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 www.LIUalumni.com to learn more. For additional information, please call the Fund Office at 516-299-3369 or email LIUalumni@liu.edu.
A message from the President
It is my pleasure to introduce the latest issue of LIU Magazine. This publication is our primary way of keeping you informed about the LIU community’s outstanding achievements. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet many of our alumni at university events, including commencement and the LIU Gala. With each encounter, I am inspired by our graduates’ stories of professional and personal success, and the commitment they have to their alma mater. Our global network of 200,000 alumni is powerful—comprised of artists, performers, designers, scientists, health care professionals, business executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders in industry. I encourage you to take an active role in our efforts to shape the future of today’s LIU students by serving on an alumni committee, joining our alumni mentor program, or making a donation to the Fund for LIU. It is the support of the wider LIU community that helps fuel our mission of providing access and excellence to our students, and makes it possible for LIU to continue to distinguish itself with superior talent. Three new deans have recently joined our university: Dr. John Pezzuto at LIU Pharmacy in Brooklyn (the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Dr. Barbara Garii at LIU Post’s College of Education, Information and Technology, home to the nationally renowned Palmer School of Library and Information Science, and Dr. Judith Erickson who will become dean of the Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing in January 2015. In addition, LIU Post led the East Coast Conference Commissioner Honor Roll for the third consecutive year with 134 student-athletes on the ledger. The Pioneers also topped the East Region in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Learfield Cup standings, ranking 10th nationwide out of 247 Division II schools. At LIU Brooklyn, the American Volleyball Coaches Association awarded the 2013-2014 AVCA Team Academic Award to the Blackbirds volleyball program for outstanding performance on the court and in the classroom, and 29 Blackbirds were inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society for their extraordinary work. These are just a few of the many accolades
that demonstrate the value of an LIU education and the superior academic standing of LIU students. LIU"s continued focus on experiential learning is vital to elevating our reputation as a leader in offering career-focused, practical learning opportunities that are essential for thriving in today’s global marketplace. Our student-run businesses at LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post ensure that our students are career ready upon graduation by empowering them to make executive-level decisions and sharpen their entrepreneurial prowess. These initiatives also serve LIU as a whole with profits, funding new scholarships as well as new student-run enterprises. It is vital that we build upon experiential learning efforts and I encourage you to contact us at email@example.com to share your internship opportunities, interact with students, serve as mentors, and assist in shaping the future of LIU students. It is this reinvestment into LIU that demonstrates to our students that pursing a college education is the best investment they can make in themselves. In fact, a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed that a person with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $1.2 million more over their entire career than someone with just a high school degree. On a related note, I am pleased to report that LIU’s latest financial projection is healthy at year-end with total projected revenues exceeding $381 million. The university’s endowment continues to grow as well, and stands at approximately $100 million. This performance demonstrates the university’s financial stability, leading to a stronger LIU. It is your dedication and support that continues to help propel LIU toward academic achievement and global distinction. On behalf of the LIU community, thank you for your ongoing commitment as we proceed into a future filled with promise and pride.
Dr. Kimberly R. Cline President
FROM STUDENT TO BENEFACTOR Titan of business and philanthropy, Gary Winnick ’69 never loses sight of family and roots
WHEN JOURNALISTS ARE NEWS, JOURNALISM MAKES HISTORY An insider’s view of the historic George Polk Awards in Journalism
RENAISSANCE DEVELOPER As Bruce Ratner H’13 rebuilds the city he loves, the revitalization radiates to LIU Brooklyn and the communities we serve
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
NEWS President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline Chief of Strategic Partnerships and University Advancement Michael S. Glickman ’99, ’01 Director of Editorial Services Michael Schiavetta Associate Director of Editorial Services Rachel DeLetto, Editor in Chief Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications Danielle Bucci, Art Director Contributors: Lindsey Amparo (Associate Editor); Chris Appoldt; Anita Filippi-D’anca (Director of Print Production); John Darton (Curator, George Polk Awards); Edward Hershey; Daniel Lobacz (Assistant Athletic Director, LIU Brooklyn); David McKay Wilson; Robin D. Schatz; Ian Schraier (Athletic Media Relations Director, LIU Post); Jim H. Smith; Michael Stainkamp (Assistant Athletic Director, LIU Post); Dianne Zoppa (Director of Public Relations) Cover art by Elliot Gerard LIU Magazine Department of Communications and Marketing 700 Northern Blvd. Brookville, NY 11548 liu.edu/magazine To update your alumni profile, address, phone number, and email, please visit www.LIUalumni.com or email LIUalumni@liu.edu.
6 • Heilbrunn Family Legacy of Support for LIU 7 • Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium 7 • James Jones Makes it Look Easy for Mariners 8 • Fulbright Scholars 24 • The Rewards and Challenges of Life Abroad 40 • The Majors Productions
14 | LOOKING BACK, LEADING FORWARD
Mary M. Lai ’42 reflects on an extraordinary life of dedication to family, faith, and Long Island University
ON CAMPUS 26 • Faculty Legends 38 • Pioneers Athletics 39 • Blackbirds Athletics
ALUMNI PROFILES 28 • John Kanas ’68 30 • Nancy Hicks Maynard ’66 32 • Sarabeth Levine ’64 34 • Dieter Weinand ’87
NEXT ISSUE LIU Magazine is planning its next issue and we're interested in the personal stories and memories of LIU alumni. We invite you to send a summary of your stories to LIUalumni@liu.edu. Please include your full name, LIU class year and degree(s), and a contact phone number.
Copyright © 2014 by Long Island University All rights reserved.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
The Heilbrunn family’s connection to Long Island University stretches over eight decades. In that time, they have continually responded to the critical health care needs of New York City and invested in Long Island University in a number of important and impactful ways. Through their most recent investment, a $10 million gift to support LIU Brooklyn’s nursing program, the Heilbrunn family will significantly transform nursing and health care education for generations of students. This gift, made possible by Helaine Lerner and Joan Rechnitz, daughters of Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn (B.A. ’32), is the largest in the program’s history. It will fund a state-of-the-art facility that will double the footprint of LIU Brooklyn’s new Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing, featuring several advanced simulation rooms and training centers to give students hands-on training in realistic environments. In addition to its physical transformation, this level of support will enrich the student experience by expanding programs, providing ongoing scholarship opportunities for promising students, and increasing the number of students LIU supports. Giving rise to a grander vision for LIU Brooklyn’s nursing education, Dr. Judith Erickson was appointed dean of The Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing in July. Dr. Erickson is a bold and innovative pioneer in health care education, and brings a proven record of integrating nursing education with the practice of care, giving her a unique perspective on how to optimally prepare nursing students with the proficiency and experience necessary to excel in contemporary health care settings.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
“The Heilbrunn family’s leadership in this arena will have an enduring impact by providing our talented students with the resources needed to keep current with the demands of this ever-changing industry,” said Dr. Erickson. “This gift empowers the university to further its standing as a national leader in nursing education and will support advancements in one of the most dynamic health care environments in the nation.” LIU’s relationship with the Heilbrunn family began when Harriet Rothkopf attended LIU Brooklyn in the late 1920s. Majoring in French and German, Rothkopf was a standout athlete, named “best woman athlete” for her participation in basketball and swimming, and served as president to her sorority, Iota Alpha Pi. After graduating in 1932, she met Robert Heilbrunn and the couple married two years later. Together, they maintained their relationship with LIU by establishing the Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Scholarship in 1988. They have also endowed the Heilbrunn Urban Teaching Scholars Program, and The Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn Academic Nursing Center. In 1997, Mr. Heilbrunn became officially connected to the university when he received the designation of honorary member of the LIU Brooklyn Class of 1932. The Heilbrunns were each awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 1997 Commencement, and honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1998.
Come see Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium—the new home of the Pioneers, Rosalie Nuti Memorial Park, and Durrell “Bronko” Pearsall Field—at one of the Pioneers fall 2014 home games. For a complete schedule, visit www.liu.edu/post/athletics.
JAMES JONES ’09 MAKES IT LOOK EASY FOR MARINERS By Dan Lobacz
As the starting center fielder for the Seattle Mariners, LIU Brooklyn graduate James Jones (B.S. ’09) is rapidly becoming a fan favorite in the Emerald City. After Jones accepted a Division I scholarship offer to LIU, professional teams began to take notice of him. Playing in front of Major League Baseball scouts nearly every game, Jones had his best season for LIU Brooklyn in 2009. He hit .364 with nine home runs and 32 runs batted in, recorded 20 stolen bases, and was named LIU’s male Student-Athlete of the Year. Despite lofty numbers as a hitter, many professional teams saw Jones as a pitching prospect, thanks to a 95-mile-per-hour fastball and smooth delivery. He was drafted as an outfielder by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2009 Amateur Draft and has proven that choice to be a good one. After spending five seasons in the minor leagues, Jones finally earned his big break
in April 2014 with a promotion to the Mariners. In May, he earned a starting nod and has been etching his name in the record books since. -A 15-game hitting streak over his first 15 starts set a club record that had previously been held by potential Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez. In a game against Houston on June 30, 2014, Jones joined all-time great Ichiro Suzuki as the only other player in Mariners history to record four hits and three stolen bases in the same game. As of Aug. 1, Jones was batting an impressive .251 and had recorded a team-high 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts to rank in the top 10 in the American League. “He gets better every day, and every day is a new adventure, a new journey for him,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon recently told The Seattle Times. “He’s a very intelligent, bright young man. Very talented. Tremendous athlete. So the combination of all those things—he’s starting to make it look easy.”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Dr. Joseph Piro, associate professor in the College of Education, Information and Technology at LIU Post, embarked on a research expedition in spring 2014 as a Fulbright scholar to study the different approaches to teacher education policy and practice in the European Union. After receiving a 2013-2014 Fulbright-Schuman grant, Dr. Piro spent his time in Sweden and the Netherlands to explore European Union education from early childhood to the university level. Dr. Piro studied topics such as the Bologna Process (an agreement between 47 European countries designed to ensure comparable standards and quality of higher education across the region), technology in learning, teacher education, and K-12 classrooms, and chronicled his findings on his website, euresearchproject.net. “The Fulbright experience was personally and professionally transforming,” he said.
Dr. Karen Ogulnick, associate professor in the College of Education, Information, and Technology at LIU Post, was the first American professor and Fulbright scholar to study in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in 50 years. Dr. Ogulnick worked with students and faculty in the Department of English at the University of Mandalay for four months. “I received a very warm, welcoming reception and people were very eager and enthusiastic to take my classes,” Dr. Ogulnick said. “It was an incredible experience.” More than 600 students and faculty participated in her courses, which focused on promoting more student-centered, communicative, and interactive instructional approaches that integrated language learning and academic content. During Dr. Ogulnick’s time in Myanmar, she also advised Ph.D. students, conducted faculty workshops on English-teaching methodology, and was involved in various cultural and educational activities, such as the International Literary Festival in Mandalay and American Embassy sponsored events. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to witness democracy emerging during this transitional period in Burma,” said Dr. Ogulnick. “I am in awe of the courageous people I’ve met who are taking great risks to create a democratic society.” As a final honor, the State Department invited Dr. Ogulnick to Washington, D.C., to present to other Fulbright grantees about her experiences in Myanmar.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Geoff Goodman (left) and Valeda Dent (right) interact with some of the preschool children they met while working as Fulbright scholars in Uganda.
Tung-lung Steven Chang used a hands-on approach to instructing marketing students at National Taipei University in Taiwan. Top right: Karen Ogulnick instructed students and faculty at the University of Mandalay as a Fulbright scholar in Myanmar.
