INVEST IN THE FUTURE. Giving back to Long Island University strengthens the value of an LIU degree, impacts critical rankings found in U.S. News and World Report, and signals confidence in your education and the future of LIU. Thereâ€™s strength in numbers, and LIU alumni are 200,000 strong. Please visit LIUalumni.com to learn more. For additional information, please call. the Fund for LIU at 718-780-6562 or email LIUalumni@liu.edu.
activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the Brookville campus and honor the legacy of nearly 125,000 Post alumni. The festivities will also include the 10th induction class into the Pioneers Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the 50th anniversary of Post’s student-run radio station, WCWP-FM. It is also the half-centennial anniversary of LIU Global, originally founded as Friends World College in 1964. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating its 35th year. The prestigious George Polk Awards in Journalism at LIU Brooklyn marked the occasion of its 66th annual ceremony with a new award for documentary filmmaking, hosting a screening of the winner, Return to Homs, and discussion with its director at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
A MESSAGE FROM THE
t has never been a more exciting time to be a member of the LIU community. As the pages of the spring 2015 issue of LIU Magazine demonstrate, the University is thriving and experiencing a transformative period of innovative growth and academic distinction. From the expansion of our renowned honors programs into Honors Colleges at LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post, to the growth of our experiential learning opportunities through new partnerships with national business leaders and organizations like Apple and Barclays Center, our commitment to Access and Excellence has never been stronger. Over the past few months, members of the faculty, staff, student body, and the Board of Trustees collaborated on the development of our strategic plan, LIU 2020: Education Beyond Boundaries. The plan builds upon our institutional foundation of a university with nearly 20,000 students and 200,000 alumni and sets the stage for how best to realize our aspirations for the future. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are at the heart of this roadmap. In the coming months I will be reporting on our progress with implementing this cornerstone effort. As we navigate through rapid new developments in the area of higher education, we are also reverent of our history. Long Island University is celebrating many milestones this year. LIU's Post campus welcomed its first class of 121 full-time students 60 years ago. Plans are underway for a Homecoming celebration for Post alumni like no other, which will feature events and
Other notable milestones can be seen in the newly released Annual Report, which is available at LIUalumni.com. Financial data for fiscal year 2014 demonstrates that LIU’s financial performance continues to improve at a healthy pace; our net assets grew by nearly $50 million and for the first time ever, LIU’s endowment exceeded $100 million. In this year alone, we awarded more than $105 million in institutional scholarships to students across the University. Construction was completed on new research and teaching facilities at LIU Brooklyn’s Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing and LIU Pharmacy’s Lachman Institute for Pharmaceutical Analysis, the Samuel J. and Joan B. Williamson Institute for Pharmacometrics, and the Natoli Institute for Industrial Pharmacy Research and Development. In addition, we have continued to focus our academic efforts on developing new programs that offer practical training for the modern employment market, including degrees in Digital Game Design and Development, Sport Management, Entrepreneurship, Business and Health Care Information Management and Technology, and concentrations in Financial Engineering, Equine Studies, Fashion Merchandising, and Branding and Licensing. Your continued support and gifts of time and talent have helped plot the course for a future that is enriched by the pride of our history and a vision for a modern institution of higher learning that will prepare future leaders for success in the 21st-century global marketplace. We have much to be proud of, and I invite you to join me in celebrating our shared legacy.
Dr. Kimberly R. Cline President
IN THIS ISSUE 20 LIU Post School of Professional Accountancy alumni demonstrate unlimited paths to success
26 Norman Steinberg’s LIU Brooklyn master’s program is an incubator for next-gen TV talent
Hollywood Outpost 4
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30 LIU is a budding star as a silver screen setting for film and television
Dr. Kimberly R. Cline President Michael S. Glickman P’99, ’01 Chief of Strategic Partnerships and University Advancement
Brooklyn Paramount to be Restored
LIU Launches New Honors Colleges
LIU Global Introduces Europe Program
Rachel DeLetto Associate Director of Editorial Services, Editor-in-Chief
NBA House Takes Over LIU Brooklyn
WCWP Celebrates 50 Years
Douglas Bouchelle Visual and Digital Media Design Specialist, Graphic Designer
Browse Tech Stores Open
STAFF WRITERS: Sarah DeCamp Associate Director of Public Relations
Nick Light Senior Public Relations Strategist
14 I A Family Legacy of Leadership and Philanthropy
Danielle Bucci Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, Art Director
CONTRIBUTORS Paloma Criollo G’15 Elliot Gerard Edward Hershey B’65 Matthew Mummert B’15 Lisa Romano Alyssa Seidman P’16 Robin D. Schatz Jim H. Smith ALUMNI RELATIONS Ryan Attard Reilly P’03 Director of Alumni Relations: LIU Post, LIU Brentwood, LIU Riverhead, and Southampton 516-299-2263 I Ryan.Reilly@liu.edu
Christine M. Lunsford Director of Alumni Relations: LIU Brooklyn, LIU Pharmacy, and LIU Global 718-246-6397 I Christine.Lunsford@liu.edu
Stay connected! Visit LIUalumni.com or email email@example.com to share News and Notes or update your alumni profile, address, and/or contact information.
Contact LIU Magazine
Communications and Marketing 700 Northern Blvd. Brookville, NY 11548 firstname.lastname@example.org liu.edu/magazine Copyright © 2015 by Long Island University. All rights reserved.
A conversation with Eric Krasnoff, Chairman of the Long Island University Board of Trustees
George Polk Awards: Every Picture Tells a Story
ALUMNI PROFILES 38
Peter Gibson P’82
Irene Natividad B’71
Caroline S’67 and Arthur Saladino S’67
Ian Ginsberg PH’85
Paloma Criollo G’15
LIU LEGACY 48
Ten Golden Rules for Leadership
Top Right: Paramount marquee and Flatbush Avenue street car, 1948; Middle Right: Dr. Cline and Mr. Ratner sign the partnership agreement at an April 17 announcement event at LIU Brooklyn; Bottom Right: Interior rendering by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; Opposite Page: Exterior rendering of Brooklyn Paramount by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture.
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Historic Brooklyn Paramount to be Restored Long Island University’s Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will undergo a 24-month renovation and rejuvenation to restore the storied venue to its former glory. This transformative project is made possible by a partnership with Paramount Events Center (PEC), which is headed by Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, and Onexim Sports and Entertainment. The Brooklyn Paramount opened its doors in 1928 as an ornate movie palace, one of the first to show talking pictures. The venue later introduced rock and roll and jazz to the borough, hosting artists such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespe, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. The Paramount was converted into a gymnasium in the 1960s and was utilized by many generations of Blackbirds basketball champions. Currently used as a multipurpose space, much of its original luster and Rococo-style architectural details have been preserved. The original 1920s Wurlitzer organ–one of only two of the model still in existence—remains
operational and can still been heard (and felt) throughout campus during regular tuning exercises. “For years, I have admired the beautiful shell that remains of Brooklyn Paramount at LIU, and I am excited to restore the iconic venue to its rightful splendor,” said Ratner. “I have had a long association with LIU Brooklyn and am proud to expand that relationship by joining with Onexim Sports and Entertainment to revive the storied Brooklyn Paramount and make it a worldrenowned theater once again.” “In reintroducing the historic Brooklyn Paramount at LIU Brooklyn, PEC will provide its expertise in design, development, programming, marketing, and operations to create a premier destination that enhances our commitment to arts and culture in the community,” said Eric Krasnoff, chairman of LIU's Board of Trustees. PEC will focus booking emerging talent for more than 120 annual events, including music, comedy, boxing, and private programs for students. The venue will
have a flexible seating configuration with a capacity of up to 3,500. As part of the $50 million partnership between PEC and LIU, employment opportunities and internships at Brooklyn Paramount will be available to those at the University. LIU’s academic mission will be enhanced by the opportunity to gain hands-on industry experience across multiple disciplines, including arts management, media arts, sports management, performing arts, and marketing. Brooklyn Paramount will play host to academically focused programming and provide free or discounted tickets to students for select events. “The renovation of Brooklyn Paramount is a major milestone in the history of LIU,” said Dr. Kimberly Cline, president of LIU. “It brings our commitment to the arts to an entirely new level for our students, faculty, and alumni, and solidifies our role as a major cultural driver in Brooklyn.”
LIU Honors Colleges Elevate Student Education Through Experience Bees might not be the first flying species one would associate with Brooklyn. But, in fact, 55 different species of bees can be found in the borough’s community gardens, and Alicia Miggins, B’14, a graduate of LIU Brooklyn’s honors program, spent her undergraduate years in the Department of Biology getting to know them. Under the tutelage of Associate Professor Dr. Timothy Leslie, an entomologist and expert on the interconnectedness of agriculture practices and insect populations, Miggins researched how green space, light, and variation in plant species determines the diversity of bee populations in urban environments. “My experiences in Dr. Leslie’s lab gave me a passion for research and provided me with the skills needed to work efficiently while learning new techniques in any research environment,” she said. The experience prepared her for her current position as a Fellow at the National Institute of Health. Honors scholarships also allowed her travel to Boston to present her research findings. Earlier this year, LIU expanded upon the collaborative and rigourous honors curriculum and transformed the honors programs at LIU Post and LIU Brooklyn into new Honors Colleges. The evolution reinforces LIU as a destination for students from around the country and world seeking top-tier experiential education programs in dynamic campus environments. In addition to experiential learning opportunities and groundbreaking research
alongside award-winning faculty scholars, LIU’s Honors Colleges are distinguished by its leadership. Dr. Joan Digby, founder and director of the LIU Post honors program, is the author of Peterson’s Honors Programs and Colleges, and a renowned scholar and international expert on honors curriculum development. Dr. Digby explained the vision for LIU’s Honors Colleges: “Honors education is about collaboration. It begins with motivated, smart, creative students and faculty who are energetic, intellectual, thoughtful, and caring. It brings them together for a collaborative experience, which, when it’s working, is pure magic and transformative for both parties.” The bright future of the Honors Colleges are embodied by students like Sarah Pomerenke P’14, who traveled to the Everglades National Park to conduct field research as an undergraduate. Sarah camped in the wilderness for 10 days with honors students from around the country, and, upon returning to campus, joined the LIU Post Sustainability Committee and Recycling Program. Sarah graduated in 2014 with honors and began her studies in the LIU Post Masters Program in Environmental Sustainability. LIU’s Honors Colleges emphasize an interdisciplinary and global approach to education through innovative and rigorous coursework supplemented by off-campus enrichment experiences at cultural institutions such as the Museum of Natural
History, Barclays Center, concerts, art galleries, and more. “Students really feel that they’re having an experience that’s significant for them. It’s kind of a lifetime gift to their future,” said Dr. James Clarke, director of LIU Brooklyn Honors College. Earlier this year, LIU faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni honored Dr. Bernice Braid at LIU Brooklyn’s Homecoming celebration. Dr. Braid founded the honors program in 1965, served as its director from 1968 to 2005, and was the driving force behind the Merit Fellowship program. The result is a legacy of intellectual excellence, social conscience, and entrepreneurial spirit, embodied by generations of graduates, including Irene Natividad B’71, founder and president of Global Summit of Women, who was a member of the inaugural honors class in Brooklyn (profiled on page 40). As the honors program transitions to a Honors Colleges, more than $100 million in scholarships and grants will be awarded annually to highly motivated LIU students. Whether it’s history, biology, entrepreneurship, sustainability, or any other area of study, the Honors Colleges have something for all highly motivated, intellectual students. Dr. Digby emphasized, “There’s a place in the LIU Honors Colleges for students of every major to do the best possible undergraduate work.”
Dr. Joan Digby, director of the LIU Post Honors College
LIU Global Introduces Europe Center
London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Florence, Rome, and Morocco are among the major world economic and cultural centers where students will live and learn as part of the curriculum of LIU Global’s new Europe program. Building upon a 50-year legacy of educating informed international citizens and professionals, LIU Global launched the Europe program in fall 2014 as an essential extension of the school’s mission to provide immersive education and experience for an increasingly globalized world. “Global Studies is the study of world systems through cultural, political, and economic lenses,” Dean of LIU Global Jeffrey Belnap explained. The curriculum over the course of the four-year program is designed to help students understand the interrelatedness of different cultural and economic factors. The first year at the Costa Rica Center focuses on the impact of the globalized economy on local systems through internships and fieldwork with local communities and organizations in Central America.
Everything at LIU is an experience. Every class is a moment to actively engage in learning, and anywhere can be a classroom.
Beginning in fall 2015, all LIU Global students will follow their first year at the Costa Rica Center with sophomore year in Europe. Director of the Europe program Dr. Carlos Lopez said that the curriculum is designed to help students understand the history of Europe as a global power, “but also the influence of the world on Europe in the modern economic and political context. It’s part of several drivers that are pushing the globalized system forward.” During the fall term, students will be centered at the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and university town where students will live and take classes with local students. The fall program will also include excursions to other parts of Spain and intensive modules in major European cities including: London, Berlin, and Morocco. In the spring, students begin the semester in Paris, France, then spend three months in Florence, Italy, studying on the campus of Firenze Arti Visive School of Fine Arts. Students will visit ancient landmarks of one of civilization's earliest imperialistic empires and study master works of art in Rome. They will also have the unique experience of traveling to Sarajevo to study the Balkan conflict of the 1990s and explore interface of Europe and the Muslim world and ongoing issues of ethnic conflict and genocide within the modern European Union. “Anyone who aspires to live abroad and think internationally needs to be literate about what’s happening in contemporary Europe,” said Belnap. “This is an incredible opportunity to prepare for careers in the global economy.”
