LIU Magazine - December Fall 2019

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joining Cornell, Tufts and University of Pennsylvania





Show your colors with Long Island University apparel

IN THIS ISSUE December 2019

DR. KIMBERLY R. CLINE President, Long Island University




College of Veterinary Medicine

30 Student Success Stories


Shark Nation

31 Athletics


10 Brooklyn Development Project

LAUREN MELONE SILVERBERG Chief Communications Officer


DR. JESSICA HAYES Chief of Staff and University Relations LAUREN PANKRATZ Senior Creative Director MARY STUDDERT Associate Director of Communications RACHEL BOOTH Associate Director of Communications ZAC HOWARD Assistant Director of Marketing

New President at GEICO



Centenary Celebration

24 LIU Global

16 Accounting for Change


LIU as a Top Choice



Certifiably Generous

20 Transformational Executive


Educational Harmony for All

22 Raising the Bar


Summer Honors Institute


Adventurous Accountant

Oxford Bound



Alumni Events


All-Pro Coverage


Intersection of Law and Data


Annual Report


International Research


Class Notes


Honors College

36 Newsroom

EMPLOYER & ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT DR. WILLIAM E. MARTINOV, JR. Director of Athletics, Chief of Employer and Alumni Engagement


DR. ANDY PERSON Chief of Strategic Planning


JOAN YONKE Director of Development and the Annual Fund

MOREEN MITCHELL University Director of Employer and Alumni Engagement MICHELLE NIMETZ Associate Director of Employer and Alumni Engagement CATHERINE SNEDECOR Assistant Director of Media Relations, Athletics

Stay connected! Visit or email to share News and Notes or update your alumni profile, address, and/or contact information. Copyright ©2019 by LIU. All rights reserved.

Dear Friends: Since Long Island University was founded nearly a century ago, few calendar years have been more eventful than 2019. The University is ascending to unprecedented heights, as the LIU brand continues to grow on a national level. Our students and alumni selected a new mascot to represent LIU’s unified athletic programs. Shark Nation is carrying the University’s proud legacy into the future.

As we strive to educate, equip and empower our students to make a difference around the world and in their community, our global alumni network of more than 265,000 adds leaders with every graduating class. From groundbreaking research and technological innovation to professional achievement and academic excellence, this issue of LIU Magazine is filled with captivating stories from some of the exceptional individuals who comprise Long Island University. I am pleased to share them with you and invite you to join me in celebrating their success. Sincerely,

ON THE COVER: College of Veterinary Medicine Artist Rendering


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The College of Veterinary Medicine is led by Carmen Fuentealba, DVM, MSc, PhD, who is an award-winning educator with extensive administrative and research experience.


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or nearly 100 years, Long Island University has built and maintained a reputation for providing solutions before any other institution. The University is home to the nation’s first school of professional accountancy, Brooklyn’s first college of pharmacy, the prestigious George Polk Awards in the field of journalism and LIU’s unique Global College, which offers the only accredited four-year bachelor’s degree program of its kind in the world. Another historic and unprecedented achievement became official this fall with the approval of Long Island University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (LIU-CVM) – the first in the New York metropolitan area and only the fourth in the Northeast, joining the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and Tufts University. LIU-CVM received a Letter of Reasonable Assurance from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (AVMA-COE). Receipt of the letter enables the University to commence accepting applications for students who will begin the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program in Fall 2020. “We are extremely proud that LIU’s new College of Veterinary Medicine has met the high standards of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education,” President Kimberly R. Cline said. “The launch of our veterinary school further elevates LIU as we clearly continue on our path to status as a nationally recognized teaching and research institution.” Last May, LIU was awarded $12 million by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — as part of New York State’s investment in transformational health care initiatives — to help establish Long Island as a biotechnology research corridor. “Opening the first veterinary college in the New York metropolitan area will help transform the region and further contribute to Long Island’s life-sciences research corridor as well as its economic health by creating jobs,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association. LIU-CVM has secured partnerships with more than 50 affiliates, including primary care and specialty clinics, zoos, research laboratories, and animal shelters in order to enable DVM students to gain real world experience in surgery, diagnostic support, intensive care, and other areas critical for successful veterinary practice. “LIU-CVM faculty, selected based on their strong reputation as scholars and educators, are prepared to offer the highest quality education to the next generation of globally competent, practice-ready and entrepreneurial veterinarians,” said LIU-CVM’s Dean and award-winning educator, Dr. Carmen Fuentealba. LIU-CVM’s world-class faculty will offer hands-on learning experiences through a unique distributed education model featuring supervised clinical experiences throughout the first four years of veterinary education. “We are gratified that LIU will provide students and faculty the opportunity to lead and advance veterinary medicine,” said Dr. Randy Burd, LIU’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. At full enrollment, the veterinary college will serve 400 students, with 100 in each graduating class.

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THE SHARKS The new Long Island University Women’s Ice Hockey team is the first Division I ice hockey team in Long Island.


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ew creatures on earth can compare with the majestic ferocity of sharks. Nothing provokes fear and marvel like the sight of a dorsal fin cutting through the water just above the surface. This remarkable predator will carry the tradition and legacy of Long Island University into the competitive waters of national prominence. LIU students and alumni made history this spring by choosing the Shark as the mascot of the University’s expanded NCAA Division I program, which united the Brooklyn and Post campuses. The vote made LIU the first NCAA Division I program on the East Coast to make the Shark its mascot. The Shark was selected as the favorite mascot from among three finalists by a vote of LIU students and alumni. The voting window opened in April and closed in May, with the Shark beating its competitors, the Eagle and the Falcon. The selection is fitting for the University, with campuses located on Long Island and surrounded by the waters of the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean, where these iconic animals swim. Moreover, sharks embody strength, resolve and brilliance — qualities that represent the spirit of LIU and the individuals who comprise the University. The future is bright and exciting, yet the transition inevitably brings bittersweet sentiments for many alumni who proudly cheered and competed as Blackbirds and Pioneers. The Sharks will honor the legacy built by those

individuals. The foundation of excellence and tradition allows current and future teams to advance the accomplished tradition already in place. In LIU’s history, its teams have combined for 23 national championships, 218 conference titles, and 376 All-Americans. The University’s new colors are blue and gold — chosen to honor and unite the traditions of both LIU campuses. “The athletic program will help give the school national attention for our academics,” said alumni association president Bob Jahelka (Accounting, ’84). “LIU has gone through a lot of changes, but still it’s always going to be our school.”

Few alumni have made greater contributions to LIU’s football prestige than Jahelka and perhaps no one exhibits more school pride — he is in the school’s athletics hall of fame and named several of his businesses after the University (read more about Jahelka on page 18). Having played in plenty of big games as a student at LIU, Jahelka gushed enthusiasm after the atmosphere at the inaugural Division I football game. “It was an unbelievable environment,” he said, “It was like homecoming. And that’s what it’s going to be like almost every weekend. It’s really quite amazing.”

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The University held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the newly renovated Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium prior to the start of LIU’s inaugural NCAA Division I home football game.

The new mascot is already bringing unprecedented national exposure to the University’s Division I athletics program. The Sharks are practically regulars on ESPN these days. In soccer, freshman forward Papa Ndoye’s spectacular bicycle kick against Columbia University scored the #1 spot on the network’s Top Ten Plays. Two weeks later, senior running back Tim Marinan appeared on Monday Night Football’s popular C’Mon Man! segment for his clever use of an official as a lead blocker against Bryant University. The game was originally broadcasted live on ESPN3, as was the team’s game against Wagner College. This summer the football team announced future road games against the West Virginia University Mountaineers and the Miami University RedHawks in 2021 and the University of Toledo Rockets in 2022. Later this year, the men’s basketball team will travel to Lubbock, Texas to play Texas Tech University. The Red Raiders made the Final Four and played in the national championship game last season.

Signed by New York Giants of National Football League


Signed by Houston Dash of National Women’s Soccer League


“I’m excited about new opportunities for our athletics,” said Athletic Director Dr. Bill Martinov. “We will grow as a Division I program and continue to recruit exceptional student-athletes.” Meanwhile, Newsday highlighted the LIU women’s ice hockey team, the first ever on Long Island. Over homecoming weekend, the team battled the defending national champion University of Wisconsin Badgers at Nassau Coliseum. “We are bringing NCAA Division I hockey to New York City, and I’m so incredibly thankful to LIU Athletics for the confidence and trust that they have shown in me to serve as LIU’s first ever women’s hockey coach,” said head coach Rob Morgan, who has previously coached for professional teams in Canada and China, along with Yale University. “I believe I can take my experiences from along the way and collectively we can lay a foundation and build a championship program.”


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Signed by Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball

SHARKS IN THE PROS Long Island University added to its list of professional athletes, with a trio of former stars joining teams in top leagues this summer. As the national reputation of Shark Nation grows, nothing boosts the University’s athletic reputation faster than winning, including the continued success of individual athletes.



in the nation,” Williams said. “It’s all about a winner’s mentality. If you don’t believe it, you won’t achieve.” This fixation on winning is understandable given Williams’ football mentors, which include Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Tom Coughlin and Pete Carroll, all of whom have won a Super Bowl as a head coach – collectively totaling 11 championships.

Professor Perry Williams


nyone within earshot of a Perry Williams lecture is likely to feel the sudden compulsion to strap on a football helmet or give a hearty pat on the back to a nearby stranger. Although the longtime cornerback for the New York Giants, who is now educating students in LIU’s sports management program at the Post campus, no longer wears pads to work, he maintains the same passionate intensity that helped him win two Super Bowls in the NFL. “They call me the MAD man, not that I’m crazy, but I’m a Make-A-Difference guy,” he said. “I know what it takes to win and what it takes to be a winner.” Williams also serves as a Faculty Athletic Representative for the University, working as a counselor and liaison for LIU student-athletes. He has spent the last two decades teaching at Farleigh Dickerson University in nearby Bergen County, New Jersey, where he earned his master’s degree while he was still playing for the Giants. He met College of Management Dean Dr. Rob Valli earlier this year and jumped at the opportunity to join LIU as the University begins its first year as Sharks. “I want us to be one of the best schools

Concepts exemplified in sports, such as teamwork, commitment and leadership, fuel success in every industry. “It goes across the board in anything that you’re doing in life,” Williams said. “Whether it’s business, higher education or the sports world, you’ve got to understand leadership and teamwork concepts.” Long before offering sports management programs at both campuses, the University proved its strong degree programs in business, journalism and health sciences, serving as a strong foundation for successful careers in the sports world, with alumni working as executives in top leagues, pundits at prominent media outlets and physical trainers on staff for professional franchises. The sports management program at Post is interdisciplinary with emphasis on business concepts, such as branding and entrepreneurship, giving studentathletes the chance to capitalize on their athletic background regardless of whether or not they play professionally. Williams’ second career as an educator and speaker exemplifies this concept. “I believe I am a living example of what I’m talking about,” he said. “I never was one who was vocal. All the way through college and even in my 11-year career I almost never talked. But now, here it is in 2019 and there’s plenty to talk about.”