Dr. Geoff Goodman, associate professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program at LIU Post, and Dr. Valeda Dent, dean of university libraries, were both awarded Fulbright scholarships to teach and conduct research at Uganda Martyrs University in Nkozi—a small village about three hours from the capital city of Kampala—from January to August of this year. Drs. Goodman and Dent set out to explore the impact of rural village libraries on the communities they serve; more specifically their impact on 123 preschool children ages 3-5 and their primary caregivers. They assessed the children’s school readiness through the implementation of a storytelling/story-acting (STSA) methodology, which was then categorized in three relevant domains: emergent literacy, narrative comprehension, and social competence. The primary caregivers’ emotional well-being, reading/ literacy habits, cumulative social/contextual risk, and sensitivity relating to the child’s emotional cues were also assessed.
Tung-lung Steven Chang, professor and chair of the department of Marketing and International Business at LIU Post, recently returned from a Fulbright Specialists project in Taiwan at National Taipei University. Dr. Chang led hands-on workshops on strategic marketing simulation and implemented a competition to enhance the learning environment of students and for the university’s E.M.B.A./M.B.A. programs. The development of the marketing simulation competition provided a motivational and transformational pedagogy through which students were able to gain hands-on experience and cultivate skills in strategic marketing planning and implementation. “The students very much enjoyed being a part of the simulation competition,” Dr. Chang said. “Their learning outcomes were recognized both by the department chair and by its faculty.”
Dr. Dent explained the reason STSA was chosen as the particular methodology. “Children tell stories to the group facilitator, who writes them down verbatim,” she said. “Then later on, the children actually act them out in front of the group so the children get to see their made-up stories come to life. We feel that the children telling their own stories gets them acquainted with narrative.” The underlying goal of the research is to promote the development of a reading culture, and to develop models and activities that can be used in other rural community libraries in Africa to promote this development. This can be accomplished, in part, by empowering citizens in these areas to chart their own paths to a better life through access to information, sustainable economic development, and improved literacy skills. Drs. Goodman and Dent have researched libraries for a number of years and also currently work with Friends of African Village Libraries and the Uganda Community Libraries Association, two non-profit organizations that support these libraries in Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Tanzania.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Titan of business and philanthropy, Gary Winnick '69 never loses sight of his family and roots. By Jim H. Smith
n the late 1950s a popular television series called The Millionaire told the stories of people—average Americans from all walks of life—whose lives were altered suddenly by the gift of $1 million bestowed by a man named Michael Anthony, executive secretary of an anonymous benefactor named John Beresford Tipton Jr. Thousands of Americans tuned in each week to see how the lives of Tipton’s beneficiaries played out. One of those viewers was a Fresh Meadows, Queens resident named Gary Winnick (B.A. ’69), who was eight years old when The Millionaire began its five-year run. Like lots of youngsters watching television, Winnick often fantasized about being one of the characters. But it wasn’t Tipton, wealthy enough to give away a million dollars to a complete stranger every week. Nor was it the recipients of Tipton’s largesse. “I wanted to be Michael Anthony,” he recalled. “I wanted to be the guy who actually handed people the check.” In the summer of 1957, like thousands of post-war New Yorkers, Arnold and Blanche Winnick and their children—Gary Winnick, older brother Roy (’66), and Susan—migrated east for the American dream of home ownership on Long Island, settling in the historic Mackay Estate development of Roslyn, N.Y., Winnick spent the rest of his childhood in an area known as the “Gold Coast.” It’s where he got his driver’s license and his first job, graduated from high school and, while he was a student at LIU Post (then C.W. Post), experienced the most profound moment of his young adulthood. Gold Coast Inspiration For Winnick, the Gold Coast became a source of inspiration as he grew into adolescence. “I would drive around the area and look at the mansions and imagine the industrial titans who had lived here,” he said. “I thought about how those people came to America as immigrants and made something of themselves.”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
His father, Arnold Winnick, not an industrial titan, but he was a successful, self-made man. He owned a restaurant supply business, and he strove to pass along to his children some of the knowledge he’d gained building it. He wanted them to become resourceful and resilient. “When I became a teenager my father encouraged me to find work.” Winnick said, “If I asked him for something, he would suggest that I get a job and earn the money to pay for it. So, I started working at Howard Johnson’s on Northern Boulevard when I was 16 and I’ve worked ever since.”
Sights Set on Wall Street In his senior year at LIU Post, with the war in Vietnam still more than five years from its conclusion, Winnick was drafted. Offered an opportunity to attend Officer Candidate School, he declined, uninterested in a military career. Instead he completed his service as a member of the Army National Guard. He had his heart set on a Wall Street career. Trouble was, he didn’t know anyone who could help him achieve it. There were job openings, but “they were mostly back office,” he said. “They weren’t what I was looking for. They bored me.”
The Winnicks encouraged their children to go to college near home. LIU was one of Arnold’s customers and he often extolled its virtues to his family. Roy Winnick was already attending LIU Post in 1965 when Gary Winnick enrolled as a business and economics major.
It was a frustrating impasse, but Winnick took strength from memories of the way his father managed his career. “He had some business setbacks. He wasn’t always successful. But neither was he fearful.” Winnick realized that, in life, the choices are to do nothing or to go forward. “I’ve always chosen the latter.”
By then he had moved on from Howard Johnson's to a sales position at a nearby ski shop. Later he became assistant manager at a local golf club. “I took as many classes as possible early in the day, so that I’d be done by early afternoon and could go to my job,” said Winnick.
He was 23 when he married his wife, Karen, whom he called “the greatest acquisition I ever made.” Karen understood what he dreamed of achieving and encouraged him to get on with his life.
Winnick was earning good grades in school and liked his job, but in the spring of his freshman year, his dad passed away unexpectedly. He went to a regular card game with friends one evening and he didn’t come home. Gary Winnick was shaken. “I woke up the next morning, got in my car and drove to C.W. Post,” he remembered. “I walked across campus in a daze. I had to tell my teachers I wouldn’t be there for a week. That was the most hollow period of my life.” Out of it, however, grew a new connection to the university and a heightened sense of purpose. “Too many of us take our lives for granted,” Winnick said. “Too many accept life for whatever hand is dealt and don’t take responsibility for their own lives. After my father died I became very determined. I realized that if I wanted to be something in life, achieving that was going to be on my shoulders.” The university became like another family for him, something he needed to fill the hole left by his father’s death. “Post was my grounding during a very difficult and formative period for me,” Winnick said. He joined Phi Sigma Delta fraternity and threw himself into his classes and his work with new intensity.
In 1972, Winnick landed a position as a broker with major investment banking firm Drexel Burnham Lambert’s high-yield and convertible bond group. “I had a lot to learn, but I worked hard,” he said. “I was willing to take risks.” In order to invent sales strategies that made good sense, he devoted a lot of extra time to research. Winnick said he “felt a keen responsibility to the investors.” When co-workers left at the end of the afternoon, he would often remain late into the evening. To ensure his optimism didn’t flag, he would attend services on Sundays at the famed Marble Collegiate Church, the spiritual home of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. The Three-Legged Table By the time he was 30, the hard work had begun to pay off. He moved to Drexel’s Los Angeles office and, Winnick said, it soon became apparent that he was going to be more successful than he had ever dreamed possible. It was at that propitious moment that fate led him to Edward Sanders, a prominent Los Angeles attorney and leader in the Jewish community who served as a special advisor on Mideast policy to President Jimmy Carter. “I gravitated to him right away as a mentor,” said Winnick. “I had a wonderful life and I was afraid I might screw it up.”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Spirit of the Past On a crisp autumn afternoon in 1965, Long Island University was hosting its first football game of the season. First-year commuter student Gary Winnick went to the game and found a seat high in the stands. Minutes before kickoff an elderly woman, elegantly attired, came up the stairs and sat beside him.
“We struck up a conversation, and she asked me about myself and where I was from,” recalled Winnick. “She introduced herself as Margie. When I asked her where she was from, she said, ‘I grew up right here. This was my home.’” She was, of course, Marjorie Merriweather Post, daughter of cereal magnate Charles William Post and former owner of the estate that became LIU’s C.W. Post Campus in 1954.
From 1921 to 1951, Hillwood was the home of Post Cereal Company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. The estate’s lavish Tudor-revival mansion was a symbol of wealth and social prominence that embraced Long Island’s Gold Coast in the early 20th century. Like Jay Gatsby’s West Egg manse, Hillwood was an idyllic country retreat for family and friends of Ms. Post and her second husband, financial wizard E.F. Hutton, to escape the noise and crowds of New York City. Tennis, horseback riding, swimming, and golf, not to mention opulent parties frequented by royalty, world ambassadors, and celebrities, were just a few of the favorite pastimes that guests enjoyed on the estate. In 1951, recognizing the educational needs of the growing number of families moving to the suburbs, Long Island University purchased the 177-acre estate for $200,000. The university’s Board of Trustees named the college for Marjorie’s father, the great American breakfast cereal inventor Charles William Post. Thanks to a gift from the Winnick Family Foundation in 2004, the main of the Hillwood estate underFall 2014 | residence LIU Magazine 12
“We had a wonderful conversation,” said Winnick. She invited him to visit her homes in Palm Beach and in the Adirondacks. Nothing ever came of it, though. Indeed, he never saw Ms. Post again. She died the year he began working for Drexel Burnham Lambert.
Years later, however, after moving to Los Angeles, he met Ms. Post’s daughter, the actress Dina Merrill, when they were both attending a party. “I told her about meeting her mother that day at the football game,” said Winnick. “We became friends.”
The symbolism of his chance meeting with Marjorie Merriweather Post is not lost on Winnick who, as a young man, found inspiration in the colorful history of Long Island’s Gold Coast. For a brief moment, that autumn day, just before his father passed away and he was obliged to grow up quickly, it was as if one of those industrial titans he’d daydreamed about stepped right out of the Gilded Age and into his life.
went a three-year restoration. Now known as Winnick House, the mansion’s bedrooms and living quarters have been converted into administrative offices, meeting rooms, and performance spaces. In the Great Hall—a meeting space, recital hall, and reception area for students and faculty—visitors can still enjoy the extraordinary architectural details in the woodwork and leaded windows while envisioning the grand parties that took place here in the early part of the 20th century.