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NBA Takes Over LIU Brooklyn LIU was the official Brooklyn hub for all NBA All-Star Weekend fan events, and five days of NBA action on campus, including the transformation of LIU Brooklyn’s historic Paramount Theatre into the 2015 NBA House—an interactive basketball experience for fans of all ages. LIU Brooklyn hosted the sold-out NBA Rising Stars Challenge Practice, presented by BBVA Compass, at the Steinberg Athletic Center. Young players such as Nets star Mason Plumlee, Zach LaVine, Nerlens Noel, and Andrew Wiggins converged on the campus, further enhancing the excitement of the packed crowd of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from across the LIU community. NBA All-Stars were joined on the court by National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) players, sports media personalities such as Rick Fox and Isaiah Thomas, NBA dancers, LIU students, administration, faculty, and alumni for an evening filled with dunks, half-court shots, and a demonstration of NBA fast-break practice drills. There was a palpable feeling of street ball showmanship and fun among the players, and a back-to-the-roots attitude. “To have a part of NBA's All-Star Weekend at LIU Brooklyn was absolutely wonderful,” said Brad Cohen, LIU Brooklyn's athletics director. “It was a great opportunity to show what a happening place Brooklyn has and continues to become. Hosting NBA House in the Paramount Theatre showcased the university to thousands of people from the local community, and also allowed members of the student body to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime event."
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NBA House photos courtesy of Dennis Slagle/NBAE, Greg Shamus/NBAE
LIU Post Radio
YEARS On Air
By Alyssa Seidman P’16 Co-Editor-in-Chief of the LIU Post Pioneer
A version of this story was originally published in The Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post. Reprinted by permission. At 4 p.m. on March 16, 1965, WCWP 88.1 FM broadcast live from Long Island University’s Brookville campus for the first time. The public radio station celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special broadcast featuring WCWP alumni from the past five decades live on air from Studio One in the Benjamin Abrams Communication Center. “This is a milestone [that] can be shared by multiple generations of LIU Post students. WCWP is a unique place with a storied history of excellence and innovation,” said Dan Cox P’85, WCWP’s director of broadcasting. The anniversary show was hosted by Jeff Kroll P’75, who also hosts The Rock Show on 88.1 FM. It featured WCWP alumni from the last five decades, including Hank Neimark P’64, former station manager, and the first-ever voice heard on WCWP-FM, who rang in the occasion precisely the way he had 50 years before; delivering his original tagline, “first on your FM dial.” Guest alumni shared stories from their tenure at the LIU Post radio station while Kroll took calls from listeners— mostly other WCWP alumni. “WCWP has been not only a place for students to learn and practice radio broadcasting, but [is also] a second home to many,” Cox said. One of the defining characteristics of WCWP-FM is the diversity of majors that have roamed the station’s halls for the past 50 years. “You do not have to be a media or broadcast major to work at WCWP. Many of our members and alumni just love music, sports, news, and want to be involved in an organization that will improve their communication skills. Our greatest accomplishment is the feeling of family and community among our current staff, students, community volunteers, and alumni,” he added. “[I] learned everything I know [from working at WCWP],” Kroll said. “I was just an 18-year-old kid. I knew nothing when I walked in here other than I wanted to be involved in radio.” Eventually I became a disc jockey, which I really had no intention of doing, and now I still do that. It’s still fun after all these years.” Samantha Negron, a sophomore broadcasting major and coordinator for Midday Madness and Total Access programming at WCWP, said, “Seeing [the alumni] come in is really awesome. They’re so enthusiastic; they love it here, they love what they do, and I just see a lot of that in me. I hope that one day, maybe 50 years from now, I could be doing something like they’re doing.” “It’s really cool to be here hearing the history of the station from the last 50 years, and how they’ve made it better and better over time,” said Peter Sacoulas, a sophomore Information Technology major who is the technical operations engineer for the station. “Today, I’m here helping make it even better for the next generation to come, and the generations after that. And I hope I’m here for the 100th anniversary.” Photos courtesy of WCWP.
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come in and As a further extension of Long Island University’s commitment to providing students with unique, real-world learning opportunities, LIU recently opened the doors to Browse on the LIU Post and LIU Brooklyn campuses. Browse at LIU Post is an authorized Apple products retailer and showcases MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro Retina, Mac Mini, iMac, Apple TV, iPad Mini (all generations), iPad Air (all generations), Beats speakers and headphones, as well as charging cables, adapters, and accessories. Browse at LIU Brooklyn showcases Microsoft Surface platform, Amazon Fire tablets, Dell tablets, notebooks, and desktop computers, in addition to gaming consoles and peripherals such as GoPro digital cameras, and Skullcandy headsets. Both LIU Post and LIU Brooklyn locations of Browse serve as all-purpose technology centers showcasing new technology and all items are offered at discounted rates to LIU faculty, students, staff, and administrators with a valid LIU ID. In addition to the invaluable resource Browse offers for LIU and the surrounding communities, the stores also offer unique experiential learning opportunities. Students who work in Browse as store associates play an important role in the day-to-day operations and gain professional skills as they work alongside certified service help desk technicians. Students learn about retail, customer service, business management, entrepreneurship, small business operations, supply chain management, and e-commerce, as well as networking and technology troubleshooting, work experience that helps students build a professional résumé prior to graduation. Students will also offer helpdesk support to peers on campus. “Having an authorized Apple Campus Store on campus provides an invaluable resource for LIU students,” said President Cline. “We are living in a dynamic, digital world,” said George Baroudi, vice president for information technology and chief information officer of LIU. “Browse provides LIU students with a real-world technology environment where they will acquire technical and interactive skills that will serve them as they move on in chosen careers or graduate studies.” Already the venture is proving fruitful. After just one term of work at Browse, multiple students were offered full-time employment at technologycentered companies including Apple and Blackberry. Starting in fall 2015, members of the LIU community will have the opportunity to participate in a trade-in program to bring in old technology to receive store credit. Additionally, Browse will host a variety of technology-focused workshops and training events. Browse at LIU Brooklyn 85 DeKalb Avenue 718-488-1100
Browse at LIU Post Hillwood Commons 516-299-2500
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Film Professor’s Documentary Screened at Sundance In February, Jean Carlomusto, professor of media arts and director of the Television Center at LIU Post, celebrated the premiere of her documentary film, Larry Kramer in Love and Anger, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film is a personal portrait of one of the most important and controversial figures in the history of gay America. Larry Kramer, now 79, was the fierce and uncompromising voice of outrage and grief during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City. He documented this troubled time in his largely autobiographical, Tony Award-winning play, The Normal Heart, which Kramer recently turned into a screenplay for the celebrated HBO film adaptation. Kramer’s abrasive and inflammatory approach made him a pariah in both the gay and straight communities. But his unrelenting anger and refusal to be silenced ultimately helped overcome political inaction and indifference towards AIDS research and treatment. Carlomusto has been involved in the HIV/ AIDS activism community for almost 30 years, gathering footage along the way. In the mid-1980s, she took on a project creating educational videos for Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the nation’s first HIV/ AIDS activism organization, co-founded by Kramer before he was ousted after his scathing verbal attacks on prominent political figures and colleagues. In 1987, Carlomusto founded the media production unit at GMHC, filming protests, rallies, and other civil disobedience actions relating
Beat Poetry Willie Perdomo B’12 captures the soundtrack of El Barrio in new poetry collection
Award-winning poet Willie Perdomo B’12, who earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at LIU Brooklyn, is a craftsman of verse that is nothing short of a soundtrack of the beat of life and the people in the neighborhood of his childhood, East Harlem (also known as Spainish Harlem and El Barrio). Winner
to the HIV/AIDS crisis and LGBT rights. She later worked with Kramer through the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), documenting the history of the struggle over three decades. Carlomusto’s long relationship with Kramer offers an intimate perspective on the man that few have seen before. During the making of the documentary, Kramer, who has been living with HIV for more than 25 years, became seriously ill while recovering from a liver transplant. "He was
fighting for his life. He never gave up, and neither did his husband, David Webster," Carlomusto said. Webster encouraged her to continue filming, so the film includes many vulnerable moments. "People who didn’t even know who Larry was were blown away by what he was able to accomplish," Carlomusto said about the Sundance audience’s reaction to the film.
of the PEN Beyond Margins Award and a Coretta Scott King honoree, Perdomo published his third book, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, in 2014. Earlier this year, the National Book Critics Circle nominated the book for its prestigious annual awards in the poetry category. Through a series of poems that inhabit the voices of many characters in the life of Shorty Bon Bon, the book reimagines the life of Perdomo’s uncle (whom Perdomo never met), a Puerto Rican musician who played percussion on studio recordings by
"Those who knew Larry as a bitter, angry old man saw another side of him that is very gentle and sweet," she said. But the most moving reaction was from others who lived through that time. One older man told her he felt like he was watching home movies. He saw the painful truth of his own life. "They were very appreciative that we represented their history. Hearing that made me feel really good," Carlomusto said. While great strides have been made for the civil rights of the LGBTQ community, and progress has been made in treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, "it took far too long, too many lives have been lost, and there’s still no cure," Carlomusto said. She made this film because she felt a sense of duty to remember and tell the story of the lives that were lost and the man who was so influential in "fighting for a cure to lift this plague out of our society." Now back on campus in Brookville, Carlomusto can’t wait to show Larry Kramer to her students and the LIU community. She hopes the film will illuminate a leader who managed to stay true to what he believed in, even when it made him very unpopular. "I hope it inspires students to find their own passion in the world and to develop their own voice and vision of how to represent that." Larry Kramer in Love and Anger will premiere on HBO in June, coinciding with Kramer’s 80th birthday and Gay Pride Month.
Latin Jazz musician Charlie Palmieri and other musicians in El Barrio in the 1960s, when Salsa music began to take off in New York City. The result is a collection of lyrical, visual, melodic, witty, sonic verses with a conga beat. Perdomo's other works include Clemente!, Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, Postcards of El Barrio, and Smoking Lovely. The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Press 2014) is available at book retailers now. More information is available at WilliePerdomo.com.
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A Family Legacy of
PHILANTHROPY A CONVERSATION WITH
ERIC KRASNOFF, CHAIRMAN OF THE LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES For nearly 40 years, the Krasnoff family has maintained a deep personal commitment to Long Island University that began when Abraham Krasnoff H’85 joined the Board of Trustees in the late 1970s. Abe, who also served as chairman of the board, left the University with a legacy of leadership and generosity that continues to have an impact today. In 1992, his son, Eric, current chairman of the board, carried on this legacy when he joined the University as a trustee. After serving for many years as head of the board’s Planning Committee, Eric was elected to the chairmanship in 2014. Eric Krasnoff spent much of his career with Pall Corporation, a Fortune 1,000 company based in Port Washington, N.Y., specializing in the manufacturing and global distribution of products that advance health, safety, and environmentally responsible technologies, where he served as the chief executive officer, president, and chairman before his retirement in 2012. 14
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Arts and culture have been a lifelong passion for both Eric and his wife Sandra, who serves as vice chair of the Council of Overseers at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post. During his tenure at Pall, the company became the principal sponsor of dance at Tilles Center, making it the region's leading presenter of that art form. That commitment led the Krasnoffs to expand their philanthropy to the University and endow Tilles Center’s dance program, bringing the likes of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and others to Long Island. Additionally, the family continues to support the Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Scholarly Achievement, one of the highest honors bestowed to LIU faculty members in recognition of their outstanding academic contributions. A life-long resident of Long Island, Krasnoff also serves as a vice-chair of the Long Island chapter of The Nature Conservancy and as a board member of Old Westbury Gardens.
Your family has a long-standing relationship with LIU. What drew you to the university? I grew up in Glen Cove, and from a very early age I knew many people that were involved with the University through the Post campus. As I began my career at Pall, LIU became a favorite organization of mine in terms of philanthropy because of its commitment to helping people get ahead in life. At the same time, LIU has always stood out as an important player in improving the cultural life of the community. It doesn’t get much better than being able to support an institution that contributes to the region in such a positive way and makes it the kind of place where you want to live and raise your children.
You’ve been a member of the board for more than 20 years—how has LIU evolved in that time and what are your goals for the future? LIU is a multifaceted institution that exists to serve students from across the globe. Over the past 20 years I have seen firsthand how LIU has positioned itself as an important institution of higher learning—expanding our campuses and academic programs, all while continuing to improve the opportunities we are able to provide to our students. As one of the largest private universities in the country, we have an obligation to broaden our mission, fine tune services we afford to our students, and become more focused on outcomes and long-term sustainability. It’s important that we stay focused in our efforts to empower our students to achieve their career-oriented goals, along with personal fulfillment. As we go forward, we are expanding partnerships with businesses and industry leaders throughout the region from startups to blue chip companies to create internships and provide our students with real world work experiences that will impact their life and their success. We are also working hard to continue to leverage the many diverse benefits of this University so students can take advantage of the complimentary offerings we provide across our campuses—from the Gold Coast of Long Island to Downtown Brooklyn to the international centers of LIU Global—our goal is to continue to maximize the energy and excitement of LIU for the benefit and betterment of many. Under the leadership of our great president, Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, we are bringing a different perspective and renewed focus to everything we are trying to accomplish.
Where do you see the future of higher education over the next decade? Many were saying years ago that the future of higher ed was centered around online programs, which I don’t believe. You need human contact and intellectual interaction and dialogue for student development and enrichment to take shape.