Raised by a single mom in the small town of Hamlet, North Carolina, sports fortified Williams values and pursuits. His mother and grandmother thought it would be a good opportunity for him to be around older men. In addition to football, he played baseball and ran track until his junior year of high school. The discipline, resolve and commitment he learned from his coaches carried him to the mountaintop of professional sports and fuels the speeches he gives to corporate executives and elementary students alike. “If you’ve got that mentality, the great work ethic and attitude, great leadership skills, then you have a chance to have success,” he said. Success can be contagious and it feeds off cohesion, something Williams sees already happening at LIU. “Everybody’s got a role,” he said. “R-O-L-E. If you don’t play your role and work cohesively together, you’re not going to be a success. That’s known in sports and it’s known in the business world.” In line with his creed, Williams vows to help out whenever and wherever his skillset is needed. He knows his role is bigger than just motivational pep talks in lecture halls and locker rooms. “I’m not here to give a hallelujah speech and get them all jacked up,” he said. “I’m there to be transformational and help students be all they can be.”

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The development includes a new state-of-the-art athletic field, fitness and wellness facilities, academic spaces, a parking garage and residential building.

The University held a groundbreaking ceremony to announce a major development project that will enhance LIU’s student and community experience on the Brooklyn campus.


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ew York City, like few places on earth, blends the contemporary and historical to create an iconic aesthetic that enchants and allures the world’s best and brightest. Thus, it is fitting that the University’s urban campus, located in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, maintains a similar appeal.

For nearly a century, the prodigious edifice marking the northeast corner of Flatbush and Dekalb has marked the borough’s dynamic culture. Originally the Paramount Theatre, which drew sold out crowds for concerts featuring the era’s finest performers — such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles — the Rococo-style building now marks the home of Long Island University. In addition to restoring the renowned venue, LIU is committed to building and sustaining premier facilities, in order to enable the continued flourishing of academics, athletics, research and student life. This fall, the University broke ground on a major campus development project in partnership with RXR Realty, one of New York City’s largest real estate owners, investors, operators and developers. The project will enhance LIU’s student and community experience at the Brooklyn campus, including new academic spaces, a state-of-the-art athletic field, fitness and wellness facilities, a parking garage, a 34-story residential building with 30% of units dedicated as affordable, and on-site campus and streetscape improvements. “This is the largest campus improvement project at LIU Brooklyn since it was founded nearly a century ago,” President Cline said. “The new facilities and unprecedented investment in our University will advance excellence in scholarship, athletics, and academic research. Our Brooklyn campus is a prime destination for students across the U.S. and abroad. Our new expansion will further enhance the exceptional student experience at LIU.” The project builds upon the University’s strategic plan of expanding and modernizing its current academic programs, provide affordable programs to its diverse student body, and address necessary maintenance improvements on its campus. In addition to the new facility, LIU will receive substantial financial resources that will be used for short- and long-term capital needs, and to continue to increase the University endowment to maintain LIU’s position as a best value institution. “Brooklyn is the most vibrant and dynamic borough in New York City, and Long Island University is proud to call it home,” said Eric Krasnoff, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Our historic partnership with RXR to develop LIU’s Brooklyn campus not only strengthens our University, allowing unprecedented investment into our Strategic and Master Plans, it also enhances our commitment to Brooklyn and positions LIU for the future. I know that another 100 years is ahead of LIU as a foundation of this community.” LIU’s leadership has made capital improvement efforts throughout the University, increased community engagement and doubled the four-year graduation rate. It has attracted impressive new faculty engaged in prestigious research in pharmaceuticals, nursing, and health sciences. Additionally, the school’s financial security has enabled LIU to hold tuition increases at two percent, less than half the national average, since 2014. “LIU has been an anchor of downtown Brooklyn since 1926, and we are excited to help them build towards the future and educate the next generation of leaders,” said Scott Rechler, CEO and Chairman of RXR Realty. “These new facilities will help LIU continue to be a good neighbor to the Fort Greene community and advance its mission of academic excellence.”

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n a time when political differences threaten to divide, a collective commemoration of proud moments and figures in America’s history serve as potent amelioration for the country. Few presidents are more beloved on both sides of the aisle than Teddy Roosevelt.

When he was only 42 years old, the charismatic Trust Buster assumed his post during a tumultuous time at the turn of the century. President William McKinley had just been assassinated and the expanding country needed courageous leadership and shrewd policy. Roosevelt established national parks, orchestrated the Panama Canal’s construction and won a Nobel Peace Prize. The Theodore Roosevelt Institute (TRI) at Long Island University held a special centenary conference to celebrate the legacy of America’s 26th president. The event, held at Tilles Center, recognized one hundred years since his passing. National experts on Roosevelt shared scholarly insight on his charismatic personality, forward-thinking policy and enduring influence. Speakers included: Karl Rove, Geoffrey Cowan, Colombian Ambassador Francisco Santos, Historian Jorge Orlando Melo, Michelle Krowl, Susan Sarna, Todd Brewster, Dr. Michael Cullinane and Tweed Roosevelt. The three-day event also featured a film festival, breakout sessions and presentation of the Roosevelt Medal to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Among the talking points, the distinguished speakers covered: • • • •

Roosevelt’s diplomacy and foreign policy Roosevelt as a master strategist Roosevelt as a reformer Roosevelt’s enduring influence on the American mind.

“TR was far-sighted enough that much of what he had to say then is just as relevant today,” said Tweed Roosevelt, the president’s great-grandson, Chief Executive Officer of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and head of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute. Tweed Roosevelt explains that one of the Institute’s goals is to show how Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas can play a vital role in educating today’s youth on how to wrestle with this country’s present challenges. The Institute serves as a dedicated source for educational programs, lectures, research, public seminars, international scholars and conferences, focused on highlighting Roosevelt’s extraordinary life and the ideals to which he was committed. Theodore Roosevelt continues to fascinate Americans a century after his death, and his legacy impacts us to this day. Long Island University is excited to honor him with this centennial event.


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Students pose with Tweed Roosevelt, the president’s great-grandson, Chief Executive Officer and Past President of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and head of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute. Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush and Deputy Chief of Staff, speaks on Roosevelt’s political resurrection in 1896. An archival photograph of Theodore Roosevelt in front of his home at Sagamore Hill. Tweed Roosevelt, the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, heads the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University.

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MELISSA GALLARO speaks at the opening of the new GEICO Insurance Agency office in Kansas City, Kan.



hen Melissa Gallaro tells someone she works at GEICO, the response often goes one of two ways.

“Usually, it’s about the Gecko or one of our commercials,” she said. “Someone very brilliant made a really good choice with our marketing campaign. People love our commercials.” Few companies are more synonymous with a slogan than GEICO and its catchy: “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.” However, Gallaro’s current role at the company is not specifically focused on car insurance. Earlier this year she was named president of the GEICO Insurance Agency (GIA), which manages partner companies for personal lines insurance products on behalf of GEICO, such as homeowners, renters, and other specialty policies. Gallaro joined GEICO (which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company) in 2002 and pivoted to GIA in 2009.

Melissa Gallaro

“We basically give our customers the same service, but it’s not actually our underwriting paper,” she said. “We work with other carriers in the industry that want to write homeowners and we do the pairing for them.” Although it may not maintain the same national recognition as GEICO’s auto insurance, GIA has locations in Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, Buffalo and Kansas


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City. While the type of insurance is different, the goal remains the same. “We try to minimize our cost so we can return those savings to the customer,” Gallaro said. “Warren Buffett loves to talk about how much we are saving GEICO customers because of our cost advantage. He’d rather people spend money on other things in life, like education or happiness with family. If you can save money, why wouldn’t we want to do that for everyone?” Buffett has vocalized his confidence in GEICO since 1951 when he first bought stock in the company as a Columbia University business student. In 2016, he wrote in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, “On August 30, 2030 — my 100th birthday — I plan to announce that GEICO has taken over the top spot. Mark your calendar.”

Everything that we were taught was applicable to a business environment. I always find that the more you read and study different cases, the more you can understand different perspectives.

Just before the letter was released, Bloomberg reported that “shameless GEICO plugs” ranked as the top recurring subject that occurred in the annual letters sent between 2001 – 2015, ahead of baseball, country music and biblical references. This year marks Gallaro’s 17th with the company — a feat rare in any industry, yet commonplace at GEICO. “One of the best parts about GEICO is our unique culture,” she said. “It’s uncommon for us to go external to find leadership. We promote from within, so we have an appreciation for the jobs that we held before the current one and understand the challenges of the people we’re working with.” Long before her first job, Gallaro says her parents taught her the value in hard work. She started waiting tables at 15 and has stayed busy ever since. “I appreciated work and found enjoyment in success and making others successful.” Gallaro grew up in Huntington, New York, and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington. During her senior year, Gallaro started working part time for GEICO at the nearby Fredericksburg office. Upon graduating, she accepted a full-time position as a sales counselor at the company’s office in Woodbury, New York. After two years on the job, she decided to pursue her MBA from LIU, attending class on nights and weekends. In addition to the University’s close proximity to her employer, Gallaro appreciated the program’s professional outlook. “Everything we were taught was applicable to a business environment,” she said. Gallaro enjoyed the emphasis on case studies, in particular. “I always find that the more you read and study different cases, the more you can understand different perspectives.”

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Melissa Gallaro, President of the GEICO Insurance Agency, are all smiles after opening the new GIA office in Kansas City, Kansas.

Of course, no one needs a graduate degree to recognize GEICO’s pioneering innovation. “It’s just been amazing what GEICO has been able to accomplish,” Gallaro said. “I’m happy to be a part of it.”