When Winnick solicited Sanders’ advice, the counselor sagely offered him a parable about a three-legged table: One leg was family, which Sanders told him to never lose sight of; one was career, which Sanders urged him to embrace; and the third was community, which Sanders advised him to never forget. “He told me to keep all three in balance, and I would withstand any storm,” said Winnick. Going “Downcourt” Less than four years after moving to the West Coast, Winnick was making, as he put it, “enormous amounts of money.” But he was also burning himself out. Days began at dawn and yawned on into night. “I had a notion that the same fate that befell my father might befall me,” he said. “I was completely spent.” So in 1985, when he was 37 and poised atop the summit of a Wall Street career that had dramatically outscaled the dreams of his youth, he stepped away. “I got out of sync,” he recalled. “I failed to follow Ed’s advice. I was devoting most of my time to my career. Not so much to my family and my community.” He decided to launch his own business, Winnick & Company. “I’ve always been a dreamer,” Winnick said. “I’m very inquisitive and I think a lot about inventions.” He dedicated the work leg of his attention to exploring and supporting transformative technologies and corporate innovation. The range of industries in which he invested was wildly eclectic. In the three decades since he launched Winnick & Co., the company has fostered the success of visionary companies in such fields as telecommunications, healthcare, green construction and building materials, real estate, technology and IT services, media, and financial services. Global Crossing and Asia Global Crossing, two companies he founded, built the world’s first integrated global fiber optic network, a 130,000-mile communications highway spanning the planet, linking countries and continents and carving a path for the actualization of the Internet as we now know it.
nick has built around a proprietary “thinking ink” product that is already beginning to revolutionize a host of industries with printed electronics that are poised to make switches, wires, speakers, lights, sensors, microphones, and many other devices obsolete in years to come. Family and Philanthropy While he was building all of that, he also became more involved in the lives of his three sons. He adjusted his schedule so that he was able to get home earlier in the day, affording him time to serve as a coach for their Little League, soccer, and basketball programs. When his eldest son went to Tufts University in 1995, he was astounded to find that for lack of funds the university couldn’t offer students Internet connectivity. Winnick joined the board of Tufts, helped them build a state-of-the-art fiber-optics network and turned that into a business connecting over 100 colleges and universities. Nor did he forget Ed Sanders’ advice about remaining connected to his community. The tangible benefits of the Winnick Family Foundation, which he and Karen founded in 1983, can be found at museums, healthcare facilities, cultural centers, animal welfare organizations, and many other institutions coast to coast. These include his alma mater, where as the largest donor in LIU history, the Winnick House, the Arnold S. Winnick Student Center, and the Winnick Scholars Program are reminders that he never forgot the important role LIU Post played in a formative period of his life. “I’ve had a great career,” Winnick said, “and the Foundation is a way for me to give some back. It has given me an opportunity to feel like Michael Anthony. Philanthropy is not about you. It’s about the good you can accomplish. You’re just a vessel.”
“I like to go downcourt,” he asserted, by which he means taking risk in order to help exciting ideas become bold creations. During his time at Drexel he watched closely as industries were transformed. “What they needed was dreams, guts, and support. That’s what I try to provide for the businesses in which we invest.” Knowledge Crossing UST, another Winnick creation, uses training academies to give people the knowledge they need to advance in the “information age,” and develops best-in-class information technology products in collaboration with other leading industry partners. And then there’s T-Ink Incorporated, the company Win-
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Looking Back Leading Forward An interview with Mary M. Lai: An extraordinary life of dedication to family, faith, and Long Island University
In 2003, after 58 years of service to Long Island University, Mary Maneri Lai (B.S. ’42) stepped down from her post as chief financial officer. Eleven years later, at 93, Mrs. Lai comes to her office every day, dressed in a classy suit and accessorized with pearls and a wide smile, and continues to be a guiding voice and inspiration in the LIU community. Throughout her career, Mrs. Lai was a groundbreaking visionary for both the university and women in the workforce. She was the first female CFO of a university, having worked with 10 presidents across six decades. Without Mrs. Lai, the university most certainly would not be where it is today. It was she who signed the check that led to acquisition of LIU’s Brookville campus. She negotiated the contracts for every building on the Brooklyn, Post, and Southampton campuses, and facilities at all of the commuter campuses. Dr. David J. Steinberg, president of LIU from 1985 to 2013, called her Mater Universitatis, the mother of the university. Looking back at your life and long career, what are the most important lessons you have learned? My faith was the most important thing to me. If you have faith, and God is alongside you, within you, every decision you make you feel comfortable, you know you can work well. Also, feel good about your work and take pride in it. That’s what kept me here all these years. When I graduated from college I originally wanted to teach business subjects, but there were no jobs at the time. But there were openings in public accounting for women because the men were all going into service. I was hired by a mid-sized accounting firm. Then I got married, and my husband (William T. “Buck” Lai '41) was in the Naval Air Corps and I worked different jobs on the bases where he was stationed. When we came back I ran into a professor from Long Island University on the subway. The next day President Metcalfe called and asked me to help get the university’s finances in order. I told him I wasn’t interested, but I said I would do it for one year and then I would return to public accounting and become a CPA. Well, in that one year enrollment went from 800 to 5,000, we put the deposit on the Post Estate, which became the C.W. Post campus. I worked so much my mother used to say, ‘Why do you
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
bother coming home? Why don’t you take a cot and sleep there?’ So when the year was up, I had put so much of myself into it that I couldn’t give it up. And in the meantime, the president offered my husband a job here, as a way of keeping me [laughs]. And so the dye was set, we were both at the university and we both began to love it. You shattered the glass ceiling long before “leaning in” was part of the dialog about women getting ahead in the workforce. How did you balance work with your family? The idea of a woman working after she had children was unheard of. I always used to say ‘My husband allowed me to work.’ You have to remember men felt very intimidated if women worked. But my husband didn’t feel that way. He was an athlete, a real man. He thought it was great that I worked. I thought I would quit when my son was born. But I had created every piece of paper, every system, not just for budget but also the registrar and admissions; Finance was like the heart of the university, everything had to come through us. I worked up until the night before I had my first child. I had no plan of what I was going to do, but I had faith. I prayed, ‘If it’s wrong for me to work, put obstacles in my path; if it’s right, remove them.’
A few weeks later my mother called and said she knew a woman from the store [the Maneri family owned a grocery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn] who would be a perfect babysitter. So she came to our house every day. I still thought when the baby got a little older I would quit. But it worked out so well I didn’t have to. I had no obstacles. I knew it was unusual, but I was doing what I loved to do. And I was still able to do a lot of things for the boys that many women who stay home didn’t do.
So, I don’t think I shattered the glass ceiling, it just happened. I was lucky to have help. I was using a third of my salary to pay for it, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to do what I love to do. Was it difficult being a woman in a male-dominated industry? When I became bursar—that was the title of the CFO back in those days—what happened in the business office was simple compared to today. It was not unusual to have women doing all the bookkeeping. There were barely any tax deductions. I used to do the payroll by hand. It was difficult because in those days everything was manual. We had to manually enter every bill, every check. So you had to have good handwriting. I hired older women coming back into the labor force and young girls out of high school. I made tuition remission available to staff so we were able to get bright young women to come work for us and get their degree. I was sort of an innovator when I did that. But then university business started getting more complicated, so schools started hiring someone over the bursar, and that was always a man. But I grew with the position. In 1953 my title was changed to director of finance and facilities. Then in the 1960s it became even more complicated and they needed a visionary, someone on the vice president level, and they changed my title to Treasurer and Vice President for Finance. I liked that title.
What advice would you give to students and recent graduates? You have to find something that you really love to do, that’s not a job. You’ve got to have a passion. I never thought coming to work was a job. I used to think, ‘I should be paying for this because I love it so much!’ Many students these days are too concerned with making money. What is money for? You want money to make you happy. If you can find happiness in what you are doing, you’re happy, so you don’t need as much money. No matter what you earn, 10 percent of everything you earn you should be saving. Because then you’re not the only one that’s working, the money works for you. To succeed you need to work hard, love what you’re doing, save, and don’t live beyond your means. And mainly, have faith. Whatever you believe in, just know that it’s within you. You’ve seen LIU grow and change over many years. What are some of your favorite memories? Oh yes, things have changed a lot. In 1947 tuition was $150 a semester! The years went very fast. I can’t believe how fast they went. My favorite decade was the 1960s. When the Higher Education Act came out it was the heyday for higher education. We were growing and putting up new buildings, enrollment was up, everything was positive. The future looked so bright. Another thing is in 1957, Admiral Connolly asked Buck to bring back basketball, and he called it “Operation Rebound” [she laughs and points to a team photo from that year on a bookcase behind her desk, a huddle of young men looking with admiration at Coach Lai]. In 1968 the team was selected to play in the NIT playoffs—the weaker schools play the stronger schools so the strong schools go on to play each other. Nobody expected us to win [but they did]. What a night that was. That was something I’ll never forget. I love graduation. I only ever missed one graduation for Pharmacy because my son was graduating on the same day. I love to see the students when they graduate. How polished and grown up they look when they walk across the stage. It’s a fulfillment of our mission.
Create a better tomorrow by including LIU in your will today. You can direct your gift to any campus, college, school, or program. Your gift will help prepare the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers and inspire answers to tomorrow’s biggest challenges. To learn more, visit www.LIUalumni.com, call 516-299-3760 or through e-mail at LIUalumni@liu.edu.
learn more at| www.liu.edu/plannedgiving Fall 2014 LIU Magazine 15
When Journalists Are News, Journalism Makes History An insider’s view of the historic George Polk Awards in Journalism By John Darnton Our logo may be a quill pen, which firmly places us in an era before typewriters, but no one has ever accused the George Polk Awards of being stodgy or dull. After all, we are the rebellious younger sibling to that other journalism prize, the one given out by Columbia University. We were the ones who honored a prison inmate (Wilbert Rideau, editor of The Angolite at Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary). We were first to recognize an online publication (Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo). And we’ve given a prize to someone we couldn’t publicly identify (“Anonymous,” the videographer of the death of Neda Aghan-Soltan during the 2009 Iranian protests). We value surprises in our search for excellence. Here at Long Island University, our judges are quick on their feet and flexible. If an outstanding piece of journalism cannot make it in a category already occupied, they have been known to create a new one out of whole cloth, displaying the resourcefulness and improvisational skill they look for in prizewinners. Given all of this, the prizes awarded at this year’s ceremony, held on April 11, 2014, at the Roosevelt Hotel, broke all records for pure excitement. The recipients of the award in National Security Reporting were the four reporters who worked with intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden to reveal the global scale of surveillance by the National Security Agency—Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill, who produced articles for The Guardian’s New York-based website, and Barton Gellman, who wrote for The Washington Post. The work was deemed so significant by our judges that it won almost by acclamation. Not surprisingly, the announcement of the Polk winners in February 2014 led to numerous news stories speculating on whether Greenwald and Poitras, who had dealt directly with Snowden (himself charged with espionage by the U.S. government), might face prosecution if they returned to the United States (Greenwald lives in Rio de Janeiro and Poitras in Berlin, neither had stepped foot in the United States in nearly a year). The journalists had hinted that they would like to accept the awards in person. What better vindication for the threats and criticism than to be honored by one of journalism’s most prestigious awards? But would the Justice Department swoop in to detain them the moment they set foot on American soil? It was anybody’s guess. Weeks of consultations and planning followed. The two reporters decided to “force the issue” (Greenwald’s words) of whether they would face legal action upon returning to the United States. Over an encrypted communications channel, Greenwald relayed their travel plans. But here was another hitch: the only flight that would get them into JFK would land only a half an hour before the start of the Polk Awards reception. They’d be lucky to arrive in time. Any significant delay—for example, a recalcitrant U.S. Marshal issuing a summons—and we’d be left with a gaping hole in our program
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Robert D. Spector Career Award Pete Hamill, Brooklyn-born career New York City journalist, editor, novelist, essayist, and educator who has written passionately and extensively about war, art, politics, music, poverty, boxing, crime, travel, and all the flavors of New York for more than 50 years. National Security Reporting Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Laura Poitras of The Guardian, and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, for investigative stories based on top-secret documents disclosed by former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. Foreign Reporting James Yardley of The New York Times for coverage of the disastrous Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, which claimed the lives of more than 1,100 garment workers. National Reporting Eli Saslow of The Washington Post for “Waiting for the 8th,” six stories delving into the lives of some of the 47 million Americans who receive aid from the federal food stamp program. State Reporting Shawn Boburg of The Record of Northern New Jersey for series of articles on lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that led to investigations into the involvement of Governor Chris Christie’s office.
