invest in communities makes a crucial difference. After discussions with Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Neptune RTS, an electric transmission business newly locating in the industrial area of New Cassel in 2005, committed $10 million to support the development of the

hoped-for community center. While not sufficient to cover the whole project, this contribution provided the foundation for the center. Because every revitalization situation is different, and the situation in New Cassel itself changes over time, no single “cookie-cutter” plan will be effective. Each situation should be carefully considered before assuming these lessons apply.

Continuing Obstacles Of course, the process was not without difficulties. These include the improprieties exhibited by some government officials; construction and financial problems experienced by property developers; contention over the appropriateness of union labor; racial discord; and disagreements within the community and among the organizations working to support the revitalization.

More than 800 people participated in the community vision charette, July 2002. Source: Sustainable Long Island


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Outstanding challenges include: v Development and revitalization processes are long and slow. It is challenging for both the government and for civic organizations to sustain both funding and community participation. v Throughout Long Island – and common to many renewal projects around the world – builders, nonprofits, and community stakeholders often complain about the time and costs of bringing a construction project from conception to the start of construction. v Awarding multiple projects to a single real estate developer in a revitalization project of this size increases the level of risk, especially in economic downturns. v There are genuine conflicts in the New Cassel community. Political power counts and is uneven in the community. Change always generates opposition, and the struggle to confront and address conflict can be viewed as an important part of the development process. v Jobs, job training, and union involvement in construction projects are big, complex, and systemic issues. v The term affordable housing has many different meanings. Local government officials and residents are aware that federal definitions do not address the needs of all New Cassel residents. A review of other revitalization initiatives indicates that efforts in New Cassel face obstacles that are not just local in nature: longstanding patterns of privilege and discrimination; onerous government bureaucratic processes; and lack of sufficient

funding for affordable housing, public transportation, education, and other elements of suburban revitalization. It is important that local measures are complemented with efforts at the national and global levels.

Phase 2 Research: Hope and Anger In the two years since the monograph describing the Phase 1 research was published, progress has continued: the promised streetscaping is in progress, a request for proposals has been issued for the community center, and there are residential and retail occupants in two of the new buildings. Apex II, developed by the Anna and Philip Kimmel Foundation, provides creative senior citizen housing. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity and United Way of Long Island, UNCCRC, New Cassel’s community revitalization organization, has purchased five individual houses for rehabilitation. The community group has also diversified its board of directors.

In addition, the streetscaping construction on Prospect Avenue is annoying, as such construction always is, even if the results will be wonderful. Some new members of the community who did not participate in the visioning that took place eight years ago question the original plan to give up two traffic lanes in order to add broad sidewalks with outdoor seating and community art and to promote traffic calming, thereby making the community safer for pedestrians. It is worth repeating here that staying power and political will are key to medium- and long-term revitalization success. Town of North Hempstead

On the other hand, progress has been slowed by economic recession, additional revelations of government corruption, and changes in elected officials. When interviews began again in summer 2010, New Cassel community members reported a mixture of hope and anger. The new headlines (July 22, 2010) describing the arrest of additional government officials directly involved in the New Cassel revitalization project dismayed and angered residents. Boarded-up and empty retail and residential sites are a daily reminder of what many see as yet another in a long line of betrayals.

Empty retail and residential sites on Prospect Avenue, September 2010. Source: Catherine Stutts.

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Pettus, K. (2010). Interview. Santamaria, J. (2010). Interview. Tate, S. (2008). Interview. Thompson, C. (2010). Interview. WABC Local News. (2010, July 22). Arrests in Nassau Co. corruption, bribery case. Retrieved July 23, 2010, from http://abclocal.go.com/ wabc/story?section=news/ local&id=7569646 Waddell, S. (2005). Societal learning and change: How governments, business and civil society are creating solutions to complex multistakeholder problems. Sheffeld, UK: Greenleaf Publishing Ltd.