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f Rob Arning never spoke a word about the importance of helping others and giving back, neither casual acquaintances nor those who know him best would have trouble affirming the high priority he places on these values. Arning currently serves as KPMG Client Care Executive and leads Corporate Citizenship at the Big Four firm. He was also named KPMG Foundation Chairman over two years ago, after previously serving as the Vice Chair of Market Development. The Foundation role is a perfect fit for the magnanimous executive, whose extensive volunteer work includes prominent organizations such as Carnegie Hall, along with non-profits that serve New Yorkers by improving business, education and disaster relief, such as City Harvest, the Association for a Better New York, PENCIL and New York Says Thank You Foundation. Despite more than thirty years at the firm, Arning is still discovering more about KPMG’s philanthropic efforts in his new position. “What’s changed for me is my awareness and appreciation for how our KPMG people actually impact their communities,” he said. “I’ve always been proud and well aware that the firm did an awful lot around volunteerism and giving, but it’s become really clear to me that the dedication and commitment of KPMG and our people is extraordinary. That’s been an exciting ah-ha moment for me over the past 18 months.” The KPMG Foundation’s programs align with KPMG’s commitment to lifelong learning and the communities in which it serves. Some of the more prominent initiatives include: • KPMG Family for Literacy (KFFL), the firm’s flagship pro-


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gram aimed at fighting childhood illiteracy. KFFL recently distributed its five millionth book to Title I schools. • The Matching Gift Program, which supports colleges and universities through student scholarships, curriculum and faculty development, totaling nearly $10 million in 2019. • KPMG Disaster Relief Fund, which raised $2 million for the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. • The PhD Project, a national initiative to increase workplace diversity by increasing the number of Black/ African American, Latino/Hispanic American and Native American business school PhDs who will mentor the next generation of leaders. The Foundation also provides administrative support for the KPMG New York Metro Fund and the PGA/Future Leaders Program, which serves to mentor young high school women and support them through college. Although the firm sets a national example, Arning believes the benevolent trend is sweeping the nation. “It’s one of the great things that’s really gaining momentum in the private sector today. That is, people and organizations want to make a difference,” he said. “They want to feel like there’s a purpose to what they do every day. The people at KPMG personify that. They want to work for an organization that is purposeful, well-meaning, making a difference in the communities around us and dealing with the social challenges and issues facing our country.” Growing up in Astoria, Queens, Arning saw hard work and selfless behavior modeled by his parents at an early age.

His father worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation for forty years and according to Arning, his mother was “the world’s greatest mother four kids could ever have — she was always there for us.” “I can remember my parents always helping somebody in the community,” Arning said. “Whether it was a neighbor in the apartment building that we lived in that my mom would cook an extra meal for, or she would be helping out some kid on the block who didn’t have much. So, that was instilled at an early age, to look out and care for one another.” Giving back to the University that helped him become an accounting professional is near and dear to Arning’s heart as well. He is on the executive board of advisors at LIU’s College of Management and the School of Professional Accountancy, ensuring that the nation’s first school of professional accountancy maintains its elite AACSB accreditation, which is given to only 5% of the world’s business schools. “The LIU brand has definitely gained traction,” he said. “For those who were paying attention, it was always a special and powerful brand, but I think in the last few years Dr. Cline has done a lot of things to raise its visibility and attract a lot more support and attention, from the sports programs to accreditations and the types of professors and programs that are offered. It’s been terrific.”

Rob Arning, Vice Chair-Market Development at KPMG, is enjoying his 35th year with the company.

The LIU brand has definitely gained traction. For those who were paying attention, it was always a special and powerful brand, but I think in the last few years Dr. Cline has done a lot of things to raise its visibility and attract a lot more support and attention.

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Adventurous Accountant



or many people, fond childhood memories include a trip to Disney World or Yankee Stadium. Others may recall a fun birthday party or a family road trip. For Bob Jahelka, Managing Partner at Demasco, Sena & Jahelka (DSJCPA), nothing beats his first ascent up Mount Washington in New Hampshire — the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 feet. Accompanied by his father, Jahelka climbed the mountain for the first time at four years old. The trip became an annual family tradition, one that Jahelka, a West Hempstead native, has continued on with his son Stephen. While precocious children can manage the climb, the intrepid journey is not for the faint of heart. “We’ve gotten caught on the top of the mountain, where literally you can’t see your hand in front of your face,” he said. “You could start out and it could be beautiful, then at the top it’s raining sideways with 60 mile-per-hour gusts. It changes in a second.”

Bob Jahelka


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Jahelka’s youthful activities also included sports, which eventually earned him an athletic scholarship to LIU, where he played lacrosse and football. Yet the chance to play sports was a secondary appeal, surpassed by the opportunity to attend the nation’s first school of professional accountancy at LIU. He took an accounting class in high school

and knew the career path was a good fit for him. Once in school, Jahelka’s prodigious athletic accomplishments were paralleled only by his numerous professional experiences. His 9 interceptions during the 1984 football season put him in the NCAA record books, while his four semesters of co-op internships landed him in the National Commission for Cooperative Education’s Hall of Fame. “LIU really set me up for the rest of my life,” Jahelka said. “When we graduated, to get a job we go down to career services. You’d put your résumé in a bin and the accounting firms would call you.” Many of the firms were familiar with Jahelka after meeting him at various events on campus. “We’re fortunate. At LIU, we have such a good reputation that the accounting firms come on campus to recruit us,” he said. “I didn’t realize until I graduated that everybody else has to go through a different process.” After graduation he joined the Big 8 accounting firm of Touche Ross & Co (presently Deloitte) in New York City, where he met his wife on his first day on the job. In 1987, he formed his own firm Jahelka & Co, which merged with Demasco & Sena in 1993 to become Demasco, Sena & Jahelka. Along the way, Jahelka has started and subsequently sold his own mortgage, lacrosse and title companies, all while maintaining his accounting practice. Although he maintains the calculated precision becoming of any good accountant, Jahelka attributes much of his professional success to the resolve he learned from playing sports. “You get that from athletics,” he said. “It’s gameday, we’re getting beat. What do you want to do here, give up? No, we’ve got to get through it.” The same approach applies to business. “If something goes wrong, okay, let’s not wallow in defeat or feel sorry for yourself. Here’s where we are,” he said. “We can figure out why we got here later. Let’s first figure out how to get out.” Jahelka developed a similar, if not stronger, fortitude while stranded in the wilderness amid various outdoor excursions. On one of their annual Mount Washington trips when Jahelka was 10 years old, his father admitted they had lost the trail. “He didn’t freak out, like, ‘We’re lost on the mountain,’” Jahelka said. “No, he said, ‘We’ve got to get to the top of this mountain. We’ve got no other choice, guys.’ You can’t just sit down and wait it out.” Eventually, the group found the river and regained their bearings. “I can remember it like it was yesterday,” he said. “We got through it. You just do what you gotta do.” Decades later, Jahelka was in a similar predicament on a dogsledding expedition in Alaska’s Denali National Park. He and his son Stephen, who was 11 years old at the time, got caught in a blizzard. At 2 a.m. their cabin lost its propane heat. The duo endured the frigid night and reaped a splendid reward for their bravery the following morning, as they basked in the post-storm serenity of clear skies revealing a majestic, snow-covered mountain range.

Jahelka’s outstanding football career at LIU landed him a permanent place in the University’s athletics hall of fame.

“The next day, you could see forever,” Jahelka said. “Let’s just say we didn’t go back again the next year, but it was a lot of fun.” An adventurous lifestyle is just one of the impressive traits Jahelka and his wife Patti, a middle school teacher for the last 30 years, passed on to their children, Stephen and Jacqueline. The high-achieving kids enjoyed outstanding athletic careers in lacrosse — both of them were team captains in college, drafted by professional teams and finalists for the Tewaarton Award, the sport’s Heisman Trophy equivalent. Jacqueline, currently a teacher in Mineola, was also a threetime All-American and two-time Division II player of the year at Adelphi University. Stephen, currently a consultant at KPMG, played at Harvard University and went on to lead the U.S. team to a gold medal in Finland, as the team’s captain in the 2012 Olympics. As president of LIU’s Alumni Association and member of the board of trustees, Jahelka sees the benefit of the University’s unified brand. “I’m really excited about making it OneLIU, because we really need to embrace both campuses,” he said. “LIU has gone through a lot of changes, but still it’s always going to be our school.” The leadership roles are fitting for Jahelka, who wears his school pride on his sleeve. “This school is what started me going,” he said. “It really shaped my life.”

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



Transformational Executive



any of the world’s most successful people can often identify a single, pivotal moment of breakthrough that rerouted the course of their future. In some instances, it arose early on in life; other times it followed decades of failure. Determining just one of those moments may prove challenging for Phil Fasano. Currently the CEO of Bay Advisors, the strategic advisory firm he founded in 2017, Fasano has had several that could be argued as such, the earliest of which came in the office of his undergraduate academic counselor at New York Institute of Technology. The first math class he took at the college was comparable to ones he had taken in high school, so he went to an advisor and asked to switch into more advanced level courses. She gave him an aptitude test and, after seeing his high scores, told him bluntly, “You’re a computer science major. You’re changing your major today.” To which Fasano replied, “I guess I am.” “It was just one of those fortuitous things that happen in life,” he said. “It was a very hard major, but it certainly gave me a foundation to think in a particular way that has been effective, as I consider problem solving in all things I’ve been involved in.”


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Heading into college, Fasano could hardly define computer science. Still, he knew the placement put him in rare company. “Back in the late 1970’s, that was kind of a big deal, because there weren’t a lot of people graduating with that kind of a technical degree,” he said. “Even fewer who were really leveraging that in a business career. I did both.” Just before graduating, Fasano took a job at Grumman (now Northrop Grumman), the leading producer of military and civilian aircraft in the U.S. at the time, where he began programming missile guidance systems. “It was a unique experience,” he said. “My boss wasn’t permitted to come into the data center. I basically sat in there alone and programmed all day. It was a good deal of fun.” Among other valuable skills, Fasano gained an unshakeable confidence from the job. “I think that it enabled me to be fearless, because I was able to do something with no direction,” he said. “I ended up presenting to a number of generals. Doing that at 24 years old makes you feel there’s almost no one you’re uncomfortable talking to.” While he enjoyed his role at Grumman, Fasano had long dreamt of working on Wall Street. He knew he needed to become a financial expert in order to do so. That led him to earn his MBA at LIU. While in school, he landed a job at Kidder Peabody in 1983.