Local Reporting Andrea Elliott of The New York Times for “Invisible Child,” five-part series dedicated to Dasani Coates, one of 22,000 homeless children in New York City. Political Reporting Rosalind Helderman, Laura Vozzella, and Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post for “McDonnell Apologizes, Repays Loans,” revealing the relationship between Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a wealthy entrepreneur. Medical Reporting Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for “Chronic Girls,” a series of stories on the Milwaukee County mental health system; Cynthia Hubert and Phillip Reese of The Sacramento Bee for “L.A. Poised to Go After Las Vegas Hospital in Patient-Dumping Case,” an exposé of corrupt practices at a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital Justice Reporting Frances Robles, Sharon Otterman, Michael Powell, and N. R. Kleinfield of The New York Times for “Jailed Unjustly in the Death of a Rabbi, Man Nears Freedom,” uncovering evidence that a Brooklyn homicide detective used false confessions, tainted testimony, and coercive tactics to convict dozens of defendants.
Sports Reporting Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times for “Tony Bosch and Biogenisis: MLB Steroid Scandal,” revealing that an anti-aging clinic supplied some of baseball’s biggest stars with performance-enhancing drugs. Magazine Reporting Matthieu Aikins, a freelance journalist for Rolling Stone, for “The A-Team Killings,” a report on his five-month investigation from one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas that exposed evidence of a U.S. Army Special Forces unit executing 10 civilians. Network Television Reporting Michael Kirk, Jim Gilmore, Mike Wiser, Steve Fainaru, and Mark Fainaru-Wada for “League of Denial,” a Frontline documentary aired on PBS that traced the National Football League’s long-standing efforts to quash evidence linking head injuries suffered by players to an inordinately high level of the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Local Television Reporting Noah Pransky of WTSP, a CBS affiliate in the Tampa Bay area, for discovering and disclosing how state and local officials and a contractor bilked Floridian drivers out of millions of dollars in fines by reducing the period of time before yellow caution lights turn to red at intersections monitored by cameras.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
and not to mention many disappointed cameramen and reporters. Arrangements were made to greet Greenwald and Poitras, sweep them into a van and deliver them to the event. Thankfully, the plane arrived on time and— to everybody’s relief—they sped through customs and immigration. Poitras said it was obvious that the officials knew who they were. She had an uneasy feeling from U.S. officials; that their attitude was: “We’re not going to do anything, but we could if we wanted to.” Word of their plans leaked to the far corners of the blogosphere. The result was a welcoming party of journalists demanding comment, well-wishers demanding hugs, and several lawyers and friends. From the buzzing sidewalk crowd, our driver was eventually able to pry them loose and whisk them into mid-Manhattan. We had judiciously moved the award for National Security Reporting to the end of the program. As the reporters were driven to the event, we received text updates on their progress and read them out loud to an eager ballroom of approximately 400 attendees. Anticipation was building. When Greenwald and Poitras finally arrived, they evaded a gaggle of reporters at the elevators by sneaking up the back stairs but were soon spotted. Back-pedaling camera crews stumbled, sending easels, posters, and chairs flying. As they entered the ballroom, the latecomers were greeted with a round of applause. When their turn came to speak, they praised Snowden for his bravery in risking his freedom to expose the classified material and their editors—including Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian editor, who had never before met Greenwald face to face, and had flown in from London—for publishing their articles. Afterward, they held a news conference packed with reporters. Their appearance was written about, blogged, photographed, and commented upon by media organizations worldwide. Top to bottom: Investigative reporters Glenn Greenwald (L), Laura Poitras (C), and Ewan MacAskill (R), speak at a press conference after accepting the George Polk Award; Investigative reporter Laura Poitras looks on as Glenn Greenwald accepts award; Glenn Greenwald addresses the audience; Glenn Greenwald speaks with reporters.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
What is heartening in all of this is that the roster of other winners this year, though perhaps less newsworthy, was also extraordinary. Reporters told what it’s
like to live on food stamps in Appalachia and survive as a young girl in a homeless shelter in Queens. They wrote about the breakdown of mental health services and the reemergence of financial practices that caused the Great Recession. They exposed a rogue detective in Brooklyn who put innocent men behind bars, garment kingpins in Bangladesh who disregarded dangers to their workers, and higher-ups in the NFL who ignored evidence of brain damage among football players. And then there was the Robert D. Spector Career Award. This year, it went to Pete Hamill, a 40-year reigning presence in the New York City’s newspaper world as reporter, editor, columnist, and author. Hamill was too ill to appear, so his brother and fellow columnist, Denis Hamill, accepted the award on his behalf. He recited a quote from a New York Daily News column interviewing his 78-year-old brother about what the award meant to him: “Start with the man it’s named after,” Hamill said. “George Polk was a great reporter who was murdered while covering the Greek Civil War in 1948. He had more personal courage than any of the guys who start the wars that reporters risk their lives to cover. But he died trying to bring the world the story. To be given a lifetime achievement award named for a great reporter who gave his life to this noble craft is humbling. It’s why I will cherish it. It’s why I’m so p----- off to be in this god damned hospital instead of at the award ceremony.” No one has ever summed up the spirit of Polk better.
John Darnton is curator of the George Polk Awards in Journalism. He worked for 40 years as a reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor at The New York Times, during which time he was honored with two George Polk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. He has written five novels and a best-selling memoir.
Legends of Polk In May 1948, days after he set out to interview Greek resistance leader Markos Vafiadis, CBS correspondent George Polk’s body turned up in Salonika Bay, hands and feet bound, shot at point-blank range in the head. His coverage of the civil war between Greece’s government and the Communists had raised questions about U.S. support for a regime Mr. Polk’s dispatches characterized as venal and inept. Leading media critic I. F. Stone labeled his death “the first casualty of the Cold War.” The Greek government’s effort to pin his murder on Communists was widely discredited and the case remains unsolved. Though Mr. Polk was not affiliated with LIU, Ted Kruglak, who chaired the journalism department at the time, and Len Karlin, assistant to LIU President Tristram Walker Metcalfe, founded the program to memorialize the slain reporter and increase LIU’s visibility in the journalism community. In 1977, Robert D. Spector (’48, H’94) chair of the Department of English and Humanities in Brooklyn, took the helm of the Polk committee. An admired professor, administrator and alumnus, Spector traced a love for journalism to his column in the LIU student newspaper, Seawanhaka Press. He tapped author Sidney Offit (H’99) to curate the awards and invited four media-men, including myself, with ties to LIU to join them on the selection committee.
By Edward Hershey (B.A. ’65)
career. There have been 31 more career awards, honoring such luminaries as New Yorker editor William Shawn, columnists Murray Kempton and Russell Baker, broadcasters Bill Moyers and Morley Safer, and authors Gay Talese, John McPhee, and Studs Terkel. In 2009, former New York Times reporter and editor John Darnton, twice a Polk winner, became curator and Ralph Engelman, longtime chair of the Journalism department at LIU Brooklyn and author of a lauded biography of broadcasting pioneer (and Polk laureate) Fred Friendly, was designated faculty coordinator. A program of investigative reporting grants for independent journalists were added in 2012 and the list of accolades goes on. In six decades, much about journalism has changed since LIU established the George Polk Awards in Journalism. But the mission has remained constant: to honor and recognize journalists who are willing risk their lives for an important story, expose corruption and injustice in city halls and world capitals, and increase awareness in ways critical to an informed society.
For a full list of Polk winners since 1948, visit liu.edu/polk. Edward Hershey attended his first George Polk Awards in 1962 as a freshman at LIU Brooklyn and was honored as George Polk Outstanding Student in Journalism on graduation in 1965. A reporter at the New York World-Telegram & Sun, the Suffolk Sun, and Newsday and the author of books on baseball and hostage negotiation, Hershey went on to careers in government, higher education and organized labor. He joined the George Polk Awards Committee in 1977 and has participated in every year of judging since.
Those early Polks did not exactly create the media splash that accompanied the 2013 awards to four reporters whose exposure of the extent of National Security Agency surveillance has made them front page news. But the winners were no less courageous or deserving of recognition for their service to the public. Polk Awards have honored an all-star roster of honorees that includes such journalistic icons as Seymour Hersh, Christiane Amanpour, Homer Bigart, Walter Cronkite, Gloria Emerson, Thomas L. Friedman, David Halberstam, Marguerite Higgins, Charles Kuralt, Edward R. Murrow, Jack Newfield, Daniel Schorr, Eric Sevareid, Red Smith, and the Watergate tandem of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. In 1977, Carey McWilliams, long-time editor of The Nation, received the first Polk award to recognize a distinguished
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Renaissance Developer As Bruce Ratner (H '13) rebuilds the city he loves, the revitalization radiates to LIU Brooklyn, our students, and the communities we serve by Dianne Zoppa
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Bruce Ratner H’13 enjoys the May 2013 LIU Brooklyn Commencement.
he beloved Beatles song “Hey, Jude” implores the title character to take a sad song and make it better. Imagine Brooklyn as the sad song; the one-time hive of opportunity for new immigrants and lifeblood of the city’s family-run business and retailing prowess nosedived into deterioration and disrepute in the shadow of the mighty metropolis across the river. But over the last decade the tune has been rewritten and given a modern beat, making it a sad song no longer. The maestro is Bruce C. Ratner, a visionary force behind the skyline-changing, landscape-shifting renaissance in Downtown Brooklyn. For those outside of the Brooklyn purview, Ratner is executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, one of the foremost urban real estate development companies in the country and the force behind several major Brooklyn projects, including MetroTech Center and the Atlantic Yards redevelopment. Ratner is also majority owner and developer of Barclays Center and was integral to bringing the Nets to Brooklyn. They are the first major league sports team to call Brooklyn home in over half a century and help draw millions of fans to the distinctive entertainment mecca and surrounding businesses. In 2013, Barclays was the top-grossing venue in the United States. The arena employs more than 2,000 people, 80 percent of whom are Brooklyn residents. Big brands, hip boutique restaurants, and high-end retailers have popped up in the arena’s radius, spawning thousands more jobs and billions in tax revenue for the city.
From the perspective of LIU Brooklyn—in the heart of the borough’s cultural district, just a few blocks north of Barclays Center, across from Brooklyn landmark Junior’s Cheesecake and the newly revamped retail thoroughfare, the Fulton Mall—Ratner’s influence as the lead instrument advancing the bold development of Downtown Brooklyn is evident in the myriad of institutions and industries that have cropped up and become invigorated by the influx of people, businesses, art, initiatives, and housing taking hold in the revitalized neighborhood. Recently, the New York State Comptroller’s office reported that the number of jobs in Brooklyn is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the boroughs, with Downtown Brooklyn as the hotbed, hosting 17 percent of new jobs.
