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FALL 2020

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

ALUMNA LEADS DIVERSITY AT FACEBOOK

RITA COSBY HEADS LIU’S GLOBAL SERVICE INSTITUTE

ALUMNUS NAMED U.S. INTELLIGENCE OFFICE’S INSPECTOR GENERAL


A MESSAGE FROM

DR. KIMBERLY R. CLINE,

PRESIDENT

Dear Friends, I am pleased to share with you the Fall 2020 edition of LIU Magazine, which includes many inspiring stories of both individual triumph and collective success. In this issue you will learn more about LIU’s historic partnership with Roc Nation, a preeminent global entertainment company, as well as the Global Service Institute’s groundbreaking initiatives led by renowned broadcaster and Institute Chair Rita Cosby. Additional articles highlight alumni in leadership roles at Facebook, Interpublic Group, Wells Fargo, New Line Home Entertainment, The Wallace Foundation and more. With a global network of nearly 270,000 alumni around the world, the LIU brand grows with the success of each member in the LIU community, including students, alumni, faculty and staff. As Long Island University approaches a century since its founding in 1926, I could not be prouder of the legacy upon which we build every day. Sincerely,

Kimberly R. Cline President, Long Island University

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Fall 2020

DR. KIMBERLY R. CLINE President, Long Island University COMMUNICATIONS LAUREN MELONE SILVERBERG Chief Communications Officer LAUREN PANKRATZ Senior Creative Director RYAN KELLEY Associate Director of Communications EMPLOYER & ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT MICHAEL BERTHEL Chief of Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement DR. ANDY PERSON Chief of Strategic Planning CHARLES RASBERRY Vice President of University Advancement MOREEN MITCHELL University Director of Employer and Alumni Engagement

IN THIS ISSUE FEATURES Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment

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Rita Cosby Spearheads LIU's Global Service Institute

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Remembering Mary M. Lai

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Leading Diversity at Facebook

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Dynamic Leadership at the National Intelligence Office

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Financial Direction for the Wallace Foundation

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Heading Operations at Wells Fargo

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Made for the Movies

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Interpublic Group's Versatile Executive

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Avanti Linens' Home Run: Embellished Towels

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Alumna Co-Founds Award-Winning Language App

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT Born for the Role

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National Science Foundation Funds Dr. Cheng Zhang's Research

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Award-Winning Writer & Educator

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Decorated Professor and Aerosol Expert

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Inspiration in the Classroom

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PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT Global Students Accepted to National Research Conference

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Data Analytics Students Train at National Science Foundation

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Now Recording: Future Stars

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UNIVERSITY NEWS Entrepreneurship Fueling Student Ventures

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LIU Gala

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Forbes Features Fevola

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International Society Honors LIU Admissions

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LIU Health Professions Helps Lead COVID-19 Relief Efforts

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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Stay connected! Visit LIUalumni.com or email liualumni@liu.edu to share News and Notes or update your alumni profile, address, and/or contact information. To read LIU Magazine online, visit issuu.com/liumagazine

Student Success Stories

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Athletics

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DEPARTMENTS On The Shelf

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Newsroom

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Alumni Events

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Class Notes

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Copyright ©2020 by LIU. All rights reserved.

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ROC NATION AND LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY ESTABLISH SCHOOL TO EDUCATE THE NEXT GENERATION OF INDUSTRY CHANGEMAKERS AT LIU BROOKLYN

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oc Nation, a preeminent global entertainment company, and Long Island University have engaged in a historic collaboration to form the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment, enrolling students at LIU Brooklyn beginning Fall 2021.

The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will prepare students for a wide range of careers in performance, entrepreneurship, all aspects of music and sports business management. Students will engage with university professors, alongside visiting guest artists and lecturers, while participating in immersive internships, ensuring they graduate with both hands-on experience and a network of professional contacts. Located in JAY-Z’s hometown of Brooklyn, the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will provide Roc Nation Hope Scholarships for 25 percent of enrolled students. These scholars will graduate from the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment debt-free, and will receive individualized support and mentorship. The Roc Nation Hope Scholars will be selected from a pool of academically competitive, New York based first-time freshmen with the highest need.

Roc Nation Hope Scholarships will support a debt-free education for 25% of students enrolled in the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will offer undergraduate degrees in applied music; vocal performance; music technology, entrepreneurship & production; and sports management. "Pursuing higher education is an investment in one's future. This partnership, envisioned alongside LIU President Dr. Cline, is a true investment in our community and young people in

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Brooklyn, in New York City and beyond,” said Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation. “We're excited that the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment will provide unique insight, knowledge and experiences for students and introduce the world to the next generation of unmatched talent." “Our proximity in and around New York City’s epicenter of music and sports clearly positions us to offer unparalleled experiential learning and access to professional opportunities that will launch students to success,” said LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline. “We look forward to joining with Roc Nation to offer an unprecedented educational resource that opens up the entertainment and sports world to a new and eager generation.” The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment is accepting applicants for the Fall 2021 semester.

A B O U T R O C N AT I O N Roc Nation, founded in 2008 by JAY-Z, has grown into the world’s preeminent entertainment company. Roc Nation works in every

“After many years of working with LIU, I know how important music and sports are to both Dr. Cline and the LIU Board of Trustees, so I was thrilled to be able to partner with them for the first-ever Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment,” said Brett Yormark, Roc Nation’s President of Business Operations & Strategy. “Expansion beyond our inaugural school will certainly be considered in collaboration with Dr. Cline.”

aspect of modern entertainment, with recording artists, producers,

According to LIU Board Chairman Eric Krasnoff, “We are proud to offer students the extraordinary scholarship and learning opportunities they need to achieve their goals through this creative collaboration. It embodies Long Island University’s renown as a destination for world-class education, exceptional career development and empowering cultural initiatives.”

Bruyne and more.

songwriters and more. Roc Nation’s client list includes some of the world’s most recognizable names: from Rihanna and J. Cole to Buju Banton and Snoh Aalegra. Roc Nation is a full-service organization, supporting a diverse roster of talent via artist management, music publishing, touring, production, strategic brand development and beyond. Roc Nation Sports was founded in 2013, bringing the organization’s full-service touch to athletes across the NFL, NBA, MLB, and global soccer including Todd Gurley, Kyrie Irving, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Robinson Cano, Kevin De

In addition to the college program, the School will offer camps for aspiring students. Young talent will be developed through summer residential camps for high school students and year-round Saturday programs for ages 10–18 in music and sports management, starting in the spring of 2021. Need-based scholarships will also be available for the camps. Learn more at: liu.edu/rocnation

LIUMAGAZINE | Fall 2020

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FEATURE STORY

RENOWNED BROADCASTER RITA COSBY SPEARHEADS LIU'S GLOBAL SERVICE INSTITUTE A GROUNDBREAKING INITIATIVE TO SPARK VOLUNTEERISM & DEVELOP FUTURE LEADERS

L  earn more about the Global Service Institute and register for exciting upcoming programs at: globalserviceinstitute.org

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any of the greatest leaders in the history of the world have shared one common ideal: service. From Presidents and religious leaders to Nobel Prize winners and iconic entrepreneurs, service is at the heart of every benevolent actor on planet earth.

Matching this platonic ideal with a dynamic leader recognized across an increasingly interconnected world, Long Island University announced Rita Cosby, the renowned Emmy-winning TV host, veteran correspondent and best-selling author, as the chair of its Global Service Institute. Cosby now leads the Institute’s game-changing and innovative educational initiatives to inspire a timely commitment toward volunteerism and elevate the importance and power of service. Her high-profile persona has given this mission an impressive start, garnering significant media appearances on top TV programs such as Good Morning America and Fox and Friends, as well as on numerous national radio shows and in print publications. “The Global Service Institute established LIU as a premier destination for developing valuesdriven global citizens who will impact their communities,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, President of Long Island University. “With her global experience exploring critical headlines and lifelong dedication to service, Rita Cosby is an exemplary leader who will elevate the 6

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Institute to even higher levels.” Cosby maintains a sterling reputation as one of the most recognizable and respected broadcasters in America. She has witnessed firsthand the full spectrum of leadership at the highest levels of government and private industry. Throughout her career, Cosby has obtained the most sought-after interviews, earning exclusives with more than twenty world leaders, including six U.S. Presidents. She was the first American journalist to interview Pope Francis at the Vatican about his historic Mideast Peace Summit. She has anchored highly-rated primetime shows on both MSNBC and FOX News Channel. Her two back-to-back New York Times best-selling books placed her in the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World in 2017 and 2018. A recipient of six coveted Gracie Awards, she was also named "Legend of the Year" for all women in radio in 2018 as well. There is even an official “Rita Cosby Day” declared in the State of New York for her “extraordinary journalism and exemplary service on behalf of her community.” The Global Service Institute establishes LIU as one of the first institutions in the U.S. that has integrated a transformative service theme and the latest technological advancements into a holistic initiative. The Institute’s mission creates natural partnerships and brings additional layers to already established and soon to be announced schools on LIU’s campuses. Students will participate in a social innovation summit, the 100 Small Ideas to Change the World competition, the Future Service Awards and will meet and learn from real-life change makers both inperson and virtually. Each year, a special trip will be connected to a theme of service, where participants will meet leaders of global stature and unsung heroes of service. The initiative will also include speakers and seminars designed to teach people of all ages to develop their own volunteering skills, crossconnect with others around the globe, share ideas and become more educated about the causes they believe in.

Rita Cosby interviews Pope Francis.

“Our goal is to connect millions of people to service opportunities around the world,” Cosby said. “There really is not a school in this country that has claimed the mantle of service. We plan to become the preeminent university in the nation and in the world, making global service ingrained in education.” The Global Service Institute’s Honorary Advisory Board consists of esteemed and accomplished individuals from diverse fields—all of whom share a strong commitment to fostering service. Board members include Boxing Legend Evander Holyfield, Super Bowl Champ Joe Theismann, GrammyWinning Singer Dionne Warwick, Emmy-Winning Actress Susan Lucci, Oscar-Nominated Actor Gary Sinise, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark, America’s First Female Four-Star General Ann Dunwoody, and others.

there is an overwhelming and profound demand for volunteers and services that are often lifesaving in this dire moment,” Cosby said. “We also hope to be a unifying force for greater good during this incredibly divisive time. As we all rebuild our country and the world, being of service and supporting each other is a human issue, which has us joining together as one, and building unity in our communities.”

The Global Service app is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play

In another notable development, the Institute has set out to streamline volunteering by developing a comprehensive, user-friendly free Global Service app that instantly connects volunteers with nonprofit organizations, community groups and others. Created and managed by LIU, it is one of the first apps of its kind built and overseen by an educational institution. “The work of the Global Service Institute and launch of our new app could not come at a more pivotal and crucial time. With the staggering economic hardship so many people are enduring, LIUMAGAZINE | Fall 2020

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SPECIAL TRIBUTE

Mary M. Lai 1921 – 2020

REMEMBERING MARY M. LAI

A LIFE OF SERVICE TO LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY

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er name is synonymous with Long Island University. Since 1946, her signature has appeared on more than three million paychecks, contracts, and college financial aid award letters. She has personally donated – and called upon others – to contribute more than $50 million in scholarships to help college students achieve the American dream. She worked for 74 consecutive years at LIU, her alma mater, until the day she passed away at the age of 99. She held the title as the longest serving female academic business officer in all of private higher education in the United States.

Simply put, Mary M. Lai was the heart and soul of Long Island University, and her influence will be remembered forever. Mrs. Lai’s affinity for LIU began in her childhood, growing up in Greenpoint nearby the LIU Brooklyn campus. She enrolled at LIU on a full scholarship and served as class president in her sophomore, junior and senior years, received the Dean’s Award for

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“Outstanding Junior,” and was named the “Outstanding Woman” in her senior year before graduating in 1942 with a degree in accounting. She even met her husband, William “Buck” Lai, at the University, where he was a stellar athlete and would go on to serve as a coach and administrator. Mrs. Lai’s passion and appreciation for the University became clear when in 1946 she agreed to become the business officer at LIU after learning of the University's fiscal struggles during World War II. “When I learned more about LIU’s dire situation and that the University had been without a business officer for a year, I knew the University needed help desperately,” Lai said. “I thought helping the University could be my way of repaying the full scholarship I had when I was a student.” At the age of 24, Mrs. Lai was officially hired as the University’s first bursar, equivalent in today’s terms to the chief financial officer and comptroller. During her initial several months at LIU, where she worked diligently day and night

to implement a new finance system, something unexpected happened. Thousands of men were returning from the war and clamoring to attend local universities on the new GI Bill of Rights, which would finance their college educations. “That was some year,” Lai exclaimed. “There were many more challenges than I had anticipated. The enrollment grew from 800 to 5,000 students. Fifty percent of our enrollment were returning veterans. From a staff of three, we grew to 17. Everything was manual in those days.” Despite agreeing to a one-year appointment, Mrs. Lai never left. Her extraordinary tenure would span more than seven decades serving as chief financial officer and treasurer, and most recently as treasurer emerita and special advisor. She was one of the first female chief financial officers in higher education, and she was the first female president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Throughout her career, Mrs. Lai continued to be a groundbreaking


She also was the first female president of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers. She was even a board member of several banks, including East New York Savings Bank, M&T Bank and Chemical Bank. She received an honorary doctorate from Fordham University, where she earned her master’s degree in 1951, and many LIU-bestowed honors including a Trustees Award, a Distinguished Alumna Award, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In 1996, in recognition of her 50th anniversary with the institution, the structure that houses the University’s financial operation was named the Mary M. Lai Finance Building.