We need to pay close attention to the affordability of a college degree and we need to help students get through their programs more efficiently and with more hands-on experience to prepare them to achieve their goals following graduation. Continuing to develop specialty programs that focus on practical skills and provide opportunities to gain experience and create relationships will be even more essential to the success of higher education in the coming years.
What is the one ingredient that every student today needs to be successful in the 21st-century global marketplace? I think literacy is the most important thing in today’s job market. Not general reading and writing, but actual fluency in the specific technology and communication skills needed for their areas of study. Whether it’s life science or computer science, being knowledgeable and conversant in the language and operation of an industry will go a long way to helping students find success after graduation.
How does the arts and entertainment programming at Tilles Center and Kumble Theater benefit LIU and the community at large? One great thing about Tilles Center and Kumble Theater is that they provide an important contribution to the arts more broadly. The programming they offer helps expose communities across the region to the University, bringing people together and expanding LIU's reach. Together, these performing arts centers demonstrate LIU’s commitment to public engagement. There have been some incredible performances, from Wynton Marsalis playing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Tilles Center to Ashford & Simpson at Kumble Theater. It’s also always a great treat to see our students perform and lay the foundation for LIU’s important legacy of contributions to the performing arts in New York. Now, with the new partnership with Bruce Ratner, Brett Yormark, and the Paramount Entertainment Center group, the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre will also enhance the cultural life of LIU and our community.
IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE STAY FOCUSED IN OUR EFFORTS TO EMPOWER OUR STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR CAREERORIENTED GOALS, ALONG WITH PERSONAL FULFILLMENT. SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
E R U T C I P Y R E EV Y R O T S A S L L E T ERSHEY B’65
BY EDWARD H
Moving. Unforgettable. Iconic. In the news business, a photograph often captures a moment in a way tells a far larger story than words ever could. From 1952 through 1980 news photography was honored 26 times by Long Island University’s George Polk Awards in Journalism. But just five photographers have been honored with Polk awards for stand-alone work in the ensuing three decades. Have user-generated iPhone images and social media made the intrepid photojournalist obsolete? “Part of it speaks to changes in both journalism and technology and how they intersect,” said Dr. Ralph Engleman, Senior Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at LIU Brooklyn, who serves as faculty coordinator of the George Polk Awards. “Where once a dramatic telephoto was our first image of a major story and thus our most lasting impression, now we have instant access to almost every event on multiple devices.”
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That does not mean still photography is not important. “It was an integral part of several winning entries for 2014,” said Engleman. “Photography was especially crucial to two of this year’s winners, both in Africa,” said John Darnton, curator of the George Polk Awards. “One was James Verini’s report on United Nations action in the Congo that ran on the National Geographic website, and the other Daniel Berehulak, who [along with the New York Times team that won the award for Health Reporting] risked his own health and safety to photograph the scourge of the Ebola virus in West Africa.” Although the impact of an individual image is somewhat diluted by the immediacy and sensory overload of the Internet, photojournalists are literally in the line of fire every day, risking their personal safety and liberty for the important work of informing the world about the atrocities of war, revolution, and protest, but also of hope and human resilience. The George Polk Awards committee is still on the lookout for iconic examples of spot news photography or photo essay reinforcing the Chinese dictum that a picture is worth 10,000 words.
Copyright © Magnum Photos. Reprinted by permission.
Iranian photographer Jahangir Razmi chronicled the country’s 1979 revolution and rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. In this iconic image, “Firing Squad in Iran,” Razmi captured the execution of Kurdish militants by the Iranian military. The image was published anonymously in Ettela’at, Iran’s oldest daily newspaper, and quickly spread to news bureaus around the world. The image won a Polk Award and a Pulitzer Prize that year, but the honors were presented anonymously and Razmi’s name was withheld until 2006 for his safety.
In 1955, Union Press photographer William Sauro captured this image of Helen Keller “listening” with her fingertips to Eleanor Roosevelt at the American Foundation for Overseas Blind dinner in New York City. Keller, deaf and blind author, activist, and advocate for people with disabilities, and the former first lady were longtime friends and pen pals. Sauro was honored with a Polk Award and the Image has remained a symbol of Keller's extraordinary life. Copyright © Bettmann/CORBIS. Reprinted by permission
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Remembering Paul Schutzer B’52
Work in war zones has accounted for a major share of Polk-winning photography and was both the passion and the undoing of Paul Schutzer B’52. The lone Polk laureate who was also an LIU alumnus, Schutzer began his photography career working in the public relations office at Long Island University.
Copyright © LIFE Magazine/Getty Images. Reprinted by permission.
In a letter to LIU President Admiral Richard L. Conolly in 1957 (excerpted above), Schutzer reflected upon his time at the university as a “decisive element in his life.” He was on course for law school, but working with Len Karlin, one of the founders of the George Polk Awards, showed him that photojournalism was the career he was meant to follow. Schutzer became a heralded LIFE photographer, chronicling the rise of the Berlin Wall, an earthquake in Iran, the Algerian War, JFK from his campaign through his funeral, Fidel Castro’s rise, civil war devastation in Lebanon, and early United States involvement in Vietnam, as depicted in the above LIFE cover image. A colleague’s comment that Schutzer had “almost too much courage” proved prophetic when he was killed on assignment in 1967 at the outset of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War. He was 37.
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BY ROBIN D. SCHATZ
LIU Post School of Professional Accountancy Alumni Demonstrate Unlimited Paths to Success The School of Professional Accountancy is the oldest school of its kind in the nation. Founded in 1972—long before the Internet changed everything and the Big Eight became the Big Four—the LIU Post School of Professional Accountancy has continued to maintain its relevance, in the face of changing technology, by offering new programs— like the online master's degree in taxation, which was launched in 2014—as well as incorporating state-of-the-art technology into the classroom. Much has changed in both the business world and higher education, but two very important things have remained constant: First, accounting is one of the most valuable and versatile degrees available. Second, LIU Post graduates are innovative, well-trained, entrepreneurial thinkers who build practical skills through internships and contacts through a robust network of
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leaders in the profession. School of Professional Accountancy graduates are eagerly recruited by top firms in a broad range of industries and roles— as accountants, tax preparers, estate and financial planners, business managers and more. The five accomplished alumni profiled here are just some examples of the accomplishments and unlimited opportunity accounting graduates have to apply the knowledge and skills they earned in the School of Professional Accountancy to any area of business and industry. From executive leadership at Big Four firms to controlling financials for major league sports and global media and entertainment companies, what they all share is a strong appreciation of the school that gave them their start and an active role in the future of LIU.
to find a position through networking and contacts,” Damon said. Enter SFX, a startup in the electronic dance music world. Damon helped the business grow through acquisitions and raised money through IPOs and bond offerings. He has watched the company become, in a short span of time, the largest producer of live EDM entertainment and festivals in the world as well the owner of Beatport, the biggest digital download business for EDM.
ROBERT DAMON P’80
SVP and Chief Accounting Officer SFX Entertainment Inc.
Robert Damon knew nothing about electronic dance music (EDM) when SFX Entertainment, a leader in that industry, recruited him as senior vice president and chief accounting officer two years ago. “Today, I could recite the top 20 or so deejays in the EDM world,” the 60-yearold boasted. Damon and his wife frequently attend live events sponsored by SFX—and attended by fans half his age—across the United States, and around the world. In September, he’ll travel to Brazil for “Rock in Rio” and “Tomorrowland” in Sao Paolo. “If you’re going to work somewhere, you might as well enjoy the product,” he said. Damon transferred to LIU Post in his junior year because of the School of Professional Accountancy’s stellar reputation and strong faculty, many of whom worked in the accounting profession and knew its rigors and challenges. “What really was helpful was the guidance the professors offered on how to structure a career and what to look for first. Until I got that guidance I wasn’t sure what I should do,” Damon said.
After graduating, Damon built a strong foundation for his career in public accounting at one of the Big Eight firms that dominated public accounting in the 1980s. He spent eight years at Ernst & Young, getting his first taste of the entertainment business with a client in the advertising and media industry. Throughout his professional life, Damon built an extensive network that has helped him advance and branch out in new directions. In 1991, as the public accounting firms were going through a wave of consolidation, he was recruited by one of his former clients at Ernst & Young to become the controller of Liberty Fabrics Inc. Four years later, he made his full-time move into the entertainment world when he was recruited by a former partner at Ernst & Young to become senior vice president and chief financial officer of Katz Entertainment, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications. The company had just gone through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and needed someone who could help them upgrade their accounting systems and processes, said Damon. By 2012, Katz was restructuring and Damon began reassessing how to move forward in his career. “Fortunately, I had broad-based experience that helped me
While it doesn’t hurt that Damon gets to work at a place that feels a bit like a party every day—dance music playing in the lobby of the Manhattan-based company, no more ties—the thing he enjoys most about his job is the challenge of building an international business from the ground up. “The speed at which we move and grow is unlike any place I have ever worked,” said Damon. SFX has grown from $25 million in revenue in 2012 to $355 million in revenue in 2014, mostly from acquisitions and some organic growth. “As a result of the complexity of our transactions we have had to deal with some very challenging technical accounting and tax matters.” Damon also pointed to the financial aspects of producing large-scale EDM events as one of the most interesting parts of his job. “The amount of planning, design and production that goes into one of our multi day festivals is staggering. As you would imagine it takes quite an amount of financial support from budgeting, ticket sales, transaction processing, and day of event support.” But, he said, it’s rewarding to see it all come together and watch 50,000 people enjoy a great event. “It is very exciting and very fast paced. It keeps you going.”
“What really was helpful was the guidance the professors offered on how to structure a career and what to look for first.” - BOB DAMON -
SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY
ROBERT ARNING P’84
Vice Chair for Market Development KPMG LLP
Forget the stereotype of the accountant hunched over a spreadsheet. Robert Arning, who recently celebrated his 32nd anniversary at the Big Four accounting firm KPMG LLP, has found the opposite: “The most exciting thing about my job, and I would venture to say about any of the jobs in accounting, is that it’s very much a people business. It’s a very social, marketfacing business,” Arning said.
Arning particularly liked the diverse faculty, made up of full-time academics and current or former professionals in private practice. “You had a very good mix of real world and academia, so you felt you were being equipped to go out and be successful,” he said. Right from the beginning, Arning immersed himself in campus life, becoming an active member of student government and the accounting society. He also worked as a bank teller and at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In his junior year, he fortuitously learned of an opportunity at the Long Island office of what was then
client relationships across the country. “I travel quite a bit around the United States, meeting with clients and prospective clients, and meeting with our people and our leadership teams to discuss how to improve and expand on how we serve our clients,” he said. “I try to identify what clients may need from us—both today and tomorrow.” Thirty-one years after graduation, Arning still fondly recalls his time on the verdant campus of LIU Post. It’s where he developed the foundation for his career, and, not insignificantly, where he met his wife of 28 years, Lisa Capuzzi (also Class of 1984).
"You had a very good mix of real world and academia, so you felt you were being equipped to go out and be successful." - ROB ARNING called Peat Marwick Mitchell for a “a preprofessional position.” He devoted himself to the job, working 20 hours a week during the school year and full time during breaks. “I’d like to think I woke up one day and knew I wanted to be an accountant.” Arning reflected. In reality, the first-generation college student who grew up in Astoria gravitated to the School of Professional Accountancy out of practicality. His brother was also studying accounting, and the goal was to “get a good job.” The School of Professional Accountancy, located in today’s Lorber Hall, a handsome red brick Georgian building that was called Hutton House at the time, fairly buzzed with talk about accounting. “It had a very special feel about it,” Arning recalled. “The setting just made you feel really good and really special about wanting to be in the profession.”
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With job offers from six of the then-Big Eight accounting firms after graduation, Arning chose to stay with Peat Marwick, which would later become KPMG, and his responsibilities progressively increased and evolved along with the profession itself. “The profession has grown and expanded in a very significant way to cover a lot more than it had years ago,” Arning said. “It’s now about data security, regulation, knowledge management, and business advice, in addition to the core mission of delivering high quality financial statement audits.” In his current position as vice chair for market development, Arning is responsible for nurturing KPMG’s most important
“I had the time of my life at LIU Post,” Arning said, “but thankfully not too much fun.” When he’s not working, Arning enjoys boating and fishing and is active in many nonprofit organizations. He serves on Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees and is an advisor to the Partnership for New York City. He also remains active at his alma mater, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Board of Advisors at LIU’s School of Management and returning to campus every year to help teach an M.B.A class. Arning also speaks to accounting students whenever he has a chance, letting them know that “The opportunities in accounting are tremendous, and maybe even greater today.”
“LIU taught me the importance of excellence, hard work, and continuous learning. After that, the rest was up to me.” - ROSE ROSER -
ROSEMARY ROSER P’81
Vice President and Controller National Football League
Rose Roser attends the Super Bowl every year. It’s one of the perks as VP and controller of the National Football League, a position this football fan has enjoyed since 2004. This year’s nail-biting game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots was a particular thrill. “It was a tremendous game. It was a crushing loss for the Seahawks and an amazing victory for the Patriots,” said Roser, staying neutral despite the drama. “When you work for the NFL, you root for all 32 teams.” Roser’s philosophy is that a career isn’t a linear, straight-up-the-ladder path. It’s about keeping skills sharp and building a “mosaic of experiences,” she said. “It’s about getting an amalgamation of skills that positions you for where you want to be.”