One could argue that midtown is the center of the city, but Bruce has created another center with Barclays and Atlantic Yards. Bruce Ratner recognized in Brooklyn’s future what others who were born and bred there overlooked. — M. Markowitz
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz credits Ratner with creating the most exciting chapter in Brooklyn’s history. “One could argue that midtown is the center of the city, but Bruce has created another center with Barclays and Atlantic Yards. Bruce Ratner recognized in Brooklyn’s future what others who were born and bred there overlooked.” In June 2013, LIU conferred an honorary degree on Ratner, acknowledging the significant role he played in breathing new life into the Brooklyn campus. At the 2014 LIU Gala, LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, the Board of Trustees, and the entire LIU community honored Ratner for his ongoing contributions to the university. Beginning with the development of MetroTech Center, an 11-building “urban office campus” that sits on a three acres of prime Downtown Brooklyn real estate just a few minutes from LIU Brooklyn, Ratner has enabled an economic boom, creating countless opportunities near the campus for student internships, experiential learning opportunities, and ultimately full-time employment. To appreciate Ratner’s motivation and social conscience, one only needs to look back on his formative years in New York City working in the public sector. In 1971, after Ratner received his law degree from Columbia, NYC Mayor John Lindsay appointed him the city’s consumer advocate. He was 25. During Mayor Ed Koch’s administration, Ratner served as commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs. “While working for the City of New York, I was confronted daily with the situations of people plagued by unimaginable poverty. The majority could not even afford the 25-cent subway fare to come in for help. These stories have always stuck with me,” said Ratner. During that time, Ratner said that he too, felt the economic pressures of living in the city. “At the time [the late 1970s], city schools were inadequate and my wife, who also worked, and I were paying private school tuition for our two children. I knew I needed to strategize my next move to get a job to let us live in the city.” The strategy involved a partnership with his cousins, already ensconced in the business of real estate, which would turn out to be Ratner’s next chapter. In 1984 he took over a stalled urban renewal project called MetroTech Center, situated in Downtown Brooklyn, then occupied by mostly deteriorating structures: a no man’s land. Brooklyn Union Gas Company (now part of National Grid) stood by the project as initial MetroTech tenants. Ratner acknowledged the utility company as responsible for what he was able to accomplish downtown. “President and Chairman of Brooklyn Union Eugene H. Luntey and Robert Catell (then a senior executive) were great defenders and advocates for Brooklyn and recognized that together it was possible to revitalize a blighted area and claim for future for businesses and residents,” he said.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
But drawing other tenants across the river was still a challenge. “We had to think creatively to market the site,” said Ratner. Among several strategies was a literal “out-of-the-box” campaign to bring his building to the desks of CEOs and industry leaders. Ratner sent out over 30 boxes that opened up to reveal a diorama of MetroTech Center. Each box also had a flag pegging the exact space where the recipient CEO’s company should locate within the massive complex. “It was a quirky approach but it finally worked the day my phone rang and Alan C. “Ace” Greenberg was on the other end of the call,” said Ratner. Greenberg was the legendary head of Bear Stearns. He asked Ratner if he was the one who sent the building mock-up in a box, adding that his grandchild was having fun playing with it. Having secured the mighty Wall Street banking firm, other high profile tenants followed, including Chase Manhattan Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase) and the Securities Industry Automation Corporation. Today, the MetroTech complex is home to innovative startups including MakerBot Industries, and many city and state agencies including the New York City Police and Fire Departments, the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications, and the New York Supreme Court. Ratner’s redevelopment vision and strategy also hinged on LIU Brooklyn. “There would be no Downtown Brooklyn today without LIU Brooklyn,” he said. “The idea that kids were being educated in the heart of Brooklyn and would be available to take jobs in new office buildings was a critical marketing concept for potential corporate renters.” Ratner had the support of then LIU President David Steinberg and Gale Haynes, then LIU Brooklyn Provost, now vice president, chief operating officer and legal counsel to the university, to bolster his campaign to attract the business community to Brooklyn. “Essentially, LIU Brooklyn was our partner in the planning. We could not have had a Downtown Brooklyn without the leadership, ideas, and enthusiasm generated by those at the forefront of the university,” said Ratner. “When I brought Gale and David into a meeting with leasing prospects, you could sense their passion and tenacity. They cared beyond belief about the future of Brooklyn, its students and families, and the business district.” This symbiotic relationship carried forward throughout the momentous redevelopment of the next 20 years. “LIU Brooklyn is a place of educational richness and promise, an anchor in the newly established Brooklyn Cultural District,” said Ratner. Given his connection to basketball, it is no surprise that Ratner is also a Blackbirds fan: “To boast 18 NCAA Division I teams in Brooklyn is simply amazing. The university’s stellar athletics program is key because, in today’s world, sports are a burgeoning field in both business and entertainment and are at the center of live television broadcasting.”
“When nobody believed in Downtown Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner had a vision. He saw an under served borough with enormous potential, and with the incredible fortitude and diligence that he brings to all of his projects, Bruce became an instrumental part of Brooklyn’s revitalization,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets. That potential can now be witnessed rising in another downtrodden area of Brooklyn. Despite significant obstacles and impassioned emotions both for and against within the community, the Atlantic Yards project—recently renamed “Pacific Park”—anchored by Barclays Center, will expand the business district substantially with the construction of a 16-tower complex that will add over 600,000 square feet of commercial space, eight acres of open green space, and approximately 6,500 units of residential space, with 30 percent allocated for affordable housing. Professor Joseph Dorinson, LIU’s resident Brooklyn historian, was an early supporter of the controversial development plan. In a published letter in the New York Times, Dorinson referred to the developer as an “urban pioneer.” He added that he foresees
“There would be no Downtown Brooklyn today without LIU Brooklyn.” — B. Ratner increased university enrollment as a direct result of Ratner’s business development. Ratner described a meeting with a local cultural leader in which he drew a long line on paper. “I told her it represented a span from the Manhattan Bridge to Prospect Park, running along Flatbush Avenue, and that someday that span would be filled with buildings.” But, he continued, what’s happening in Brooklyn is far beyond what he dreamed would happen.
LIU Brooklyn then (top, circa 1960) and now (bottom, 2011)
LIU Brooklyn’s Gale Haynes never doubted Ratner’s foresight as he stayed the course, plotting a future for the city and its people. “Bruce Ratner’s love of downtown Brooklyn is manifest in his work—the range, vitality, and impact on Brooklyn is immeasurable, game changing and lasting. With deep respect and much gratitude, LIU salutes a dear and treasured friend; a mensch and master builder!”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
The Rewards and Challenges of Life Abroad Two LIU Global alumni share insight on the William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India By Rachel DeLetto
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine Photos by Brittany Boroian @bboroian
LIU graduates have always embodied entrepreneurial spirit and turned their own distinct passions into success. Alumni of LIU Global are especially exemplary of leadership on the road less traveled. Two LIU Global graduates recently received the prestigious William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India, which places highly skilled young professionals with demonstrated global leadership potential with non-governmental and social organizations. Brittany Boroian (B.A. ’10) just returned from ten months in New Delhi. Bradley Wintersteen (B.A. ’13) is preparing to depart for his service term in Bangalore. Both Boroian and Wintersteen began their college education in traditional university settings—Brittany at California Institute of the Arts, Brad at the University of Wisconsin. “I wasn’t getting much out of sitting in lecture halls. I wanted to help people in a real way,” said Wintersteen. Boroian was fundamentally changed on a threemonth program in Nepal. “It was like I was sleepwalking through life before that,” she said. At LIU Global, they found what was missing. The Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies program is the only four-year degree that incorporates theory-based classroom learning with language and cultural immersion, fieldwork, internships, and real-world service from day one. Professors become mentors and friends, helping students to shape their academic study around individual passions and give them the means to explore it in an environment where their actions make a difference.
establish a new home in New Delhi. She was placed as a Livelihood Fellow at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, where she worked on business strategy and market analysis projects focused on providing skills training to help unemployed youth find work. “There’s something hypnotizing about India,” said Wintersteen, who departs for Bangalore this September. Remembering a piece of wisdom imparted at orientation by Kerry Mitchell, Director of the Comparative Religion and Culture Program at LIU Global, who also became his friend, Wintersteen said that often when you are traveling, no matter how far away you are, most countries and people around the world look back at the United States as the center of the universe. But in India absolutely everything is different. “The minute you step off the airplane, it hits you in the face,” he said. “A whole new level of poverty, entire city blocks of tin shacks and children begging for food.” “The caste system has been illegal for over 50 years but it still has enormous impact on daily life in India. I had to try to do something to help,” he said about his motivation to join the Clinton Fellowship for Service in India. Wintersteen, also a Livelihood Fellow, will work at Dream A Dream, an organization that is dedicated to reducing discrimination and the lingering impact of the caste system on Indian youth by building life skills through sports, art, outdoor excursions, and career mentoring.
“It’s hard to say where I’ll go in the future...But I’m excited about where I am right now.”
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew Global would help me find it,” said Boroian. While studying in Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and India over the course of a year as part of the Comparative Religion and Culture curriculum—as well as working with refugees struggling in poverty on the border of Burma (now Myanmar) and providing financial services for the poor at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh—Boroian became inspired by microfinance, a term used to describe the supply of loans and financial services to low-income individuals and those who do not have access to typical banking services. After graduating, Boroian worked with a microfinance organization as a Kiva Fellow in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by two years as a consultant on various microfinance and youth entrepreneurship projects as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. But even in a remote jungle village in South America, India was calling her back. Fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and her Paraguayan homestay family were puzzled by her habit of cooking Indian food, listening to Indian music, and watching Bollywood movies. She applied for the Clinton Fellowship and set out to continue her journey and
One of the key tenets of the Clinton Fellowship program is that the Fellows are fully integrated into the local organization, giving back not as an outsider, but as part of the community. English is fairly prevalent in India, and both Wintersteen and Boroian have passable Hindi skills, but language barriers are a major challenge for people working in international settings. But both LIU Global alumni had similar advice for facing this obstacle and thriving in an international career: “You have to come to peace with not understanding everything,” said Wintersteen. “Accept the unknown and learn to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone,” echoed Boroian. After many years of setting down roots in locations across the globe, both are unsure whether they will continue to work and live abroad or return to the U.S. more permanently. Right now, Wintersteen is looking forward to working with kids, the incomparably friendly hospitality of the Indian people, and their incredible food. “It’s hard to say where I’ll go in the future,” said Boroian, who is preparing to return to India—this time Mumbai—where she will begin a full-time position with global development consulting firm Dalberg. “But I’m excited about where I am right now.”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
LIU is proud to be an institution that is home to an inspirational roster of scholars that have helped our students learn and grow over many decades. We asked some of them to share their favorite LIU memories.
Michael A. Soupios
(And for our next issue: which professor influenced you most? Email and tell us at LIUalumni@liu.edu)
What are you working on in 2014? I am currently working on a political comparison between Plato’s thoughts and those of Frederich Nietzsche.
Professor of History at LIU Brooklyn since 1966 Because of my research in Brooklyn history, I was invited to make my debut in documentary film with a cameo appearance in a PBS Special, “Brooklyn: The Way It Was,” in 1985. In 1988, I was awarded the first ever conferral of the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. This was, you might say, my finest hour as a pedagogue. My most important contribution of the1980s, however, came with the introduction of Humor Studies. I was later invited to a Paris Conference on Humor to deliver a paper on “Jewish Humor,” which was well received. That led to lectures in the UK in 1995 at Oxford and Birmingham Universities. In 1997, I co-chaired one of the major events in LIU Brooklyn history, “Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream,” honoring the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic breakthrough in Major League Baseball. Hall of Fame players, outstanding journalists, and ardent baseball fans from all over the country gathered for this transformative event. I later wrote a book that won an award for best baseball research. What are you most excited about in 2014? Completing my book on Jewish humor, Kvetching and Shpritzing: Jewish Humor in American Popular Culture. And winding down—no up—my career as a teacher on a high note while singing Bob Hope’s signature song: “Thanks for the Memories!”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Professor of Political Science at LIU Post since 1977 I recall a lecture I did on a quote from the ancient poet, Pindar who said, “Become who you are.” Years later, two students told me this presentation gave them the courage to step out of the closet. I still feel a great sense of privilege in having assisted them in this life-changing matter.
Professor Emerita of English, Director of Honors Program at LIU Brooklyn since 1964 The most memorable thing about teaching at LIU is the unusual students who have filled my professional life—national leaders; alumni who email me all the time to ask what I’m reading now or to offer a title they just found that they think I’d like; alumni who stop me on the streets of NYC to say “you don’t remember me, but I was in your English class as a freshman (or sophomore, or junior, or senior, or graduate student) and here’s what I still remember we talked about.” I love the announcements they send of their weddings, children’s accomplishments, how Honors shaped their lives—and now their children’s lives, since they haven’t forgotten life on this campus. And I love hearing that learning in all of these projects has remained as vital a memory for those students as the voices of my own teachers, from so very long ago, have been in my own memory. Maybe what stands out most of all: Most of the time I DO remember those people who stop me on the street to say hello! What is/was your favorite course to teach? Comparative Literature offers lots of opportunity to invent new combinations and ways to explore masterful works of art. Situating novels or plays or poems in their cultural moment opens up the possibility to examine painting and sculpture of their time, to think about how one set of images explodes into dozens more in many media. Courses that invite teachers and students to hunt out these connections together always excited me.