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visionary for both the University and women in the workforce. She was the first female CFO of Long Island University, having worked with 10 presidents across six decades. It was she who signed the $200,000 check that led to the acquisition of LIU’s Brookville campus and the establishment of C.W. Post College. She negotiated the contracts for every building on the Brooklyn, Post, and Southampton campuses, and facilities at all of the commuter campuses. Mrs. Lai also served as a trustee of private Catholic schools, including LeMoyne College, Boston College and

1. Mary M. Lai checks figures as the University Treasurer with Budget Director, Robert Pavese. 2. Mary and Buck Lai at LIU graduation. 3. Mary receives an Award of Merit garnered by The Brooklyn Center's unique pedestrain bridge.

St. Joseph’s College. She was a major financial supporter of the Newman Club and the Catholic Campus Ministry at C.W. Post, which established the Mary M. Lai Model of Faith Award to recognize leaders in all areas of commerce and education. Often, she would make donations to the Long Island University endowed scholarship funds in the name of every employee of LIU and then send handwritten personal notes to all. As a board member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Mrs. Lai served on more than 50 Middle States accreditation teams.

No less impressive than Mary’s endless vitality and her unchallenged acumen in handling the most complex and awesome financial affairs was the warmth of her personality. Always cheerful, always helpful, always concerned about the well-being of her colleagues and of the students, she was as popular as a college student until her last day at the University in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced faculty, staff and students to continue processes remotely. Mary never formally retired and spent the past several years fundraising for LIU and making phone calls to friends and alumni from a corner office in the building that bears her name. On her bookshelf is the serenity prayer and three LIU coffee mugs filled with sharpened pencils. She said, “I’ll retire when God tells me to. If my health isn’t good, or something happens that makes it impossible for me to work, that will be God telling me to move on.” Mary passed away on Saturday, August 22, 2020 at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset surrounded by her immediate family. A pioneer and visionary for both the LIU community and women in the labor force, she is greatly missed by all.

LIUMAGAZINE | Fall 2020

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Leading DIVERSITY at Facebook interests and gifting. “I knew I wanted to do something in global trade finance,” she said. “Even as a young adult, I knew what I wanted. I learned early on to trust my gut."

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andra Altiné, ’86, vice president, workforce diversity & inclusion at Facebook, learned at an early age the importance of spending time with people who looked, acted and thought differently than she did. Born in Haiti, Altiné spent much of her childhood in Cambria Heights, Queens. When she was 14, she moved back to Haiti and attended an American school. The school was predominately white, which made Altiné a minority at a school within her native country. “I was almost in the in-group because I spoke English and was from New York, but I was also part of the outgroup,” she said. “Even as a young girl, I realized there were differences and those differences can either make you greater or they can really hinder you.” Altiné returned to New York for her senior year of high school and started looking at colleges in the area. Although she wasn’t quite sure what career path she wanted to pursue, she was intrigued by business and economics. LIU’s reputation and location piqued her interest in the University. “Once I stepped on the Brookville campus, I really fell in love with it,” Altiné said. “Its beauty and its rich history in business drew me in. The campus was home.” The University’s international relations program offered a blended curriculum of business and political science, which proved to be a perfect fit for Altiné’s 10

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With her eyes set on landing a job at a major financial company, Altiné started her professional career working at J.P. Morgan. Despite her lack of experience, she took on a management role early on, leading a team of 20 employees in global trade operations. After five years in that position, she moved to human resources and helped launch the company’s first diversity initiatives. In 2005, Altiné accepted a position as chief operating officer at The FutureWork Institute, a nascent startup consulting firm only three years old at the time. She spent five years there, developing diversity curriculum for clients at Fortune 500 companies. While she loved the experience and excitement of a startup, Altiné was also balancing the demands of motherhood with young kids at home and decided to return to the corporate world. She became managing director – global head of diversity & inclusion at Moody’s in 2011, where she drove enterprisewide employee engagement. Eight years later, Facebook came knocking and Altiné was eager to take on the new leadership role as vice president, workforce diversity & inclusion, at one of the world’s foremost companies. Having begun the position this past January, she was grateful to complete her orientation before the coronavirus shutdowns and appreciates Facebook’s many distinctives. “The first two months were about meeting my colleagues, learning the

There is a shift in leaders that are more compassionate, more caring, and that understand the importance of having employees' mental-emotional state being very strong, and overall the employee wellbeing."

Sandra Altiné (left) at Practitioner Panel

culture and digging deep into the D&I strategy,” she said. “The Facebook campus is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s collegial, open space, high tech, and everyone has a voice. That is talked about and presented from day one.” Altiné is eager to help foster more growth at Facebook and, consequently, around the world, but is thrilled with many of the current workplace trends. The empathetic responses from employers to the challenges brought on by COVID-19 has been a silver lining of the pandemic. As Altiné described it, “There is a shift in leaders that are more compassionate, more caring, and that understand the importance of having employees' mental-emotional state being very strong, and overall the employee wellbeing.”


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP AT THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICE

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hose fortunate enough to listen to a lecture from Wayne A. Stone, ’92, former acting inspector general for the Intelligence Community and now senior executive in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, might confuse him for an academic if they didn’t know any better. A military man turned high-ranking intelligence officer, Stone preaches the importance of education and has the résumé to support this paradigm. “You have to be a life learner,” he said. “That’s what I always tell people. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, but you have to invest in yourself. The best investment you can make in yourself is education.” As a young man growing up in Queens, Stone always had an affinity for the military and armed forces. In particular, he loved G.I. Joe and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a popular spyfiction television series that aired on NBC during the mid 1960’s. After graduating high school, he joined ROTC as an undergraduate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Stone thrived in the Army and began moving up the ranks. To become an Army major, he was required to earn a master’s degree. Stone was familiar with LIU and admired its reputation for experiential education and the hands-on training the University provided through practicing faculty. He earned his Master of Science in counseling at LIU and effused high praise for the ways it has benefitted him in his intelligence career. “It has helped me in my ability to communicate and it helps to be a better leader,” he said. “I think leaders are those who empower others and a counseling degree helps you to do that, giving other people the tools to cope with life.” After 23 years of active service in the Army, he retired at the grade of lieutenant colonel. Stone has held the role of chief of staff five times in his intelligence career and says his education at LIU also brought him important leadership intangibles in addition to hard skills. “You’re managing money, people, facilities – basically anything that goes wrong, you’re the person who

manages it,” he said. “Having that skillset that LIU provides, you are ready.” The well-rounded nature of his education proved to be an ideal fit for Stone’s many jobs in the Intelligence Community (IC), which requires a demanding balance of consistency, organization, discretion and professionalism, among other exceptional character traits. “There is a uniqueness to the intelligence agency and what it takes to get in,” he said. “It’s no easy hurdle. It can take two to three years to get in, and for the right reasons. There’s a saying in the IC that, ‘We get information and provide support from the fox hole to the White House.’” Stone encourages people of all backgrounds to consider working within the Intelligence Community. “Regardless of your degree, there is opportunity for you in the IC," he said. “You’d be amazed at the number of skills we need.” While much of the nature of his job may be sensitive, Stone is able to pass along the principles he has learned in his remarkable career. He served as a fellow at Harvard University in 2018 and reprised the role again at the start of this year, currently serving as the Recanati-Kaplan Senior Fellow. His colleagues and pupils won’t discover any national secrets, but they can expect to learn a cornucopia of life lessons. “When you’re truly uncomfortable, that’s when you begin to grow,” he said. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You’ve just got to push yourself, and I think I’ve done that.”

A W A R D S

• Meritorious Presidential Rank Award • National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal • National Intelligence Medallion

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

FINANCIAL DIRECTION FOR THE WALLACE FOUNDATION The Wallace Foundation is a national foundation based in New York City that works to develop and share evidencebased practices that can improve learning and enrichment for children.

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hose who work with numbers and complex figures for a living are often forced to embrace the stereotypical label of boring or mundane. Yet in reality, careers in finance are virtually limitless. Indeed, those who earn degrees in finance and accounting can go practically anywhere to work at just about any destination. Such has been the case for Stacy Martin, ‘84, chief financial officer at The Wallace Foundation, a national foundation based in New York City that works to develop and share evidencebased practices that can improve learning and enrichment for children, especially those from underserved communities, and foster the vitality of the arts for everyone. “I don’t look at my career as very exciting,” she said. Modesty befits those who achieve a high level of success while helping others, as Martin has done for more than three decades. Excitement may be in the eye of the beholder, but a cursory glance at

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Martin’s résumé reveals her life’s vocation has been far from stale. Prior to joining The Wallace Foundation in 2014, she spent 11 years as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer at New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit that designs, creates and supports public schools in New York City. From 1996 to 2000, she held leadership positions in the New York City government, including the city’s housing, budget and education departments. She also served as comptroller for Sportvision, a nationwide media corporation, from 2000–2002. In fact, she can trace her adventurous jobs back to her undergraduate days at LIU when she took a year-long break from school to live and work within the advertising department at a daily newspaper in the Virgin Islands. Martin, a Setauket native, was still a teenager at the time and cherishes the season now. “It was a great experience. I met lots of people from all walks of life. The Caribbean attracts people from all over the place,” she said. “One memory that always stuck with me: If there was an incident involving a plane, I immediately had to go and pull all of the plane ads out of the newspaper and alert the newsroom that more copy was needed.” Martin maintained an affinity for coastal excursions upon returning to Long Island, living with friends at a

house in Bayville while working fulltime and taking classes at LIU. The coursework proved to be foundational for Martin’s career and came in handy at her first job after graduating with European American Bank, now part of Citigroup. She entered the public sector through her next role, joining the New York City Department of Buildings. That led her to eventually ascend to high-ranking posts in the Department of Housing and the Mayor’s Office. Martin’s tireless work ethic that has marked her career to this point has allowed her to thrive since joining The Wallace Foundation six years ago. Although she may not be pulling airplane ads anymore, she gets a thrill from supporting her colleagues’ efforts in developing the Foundation’s evidence-based practices. “I help them to develop financial models for the strategies and programs they’re implementing across the country, and it’s rewarding to see those happen on the ground,” she said. “Having robust financial models to forecast spending, and then track it, is essential for endowed, charitable foundations for two reasons. Grant funds are raised through the sale of stocks and other assets; and foundations are required to spend 5% of their assets each year. Careful forecasting and tracking help a foundation manage its investment portfolio, meet legal requirements, and, most importantly, support initiatives that produce social benefits.”


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

HEADING OPERATIONS AT WELLS FARGO

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s any seasoned college professor knows, sometimes academic late bloomers turn out to be the biggest success stories. For Lester Owens, ’79, head of operations at Wells Fargo, a slow start in college proved to be an early hurdle in what would turn out to be a remarkable career–one that is still going strong today. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Owens attended St. Pascal Baylon High School. The school closed abruptly and Owens passed an exit exam that granted him his diploma, leading him to graduate after his junior year. He went on to briefly attend Rutgers University, but felt overwhelmed given his abbreviated secondary education.

In 1998, Owens returned to New York to become managing director and head of global cash and trade operations at Deutsche Bank. “I was traveling the globe quite a bit, because I had a lot of different countries I was responsible for besides just Germany, and I really enjoyed it,” he said. Owens moved on to J.P. Morgan in 2007, working as managing director and global head of treasury service operations. After a decade at J.P. Morgan, he became head of operations at

His mother died at the young age of 33, so Owens’ grandparents played a large caretaking role in his youth. When he found himself uncertain of where to go after the failed stint at Rutgers, Owens’ grandmother told him to call his priest, who recommend he attend Southampton College, a former campus of Long Island University. Fortunately for Owens, he had a character trait more important for success in any vocation than a high grade point average, namely, diligence. After earning his degree from LIU, Owens went to a temp agency, which landed him a position at Chemical Bank, now part of J.P. Morgan. “I’ve always had a strong work ethic,” he said. “I knew nothing about banking and I was a temp, so I just started working really hard.” The persistence and consistency led to a full-time role at Chemical Bank. Once he entered the professional world, his determination and resolve translated well to project management. “If you gave me a project to do, I became very adept at understanding how to do it,” he said. “I was able to take complex processes and go about implementing them.” After six years at Chemical Bank, Owens took a position in 1986 as vice president at Bankers Trust, now part of Deutsche Bank. He considers that move to be a pivotal one in his career as it led him to manage a large team for the first time. Following seven years there, he moved up to Wilmington, Delaware to become site director at Citibank.

the Bank of New York Mellon in February of 2019 until his appointment to the same role at Wells Fargo earlier this year. Owens also serves as vice chair on the board of directors at RWJBarnabas Hospital in West Orange, New Jersey. “I do pinch myself sometimes. My wife and good friends tell me sometimes that I don’t take the time to smell the leaves, or whatever,” he said. “When I do get a chance to think about it, I say, ‘Here’s a black kid that didn’t have the opportunities some people did, but was lucky by the grace of God to meet some people who believed in me – both black and white – when I didn’t believe in myself.’” Good fortune has a long track record for finding its way to those who show courage in the face of hardship and gratitude once successful. For Owens, this paradigm unlocked the potential that lay dormant during his teen years. “Being responsible I think makes a big difference in this world,” he said. “I’ve never allowed myself to work less than anybody else and I love challenges. I don’t know anything about quitting.”

