Hofstra Magazine

Hofstra Happenings – Fall 2006

Homeland Security Secretary Addresses LI’s First Responders

Disasters, natural and terrorist-related, can come at anytime, anywhere, and point out the need for emergency preparedness at the local, state and federal levels. That was the message delivered by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff during a forum at Hofstra on April 19 titled “Emergency Preparedness: Risk-Based Assessments Post-9/11 and Post-Katrina,” sponsored by the University’s Center for Suburban Studies.

Secretary Chertoff spoke to an audience of about 250 firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians and other first responders, as well as local government officials, about not only the need for the federal government to do a better job of preparing for and responding to natural disasters such as hurricanes, but also the responsibility of local citizens and businesses to prepare themselves.

“Private businesses and citizens have a personal and civic obligation to prepare themselves for an emergency,” he said. “That means 48-72 hours of food, water, medical supplies … [and] understanding local emergency plans.” That allows first responders to concentrate on helping those citizens who cannot help themselves, he said.

On the federal level, Secretary Chertoff said, the much-criticized Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been overhauled with new administrators who have firefighting and Coast Guard experience. They have been meeting with first responders and government officials in areas prone to hurricane strikes, he said.

Secretary Chertoff reminded the audience of the start of the 2006 hurricane season. “There’s no question that there’s going be a lot of focus on the Gulf this year, but that doesn’t mean Long Island is off the hook,” he said. “Students of history will remember that in 1938 Long Island was struck by one of the worst hurricanes in our nation’s history, the so-called Long Island Express. That was a category 3 storm that killed more than 600 people, and there have been other storms since, and there will be more in the future.”

But hurricanes are only one of many threats that signal the need for emergency preparedness, and Secretary Chertoff reminded the audience that the forum took place on the 11th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, which up to that time in history had been the worst instance of terrorism on American soil.

“It reminds us that threats can come from anywhere. It can be from overseas or it can be homegrown. It can come in an airplane, but it can also come in a Ryder truck,” he said. “So we always have to be careful that we make sure we’re not captivated by the most recent disaster or the most recent attack, but to always look across the entire range of threats to make sure that it is the next threat that we are anticipating and not merely re-fighting the struggle against the last threat.”

Following Secretary Chertoff’s remarks, the audience heard from a panel consisting of U.S. Representative Peter T. King (R-Seaford), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security; State Senator Michael Balboni (R-East Williston); John Colgan, commanding officer of the NYC Police Department Counter-Terrorism Division; and Deputy Nassau County Executive for Law Enforcement and Public Safety Timothy Driscoll.

Gala Ball Honors Helene Fortunoff and Launches Capital Campaign

The annual Hofstra University Gala Ball to benefit student scholarships was held May 4 at the Hofstra University Arena on the North Campus. Proceeds from the Gala provide financial assistance to deserving students who wish to pursue their educational goals at Hofstra.

It was at the Gala that Board of Trustees Chair John D. Miller announced the launch of Hofstra’s $100 million capital campaign – only the second in Hofstra’s 70-year-history – aimed at increasing the University’s endowment and raising Hofstra’s reputation as a national center of academic excellence.

“These funds will help us enhance our already strong academic infrastructure, increase scholarships and attract nationally-known scholars to the Hofstra campus,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “This will be Hofstra’s first capital campaign in almost 20 years and is a critical initiative for our advancement.” Hofstra’s endowment has grown from $100 million three years ago to almost $200 million today.

The Campaign for Hofstra University received a boost at the Gala when Helene Fortunoff, who was honored for her many years of service to and support of Hofstra, announced that she was giving $1 million to the University.

In her speech at the Gala, Mrs. Fortunoff said: “I am honored to be involved in a scholarship program that brings us diverse students who want the best in education, the best in campus life, the best in artistic and creative experiences, and the best opportunities as we prepare them for a successful life.” She quoted Benjamin Disraeli: “A university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning,” and went on to say, “There is no doubt this quote describes Hofstra.”

Pioneer in Hearing Science Wins Hofstra’s National Research Award

Dr. Donald Henderson, professor of communicative disorders and sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, received the third annual Hofstra University National Research Award at a ceremony held at Hofstra on May 3, 2006. Dr. Henderson was recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of research on the human cochlea.

The Hofstra University National Research Award is an annual prize given in a discipline related to the mission of Hofstra’s Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center, a facility dedicated to the education of students and the health and well-being of the community. This year the award was designated for contributions to the field of speech, language and hearing sciences.