Director, TV Writers Studio at LIU Brooklyn since 2007 I created and direct the TV Writers Studio, which grants the MFA in Writing and Producing for Television. It is a two-year, 48 credit program in which I teach a variety of courses. The program is of a piece and I am with my cohort of students for the entire two years. It’s like running a successful TV series that lasts for two seasons with more to come.
Professor of Philosophy and Egyptology at LIU Post since 1971 My favorite course in the 1970s to the1990s was Introduction to Philosophy. In the beginning, a student who has never had a philosophy class is very skeptical. They think “it’s all bull”—that you just say stuff off the top of your head and all opinions are equal! By the end of the course they can see how they are thinking better (more logically) and that this will help them in whatever they do in the future. By the 1980s, I was teaching Egyptology courses, which is my other career. Each intersession, I took a group of Post students to Egypt for a study tour. Every year, on December 31, in the middle of the night, we climbed to the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza and celebrated New Year’s Eve there. That is something we will all always remember. Now it is totally illegal to climb the pyramid so such experiences are a thing of the past. The highlight of the ’90s was a research project where I mummified a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian manner to figure out how the ancient embalmers did it. Post students were involved in all kinds of ways. The Ceramics Department students produced replicas of ancient ceramic figurines, amulets, and pots that we needed. Students in my Hieroglyph class wrote the magical spells on the linen bandages, the drama students acted out what a mummification looked like. In the end, the project was a National Geographic TV special titled “Mr. Mummy.” What are you working on in 2014? Right now I am interested in the New York obelisk, which was moved in 1880 from Alexandria, Egypt, to Central Park. The tip was broken and repaired sometime in the past, but we don’t know when or where. Because the obelisk was being cleaned this summer, it was surrounded by a scaffold, so I got to go up and investigate. I think I have solved the mystery. Stay tuned.
The most satisfying aspect of my work here has been the launching of the first three classes to graduate into careers as professional writers with another coming up in 2015. When I asked the person who started my career by giving me my first two writing jobs, how I could ever repay him, he said “pass it on.” This is my way of “passing it on” and that is my greatest reward. What are you most excited about in 2014? The level of writing in my program has inspired me to get back to my own writing, which I had put aside to run the program. Now, I’m doing both and fulfilling a promise to myself. As a lifelong writer, my ultimate wish is to die at my keyboard.
Professor of English, Director of Honors Program at LIU Post since 1969 Before there was The Tilles Center, Post had a concert hall called The Dome. From 1970 to 1978 every rock-and-roll band coming through New York played the venue. I remember hearing Jerry Garcia, Jefferson Starship, Loggins and Messina. . .so many great performers. In 1979, I became Director of the Honors Program, and the excitement of building this program and recruiting brilliant students made my academic life thrilling. I am still in touch with former students now working in every imaginable profession across the U.S. and abroad. Some of my best memories, decade by decade, are of colleagues who made teaching at Post quite wonderful. For me, Post has been and still is an extended family of people who make education happen. What are you most excited about in 2014? Most recently, I have been working on curriculum for an Equine Studies Minor that will be offered by the Department of Health, Physical Education and Movement Science in the College of Education in collaboration with The North Shore Equestrian Center on campus. I am really looking forward to our launch.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
John Kanas ’68
History repeats itself for New York’s most successful community banker By Michael Schiavetta
In the summer of 1971, John Kanas had his bags packed. The Center Moriches, N.Y., native—already equipped with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from LIU’s Southampton campus—was all set to ship off to law school in Chicago after four years of teaching middle school in the Medford school district in addition to operating a deli in his hometown. That was when he got the phone call that changed his life. “One Saturday afternoon, an old friend of mine called and asked what I was doing on Monday,” recalled Kanas. “I said, at the moment, nothing.” His friend needed a driver to take him to a small town located on Long Island’s North Fork. “I drove him out to Mattituck where I’d never been before,” he said. Their destination was a little bank looking to branch
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out: North Fork Bank. Kanas accompanied his friend to the meeting with the firm’s president. After the meeting, the bank executive looked over at the 23-year-old Kanas, asked who he was. Kanas’ answer: “I’m the driver.” But the North Fork Bank president had seen something in Kanas that the LIU alumnus had perhaps not seen in himself yet. He asked if the young man had ever considered working in the banking industry. “We’d like you to think about this bank being in your home town,” the executive said to Kanas. “You know people and you’re a natural. And we can pay you a good salary—$7,000 a year.”
Kanas politely declined. Two weeks later, his phone rang again. Kanas’ friend told him his name had come up at a board meeting. The North Fork Bank president wanted to see him again. He drove out east and waited for the big offer. And it came. But again, Kanas politely declined, indicating his desire to attend law school as well as earn a degree in business. But he asked if North Fork Bank had a tuition remission policy. Could this company pay for an M.B.A.? The answer was yes and the new business associates shook on it. Kanas started at North Fork in 1971 as a branch manager, taking a couple of M.B.A. classes per semester at LIU Post when he could. His responsibilities grew as he learned the banking industry under the president. When he left the bank due to an illness in
“People in the industry still talk about the North Fork story with a happy ending,” said Kanas. “Everyone thought I would never settle.” But his company did sell in 2005, thanks to Kanas sensing another real estate downturn like the one that threatened North Fork Bank in the 1990s (the bank also owned GreenPoint Mortgage, which at the time of the sale to Capital One, had been doing about $40 billion annually in mortgages).
Indeed it does, as Kanas proved again when he discovered BankUnited, which was on the verge of being shut down by the FDIC due to impending bankruptcy. In 2009, he and four other private equity partners invested over $900 million into the distressed bank.
“Through the prism of those companies, we were able to predict what was happening in the economy,” said Kanas.
Under his “do what makes sense” leadership, BankUnited hired an additional 1,200 people and went public in 2011. Today, the $17 billion company is the 75th largest bank in the country and the largest retail bank in Florida, as well as six branches in New York.
His ability to always be ahead of the financial curve and recognize trends stems to his days at LIU’s Southampton campus, where exposure to university learning opened his eyes to new perspectives and ways of thinking. “Education is the lifeblood of humanity,”
“It was bankrupt in every sense of the word,” said Kanas. “We needed to reconstruct the entire banking operation.”
Kanas’ great achievements are a long ride from humble beginnings on his family farm on eastern Long Island, where Kanas
— J. Kanas 1977, Kanas was named president at the age of 29. “We were a tiny bank at the time,” he said of his early days at North Fork. “We had about 50 employees and four branches. You could’ve bought the whole bank for $5 million.” In 2006, Kanas sold North Fork to Capital One Bank—for $15 billion. When Kanas took over North Fork, he had one strategic goal: to pursue whatever made sense. Driven by a management team who were co-owners and had a stake in the bank’s success, North Fork acquired 17 banks and $60 billion in assets, as well as grew from 20 branches in the 1970s to 400 nationwide, including more than 350 branches in the New York metro area.
Kanas said. “I’m a big believer in expanding people’s minds. The way those four years [at LIU’s Southampton campus] enhanced my life and thinking is difficult to describe. It enabled me to think at a completely different level.” At LIU, he became president of his class and was actively involved in student life, including leading a demonstration protesting tuition hikes. “I was a student of the sixties,” he quipped. “It was a time for revolution everywhere.” Kanas became the first member of his family to attend college after living what he called “a simple life” on his family farm. At LIU, Kanas took a particular interest in history. “It helps to know where the world is going and where the world has been,” Kanas said. “Human behavior repeats itself time and time again.”
spent his youth bird hunting and working in the fields (his Eastern European grandfather had arrived penniless in America in 1916). Today, he still plans big game trips to Canada with his son, who attends college in the Northeast. To say Kanas’ career has been a great success is an understatement. “To have been part of the North Fork story was a dream experience,” he said. “It was all anyone could’ve asked for. And to be part of the BankUnited story is even more so. It’s been an amazing ride.”
Fall Fall 2014 2014 || LIU LIU Magazine Magazine
Nancy Hicks Maynard ’66
Trailblazer for Diversity in the Newsroom by Jim H. Smith The inspiration for Nancy Hicks Maynard’s (B.A. ’66) remarkable career came when she was still an adolescent, Nancy Hall, growing up in Harlem. One night a fire destroyed the elementary school she had attended. News coverage of the fire portrayed the community in such a negative light that Hall— the daughter of Eve Keller, a nurse, and Al Hall, a legendary jazz bassist—never forgot the damage, or the good, that words can do. At LIU Brooklyn she threw herself into her undergraduate work with a kind of passion that would characterize the rest of her career. She wrote for the student newspaper, The Seawanhaka Press, and served as president of the George Polk Journalism Club. Chosen for the CBS-TV and news training program for undergraduates, she was named the outstanding coed journalism student and earned the George Polk student award for journalism. In addition, she was one of the first LIU members of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honor society. “Nancy Hicks Maynard embodies, maybe more than anyone else, the historic mission of the department to expand American journalism to be more inclusive and diverse,” said Ralph Engelman, chair of the LIU Brooklyn Department of Journalism. In 1965 she married her first husband, Daniel Hicks. The following year she graduated from LIU Brooklyn with honors and landed her first job as a weekend “copy girl” at The New York Post, a paper that embodied tough, old school journalism. In its gritty newsroom, luminary writers Pete Hamill and Nora Ephron were carving their careers. Ted Poston, the first African American journalist to work at a mainstream paper, hired by the Post in 1936, became Hicks’ mentor and took her under his wing.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Hicks soon became a full-time reporter, the only black woman covering news in New York City at the time. In 1968—at just 21— she moved to The New York Times, joining a newsroom of familiar faces, as many of the editors were LIU adjunct faculty. Talented and Tough Nancy Hicks began her Times career covering school decentralization in Brooklyn’s Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood. She reported on significant race-related stories and NASA’s Apollo program. Soon she moved on to other departments at the paper, covering important education and science stories. Occasionally she appeared on PBS’s McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. “Black America was experiencing a social revolution in the 1960s, and Nancy was a big part of it,” recalled esteemed journalist Earl Caldwell, who met Hicks when she was at the Post and remained a lifelong friend. “She was very talented, and also tough. She knew how to take care of herself.” Just before she joined the Times, she met Robert C. Maynard, a young columnist at the Washington Post, at a gathering of prominent black journalists. They became close friends. Daniel Hicks died in 1974 and the following year Hicks moved from New York to the Times’ Washington bureau. In 1975 she and Maynard were married. Failure is Not an Option Nancy and Robert Maynard were a storybook media couple. Each held a prominent position with one of the nation’s leading newspapers. Their home was a filled with art and jazz, and they regularly hosted lavish dinners attended by guests carefully selected from many different walks of life to provoke dinner conversation; nothing less than an old fashioned creative “salon,” as Eric Newton, former managing editor of the Oakland Tribune, put it. The Maynards’ commitment to the diversity of the nation’s newsrooms led them to take a bold step in 1977, resigning their jobs to move to Berkeley, Calif., where they co-founded a nonprofit organization called the Institute for Journalism Education. Nancy became the first president of the Institute—which is dedicated to training minority journalists in order to ensure greater and more accurate coverage of communities of color—and served on its board until 2002. More than 5,000 journalists and media managers have been trained at the Institute since 1977.