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

M AD E F O R T H E MO VIES STEPHEN EINHORN’S HALL OF FAME CAREER

Stephen Einhorn

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f Stephen Einhorn, ’66, a pioneering executive in the home video industry, ever participated in an autobiographical film, the movie would be a smart bet to reach the top of the charts—for more reasons than one. Einhorn earned himself a place in the Video Hall of Fame for his role in building New Line Home Entertainment and Vestron into industry trailblazers. Moreover, the story of the remarkable career path that led him to achieve such exceptional heights is a tale worth telling. “I sort of fell into it,” Einhorn says about his career in the entertainment industry. Einhorn grew up on Long Island and attended C.W. Post in the 1960’s. He recalls fond memories of serving on the student council, participating in Greek life and playing sports on the idyllic campus. After graduating, he landed his first job, working in the corporate trust department at Chase Bank, where he developed the finance skills that would become his vocational expertise. For the next decade, he worked in the music industry, starting at Columbia Broadcasting, where he managed deferred compensation arrangements for two top recording artists, Bob Dylan and Andy Williams. He went on to hold the position of controller, first at Sesame Street Records and later at Carl Fischer Music Publishing.

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In 1981, Einhorn identified home videos as a nascent market on the verge of a massive expansion and accepted a position as chief financial officer of Vestron, the home entertainment industry's first and ultimately largest independent distributor. The decision that seems like a no-brainer in hindsight was anything but at the time. “I drove to their office in an industrial park by the railroad tracks in Stamford, Connecticut and the staff turned out to be four people and me,” he said. “It was in fact a newly formed company that had just released and shipped its very first home video cassettes and, from that point on, immediately started growing very rapidly.” Within six years, Einhorn helped turn Vestron’s revenue figure from $10 million into $350 million while taking the company public, managing all financial, legal and administrative functions at the company. Vestron is best known for producing and distributing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video and Dirty Dancing. In 1990, due to an abrupt reneging on a large line of credit from their bank, Vestron was forced to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy, therefore requiring Einhorn to sell off the company’s assets. New Line Cinema approached him regarding a potential acquisition of Vestron’s home video business. He recalls the meeting vividly, noting, “I closed the door and said, ‘I know you guys. You’re very smart and you know what you’re doing. Frankly, you’re much better off building the operation from scratch than buying it.’” Two weeks later, New Line rewarded Einhorn’s candor and asked him to build and run their new business as president & chief operating officer. Considered a “Mini Major” theatrical production

and distribution company, New Line Cinema is known for movie series such as The Lord of The Rings, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday, Blade, Ninja Turtles, Rush Hour, and Austin Powers, as well as renowned stand-alone films including The Notebook, Wedding Crashers, Dumb and Dumber, Elf and Hairspray. Before long, Einhorn was managing a billion-dollar company and his enterprising audacity earned him veneration within the industry. He was elected president of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), the industry’s leading trade association in 2007. All told, Einhorn is credited with inventing numerous DVD special features and played a pivotal role in bringing to fruition Peter Jackson’s masterpiece trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novels. Collectively, The Lord of the Rings movies won “Best DVD of the Year” awards three consecutive times. In 2008, New Line dissolved the company while keeping the label for posterity. Einhorn opted to launch his own private consultancy rather than return to the corporate world. His remarkable run has allowed him to flourish in the advisory role, working with high-profile clients. As he puts it, “In very simple terms, helping businesses operate and transition from small business to big business is what I do extremely well and find especially exhilarating.”


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

I NTERPUBLIC GROUP’S V ERSA T I L E EXEC UT IVE

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hose comparing the value differentials between career specialization and versatility should consider Sean Muzzy, ’99, president of Matterkind, part of Interpublic Group. In a world that is wrestling with the negative effects of hyper specialization, Muzzy serves as a prime example of why it pays to learn a variety of different skills. With a diverse professional and educational background that includes advertising, business, data analytics, journalism, management, marketing, writing and more, he has now risen to the heights of his industry as president of Matterkind, following more than 15 years as a senior executive at Ogilvy. Growing up on Long Island, Muzzy recalls early childhood dreams of playing for the New York Mets, but his first serious career aspiration came in high school after he participated in a journalism class at American University. During his undergraduate education, Muzzy elected to major in English and decided he wanted to pursue a career in teaching. As it turned out, he ended up heading in a very different direction after graduating and landed a job in data processing. The corporate environment proved to be a lasting fit.

At the same time, Muzzy’s girlfriend, who is now his wife, was a student at LIU and she encouraged him to consider the University’s MBA program. The recommendation proved wise and Muzzy credits his MBA education with much of his success, citing a forwardthinking approach that has stuck with him over the years. One class he took in international economics, where he studied Islamic banking, has proven particularly insightful once he began working at global companies, such as Ogilvy, TD Waterhouse, and Interpublic Group. “That’s a lot of what I do today, coming up with enterprise marketing solutions that are technology enabled,” he said. Given Muzzy’s remarkable success since graduating, those in the industry often ask him about the value of earning an MBA degree. “I definitely think there’s a correlation between where my career has gone and my MBA studies,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with certain intangibles around leadership, studying international economics or organizational behavior.” The well-rounded education complemented Muzzy’s existing skillset, which was already an ideal fit to adjust to the incoming digital revolution of the 21st century. With his strong background in data processing, business, advertising and marketing, the shift from print to online media was more exciting than daunting. “As technology started to really evolve marketing and advertising, that made my past experiences even more valuable,” he said. “I’m able to take what works in one sector and then apply it to another.” Over the years, Muzzy has discovered a passion for launching new initiatives and leading the teams that oversee them. In an industry that runs on innovation, Muzzy’s foresight and willingness to venture into the unknown has set him apart from the rest of the pack. “It’s challenged me to think about the next thing,” he said. “You start to see changes happen before they actually happen.”

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

AVA NTI L INE N S ’ H OM E RU N : EMBEL L IS H ED T O W EL S had to find a new way to earn a living. Fortunately, necessity proved to be the mother of invention once again and the young couple put their heads together. “I had an idea,” said Arthur, identifying oriental designs as a nascent trend. “I thought if I could figure out how to put it on towels, maybe I could sell it.” So, Sandy sketched out a bamboo design on paper and Arthur took it to Henry Laskin, the buyer at Lord & Taylor, to deliver a sales pitch. Despite having no business plan nor any independent track record to fortify his leverage, Tauber named his price and lied about his supposed supplier. Laskin admired the design so much that he lent Tauber $10,000 worth of towels from the Lord & Taylor stock. Tauber’s bluff would end up paying off well for both men and Avanti Linens was born in 1969. When Arthur and Sandy Tauber founded Avanti in 1969, they created a new product category—embellished towels. The company has since expanded its product offerings.

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ifty years ago, it was not an outlandish prediction to suggest that the Bronx-born Arthur Tauber, ’59, would one day suit up in a New York Yankees uniform and play alongside Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Tauber, who co-founded Avanti Linens with his wife Sandy in 1969, played baseball at LIU well enough to earn tryout invitations from several major league ballclubs. As it turned out, Tauber did in fact share a dugout with these Yankee legends, but only after a quarter century as an entrepreneur in the textile industry. In 1985, Sandy gifted her husband with a week of workouts on the diamond at a Mickey Mantle/ Whitey Ford Fantasy Baseball Camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for his birthday. The iconic Bronx Bombers may be better known in households across the country, but the Taubers may be more visibly represented. If there are any embellished towels hanging up, Avanti Linens deserves a tip of the cap for inventing the product line. After graduating from LIU, Arthur took a job working for his uncle’s monogramming business. He worked there for nine years, ascending to second-in-command below his uncle. It all came crashing down one day following an intense argument that ended with Tauber’s firing. The Taubers had just purchased their first home together and now

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“My philosophy was to come up with different designs and sell the designs on an exclusive basis to the stores,” Arthur said. “Bamboo was a design that no one else had.” The Taubers proved to be a dynamic duo at Avanti, with Sandy creating all the designs and Arthur handling the logistical “grunt work.” Avanti held showrooms and factory space in numerous locations in Manhattan, eventually becoming the first commercial tenant in the Port Authority building in the Meatpacking District in 1974—the current home of Google’s New York offices. Today, Avanti operates out of a 175,000 square-foot facility in Moonachie, New Jersey with more than 150 employees who embroider, sew, pick, pack and ship all of its products. All the company’s design, marketing, sales and administrative functions are also housed there. Now enjoying retirement, the Taubers oversee Avanti’s operations and stay intimately involved with the company’s senior leadership. While they may not be playing the field anymore, Arthur still keeps tabs on the game, and understands the impact he and Sandy made on it. “There really wasn’t a company dedicated to decorative towels when I started,” he said. “We created an industry that is doing really well out there in the world.”


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Alumna Co-Founds Award-Winning Language App Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, New York, Austria, Hungary, China and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Alejandra Aylen Molina Perez

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lumna Alejandra Aylen Molina Perez, ‘19, was recently profiled in the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) online blog after winning an award for co-founding the app Beepboop allowing health care professionals to communicate directly with Hispanic patients in an effort to solve health inequities. Alejandra is a proud graduate of LIU’s Global College, a unique program allowing students to live and study around the world for a one-of-a-kind education without borders. LIU Global students are fully immersed in the cultures of numerous countries on five continents through a program that combines classroom instruction, field study and professional internships. Alejandra, who hails from Lima, Peru and speaks four languages, took advantage of the program and studied in Spain, Morocco, Germany, Costa

A year ago, Alejandra launched Beepboop with co-founder Devon Saliga with the goal of humanizing online language education. Research indicated to Alejandra that patients speaking Spanish were at a disadvantage and received lower medical care because of the communication gap. Beepboop became a game changer by allowing medical professionals to easily learn Spanish medical terminology to better communicate with their patients in order to improve health outcomes. It is so impactful that the app is now used by several of the nation's top hospitals. According to the its website, the Beepboop drill is a speaking-focused, 25-minute long, online group language lesson. Users learn Spanish with a live instructor in a round-robin style where students are kept on the edge of their seats with fun speaking exercises. As reported by the IHCC blog, Beepboop grew at a rate of 60% per week after its launch, and over a twelve-month period it registered over 15,000 users. The app has become even more crucial during the ongoing pandemic. Alejandra embodies an entrepreneurial spirit but is more concerned with leaving a mark on society than making money. She is passionate about promoting equity and inclusion while giving back to the community. Beepboop won the HealthCare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, funded by the U.S.

Economic Development Administration, illustrating the importance that the app continues to have on the Spanishspeaking community. The entire LIU community is very proud of Alejandra as she is a great example of the importance of service for current and future students. Students like her are the primary motivation behind President Kimberly R. Cline’s transformation of the Global Service Institute under the leadership of Emmy Award-winning journalist Rita Cosby. “As a graduate of LIU Global, Alejandra traveled to many countries and witnessed first-hand the needs of communities around the world. She embodies the best of LIU’s commitment to service, and is a role model for our students who give more than 150,000 hours to service each year,” said President Cline.

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

BORN FOR THE ROLE DR. JENNIFER HOLMES NAMED DEAN OF COLLEGE OF ARTS, COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN

the value in earning a well-rounded education. “You can build a career that is exciting because it focuses on so many areas and applies so many different parts of your creativity, organization and energy,” she said.

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he finest producers in Hollywood or on Broadway would be hard pressed to find a better casting than Dr. Jennifer Holmes as dean of Long Island University’s College of Arts, Communication and Design. Dr. Holmes is an accomplished director, actor, scholar and teacher, as well as the founding director of an international non-profit, making her a perfect fit for LIU given the University’s emphasis on interdisciplinary education. Moreover, her career to this point serves as an example to students of the importance and value of versatility, particularly given the current demands on creative artists.