And she has certainly created a rich and colorful mosaic for herself. When she was in high school, Roser thought she would do anything but accounting, her father’s profession. An accomplished classical pianist who practiced for hours each day, she considered a career in music. But like many students, she explored various majors at LIU Post. “Then I latched on to accounting, and I saw that I was very good at it,” she said. Roser, who graduated summa cum laude from the School of Professional Accountancy, credits the strong curriculum and dedicated professors at LIU for giving her the grounding she needed for success. “The education was excellent. Top notch,” she said. “Some of the professors were quite tough, but they were preparing you for a challenging position in real life.” She received job offers from a number of the Big Eight accounting firms, and, like many of her LIU Post classmates, chose to join KPMG, in Jericho, N.Y. At KPMG, she rose from assistant accountant to senior audit manager over the course of a decade. Next, Roser moved into the private sector, first as vice president and controller at Roosevelt Savings Bank in Garden City, N.Y., then as the controller of Comforce Corp., a temporary staffing services company in Woodbury, N.Y., followed by a five-year run as
controller of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, one of the largest and most prestigious international law firms in the world. When Roser was recruited to become VP and controller of the NFL, the high-profile organization liked her wide-ranging experience. “The rigor and discipline of being a bank controller and managing a lot of money, having implemented a PeopleSoft accounting system at Comforce, and experience working in an entrepreneurial organization at Skadden gave me the right mix of skills,” she said. As a privately held business organization, the NFL puts a tremendous emphasis on publishing sound financial information, Roser said. “A lot of time at my level is spent making sure we are aligned—that finance understands the accounting and that accounting understands the finance, and that we’re getting the right input in our new business opportunities.” “Throughout your life, doors will open and others will close,” Roser said. “[LIU] taught me the importance of excellence, hard work, and continuous learning. After that, the rest was up to me.”
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SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY ation he had offers from several major accounting firms. He accepted a position at Arthur Anderson, where he worked in public accounting for several years. He moved on to a role as vice president of finance and operations at Argent Trading Company, a private equity-backed international trading firm. “I’m an entrepreneurial spirit. I enjoyed the business aspects more than accounting,” he says.
“You don’t have to be an accountant, to be a CEO, but it definitely helps. Being able to read and understand financial statements really helps you make informed decisions about where to apply your capital in the business.” - DAVID ANTIN -
DAVID ANTIN P’97
Chief Executive Officer Institutional Investor
Accounting wasn’t the obvious path for David Antin. “I wanted to be a lawyer,” he said. But after an affecting conversation with a successful older cousin, he realized that accounting was a good foundation for law school or whatever he might choose to do in the business world later on. With this new perspective, Antin went from a full academic scholarship to earning his bachelor’s degree from the School of Professional Accountancy, a foundation
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that led him from an entry-level public accountant to chief executive officer of the publishing division of Institutional Investor, a leading international financial business media company. Antin got his first taste of the media business as an intern at a telecom company doing payroll and other functions. As graduation approached, he decided to take a break before committing to law school. “I did enjoy the accounting work, and I wanted to give it a try,” he said. As it turned out, Antin never found the need to go to law school. Before gradu-
In 2002, Antin joined Institutional Investor as director of finance and operations. He learned the ins and outs of the publishing business at the company, owner of the eponymous flagship financial magazine and other business titles, as well as a conference business. Over the next decade, Antin leveraged his accounting and business background, taking on management roles within the organization, starting with smaller projects and moving on to progressively larger ventures. Antin became Institutional Investor’s chief executive officer, a position that requires a wide range of business and leadership skills. “You don’t have to be an accountant, to be a CEO, but it definitely helps,” Antin said. “Being able to read and understand financial statements really helps you make informed decisions about where to apply your capital in the business.” Antin said. The publishing industry is both exciting and challenging, Antin said. “Technology has drastically changed the publishing industry in many ways. For us, it’s about our competitive advantages and our reach in the industry, using our brand and our know-how.” Antin remains active in the LIU Post alumni network, and is impressed by the great achievements of his fellow School of Professional Accountancy alumni and their commitment to giving back to the school. He serves on the alumni Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors for the College of Management. He also serves on the selection committee for a new dean for the College of Management at LIU Post.
JAMES F. FLANAGAN P’82
years later I went back to New York and ran that business on a national basis.”
East Region Vice Chair PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
In 2006, Flanagan took on yet another challenge, becoming U.S. Leader of the firm’s Financial Services practice, which he led through the 2008 financial crisis, including testifying before the Senate Banking Committee about mortgage foreclosures.
Jim Flanagan decided in high school that he wanted to be an accountant. “I never wavered. That was my declared major when I started college, and when I ended. Thirty-three years later I’m still doing it.”
“I never thought that a kid who was going to be here for two years was going to end up testifying in front of a Senate panel,” said Flanagan.
Flanagan was the first in his family to go to college. He started at Suffolk Community College and transferred to LIU Post, where he thrived in the School of Professional Accountancy. “The teachers were very practical and hands-on,” said Flanagan. “Many were in their own practices or they worked in firms. They could take topics and apply a real-life context to them.” After graduation, Flanagan joined the small Long Island office of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He thought he would spend two years there, pass his CPA exam and then move on. But he enjoyed the work as a public accountant and received good feedback from his supervisors. Soon, Flanagan began advancing into leadership roles as senior public accountant, then manager in the audit practice. Next, he was offered the opportunity to move to the giant Manhattan headquarters to
In September, Flanagan was elevated to his current position as east region vice chair. “My job is to be out talking to our clients all the time to see if we are serving them the way they expect,” Flanagan said. work in a new business called Transaction Services, which handled mergers and acquisitions. “I was doing well at that, and it became the path I stayed on, and I said to myself, ‘I think I’ll have a run at partnership.’” In 1994, Flanagan moved with his family to Cleveland, where he was charged with expanding the Transaction Services practice into the Midwest. “From a professional point of view, it was the most important action I took in my career,” he said. “I had to basically go out and build a business where there was none. It went well, and seven
When he speaks to students at Suffolk Community College and LIU about his career journey, Flanagan doesn’t focus on the suit and the fact that he is the vice chair of one of the world’s top financial firms. “I didn’t start out thinking I would be a partner and travel to 50 countries and lead a big practice. I was just trying to get through school, work hard and see where it would take me,” he said. “I want [students] to look at me and say, here’s a guy whose parents emigrated. I was the first person [in my family] to go to college, and you can do this too.”
“I didn’t start out thinking I would be a partner and travel to 50 countries and lead a big practice. I was just trying to get through school, work hard, and see where it would take me... I was the first person in my family to go to college, and you can do this too” - JIM FLANAGAN -
Five blue-scrubbed doctors run by, pursued by three cops in SWAT gear. A gritty punk-rocker in a beat-up biker jacket with straggly, jet-black hair takes a sticky bite of pastry, guzzling coffee to wash it down. The elevator dings. They step inside. The doors begin to close, but are halted by a dainty, manicured hand. A primly dressed woman with a sleek chestnut bob steps in. They look at each other, sure they recognize her from somewhere. The doors close. End Scene. Sometimes the characters are more Girls and less Gotham, but working among active production sets at Steiner Studio Stage 2 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, extras in costume mingling around craft services, gaffers rigging sound and lighting, mock-
explosions, and famous faces are part of the everyday experience for students in LIU Brooklyn’s TV Writers Studio.
a graduate program that took an almost vocational approach, taking students every step of the way from series concept through writing, rewriting, and production, to pitching the pilot for network or cable sale.
Founded in 2010 by Emmy Award-winning veteran screenwriter, director, producer, and showrunner Norman Steinberg, the TV Writers Studio is a one-of-a-kind M.F.A program in Writing and Producing for Television that gives students a true taste of what it’s like to work as a writer on the staff of a TV series.
“Anyone who tells you they can teach you how to write is lying to you. What we do in the TV Writers Studio is teach people how to be writers,” Steinberg said with his signature brilliantly blunt humor.
“The best writing in America is being done for television. If you can write for TV you can write for the big screen and television is where the jobs are, where careers are formed,” said Steinberg. But no university in America had a program focused on television writing. Steinberg had a vision of
Each fall, 15-25 students from diverse backgrounds across the country and abroad are chosen to join the program and enter the TV Writers Studio (TVWS), where they work collaboratively on a television pilot in an environment that replicates the writers room of a professional series. Under
Anyone who tells you they can teach you how to write is lying to you. What we do in the TV Writers Studio is teach people how to be writers.”
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- Norman Steinberg
TV WRITERS STUDIO the experienced oversight of Steinberg— process creates a lot of conflict. But just whose credits include co-writing Blazing like building strong characters and Saddles with Mel Brooks, My Favorite Year, compelling storylines, conflict makes Johnny Dangerously, and Cosby, among a good television writing. slew of other television and film projects— “We all come from different places and in year one, the class literally sits around write differently, but it’s making me a better a table and develops characters, plans writer to understand how others write and storyline, and creates the world of the show, think,” said Connor Bowen, a student in ultimately writing a polished script they will Cohort IV, the 2014 first-year class. cull down and produce into a 10-minute Kill Your Darlings, and Other reel and a shortened trailer in year two.
Productive Arguing Builds Strong Scripts In practice, working in the TV Writers Studio means a lot of productive arguing. “Collaborating is the core of professional TV writing,” Steinberg said. “Everyone brings their own ideas to the table and oftentimes it’s a slugfest.” But, he said, learning to take criticism, fight for your characters, and compromise for the good of the project are almost as important as honing writing skills. “[TVWS graduates] are not afraid or intimidated. They can go land jobs in writers rooms on series and work well in that tough environment,” Steinberg said with pride.
Photo by Serenitbee via flickr
Gabriel A. Tolliver B’13, who now works in the finance department on the Showtime series Power, which is filmed at Steiner Studios, described the TVWS experience as “part confessional, part laboratory, part writer’s boot camp.” The former Army journalist said the collaborative
Unlimited access to feedback and advice from an industry legend like Steinberg doesn’t hurt either. Alumna Kate Oliva B’14 said the best piece of advice was: “You’ve got to learn to take a punch.” Steinberg doesn’t sugarcoat his criticism—or anything really—it’s part of what makes him a magnetic and fascinating mentor. And what makes his students better television writers. “Sometimes you are going to get harsh feedback,” said Oliva, adding “and usually it’s necessary. You have to learn to write from your heart, but not be so attached to your characters and story that you are not open to change.” Because television writing is a group endeavor, Steinberg teaches students to not only develop thick skin when they receive criticism, but also to build interpersonal communication skills so that they can give criticism in a way that is constructive, rather than demoralizing.
Being able to go to work at Steiner Studios every day was a type of access I didn’t imagine for myself.” - Aidan Daley-Hynes B’13
“Writers rooms can be rough and tumble. But writers are typically very generous, kind, and want to help fellow writers. So I encourage them to not be so kind. Speak your mind. What I need is the truth. You may be off base, but take the chance that you might be bringing some great insight to the discussion,” said Steinberg. The young writers of Cohort IV gravitated to Brooklyn from far and near and brought with them an ample assortment of talents and life and educational experiences. “It’s hard to be patient when the group is working through an idea you might not like,” said Samantha Felmus. “But I’m learning to express my ideas and opinions more effectively and to be tough-skinned when they get shot down.” Fellow first-year Rebecca Shein added that the group dynamic and collaborative process is training them to maintain professionalism.
Find Your Team and Get to Work In addition to Steinberg’s invaluable feedback on group and individual scripts, the TV Writers Studio is a place to build your creative team. “We’re trapped in here for 10 hours straight. Figuring out how to collaborate and come together for our end goal is frustrating, but it’s always the best part of my week,” Bowen said. Oliva agreed with this: “My favorite part of the program was learning how much I
loved collaborative writing, and how much better a script can be made by writing in this way.” Oliva, along with cohort classmates Bryan Pauquette and Jordan Freiman (also Class of 2014), enjoyed the teamwork aspect so much they formed Covert Bacon, a digital media company that produces comedic web series and other digital video content, including a TVWS commercial available on the website tvwritersstuio.com. In less than two years they have built a network of filmmakers, actors, producers, and writers and produced six episodic web series, two of which were honored as official selections at the 2015 Los Angeles Web Festival and HollyWeb Festival. Together for the full two-year arc of the TVWS program, the cohorts form close working relationships and have many opportunities to pursue projects outside of the coursework that an individual writer couldn’t accomplish alone. “If you want to shoot a video or a web series you have a built-in group of people who will give up their time because they believe in your project and have your back,” said Joanna McKee, a TVWS first-year.
Access Hollywood “TVWS doesn’t do traditional lectures and homework,” said alumnus Bryan Pauquette ’14, “it puts you right in the fire. Diving right into it really expedites the learning curve.” In addition to teaching a specialty no one else is offering in a uniquely experiential way, students also have unparalleled access to the world of professional television and film production. Students report to work in the TVWS writers room at Steiner Studios, the largest film and television production studio complex outside of Hollywood.
