Hofstra Magazine

Hofstra Happening – Fall 2005


11th Presidential Conference to Be Presented in November

The Hofstra Cultural Center, acclaimed internationally for its academic contributions in art, music, literature, history, science, philosophy, popular culture and drama, celebrates its third decade. One of the series for which the Hofstra Cultural Center is best known is its Presidential Conferences.

Beginning in 1982 with FDR, the conferences on his and subsequent presidencies have brought together scholars from a wide variety of fields, journalists, former government officials and, in some cases, the former presidents themselves to subjectively discuss the policies and issues of the various presidential administrations.

The 11th Presidential Conference, William Jefferson Clinton: The “New Democrat” From Hope, will be hosted by the Hofstra Cultural Center November 10, 11 and 12, 2005. We are honored that President Clinton has accepted our invitation to participate on the first day of the conference.

Among those expected to attend are Secretary of Commerce and Counsel to the President Mickey Kantor; Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta; Secretary of Defense William Perry; Attorney General Janet Reno; Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley; Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; Senior Advisers to the President Sidney Blumenthal and David Gergen; Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes; Press Secretary Joe Lockhart; Presidential Aide Ira Magaziner; Chief of Staff John D. Podesta; U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq Scott Ritter; Congressman Peter King; former Hofstra professor, presidential historian and the Joseph G. Astman Distinguished Conference Scholar Douglas Brinkley; Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; and others of similar stature.

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said, “Our renowned series of presidential conferences have received scholarly acclaim and the 11th conference on President Clinton promises to be extraordinary. It’s an opportunity for our students, faculty and the general public to learn from some of the world’s most influential political leaders, scholars and journalists and hear their perspectives on modern history first hand.”

For registration information on William Jefferson Clinton: The “New Democrat” From Hope, visit the Hofstra Web site at www.hofstra.edu/clinton.


Andrew Falzon, a May 2005 graduate of Hofstra University, placed second in the 2005 Hearst National Broadcast News Championships. Andrew competed against students from colleges around the country for the top prize in radio. The national competition took place in San Francisco, May 25 to 29, 2005.

Andrew Falzon '05 with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

Hearst Broadcast News Champion Andrew Falzon ’05 with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer at the Democratic National Convention last November.

Andrew, who majored in broadcast journalism and political science, served as station manager of WRHU-FM, Hofstra’s resident radio station, for two years. His most memorable experiences at the station include interviewing Hillary Clinton, Eliot Spitzer and Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston; doing three innings of Brooklyn Cyclones play-by-play with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; covering the crash of American Airlines flight 587; and anchoring WRHU’s coverage of September 11, 2001.

Dr. Herman A. Berliner, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “We are enormously proud of Andrew Falzon’s accomplishment in the Hearst competition as well as his many accomplishments as a student, including completing dual majors and dual minors as well as two years of distinguished service as station manager of WRHU-Radio Hofstra University. It is a pleasure having him join the ranks of Hofstra graduates.”

In San Francisco, Andrew and the four other radio finalists were given the same two story assignments: to find a hard news story on the centennial of the 1906 earthquake and a feature story on the Presidio, a national park in San Francisco. For Andrew, the highlight of the experience was interviewing a 102-year old earthquake survivor.

Currently, there are 105 colleges and universities with accredited undergraduate journalism schools that participate in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, often called the Pulitzers of college journalism. Funded and administered for 45 years by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the program awards more than $400,000 a year in scholarships, grants and stipends, under the auspices of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications. In the past two years of the Hearst Journalism Awards, students involved with WRHU have received five prizes, totaling $7,000 for the winning students and additional funds awarded to the station.


The nation’s first summer seminar to examine the complexities of Sikh mysticism was held at Hofstra University, June 2 to 8, 2005. If the University seems an unusual choice for such an event, consider Long Island’s growing Sikh population and the fact that Hofstra has an endowed academic chair in the Sikh religion – one of the few such chairs in the country. The Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Endowed Chair, held by Dr. Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, is an integral part of Hofstra’s new Department of Religion, which will come into existence this fall. Dr. Mandair coordinated this unique summer program titled “Sikh Mysticism: Advanced Concepts in the Religious Philosophy of Sikhism.”