Streetscaping construction on Prospect Avenue, September 2010. Source: Town of North Hempstead

Supervisor Jon Kaiman understands it is difficult to see “that we are almost there. When people look at boarded-up buildings, it is hard to see that 80 percent of the work is complete and that New Cassel will soon be transformed.” The grand opening of New Cassel’s new athletic shoe store three months ago is a concrete example of progress. Joseph Santamaria, Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency, explains: “We are addressing business retention and expansion as well as attracting new and diverse businesses. This shoe store is different from the other establishments in New Cassel because it is selling ‘big brands.’ This helps connect New Cassel to the global economy.”


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When Phase 2 research is published in 2011, I hope to report, among other things, that a widely anticipated, much larger supermarket has indeed opened, that winners of the upcoming lottery for affordable apartments in two more of the new buildings have moved in, and that there is visible progress on the community center.

References Allison, M. (2009). Community Revitalization in New Cassel, New York. Hempstead, NY: The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University®. Brown, A. (2010). Interview. Kaiman, J. (2010). Interview. Levine, M. (2010). Interview.

This research is conducted at The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University® (NCSS), a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to promoting objective, academically rigorous study of suburbia’s problems, as well as its promise. The tasks of identifying, analyzing, and solving the problems of suburbia are essential to the health of the county – and central to the mission of the NCSS. I am grateful to Lawrence C. Levy, executive dean of the NCSS, and Christopher Niedt, academic director, for their commitment to reporting positive and negative – but always useful – results. Phase 1 of this study was commissioned by Sustainable Long Island, whose mission is to promote economic development, environmental health, and equity for all Long Islanders, now and for generations to come. Sustainable Long Island is a catalyst and facilitator for sustainable development: cultivating the

conditions, identifying resources, and providing tools to make sustainable development happen on Long Island. In addition to funding, Sarah Lansdale, executive director, and her staff volunteered insights and lessons learned, which significantly enhanced the value of this research. Catherine Stutts, a historic preservationist and community planner,

is assisting with Phase 2 research. At a time when communication has never been more central to the overall functioning of society, and the forms of communication are increasing and evolving with unprecedented speed, Hofstra University’s School of Communication brings together students and faculty with different backgrounds, interests, and disciplines who share a common passion for the

art and science of communication. My thanks to Evan Cornog, dean of the School of Communication, and Cliff Jernigan, associate dean, who are steadfast in their support of scholarly and creative research, for funding portions of this project.

Mary Ann Allison is an interdisciplinary scholar at Hofstra University who uses media theory, sociology, and complex systems theory to study the ways in which individuals, communities, and institutions are changing. Dr. Allison teaches a series of courses in media studies, including media theory, research, and mass media in contemporary society. With a special interest in fostering research at the undergraduate level, she develops assignments that harness student work to address real-world problems and supervises independent study courses and honors theses. In addition to teaching media studies in the School of Communication, she conducts research for The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University® and the Urban Communication Foundation. Mary Ann Allison

Her study of social evolution received the Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology. An author, researcher, lecturer, and consultant on societal and community evolution and the application of complexity science to group effectiveness, Dr. Allison co-wrote The Complexity Advantage: How the Science of Complexity Can Help Your Business Achieve Peak Performance (McGraw-Hill, 1999), which The Wall Street Journal described as follows: “Anyone who grasps the concepts in The Complexity Advantage will have the power to change a business in startling ways. ... These are big ideas.” Outside academia, Dr. Allison’s experience includes internal and external management, strategic planning, and product development and delivery. She was with Citibank for 16 years, where she worked with emerging technologies on a global basis. Her first book, Through the Valley of Death (Doubleday, 1983), is a murder mystery co-written with her husband, Eric Allison. She is listed in Who’s Who and is a New York City artist in residence for poetry.