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“This program broke open a part of New York that I didn’t know was accessible to me,” said Aidan Daley-Hines ’13. “Being able to go to work at Steiner Studios every day was a type of access I didn’t imagine for myself.” Instead of lectures and homework, Steinberg calls upon his bulging rolodex of friends in the industry—many of whom he gave their start—to offer advice, mentorship, insight, and a look behind the scenes of major television productions, including a recent video conference with Executive Producer Warren Littlefield from the North Dakota set of the Emmy Award-winning FX drama, Fargo. “This program is about learning how to be a professional in this business. So I bring in people like Tom Purcell, who was an executive producer on The Colbert Report and is going with Stephen to CBS, and he says to them, ‘You want a job? here’s what you have to do,’ and gives them an assignment to write an opening segment for the show. We also had the head of development for Amazon Studios, Joe Lewis, who developed Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, to talk to them about new opportunities in online streaming,” said Steinberg. About the common myth that you have to go to Los Angeles to make it in the TV and film industry, Steinberg admits a lot of his friends and former students do go to Hollywood, but, he said, “if you stay in New York you’ll become a better writer.” “Here you are assaulted, buffeted by what New York is—the energy, the pulse of it. L.A. is a nice place, comfortable, but it has no pulse. It doesn’t give you inspiration. Most of the ideas out there are not impassioned, but about money—studios are only making films with the word ‘Man’ in them. Even just
the street life here—there’s no bumping into each other in L.A. There’s no grit. You have to have abrasion to make pearls.”
Script, Shoot, Sell During the second year of TVWS the Cohort operates as a production team, each taking on roles with the mission of designing, casting, staging, and shooting a professional trailer or “sizzle-reel” of their pilot script. In January 2014, Steinberg’s friend Jonathan Frakes, best known for his role as Commander William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, directed the Cohort II script “OSS,” a World War II spy drama. The TVWS students utilized the historical architecture of the LIU Post campus as their setting and transformed Lorber Hall into an active set to shoot their script. Gina Massaro, an LIU Post alumna who received a B.F.A. in Film in 2012 before earning an M.F.A. in Writing and Producing for Television from LIU Brooklyn in 2014, (in interviews with The Pioneer and Newsday during production of “OSS”), said that the experience of producing the pilot exposed them to what it’s like to work on a real set. “During production and pre-production I learned a lot of skills, especially in casting, dealing with agents, managers, auditions, booking talent, running sessions,” she said. Frakes told Newsday that working with the TVWS cohort was a “fabulous experience.” He said it reminded him the kind of experience that he had when he first started in the industry. “Everyone’s energized, everyone’s excited,” Frakes said. And that’s exactly what Steinberg hoped for. “This has been an incredible life. I want to pass it on.”
Norman Steinberg wrestled with the big philosophical question of life: “What do you want to do when you grow up?” His father had died and he wanted to do the responsible thing and make him proud. So he went to law school, and after a stint in the Army, went to work as an attorney. But it never felt right. Every day he saw Mel Brooks at his regular coffee shop. “He was my hero and I accosted him and would tell him ‘I want to be a writer.’ And he would look deeply into my eyes and say ‘Leave me alone.’” But one day, Brooks handed him a piece of paper with a name and number on it. Steinberg spoke to an executive producer at Get Smart and sent in a spec script for a new project. The producer called him back and said it was good and if the show got picked up they’d hire him. “It didn’t get picked up, but it gave me the impetus to walk in and quit.”
“Half of this business is dumb luck—right time, right place,” Steinberg said. He got a job writing for a music magazine, hanging out with Jim Morrison, Ike and Tina Turner and Joe Cocker in the psychedelic East Village of the mid-1960s. He sent some spec late night monologues to a cousin of an Army friend who was a William Morris agent and landed a gig writing for a comedy record. It won a Grammy Award.
“Mel looks around the room and says, ‘I see a bunch of white Jews in here writing about a black sheriff. We need a gentleman of color.’ So I told him I’d call Richard Pryor (whom he'd worked with on the Flip Wison Show). So we had two major homerunhitters in comedy in the same room. It was unbelievable. Richie only lasted a few weeks—he was in really bad shape, but I’ve never seen anything like him.
Out in Los Angeles, Steinberg ran into a friend he’d worked with on the record, who introduced him to the head writer on The Flip Wilson Show. They gave him a job writing sketches with George Carlin. “I’d see a sketch I had written on TV and envision people across America falling off their couches at how funny this was.” Steinberg won an Emmy in his first season, but didn’t feel at home in L.A., so he declined to return to the show and moved back to New York. Next he worked on a special called “Aquacade in Acapulco,” starring Ed McMahon, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Tony Randall, and an appearance by Mel Brooks. Steinberg and Brooks wrote sketches together and had so much fun that at the end of the shoot, Brooks was asking to work with Steinberg.
“The whole process was about a year and a half. We knew that we had taken a lot of risks—nobody had ever done anything like that before. But Warner Brothers said let’s do it. After Mel directed the film he showed it to the executives, he came back ashy. He said they didn’t laugh once, they just stared at it. He wanted to recut the whole thing, but the producer and I pushed him up against a wall and said, ‘we have a screening tonight with real human beings, not suits.’ The screening was out of control. People were bouncing off walls. That thing took off like a rocket. That was forty-something years ago and still everywhere I go people want to talk about Blazing Saddles. This thing has a shelf life that will never end. I saw it on the family channel recently, and they took out the fart scene, but they left in all the ‘N’ words! It’s crazy.”
Mel asked him to read a script by Andrew Bergman called “Tex-X” about a black sheriff in the old west."I told him ‘I think it’s terrific but needs a rewrite.’ So me and Mel and Andrew go to work on the top floor of 666 Fifth Avenue, which was Warner Bros. headquarters,” said Steinberg of the job that changed everything.
“Then it started,” Steinberg said. “This story goes to show that this is attainable. It’s not easy, but if you have passion, if you have talent and you’re willing to run through walls, this program is going to show you how it works and what you have to do to make it happen.”
Other Hollywood notables that have shared their experience and wisdom with TVWS students include: Mike Reiss
Writer on The Simpsons
Casting director whose credits include Forrest Gump, Goodfellas, Boardwalk Empire, and frequent collaborations with Martin Scorcese, including his upcoming “Rock ‘n’ Roll” project with Mick Jagger (also to be filmed at Steiner Studios)
Pancho Mansfield SVP of programming at Fox Television
Sang Kyu Kim
Writer and producer on The Walking Dead
Phil Rosenthal Creator, writer, and executive producer of long-running hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond;
Writer, developer, and creative consultant on classic sitcoms including Cheers and The Mary Tyler Moore Show;
Executive producer of The Colbert Report
Development director at Amazon Studios
President of motion pictures and television at Apostle, a TV and film production company he co-founded with actor Denis Leary
Clyde Phillips Producer and writer on Dexter, Nurse Jackie, and dozens of other television series
Jerry Offsay Former president of programming for Showtime
Writer/producer whose credits include Alias, Lost, Fringe, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2
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LIU Post is a Budding Star as Silver Screen Setting for Film and Television By Rachel DeLetto
ew York is the new Hollywood. With the world’s most recognizable skyline, an enormous pool of entertainment industry talent and resources, and one of the best film tax incentive programs in the nation, New York has lured production east and become the top shooting location for big and small screens. But despite recent evidence to the contrary, not all television and film productions can be set in Brooklyn. If you thought you recognized that CIA building in Madam Secretary, or felt oddly nostalgic during a hospital scene in Royal Pains, there is a reason for that sense of déjà vu. Over the past few years, location scouts seeking a lush, country look and feel have gravitated to LIU Post.
“We’ve become known in the industry as a film friendly campus,” said Kathy Mendall, Associate Director of Conference Services and head of the Film and Entertainment Division at LIU Post who serves as primary liaison for location scouts and production management. “We have so many different types of settings available here on campus,” said Mendall. “Historic buildings, modern classrooms, landscaped gardens, the equestrian center and riding trails, open fields and wooded areas. So they know they can really get a lot of value from shooting here.”
The versatile offerings of LIU Post’s self-contained grounds also offers a unique expanse of space for productions to establish a “basecamp”–a small village of talent, technical and production crew, and equipment that pops up for the duration of the production. “The University is a town unto itself, but unlike actual towns, production services is here to coordinate everything from licenses, to electric and carpentry, to public safety and dining services,” Mendall said. The proximity to the city is also an attractive draw. Just 45 minutes from major NYC studios including Steiner, Silvercup, and Kaufman Studios, LIU Post is also a short drive to the increasingly booming Grumman and Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, N.Y. “It’s an incredible opportunity to showcase the beauty of our campus,” said Mendall. The active demand for Post as a filming location also generates revenue and provides opportunity for students to observe working sets and interact with professionals in the film and television business. And yes, meet celebrities. The guest list of star sightings includes Kevin Bacon (The Following filmed on campus and used parking lots for a basecamp), Tėa Leoni (Madam Secretary transformed the Tilles Atrium into their CIA HQ), Henry Winkler and the cast of Royal Pains (Pell Hall served as Hamptons Heritage Hospital), and Tate Donovan (filming the pilot episode of Hostages). Most recently the cast of Blue Bloods was on campus and other projects are planned for summer recess. But LIU Post’s big break moment came in February with the premier of The Rewrite, a new romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei. Filmed on the Brookville campus during the spring and fall of 2013, The Rewrite features Grant as an Oscar-winning screenwriter who, broke and in a creative slump, reluctantly takes a job as a professor at Binghamton University where he becomes emotionally entangled with the students in his screenwriting class.
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Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, who also wrote and directed Miss Congeniality, Forces of Nature, Two Weeks Notice, and Music and Lyrics, among other acclaimed film and television projects, the film pays homage to the director’s alma mater, but LIU Post’s proximity to the city and beautiful landscape made it the obvious choice of setting to shoot the movie. “The campus was visually the best and the Post folks were just terrific to work with,” Lawrence said. In February, LIU Post hosted an exclusive pre-theatrical release viewing of The Rewrite in the Gold Coast Cinema in Hillwood Commons, followed by a question and answer session with Lawrence and actors Steven Kaplan and Annie Q. The Rewrite, also featuring J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Chris Elliott, and Bella Heathcote, filmed 65 percent of scenes on campus and prominently features Post landmarks. During the screening the audience of LIU students, alumni, faculty, and staff whistled and cheered throughout the film as the actors strolled across the Great Lawn, emerged through the doors of Pell Hall, climbed the steps of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, and exchanged dialogue beside the Buck and Mary Lai fountain outside of Humanities Hall. The production used both external and interior spaces, utilizing classrooms, offices, and the Campus Bookstore. “Seeing the final product on the big screen, it is a proud accomplishment for our campus and everyone who had a part in the production,” said Mendall. As the largest and longest-duration production thus far, Mendall said “working with Marc Lawrence and his production crew was an amazing experience and really made it possible for us to see how we can bring more television and film productions to LIU Post.” One of the main priorities in advancing this goal of production on campus is making sure any filming is not disruptive to students or the operations of the University. Mendall said coordinating with location scouts with regard to timing of the individual filming schedules can be challenging. “There are certain times of year that we just have to say no. If it’s going to disrupt our students we can’t give them the space,” she said. But the minor inconveniences of active sets on campus is mostly balanced out by the benefits to students.
The campus was visually the best and the Post folks were just terrific to work with.
In addition to the excitement and energy of having celebrities on campus, the University strives to create opportunities for student participation, learning, networking, and experience. In addition to the intimate question and answer session with director Marc Lawrence at the pre-release screening, during filming of The Rewrite, LIU Post film students were invited to the set to watch and participate in the staging and shooting of scenes in the Campus Bookstore. Public Relations and Conference Services department interns earn real-world experience and build contacts while working with professionals in the industry in coordination of on-campus productions. LIU Post also recently hosted a number of small film festivals and screenings and has partnered with the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and TV Development and Nassau County Film Commission for events and informational sessions about the burgeoning opportunity for filmmakers in our community. While silver screen projection is an effective way to show the world the truly unique and picturesque world of LIU Post, more than anything, said Mendall, “We want to show students who are future filmmakers what our area has to offer and encourage them to stay in New York and continue to feed the industry.”
Writer and Director, The Rewrite
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GIVING BACK CAN BE EASIER THAN YOU THINK You don’t always have to write a check to make a gift to LIU! • You can give us appreciated stocks, bonds or mutual fund shares • Make us a beneficiary of your will or revocable trust, creating a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime • Give us life insurance you no longer need • Make us a beneficiary in your retirement plan We’ll be happy to give you the details. Please contact Patrice Panza: 516-299-3759 I LIUalumni@liu.edu
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Physics Professor Honored with Prestigious Cosmology Prize
Dr. Steven Liebling, professor of physics at LIU Post and expert in black holes, numerical and computational modeling, and relativity, received the Buchalter Cosmology Prize for co-authoring “Simulating the Universe(s): from Cosmic Bubble Collisions to Cosmological Observables with Numerical Relativity,” published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. Building upon the idea that our Universe arose within a particular bubble among many, each representing a separate universe and existing within a larger Multiverse, in “Simulating the Universe(s),” Liebling and his co-authors developed an algorithm and conducted simulations to determine the effects of a cosmic collision between two bubble universes. The hope is that this work leads to observational tests to see if such a collision occurred in our Universe. The research develops fully-relativistic (i.e., obeying Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity) predictions that could support the theory of eternal inflation (an extension of the Big Bang theory that asserts that some regions of space-time continue to expand exponentially, producing an infinite Multiverse). The Buchalter Cosmology Prize seeks to reward new ideas or discoveries that have the potential to produce breakthrough advances in our understanding of the origin, structure, and evolution of the Universe. The panel of judges recognized the work of Liebling and his collaborators as “a significant advance in linking theoretical predictions with potentially observable signatures of bubble universes in a multiverse cosmology.”