That led to a second momentous stroke of luck, albeit one that could have been disastrous for a less audacious individual. One day in the office, fate placed Fasano next to Kidder’s head of technology, who was showing off the company’s new retail brokerage system. When the executive realized Fasano was new, he asked for Fasano’s input. “As kids do, I basically said to him it was a piece of garbage,” he said. “Then he asked me why and I gave him all the reasons. He said to me, ‘Can you develop what you just told me this needs to do.’ And I said, ‘Of course.’” Although Fasano is now a sought-after public speaker, brevity served him well here. “His only question to me was, ‘Kid how much money do you need?,’” he said. “My response was ‘$20 million.’ And his response was, ‘You got it.’” So, for the next three months, Fasano worked on special assignment, building a prototype for a next generation retail brokerage system. The state-of-the-art product prompted Kidder executives to assign Fasano a mentor, who groomed him to become a partner. Ultimately, Fasano became Vice President at the company, while still in his twenties. After General Electric acquired Kidder, Fasano moved on to Banker’s Trust in 1998, which was later acquired by Deutsche Bank, where he became Managing Director at just 31 years old. “You could say, ‘Jeez that’s a nice career,’” he said. “You could call it a day at that point, but obviously I didn’t — too young to do that.” Fasano went on to become Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Executive Vice President (EVP) at Deutsche Financial Services, a division of Deutsche Bank in 1996. Then, from 1999 to 2007, he held CIO and Senior Vice President (SVP) roles at American Financial Group, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase and Capital Sourcing Group. Following a brief departure from the financial services industry that included private consulting and work with the Department of Homeland Security, Fasano landed another life-altering opportunity, this time by dint of reputation. A network connection recommended Fasano to George Halverson, the CEO at Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States. Halverson had just made a $4 billion investment in Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Now commonplace, EMR implementation was ambitious at the time. Halverson made a second smart bet by hiring Fasano, albeit one that raised a few eyebrows and caught a lot of flak at the time. “Everyone in the industry said, ‘It can’t be done, he’s not a healthcare executive. He’s a financial guy,’” Fasano said. Yet none of this deterred his steadfast resolve. “We integrated all the health systems of the company while I was there.” For eight years, Fasano ran technology for Kaiser, along with numerous other aspects of the firm, and rose to EVP. He led one of the largest digital transformations in the health care industry globally and turned the company into one of the world’s first deliverers of real-time healthcare. The innovation compiles and organizes patient information electronically, such as medication, conditions or allergies, allowing doctors to review it

ahead of time, circumventing the tedious paperwork process of yesteryear. Additionally, Fasano and his team drove many firsts in healthcare, including the first patient digital mobile applications, which provided members 24/7 access to care givers. “Most other organizations thought what we were doing was impossible,” Fasano said. “Very often I’d give a speech at a conference and have people come up to me and say, ‘That’s the first time I’ve considered that’s possible in this industry.’” The problem of maintaining multitudinous information demanded a solution that was simple in concept, yet complex in the logistics of delivery and fulfillment. “When I left Kaiser, the CEO was very explicit with me,” Fasano said. “He said, ‘The work you’ve done has saved more lives than any doctor will ever save in their career.’ I just took that to heart. It was the best compliment I could’ve gotten for the work I had done.” In 2014, Fasano accepted a role at American International Group (AIG) as the first global CIO in the company’s 100-year history, which involved overseeing technology operations in 59 countries. Over the last two years, Fasano has transitioned into the next chapter of his career. In addition to the consulting he does through Bay Advisors. Fasano is a board member at numerous organizations, including non-profits, startups and public companies. Mostly recently he joined City of Hope, one of the nation’s premier treatment and research centers for both cancer and diabetes. The new vocation suits the well-rounded Fasano and he appreciates the greater potential for positive influence. “When you’re in a role, there’s a limit to what you can do,” he said. “When you’re a director, there are not terribly large limits. You have the ability to weigh in on everything.” Although Fasano found himself in the right place at the right time more than once, he positioned himself for good fortune to find him through hard work and curiosity. “There’s two things about people in technology,” he said. “One is, they’re usually pretty smart by nature. But the other is that they have an enduring desire to continue to learn. And really great people, regardless of industry, have those characteristics.” One hard lesson Fasano has learned over the years is the harsh criticism inevitable for healthcare executives. “At Kaiser, you’d get death threats being in management. That’s the nature of any business and in health care you’re dealing with people’s lives,” he said. “At the same time, you live your life, or at least I do, by the Golden Rule. You want to do unto others as you’d like to be treated.” For someone who mastered numerous skillsets and navigated countless challenges, nothing can top the simple wisdom of timeless truth. “When you put that together, doing the right thing comes naturally,” he said. “Healthcare gives you the opportunity to do the right thing. If you always put that first, around patients and people, no matter what role you have, you’ll come out just fine.” LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



Raising the Bar Long Island University offers more than 100 programs that will equip students with the outstanding research, writing and critical thinking skills needed to pass law school entrance exams, gain admittance into law school and ultimately have a future career in law. Students can benefit from the University’s unique Pre-Law Advisement Program, engage in numerous extra-curricular activities related to the legal field and gain access to unique internship and independent study opportunities. Three alumni from the Class of 2015 at LIU were eager to share their exceptional stories of success.




As the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Navil Infante (BA Political Science and Government, ’15) was inspired to pursue law school in order to help reform immigration law. Throughout her time at LIU, her professors and mentors fostered her desire to attend law school. “From pre-law advising, letters of recommendation and ample support and guidance, my professors in both the Honors Program and Political Science department played an integral role in my journey to obtain a Juris Doctor,” she said.

Thanks to the emotional and clerical support of an admissions officer and a Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) recruiter at LIU, Jahid Mowla (BA Political Science and English, ’15) got the chance he needed to pursue his passion for law. “Two special people looked beyond the numbers and gave me the chance I needed.” Mowla said. “It paid off. I graduated with a double major, summa cum laude, and met a lot of amazing people.”

From the day Aneesa Osborne (BA Political Science and Government, ’15) moved into her dorm at LIU, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Throughout her time at LIU, faculty members including deans, professors and mentors made sure she was on the right track to accomplishing her goals in the legal field. “Since early freshmen year, I was blessed with people who committed themselves to shaping and molding me,” she said. “This village afforded me the confidence and competency to pursue leadership roles at LIU.”

After LIU, Infante went on to attend George Washington University Law School, where she worked as a student attorney at the George Washington Immigration Clinic, representing asylum seekers and individuals in removal proceedings.


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Mowla continued to push his limits while studying at Georgetown Law through numerous impactful internships, co-founding the Georgetown Law Men of Collective Color, advocating for student prayer spaces and serving as Student Body President.

Osborne got involved in LIU’s Black Student Union and Student Government Association, which gave her important leadership experience and allowed her to develop the skills she would need for law school. In May, Osborne had the honor of being elected CUNY School of Law Class of 2019 Class Speaker at her graduation, sharing the stage with New York Attorney General Letitia James.



In 2013, Ryan Herold chose LIU over other top schools across the country, enticed by internship opportunities in New York City and the chance to play Division I soccer. That decision looks great today. While finishing his Master of Research at the University of Nottingham on a Fulbright Fellowship earlier this year, Herold landed the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship from Oxford University, where he will earn his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry. He took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to reflect on the last six years since he first arrived on the Brooklyn campus. Thinking back to your childhood, were there any early signs of the direction your career would take? I always liked nature and grew up with the Mississippi River in my backyard. Our family lived just north of Minneapolis and I loved hiking, kayaking and enjoyed gardening. I was always curious as a child, trying to figure out how things work. I liked science and math in high school as well. How was the adjustment of moving from the Land of 10,000 Lakes to the Concrete Jungle? It was a culture shock. There’s a saying about “Minnesota nice,” and it was very different coming to New York. It was a little more isolating than where I grew up and other places that I visited in the Midwest. It was nice coming in and having a group of friends on the [soccer] team. I had to learn quickly how to manage my time. That’s the thing that I use the most now, from being a student athlete: I’ve learned how to schedule weeks ahead. Your degree from LIU was in Molecular Biology and you were a research assistant in the Physics department. You also have clinical experience. How would you describe your journey through the various scientific fields? When I started off at LIU, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I thought about physical therapy or pre-medicine. My sophomore year I won the Jeannette K. Watson fellowship, which funded three consecutive

summer internships for me. I worked with a speech pathologist at Mount Sinai and got to see what it would be like to work in medicine. I liked the research a lot, but wasn’t as interested in the clinical side. After that internship, I decided I wanted to do research and pursue a PhD. From that point on, I was trying to figure out what field I wanted to work in, so I tried as many different things as I could. I did physics research and evolutionary biology research at LIU. For my second summer internship I did algal biofuel research at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. For my third internship, I went abroad to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and did marine field ecology research. You’ve been to Australia, Indonesia, Panama, the UK and several places in the U.S. What are some of your favorite past field work experiences? I really enjoyed my time with the Platypus Conservation Initiative, which is an initiative out of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. It consisted of going into the snowy mountains for a week to trap and tag platypuses. We had a little mobile anesthetizing kit and mobile lab that we set up in a tent. We would take blood and DNA samples to see how healthy they were and then we would tag them with a GPS tracker to monitor their distribution in the wild. My time in Panama was really amazing. That was five weeks of working in the field, six days a week. We were out in mangroves and coral reefs, freediving, so I got really good at diving 30 to 40 feet without a tank. I’ve never had any experience like that. It was great weather, a beautiful location, and amazing animals. I learned how to classify sea urchins, crabs, flat worms and all sorts of other animals. What are your plans after Oxford? After my PhD, I’ll probably do a post-doc somewhere— ideally, I’d like to work at a national lab. Those are really nice because you can have your own research group, similar to a university. Eventually I’d like to go back to the U.S. Maybe I’d enjoy teaching as well. The future is open.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



International Expert Named Dean of LIU’s Global College


lthough Long Island University calls New York home, Shark Nation extends far beyond The Empire State to the far-reaching corners of the world. In addition to the University’s network of more than 265,000 alumni, LIU makes a difference across cultures each semester through study abroad programs and the Global College. “We are truly a globally connected University every single day,” said Terence Blackburn, new Dean of LIU’s Global College. “Certainly, the students at the Global College are getting an education that virtually no other program in the world can provide, but all LIU students are also working in an electronically inter-connected world, all the time.” The University’s unique Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies program is the only accredited four-year bachelor’s education in the world that immerses students in over eight countries for a one-of-a-kind education without borders. In fact, Blackburn came out of retirement because the opportunity to lead the Global College was too good to pass up. “When I learned about the Global College and the extraordinary program it offers, it satisfied so much of what I think is useful and important these days in education,” he said. “I’ve looked at the abstracts for some of these senior theses and they just blow me away. They’re spectacularly interesting to me and way above what you’d expect a college graduate to accomplish.” Perhaps no individual could be better equipped for the lofty position than Blackburn, who has extensive experience in academia and has spent a decade overseas. In total, he has visited more than sixty countries, and lived for three months or more in Egypt (5 years), Kazakhstan (2 years), China, Italy, Jordan and Morocco. Along the way, he also served state-side as the Founding and Acting Dean for Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations and Dean of Michigan


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State University’s College of Law. All of this followed 15 years of law practice, corporate and judicial. “I found that teaching was driving my life far more than the practice,” Blackburn said. “I’ve joked that I’m really an academic entrepreneur.” The humor of the joke rests in the scarcity of the label, not in his fulfillment of its implications. While the term may appear an oxymoron, it aptly describes his career since he gave up his law practice. Blackburn’s extensive academic experience overseas provides an obvious application to his responsibilities as Dean, but his legal background informs his leadership as well. “It gives me a perspective on the importance of students at the Global College to come out with real usable skills that can be directly applicable in the workforce,” he said. “I’ve always believed that education should be scholarly and theoretic, but also grounded in the real world.” Apart from the Global College’s exemplary program, the University’s educational paradigm across the board impressed Blackburn, something he sees exemplified in the Global Studies program. “This is something LIU emphasizes in terms of practical experience,” he said. “The students end up with two or three different internships by the time they’re done, and these aren’t normal internships. They’ve got to work in a different country with a different culture, and adapt to different work styles and people.” The end result is what sets the Global College apart from other schools, according to Blackburn. “They come out with more professional and personal growth than one could ever imagine in any other kind of undergraduate program.”