known as the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. “Her mantra was ‘Failure is not an option,’ and she applied it to everything.” Nowhere was that more apparent than when she and her husband, who had been named editor of the struggling Oakland Tribune in 1979, bought that newspaper in 1984. “The Maynards were unbelievable newspaper owners in a country where large corporations were dominating ownership of news media,” said Newton. “They were independent and creative thinkers. They were appreciative of progress and gave their reporters room to work.” A reflection of the values the Maynards promoted at their institute, “the Tribune was a pioneer in news and newsroom diversity,” said Newton. “We were nearly half journalists of color and women.” Despite chronic financial problems, the Maynards kept the Tribune running for 13 years, and under their leadership it won 150 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for photography of the destruction left by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Though she had daily management responsibilities, Nancy enrolled at Stanford University Law School and earned a law degree. In 1992, Robert Maynard developed terminal cancer and they were forced to sell the Tribune. “They had 1,000 employees,” noted Caldwell, “and when Bob was dying, Nancy told me, ‘What I’m proudest of is that we never missed a payroll.’” After her husband’s death, in 1993, Maynard returned to New York for a while but, said Caldwell, “It wasn’t the same New York and she didn’t stay. I think her heart was broken.” Maybe, but she remained indomitable. In her later years she created a media consulting company called Maynard Partners, Inc. In 1998 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Black Journalists. Her book, Mega Media: How Market Forces are Transforming News, was published in 2000. Nancy Hicks Maynard was just 61 when she died, on Sept. 21, 2008. “She was a fearless, astute champion of diversity in news media, and an early advocate of new business models incorporating digital media, always pushing us to be proactive,” wrote Steve Montiel, former president of the Maynard Institute from 1988 to 2000. Newton concurred. “The saddest thing is that the Maynards aren’t with us at this point in the digital age,” he said. “The vision they had 20 years ago could have led to real innovations in the kinds of relations with communities that have become possible in the digital age.”
“She was a brilliant, forward-thinking woman,” said Dori J. Maynard, her stepdaughter and current president of what is now Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Sarabeth Levine â€™64 A Global Brand Built on the Sweet Power of a Family Recipe By Dianne Zoppa
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
You can thank Sarabeth Levine (B.A. ’64, H ’14) for New York City brunch culture.
“It’s a lot to manage but it’s the juice that keeps me going. Bill and I look at each other and say ‘what else would we do with our time?’ Retirement is not on our agenda,” said the woman whose mantra has always been “Do More.”
For 33 years she has been the heart, soul, and namesake of Sarabeth’s, the international gourmet food brand. But she rose to trendy, one-name status and worldwide success based on extraordinary vision, selfbelief, boundless courage, and commitment to delivering perfection in a jar—specifically, her legendary orange-apricot marmalade.
Upbeat and animated, with long, silvery hair and wire-rimmed glasses, Sarabeth believes everyday is about a new thing. “I wake up each morning so happy to have a new day.” Reflecting on her Post days, the former member of Alpha Epsilon Pi—who completed her degree in three years by attending summer school—recalled the pastoral campus as a haven and nurturing experience. “Post was a place where I fell in love with learning,” said Sarabeth. “It fueled my imagination and was an escape from the imperfections in my life. We all had them, but they seemed smaller on that heavenly campus.”
Recipient of LIU’s Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the 2014 Commencement, Sarabeth has also captured some of the most coveted awards in the culinary universe, including the prestigious James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year, and authored a celebrated cookbook. But she traces her star status in the food industry back to familial ties. More than 40 years ago, as a young, single mother supporting two daughters and holding a mixed bag of jobs from nursery school teacher to bathing suit designer, Sarabeth turned to her late mother, Doree Blume, a former model and successful fur business owner. She would complain, “Am I ever going to be anybody?” Her mother, she remembered, would come back at her with “I don’t have ‘nobodies.’ You have to find who your own ‘somebody’ is.” All along, she was the keeper of a secret 200 year-old treasured family recipe for an orange-apricot marmalade from her French grand-merè. When Bill Levine—a contractor and businessman working on a new café in need of a signature item— came into Sarabeth’s life, her marmalade, concocted in their tiny New York City apartment kitchen, was the ticket on which this creative pair would start their journey. “Bill and marmalade changed my life,” Sarabeth said. With him, she became ‘somebody,’ and more than 3 decades later, the self-taught culinary superstar, with her husband and business partner of 31 years, boasts an international brand with 10 stateside restaurants located in New York City, Long Island, and Key West, Fla. In Japan, there are three Sarabeth’s with another set to open in Osaka in April 2015. “Working with my Japanese staff developing the Tokyo and Osaka sites was thrilling.
Top: Sarabeth works in the kitchen. Bottom: The new Sarabeth’s in Tokyo. (2014)
I fell in love with the Japanese people. They love what we do and I am a celebrity there,” she said, bringing out her cellphone to show photos of luscious-looking baked goods and perfectly plated egg dishes served in her Japanese outlets. She also commandeers Sarabeth’s bakery in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market and a jam production factory in the Bronx to satisfy the demands of her following in more than 5,000 retail stores, her restaurants, on television shopping channels, and online.
Sarabeth believes that today’s LIU experiential learning opportunities, had they been in place when she was a student, would have been ideal for her level of drive, curiosity, and entrepreneurial spirit. “For a student to run a real business before actually starting out is a brilliant opportunity. It’s the means to discovering what you like best and embracing it,” she said. “If this were available to me at Post, I would have been very involved, very motivated, and probably turning things upside down.” With husband Bill Levine, the business half of their duo, whom she fondly refers to as “Mr. Paperwork,” she went on to create her mega brand. But at the end of each day, at the center of her massive, evolving global company, stands Sarabeth the wife, mother, and grandmother who, like any other woman, business mogul or homemaker, beams when she talks about her grandkids. “They call me ‘Bubbie,’” she said, her Long Island accent enhancing the warmth of her smiling voice. She and Bill have four children, 12 grandchildren and a great grandchild between them. Once more, the cellphone emerges and it’s clear where her heart really resides—images of smiling, adoring grandchildren will forever trump any golden, perfectly baked muffins, the richest, most chocolaty brownies, or glistening Eggs Benedict. Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Dieter Weinand (M.S. ’87) CURRENT POSITION CEO of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Weinand landed a job with Bayer straight out of LIU Pharmacy (The Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) after earning his master’s degree in pharmacology/toxicology. Just three months after working in Bayer’s research labs in West Haven, Conn., he was tapped for the company’s executive development program, where he gained experience in sales, marketing, and business development before embarking on a career at the top levels of several international pharmaceutical corporations. Twenty-seven years later, Weinand has returned to Bayer to become CEO of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, overseeing a division with 2013 sales of approximately $15 billion, and 38,000 employees. “It is a privilege for me to be given the opportunity to lead BHC Pharmaceuticals at a time where the business is one of the most successful in the industry, delivering substantially on growth,” Weinand said. SUPPLY AND DEMAND “The demand for new medical treatment options remains a top priority. “You focus your research in those areas, to provide value to society,” Weinand said. “Cancer, for example, continues to be an area of unmet need. The goal is to bring to market a new drug that provides a true benefit to patients.” Developing those new drugs depends on a long-term assessment of the future medical needs of people, and creating treatment options that are an improvement over what’s already on the market. “It’s all about providing value to patients,” Weinand said. “If you provide patients with therapy options which serve their medical needs, then you will be successful.” OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS After a few years with Bayer, Weinand was recruited by Lederle International, where he started in international marketing, became director of market research, and later managed the company’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Then came a string of top posts in Big Pharma such as Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert to F.H. Faulding, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization Corp., before returning to Bayer. “I wasn’t looking to move,” he said. “But the opportunity to become the CEO of a major pharmaceutical business was one I could not resist.” ONWARD HOME Weinand’s new position at Bayer brings him back to his native Germany. (His family had emigrated to Connecticut while he was in high school). He looks forward to living once again in Germany, where as a child, lived in a town north of Frankfurt. “I understand the culture, having grown up there,” he said.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
LIU Pharmacy (Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top pharmacy schools in the nation is making great progress with its “Our Founding, Our Future” Capital Campaign. The $12.5 million campaign, launched on the occasion of the school’s 125th anniversary, is raising funds to expand research and graduate education initiatives; to support state-of-the-art facilities; and to increase the number of scholarships available to promising LIU Pharmacy students. With over $4 million raised to-date, LIU Pharmacy is please to inaugurate
three hi-tech spaces for our students and faculty. They include: The Lachman Institute for Pharmaceutical Analysis, which promotes the educational and research mission of the college by supporting faculty research, fostering graduate school training and providing a venue for industry-supported research. The Joan B. and Samuel J. Williamson Institute for Pharmacometrics will train graduate students to use computer-based predictive models of drug safety and efficacy to improve the efficiency of drug development. It will be one of the first pharmacometric training programs of its kind in the country. The Natoli Engineering Institute for Industrial Pharmacy Development and Research will partner industrial scientists with academia to conduct meaningful research on problems associated with solid dosage forms and instrumentation.
In support of LIU Pharmacy’s role as an education leader, Dr. John Pezzuto, a leading pharmaceutical educator and researcher, has recently been named dean of the college, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The recipient of the Volwiler Research Award by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy this year, his current research interests are predominantly in the areas of biology-driven natural product drug discovery and characterization, with primary emphasis in the fields of cancer chemotherapy and cancer chemoprevention. He is widely known for identifying the cancerprevention aspects of resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes and grape products. He follows Dr. Stephen Gross, dean of LIU Pharmacy, who has passionately and diligently served the university for more than three decades, ensuring that the school kept pace with the needs and demands of a dynamic and ever-changing health care industry. Dr. Pezzuto is the author of more than 500 publications, coinventor of several patents, the editor of four books, and a member of 11 editorial boards of international journals. He has also served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, and is the current editor-in-chief of Pharmaceutical Biology.
Images of the Lachman, Williamson, and Natoli Institutes at LIU Pharmacy. Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
LIU Alumni Growing Stronger Everyday
LIU alumni live and work all over the world.
Nearly 200,000 strong, the alumni of LIU represent the fulfillment of our historic mission of Access and Excellence. Spread across many a program, school, campus, and generation, LIU alumni represent men and women committed to improving the world around us as leaders in arts and sciences, business and finance, law, entertainment, health care, philanthropy, academia, and so much more. Under the leadership of LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, the university is thriving, and now more than ever, we are renewing our commitment to our graduates. In the coming months, we will launch a series of new initiatives to connect LIU alumni worldwide and engage them in shaping the alumni experience. While some of the names have changed, our storied university— Brooklyn, Post, Global, Pharmacy, Hudson, Brentwood and Riverhead (and the legacy of Southampton)—is providing students of all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the 21st-century global marketplace. In our entering Class of 2018, there is much to be proud of. Our student body is robust, our faculty are exceptional, and the momentum of opportunity and promise is ever-present in all that we do. LIU stands as one of the largest private universities in the United States and now serves more than 20,000 students each year from dozens of countries across the globe, both in person and online. As we continue to grow, LIU will deliver a unique education that combines rigor in the classroom with engagement beyond our walls to broaden perspectives and explore the world. Our alumni are key to our success, particularly as we are prepared to build, educate, and inspire a collaborative community of socially engaged and intellectually vibrant global leaders and thinkers. Join us as we develop projects that harness technology to transcend barriers, increase our online resources and services, and promote and advance the alumni network in new thought-provoking ways. Visit us on campus this fall as we introduce new spaces for our students, faculty and alumni. And share the legacy of your LIU experience by logging onto www.LIUalumni.com, a new comprehensive alumni portal designed to help you get involved, stay connected, and support the university as a place of scholarship and engagement, and as a source of insight for alumni the world over.