LIU Welcomes New Business Deans at Brooklyn and Post
In furtherance of LIU’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship within our community and offering business education that is on the leading edge of current economic trends and advances in global industry, the University announced the appointment of two visionary and innovative educational leaders to helm the business schools at LIU Post and LIU Brooklyn. Dr. Edward Rogoff will join LIU Brooklyn as Dean of the School of Business, Public Administration, and Information Sciences. Dr. Rogoff is an award-winning New York City educator and pioneer of undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs. He joins LIU from Baruch College, where he directed the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Rogoff is the author of two books, The Entrepreneurial Conversation and Bankable Business Plans, and his work has been published in The New York Times, The Journal of Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship Research Journal, and Forbes. He holds a B.A., M.B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Robert M. Valli has been selected to lead the LIU Post AACSB International-accredited College of Management, which includes the School of Business, the School of Professional Accountancy, and the School of Computer Science, Innovation, and Management Engineering. Dr. Valli comes to LIU from the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign, where he served as director of Illinois Business Consulting (IBC), the largest student-led consulting organization in the United States. Dr. Valli is an internationally renowned authority on innovation ecosystems and the convergence of higher education, business, and technology. Dr. Valli and his wife, Veronica, have two young sons, Xavier and Luke, and two adult children, they all look forward to joining Pioneer Nation!
Published and Presented Dr. Rick DesRochers, associate professor of theatre at LIU Post, received the prestigious Houghton Library at Harvard University Joan Nordell Fellowship, which will allow Dr. DesRochers to access the Harvard Theatre Collection for research on a new book, Putting It Over: An Anthology of Comic Vaudeville Acts.
Thomas Fahy, director of the American studies program at LIU Post, published his new book, The Writing Dead: Talking Terror with TV’s Top Horror Writers (University of Mississippi Press, March 2015). The book explores the highly popular genre through a collection of interviews with top television writers.
Emily Drabinski B’11, coordinator of library instruction at LIU Brooklyn, was awarded “Publication of the Year” by the Association of College and Research Libraries for her article, “Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction” (Journal of Academic Leadership, September 2014).
Said Hamdan, director of LIU Brooklyn's Health and Wellness Institute, was honored by the New York State Athletic Trainers Association (NYSATA) with the 2015 Thomas J. Sheehan Award, which recognizes athletic trainers whose character, commitment, and achievements in the profession exemplify the exceptional traits of Thomas J. Sheehan Sr., a founding father of the athletic training profession.
Dr. Ling Zhu, assistant Professor at LIU Post, was named an Overseas Distinguished Scholar by Shanghai Municipal Government of China. Dr. Zhu will spend the summer of 2015 at Shanghai Finance University, leading research projects in cross-border e-commerce and legal issues of free trade zones, and teaching courses in IT management and strategy. Dr. Zhu will also serve as a project coordinator on behalf of the U.S. National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade to engage in an international research project primarily funded by JP Morgan Chase.
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POST | BROOKLYN | PHARMACY | GLOBAL | SOUTHAMPTON
A new era of opportunity As LIU moves forward into a new era of opportunity and promise for our students and alumni, we are working hard to ensure the traditions and tenets of the University we know and love are maintained. This is a University on the move. Under the leadership of LIU President Kimberly R. Cline, the past year has seen the launch of innovative, interdisciplinary, and experiential programs that are preparing our students to hit the ground running. New academic facilities, state-of-the-art learning laboratories, the creation of centers and institutes across our campuses, and new partnerships throughout the region, are differentiating LIU and empowering our mission of Access and Excellence. The Offices of Alumni Relations at LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post are redoubling their efforts to expand the benefits and services we are able to provide to all alumni (LIUalumni.com), while also recommitting ourselves to delivering new opportunities for engagement. Over the past year, you’ve heard from us more frequently, seen our work up close, and noticed that we’ve asked more of you than at any other time in the history of this great institution. Our commitment to LIU alumni is ever present and connecting with you is more important than ever. Your participation matters, today and
tomorrow. In fact, giving back to the University—in time, talent or financial resources—directly impacts the value of an LIU degree. There are a number of ways to get involved, from reunion committees to offering career advice and mentorship opportunities for current students, there is something for everyone. Over the coming months we will be organizing new alumni chapters around the country, expanding career services to alumni, recruiting the next generation of students and bringing you an array of new programming. Getting involved is easy, simply visit liu.edu/alumni/volunteer. The legacy of our University is strong and the key to our continued success rests in your hands. Thank you for your commitment.
Michael S. Glickman P’99, ’01 Chief of Strategic Partnerships & University Advancement
“Success is not about you, it’s about the good you can accomplish.” —Gary Winnick P’69 “College should prepare you to compare, articulate, compute, and to be a good human being with values.” —Irene Natividad B’71 “Find something you really love, work hard, and have faith. Whatever you believe in, just know that it’s within you.” —Mary M. Lai B’42, Treasurer Emerita, LIU
“Education is the lifeblood of humanity.” —John Kanas S’68 "Whether it’s life science or computer science, being knowledgeable and conversant in the language and operation of an industry will go a long way to helping find success after graduation.” —Eric Krasnoff, Chairman of the Board, LIU “Discover what you like to do and embrace it.” —Sarabeth Levine P’64
“Business is a team sport.” —Peter Gibson P’82
At LIU, the mentorship, support, and guidance of our diverse and innovative alumni are invaluable resources in helping the next generation of LIU alumni as they prepare for success after graduation. We encourage you to share your experience and insight and contribute to the continued legacy of greatness built upon an LIU diploma. Call LIU Alumni Relations to find out how you can become an Alumni Mentor and other ways to give back to LIU students. Want to mentor? Call us at 516-299-2263 or email us at LIUalumni@liu.edu
Peter Gibson P’82 Business is a Team Sport: Former Pioneer reflects on his pioneering career in computer science By Jim H. Smith Born and raised in Rockville Center, Peter Gibson P’82 was a kinetic kid, rangy and tough, with a winning spirit and the sort of game sense that made him a quick study and an effective leader on the court or field. At Oceanside High School, if it involved a ball, Gibson was good at it. He loved baseball and basketball, but his strong suit was football. A standout quarterback, he was “All County” as a junior and “All Long Island” a year later. His performance earned him a scholarship to Boston College. But his destiny did not lie in New England, or in sports. As a freshman, his athletic dreams were cruelly tested upon the rocks of a winless season. “It’s a hard memory,” he said, with the reflective tone of a man who values the pragmatic world view that emerged from that blunt reality check. When he returned to Long Island at the end of his sophomore year, Gibson was resigned that his chances of a professional sports career were thin. Accepting that fate, he redirected his focus into building the foundation for a career that would fulfill him for the rest of his life, similar to the way sports had in his early years. New Field of Opportunities At Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus, Gibson found that he could still make a difference on the gridiron. He started as a defensive back for the Pioneers during his junior and senior years. Then, looking for a new athletic challenge, he joined the lacrosse team in his senior year as a walk-on, having never before played the grueling sport. But it was in the classroom that his knowledge of sports helped to distinguish him, and set him upon the trajectory that would
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lead to a career he’d never imagined. “Post had a great computer science program,” Gibson said, adding, “especially considering that computers were still relatively new back then.” The first successfully mass marketed personal computer, the Commodore PET, had been introduced, in fact, only two years before Gibson arrived at Post. It was followed, in short order, by the Apple and Tandy’s TRS-80 and, close behind them, a tidal wave of other devices, most of which were destined to fall by the wayside. It was, recalled Gibson, “a very fertile time in the industry.” It was Professor Brian Glazer who enticed Gibson to try his hand at the nascent discipline of computer science. “Glazer was young and he was a very engaging teacher,” said Gibson. “His classes were challenging and interesting, because he used a lot of real world problems to teach programming.” Years of successful participation in sports had instilled in Gibson the value of hard work and discipline. “Computer science demanded both,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy discipline to master, but I could see, right away, that if you worked hard and you were ambitious there were lots of opportunities.” And, according to Gibson there will be many more in the years to come. “I would still recommend computer science as a major to any student. There is as much innovation going on in the industry as there ever has been.” Gibson threw himself into mastering the skills demanded by the emerging industry and soon became so adept that he wrote a program to help coaches analyze opposing teams’ skills and tendencies. He tried,
unsuccessfully, to sell it to the New York Jets. Though they declined the offer, he was undaunted. He knew he’d found his career, and the program was a strong feature on his résumé. A Durable Career After graduating from C.W. Post in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree, Gibson cut his teeth in the technology industry at General Electric and then a few years later with Digital Equipment Corporation, a leading competitor of IBM in the mid-1980s. By the time he left Digital Equipment Corporation to join Trecom Business Systems Inc. in 1987, Gibson was a seasoned professional. It was at Trecom, a prominent national business and technology consulting firm, that he defined himself as a leader to be reckoned with. Within a few years he rose to the top echelons of the company on the strength of his role in more than doubling revenues, to nearly $150 million. “At Trecom, I was fortunate to get introduced to Frank Casagrande, our Chairman, Manny Arturi, our CEO, and Shail Jain, who is my closest business partner and current
PROFILE: POST co-CEO. They all have been great business partners for close to 30 years now.” Gibson outlined four business principles they have applied in the three firms they have run together: exceed expectations in how you deliver for clients; hire talent better than ourselves; foster a collaborative mindset; and respond with agility.”
important role in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake. But nowhere has Gibson’s commitment to athletics been more apparent than in his generous support of the Pioneers athletics programs. “My friend Sal Naro was instrumental in getting me involved with LIU in support of the athletic programs and later convinced me to join as a member of the LIU Board of Trustees.” Together, Gibson and Naro, a longtime member of LIU’s Board of Trustees, led a two-year campaign to build a new stadium at LIU Post.
Gibson was 30 years old and had earned the title of executive vice president. By 1999, when he left Trecom, he was group president of a growing business that employed more than 1,300 people. With 17 years of experience under his belt— practically an epoch in the rapidly evolving world of late-20th-century computer technology—Gibson was determined to build his own company. “Our former chairman and CEO at Trecom, Frank Casagrande and Manny Arturi, decided to invest in two of the young guys to start a new business.” Gibson and Jain launched BusinessEdge Solutions in 1999. Under their astute stewardship, BusinessEdge would become a robust national business consulting and technology solutions firm focusing on financial services, communications, and life sciences businesses. “Interestingly, two of our leaders at BusinessEdge, Nick Trentalange and Rob Shinbrot, were also C.W. Post computer science majors [both Class of 1984],” said Gibson. By the time BusinessEdge was acquired by EMC Corporation, one of the world’s largest providers of data storage systems, in 2007, it had more than 800 employees. After the sale of BusinessEdge, Gibson and Jain launched 4Sight Ventures Group, a venture capital firm specializing in young startups in the information management and health care industries. They had learned a lot about what it takes for new businesses to succeed, and their expertise amounted to a large part of their investment in the new companies to which they took a shine. In the spring of 2011 they joined Knowledgent Group as co-chief executive officers, an unusual relationship that speaks volumes about their long, successful partnership. “Business is a team sport,” Gibson said of his long business
Players entering the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium during the Pioneer's first game of the 2014 season.
collaboration with Jain. “Shail and I have always worked better as a team. We collaborate about every major decision and the outcome is always improved.” A five-year-old, New Jersey-based industry consulting and information management firm, Knowledgent also has offices in New York City and Boston. With 250 employees and more than $50 million in revenue, Knowledgent, “improves lives and business through data,” Gibson said. “We are a pure play data and analytics consulting firm. We were fortunate to get involved with “big data” technologies early in 2011. The key is that we have expertise in the traditional information management and analytics technologies, as well the new.” Giving Back The enduring lessons Gibson learned in athletic competition—“how to multitask; how to take feedback and learn from it; how to focus”—have served him well throughout his career. He invests those kinds of values in his philanthropic activities with a wide range of organizations and institutions that aim to make the world a better place. Beneficiaries of his charity include the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton, Rutgers Athletics Leadership Academy, and Dayspring Ministries and the Light and Peace Mission, which provides many kinds of support for impoverished people in Haiti, where Dayspring has played an especially
When LIU’s new Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium opened for the Pioneers’ first football game of the season on September 6, 2014, the game was preceded by a dedication ceremony christening the stadium’s field after the late Durrell “Bronko” Pearsall P’92, a standout Pioneers football player during his years at LIU, and a member of the New York Fire Department’s Rescue 4, Engine 292 squad. Pearsall was serving with his unit in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center towers when he lost his life on 9/11. In addition to Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the generous support of more than 150 alumni and friends was also acknowledged. The new stadium features seating for 3,000 more fans than in the past and a new scoreboard made possible by B. Christina P’85 and Salvatore Naro P’83. The renovation also includes an adjacent grassy park space, known as the Rosalie Nuti Memorial Park, which was made possible through the generosity of Michelle and William Nuti P’86. It will be a hub for athletic, alumni, and community events. For Gibson, the dedication of the field in honor of “Bronko” Pearsall was especially moving. “Our friend and Rescue 2 head Liam Flaherty was able to acquire a six-foot piece of steel from the Twin Towers,” he said. “It will be on display at the stadium forever, in memory of Bronko. Before the team took the field that day, each of the players paused to touch it. That was the best day I can remember at Post. We all sang ‘God Bless America’ in honor of a true hero, Bronko.”