Making Connections, Building Relationships and Boosting Enrollment LED BY DEIRDRE WHITMAN, THE ADMISSIONS TEAM IS SHOWING STUDENTS WHY LIU IS A TOP CHOICE

n a day and age when information is available in an instant, capturing the interest of the next generation of students presents both unprecedented challenges and opportunity. For a high schooler in 2019, the value of a personal interaction may go further than perhaps ever before. Vice President of University Admissions Deirdre A. Whitman recognizes that connecting with students will always be the top objective in recruitment.

record of success helps distinguish LIU from other top schools. Whitman attests to the influence she witnesses when selling a student on the value of a degree from LIU. “If you’re talking about what has contributed to enrollment, it’s sharing and celebrating the path that’s been created by alums,” she said. “That is probably the number one contributor to our success increasing enrollment. You can’t get better than showing prospects what they can become.”

“I would almost say that we are in the inspiration business,” Whitman said. “Technology has required institutions to think differently. We have to meet students where they are, but all these great tools will never replace the power and warmth of personal interaction in the progress of moving the human spirit.”

In addition to the professional outlook prospective students will enjoy once graduated, they meet their future professors and classmates at various events, such as Open Houses. Once on campus, the sense of community and near-palpable family environment provides a powerful emotive appeal.

Along with providing enrollment strategy and decades of recruiting expertise, Whitman knows a huge part of her role, and the University’s continued success, is assembling and maintaining a team comprised of passionate individuals who believe in the institution they promote.

“Showcasing the talented students that we have and celebrating faculty goes hand-in-hand,” Whitman said. “We are a family. The culture that happens as a result of [recruiting] really thoughtful, compassionate and bright students makes us successful. Our prospective students see an example of who they’re going to be on this journey with.”

“The theme that links everybody together is a passion and enthusiasm for student success,” she said. “What does that look like? People who are highly enthusiastic, people who are passionate about education and helping to clear a path for students.” While leadership comes with her position, Whitman should not to be confused for a head coach calling plays from the sidelines. “Every day we are on the road,” she said. “You can get three months worth of accomplishment done by being out— in high schools, in community colleges, in hospitals, in financial institutions—than you can get in a day behind your desk.” “A lot of what we do is taking the time to get to know students,” she said. “The magic to the inspiration business is actually being with people.” When it comes to the actual pitch, Whitman lets the University community do the talking by emphasizing LIU’s more than 265,000 alumni, highlighted by prominent figures and leaders in virtually every industry. Far from abstract, this track

Students at the LIU Post campus.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



Intersection of Law and Data



ing Zhu, an associate professor at LIU’s College of Management, always knew he wanted to become a lawyer. Growing up in Shanghai, the goal of graduating from an American law school became his dream at an early age.

His forward-thinking approach has helped keep the College of Management’s innovative curriculum on the cutting edge, equipping students for the workforce of the future. “I try to find an interaction between law, IT and business,” he said. “Based on my background, I find a pretty good fit in that tiny area.” With his finger on the pulse of shifting industry landscapes, Zhu recognized an opportunity for LIU to stay ahead of other institutions by offering a Master of Science in Data Analytics and Strategic Business Intelligence (MDA). Launched earlier this year, the program enrolled six students in its inaugural class this past spring semester. That number more than quadrupled to 25 for the fall.

While studying international trade law at the University of Arizona, Zhu worked on a research project focused on B2B, or business to business, and E-commerce between the U.S. and China. In the Zhu expects the growth to process, he discovered the “Find an interaction between law, continue. “It’s a big opporthesis topic for his mastunity for LIU to increase its IT and business” ter’s degree. Moreover, he enrollment and academic repurealized this new passion tation,” he said. required him to reroute the direction of his career path. Adapting to the shifting deZhu went on to earn his PhD in Management Information mands, LIU students will be ahead of the pack as they enter Systems and surged into the nascent field of e-commerce. a job market ripe with opportunity for individuals equipped with the new skillset of business-oriented data analytics. One year before graduating from the PhD program, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. selected Zhu to study the science and technology policy in the United States. As a result, he participated as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow in a study initiated by Congress. Based on that research, Zhu realized his new vocation. “That was a life changing experience for me,” he said. “During those three months I attended lots of congressional hearings and met with officials from governmental agencies. It opened my eyes, and I could see how I fit into a particular research area, which is: the information technology policy.” After graduating in 2007, Zhu joined LIU’s AACSBaccredited School of Business as an assistant professor.


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The University has offered a Bachelor of Science program in Management Information Systems for more than a decade, which is now complemented by the graduate MDA track. Those specialized either in computer science or business, but not both, lack the dual-perspective needed to holistically understand the complex digital exchanges occurring in today’s global marketplace. “Over the last five years you can see a trend, MIS people moving toward the data side. They are paying more and more attention to data,” Zhu said. “When you try to develop an information system within a business organization, you need someone who understands both areas. That is where MIS and MDA people fit in.”


International Research in Stroke-Related Language Problems


r. Valantis Fyndanis is utilizing unique technology and enhanced methodology for his pioneering aphasia research, funded by The Research Council of Norway. Growing up in Kavala, a city overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on Greece’s northern coast, Dr. Valantis Fyndanis enjoyed a natural curiosity as a young boy. Later in life this desire to learn was supplemented by advanced critical thinking skills and erudite analysis. The nation known for its ancestral contributions to the exposition of reason and logic cradled Fyndanis’ brilliant mind, which eventually chose the study of language as his vocation. While Fyndanis has tackled the fundamental questions of philosophy and life along the way, he specializes in understanding linguistics and exploring issues in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Fyndanis took particular interest in aphasia, which refers to language problems that arise as a result of brain damage, usually due to a stroke. Common aphasic symptoms include word finding problems, difficulties constructing well-formed sentences and comprehending complex sentences. This focus led him to postdoctoral fellowships in Germany and Norway, along with teaching positions in Greece and Italy. Last year Fyndanis accepted a position as an associate professor at LIU, where he works at the Brooklyn campus in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. These numerous international experiences not only introduced Fyndanis to a variety of different languages, but also helped grow his career prospectus. “Nowadays both student and academic mobility is valued very much, because it allows you to gain perspectives from different academic cultures and settings,” Fyndanis said. “Moreover, by studying or conducting research in different countries, one has the opportunity to develop their networks and also benefit from a vast array of expertise available at universities and research centers in different countries.” Still, the exposure to different languages provided useful

insight that helps inform and shape variables within his current research. “To understand the nature of aphasia, one has to consider how aphasia manifests itself in different languages,” Fyndanis said. “Unfortunately, most studies on aphasia have focused on English only. In my current project, my collaborators and I take a cross-linguistic approach, as we investigate aphasia in five languages: Norwegian, Greek, Italian, Russian, and English.” This new angle received funding through a $1.1 million grant from the Research Council of Norway. The project will utilize machine-learning algorithms to determine the best predictors of correct grammar performance for those who suffer from aphasia. In addition to the University’s emphasis on cultivating international research efforts, Fyndanis also enjoys engaging with the LIU community on campus, both in teaching and collaboration. “Transmitting knowledge to the younger generations and interacting with culturally diverse students is very rewarding,” he said. “To explain complex concepts in a clear way, teachers need to have a profound knowledge of the material. Being a teacher motivates me to study more and to always learn new things, which I very much like.”

LIU’S LADGE CENTER OFFERS PREMIER SPEECH & HEARING SER VICES The College of Education, Information and Technology, the School of Health Professions and Nursing and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at LIU are working together to create a cutting-edge interprofessional practice and educational experience. Based at the J.M. Ladge Speech and Hearing Center on the Post campus, this unique collaboration will provide comprehensive services to children and adults with communication disorders, as well as to their families.

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Winnick House is a historic Tudor mansion that serves as the central hub of LIU’s honors program on the Post campus.

Star Trio of Educators Lead Honors College


ong Island University boasts one of the nation’s premier Honors Colleges by maintaining a consistent standard of excellence. The University appointed three exceptional leaders as Directors of the College: Dr. Daniel Hanley, Professor Heather Butts, and Dr. Alexander More.


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Co-Director, Post Campus

Co-Director, Post Campus

Director, Brooklyn Campus

Dr. Daniel Hanley, Assistant Professor of Biology, is an expert in avian perception and cognition. His research students span the globe, and they publish in top research journals and move on to successful careers through their hands-on training. Hanley has published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles in high-profile scientific journals, and his research is regularly highlighted in the popular press. His latest work, published in The American Naturalist, yielded groundbreaking discovery. The study examined how birds respond to different colors of eggs in their nest and found that they responded strongly to a far greater array of colors than had been previously tested. Hanley earned his PhD from the University of Windsor, MS from Bucknell, and BS from Cornell.

Heather Butts joins LIU’s world-class faculty in Health Administration. She earned a BA from Princeton, JD from St. John’s, MPH from Harvard, and MA in Education from Columbia. She has been a Lecturer and Faculty Advisor at Columbia University, a regulatory specialist at the Columbia Medical Center Institutional Review Board (IRB), and a Senior Associate at PwC in New York City. She cofounded a nonprofit organization that partners with 25 programs to help more than 1,000 students achieve their dream of going to college each year. She recently published articles in the Journal of Behavioral Health and Sciences Research, and just published her second book.