Hofstra senior administrators and members of the Bindra family

Hofstra senior administrators and members of the Bindra family joined students and Sikh scholars from around the world for a photo on the last day of Hofstra’s summer Sikh mysticism seminar. Front row (left to right) C.S. Sahni; Hofstra Dean Rosann Kelly; Dr. Arvind Mandair; Swarn Singh Boparai, VC, Patiala University; Tajinder Singh Bindra; I.S. Bindra; Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz; Dr. J.S. Arora; Hofstra Provost Herman Berliner; and Hofstra Dean Bernard Firestone. Second row, far left: Michael D’Amato, Hofstra Vice President for Development.

Thirty-six people participated in this summer program. Participants came from local areas such as New York and New Jersey, and others traveled from Massachusetts, Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, Canada, India, France and England. Many of the students were practitioners of Sikhism, but some were students of religion and philosophy simply interested in learning more about this South Asian religion.

On the final day of classes, Matthew Needleman, a Hofstra junior from New Jersey, was very enthusiastic about his experience. “I enjoyed the course very much. Sikh or not, this class is really about everyone. Sikh studies is about your relationship with yourself and also with others … how you think of yourself in relation to other people.”

Isabelle Airoso, a senior history major at Hofstra, former fashion model and mother to a 10-month-old daughter, plans to use the lessons learned in this course in raising her child. “This class teaches you about humanity. It’s about the importance of living life as a kind human being and performing selfless acts for others.”

One lesson that particularly impacted Isabelle was taught by Dr. Mandair: “He asked us to look out the window at a tree outside for five seconds and then look away. He then told us to look back again. ‘Is it the same tree?’ he asked. Our initial reaction was, ‘Of course.’ He then explained it was not the same tree, and we are not the same people we were when we first noticed it.”

Even for the non-student, the seminar proved to be momentous. Davinder Singh Panesar of Coventry, England, a Sikh practitioner and researcher, said his expectations for the course “were neutral. I didn’t know what to expect.” When asked if he enjoyed the experience, he responded, “That would be an understatement. I would say we were all blown away. Our time here was a good experience academically and intellectually, but more than that we really connected with people from different faiths and backgrounds. It was most enlightening.”

The Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Endowed Chair, was established at Hofstra University by the Bindra family of Long Island to promote the study of Sikh religion and culture. In addition to creating a new teaching program focusing on the Sikh tradition, their endowment also supports annual conferences and workshops, such as this program on mysticism.


Artist's rendering of the new South Campus academic facility

Artist’s rendering of the new South Campus academic facility, currently under construction.

In April 2005 construction began on a new four-story academic facility will include a black box theater, a state-of-the-art rehearsal hall and office space for Hofstra’s School of Communication and the Departments of Music and Drama and Dance.

The building, with architecture by TEK and general contracting by E.W. Howell, will be approximately 46,000 square feet and is scheduled to be completed in August 2006.


Jeanine Poggi, a Hofstra senior, is certainly making her mark in journalism at the University.

Jeanine Poggi

Jeanine Poggi, a Hofstra senior

As a junior last spring, she became editor-in-chief of The Chronicle, the student-run weekly newspaper; began interning at Glamour magazine under the Magazine Publishers of America’s renowned American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) internship program; and was awarded a $10,000 Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship.

Not bad for a student who arrived at Hofstra not all that certain about her future career direction. “I came to Hofstra as a declared English major, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. I knew I didn’t want to teach, and I knew I enjoyed writing. I had written a column for my high school newspaper in Brooklyn, and I enjoyed a journalism class in my freshman year at Hofstra. ”

She became so interested in writing for The Chronicle that she sought out the editor during Hofstra orientation. Now, she is the weekly’s top editor, having been named to a one-year term, until she graduates in May 2006.

Jeanine, who also tried out, unsuccessfully for HTV, the Hofstra television station, transferred into the School of Communication during her second semester, as a print journalism major. Now she has a double major, having also added creative writing. So far, she says she has gotten the most out of courses in magazine writing and desktop publishing. From her extracurricular stint with The Chronicle, she has learned a great deal about layout and advertising.