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Irene Natividad B’71
Empower Women, Empower Humanity By Lisa Romano
Irene Natividad B’71, H’87 has dedicated her life and career to empowering women. Founder and president of the international economic forum Global Summit of Women—an annual assembly of women leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors dedicated to expanding business and economic opportunity for women around the world—Natividad is one of the foremost advocates for women’s economic advancement. In New York for the United Nations’ International Women’s Day in March, Natividad explained the genesis and long arc of her passionate work. The UN event’s slogan, “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity,” and a speech there by Hillary Rodham Clinton mirrored her own beliefs. “Women aren’t victims; they are change agents,” she explained. “They’re half of the world’s workers, they impact the profitability of companies worldwide.” Women make more than half of household purchasing decisions worldwide, and own more than 60 percent of the cars in the United States, she said, adding, ”In the aggregate, we clearly aren’t in charge, but we form the base of every economy in the world.” At Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s, frequent political demonstrations drew Natividad in. “I was young at a time when young people protested,” she said. “There was a sense that we could make change.” This all felt normal to her; she had spent her adolescence in Iran during the Shah’s return in the early 1960s, witnessing many protests against Americans. During her high school years in Athens, Greece’s King Constantine was deposed. Natividad was encouraged to succeed by her mother, who was unable to work as the spouse of a Filipino engineer and channeled her energies into her daughter’s success. “She was a tiger mom before that term existed,” Natividad said, remembering her mother’s words: “I don’t care what you are. Just be number one.” Her mother pushed for her to attend university in Switzerland, but Natividad insisted on New York. She arrived at Long Island University in the fall of 1966 and enrolled in the newly founded Honors Program.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
PROFILE: BROOKLYN In the words of Dr. Bernice Braid, who directed it from 1968 until retiring in 2005, the LIU Honors Program “treated the world as a laboratory ever since its first year.” There, Natividad found an intellectual home. “I tried everything: languages, business administration, comparative literature,” she said. “What I liked was the multidisciplinary approach. College should prepare you to compare, articulate, compute, and to be a good human being with values.” The languages now serve her well in the international arena, and the accounting course was invaluable decades later, when she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Board of Directors of the Fortune 100 company Sallie Mae. Natividad began her career after graduating from LIU Brooklyn as valedictorian (still shaking her head over an imperfect grade in Italian that brought her GPA down to 3.9), in the comparative literature Ph.D. program at Columbia University, studying, among other things, the overlooked narratives of female slaves. She also married her college sweetheart, LIU Brooklyn soccer standout Andrea Cortese B’71, whom she’d met while working in the library, one of her three campus jobs. “I did acquisitions, and he catalogued the girls as they came in,” she quipped. The couple quickly established that life at home would not be the traditional structure to which the Italian Cortese was accustomed. Duties at home, including care for their son, Carlo, were divided equally—a key requirement, she believes, for women who want to advance professionally.
movement figures such as Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman Member of Congress. In 1985, she became president of the National Women’s Political Caucus, whose mission is electing and appointing more women to public office. Natividad and Cortese, who now works for the London-based Inmarsat satellite communications company, packed up their family and moved to Washington, D.C. The political realm had its limitations: “You can’t do politics without money,” Natividad said. In 1994 she was appointed to the Sallie Mae board, and during her tenure helped privatize the federal mortgage giant. She realized that on a board, “You have a seat at the table and you have a vote.” And, access to capital. This pivotal realization convinced Natividad to shift her focus towards advocating for women’s success in a new way. Natividad bases her current focus— appointing more women leaders at the highest levels—not on the concept of fairness but on economic research. “It’s not just representational, it’s about profitability,” she said, citing a study that projected a nine percent growth in the U.S. gross domestic product if women’s talents were fully realized. “There are tons of studies that show better financial performance when there are more women in management or on a corporate board. Those companies with women on their boards survived the financial crisis better.” She also cited a recent Chinese study that found a much lower occurrence of regulatory violations when women were on boards, calling the appointment of
Leadership means saying ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No, I can’t,’ and it isn’t easy to maintain that leadership role. It requires enormous effort. Natividad became involved in political organizing while also teaching non-traditional college students—many of whom were women trying to advance their careers—in continuing education programs in the early 1980s. She started with the Manhattan Women’s Political Caucus, gaining the support of prominent women’s
women to leadership positions “a risk management strategy.” In the United States, Natividad said, everyone expected that with equal education women would work their way up. “Up didn’t happen,” she said, noting that in the United States, only 16.9 percent of corporate board members and less
than five percent of CEOs are women. “It’s called the sticky floor, not the glass ceiling. There have always been women executives who are qualified; they’ve never been asked because people choose people who look like them and who have been on other corporate boards.” The United States lags Europe in women on corporate boards, Natividad said, compared to France’s 30 percent and Norway’s 40. This is because those countries have set quotas, which she favors. “It’s an accelerant. It has a deadline,” she said. Natividad is also founder and president of GlobeWomen Inc., a public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C., that provides consulting services to companies worldwide for policies affecting women, as well as research. This complements the mission of the Global Summit: inspiring the government officials, CEOs, and senior executives in attendance with solutions and creative strategies for women’s advancement in the global economy. Last year the business forum drew 1,240 participants from 82 countries to Paris. This year’s summit— “Creative Women, Creative Economies,” May 14-16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil—will mark Global Summit of Women’s 25th anniversary. ”It’s the only economic and business forum for women that is global,” Natividad said, adding that this year she has invited men who will support the organization’s work. As she approaches the years when many slow down, Natividad instead directs her energies strategically and doesn’t waste time “Leadership means saying ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No, I can’t,’ and it isn’t easy to maintain that leadership role. It requires enormous effort.” But her effort is paying off. Natividad’s work is becoming even more high profile as her longtime friend, Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 2016, speaks out with similar messages. Natividad’s take on this is characteristically pragmatic: “To have the largest economy in the world headed by a woman sends a strong message.”
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
PROFILE: SOUTHAMPTON In the early 1960s, local residents in the seaside resort towns of the Hamptons established a committee to build a university that would serve the Eastern Long Island communities. In partnership with Long Island University, they purchased the Tucker Mill Inn, a 60-acre estate with a historic windmill in the Shinnecock Hills. In fall 1963, Southampton College of Long Island University welcomed its first class of 250 students—43 women and 207 men. Among that first class was Sands Point native Caroline Monti, who graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school and wanted to stay close to home for college. She applied to only one school, the recently founded Southampton College. On the other side of campus was Arthur Saladino, a recent graduate of Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx. After hearing about the new school on Long Island’s East End, Arthur visited the college and met Southampton’s director of admissions, who accepted him on the spot. Two weeks into the semester, fate took over. As Caroline was riding her bike beneath the verdant late summer boughs of the treelined main lane of campus to Southampton Hall, her chain broke. A handsome fellow approached and offered to fix her bicycle. “It was love at first sight,” said Arthur. “Fifty-two years later we are still grateful to Southampton College for bringing us together,” added Caroline. Fifty-two years, four children, 11 grandchildren, and a monumental family legacy of philanthropy and advocacy that has saved innumerable lives and revolutionized cancer care in Long Island, that is. Engaged while still in school, and following their parents’ demands, they agreed to postpone their wedding until after graduation. As the College’s first class, Caroline and Arthur were “seniors” for four years, building camaraderie with fellow classmates and experiencing a rapid pace of growth as the campus and student body expanded, academic course offerings increased, and the faculty nearly tripled in size. “We were very much a family, even with the professors. It was an exciting time to be there,” Caroline said.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Caroline Monti Saladino S’67 & Arthur Saladino S’67 Southampton Couple is Leading the Fight Against Cancer in Long Island By Sarah DeCamp
In June 1967, 131 seniors celebrated Southampton College’s first commencement. The Saladinos were married mere days after graduation at Monti’s Town and Country, a regal catering hall in Hempstead, New York, owned by Caroline’s parents, Tita and Joseph Monti H’98. The young couple moved to Madrid, Spain, where Arthur attended medical school, and they welcomed their first child, Danielle. They returned to New York when Caroline’s younger brother, Don, was diagnosed with myeloblastic leukemia. After a 15-month battle against the cancer, 16-year-old Don Monti passed away in June 1972. The Monti family, already pillars of the community, committed themselves to improving cancer care and research. They founded the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation in their son’s memory and, shortly thereafter, established the Don Monti Division of Oncology and Hematology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, where no such specialized care was offered before. Caroline Monti Saladino took an active role in the foundation and worked alongside her mother to expand its reach, while Arthur joined the Monti’s upscale hospitality and catering business, which by then included the Crest Hollow Country Club. Following the passing of Tita (2006) and Joseph Monti (2007)—who were jointly recognized by LIU with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees in 1998 for their contributions to cancer care, research, and philanthropy—Caroline became president of the
foundation and Arthur its co-chairman, alongside his brother-in-law, Richard Monti. “In the beginning, the foundation was strictly focused on patient care and advocacy,” said Caroline, reflecting that her brother’s experience led the family to pay close attention to the comfort of patients as they underwent treatment. That focus has impacted countless lives. The Don Monti Division of Oncology and Hematology treats more cancer patients than any other facility in the region and has now includes the Don Monti Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, the first medical facility of its kind on Long Island. The foundation also expanded care across the island through cancer treatment centers at hospitals in Huntington, Glen Cove, and Plainview. A recent partnership was established with Boca Raton Regional Hospital that allows patients treated at centers on Long Island to easily continue chemotherapy treatment in Boca Raton, Florida. Patient care and comfort remain the foundation’s main focus; particularly ensuring medical care is provided by superior professionals in a physical environment that is welcoming and comfortable. But Arthur explained that research and education are also integral to the fight against cancer. In 2009, the foundation opened the Joseph and Tita Monti Research Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, increasing research capacity at the laboratory by 40 percent. Support from the foundation also made it possible to expand the Cord Blood Program at North Shore University Hospital
in 2010, which significantly increased the number of life-saving stem-cell transplants that can be offered to patients each year. “Education is a major component in preventing all types of cancer through genetic testing and counseling,” Caroline said. In recent years, the foundation launched the Joseph, Tita, and Don Monti Genetics and Human Development Laboratory at LIU Post, a facility that supports the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling, the only program of its kind on Long Island. The facility is especially near and dear to Caroline and Arthur’s hearts because it is the first time Joseph, Tita, and Don Monti’s names are joined together in a shared legacy. Since its inception, the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation has invested more than $42 million into improving cancer treatment in Long Island. “It is truly a blessing to be able to see firsthand the positive impact that we are making in our fight against cancer,” said Caroline. More than five decades after a fateful September day on a beautiful college campus, the Saladinos continue to nourish a family legacy of generosity and determination to revolutionize cancer treatment that began over forty years ago and that will thrive for generations to come. Many of Caroline and Arthur's children and grandchildren are already deeply involved in the family mission to provide treatment, solace, and hope to patients and families from the East End to the North Shore.
About Southampton College: Southampton College was founded by Long Island University as a liberal arts institution in 1962. Its more than 20,000 graduates are among the finest teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, writers, artists, historians, and psychologists in the country. Widely recognized for academic excellence, Southampton College produced 37 Fulbright Scholars in the course of 30 years.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Ian Ginsberg PH’85
Curating Quality at FamilyRun NYC Institution, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries By Nick Light
On Sixth Avenue in the heart of Greenwich Village, a family-run apothecary has loyally served the storied neighborhood with personalized service through nearly 200 years of changing skyline and trends in both the pharmacy industry and customer demand. Inside the historic façade of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, Mark Twain’s credit slip and Eleanor Roosevelt’s hand written note are part of an archive of ephemera from notable New Yorkers customers across many eras that also includes 1970s punk-rockers The New York Dolls and Saturday Night Live legend John Belushi. From an office above the shop, up several flights of stairs with ornamental wrought iron railings dating back to the 1800s, thirdgeneration President and CEO Ian Ginsberg PH’85 splits his time between tailoring the shop’s in-store experience and planning trips abroad to source inspiration for products unavailable at any of the thousands of chain pharmacies across Manhattan. C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries is a historic New York City institution, but even such a prestigious label sells it short. Similarly, to call Ginsberg anything less than an innovative entrepreneur at the helm of a storied, independent business is to tell only part of this fascinating story. The business that became C.O. Bigelow began as a small apothecary and neighborhood store in 1838. It was passed from owner to employees until 1939, when Ginsberg’s grandfather, William, and his brother-in-law Arthur Gross purchased the business. William’s son, Ian’s father, Jerry Ginsberg PH’52 enrolled in the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, which later became LIU Pharmacy, and took over the family business in the 1960s. Although he grew up in the store, Ginsberg was reluctant to become a pharmacist, instead setting his sights on a career as a professional musician. His parents encouraged him to get a professional degree just in case his music career did not end up providing for his family goals. Ginsberg enrolled at LIU Pharmacy in 1983, gigging as a jazz drummer on the side.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
PROFILE: PHARMACY After graduation, Ginsberg found he had no natural role at the family business. “I had to figure out how to not get in the way of everyone doing their jobs,” he said. But the mid-1980s saw the rise of the chain pharmacy, a phenomenon that posed a direct threat to C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries. Seeing an opportunity, Ginsberg decided to focus on tailoring the in-store experience of C.O. Bigelow’s customers. “I saw that the person-to-person interactions that were a major part of the history of our profession were being discarded,” said Ginsberg. “At that time C.O. Bigelow had one hundred and fifty years of experience being the place where customers personally consulted with their pharmacist to improve their health and well being. That was something that no chain could offer.” Ginsberg spearheaded a number of in-store customer experience initiatives, including adding and training staff, moving all pharmaceutical and cosmetic products behind the counters to encourage face-to-face interactions, and re-releasing new versions of beauty products with centuries-old C.O. Bigelow recipes. He even recreated the store’s World War II-era window display on the importance of penicillin. “By being who we were, we were able to survive and thrive,” Ginsberg said. Think of the experience of being sick and going to the doctor, Ginsberg said, “It’s awful. You wait forever, you have little interaction with doctors and nurses, you pay your copay, and go to the pharmacy where you wait some more, pay another copay, and leave with some pills. That’s the experience that we work every day to disrupt.” Ginsberg knows that the ability to provide such a personalized experience starts with high-quality employees themselves, particularly in a profession that combines healthcare and beauty. To that end, he keeps a close eye on LIU Pharmacy graduates. “The caliber of students today floors me. I walked into LIU in cutoff shorts and a T-shirt when I started. The professionalism and even clinical aspirations of today’s students is really impressive.” Today, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries occupies the sweet spot between high-end beauty products, international cosmetics, and personalized neighborhood pharmacy. From the pharmacist counter, customers used to look out on the Sixth Avenue elevated train line, long since decommissioned. In its place the colorful life of the Village streams by; streaks of yellow taxis, construction vehicles erecting luxury condos, tourists and university students eating brunch on the weekends. But while the neighborhood continues to change and grow around it, one gets the impression that C.O. Bigelow will remain a neighborhood fixture through the constant NYC evolution, as it has for nearly two centuries. When asked about the company’s future, Ginsberg smiles: “We offer an experience that people don’t want taken away. I’m optimistic.”