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Figure 1

Hofstra Educator Brings Art Therapy for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease to the World Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education and Rehabilitation


here were neurologists from Italy, allied health professionals from France and Russia, scientists from Taiwan, researchers from Scotland, medical sales representatives from Australia, Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers from the United States, and the list goes on. This is a small example of the attendees at the Second World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, September 28-October 1, 2010. It was an opportunity for the world to come together and learn from each other about the diagnosis, treatment, and how to live with


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Parkinson’s disease (PD). The common goal was to address and enhance the quality of life for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to find a cure. Among the many presentations was research initiated within the Hofstra University community. Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, a faculty member in the Counseling, Research, Special Education and Rehabilitation Department’s Creative Arts Therapy program, was an invited featured speaker. She was asked to discuss her work in bringing art therapy to

Parkinson’s patients. In addition to the honor of a formal presentation, she was invited to present two additional sessions that included a hands-on experiential. Clinicians, caregivers, and those diagnosed with PD engaged in a clay manipulation experience. There were attendees from Scotland, Scandinavia, Italy, France and the United States, to name a few. Even though one might think language would be an obstacle, the created clay project brought everyone together with the power of nonverbal communication. Attendees shared what they made, and everyone enjoyed the outcomes.

Figure 1: Examples of clay products created by those with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers who attended the clay manipulation workshop at the World Parkinson Congress, Glasgow, Scotland. Figure 1

One woman diagnosed with PD entered the workshop dyskinetic, having trouble managing her total body movements. Once engaged in the clay manipulations, she became more relaxed and her involuntary movements lessened. After working quietly throughout the workshop, she shared her objects: a basket, a snail and a baby in a bassinet. She told a story about when she worked at a nursery and was the caregiver for many infants. She became verbal and smiled while telling her story. In the end, she said she really enjoyed the clay experience; when she left, she demonstrated better control of her body, and her involuntary movements had noticeably subsided. After the clay manipulation workshop, three clinicians from Slovenia approached Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff. They were interested in speaking with her about the profession of art therapy, specifically her work with PD patients. They shared that art therapy is not a profession in their country; in fact, they do not have any art therapy programs. They were excited to be introduced to art therapy, and the power of engaging in the creative process. They wanted to discuss ideas of bringing art therapy into their facility – to be the first to offer art therapy in Slovenia. After

Figure 1

about 45 minutes of conversation, they exchanged contact information, and now they have a connection to art therapy, and an art therapist from Hofstra University, as they move forward with the development of their program. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff’s experience at the World Parkinson Congress gave her the opportunity not only to present her research and introduce a clay manipulation experience, but also to share with the world what has been the central focal point of her research for the past five years. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff and her team – Dr. Robert Goldblatt, a psychologist from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; Morgan Gaydos, licensed art therapist and activities specialist at Nassau University Medical Center; and Samantha Coratto, both Hofstra Creative Arts Therapy program alumni; and Dr. Anthony Napoli, a professor at Suffolk County Community College – have developed research that addresses PD symptomology with the use of art therapy treatment. This research project introduced and encouraged people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to manipulate and be creative with modeling clay, while

the researchers were interested in monitoring any changes in their emotional and symptomatic reactions. The approach utilized a medical art therapeutic method to target the negative symptoms related to the PD diagnosis. What they sought to find was if engagement in a tactile medium, such as simple modeling clay, could have beneficial effects on the somatic dysfunction and emotional distress that usually accompany a PD diagnosis. Forty-one (41) participants volunteered; 22 volunteers were diagnosed with PD, and 19 did not have a PD diagnosis. The volunteers were first asked to complete

Figure 2: Engagement in clay manipulation by an attendee with Parkinson’s disease.