Donald Henderson earned a B.A. in biology/psychology from Western Washington State College in 1962, and a Ph.D. in sensory psychology from the University of Texas in 1966. His interest in hearing loss developed during a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Hallowell Davis of the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis. Dr. Henderson has published more than 200 research articles, hosted a number of international conferences and edited 13 books. His current research focuses on oxidative stress as a cause of hearing loss and the development of pharmacological strategies to prevent hearing loss. His research is supported by two federal grants. The first grant is from the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders to study the biological “triggers” for age-related hearing loss. The second grant is from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to develop strategies in preventing occupational hearing loss.

Gift From Trustee Mark Broxmeyer Endows a Visiting Chair in National Security Studies

On May 2 Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz announced that Mark Broxmeyer ’72, co-founder and partner of Fairfield Properties of Commack, NY, pledged a $1 million gift to Hofstra University to endow a visiting chair in national security studies.

Mr. Broxmeyer is a member of the Hofstra University Board of Trustees.

“Mark Broxmeyer has been a friend and supporter of Hofstra University for many years and has helped to guide its development into a nationally recognized center of academic excellence,” President Rabinowitz said. “Bringing experts to campus to teach on this important topic will help prepare our students for today’s realities.”

“The study of national security in today’s world involves war, energy, global economics, religion and national identity,” said Mr. Broxmeyer. “This will continue to be an issue of international importance for many years to come.”

Mr. Broxmeyer is the recipient of Hofstra’s George M. Estabrook Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes distinguished and outstanding alumni. The Broxmeyer Family Conference Room in the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center was named for Mr. Broxmeyer’s family in recognition of their support of the University. Mr. Broxmeyer is also a contributor to Margiotta Hall.

Hofstra Law School Launches New Master of Laws in Family Law

Hofstra Law School has established a Master of Laws Program in Family Law. The 24-credit LL.M. program, to be offered for the first time this fall, may be taken on a full- or part-time basis.

The only program of its kind in the eastern United States, and one of only three programs in the country, Hofstra’s LL.M. Program in Family Law furthers the Law School’s commitment to developing skilled and compassionate family lawyers who have a thorough grounding in the issues central to the field – divorce, family violence, child custody, abuse, neglect and support – as well as knowledge in related areas such as tax, contracts, real estate, and partnership law, child psychology and treatment options.

“We are truly excited about being one of only a few schools in the country to provide advanced, specialized, interdisciplinary training in the area of family law,”said Hofstra Law School Professor and Program Director J. Herbie DiFonzo.

Hofstra’s LL.M. program will provide an intensive course of study for students, whether they seek to concentrate on matrimonial issues (marital dissolution, child custody, and property distribution); child protection issues (child abuse and neglect and the child welfare system); or one of the growing areas of subspecialty (international family law, legislative reform, or representing gay and lesbian families). Students who participate in this advanced, specialized program will benefit from intensive clinical and externship opportunities, participate in a cutting-edge interdisciplinary policy seminar, and – if they choose -write a publishable article in their area of specialization.

The LL.M. program is organized in conjunction with The Center for Children, Families and the Law, an institute of the Law School dedicated to education, community service and research to benefit children and families involved in the legal system. The center is headed by Hofstra Law Professor Andrew Schepard, a renowned authority on family law, especially as it affects children, alternative dispute resolution and civil procedure. LL.M. students also have the opportunity to participate in our Child and Family Advocacy Clinic, where they serve as law guardians, under close faculty supervision, in child protection cases.

Thanks to an Alumnus, Forensic Science Program Gets the Green Light

David A. Sterling, chief executive officer of Sterling & Sterling Inc., one of the leading insurance firms on Long Island, is proud to call Hofstra University his alma mater. He is so proud that he has made a generous gift of $50,000 to the establishment of the University’s Forensic Science Program. Mr. Sterling’s gift stems from his passion not only for the University but for law enforcement philanthropic organizations as well.

“For many years I have been involved in numerous law enforcement agencies and I really sense the importance of forensic science today,” said Mr. Sterling, who has been involved with the Nassau County Police Reserve since 1987 and also sits on the boards of The Drug Agents Foundation and The National Homeland Security Foundation. “We need to push the envelope with forensic science, and Hofstra is making great moves for the future.”

The Forensic Science Program at Hofstra is a biology-chemistry-and math-based program in which students learn to investigate crime scenes, photograph and break down crime scene photos and microscopically identify DNA, blood types and bullets. On their road to becoming forensic scientists, students work with highly advanced microscopes, as seen on the television series CSI, as well as with Hofstra Law School on courses in scientific evidence and expert witness testimony.