But the most important part of the past year or so, in her view, has been her internships. That’s because, she explains, “They’ve shown me what the business is like and they’ve let me see if I enjoy it.” Last year, on her own, she arranged to intern with Fairchild Publications’ fashion news publication,Women’s Wear Daily, in Manhattan. This summer she has been working at Conde Nast’s Glamour magazine, also in Manhattan.

“My favorite thing about the School of Comm is definitely the professors,” Jeanine says. “Professor Steven Knowlton and Professor Carol Fletcher are helpful with absolutely everything.” She adds, “I got my scholarship and internship through Professor Fletcher.”

Jeanine was nominated for the Scripps Howard scholarship by Professor Fletcher, she says, referring to the Scripps Howard Foundation’s annual Top Ten Scholarship Program, a nine-year-old program that has to date awarded $700,000 in scholarships. After having submitted her resume, application, published writing clips, and personal essay – “on my interest in business journalism” – she says, “I was selected as one of the 10 winners of a $10,000 scholarship.” Scripps Howard announced the award recipients in mid-June, citing the students’ “academic achievement, demonstrated interest in journalism, portfolio, and an essay about their long-term career goals.”

As for the 10-week ASME internship, Jeanine explains that once a student is selected by ASME to participate, “You submit your top magazine choices where you would like to be interning, out of 36 nationally known publications. My choices were NewsweekGlamourReader’s DigestPeople/Teen People andSeventeen. The editors of the magazines then select who they would like and ASME tries to match them up as best they can. But interns are not guaranteed their choices.”

Thus far, nearly 1,600 college juniors majoring in journalism have interned at more than 200 consumer and business magazines since the program began in 1967.


Hofstra’s second “Great Writers, Great Readings” Series begins in October and runs through spring 2006. This free series of events highlights the most prolific and respected authors, poets and playwrights in America today. The inaugural series featured Cynthia Ozick, Kenneth Lonergan, Vivian Gornick and W. S. Merwin, among others.

In addition to a baccalaureate degree in English, Hofstra offers a master of arts in English and creative writing, which may be used as the basis for further graduate study in an M.F.A. or a Ph.D. program or as a terminal degree for high school teaching certification. The program’s faculty includes eminent essayist Philip Lopate, writers Eric Brogger and Julia Markus and two Guggenheim Fellows, novelist Martha McPhee and poet Phillis Levin.

As of summer 2005, Hofstra’s “Great Writers, Great Readings” Series includes:

Poet Charles Simic
Monday, October 10, 2005, at 7 p.m.

Writer and novelist Haruki Murakami
Monday, November 7, 2005, at 7 p.m.

Playwright Donald Margulies
Thursday, November 17, 2005, at 7 p.m.

Poet Jean Valentine
Wednesday, February 15, 2006, at 11:15 a.m.

Author E. P. Jones
Monday, March 20, 2006, at 7 p.m.

Author and essayist Jonathan Franzen
Wednesday, April 5, 2006, at 7 p.m.

All events take place at the Leo A. Guthart Cultural Center Theater, located in the Axinn Library, South Campus. For more information on the 2005/2006 “Great Writers, Great Readings” schedule, call the Department of English at (516) 463-5410.


Robert Wood Johnson IV with Suzanne Ircha, Nancy Rabinowitz and President Stuart Rabinowitz

Gala honoree Robert Wood Johnson IV with Suzanne Ircha, Nancy Rabinowitz and President Stuart Rabinowitz.

Jets Head Coach and Gala Co-Chair Herman Edwards with Hofstra Board of Trustees Vice Chair John D. Miller and his fiancé Kristin Eisert . Photo by Brian Ballweg

Jets Head Coach and Gala Co-Chair Herman Edwards with Hofstra Board of Trustees Vice Chair John D. Miller and his fiancee Kristin Eisert. Photo by Brian Ballweg.