Dr. Alex More joins LIU from Harvard University, where he was a Professor in the History and History of Science Department, and won 8 teaching awards for courses he taught. He has received 10 grants, fellowships, and awards, written and contributed to over 10 publications, and received media coverage on nearly 250 pieces of his research. More is a frequent event lecturer and conference paper contributor, and he is involved in various non-profit organizations. He has mentored many students, 3 of which resulted in his receipt of the Harvard College Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for “excellence in the art of teaching.” More earned his PhD from Harvard University, and AB from Washington University in St. Louis.

STUDENTS IN LIU’S HONORS COLLEGE ENJOY OFF-CAMPUS LEARNING EXPERIENCES, INCLUDING: •P artners in the Parks program with visits to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, the Everglades and other high-profile sites.

•A nnual spring travel seminars to centers of art and culture, such as those in Dublin, Paris, Rome, Venice, Madrid and Barcelona.

•K ey cultural destinations throughout New York City and Long Island, including the Museum of Natural History, Sagamore Hill, fashion events on 5th Avenue, music concerts and more.

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Class of 2020 LIU Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Class of 2021 LIU Brooklyn Finance

Last year, Jaspreet served as president of the College’s chapter of American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). With over 350 members, it is the largest student organization on the Brooklyn Campus. Jaspreet oversaw a leadership team of 20 passionate student leaders that carried out over 70 events, including health screenings, philanthropic events, health information sessions, legislative workshops, and sponsored invited guest speakers for programs to talk about a variety of career paths. This year Jaspreet is the first LIU student pharmacist appointed to serve at the national level, representing LIU and the profession across the country.



Class of 2020 LIU Post Management

Class of 2020 LIU Global Global Studies

Recruited to LIU as a decorated high school student athlete from Lake Worth, Florida, Purdy enters her senior year with a remarkable résumé that features extensive athletic, academic and professional accolades. She is a two-time captain of LIU’s varsity women’s lacrosse team, an Academic All-American, President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, Student Government Association Senator and member of the student Marketing Club and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. This summer, Kendall interned at Enterprise Holdings in London, England and currently works part-time as a Sales Associate at Vineyard Vines. Her volunteer work includes serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House and a mission trip to Enseñada, Mexico with her church youth group, where she helped build homes for families in need.


Daniel Persaud is an ambitious, business-oriented individual with an imperishable drive for acquiring knowledge. He is currently a junior at Long Island University, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance. Daniel is the Founder and President of the LIU Student Investment Fund at the Brooklyn campus. During the summer following his sophomore year, Daniel interned at Cap Bon Consulting as a Derivatives Analyst. From this experience, he obtained valuable knowledge about derivative securities. After graduation, Daniel intends to venture into Investment Banking, where he may formally contribute to shaping the global economy.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019

Samantha Becker is a current senior at LIU Global who has studied in Costa Rica, Spain, Morocco, Italy, Australia and Indonesia. Currently during her Independent Research and Internship Semester (IRIS), Samantha is in Whanganui, New Zealand where she is interning with Kii Tai Cultural River Tours and Educational Program on the Whanganui River using her passion for sports to research the representation of indigenous peoples. Her placement in New Zealand allows for her senior thesis research to be centered on Māori cultural and political representation within international sports. Through LIU Global, she has created a global-wide network that will accompany her through all aspects of her life.

LONG ISL AND UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS RUGBY Sophomore Maqueisha Gillett has had a strong start to her 2019 campaign for the Sharks, scoring four tries. Freshman Haniyah Baugh has also made an immediate impact for LIU as she has scored two tries. Freshman Lynsey Danko has also made her presence felt early as she leads the team in tackles with 23 and steals at the tackle with four.

FOOTBALL The LIU football team opened the era of Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) competition on Sept. 7 at third-ranked South Dakota State University. Through the first five weeks, junior defensive back Jerome Brooks III led the Northeast Conference in tackles per game with 10, while freshman linebacker Liam McIntyre ranked second, tallying nine stops per game.

FIELD HOCKEY The LIU field hockey team began the Northeast Conference on a high note, beating Wagner College 2-1. The win marked the third in a month-long stretch that saw the Sharks win 6 out of 8 games. Freshman Kaitlyn Olton scored her first career hat trick, helping lift the Sharks over Towson for their first win of the season.

WOMEN’S SOCCER The LIU women’s soccer team has seen several highlights early on this season. The Sharks earned a 1-0 shutout victory over Seton Hall, then notched their first NEC win of the season in Brooklyn, as they defeated St. Francis Brooklyn 3-2. Sophomore Kendra Oldroyd was also named NEC Co-Player of the Week on Tuesday, October 30.

MEN’S SOCCER The Sharks have had several notable wins so far in 2019. LIU started the season 2-0, beating Old Dominion and VCU in a weekend road trip. The Sharks followed that up with a big win over local rival Columbia, 3-1, before opening NEC play with a 3-2 win over Saint Francis U. Freshman Papa Ndoye was featured as a SportsCenter Top Ten Play for one of his goals against Columbia.

ICE HOCKEY Long Island University has enjoyed a historic fall semester in athletics. Sporting new blue and white uniforms, the Sharks are making waves in NCAA Division I competition across numerous sports for the first time in school history. Yet one LIU team is also making history in one of the nation’s most iconic regions, as Long Island’s first ever Division I ice hockey team. Led by head coach Rob Morgan, the Sharks took on the University of Wisconsin Badgers, the nation’s #1 ranked team and defending national champions, at Nassau Coliseum, home of the NHL’s New York Islanders. “We’re going to want to win a championship from year one. We want to win a conference championship,” Morgan said. “And that’s going to be how we approach every practice — getting better each day, focusing our process to peak at the right time. That’s going to be our goal: Make sure that we position ourselves so we’re going to be in the conference tournament, and once you’re in anything can happen.” Morgan draws upon his extensive experience coaching professional teams in China, as well as his time as an associate head coach at other top collegiate programs, including Yale and Dartmouth.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019





f it is indeed better to give than to receive, then the magnanimity of T. Denny Sanford is even harder to evaluate than it is to calculate. The billionaire philanthropist and entrepreneur created more than 3,000 jobs through his business endeavors three decades before founding the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. His decision to partner with Long Island University has led to exceptional breakthroughs in education, health care, business and various research pursuits, exemplifying LIU’s commitment to helping others in the process. While a generous heart is inculcated over years, the requisite skills for fundraising develop at a faster pace. Passionate, devoted individuals can learn to galvanize support, articulate a vision and craft a strategic plan of action through the University’s Certificate in Fundraising. Launched in 2014 with the development of proven contemporary curricula presented by recognized nonprofit leaders, faculty and renowned philanthropists, the intensive training program offers professional development through a 32-hour certificate program, which is CFRE accredited and spans a period of just months. LIU is one of the original nine universities to partner in the Sanford Education Collaborative. A common cornerstone among each Institute is the Cause Selling approach toward fundraising and donor relationships that blends the passion of philanthropy with an emphasis on proven business principles.

T. Denny Sanford

In the cohort, participants: • • • • •

L earn from world-class leaders in the nonprofit sector. Collaborate with other nonprofit professionals. Expand their networks of colleagues and nonprofit organizations. Share their personal challenges and triumphs with a like-minded group of peers. Develop the fundraising skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive nonprofit markets.

All fundraising classes are led by nonprofit leaders with extensive experience in successful fundraising and education in the field. The curriculum combines the best of nonprofit and business principles to address the needs of fundraising in today’s society, making it ideal for those seeking dynamic approaches to fundraising, additional opportunities for networking, and proven techniques designed to contribute to the success of their organizations. The National University System, which includes the private, nonprofit National University, is leading the expansion of a network of affiliated Institutes of Philanthropy in coordination with Long Island University.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS National University has designed certificate programs with external organizations, such as with the San Diego Foundation, to further expand the principles of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at Long Island University, in partnership with National University, currently offers certificate programs designed to meet standards of excellence.


LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019


Educational Harmony for All in New York City


ong Island University continues to lead and foster educational reform in collaboration with T. Denny Sanford and the National University System (NUS).

This summer New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NUS Chancellor Dr. Michael R. Cunningham announced a partnership between Sanford Harmony, a research-based PreK-6 social emotional learning (SEL) program, and the City’s Department of Education. The partnership expands universal access to the program’s nationally recognized SEL tools and resources to all elementary schools in New York City. The exciting announcement took place at PS 705, Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School.


With an emphasis on social emotional learning skills and advancing restorative justice practices, Sanford Harmony has been successfully implemented across schools and organizations across the city over the last four years. Each stride marks a progressive step toward the program’s goals to create safer learning climates and foster student success across schools citywide. At its core, Sanford Harmony helps children at the earliest ages develop skills that emphasize collaboration and communication to cultivate strong peer and gender relationships, reduce conflict and foster positive school climates that encourage academic excellence. The national expansion of Sanford Harmony began in New York City in 2015 and currently reaches more than 225,000 PreK-6 children in schools and organizations throughout the city. “We’ve heard from students, teachers and parents across our city, and as a result, we’re revolutionizing our school system and giving our kids the social-emotional tools they need to ensure they develop into healthy adults,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I’m proud that New York City is leading the way in our schools, using research-backed methods that encourage the whole growth of every student.” The partnership between Sanford Harmony and the NYC Department of Education helps to ensure that that all young children and educators in New York City have access to the powerful, evidence-based program, which has been recognized by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as a quality program. The resources provided to teachers enable seamless integration of activities, lessons and stories that encourage students to develop skills in empathy, inclusiveness and communication by learning how to collaborate and look beyond perceived differences.

This summer, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a partnership between the City’s Department of Education and Sanford Harmony, a researchbased PreK-6 SEL program. In partnership with LIU, Sanford Education Programs have provided an early-childhood education to over 300,000 students in the region.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



High school students from 27 states participated in this year's Summer Honors Institute.

Summer Honors Institute 2019 E X P E R I E N C E , E DUCAT ION & E NROLL ME NT NOTHING ENCHANTS STUDENTS LIKE NEW YORK CITY. From pop culture references to the city’s myriad nicknames, ambitious individuals from all over the world dream of achieving, learning and enjoying the adventures only New York provides them. Long Island University offers that to the LIU community every day, yet each summer the University opens its doors to those entering their final year of secondary education as well. Rising high school seniors from across the country attend LIU’s Summer Honors Institute, a tuition-free, week-long academic and leadership experience for talented rising high school seniors. This unique program, held on both campuses in consecutive weeks, gives these students the chance to work closely with distinguished faculty mentors and gain vital experience through hands-on projects and field trips. Students chose from more than a dozen institutes between the two campuses, each with its own distinctive hands-on learning opportunities. From app boot camps and entrepreneurship training to guided tours at The American Museum of Natural History and the United Nations headquarters, these fortunate rising seniors got a taste of life as a LIU student, as they packed an entire summer’s worth of adventure into a handful of unforgettable days. Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, who performed in King Kong on Broadway, was a student in the University’s School of Performing Arts just two years ago. Burke-Missouri met with students after the show and imparted some wisdom. “Always be the hardest working person in the room,” he said. “Believe me, wanting to be on Broadway is easy, you can wish and wish to make it happen. It’s the work that will get you there.” Through the Roosevelt Scholars Program, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute, students participated in a lecture series featuring prominent guest speakers, including Tweed Roosevelt, President Roosevelt’s great-grandson. Students also visited the 26th President’s birthplace in Manhattan and his beloved home at Sagamore Hill. Naturally, many of the students decided they didn’t need to consider any other schools before making their college decision. To date, 45 students from 10 states have already committed to LIU, with an average SAT score of 1260 and an average ACT score of 27. The Admissions team anticipates many more admitted students will follow suit.


LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019





















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 these upcoming events:

HOLIDAY PAINT NIGHT December 18, 2019 Brooklyn Campus 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Join in the holiday merriment as you paint a festive scene. Don't worry, we won't forget the hot cocoa, egg nog, and wine! For more information, please visit:



January 25, 2020

February 7, 2020

Papillon Bistro & Bar 22 E 54th St. New York, NY 10022 6 – 11 p.m.

1681 Broadway @ 53rd St. New York, NY 10019 8 p.m.

Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar 2223 N Westshore Blvd. Suite 203 Tampa, FL 33607 6 – 8 p.m.

West Side Story returns to Broadway in a newly reimagined version that is sure to knock your socks off.

For more information, please visit:

LIU's G.O.L.D. (Graduates of the Last Decade) Committee is an organization serving all LIU campuses. Please join us at our kick-off event: The GOLD Gatsby Party. There will be an open bar (beer and wine), food stations, music by a DJ, and raffles!

TAMPA ALUMNI SOCIAL February 25, 2020

For more information, please visit:

For more information, please visit:

MIAMI ALUMNI SOCIAL, NBA GAME & AFTER PARTY February 29, 2020 Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat American Airline Arena 601 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132 6 p.m.: 601 Lounge (in the arena) Appetizers & Unlimited Beer and Wine 7:30 p.m.: Game Time 9:30 p.m.: After Party at HYDE (in the arena)




March 1, 2020

May 8, 2020

May 20, 2020

Decluttering Your Mind: Choosing to Be Happy Not Crappy

LIUPost Campus 720 Northern Blvd. Brookville, NY 11548

Barclay's Center 620 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217

Farmer’s Table 1901 North Military Trail Boca Raton, FL 33431 1 – 3:30 p.m.

LIU Alumni Engagement is planning an afternoon to remember, reminisce and reconnect. This momentous occasion will bring the LIU Post alumni community together to celebrate your extraordinary time as a student. There, you will have the opportunity to connect with old friends while returning to your home away from home.

LIU Alumni Engagement is planning an afternoon to remember, reminisce and reconnect. This momentous occasion will bring the LIU Brooklyn alumni community together to celebrate your extraordinary time as a student. There, you will have the opportunity to connect with old friends while returning to your home away from home.

For more information, please visit: umni/events

For more information, please visit:

Get your Annual Alumni Membership today! 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 to send your story.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



O Gov. N Andrew G I S L A N D U N I Cuomo announced that LIU would receive








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

LIU PROMOTES TWO VETERAN ADMINISTRATORS TO LEADERSHIP POSITIONS Dr. Jessica Hayes was promoted to Chief of Staff and University Relations. Jessica brings 23 years of higher education experience at LIU, serving most recently as Dean of Students at LIU Brooklyn. Prior to that role, she served as the Associate Dean of Students at LIU Post. Jessica started at LIU as a student athlete on the LIU Post Field Hockey team and holds both an undergraduate degree in Speech Language Pathology and graduate degree in School Counseling from LIU. She earned her doctorate in Education Leadership. Michael Berthel was promoted to the Executive Dean of Students, overseeing the LIU Deans of Students, Student Affairs and Enrollment Services across LIU. Michael holds a degree in Political Science and a Masters in Industrial and Organization Psychology, and has risen from Associate Dean of Students and Director of Campus Life to become the Dean of Students at LIU Post. He has over 11 years of student affairs experience.

Top: Dr. Jessica Hayes poses with student at the LIU Brooklyn commencement ceremony. Bottom: Michael Berthel with his family at Homecoming.



The Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing at Long Island University is the 2019 recipient of the College Group of the Year Award from the Church of the Holy Apostles in New York City. The award recognizes outstanding services at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. School of Nursing faculty members joined more than 20 undergraduate students at the award ceremony. LIU was selected from a group other prominent nursing schools in New York, including those from Columbia University, Pace University and Hunter College.

Abdulla Hamdok, the new Prime Minister of Sudan, visited the Brooklyn campus to meet with members of the Sudanese community in New York City. Hamdok delivered an emotional speech, promising that his government will work towards building peace and establishing a strong foundation for a smooth democratic transition in the country. More than a thousand people attended the event and expressed their gratitude to University administration for hosting the event.

OVER 70 LIU STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO PRESTIGIOUS HONOR SOCIETY Long Island University’s Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (PKP) chapter conducted its annual initiation ceremony, recognizing more than 70 students and two faculty members. Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. It is a global network of the best and brightest, a community of scholars and professionals building an enduring legacy for all generations.


LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019





















NEWSROOM LIU PHARMACY STUDENTS ATTEND LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE IN D.C. Maliha Tabassum, Jaspreet Bhullar and Haseeb Shah attended the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists in Washington D.C. The trio met with Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) and Representative Brian Higgins (NY) to advocate for the pharmacy profession.

LIU TEAM NAMED TOP STAR TUP AT INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION Led by LIU student Nini Fan, team BRKLYN INNOSEQ was named a “Top Startup” at the 2019 European Innovation Academy in Turin, Italy. The LIU team’s groundbreaking Mamome app helps optimize the health of mothers and infants, during and after pregnancy, by analyzing the mother’s unique gut biome and providing tailored dietary advice. In addition to winning top honors from the European Innovation Academy, the team also received the HAG Accelerator Program award, the Nixon Peabody IP Spark Award and a 25,000€ Intellectual Property trademark.

LIU GALA RAISES OVER $1 MILLION Long Island University’s annual LIU Gala was an overwhelming success, raising more than $1 million for student scholarships. The regal event held at the Plaza Hotel celebrated a remarkable academic year by recognizing LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline as the Gala honoree and eight additional honorees with alumni achievement awards, one for each decade from the 1940’s through the 2010’s. The honorees’ achievements range from success in journalism, business, education and health care fields.

LIU MUSIC COMPLETES INTERNATIONAL TOUR An ensemble of approximately 40 Long Island University music students, alumni, faculty and community members traveled abroad to perform at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival and three additional satellite festivals in the Basque region of Spain and France. Featured tour ensembles included Long Island Sound Vocal Jazz under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Scott Miceli, comprising 17 singers, rhythm section and horns, and LIU Saxophone Conclave, a subset of LIU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Jeff Lederer. The ensembles were selected by peer review to perform at the San Sebastian Jazz Festival.

LEADING THE WAY IN CYBERSECURITY Long Island University hosted a Cybersecurity Summit at Tilles Center this fall, in partnership with Suffolk County. The invitation-only event included state and federal experts from law enforcement, academia and government. The University also presented at the 2019 Cybersecurity Symposium this summer in collaboration with UNLV, the FBI, Sentek Global and the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC). Dr. Harvey Kushner, Chair of LIU’s Criminal Justice Department and renowned terrorism expert, moderated the event.

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019


2018 – 2019



ong Island University continues to thrive during a period of great challenges in higher education. The University is charting an upward trajectory that has been recognized both for academic excellence and financial management. During FY 2019, LIU’s immediate focus has included strengthening academic programs; hiring and building talent; enhancing student academic excellence and achievement; and strengthening the University’s brand. Total operating revenue exceeded $341.3 million. Total operating expenses were $327.4 million, generating an operating surplus of approximately $14 million. The University holds $506.9 million in total net assets, a 16 percent increase over the year prior. LIU has continued to honor a 2014 pledge to hold annual tuition rate increases to two percent. This two percent increase is far below regional and national averages for FY 2019. The average tuition increase was 3.7 percent nationally and 4.2 percent regionally. Students are noticing LIU’s improved value proposition for a high-quality education, and this competitive advantage will continue to enhance the University’s ability to attract students. Freshmen enrollment is responding as well, with a 29.6% increase for Fall 2019 over the prior year. Our University is proud to support the college dreams of so many students through generous need- and merit-based aid. We annually offer nearly $100 million in scholarships and financial aid. For fiscal 2019-20, the University will award more than $6.5 million in endowment and restricted scholarships to students, the most in our history. Strategic initiatives of this nature are proving to be “game changers” for LIU in our ability to continue funding academic capital initiatives, attract and retain world-class faculty, and grow our endowment. Significant progress continues in the following areas of financial stability and compliance: •$ 68.2 million increase in unrestricted net assets in FY 2019 (unaudited), representing the sixth straight year with double-digit million dollar increases.

E NDOWMENT VALUE : F Y   2 0 1 0   –   F Y   2 0 1 9 AC T UAL S



270.0 220.0





FY  10

FY  11

FY  12

FY  13


FY  14

FY  19


FY  15

FY  16

Strategic plan goal: $200 million by 2020


FY  18









LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019

FY  17

• I ncrease in the University endowment from $76.4 million in 2010 to over $237 million in FY 2019, an increase of more than 210%. • Perfect 3.0 financial responsibility ratio with the U.S Department of Education. • Unprecedented capital investment, with more than $15 million of capital improvements in FY 2019 that were fully funded by University operations. This is in stark contrast with FY 2013, when LIU’s annual capital investment was just $2 million annually. The link between financial performance, endowment growth, and student success is clear, and essential to our goal of securing and sustaining a strong financial position for the institution and future generations of LIU students. The University’s endowment was valued of $237 million as of August 31, 2019, surpassing the $200 million goal by FY 2020 set forth in the University’s strategic plan. Our endowment’s 5-year performance has outpaced such worldclass institutions as Stanford, Duke, Brown, Cornell, and Harvard universities.