“You really have to be able to be an entrepreneur and have those skills,” Dr. Holmes said. “You have to be able to make your own work and know how to market yourself. These are skills you need in any one of these careers.” Dr. Holmes views this as a benefit rather than a burden and underscores

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Few people in academia are more familiar with the performing arts than Dr. Holmes, who spent most of her youth at Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. Both of her parents were actors, and her father was part of the Royal Shakespeare Company. After her family moved to New Jersey, Dr. Holmes landed her first professional role as young Estella in Great Expectations at The Papermill Playhouse, where she worked alongside Tony Award-winning actress Elizabeth Franz. Her acting career continued with multiple roles in soap opera, film and theatre. Dr. Holmes earned her BA from Vassar College, majoring in drama and minoring in social, ethical and political philosophy, and went on to earn her MA and PhD in educational theatre from New York University. While at NYU, she went on a trip to Tanzania with a group of other theatre artists and felt inspired to embark on a new, global mission. “I started an international non-profit theatre company to create a platform for young people and marginalized communities to be able to tell their stories through theatre,” she said. In 2007, Dr. Holmes founded Global Empowerment Theatre, an international non-profit theatre organization focused on helping young women silenced by poverty. Dr. Holmes’ team has led

programs in Zanzibar, Kenya, India and New York City for the past 13 years. Dr. Holmes joins LIU from The New School, where she was the associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Drama. Prior to that, she served as visiting assistant professor at the Department of Theatre and Speech at City College of New York. In addition to her international experience, entrepreneurial drive and academic background, Dr. Holmes’ connections with top professionals in New York City overlaps with the University’s strengths. “The students will be able to meet so many of the key players, whether it’s in broadcast, film, journalism, music, art, digital design or theatre,” she said, acknowledging LIU’s premier professional connections via alumni and faculty. “We are not merely guiding students to the connections they need to make, we’re bringing those connections to the students.”

When you have a college that has music, film, art, multimedia communications, and digital design and theatre, all in one college, it’s easy to find opportunities for truly exciting interdisciplinary work.”


FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

National Science Foundation Funds Dr. Cheng Zhang’s Carbon Research

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he National Science Foundation is funding research from Dr. Cheng Zhang, associate professor of chemistry, that will mitigate the negative impacts of carbon emissions on the environment and the ecosystem. Dr. Zhang is developing a new approach that has the dual impact of removing CO2 from the atmosphere while generating commercial products. It has been well documented that carbon-rich fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, have been heavily utilized to power human civilization, resulting in the massive emission of CO2 to the environment as a greenhouse gas byproduct. Efficient utilization of CO2 to produce chemicals and fuels is critical in reducing these emissions. Dr. Zhang’s work with carbon nanospheres dates back more than a decade, preceding her career in academia. She initiated and led a project on the novel chemical compound back in 2005, while working as a scientist in research and development for Headwaters Technology Innovation Group. The project proved lucrative, garnering $3 million in funding from Sumitomo, a major Japanese company, and ultimately became a joint venture for commercial development.

LIU students frequently work in Dr. Zhang’s research group and often present their work at both national and regional conferences.

“At that time, we were looking for some material that could be used for high-end applications,” Dr. Zhang said. “Carbon nanosphere is a highly graphitic carbon material with unique hollow spherical structure.” At the time, her team was required to ensure the material maintained its empty core. In her current project, different from her previous work, Dr. Zhang will modify the synthetic process and encapture various metal particles inside the carbon nanospheres as core-shell catalysts for CO2 conversion to light olefins, which are useful for the packaging, plastic processing, construction and textile industries. The high market demand for light olefins offers a tremendous opportunity for this technology to profoundly impact the scale of CO2 utilization. “I felt proud to be part of the project,” Dr. Zhang said, reflecting on the connection that yielded a remarkable breakthrough. “Looking back, it seems like all the dots connected. It’s amazing.” The move to academia was a long time coming for Dr. Zhang, who joined LIU in 2015. Both of her parents were high school teachers and encouraged her to pursue a career in higher education.

really like to interact with others and share ideas,” she said. While Dr. Zhang admits some days were a grind when she worked as an industry professional, she never dreads the morning alarm clock now. “I enjoy going to work every day. I love seeing the smiles on my students’ faces.” The feeling is clearly mutual, as LIU students frequently work in Dr. Zhang’s research group and often present their work at both national and regional conferences. Last year, senior David Triger co-authored a paper that was published in The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics. Dr. Zhang is developing a training-learning platform that allows undergraduate and high school students to gain valuable skills in synthesis, catalyst evaluation techniques and basic characterization, in conjunction with their quantitative and critical thinking skills, which paves the way for their future career development. “My projects connect very closely with real world problems, so that’s why I can get students interested right away,” Dr. Zhang said. “We are converting this greenhouse gas into something that can bring value to society.”

“I always wanted to be a professor. I

LIUMAGAZINE | Fall 2020

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

AWARD- WINNING W R I T E R & ED U CATOR

ROBIN HEMLEY NAMED DIRECTOR OF GEORGE POLK SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS

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ong Island University appointed an award-winning writer and visionary educator to lead the dynamic George Polk School of Communications.

Robin Hemley, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from The Chicago Tribune, and three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, will serve as director and Polk professor in residence of the George Polk School of Communications. Hemley has published 14 books and his stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune and many literary magazines and anthologies. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and directed the non-fiction writing program at The University of Iowa for nine years. Most recently, Hemley served as writerin-residence and director of the writing program at Yale, in Singapore. The return to New York is somewhat of a homecoming for Hemley, who was born in Manhattan. Both of his parents were writers and his father co-founded The Noonday Press, which was purchased by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1960. “I grew up in a household full of books and writing,” Hemley said. “I wrote from a very early age so writing was always part of my life.” While he has deep roots in the Empire State, Hemley’s many travels have made him somewhat of a sojourner. He ought not be mistaken for a tourist, however. Hemley prefers to ingratiate himself into the community of each destination, as much as time will allow, and finds the habit to be rejuvenating. “I love that unsettling feeling of traveling,” he said. “It’s a way to get a lot of perspective on your life. That sense of exhaustion that some people feel, I feel like I can get over it and then I’m exhilarated.” When the University administration first approached him

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about joining LIU in a leadership role at the Polk School, Hemley knew the opportunity would be a perfect fit for his personality and temperament. “I really enjoy organizing things and getting things going,” he said. “I like to be in a place with a positive atmosphere of possibility, potential and creating something that hasn’t been around before. That’s driven all my moves.”

This is going to be a school which houses a number of different types of communications. We want as much play between these different genres and modes of expression as possible, so that students are exposed and experimenting in various forms."

Hemley joins an elite team of educators who will collaborate within the Polk School, including accomplished actors, artists, authors, filmmakers, journalists, musicians, photographers, producers, screenwriters and videographers. The wellrounded team embody well-rounded versatility in a variety of professions and exhibit the value of an interdisciplinary skillset. In addition to his prodigious writing pedigree, Hemley also boasts production expertise. His short documentary, Jewish Caviar (2014), played several international film festivals. “This is going to be a school which houses a number of different types of communications,” he said. “We want as much play between these different genres and modes of expression as possible, so that students are exposed and experimenting in various forms. That, I think, is the future.”


FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Decorated Professor and Aerosol Expert Reflects on 50 Years at LIU Dr. Anthony Cutie speaks during Commencement.

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mong the great men and women in history, there are many who achieved prominence through a long-winding, circuitous route with many setbacks or metamorphic career changes. Dr. Anthony Cutie, professor of pharmacy and renowned aerosol expert, is not one of them. For Dr. Cutie, the difficult path toward his prodigious accomplishments was straightforward and relatively direct. Simple is of course no synonym for facile, otherwise his peers would’ve charted a similar course. Indeed, the Brooklyn-born Dr. Cutie rode his impeccable academic achievements and an early inclination towards the STEM fields all the way to numerous remarkable distinctions within the medical record books. Since he began his career, he has authored a number of chapters on pharmaceutical aerosols, published over 50 papers, has secured over 45 aerosol patents and is presently active in aerosol research, product development and evaluating and testing environmentally safe replacements. “My life has been relatively simple. I didn’t move around a lot, I didn’t change jobs,” Dr. Cutie said. “I spent my whole life at Long Island University.” Dr. Cutie earned his bachelor’s degree from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, now LIU Pharmacy, and returned to the College after completing his master’s degree and PhD from Rutgers

University. Since the return to Brooklyn in 1968, he has stayed true to his New York roots and only relocated out of the city to his current residence. “I was accepted into medical schools, but I wanted to be more of a researcher than a clinician,” Dr. Cutie said, adding that his other great vocational passion is teaching. “I love being in a classroom, there’s nothing more rewarding.” In his tenure at the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences of Long Island University, Dr. Cutie is the only faculty member at Long Island University to be the recipient of the University’s four most prestigious awards. That being the Chancellor Award for Service and Scholarly achievements, The TASA Award for Research, The Newton Award for Teaching and The Founders Award for Innovation. Additionally, he has received the Salena Research Award, the Alumni Award, and the Rho Chi Award, and he has held numerous leadership positions at the University including associate dean of students for seven years and president of the AMS-AAUP Bargaining Unit Chapter for over 20 years. He has served as the director of the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and as director of pharmacy practice. Dr. Cutie’s contributions to the field are unparalleled as he has been extremely active in the formulation and reformulation of new chemical

entities and generic metered dose aerosol products. He has served as a consultant for the FDA and has been an active member over the past 40 years with various USP committees, with the Aerosol Specification Committee and with the Pharmaceutical Aerosol Committee of AAPS. Dr. Cutie has consulted in aerosol formulations and related aerosol device technology for over 40 pharmaceutical companies, and related industry suppliers. He has also served as general vice chairman and then as general chairman for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Today, Dr. Cutie continues to lecture and chair aerosol technology in numerous courses both in the United States and abroad. He has been well recognized in the area of pharmaceutical aerosols and has been the recipient of awards for his numerous contributions. Still, nothing brings him more satisfaction than passing his knowledge on to future generations, leaving an incalculable legacy in the process. “I’ve had the pleasure of teaching over 10,000 pharmacists in my career. The whole state has only 20,000 pharmacists, so if you walked into a pharmacy, they’d probably know who I am,” he said. “When you don’t move around and you do what you love training future pharmacists, you can’t help but be well known.”

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

INSPIRATION IN THE CLASSROOM DISTINGUISHED LEADERS SHARE THEIR EXPERTISE

D Dr. Yafeng Xia

Dr. Omar Tliba

Dr. Bhaskar Das

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r. Yafeng Xia joined LIU in the fall of 2003, and is presently senior professor of social sciences at Long Island University, Brooklyn. A leading scholar on Chinese foreign relations and U.S.China relations during the Cold War, Dr. Xia was a former public policy scholar and fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has presented his works at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Wilson Center, the United States Institute of Peace, and many prestigious Chinese universities. Dr. Xia is the author of Negotiating with the Enemy: U.S.-China Talks During the Cold War, 1949–1972 (2006), which won the 2010 Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Scholarly Achievement. He is coauthor of Mao and the Sino-Soviet Partnership, 1945–1959: A New History, with Zhihua Shen (2015); Mao and the Sino-Soviet Split, 1959–1973: A New History, with Danhui Li (2018); and A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976, with Zhihua Shen (2018). He has also published many articles on Cold War history and Chinese foreign relations.

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r. Omar Tliba is an NIH-funded professor, author, internationallyrecognized researcher, and pulmonary pharmacology pioneer. Dr. Tliba was an associate professor at the Institute of Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers Medical School. Before that, he was founding faculty at Thomas Jefferson College of Pharmacy. Dr. Tliba has over 23 years of research expertise in the area of allergic diseases. His primary research interests are studying the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases with a particular emphasis on asthma and COPD, specifically difficult-to-treat patients who suffer from severe asthma, a heterogeneous disease that is refractory to current therapy including corticosteroids. Dr. Tliba has pioneered the concept that airway structural cells such as airway smooth muscle may also orchestrate and perpetuate airway inflammation. Additionally, he has described novel mechanisms for studying corticosteroids insensitivity and has identified targets in remediating corticosteroids resistance. Dr. Tliba has received multiple NIH grants in the last 15 years including K99, R00, R21, and R01s grants in addition to grants awarded from prestigious foundations such as Parker B. Francis Families and The American Lung Association. He is a reviewer of


many national and international funding agencies such as the National Institute of Health, British Lung Foundation, MRC and asthma UK, Netherlands Respiratory Society, Singapore National Research Council, and the French National Research Agency. He is also an associate editor of BMC Immunology and editorial board member of multiple prestigious respiratory journals such as The American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, Allergy-Asthma & Clinical Immunology, Toxicogenomics, and International Journal of Molecular Sciences. He is also a reviewer for different high impact journals such as Lancet Respiratory Medicine and Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. He is also authored also in various high impact journals such as Annual Review of Physiology, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. Dr. Tliba earned his DVM at El-Tarf School of Veterinary Medicine in Algeria and his PhD and MS in immunology at the University of Francois Rabellais and Pasteur Institute in France.