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a self-report assessment called the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) (Derogatis, 1993). This assessment consists of 53 questions used to screen the level of psychological symptoms and their intensity within a specific timeframe. The subscales of the BSI (Derogatis, 1993) assessment evaluate levels of distress in nine specific and three global areas, and include somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobia, paranoia, and psychiatric difficulty to gain a baseline of functioning in these areas. Once the BSI (Derogatis, 1993) was completed, each volunteer was presented with four balls of clay. Each ball was approximately the size of a racquetball and varied in color (red, blue, green and yellow). Since many with PD experience hand tremors and/ or a deficit in fine motor abilities, modeling clay was used as the art medium because it is easily controllable and allows individuals at all skill levels to successfully engage and create. The focus of the clay experience was to intimately engage the volunteers in the modeling clay medium. Volunteers were asked to start squeezing the ball in each hand, moving it back and forth. Once the clay was warmed up and malleable, the volunteers were asked to pull it apart into small pieces. This allowed the volunteers to become comfortable with the clay medium, while warming up both the clay and their hands. This exercise promoted the use of fine and gross motor skills. At this point, volunteers were asked to freely create an object by reintegrating the clay pieces back into a shape. The only restriction was that the new shape could not be the original ball. This was a free creation, and there was no time


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limit. In a true medical art therapy approach, the simple act of creating, or the process, is healing. This activity was the crux of the study, and took anywhere from five to 45 minutes to complete. The modeling clay activity is very engaging, and the user becomes intimately involved with the medium. Although the clay is cold when the user first holds it, once handled, it quickly becomes warmed, softer, and more malleable. As the clay is manipulated by the user, a natural connection is created. After the creative activity, a member of the research team sat with each volunteer and interviewed him/her about his/her experience with the clay. Some of the questions included why they chose the color they chose. They were asked to describe the clay manipulation experience, explain what they created, and whether they would be interested in working with clay in the future. This allowed the volunteers to freely discuss their experience while the researchers gained valuable information regarding the qualitative experience from the volunteers’ perception. After the oral interview, a post BSI (Derogatis, 1993) was administered so the results could be compared to the results of the baseline symptomology. Once the data was collected, the BSI (Derogatis, 1993) statistics were evaluated and the outcomes were reported. The created clay product was further reviewed for trends and themes. The researchers wanted to know if the participants reintegrated the entire ball of clay, or if they just used some of the pieces. They were looking to find out if the clay was easy to manipulate so the volunteers would be able to create

Figure 3

freely and easily. They wanted to look at each clay product to find out if the created object was recognizable, and how refined and defined it was. If the volunteer reported a positive experience, did it matter if the researchers couldn’t identify the final clay shape? Based on the interview, the researchers looked to see if the experience triggered an emotional response. If so, was it positive and healing, or negative and upsetting? Finally, the researchers reviewed how many of the volunteers were interested in working with clay in the future. This was important information, because the interest in continuing the experience bears a connection to the practicality of creating a long-term program to support patients with Parkinson’s disease. So what did the researchers find? Based on the BSI (Derogatis, 1993), when comparing the baseline to the post-clay experience, those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease demonstrated a greater decrease in psychological symptomology than the non-Parkinson’s volunteers. All 41 participants were able to easily manipulate the clay medium, and 36 fully integrated the clay into a shape other than a ball; the five other volunteers, while their objects were not completely reintegrated, were still able

Figure 4 Figure 3: Clay creations by an attendee with Parkinson’s disease.

Figure 4: Reintegration of the ball of clay into objects other than a ball. Figure 4

to create a shape other than a ball. Although only 30 outcomes were recognizable, every volunteer was able to identify his or her creation. All volunteers conveyed a strong emotional response to the clay manipulation experience in areas such as family, childhood experiences, a connection to nature, and personal hobbies. One of the most important pieces of information from the qualitative interview was finding out if the PD patient enjoyed the experience and would be interested in exposure to future clay manipulation. All PD volunteers reported that they enjoyed the clay experience, and the majority stated that they would be interested in becoming involved in future clay manipulation opportunities (Elkis-Abuhoff, Goldblatt, Gaydos, & Corrato, 2008). The team continued to review the quantitative outcomes of the BSI (Derogatis, 1993) and to explore how the results of the subscales could give a more defined explanation for the reduction of negative PD symptomology. The researchers set out to understand the clinical benefits of modeling clay with patients diagnosed with PD (Goldblatt, Elkis-Abuhoff, Gaydos, & Napoli, 2010). Three specific subscales stood out: obsessive-