B AL ANC E S HE E T Balance Sheet (000’s Omitted)

2019 Total

2018 Total









Accounts receivable, net



Accounts receivable, sale of property


Prepaid expenses and other assets



Contributions receivable, net



Notes receivable, net



Deposits with trustees



Construction contract receivable


Land, buildings, and equipment





Accounts payable and accrued expenses



Deferred revenue



Other liabilities



Interest rate swap liability



Long-term debt



Liability for postretirement benefits



U.S. Government refundable grants







ASSETS Cash and investments:

Total Assets LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS Liabilities:

Total Liabilities Net Assets Without donor restrictions With donor restrictions Total net assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets







LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019




1960s MICHAEL GRUENBERG (BA in Political Science, ’68) published his book called Buying and Selling Information. A Guide for Information Professionals and Salespeople to Build Mutual Success. He also has a radio show on WKDW, a location radio station in North Port, Florida, every Tuesday at 10 a.m. called Mikey G’s Vinyl. ALAN HARNIK (BA in Sociology and Anthropology, ’68) is President of Notes and Queries, a leading importer of designoriented greeting cards from the United Kingdom, Israel and Holland. ROBERT ROCHLIN (BA in Political Science, ’69) has just completed 14 years as the Hinton Scholars AP Biology Coordinator at Harvard Medical School. The Hinton Scholars Program brings Boston Public School students to Harvard, where they are tutored by Harvard Medical students, graduate students, and post docs to prepare them to take the Advanced Placement Test in Biology. Students are also guided through 6 of the AP Biology labs by their tutors and Harvard lab instructors. VIRGINIA NIELSEN PERRELL (BA in French, ’69) is currently on the Board of Directors and is actively involved with the Friends of Sagamore Hill, a chapter of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. JAY PERRELL (BS in Accounting, ’69) currently serves as Treasurer for the Friends of Sagamore Hill.

1970s KEN L. BARAT (BS in Chemistry, ’70) recently published his 7th book on laser safety. He is the Certified Laser Safety Officer at Laser Safety Solutions. EDWARD PITTARELLI (BS in Physics, ’70) has joined the Board at Alpine Learning Group in New Jersey. Alpine Learning Group provides education for school age children with autism and a day program for adults with autism, as well as many other services to families with autism. RICHARD MING CHIN (BS in Business, ’71) has published 5 books in English and Spanish, and was a 3-time world champion in Full Contact Kung Fu. He is currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Tai Chi at LIU’s Brooklyn campus. 40

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019

KEITH GLASS (BA in Sociology, ’73) has been a sports attorney and agent for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and European Sports for the past 35 years, during which he has represented over 100 NBA players and another 120 or so around the world. He has written 2 books about his experiences in sports, the latest of which is entitled “7 Foot Man-Eating Chicken.” He is also a member of the California Bar Association.

1980s ROBERT S. BOWERS (BS in Business, ’80) was elected incoming assistant presiding judge for the Solano County Superior Court system. After graduating from LIU, Bowers earned his law degree from Georgetown University and joined the U.S. Army as an active-duty officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps. GAIL WILEY (MS in Special Education, ’81) is the new Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Superintendent for the Pacific South District’s Guam Community. Wiley previously served as the principal at Kadena Elementary School in Okinawa, Japan. The DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. Wiley has been with the DoDEA for more than 30 years, including previous roles as a teacher, manager, specialist and chairperson. JILLIAN E. MARVILLE (BS in Biology, ’81) was recognized as a Pinnacle Lifetime Achiever in the field of Medicine by Continental Who's Who. Dr. Marville is a podiatrist at Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx, which provides excellent patient care for free or discounted rates. She boasts 34 years of podiatry experience and maintains a prominent reputation for serving people who are underserved and underprivileged. BOB JAHELKA (BS in Accounting, ’84), president of the LIU Alumni Association and member of the board of trustees, was one of this year’s honorees for Long Island Business News’ Business & Finance Awards. Jahelka currently serves as Managing Partner at Demasco, Sena & Jahelka (DSJCPA). The awards recognize financial experts who exhibit a dedication

to the Long Island community through nonprofit work, philanthropy and community service. ALFRED SPARMAN (BS in Chemistry, ’86) is providing academic scholarships for exemplary students who are enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada, the U.S. or Barbados. Dr. Sparman is a cardiologist and serves as CEO of The Sparman Clinic in Barbados, which he founded in 2001.

Sewanhaka High School and continuing at Walt Whitman High School. Her experience on the Women’s Basketball team at LIU Post was an excellent way to start her career. BRIAN S. PARNESS (BA in Political Science, ’93) recently started his own financial services company, Parness Financial Services, Inc., after working in the field for 17 years for companies such as UBS and Ameriprise Financial. He has also trained in and taught Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past 11 years, where he earned his Black Belt under Matt Serra (UFC/HOF). NICOLE ALEXANDRA STIEGELBAUER (BA in Criminal Justice, ’94), is the Director of Operations at Stiegelbauer Associates, Inc., a theatrical construction and fabrication company. She was recently featured with her father in a live interview on Spectrum News New York 1 to talk about their family-owned business. TOM ROCK (BFA in Communication Arts, ’95) published a new book on the New York Giants, entitled Miracle Moments in New York Giants Football History. The book chronicles the Giants' illustrious 95-year history and was featured on NBC 4 New York’s “Sports Final” with Bruce Beck. BENITY BRUNACHE SEWELL (BS in Medical Biology, ’96) currently serves on the Board of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association in the Mid-Atlantic area. She is celebrating 25 years as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and was awarded the Graduate Professional of the Year when she graduated from Howard University School of Divinity in 2017.

Alfred Sparman

PATRICK BELL (BS in Accounting, '87) was hired in January 2019 as the Assistant Vice President and Senior Project Manager for Eagle Bank in Bethesda, Maryland. JOHN M. GALLAGHER (BA in Political Science, ’89) was nominated by President Donald Trump to become a U.S. District Court judge serving the Lehigh Valley region. Currently chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Allentown office, Gallagher has been a federal prosecutor for nearly 15 years. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, Gallagher held positions in the Miami and Philadelphia police departments and served as a New York City police officer.

LYNN E. SWANER (MS in Counseling, ’98) joined Canadian think tank Cardus as a senior fellow to conduct research on independent schools. She currently serves as the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).

MICHAEL ZIMBLER (BA in Political Science, ’89) started his own vending machine business in 2007. He has been coaching wrestling and football since 1998. He was on the wrestling team at LIU Post, and has been coaching wrestling there for the past 5 years.

1990s MARTHA SCHUESSLER (BS in Accounting, ’90) is the new Vice President of Global Finance at Aruze Gaming, a global games leader that operates in around 40 countries. In her global capacity, Schuessler will serve as the strategic leader for the direction, integrity and overall effectiveness of global accounting and financial operations.

Lynn E. Swaner

TINA DOLAN ABBONDANDELO (BA in Education, ’92) has taught biology for 26 years, beginning her career at

LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019



2000s PAUL BROADIE II (MBA, ’00) is the new President of Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. The Santa Fe Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed Broadie, making him the fifth president in the school’s 54-year history. Dr. Broadie previously served as President at both Gateway Community College and Housatonic Community College in Connecticut. DINAMARY ARVELO HORVATH (BA and MA in International Relations, ’02) was recently nominated as a Top 50 Attorney of 2019 in The Top 100 Magazine. Horvath is the Founder and Principal Attorney at Maxe Law, a firm that focuses on employment law, specializing in workplace investigations and compliance training. TRAVIS DEMERS (BFA in Broadcasting, ’03) is the new playby-play radio broadcaster for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. One of 30 official NBA radio broadcasters, Demers is only the fourth person to fill this coveted position in the Trailblazer’s nearly 50-year history. ABEL TRAVIS (MBA, ’09) is the new Vice President of Fundamental Underwriters for AF Group, an industry leader in workers' compensation services founded in 1912. He is the recipient of a number of professional achievement awards, including the 40 Under Forty award from the Worcester Business Journal.

Tolerance Center. Dr. Burghardt is the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Vienna. She worked as a freelance reporter for The New York Times for 20 years and is the author of three non-fiction books. Her articles and essays have appeared in newspapers across the U.S., and she has lectured to both national and international audiences. INDIA L. SNEED (MBA, ’13) joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT), one of the largest law firms in the U.S., as an Associate at GT’s New York office. Sneed previously served as Deputy Executive Director of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety in New York City. Prior to that she held roles as Chief of Staff to the 41st District Councilmember and Assistant District Attorney for Kings County, New York. EVE THOMAS (MS in Homeland Security, ’14) is now leading the police department in the City of Knoxville, Tennessee. Thomas is the first woman appointed to the role of Chief of Police and holds numerous other certifications in law enforcement and many additional accolades for her civic involvement. RAY BARISHANSKY (MS in Homeland Security, ’14), was presented with the Leadership Award for his exemplary work helping to advance emergency medical services (EMS) as a profession at the 14th annual Pinnacle EMS Leadership Forum. Barishansky serves as Deputy Secretary for Health Planning and Assessment at the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. BRIANNA VANACORO (BFA in Fine Art, ’15) exhibited original artwork, entitled “Fragmented Portraits,” at The Studio Around The Corner, part of The Cultural Arts Coalition in Brewster, New York. The exhibit incorporated a variety of portraits that range from Amy Winehouse to various jungle animals. Vanacoro has showcased her work in exhibitions around the country, from New York City to Wichita, Kansas.

Paul Broadie II

2010s TOM LAWRENCE (AC in Public Library Administration, ’10), is the new City of Poughkeepsie historian. Lawrence currently serves as Director of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District. In the new role, he will aid in the preservation of documents, maps, photographs and other materials relating to the city's history. Lawrence has been at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District for the last 24 years. He previously held librarian positions in New York and Connecticut. LINDA F. BURGHARDT (PhD in Information Studies, ’12) is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Holocaust Memorial &


LIUMAGAZINE | December 2019

MINERVA A. GARCIA (MS in Biology and Medical Microbiology, ’18) presented two abstracts at the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) Knowledge Lab earlier this year. She was also a keynote speaker at the 7th International Conference and Exhibition on Bacteriology & Antibiotics in April in Vancouver, where she presented an abstract titled “Difficulties Encountered in the Isolation of Streptobacillus Moniliformis, a GV-PmBdCurvB from Clinical Blood Culture Sample in an Aerobic Bottle." She also published a collection of poems in March of this year titled “The Journey of a Rainbow: My Poetic Journal Mind Views.” ALYSSA BELCASTRO (AC in Applied Behavior Analysis, ’19), published a discussion paper in a special issue on Diversity and Equity in the journal Behavior Analysis in Practice, along with colleagues, including LIU professor Dr. Bryan J. Blair. The purpose of the article was to bring attention to the possible under-diagnosis of females with autism spectrum disorder and how the field of applied behavior analysis can and should respond.

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