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r. Bhaskar Das is a tenured professor of pharmacological science at LIU. He is an adjunct professor in the Weill Cornell Medical College, NY, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He earned his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, and M.Phil from Delhi University India. He received his Postdoctoral training experience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School, and University of Tennessee. His research interests are to develop with/without boron containing small

Dr. Das is committed to training the next generation of scientists and physicians at LIU.

molecular probes and pharmacological agents targeting mitochondrial, metabolic and oxidative signaling pathways for brain development and diseases. Dr. Das’ laboratory has successfully applied rational design to target single components of different signal transduction pathways (retinoic acid, oxidative stress and metabolic signaling pathways) of relevance for physiology and in embryonic development. To achieve these objectives Dr. Das’ group uses multidisciplinary tools including organic synthesis, molecular modeling, chemical biology, bio-orthogonal chemistry, molecular imaging (radio synthesis of PET, SPECT, MRI ligands and optical probes), molecular therapeutics (in-vitro and in-vivo study), molecular biology, neural stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, and bio-molecular nanotechnology. Dr. Das’ research is supported by NIH, DOD and many foundations. Currently Dr. Das and his group are supported by 10 active NIH grants from different institutes including NINDS, NIDDK, NIAID, NCI, and NIAAA and DOD. He has been active in training physicians and scientists at all levels. He regularly works with PhD students, residents, fellows, medical students,

graduate students, and high school students as a commitment to train the next generation of scientists and physicians. He has 28 world patents (six technologies have been transferred to pharmaceutical companies) and 89 Peer-reviewed publications. He is a reviewer, editor and associate editor on many international journals and also reviewer of many national (NIH, DOD, AHA, NSF, and many foundations) and international (Romania, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Poland, UAE, and India) funding agencies. Based on Dr. Das’ contribution to boron research in June 2014, he received the prestigious “Boron in the Americas Award” (for exceptional service to boron research and commitment to excellence) and many national and international awards. He was awarded as International Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2014), received the Research Collaboration Award from the British Pharmacological Society at the University of Aberdeen (2011), and the Young Investigator Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Center (2009).

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PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Students in Global College Accepted to National Research Conference

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ll of the 24 seniors in LIU’s Global College were accepted to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The prestigious event features the top undergraduate researchers from around the United States. Although the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, the distinction is a remarkable one for the two dozen graduating students. In place of the NCUR conference, Global College hosted a virtual event, where the students exhibited their erudite projects to an audience of more than 200 LIU faculty members and fellow students, as well as friends and family. “I am very proud of the success of our LIU Global students,” said Terence Blackburn, dean of Global College. “As demonstrated by their success in juried research competitions, their education throughout their time at Global in qualitative research and writing has provided them with excellent preparation for graduate school or the world of work.”

Students in Global College spend the first three years learning about the world's global issues through four lenses of culture, economics, environment, and governance. During their junior year, they draft a research proposal and select a part of the world to study. The project analyzes the local manifestation of a global problem within the context of the student’s selected community. Students then spend the first semester of their senior year, known as the independent research and internship semester, in their chosen location and conduct original qualitative research while also interning at a local organization. Finally, they spend their final semester polishing the work into a dynamic presentation.

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LIU’s Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies program is an accredited four-year bachelor’s education that immerses students in over eight countries for a one-ofa-kind education without borders.

transformation in Israel Palestine.”

This year, the seniors conducted their research in Byron Bay, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Ubud, Bali; Brussels, Belgium; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; San José, Costa Rica; Wicklow County, Ireland; Whanganui, New Zealand; Jerusalem, Palestine Israel; and Chicago, Hampton Roads, and New York City, United States. “Their research projects cover a wide range of topics and theories,” said Capstone Student Editor Gwen Lindberg, ’20. “Examples from this year include indigeneity, decolonialism, and connection to land and water in Whanganui, Aotearoa New Zealand and solidarity, radical intimacy, and narrative

Following the coronavirus pandemic, the value of analytical thinking on a global scale has never been higher and these accomplished students are entering the professional world with in-demand skills. “The diverse case studies presented here have two things in common,” said Jocelyn Lieu, senior thesis coordinator. “All address urgent issues facing humanity and the planet, and all explore pathways towards creating positive change. They represent the culmination of three semesters’ work as well as their four years of study of global issues.”

Learn more about Long Island University's Global College at: liu.edu/global


PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Data Analytics Students Train at National Science Foundation

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he National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics selected three students from LIU’s Master of Science in data analytics program to participate in the Coleridge Initiative applied data analytics training program held by the National Science Foundation at its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The students, Erin Caldwell, Elaheh Rajab Larijani and Stefan Faistenauer, worked with representatives from federal government agencies and students from other top universities to define and complete data analytics projects aimed at gaining insights into employment outcomes for U.S. doctoral recipients. Both Caldwell and Faistenauer already received full-time job offers before their graduation. Erin will work for the Bank of Switzerland base in New York, and Stefan will work for the German Economic Development Center in San Francisco. “The program has so much potential and I am so honored I was able to be a part of the first graduating class,” Caldwell said. “It was such an amazing program and I learned so much from all of my professors. I will recommend this program to all my friends, future colleagues and prospective students.”

Photos: Stefan Faistenauer, Elaheh Rajab Larijani, and Erin Caldwell

The University started the specialized Master of Science in Data Analytics (MDA) program—the first of its kind by a business school on Long Island—with a blend of data science, information technology and business courses to prepare students for the industry demand for data-literate managers and data analysts with solid business knowledge and quantitative analytical skills. The inaugural cohort arrived for the Spring 2019 semester, coming from over a dozen undergraduate institutions including The University of Arizona, Penn State University and LIU. Helped by recruiting efforts from faculty and wordof-mouth praise from students, the number of enrolled students nearly quadrupled for the Fall 2020 semester. The program is a STEM designated degree program and boasts a diversified faculty with strong academic and industry experience in prestigious organizations. They include Dr. Ling Zhu, a former science and technology policy fellow at the National Academies of Sciences; Dr. Syed Osman, a former economist at Amazon; Dr. Henry Han, a former director of the Big Data Lab at Fordham University; and Dr. Jiamin Han, a former post-doc fellow at University of Toronto. The Nespola Foundation, named after Richard Nespola, a member of LIU’s Board of Trustees, established the Nespola Scholars Program in Data Analytics to support the program. Nespola Scholars serve as student ambassadors and mentors for the next MDA cohort after graduation. Six students were recognized at LIU’s Award Ceremony for Nespola Scholars earlier this year. These outstanding students committed to study the application and impact of data analytics in the industries of transportation and logistics, higher education, sports, healthcare and environment protection.

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UNIVERSITY NEWS

ENTRE PRE NE U RSH I P : FUELING STUDENT VENTURES AT LIU

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f you build it, will it succeed? That is one of many educational questions that permeates the ethos at Long Island University. With a long track record for producing successful entrepreneurs, from industry giants like Jorge Pérez, co-founder of Related Group, and Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, to prominent restaurateurs such as Sarabeth Levine, founder of Sarabeth’s, and Kenneth Aretsky, founder of Aretsky’s Patroon, students at LIU inherit an elite pedigree for enterprising success upon graduation. Certainly, not everyone aspires to start their own business, but many of the questions that entrepreneurs confront on a daily basis are worthy of deliberation for professionals in any career path.

How do you engage the real world in what students face today, and at the same time match that with the theory in the classroom?”

Meanwhile, molecular biology major Nini Fan, ’17, ’19, concocted the brilliant idea to analyze the unique gut biome of pregnant women in order to provide tailored dietary advice, helping optimize the health of both mothers and infants. She led team BRKLYN INNOSEQ to create the groundbreaking MaMome app, which won top honors in 2019 from the European Innovation Academy in Turin, Italy. The team was also named a “Top Startup” and received the HAG Accelerator Program award, the Nixon Peabody IP Spark Award and a 25,000 euro Intellectual Property trademark. Earlier this year, BRKLYN INNOSEQ was accepted to ELabNYC, the largest life science accelerator on the East Coast. ELabNYC researchers collectively receive the second largest amount of funding from the National Institute of Health.

“We try to take an entrepreneurial mindset to most of the coursework,” said Ray Pullaro, dean of the School of Business, Public Administration & Information Sciences. “And that really just means: How do you engage the real world in what students face today, and at the same time match that with the theory in the classroom?” In addition to the University’s reputation for producing successful entrepreneurs, LIU students have at their fingertips scores of opportunities for workshopping business ideas and training in the requisite skills needed for future success, such as preparing investor pitches and even launching ventures. In recent years, LIU students wasted no time getting their brilliant ideas off the ground. Back in 2016, LIU accounting major Anthony LoSardo, ’16, kicked

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around an idea for brewing beer with some of his friends, including chemistry major Safraz Bacchus, ’18, finance major Nick Butera, ’16, management major Oscar Kuhnle Sekkelsten, ’16, and marketing major Jason Rubenfield, ’17. The group launched a Kickstarter campaign for the project and raised over $18,000. Today, the group operates Bayside Brewery, which has made its way inside dozens of restaurants and bars around New York City.

Top: Team BRKLYN INNOSEQ, led by LIU student Nini Fan, was accepted to ELabNYC, the largest life science accelerator on the East Coast. Bottom: Anthony LoSardo approached LIU faculty to help him build a business plan and learn how to market the product. He also launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, where he raised thousands of dollars to bring the plan to fruition.

Regardless of their major, LIU students learn in an education atmosphere that fosters innovation. “For us, entrepreneurship is about providing students with the opportunity as a discipline, but it’s more than that,” Pullaro said. “We try to think about all of our programs from an entrepreneurial standpoint.”


PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT

Now Recording: Future Stars

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ew York City has cradled many of the world’s most iconic and accomplished musicians. This prodigious group of A-list artists are globally renowned – Billy Joel, Jay-Z, Madonna, The Ramones, Lady Gaga, Ella Fitzgerald, Notorious B.I.G., Neil Diamond, Simon and Garfunkel, Steven Tyler, Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige, to name a few.

Building upon decades of excellence in music and the performing arts, Long Island University has elevated into an international destination for those who aspire to build a career in the music industry. The Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment places LIU in an unparalleled position to provide students with an elite education in these thriving industries. The programs within the school complement the University’s strong reputation for musical performance and will fit seamlessly within the Roc Nation School. Over the past two years, LIU students have recorded original music at Cove City Sound Studios, which has hosted the likes of Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, LL Cool J, Mandy Moore, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, as well as Reservoir Studios, which also boasts a stellar client list including Paul Simon, Spike Lee, Norah Jones, Sufjan Stevens and more. “I don’t see that happening at other universities,” said Tony Dofat, music professor on the Brooklyn campus.

Music professor Tony Dofat, an original member of Bad Boy Records, shares with students his insights gleaned from decades of working with dozens of high-profile artists, including Heavy D, Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige and Notorious B.I.G.

Dofat has been an integral piece of the Music Technology, Entrepreneurship and Production program in Brooklyn, drawing upon his connections from decades in the industry. “There was no program and we’re building something from scratch. We’re actually training these students to grow up to become potential moguls. It’s exciting.” Dofat is a Grammy-recognized and highly-decorated audio technology professor, responsible for over 40 million records sold worldwide. He is an original member of Bad Boy Records and has composed and produced hit tracks and remixes for some of the top recording artists in the industry, including Heavy D, Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige and Notorious B.I.G. Additional faculty include Samuel Newsome and Jeff Lederer. Newsome is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, and educator with six critically acclaimed solo saxophone albums to his name. He was voted Soprano Saxophonist of the Year in 2014 by the Seventh Annual International Critics Poll and received The Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music

Composition in 2018. Lederer is a saxophonist, woodwind performer and composer who has been included in the Downbeat Critics' and Readers' Polls each year since 2014. He leads ensembles including Shakers n' Bakers, Sunwatcher, Honey Ear Trio and Brooklyn Blowhards which received critical acclaim worldwide including a New York Times profile. “The record label lets our students experience first-hand exactly what is waiting out there for them in the current and rapidly shifting music industry,” said Lederer, who directs the program on the LIU Post campus. “I look forward to lots of creativity coming out of the program in innovative approaches to music and entrepreneurship.” “Music is going to always be around,” said Dofat. “The way we consume it is going to change. It’s going to always be in commercials, ads, movies, television, anywhere you go in public areas – airports, elevators, supermarkets. Even if the students decide not to pursue the music industry, they can still make a ton of money doing it in different aspects.”

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UNIVERSITY NEWS

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ong Island University paid tribute to the exceptional careers of Mary M. Lai ’42, Gale Stevens Haynes ’72, and other distinguished alumni at the annual LIU Gala. The virtual event included a moving tribute video celebrating the life and extraordinary legacy of the late Mrs. Lai, and a lifetime achievement award presented to Mrs. Haynes for her 46 years of service to LIU. Mary M. Lai was an authentic pioneer in finance having served as one of the first women to be CFO of such a large institution. In the world of academe, she rose to the heights of her profession. She was the first woman elected to chair the National Association of College and University Business Officers. As she approached her centennial year, Lai remained instrumental at the University as Senior Advisor and Treasurer Emerita, providing guidance, understanding and perspective.

She remembered fondly her correspondence with Warren Buffet and learning of their similar paths. Mary Lai was a gift to LIU and all those she touched, and she will be greatly missed. Reflecting on the University’s accomplishments in 2020 despite the challenges faced by everyone across the world, LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline noted that alumni have been crucial in paving the way for this success. “Tonight’s honorees are the ideal example of how Long Island University has been shaped by commitment and dedication from members of our campus community,” said Dr. Cline. “Lifetime Achievement Honorees and alumnae, Mary M. Lai and Gale Stevens Haynes, dedicated their entire careers to LIU and our students. It is my honor to thank you for your ongoing support of LIU. It has been a challenging year for everyone across the globe, but at LIU, we have persevered through resilience and a dedication to our community.”