On May 26, 2005, at the Hofstra University Arena, approximately 700 guests gathered to honor Robert Wood Johnson IV, chairman and chief executive officer of The Johnson Company, Inc. and New York Jets, LLC. As in the past, the 2005 Gala Ball was attended by students, faculty, alumni, trustees and friends. The evening was a memorable celebration that raised significant funds for student scholarships.

For the first time the Gala offered guests the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets. Prizes included a six-day cruise aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southampton, England, plus a three night stay in London courtesy of Westbury Mayfair Hotel, and first class return trip to New York courtesy of American Airlines; an emerald and diamond necklace courtesy of Fortunoff, The Source; a Super Bowl package that include two tickets to the 2006 Super Bowl XL, a four-night hotel stay courtesy of the New York Jets, and round-trip airfare courtesy of Austin Travel; and an 18K gold open heart pendant by Elsa Peretti, courtesy of Tiffany & Co.


Amy Hagedorn, Robert Rosenthal ’74 and Robert M. Wallach are the newest members of the Hofstra University Board of Trustees. “These three trustees are new to the Board, but they are not strangers to Hofstra. They have been very involved with Hofstra over the years in a variety of ways. We look forward to working with them in this new capacity. They each bring a high level of enthusiasm and expertise to the Board,” said Salvatore Sodano ’77, ’83, chair of the Hofstra University Board of Trustees.

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz added, “I have valued past opportunities to work with Amy Hagedorn, Robert Rosenthal and Robert Wallach. These new trustees have each achieved considerable success in their professional and philanthropic endeavors. Hofstra is very fortunate that leaders such as Amy Hagedorn, Robert Rosenthal and Bob Wallach have agreed to serve on Hofstra’s Board, and I look forward to working with them to advance the University’s goals in the years ahead.”

Amy Hagedorn, wife of the late Horace Hagedorn, is a well-known member of the Long Island nonprofit community. She has been named Hofstra University’s Honorary Alumna of the Year.

Robert D. Rosenthal is chairman and CEO of First Long Island Investors, LLC, a wealth management company, which he co-founded in 1983 after leading a small group of professional advisers to the Entenmann bakery family. From 1971 until 1983, Mr. Rosenthal held increasingly responsible positions at Entenmann’s Inc., eventually becoming executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mr. Rosenthal also served as co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P., from 1992 to 1996. Mr. Rosenthal was also a member of the Board of Directors of W.P. Stewart & Co., Inc., a global money management firm, from 1993 to 1998, and chairman and chief executive officer of W.P. Stewart Asset Management (NA), Inc., a subsidiary of Stewart, and deputy managing director of Stewart from 1998 to March 2003. Mr. Rosenthal is a member of the executive committee and the board of trustees of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, as well as chairman of its investment committee and senior vice chairman of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Foundation. He is also co-chairman of its Cardiology Leadership Committee. In addition, Mr. Rosenthal serves as a director of the Systemax Corp., a New York Stock Exchange company, and was former president of Sid Jacobson, J.C.C. Mr. Rosenthal graduated cum laude from Boston University in 1971 and from Hofstra University School of Law in 1974.

Robert M. Wallach is chairman and CEO of The Robert Plan Corporation, a financial services holding company primarily active in the insurance marketplace. The company, which employs approximately 1,400 people nationwide, is internationally renowned as the leading service provider and underwriter of private passenger and commercial automobile insurance, specializing in urban markets around the United States.

Mr. Wallach has been honored for his work and support of a significant number of charitable organizations. He is a major contributor and personally supports the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, a community outreach program of the Big Apple Circus, currently operating at six New York hospitals, including Schneider Children’s Hospital of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, as well as hospitals in Boston, New Haven, Seattle, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Mr. Wallach has also been honored by 1 in 9, Long Island’s Breast Cancer Coalition. Mr. Wallach serves on the advisory board of Hofstra University Honors College. He is also a trustee of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

Before joining The Robert Plan Corporation in 1988, Mr. Wallach served as a new product development specialist in the mortgage finance division of Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb and as vice president of new product development at First Interstate Bancorp. Mr. Wallach is a graduate of the College of Insurance in New York and of Columbia University, where he earned an M.B.A.

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