Photos courtesy of Ian Ginsberg.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Discovering the World Through a Lens During her LIU Global journey, Paloma Criollo G’15 documented the rich, colorful, and passionate experiences through the lens of her camera. Beginning in Costa Rica, she conducted an independent study in sustainable technologies, traveling across the mountainous terrain of the country to farms, villages, and power plants. She explored the comparative religions of Taiwan, Thailand, India, and Turkey, where she studied the Indian art of Banethi and learned how to capture the movement of fire through a lens. In China, Criollo learned Mandarin and interned at Social Entrepreneurial Institute, an incubator for nonprofit and NGOs in Shanghai, as well as Dragon Studios, a production company in Hangzhou. Here she also developed a passion for the relationship between the environment and visual arts, participating in an International Youth Environmental Conference.
Tree Hill Meditation Center, Thailand Tree Hill housed many novice monks who were orphaned. Here they attend school while sustaining their community by tending rice and vegetable fields while practicing Buddhist rituals. During our stay we experienced Theravada Buddhism first hand, starting around 5:30 a.m. for meditation led by elder monks, followed by many more cultural activities as well as English lessons led by the LIU Global students. Momp was among one of our students as well as my teacher about the Buddhist way of life.
Criollo conducted her Senior Independent Study in Limpopo, South Africa, where she produced a documentary while interning at the Global White Lion Protection Trust. “I worked alongside the local Shangaan Peoples of the Timbavati learning the ancestral knowledge, and assisted anthropologists and scientists working towards sustainability,” she said. “I will never forget the nights we would all sit by the fire after a long day’s work, under the stars in the middle of the bush, surrounded by zebras, wildebeest, impalas, and white lions. From the ecologist's theories to Shangaan elders stories, we all were listening and absorbing the profound knowledge and importance.” Photography, videography, and drawing have been her outlets to express the profound beauty and sometime hard realities of this world. She plans to continue to explore creative media after graduation, but is not sure what lies ahead. “In Global, you learn to be incredibly adaptable, learning quickly and taking opportunity as it comes,” she said, continuing with the wisdom of a young woman who has earned a much more profound education than the traditional university has to offer: “Surrendering to uncertainty is not weakness, but the greatest power you can find within yourself.”
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Kashgar, Province of Xinjiang, China During winter break I spent my days just walking around town near the boarder of Pakistan, among the Uygur people, an ethnic minority in China. It was never a dull day as Kashgar was filled with such diversity. This photo was taken near the famous leather bazar.
Photography and captions by Paloma Criollo, LIU Global Class of 2015. Reprinted by permission. See more images from her LIU Global experience at worldbridgedmind.wordpress.com.
Paloma Criollo G’15
Yellow Mountains of Anhui Province, China When we finally reached the top there was a long silence and a feeling of weightlessness came over our whole group and suddenly we were invisible among the clouds. We looked out into the mountain landscape and I felt a part of everything. China was hard but the most rewarding country. We studied Mandarin for about five hours a day, along with our university work, and trying to live in a place that does not speak English. But in this moment, looking around at my Global family, we all grew so much within that year, without it, I would see the world in a completely different way.
Limpopo Province, South Africa I attended the local cultural heritage festival honoring the new Suthu chief of the Bushbuckridge region. The day brought many groups like the Suthu, Spedei, and the Shangaan with around 500 local peoples sharing each otherâ€™s cultures through dance, song and food. This Suthu woman (center) was the leader of a dance group. She taught me a few dance moves that got more than a few laughs from the locals, including the chief, but I was saved by the Shangaan schools kids busting their moves out to steal the show (bottom). This day was one of my favorites, with such diversity and love for movement and song, it has a special place in my heart.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
TEN GOLDEN RULES OF
LEADERSHIP Skills and experience might land someone in a leadership position, but they donâ€™t make someone a true leader. In their new book, The Ten Golden
Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders, LIU Post professors Panos Mourdoukoutas, Ph.D., and Michael Soupios, Ph.D., explore the qualities and practices of outstanding leaders, such as Aristotle and Sophocles, which have remained constant since civilization began. These principles from ancient philosophers can be applied to the challenges we face in the modern workplace.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
I KNOW THYSELF
Understand your inner world, your bright and dark sides, your personal strengths and weaknesses. Self-comprehension is a fundamental precondition necessary for real leadership.
II OFFICE SHOWS THE PERSON
The assumption of authority brings out the leader’s inner world. It reveals whether the leader has undergone a process of honest self-discovery that allows for the productive application of power.
NURTURE COMMUNITY IN THE WORKPLACE
Community development and positive sentiment are virtues leaders must nurture by providing the right support, guidance, and incentives.
IV DO NOT WASTE
ENERGY ON THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE
V ALWAYS EMBRACE THE TRUTH
Effective leaders should always embrace the truth, always encourage candid criticism throughout the organization, be skeptical of flattering appraisals, and never let authority place a wedge between them and the truth.
LET COMPETITION REVEAL TALENT
Nurture an environment that can use the forces of competition constructively, create a platform that releases the ingenuity and creativity of your employees in pursuing corporate goals and objectives, identify subordinates who use competition as a constructive force, steer away from subordinates who use competition as a destructive force.
VII LIVE LIFE BY A
Dedicate yourself to a higher standard of personal conduct; don’t harbor ill-will toward those who offend; be ready to assist those who are in need without asking something in return; remain calm in the face of crisis; dedicate yourself to principle without compromise; earn the trust, respect, and admiration of your subordinates through your character, not the authority conferred upon you by the corporate chart; turn authority into power.
VIII ALWAYS EVALUATE
INFORMATION WITH A CRITICAL EYE
Don’t rely upon old premises, assertions, and theories. Develop a critical mindset that accepts nothing at face value, certify the credibility and usefulness of critical information, analyze the context that produces critical information and the messengers who convey it, and never rush to judgments.
UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PERSONAL INTEGRITY Personal integrity is a critical asset for real leadership. Always set an honorable agenda, adhere to a code of professional conduct, never try to justify dishonesty and deceit, rather “fail with honor than win by cheating.”
X CHARACTER IS DESTINY
True leadership is ultimately traceable to factors of character and personal integrity; much of what is called “destiny” lies in our hands, not in mysterious forces beyond our control.
Do not waste resources and energies on things you cannot control, and therefore, cannot change.
One final note: The authors recognize that for some readers what has been presented here will appear naively idealistic, that what we propose seems to tear at the fabric of common sense. We wish to assure those so inclined that we are not in the habit of tilting windmills. We fully comprehend the hard realities and dark truths of administrative life–the politics, the intrigues, the treacheries. Accordingly, we do not endorse milquetoast models of management any more than we believe a few soothing words can result in all things becoming “sweetness and light.” But at the same time, we are confident that the attainment of corporate objectives involves a good deal more than some cynical understanding of the term “expediency.” We are convinced that enduring success is ultimately traceable to those rare men and women who, by virtue of their personal insights and integrity, are able to command the loyalties and commitments of their subordinates. To our way of thinking, failure to see matters in these terms constitutes the real naiveté as well as the greatest impediment to building a meaningful enterprise. Excerpt from the Ten Golden Rules of Leadership (AMACOM, 2014). Reprinted by permission of the authors.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
HISTORIC BLACKBIRDS BY MATTHEW MUMMERT B’15
FIRST FEMALE ATHLETE AT LIU CLAIR ISICSON-MERLE B’42 Claire Isicson-Merle was LIU’s first female athlete and an early star for women in sports. Born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in 1938, at just 17 years old, Merle set the world record for the 50-meter dash at the National Amateur Athletic Union Championships and captured the title in both the 50- and 100-meter dash competitions. Mrs. Merle attended LIU from 1939 to1942 and competed in track and field and cross-country while pursuing a degree in physical education. She qualified for the 1940 Olympics in Japan, but the Games were cancelled due to World War II. Merle still managed to punch her ticket
into the annals of history, joining the lineup of the famous female softball team, the New York Americanettes, where she played in Madison Square Garden under the coaching of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The team played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which provided the basis for the 1992 film A League of Their Own. After Graduating from LIU, Merle became a physical education teacher in the Riverhead School District. She married Dr. James Merle in 1958 and they settled in Westhampton Beach. Merle was inducted into the LIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001, she passed away in 2012.
1935-36 MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM SACRIFICES OLYMPIC GOLD IN PROTEST OF NAZI REGIME The 1935-36 LIU men’s basketball squad was the best in the country, with a perfect season
and 36-game win streak. The team was filled with stars, several of whom would go on to careers in professional sports. They were so dominant that only three games that season were won by less than ten points. There was no doubt that the LIU roster would make up the U.S. Olympic basketball team.
was recognized by many as the best in the country. Under the direction of Coach Bee, the team achieved an unbeaten season, winning the National Invitational Tournament (predecessor to the NCAA) in 1939 and 1941. While a Blackbird, Schectman was selected to the Converse All-American First Team in 1941.
Although the United States did not formally boycott the Olympics, there was significant controversy within American sports organizations and many athletes and teams decided to boycott the Games to protest anti-Semitic policies.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Schectman joined the American Basketball League, winning two championships for the Philadelphia Sphas. He was a member of the Knicks first season and played in the inaugural game of the Basketball Association of America, which became the National Basketball Association three years later. Schectman scored the first basket in professional basketball with “a two-handed underhand layup,” according to The First Tip Off, a history of the NBA’s first season. Schectman and his historic two-pointer was also honored in The First Basket, a 2008 documentary about the important role of Jewish players in the early days of basketball.
Based in Brooklyn, the elite LIU team was largely made up of sons and grandsons of Italian and Jewish immigrants. Much speculation surrounded the team and what they would do. Political tensions were high, and the boys had to make the toughest decision of their lives. After a secret vote held in Coach Claire Bee’s office, a unanimous decision was made amongst the players to not participate in the Olympics trials just days before Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Rhineland. After the secret vote, the team remained silent and the story was untold. More than a halfcentury later, Leo Merson, one of the Jewish members of the 1935-36 team, shared his story with his daughter, Melissa Merson, on a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Ms. Merson shared the story of her father and his teammates with the United States Olympic Committee. Months after her father’s death, she ran with the Olympic torch in honor of the 1935-36 LIU basketball team. The team was inducted into the LIU Brooklyn Athletics Hall of Fame and the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Mr. Schectman was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994, the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Long Island University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. Upon his passing in 2013 at the age of 94, former NBA commissioner David Stern said Schectman will be remembered as “a true NBA pioneer.”
NBA PIONEER OSSIE SCHECTMAN B’41 On Nov. 1 1946, LIU Hall-of-Famer Oscar “Ossie” Schectman scored the first basket in NBA history as a member of the original New York Knicks. Born in 1919, Schectman was one of five children of Jewish immigrants from Russia. Growing up in Kew Gardens, Queens, he learned to shoot baskets through the fire escapes at the tenement houses. Schectman was a member of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team from 1938¬ to 1941, playing guard and forward on the court for legendary National Basketball Hall of Fame coach Clair Bee. With a record of 66-6 in three seasons, the small team from Brooklyn
Matt Mummert is a member of the LIU Brooklyn Honors College and a recipient of the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship. He is a four-year member of the Blackbirds men’s soccer team, captaining his junior and senior seasons. Matt will graduate with a bachelor of arts in history and political science in May 2015. He plans to attend law school in the New York metropolitan area or in his home state of Indiana.
SPRING 2015 | LIU MAGAZINE
Long Island University 10 Under 10 honors our recent graduates who have demonstrated achievements in business, research, technology, health care, the arts, leadership, community, educational, entrepreneurial and/or philanthropic endeavors, all before their 10-year reunion. We are currently accepting nominations for our 2015 honorees. Nominees must exemplify the spirit of LIU, including commitment, passion, leadership and the pursuit of excellence. All recipients will be recognized at LIU Gala 2015 to be held in New York City in June. To make a nomination, please email LIUalumni@liu.edu with the name, contact information, campus, class year, and a brief paragraph describing the professional accomplishments of the nominee. Self-nominations may also be made and must include a CV or resume. Please note "10 Under 10" in the subject line of all nominations. Nominations will be accepted throughout May. Awards are determined by the University's 10 under 10 Awards Committee.
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