Figure 4

compulsive thinking, phobia, and depression. It was exciting to find that these three scales were not only significantly decreased, but were reduced in symptomology to within normal adult range. What the researchers concluded was that these three scales were interrelated for those diagnosed with PD. Many PD patients find that after their diagnosis they become overwhelmed with their symptomology and tend to ruminate about their difficulties. This develops into obsessive-compulsive thinking. As this thinking continues, they begin to become fearful that they might not be able to control the changing world around them. This fear turns to phobia, and many times normal daily activities are avoided or become limited. The continuation of obsessive-compulsive thinking and the developed phobia lead patients to label themselves as handicapped or disabled, and they often become hopeless in their functioning, leading to an increase in levels of depression. However, by engaging in an art therapy, clay manipulation program, PD patients were able to use their fine/gross motor skills to intimately engage in the activity, and experience a sense of control within their environment. Clay

manipulation as a tool lies within the malleable nature, providing a soothing and relaxing sensation. The clay experience provides the patient with an opportunity, and a platform, to communicate, both verbally and nonverbally, through the giving nature of the media that accommodates their fine/gross motor difficulties. The clay manipulation can create a tactile “connection” to the world, thus giving them the sensation of regaining a “grip on the world” (Goldblatt, ElkisAbuhoff, Gaydos, & Napoli, 2010). This research project has been the focus of several national and international presentations: the American Art Therapy Association, Canadian Art Therapy Association, Society for the Arts in Healthcare, and World Parkinson Congress. The clay manipulation project has also been published nationally in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, and, in September 2010, Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. These presentations and publications have drawn attention to the outcome of the project and have motivated Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff to continue this study in a second phase of clay manipulation research.

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As part of this continuing work with the effects of clay manipulation, Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff, with the support of Hofstra University, has received an appointment as an assistant investigator at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore-LIJ Health System, in the Center for Neuroscience. This appointment, and a consultancy grant received through the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, has allowed Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff to develop a second round of research, and she is actively recruiting participants for a late winter/ early spring 2011 start. This research, Phase II, will look at the psychological and physiologic effects of manipulation of therapeutic art forms among patients with PD. This six-week program will explore the impact of clay manipulation using a medical art therapy approach. Developed as a

Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff


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group process, the goal is to explore the three specific areas of obsessivecompulsiveness, phobia, and depression, but will also assess for perceived stress levels, observable behaviors and actions of the PD patient, and their overall attention to daily living skills. This research will evaluate whether there are continued benefits over time, a six-week period, from engagement in a clay manipulation program. The researchers are hopeful that the positive outcomes observed in the original study will be maintained over time, and even have a cumulative beneficial effect. This would support the development of a community-based art therapy clay manipulation program for PD patients to help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

References Derogatis, L.R. (1993). Brief Symptom Inventory: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual (4th ed.). Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems. Elkis-Abuhoff, D. L., Goldblatt, R. B., Gaydos, M., Corrato, S. (2008). The Effects of Clay Manipulation on Somatic Dysfunction and Emotional Distress in Parkinson’s Patients. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, Volume 25, 2. Goldblatt, R. B., Elkis-Abuhoff, D. L., Gaydos, M., Napoli, A. (in press, 2010). Understanding Clinical Benefits of Modeling Clay Exploration with Patients Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice.

Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in Hofstra’s Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education and Rehabilitation, and teaches in the Creative Arts Therapy graduate program. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff holds both psychology and creative arts therapy licenses in New York state. Her research interests bring together the areas of behavioral medicine and creative arts therapy/medical art therapy. This allows her to bring diverse, up-to-date information to students. Her recent research includes the use of clay manipulation with individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and she has explored the creation of mandala drawings as an assessment tool with breast cancer patients. She and her research team have published in peerreviewed journals, and have presented to national and international audiences. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff recently returned from the World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, where she was an invited featured speaker. There she had the opportunity to introduce her clay manipulation project, and she ran two additional workshops, allowing attendees to engage in the therapeutic value of the clay manipulation process. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff’s diverse experiences include work with geriatric, psychiatric, child, adolescent and family, and medical populations. Dr. Elkis-Abuhoff is active in the local hospital community and received an appointment to the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research as adjunct faculty, assistant investigator, at the Center of Neuroscience. She is also a member of the internal review boards at both Hofstra University and South Oaks Hospital.

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Hofstra at a Glance LOCATION: Hempstead, Long Island, 25 miles east of New York City. Telephone: (516) 463-6600 FOUNDING DATE: 1935 PRESIDENT: Stuart Rabinowitz, J.D. CHARACTER: A private, nonsectarian, coeducational university ACCESSIBILITY: Hofstra is 100 percent program accessible to persons with disabilities. COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS: Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Frank G. Zarb School of Business; School of Communication; School of Education, Health and Human Services; School of Law; School for University Studies; Hofstra University Honors College; Hofstra University Continuing Education; and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University. FACULTY: There are 1,180 faculty members, of whom 544 are full-time. Ninety-one percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their fields. STUDENT BODY: Full-time undergraduate enrollment of 7,327. Total University enrollment, including part-time undergraduate, graduate and School of Law, is about 12,100. Male-female ratio is 45-to-55. DEGREES: Bachelor’s degrees are offered in about 140 program options. Graduate degrees, including Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., Au.D., M.D., and J.D., advanced certificates and professional diplomas, are offered in about 150 program options. LIBRARIES: The Hofstra libraries contain 1.2 million print volumes and provide 24/7 online access to more than 90,000 full-text journals and books. JANUARY AND SUMMER SESSIONS: Hofstra offers a January session and three summer sessions between May and August.

Trustees of Hofstra University As of December 2010 OFFICERS Marilyn B. Monter,* Chair Alan J. Bernon,* Vice Chair David S. Mack,* Vice Chair Joseph M. Gregory,* Secretary Stuart Rabinowitz, President

MEMBERS George W. Bilicic, Jr. Tejinder Bindra Robert F. Dall* Helene Fortunoff Martin B. Greenberg* Leo A. Guthart Peter S. Kalikow* Abby Kenigsberg Arthur J. Kremer Karen L. Lutz Donna M. Mendes* Janis M. Meyer* John D. Miller* Martha S. Pope James E. Quinn* Edwin C. Reed Robert D. Rosenthal* Debra A. Sandler* Thomas J. Sanzone* Peter G. Schiff Joseph Sparacio* Frank G. Zarb* DELEGATES Gregory Maney, Speaker of the Faculty William F. Nirode, Chair, University Senate Executive Committee Stuart L. Bass,* Chair, University Senate Planning and Budget Committee James Wells, President, Student Government Association Lukas Miedreich, Vice President, Student Government Association Frederick E. Davis, Jr.,* President, Alumni Organization

James M. Shuart,* President Emeritus Wilbur Breslin, Trustee Emeritus Emil V. Cianciulli,* Chair Emeritus John J. Conefry, Jr., Chair Emeritus Maurice A. Deane,* Chair Emeritus George G. Dempster,* Chair Emeritus Joseph L. Dionne,* Trustee Emeritus Bernard Fixler,* Trustee Emeritus Florence Kaufman, Trustee Emerita Walter B. Kissinger, Trustee Emeritus Ann M. Mallouk,* Chair Emerita Thomas H. O’Brien, Trustee Emeritus Arnold A. Saltzman, Trustee Emeritus Norman R. Tengstrom,* Trustee Emeritus *Hofstra alumni

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