“Mr. Sterling’s donation is allowing us to set up an advanced laboratory for our students, which will be very useful in preparing them to become forensic scientists,” said Professor Rodney Finzel, associate professor and chair of the Chemistry Department at Hofstra.

Mr. Sterling, a Roslyn, Long Island, native, initially wished to attend school away from home and chose the University of Wisconsin, where he was a finance major. When the family business needed him at home, he continued his finance education at Hofstra and graduated from the University in 1979.

“I chose Hofstra because the courses are great, the campus is beautiful, the location is perfect and the school in general is just terrific,” Mr. Sterling said enthusiastically. “The business writing and business law courses literally changed my whole professional life, and I still follow and teach the principles that I learned in those courses.”

Mr. Sterling highly recommends Hofstra and credits the University and its faculty for some wonderful memories and essential teachings that have aided him in his life’s journey, both professional and personal. He insists, “Hofstra is the place to be on Long Island.”

Beth Levinthal Named New Director of the Hofstra Museum

Beth Levinthal ’73, ’75, former executive director of the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY, is the new director of the Hofstra Museum.

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said, “We are so pleased to welcome Ms. Levinthal to this position of Hofstra Museum director. Her years of experience in the arts on Long Island will bring enhanced visibility to Hofstra’s museum, enrich its programming, and involve students, faculty and the community in museum activities.”

Ms. Levinthal will report to Hofstra’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Herman A. Berliner. He said, “I look forward to working with Beth Levinthal on future exhibitions and audience development for the Hofstra Museum. She is very dedicated to education and the arts and is going to bring a fresh, exciting vision to the direction of the Museum.”

Ms. Levinthal had worked at the Heckscher Museum of Art since 1994, and was responsible for the oversight and development of all aspects of its operations for the past five years. She received her B.A. in Graphic Art and Design and her M.S. in Elementary Education from Hofstra University. She currently resides in Huntington, NY.

“Bollywood Chic” Fashion Show Highlight of Saltzman Center Reception

The Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center at Hofstra University presented a “Bollywood Chic” fashion show and reception at Chateau Briand in Carle Place, New York, April 4. This fundraiser for Hofstra’s Saltzman Community Services Center honored Tejinder Pal Singh Bindra, senior vice president for the Jeetish Group of Companies. Sukanya Krishnan, co-anchor, WB11 Morning News, served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Tejinder Pal Singh Bindra, senior vice president of Jeetish Group of Companies, co-founded Jeetish Group, an import company, along with his father and brother. Through the years, Jeetish diversified into other businesses, all under the Jeetish umbrella, with interests in apparel, export/import and real estate. Mr. Bindra co-founded the Sikh Temple on Long Island in 1987. He is the founder and president of the Sikh Organization of New York and has led two very successful delegations to the New York state government on behalf of the Sikh-American community. His efforts resulted in Baisakhi, the Khalsa New Year, being recognized as a “Sikh American Day” by the state government, and in the introduction of a New York State Assembly resolution for the freedom of state police and other state employees to wear turbans. With his father and the Bindra family, Mr. Bindra endowed the Sardarni Kuljit Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies at Hofstra University. He and the Bindra family are currently working with Hofstra University to establish The Guru Interfaith Nanak Prize, an international prize to be awarded to an individual or organization that promotes harmony and peaceful coexistence among various religions.

The Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center was founded in 1991 with a mission to support the health and well-being of the community and the education of Hofstra students. The Center united the talents and capabilities of five separate organizations that were already in existence at the University – the Diane Lindner-Goldberg Child Care Institute, the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, the Psychological Evaluation and Counseling (PERC) Clinic, the Reading/Writing/Learning Clinic and the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic – and helped them expand their services and clientele.

Senior Challenge for Class of 2006 Exceeds Goals

In honor of the year of their graduation, the Office of Alumni Relations held the 2006 Senior Challenge and asked all graduating seniors last spring to make a gift to the University of $20.06 to support Hofstra’s Annual Fund. The goal was to raise $2,006. The Class of 2006 exceeded this goal by raising $2,717.41. Committee Chair Jenny Beaudry ’06 said, “I am incredibly honored to be a part of the Class of 2006. Each of our contributions represents our personal experiences at the University. The fact that we exceeded our goal for the Senior Challenge is proof that this is the beginning of a long and thriving relationship between Hofstra University and the Class of 2006.”

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Hofstra Magazine is published once each year by Hofstra University. Our goal is to provide the Hofstra community with exciting and informative news about Hofstra University and its alumni, students, faculty and staff.

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