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chievement awards honoring decades of alumni were presented to: Alfonso Duarte ’59; Irene Natividad-Cortese ’71; Andrea Cortese ’71, ’79; Nick Signorile ’86; Robin G. Senior ’90; Mohammed Taher ’09; and Lewis Lirosi ’15.

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A L F O N S O D UA RT E ’5 9 Graduating with a BS degree, Al enjoyed a successful career, ultimately serving as a senior partner at Korn Ferry Management Consulting Company. His advice to students: follow the ten commandments, be disciplined, work hard, exercise humility, and hope for a little luck along the way.

I R E N E N AT I V I DA DC O RT E S E ’7 1 Irene attended the Honors College and graduated as Valedictorian with a BA in literature. Today, she is a globally recognized leader and women’s advocate, and her support of LIU is rooted in her feeling that the University provides an outstanding education and opportunity for first- and second-generation Americans.

A N D R E A C O RT E S E ’7 1, ’7 9 With aspirations to become a teacher, Andrea ended up with a business career and credits his education and mentoring for his success. He earned an MBA from LIU and continues to support the University because he believes it is uniquely positioned, with multiple campuses and a range of programs, to attract the best students from the US and around the world.


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ale Stevens Haynes earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling at LIU. After completing her law degree at St. John’s University in 1983, she returned to LIU to serve as its legal counsel before assuming the position of Provost in 1989. In 2013, as a result of her years of experience and leadership, Haynes was named Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the University at large. Haynes also served as the Chairwoman of the Board of Education for the Roosevelt Union Free School District from 2007 to 2010. In November 2008, she was named Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for the Brooklyn Hospital Center. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Her 46 years of service to LIU culminated with her appointment as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Brooklyn Campus.

N I C K S I G N O R I L E ’8 6

R O B I N G. S E N I O R ’9 0

Nick is a graduate of LIU’s School of Accountancy. He commuted to both the Brookville and Brentwood campuses of LIU while working at a home improvement center, and he is now retired as CFO and COO of an alternative asset management firm. Nick feels it is important to give back as a way to say thank you to those who helped him.

Robin graduated with a BA in Theatre. She enrolled at LIU at the age of 33 after having begun her college career at UC Santa Barbara and then studying fashion design in Paris, France. It is important to her to support LIU because the education she received enriched her life, allowing her to realize her potential.

The additional alumni achievement awardees further represent the legacy of LIU spanning across numerous decades and their commitment to supporting the University. These alumni have gone on to impact the world through distinguished careers in finance, research, education, business, theatre, pharmacy and more. “As higher education rapidly evolves, our University is at the forefront of the curve with groundbreaking new academic programs and an exceptional research agenda,” said Eric Krasnoff, Chairman of the LIU Board of Trustees. “LIU’s success relies on the dedication displayed by our honorees tonight. Their leadership and imagination have brought the institution to amazing heights throughout its history. Tonight continues our proud tradition of honoring their contributions with our utmost respect and admiration.”

M O H A M M E D TA H E R ’0 9 Mohammed graduated from LIU Pharmacy and today is a business owner. Mohammed provides scholarships for LIU Pharmacy to help talented students have access to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which he feels will lead to professional success and improved health care services and outcomes for patients.

L E W I S L I R O S I ’1 5 Lewis greatly valued the leadership roles and opportunities he had on campus from being a resident assistant to a founding father of a fraternity. Lewis gives back to the University because of the tremendous support he had as a student here. He hopes that current undergraduates dream big, take risks, and live fearlessly.

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UNIVERSITY NEWS

FORBES FE ATURES FEVOLA AS F IN A N C E L E AD E R I N H I GH E R E D U CA T I O N

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he financial thought leadership of Christopher Fevola, ’12, vice president for finance and chief financial officer at Long Island University, has garnered national praise. In a recent Forbes article entitled “The Finance Leader In Higher Education,” senior contributor Jeff Thomson spoke with Fevola about how universities can follow LIU’s example of securing and sustaining a strong financial position while improving operating performance. The article highlighted many of the measurable gains at LIU, which are both bountiful and prodigious. The University has held annual tuition increases to 2% as part of a 2014 pledge, while receiving positive ratings from national credit agencies for several straight years and earning a perfect 3.0 financial responsibility rating from the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, endowment increased by 210% from $76.4 million in 2010 to $237 million in 2020, surpassing the University’s ambitious 2014 goal of $200 million by the end of the decade. Students are chief among the beneficiaries of these increases, with the University awarding more than $4.5 million in endowment-related and restricted scholarships, the most in LIU’s nearly 100-year history. This collaborative success warrants praise to the collective efforts of a cohesive team, in addition to the many exceptional distinctions at LIU that have made remarkable progress possible. “Long Island University has so many unique qualities and differentiators that I think we’re now really capturing the full potential of,” Fevola said of the last five years at LIU. An important part of Fevola’s leadership lies in understanding the importance of his responsibilities and influence of his role, stewarding the resources that enable virtually every extension of the University. “There are a lot of areas to look around and see progress, but this is where the functions start. We’ve really poised ourselves to be successful in the next decade.” Fevola grew up on Long Island and studied accounting in college. After graduating, he landed a job at KPMG where he started off conducting audits at a number of higher education institutions. As part of the auditing process, he examined the large-scale information systems that operate as the engines for universities. “That was a very fundamental but very important part of my skillset as my career went on,” Fevola said. “The chief financial officer of today can’t be limited just to the traditional responsibilities of things like finance, debt and payroll, but really needs to understand the importance and opportunity that information systems and data-driven support systems can provide.” The insights he gained during the auditing process prompted Fevola to pivot to higher education consulting at KPMG. The work itself was satisfying, but the extensive travel led him to consider a more grounded position at LIU in 2008. Fevola stayed on board when President Cline was hired in 2013 and the two shared a common vision for the University. Among the many rewarding aspects of his job, Fevola appreciates how the success of his work benefits the lives of LIU students, faculty, alumni and the surrounding community. “One of things I really enjoyed about higher education early in my career was the ability to be impactful,” he said. “That’s something that’s followed me to this day.”

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UNIVERSITY NEWS

International Society Honors LIU Admissions for Fourth Straight Year

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or the fourth consecutive year, Long Island University’s excellence in the development of transfer pathways earned recognition on Phi Theta Kappa’s 2020 Transfer Honor Roll. The distinction is awarded to the top 25% of colleges who earned the highest transfer friendliness ratings.

are the best at providing a supportive and smooth transition from community college — equating to increased rates of bachelor’s degree attainment for transfer students.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the world's most respected honor society for community college students. The international society recognizes the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges, helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. It is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges.

In response to the coronavirus shutdowns, the LIU Admissions team demonstrated extraordinary versatility by holding several virtual open houses for students since traditional in-person events were not feasible. The turnouts for these digital engagements were exceptional, providing one-to-one advising sessions and financial aid Q&A, and featuring speakers who touted the benefits of individual programs. Virtual open houses and information sessions catered to specific majors, such as nursing, and also provided information generally about academics, campus life, internships and scholarships.

LIU is one of only two private universities in New York state to be recognized. Other national universities to earn the prestigious honor include: Arizona State University, Kansas State University, Mississippi State University, Ohio University, Rutgers University, Texas Tech University, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Kansas, University of Louisville and University of Mississippi. “The Transfer Honor Roll reflects the growing importance of recognizing and responding to the needs of transfer students,” Phi Theta Kappa President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said. “This award is given to four-year colleges and universities with proven outcomes for transfer success. They

“We pride ourselves on getting to know all students and working with them to make their transition from application to enrollment a seamless experience,” said Anne Marie Caradonna, senior dean of University Admissions. “We are often told that this attention is what separates LIU from other institutions and it often brings a sense of comfort to transfer students during a time that may otherwise feel is a bit unsettling.”

Personalized attention is a hallmark of the team’s recruitment efforts, so the one-on-one discussions were familiar despite the physical separation. “The Admissions team captures the spirit of Phi Theta Kappa’s Transfer Honor Roll, giving individualized attention to every student who applies, working to help them complete their applications, and guiding them with respect to the proper prerequisite courses to take for the best chance at admission into their programs of choice,” Caradonna said. “Using face-toface digital technology was a great new method to enhance recruitment and connect with students.” Enrollment for incoming Transfer students for Fall 2020 is up more than 6% across the University from the previous year.

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UNIVERSITY NEWS

L I U H E AL T H PRO F ESSION S LEA D CO V I D - 1 9 RELIEF EF F O RTS

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ong Island University has provided innovative health solutions for nearly a century. Home to one of the oldest colleges of pharmacy in the nation, founded just three years after the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886, LIU now boasts a strong national reputation for educating thousands of students each year in a variety of health professions, including biomedical science, clinical laboratory science, exercise science, drug regulatory affairs, health care administration, nursing, nutrition, medical imaging, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistants, psychology, public health, and more. Collectively, the students and faculty within these dynamic programs provided critical relief for those impacted by COVID-19. Their bravery and leadership serve as a reminder of the inestimable value of healthcare workers and medical professionals.

PHARMACY STUDENTS SERVE ON FRONT LINES

L I U R E S P I R AT O R Y C A R E F I L L S CRITICAL VOID Several national media outlets praised the COVID-19 efforts of Lisa Shultis, Director of Respiratory Care. The Huffington Post, CNN, NPR and other prominent publications featured Shultis’ expert insight into the shortage of ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile. Shultis and other faculty members have been training students how to operate the ventilators. LIU’s Bachelor of Science in respiratory care program is one of only four accredited baccalaureate programs in respiratory care in New York.

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Nearly 200 students from LIU Pharmacy’s graduating class have worked on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. More than 100 students worked in community pharmacies, while more than 70 worked in a hospital pharmacy, including dozens of students on rotation at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.


$ 2 B I L L I O N T O W A R D S A VA C C I N E Executive John Trizzino, ’81, has helped Novavax secure over $2 billion in funding to support development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The global biotechnology company received awards from the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program, Department of Defense (DoD), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global partnership founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

S T U D E N T S P R O V I D E T E L E H E A LT H COUNSELING LIU students in the PhD in psychology program have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 public health crisis contributing to hospitals and clinics across the country by working in telehealth. Students working in the Psych Services Center in downtown Brooklyn came together to create a crisis-oriented, brief counseling program to be delivered via telehealth to fellow students in need.

L I U N U R S I N G L E A D E R S S P E A K AT C OV I D-19 TO W N H A L L M E E T I N G Dr. Peggy Tallier, dean of LIU’s Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing, and Dr. Julius Johnson, director of the family nurse practitioner program and president of the Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, spoke at a special event discussing front line efforts of nurses in the New York City area. The virtual event brought together 145 participants consisting of nursing leaders, educators, deans, administrators, students, researchers and elected officials.

SUPPORT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS E A R N S A W A R D F R O M B R O O K LY N PRESIDENT Senior Joyce Fordjour, who is majoring in social work, was honored by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for her community service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fordjour, CEO of the private catering company Modas Kitchen, provided Ghanaian jollof rice to local frontline workers. She is currently working with the National Black Leadership Commission on Health to create COVID-19 awareness and education.

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ON THE SHELF Roman Soldier vs Parthian Warrior: Carrhae to Nisibis, 53 BC–AD 217 (Combat)

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

By Dr. Simon Sheppard (Osprey Publishing)

By Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner (Beacon Press)

The latest book from Dr. Simon Sheppard, associate professor of political science, was ranked the #1 new release on Amazon for titles on ancient military history, conventional weapons and warfare history, Assyria, Babylonia and Mesopotamia history, and ancient Mesopotamia history. Roman Soldier vs Parthian Warrior: Carrhae to Nisibis, 53 BC– AD 217 (Combat) analyzes the clash of Roman and Parthian forces in 53 BC.

Monsterland By Michael Okon (WordFire Press)

Michael Okon (BS, ’00; MBA ’03), an awardwinning and best-selling author of multiple genres, won a 2020 Feathered Quill Book Award for his novel Monsterland. The Association of Independent Authors named the Feathered Quill awards one of the best award programs for independent authors.

Judith Heumann (BA in Speech ’69), an internationally recognized leader in the disability community, published her first book, entitled: Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. The book received praise from global icons, including Sheryl Sandberg and Hilary Clinton. Heumann served as special advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010-2017.

Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives By Dr. Gregory Hunter (ALA Neal-Schuman)

The American Library Association published a third edition of Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives by Dr. Gregory Hunter, professor of library and information science. The book is considered the clearest and most comprehensive guide to the discipline. Dr. Hunter is co-inventor on four patents in the area of digital preservation submitted by the project team in the United States and the European Union.

A High Five for Glenn Burke

Arab Spring: Modernity, Identity and Change

By Phil Bildner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Phil Bildner, ’95, a New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids, published his latest book A High Five for Glenn Burke. Bildner is also the founder of The Author Village, an author booking business, and winner of a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

By Eid Mohamed and Dr. Dalia Fahmy (Palgrave Macmillan)

Dr. Dalia Fahmy, associate professor of political science, co-edited Arab Spring: Modernity, Identity and Change. The book garnered praise from faculty at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Fahmy is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, D.C. and is an internationally recognized expert on U.S. foreign policy, political Islam and democratization.