Michael S. Glickman ’99, ’01 Chief of Strategic Partnerships & University Advancement
Sign up with www.LIUalumni.com to connect personally and professionally.
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Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
Stats & Briefs Sophomore Joyce Kwok took home her second consecutive women’s swimming national championship in the 200-yard butterfly event, breaking her own previous LIU Post record. LIU Post Senior Jackie Sileo ’14 (women’s lacrosse) is the recipient of the 2014 ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Sportsmanship Award and is a Top-30 honoree for the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The NCAA’s alltime leading scorer and a two-time national champion graduated from LIU Post with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. LIU Post Junior Aly Dzierzynski (softball) was named NFCA All-American. The East Coast Conference and Eastern College Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year hit .438 with 25 home runs and 77 RBIs to lead the Pioneers to an NCAA Division II Women’s College World Series appearance. LIU Post Junior Eivind Austboe (men’s soccer) was named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. The East Coast Conference’s Player of the Year posted a 3.94 GPA in the classroom while scoring a total of 58 points (24 goals, 10 assists) to lead LIU Post to an East Region Final appearance.
Seven Teams added to LIU Post Athletics Roster By Mike Stainkamp The LIU Post Department of Athletics begins the 2014-2015 academic year with seven new athletic programs, as the Pioneers look to build on a historic 2013-2014 campaign that culminated in a 10th-place finish out of 247 schools in the NACDA Division II Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings and their second straight East Coast Conference Commissioner’s Cup. In addition to its current 15-sport platform, the Pioneers will now compete in Division II women’s golf, wrestling, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, and women’s fencing. The wrestling and track & field programs are no strangers to LIU Post, as both were previously sponsored by the university, and will be making a comeback. Director of Athletics and Recreation Bryan Collins is looking forward to bringing back these familiar programs as well as welcoming the new teams to campus.
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
“We are thrilled to bring back two programs (track and field and wrestling) that have a great history in the growth of the LIU Post Department of Athletics,” Collins said. Both sports achieved tremendous recognition and success regionally as well as nationally. “In addition, these new programs will energize our relationship with Long Island and the Metropolitan area, as well as nationally,” Collins said. “They will offer high school student-athletes the opportunity to attend a vibrant and exceptional university, and to compete at the highest level of NCAA Division II competition with national championship goals.” New and returning: LIU Post will now sponsor 22 NCAA Division II athletic teams.
Visit liu.edu/post/athletics for up-to-date information and full schedule.
Blackbirds Women’s Volleyball Set to Dominate 2014 Season By Dan Lobacz
The LIU Brooklyn women’s volleyball team continued to build on its Northeast Conference legacy by closing the 2013 season with its second straight league title and eighth in the past 10 years. The Blackbirds finished their NEC campaign a perfect 14-0—the sixth time in program history that they have finished a league season unblemished—and currently hold the longest regular-season conference win streak in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball at 32 matches. LIU did not drop a set during the NEC Championship, sweeping Robert Morris 3-0 in the semifinals and Central Connecticut by the same score in the championship match to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Blackbirds fell to eventual national champion Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Championships but kept the Nittany Lions on their heels the entire match, falling by narrow margins in the first two sets. The loss didn’t put a damper on Head Coach Kyle Robinson’s thoughts on another successful season. “I think we had one of the best seasons we have ever had as a program.”
That “best season” tag may be repeated next season, as the squad had just one player graduate and is poised for an outstanding 2014.
Stats & BriefS Led by NEC Coach of the Year Simon Hodnett, Blackbirds track & field teams had banner seasons in 2013-2014. The men’s program won the NEC indoor team title while the women’s team took home the NEC outdoor championship. Junior Brendon Rodney won the Canadian National Championship in the 200-meter dash and was a two-time All-American in the event, while sophomore MicaJonathan Petit-Homme earned AllAmerica honors in the 400-meter hurdles. Women’s golf won its third straight Northeast Conference title and earned a third consecutive trip to NCAA Regionals. Marisol Doglioli shot a final-round 66 to earn medalist honors and give the Blackbirds a resounding 26 strokes over Saint Francis University.
In Men’s basketball, senior Jason Brickman became the fourth player in NCAA history to record over 1,000 assists for a career. Brickman, an All-Northeast Conference First Team selection, finished his four years at LIU Brooklyn with 1,009 assists to rank fourth on the all-time list. He recently signed a professional contract with Dynamo Moscow in Russia. Freshman Jenn Peters became the first student-athlete in NCAA history to be named Rookie of the Year in multiple sports, claiming the honor in both women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse. Peters led the Blackbirds with seven goals and 17 points in soccer, and set freshman lacrosse records for goals (38) and points (53). LIU Brooklyn heads into the 2014-2015 academic year with 18 NCAA sports, including the recently added women’s cross country and women’s swimming. Visit liu.edu/brooklyn/athletics for up-todate information and full schedule. Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
The Majors Productions
Five LIU Post Alumni Leverage Talent and Friendship for Launch of Film Company by Robin D. Schatz
t’s a cold and stormy night in Tilt of a Rose, Nugent Cantileno’s (B.F.A. ‘12) senior thesis film, a 1940s period piece about a film star who sells her soul to you-know-who and has reached the grim day of reckoning. As he and his crew shot the film during spring break in 2011, at Winnick House—Marjorie Merriweather Post's former mansion—they had just one problem: there wasn’t a raindrop in sight. “Fortunately, there was a hose nearby with the right kind of sprinkler attachment,” recalled Cantileno. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t it get it close enough to the door where the actress was standing. It took two people to do. We had to fling the rain like this,” he said, miming the action. Thanks to movie magic, the audience is none the wiser. Last year, Tilt of a Rose was named best short film at the 2013 Long Island International Film Festival, and the film’s cinematographer Marc Riou (B.F.A. ’12) took home the prize for best cinematography in a short film. Earlier this year the short won the HollyShorts Audience Choice NYC Screening, earning a spot in the 10th HollyShorts Film Festival, which spotlights films under 30 minutes, with a screening in August at TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Tilt of a Rose, is just one of a growing body of award-winning work by The Majors Productions, LLC, cofounded by Cantileno, Riou, and three close friends at LIU Post: Carrie Ferrante (B.F.A. ’12),
the only woman in the group and a screenwriter who also lends creative vision as art and production designer on set; Robert LaRosa (B.A. ’12), who specializes in stylized editing and sound design; and director Joshua Paige (B.F.A. ’11). While The Majors look forward to the day they can devote themselves full-time to their filmmaking company, the cofounders are still working day jobs. But the company’s reputation as a production outfit is growing, as their films get accepted into more festivals and garner kudos. “I can’t say enough about how great they are,” said Debra Markowitz, director of the Nassau County Film Office and president of the Long Island International Film Expo. She first hired The Majors as unpaid production assistants on her film A Cross to Bear, and she has continued to work with them on other paid projects, including her short zombie comedy, The Last Taxi Driver.x “I probably won’t be able to touch them in a few years,” Markowitz lamented. The Majors—so named because of their film majors at LIU—have been an inseparable production crew ever since they chose to work together in a junior-year Production Lab at LIU Post, which prepares students for their senior thesis project. Their first short film, called Super/Heroes, directed by Paige, written by Ferrante, and directed by Cantileno, portrays a band of superheroes confronting the tragedy of 9/11. Cont. p. 42
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
TURN YOUR ALUMNI STATUS INTO A PAIR OF FRONT-ROW SEATS Just another great reward of being an LIU alumnus
A WORLd OF ENTERTAINMENT AWAITS,
from marquee stars to the avant-garde. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post brings you artists at their peak, including luminaries such as Natalie Cole, Jay Leno, Audra McDonald, Wynton Marsalis, William Shatner and more. For new talent and diverse cultural experiences, visit the state-of-the-art Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts at LIU’s Brooklyn Campus. Either way, you’ll enjoy exclusive savings available only to LIU alumni like you.
For a full calendar of upcoming performances, visit
tillescenter.org and kumbletheater.org. At Tilles Center: Jay Leno, Natalie Cole, Anything Goes, and
At Kumble Theater: Drake & Fabolous, The Nutcracker -
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
Neville Dance Theater, The Opulence of Integrity, and Young Dancemakers Company
Clockwise from top left: Riou, Ferrante, Cantileno, and La Rosa at LIU Post Commencement 2012; at work on the set of Us & Them; The Majors at LIIFE 2013; La Rosa on set of Tilt of a Rose; cast and crew on set of Bloodlines.
“After that, when we realized we could still stand each other, after being in the editing room together and having to make tough decisions and defining our own points of view,” Ferrante said, “we said, ‘Wow, we should do something with this.’ It’s not common to find five people that love working together and blend so well.’’ From then on, The Majors crewed each other’s projects, and found their own strengths in the process. “When I first went to school I didn’t like cinematography,” said Riou. “I thought it was the one thing I wasn’t good at. But I ended up handling the camera a lot and realized this is actually pretty fun." For her senior thesis, Ferrante wrote a feature-length screenplay, Us & Them, about an intense, friendship between a young male high school teacher and a female student. While that was enough to fulfill her thesis requirements, she didn’t stop there. The Majors shot the feature—the first one ever to be produced by an LIU Post undergraduate—in a breathless 10-day stint. “I didn’t sleep my senior year,” said Ferrante. Us & Them was named Best Student Feature Film at the 2014 Catskills Mountain Film Festival, best student film at the 2013 Long Island International Film Festival, best student feature at the Maverick Movie Awards 2013, and was honored with an Award of Excellence for women filmmakers at Indie Fest 2013. Working together as a unit has taught the group about the importance of compromise and the value of true friendship. During the filming of Tilt of a Rose, tension mounted as creative differences surfaced. “There were fights on set, and it tested a lot of friendships,” explained Cantileno. “But at the end of the day, you love your family. It’s exactly like that.”
Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
“We’re so much more than business partners. We put our work first, but at the end of the day we’re so close,” Paige said. Since graduation, The Majors have incorporated and produced corporate projects for clients such as the Girl Scouts of America and the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium. Meanwhile, they continue to plug their own films on the festival circuit. Their recent short film, Return, a four-minute piece written by LaRosa and directed by Paige, about a man emerging from a coma, has already been accepted into three film festivals, including the 2014 Long Island International Film Festival and the Long Beach Film Festival “Shorts on the Beach.” “We were looking for something we could afford to do. I also figured it would be something we could use as a marketing tool: here’s an example of one of our stories, our filmmaking, our style,” said LaRosa. The Majors are currently crowd-funding for two short horror films. They hope to start filming Ferrante’s 10-minute thriller, Are You Lonesome Tonight? in October. “It starts out as a standard story,” said Ferrante. “This girl is house sitting alone on a dark night, and she thinks she’s alone but she might not be as alone as she feels she is. I wrote it to kind of to turn the whole convention of the little girl-next-door and the damsel-in-distress on its head. What happens to the girl? “Do you want me to spoil it? Let’s just say she’s not as innocent as she appears,” laughed Ferrante. See trailers for The Majors films at facebook.com/themajorsproductions.
Accounting and Taxation
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Library and Information Science
Physical Therapy (DPT)
Public Health Visual and Media Arts Writing and Producing for Television
And courses in over 50 subject areas
www.liu.edu/discoverLIU SPRING 2015 | SUMMER 2015 | FALL 2015 On-campus â€“ Online â€“ Hybrid formats Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine
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