Have you recently written a book? Let us know about it and we’ll gladly include it “On the Shelf!” We’re proud to promote work by our talented University alumni and faculty. Contact: liu.edu/alumni/submit 34

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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES

ZENAB KHAN Class of 2024 LIU Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Zenab has conducted whole genome sequencing experiments of SARS-CoV-2 to track introductions and spread of the coronavirus in New York City and across the Southern Hemisphere in Dr. Harm van Bakel's lab at Mount Sinai. Zenab is also an author on two manuscripts in preparation, along with one currently published in "Science" and currently holds a 4.0 GPA in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

AYA N N A KHADIJAH Class of 2023 LIU Brooklyn Business Administration

Ayanna is a second year business administration major with a concentration in finance and a minor in computer science. As the vice president of the Pre-Law Society, a Dean’s Scholar, and member of the Emerging Leaders Society, Ayanna has attended and created workshops designed to further develop her professional skills which has not only helped her as a young business professional, but has also helped her engage in campus life.

VIKAS DALAL

RINA SARFRAZ

Class of 2022 LIU Post Business Administration

Class of 2022 LIU Global Global Studies

Vikas enters his junior year with a decorated résumé that features numerous academic, co-curricular, and professional accolades. He is a Dean's Scholar, president of LIU's Student Managed Investment Fund, treasurer of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and was awarded LIU's Emerging Student Leader of the Year award as a freshman. Currently, Vikas interns at MPI Business Valuation and Advisory in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. His volunteer work bridges his passion of helping others and playing sports, helping people with disabilities participate in the Special Olympics at The College of New Jersey every summer.

Throughout her time with LIU Global, Rina has had the opportunity to visit various countries and be involved in valuable, experiential learning that enabled her to make several international connections. She visited Bosnia and Herzegovina with her class and was able to get in touch with a local NGO assisting refugees and migrants. She stayed for an additional two months to volunteer at a refugee camp. She also served as secretary for LIU Global Student Government tand is now the vice president for the 2020–2021 academic year.

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ATHLETICS

CHEERLEADING TEAM MAKES FINALS The LIU Cheerleading team landed a top 10 finish at the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Nationals, the most prestigious college cheerleading championship in the country. The event is held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2 to over 100 million homes and 32 countries nationwide each year.

WORLD CLASS GYMNAST JOINS S H A R K N AT I O N The inaugural gymnastics recruiting class got a big boost with the signing of freshman Mara Titarsolej. Titarsolej joined the Dutch National Team in 2013 and represented the Netherlands at the 2015 World Championships. She helped the Dutch team qualify a full team to the Olympics for the first time in almost 50 years. In 2016, Titarsolej competed as an individual at the European Championships in Switzerland, placing fifth on floor exercise.

SHARKS SCORE COACHES FROM TOP F O OT B A L L S C H O O L S

Mark Smith

Jim Cordle

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The LIU football team added coaches with elite pedigrees, hiring Super Bowl champion Jim Cordle as offensive coordinator, and Mark Smith as defensive coordinator. Smith joins the Sharks from the University of Arkansas, with previous coaching stops at the University of Oklahoma and Southern Methodist University. Cordle was the offensive coordinator at Urbana University and previously coached at Ohio State University, his alma mater. He played four seasons in the National Football League with the New York Giants, highlighted by the team’s Super Bowl XLVI victory in 2012.


T H I R D - G E N E R AT I O N I C E H O C K E Y C O A C H TA P P E D T O L E A D M E N ’ S T E A M Long Island University has selected Brett Riley to lead the Division I men's ice hockey program. Riley is a thirdgeneration collegiate hockey coach who joins LIU from Colgate University. He founded and maintained operations of GEN3 Hockey, an elite youth hockey program comprised of 42 teams and 855 players that has developed 12 NHL draft picks. Riley’s father and grandfather both served as head coach at Army West Point.

S H A R K N AT I O N – N C A A’ S T O P 1 0 % Five LIU athletic programs received NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program awards. LIU baseball, men's golf, women's golf, men's track & field and volleyball all scored in the top 10 percent nationally in Academic Progress Rate (APR) in their respective sports. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally.

L I U S E T S R E C O R D F O R H I G H E S T G PA Long Island University athletics set a Northeast Conference single-season record for the highest cumulative GPA during the 2019–2020 academic year, winning the prestigious Institutional GPA Award in the process. The University also claimed a conferencebest six Team GPA awards, two more than any other institution in the NCAA Division I conference.

SPORTS I L L U S T R AT E D , E S P N HIGHLIGHT LIU MEN’S ICE HOCKEY ESPN published a feature story covering the LIU men’s ice hockey team, the first NCAA Division I ice hockey team on Long Island. Additionally, senior goaltender Garett Metcalf earned recognition from Sports Illustrated as part of their top 100 NCAA players to watch in 2020–21 list. Metcalf was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Matilda Af Bjur

Paula Bergstrom

Linn Thomsen

W O M E N ’ S H O C K E Y T E A M M E M B E R S M A K E N AT I O N A L T E A M S Three members of the LIU women’s hockey team will represent their home countries by competing for their national teams in upcoming international tournaments. Sophomore defender Paula Bergstrom, #2, and sophomore forward Matilda Af Bjur, #21, both made the Sweden National Team, and sophomore defender Linn Thomsen, #8, made the Denmark National Team.

S W I M T E A M F I N I S H E S T O P 5 I N T H E N AT I O N The LIU women's swimming team finished with the fourth-highest team GPA in the nation at 3.70, ahead of other top schools, including Harvard University, Michigan State University and American University. As a result, the Sharks were named a Fall Scholar All-America Team by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

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NEWSROOM $12 million in state funding to help open the region’s only veterinary medicine college. (Photo courtesy of Suffolk County Democratic Committee)

W A L L S T R E E T J O U R N A L’ S C O L L E G E R A N K I N G S 2021 Long Island University has secured a place in The Wall Street Journal’s/Times Higher Education College Rankings for 2021. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are based on 15 individual performance indicators and responses from more than 170,000 current college students, collected through an annual student survey. LIU received high marks for student engagement and campus environment.

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT’S BEST C O L L E G E S F O R 2021

PRINCETON REVIEW RANKS LIU BEST IN NORTHEAST

Long Island University earned recognition on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for 2021. This marks the fourth consecutive year the University has earned the distinction from the premier national ranking database. LIU earned additional recognition for the University’s high ranking in social mobility.

For the fourth consecutive year, The Princeton Review has ranked Long Island University on its list of Best Colleges in the Northeast. The Princeton Review’s annual rankings, which consider hundreds of institutions, are determined primarily by overall excellence and student experience.

NSF FUNDS CO SM O LO GY PRIZE WINNE R’S N E U T R O N S TA R R E S E A R C H The National Science Foundation is funding pioneering research from Dr. Steven Liebling, professor of physics. Dr. Liebling, winner of the prestigious Buchalter Cosmology Prize, has worked with members of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), the world's largest gravitational wave observatory. In 2015, LIGO made one of the most profound discoveries of the 21st century when its twin laser detectors measured ripples in the fabric of spacetime – gravitational waves – arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic collision of neutron stars in the distant universe.

E M M Y- W I N N I N G S U P E R B O W L P R O D U C E R T O E N T E R H A L L O F FA M E Fred Gaudelli, ’82, Emmy-Award winning executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Gaudelli, who has collected 24 Emmys during his 30-year run producing primetime NFL games, enters with eight other members in the Class of 2020, including Charles Barkley, James Brown and Phyllis George. Gaudelli has produced six Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XLIX, which still ranks as the most-watched program in U.S. TV history with an average of 114.4 million viewers. 38

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NEWSROOM NIH AWARDS $5M TO GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCHER The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a R01 grant worth more than $5 million to Dr. Bhaskar Das, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, to fund research on treatments of microsporidiosis, an emerging zoonotic infection. Dr. Das has received 20 NIH grants and his 28 patents have earned over $100 million. He leads the University’s Core Facility in Medicinal Chemistry and has conducted groundbreaking research in cancer therapy, obesity, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer’s disease.

H A M I LT O N D I R E C T O R J O I N S LIU AS GUEST ARTIST Hannah Ryan, resident director of Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway and the U.S. Tour, will serve as one of four guest artists for the Post Theatre Company. Ryan also directed An American in Paris on Broadway. LIU students will work directly under the guidance of the guest artists, which also include Debbie Christine Tjong, Benita de Wit and NJ Agwuna.

B E R T H E L P R O M OT E D T O E L E VAT E D LEADERSHIP ROLE Michael Berthel was promoted to chief of student affairs and alumni engagement. Michael has over 12 years of student affairs experience and previously served in the roles of associate dean of students and director of campus life, dean of students, and most recently as executive dean of students at LIU. Michael has demonstrated strong leadership and developed an outstanding rapport with his campus peers and students. He launched the "Ask the Dean" series—an open forum for addressing student questions, expanded campus programming and led the University’s on campus rebranding campaign. Under Michael’s leadership, LIU students log more than 150,000 service hours annually.

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JOIN SH A R K NAT ION

Show your colors with Long Island University apparel liu.edu/shop


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ALUMNI EVENTS LIU offers many opportunities to stay engaged with the community and continue your educational and professional growth long after graduation. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for upcoming events.

VIRTUAL EVENTS

ONLINE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

We are producing virtual events that are fun, informational, and relevant. Keep an eye out for the following events coming up:

We've teamed up with NTSI to bring you online defensive driving courses. Receive a discount on car insurance and reduction in points once completed. Discount and reduction vary from state-to-state. Currently only available for alumni residents of NY and NJ.

•V  irtual masterclasses led by LIU professors •H  utton House Lectures Online • Alumni led enrichment seminars •F  itness classes, virtual entertainment, and more!

For more information and to register for events, please visit: liu.edu/alumni/events Feel free to email us at LIUalumni@liu.edu if you have any suggestions.

New York Course: lms.ntsi.com/registration/LIU-NYOLDDC New Jersey Course: lms.ntsi.com/registration/LIU-NJOLDDC

Check our website at liu.edu/alumni for the most up-to-date alumni information, news, and events.

Get your Annual Alumni Membership today! community.liu.edu/liualumnimembership For $10 a year, alumni will receive: •  Alumni ID card •  Alumni email address with Microsoft Office 365 •  Access to LIU’s job portal Handshake

Tell us your story! Share your personal milestones and professional accomplishments with the LIU community! Visit liu.edu/alumni/submit to send your story.

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CLASS NOTES

CLASS NOTES TELL US YOUR STORY! SHARE YOUR PERSONAL MILESTONES AND PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH THE LIU COMMUNITY Visit liu.edu/alumni/submit to send your story.

1950s NICHOLAS PILEGGI, ’56, is a renowned journalist, author and screenwriter. Pileggi co-authored the screenplays for iconic mob films Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), which celebrated their 30-year and 25-year anniversaries in 2020. More recently, he served as an executive producer for The Irishman (2019), which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture.

1960s DR. JOE MACHNIK, ’64, longtime FIFA match commissioner, is the soccer rules analyst for FOX Sports international soccer broadcasting. Dr. Machnik is also the founder and president of No. 1 Soccer Camps, which has trained over 100,000 players across the country over the last 44 years. In 2017, U.S. Soccer inducted Machnik into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as a “Builder” for his contributions to the game. DR. STAN PELOFSKY, ’62, is a five-star neurosurgeon in Oklahoma City with 54 years of experience. He served as a physician in the Vietnam War and was also awarded the Ellis Island Medal for his work in the neurosciences. Dr. Pelofsky holds memberships in many medical associations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, serving as its president 2001-2002, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Oklahoma Neurological

Dr. Stan Pelofsky

Society, the Oklahoma City Surgical Society, the American College of Surgeons, the Royal Society of Medicine, London, England, and the North American Spine Society. JUDITH HEUMANN, ’69, an internationally recognized leader in the disability community, published her first book, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist. The book received praise from global icons, including Sheryl Sandberg and Hilary Clinton. Heumann served as special advisor for international disability rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010-2017.

1970s IRENE NATIVIDAD, ’71, is president of the Global Summit of Women. Natividad was the first Asian American woman to lead a national political organization in the United States as chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus. She also served as chair of the Coalition for Women’s Appointments for the presidential administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. JORGE PÉREZ, ’72, founder and chief executive officer of Related Group, made South Florida Business Journal’s prestigious list of Ultimate CEO’s for 2020. Pérez also ranked on Forbes Billionaires 2020 list. Nicknamed the “Condo King,” Dr. Joe Machnik

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Pérez founded Related Group in 1979, which has built and managed more than 100,000 condominium and apartment residences over the past four decades. STEVEN HOROWITZ, ’78, earned a 2020 Leaders & Achievers Award from Providence Business News for his 22 years as president and chief executive officer at Saint Elizabeth Community, a leading nursing and rehab center in Rhode Island. The organization experienced exponential growth under Horowitz’s leadership.

FRED GAUDELLI, ’82, Emmy-Award winning executive producer of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Gaudelli, who has collected 24 Emmys during his 30-year run producing primetime NFL games, enters with eight other members in the Class of 2020, including Charles Barkley, James Brown and Phyllis George. Gaudelli has produced six Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XLIX, which still ranks as the mostwatched program in U.S. TV history with an average of 114.4 million viewers.

DR. BILL SCHUTT, ’78, professor of biology at Long Island University, scripted his third TED-Ed video entitled “How Blood Transfusions Work.” The video gained over 250,000 views in the first ten days. Dr. Schutt has scripted two other videos for TED-Ed, which gained more than 5.5 million combined views and ranked in the site’s top ten most watched videos of the year for 2018 and 2019. LESTER OWENS, ’79, serves as head of operations for Wells Fargo & Company. Owens joins Wells Fargo from Bank of New York Mellon, where he was global head of operations. Prior to that, he spent three decades as an executive at J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Citi and Bankers Trust. (Read more on p. 13)

1980s DR. BRETT GREENKY, ’80, a premier joint replacement surgeon in the United States, is president of Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists. He also serves as the co-executive director and founder of Operation Walk Syracuse, a not-forprofit volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatments for patients in developing countries and in the United States. MICHAEL OZANIAN, ’81, serves as executive editor at Forbes. Since joining the publication in 1997, Ozanian has created sports team valuation and actor return-on-investment databases at Forbes. He is also the co-host and managing editor of Forbes’ SportsMoney, a two-time New York Emmy Award winning television show on the YES Network. JOHN TRIZZINO, ’81, was appointed executive vice president, chief business officer and chief financial officer at Novavax, a global biotechnology company widely identified as a leading candidate to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Novavax won the largest-ever investment, a grant of up to $384 million, from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global coalition aiding COVID-19 vaccine development. Additionally, the Department of Defense awarded Novavax a $60 million contract to help manufacture its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Fred Guadelli

DR. JOSEPH ANNELLI, ’83, founded Practical One Health Solutions after retiring from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services. He was the senior advisor for Agriculture and Health Systems (One Health Coordinator) and director of the One Health Coordination Center. He has 32 years of experience covering a broad range of international and domestic public health and animal health disease eradication programs and policy development. JERRY SCHIANO, ’83, is chief executive officer of Spring EQ, a mortgage lending startup based in Philadelphia. Prior to founding Spring EQ, Schiano founded New Penn Financial in April 2008 and grew the company to over 2,000 employees in 150 offices across the country. ABDUL MUKTADIR, ’84, is the founding chairman and managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals, the second largest drug manufacturer in Bangladesh. In May, Muktadir delivered an inspiring address to the Class of 2020 at Long Island University. SANDRA ALTINÉ, ’86, was named vice president, workforce diversity & inclusion at Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, Altiné was the managing director of global diversity and inclusion for Moody’s. She is a board member of Coro NY, a premier leadership training organization in New York City, and sits on the advisory board of The Families and Work Institute. (Read more on p. 10)

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CLASS NOTES

DIETER WEINAND, ’87, was appointed chairman of the board of directors at Replimune Group Inc. (REPL), a biotechnology company developing oncolytic immuno-gene therapies. Weinand was formerly the executive vice president of Primary Care and a member of the executive committee at Sanofi, a global leader in healthcare. Prior to that he was the president of the pharmaceuticals division and member of the management board at Bayer AG. He has also held executive positions at Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb.

WAYNE A. STONE, ’92, senior executive in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is a Recanati-Kaplan Senior Fellow at Harvard University. He formerly served as acting inspector general for the Intelligence Community. Stone has earned numerous honorable distinctions over the course of his decorated career in the Intelligence Community, including the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, a National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal and a National Intelligence Medallion. (Read more on p. 11)

DON MCKENNA, ’88, ’97, was appointed as president of Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center, a 300,000-square-foot, acute care hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania scheduled to open in 2021. McKenna previously served as president and chief executive officer of Jupiter Health in Florida. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as the president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Georgia.

ANNA HAMILTON, ’92, ’95, is the chief executive officer for Jamaica Freight & Shipping Limited. Jamaica Freight & Shipping is a leading shipping company in the Caribbean and the exclusive port agent for West Indies Alumina Company. PATTY BARRON, ’92, director of family readiness for the Association of the U.S. Army, was sworn in as member of the Defense Department’s Military Family Readiness Council. The 18-member council provides recommendations on family programs, policies and plans, meeting at least twice a year to monitor and evaluate programs. LINDA BEIGEL SCHULMAN, ’94, was named the 2020 "Woman of Distinction" by Suffolk County Legislator Susan A. Berland. Schulman was instrumental in the passage of the "Red Flag Law" in Florida, which calls for the removal of firearms from people deemed by a court to be a present danger to themselves or others. She advocated for a similar law in New York that has been regarded as the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in the country.

Don McKenna

CYNTHIA MCCAULEY, ’88, was appointed chief executive officer at St. Mary’s Medical Center and The Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. McCauley previously served as chief administrative officer. South Florida Business Journal recognized her as one of the “25 Most Influential Business Women in South Florida.”

1990s JONATHAN SLAYBAUGH, ’90, was named a Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State. Slaybaugh, principal at the Birchwood School in the Clarkstown Central School District, won the 2020 K-12 Building Principal Award. SHARON SARSEN, ’91, head coach of Lakeland High School’s varsity girls field hockey team, will be inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame. Sarsen is the winningest varsity field hockey coach in New York State history as well as the secondwinningest varsity girls lacrosse coach in the state.

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PHIL BILDNER, ’95, a New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids, published his latest book A High Five for Glenn Burke. Bildner is also the founder of The Author Village, an author booking business, and winner of a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. FELICIA THOMAS-WILLIAMS, ’96, principal at West Middle School, was named a 2020 New York State Secondary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State. The annual award recognizes a member the association who has succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students, as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession. SHEILA ENRIQUEZ, ’96, managing partner & chief executive officer of Briggs & Veselka Co., the largest independent CPA firm in Houston and the third largest in Texas, earned recognition on Houston Business Journal’s list of 2020 Most Admired CEOs. Enriquez was previously featured on the cover of Houston Business Journal and has been recognized as a 2019 Business Journal National Finance Influencer and 2020 Breakthrough Women by The Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce.


PARAG DESAI, ’96, was named executive director at Wagh Bakri Group, a globally recognized name in tea exports and retail. Desai spearheads sales, marketing and export departments for the group and is an expert tea taster and evaluator. Founded in 1892, Wagh Bakri Group is now one of the leading packaged tea companies in India. KEVIN G. MURPHY, ’96, is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Signature Healthcare, Southeastern Massachusetts’ premier local provider of quality, personalized medical services. Murphy has 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including executive positions at New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Richmond University Medical Center and White Plains Hospital Center. DR. AMOL MATHARU, ’98, ’10, is chief scientific officer at Aprecia Pharmaceuticals. Aprecia is the world’s first and only FDA-validated, commercial scale three-dimensional printing pharmaceutical manufacturer. BRIAN C. TURNER, ’98, was named assistant director of the Operational Technology Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Turner served in the U.S. Army for nearly a decade and also taught at West Point before joining the FBI as a special agent in 2002. SEAN MUZZY, ’99, is president, North America at Matterkind, a new audience engagement company within Interpublic Group, one of the “Big Four” advertising agencies. Muzzy joined Interpublic Group in 2018 to lead help launch Matterkind, formerly known as Cadreon. Prior to that, he spent nearly two decades in senior leadership positions at Ogilvy, including chief product & platform officer, worldwide. (Read more on p. 15)

leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. HOWARD HUTTON, ’03, is founder and president of GDA Hockey, one of the top family-advisor groups in North America, delivering over $3 million in scholarships to GDA players and families. He is a former ice hockey head coach, with experience at the NCAA, college club, and high school levels. Prior to becoming a full-time head coach, Hutton worked for Radio Disney as promotions director. At the time, he was the youngest broadcast director in the country. DR. KATRINA LOHAN, ’04, was appointed senior scientist at the Marine Disease Ecology Laboratory within the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Dr. Lohan specializes in parasite tracking and previously worked within the Department of Entomology at the National Museum of Natural History. MARIE DONNELY, ’05, was named interim assistant superintendent for business at Hewlett-Woodmere School District. Donnelly will oversee the business, human resources, transportation, food service, facilities, security, technology and nursing staff. She will also be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the annual budget. ALIQAE GERACI, ’08, has been named the new director of the Walter P. Reuther Library and Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit. A former public librarian and union researcher, Geraci is a public library advocate and an active member of Local 1321 Queens Library Guild.

2000s MICHAEL OKON, ’00, ’03, an award-winning and bestselling author of multiple genres, won a 2020 Feathered Quill Book Awards for his novel Monsterland. The Association of Independent Authors named the Feathered Quill awards one of the best award programs for independent authors. DR. ALISON CLARK, ’01, was named Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State. Clark, Principal at Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District's Stratford Road Elementary School, was named the 2020 New York State Elementary Principal of the Year. ERIC BITETTO, ’01, founder of Semper Fortis Financial, LLC, was recently selected as Top Financial Professional of the Year 2020 by the International Association of Top Professionals for his outstanding leadership and dedication to the industry. The award is given to individuals based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements,

Aliqae Geraci

2010s SHANTÉ BASSETT, ’11, ’15, was named president & chief executive officer of Global Tassels, an international nonprofit founded in 2014. Global Tassels provides college education opportunities for underprivileged youth with leadership qualities living in the developing world and supports local community-based organizations with programs related to poverty reduction.

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CLASS NOTES

DR. CLAUDE JOSEPH, ’12, is minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Haiti. Joseph previously served as chartered ambassador to Argentina. Prior to joining Haitian diplomacy, he served as a professor of public policy at LIU.

KORA FEDER, ’17, released a new single “In a Young Person’s Body” that was named a “Protest songs on the Rise in 2020” by Austin 360, part of The Austin American-Statesman. Feder’s music has earned over 600,000 plays on Spotify, spent four months in the top albums on US Folk Radio Charts, and garnered praise from NPR, The Washington Post, The Sacramento Bee, Houston Music Review and more. NINI FAN, ’17, ’19, co-founded MaMome, a health technology company that focuses on clinical application towards maternal-child health. The app provides novel maternal microbiome testing through patented technology and is currently collaborating with OB/GYN clinics. Last year MaMome won the European Innovation Academy’s highest prize of “Top Startup” and earned admission into ELabNYC, the largest life science accelerator on the East Coast.

Dr. Claude Joseph

NASHEET WAITS, ’12, renowned drummer, composer and educator, has joined the New England Conservatory's Jazz Studies Department. Waits is widely known for his performances and recordings with a jazz greats including Antonio Hart, Geri Allen, Greg Osby, Marc Cary, Andrew Hill, Wallace Roney and many others. His father is legendary percussionist Frederick Waits, who played with Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach and McCoy Tyner. JUSTIN TOPA, ’13, joined the Milwaukee Brewers 60-man roster. Prior to joining the Brewers, Topa was a member of the Texas Rangers organization. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012. DENISE HERNANDEZ-FIGUEROA, ’13, was named chief nursing officer at Coral Gables Hospital, a premier acute-care facility in South Florida. She previously served as director of emergency services at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida. STEFANI SASSOS, ’16, leads The Nutrition Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, part of Hearst Magazines. The Nutrition Lab is one of seven testing spaces in the Good Housekeeping Institute. It aims to provide consumers with evidence-based nutrition content and recommendations to help readers make informed food choices and live healthy lives. ALEX LYNN, ’17, released her new project Alex the Astronaut, which was featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered.” Lynn created demos in her dorm as a student-athlete on the LIU women’s soccer team. She was recently tapped as one of “Australia's most powerful and important songwriters” by Pilerats.com.

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ALECIA MUWONGE, ’18, adjunct professor of pharmaceutics and industrial science, co-authored a paper that was published in Current HIV Research. The study analyzed chemical design changes caused by resistance associated mutations in combination antiretroviral therapy, used to suppress viral loads in HIV patients. Muwonge also serves as associate researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. DR. RITA LANGDON, ’19, dean of the School of Professional Studies, wrote her dissertation on the pedagogical use of mobile devices in the college classroom. The findings from Dr. Langdon’s study were the subject of a cover story in this month’s Campus News, entitled “Smartphones in the classroom: How much is too much?”

2020s DR. ZSOLT KULCSAR, ’20, chief of rheumatology and physician lead at White Plains Hospital in New York, served as the featured guest of Rheum Advisor On Air, a podcast from Rheumatology Advisor. Dr. Kulcsar discussed the evolution of telemedicine and what the future may look like for the management of rheumatologic conditions. PAIGE BONAVITO, ’20, broke into the national discourse thanks to her honors thesis "Exploring the Scott Peterson Case." The thesis has been widely cited in academic circles and was featured on the popular crime podcast Crimeficionados. Bonavito is currently working toward her Master of Science degree in criminal justice.


honoring

BRETT YORMARK Co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified President of Business Operations & Strategy and

ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 The Plaza Hotel | New York City Cocktails and Silent Auction, 6 p.m. Dinner, 7 p.m.

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Fall 2020 LIU Magazine