HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message HCLAS Newsletter Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

HCLAS Dean’s Weekly Message

HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message
HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message

January 27, 2020

Dear Students:

Welcome to our new students and welcome back to all our continuing students!  I hope that you all had a productive, fun, and energizing winter break and that you’re ready to dive right into an amazing Spring 2020 semester here at Hofstra.

There are some really interesting opportunities that are available for you, so please be sure to check out the “Opportunities” section of this message below.  In addition, typically in the first week of classes we don’t have many events as everyone is settling down into the rhythm of the new semester. However, I call your attention to two events in our first week or so that are going to be absolutely spectacular: 

First, our Opera students will present Mozart’s Magic Flute.  I promise you, it doesn’t get better than Mozart and it will never be more convenient than right here at Hofstra. Don’t miss it. If you’ve never been to an opera, this is a great chance to go and see what it’s all about. And remember, it’s free with your Hofstra ID!

Second,, as part of our “Legacy 1619-2019” series of events on the impact of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the shores of North America, on Monday, Feb. 3 we will host a talk by Nikole Hannah-Jones.  Ms. Hannah-Jones is the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a staff and investigative reporter for the New York Times for almost five years, and the editor, last summer, of the 1619 Project of the New York Times Magazine.  I have heard Ms. Hannah-Jones interviewed a few times and I assure you that she is extraordinary, exciting, and thought-provoking.  This is not at all surprising given that she has won a boatload of awards including:  Front Page Award for Journalist of the Year 2019, Gwen Ifill Award 2019, UNC-Chapel Hill Distinguished Alumna Award 2019, The Frederick Douglass 200 Award 2019, John Chancellor Award from Columbia University 2018, MacArthur Fellow 2017, the Peabody Award for Radio Reporting 2016, National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and many, many more.  Don’t miss her talk!

Before closing this, the first weekly message of the Spring 2020 semester, I’d like to try to inspire you with an excerpt from a very beautiful and moving poem by one of America’s most accomplished writers, Maya Angelou, who died in 2014, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of art and action:


On the day of your birth

The Creator filled countless storehouses and stockings

With rich ointments

Luscious tapestries

And antique coins of incredible value

Jewels worthy of a queen’s dowry

They were set aside for your use


Armed with faith and hope

And without knowing the wealth which awaited

You broke through dense walls of poverty

And loosed the chains of ignorance which

Threatened to cripple you so that you could walk

A Free Woman

Into a world which needed you.

My wish for you

Is that you continue


To be who and how you are

To astonish a mean world

With your acts of kindness


To allow humor to lighten the burden

Of your tender heart


In a society dark with cruelty

To let the people hear the grandeur

Of God in the peals of your laughter


To let your eloquence

Elevate the people to heights

They had only imagined


To remind the people that

Each is as good as the other

And that no one is beneath

Nor above you


To remember your own young years

And look with favor upon the lost

And the least and the lonely

… (the poem continues / I encourage you to find it in a book or on the web)

I send you my best wishes for an exciting, productive, fun, and successful spring semester:  May you CONTINUE.


Your friendly neighborhood dean,



Congratulations to all our December 2019 graduates!

Congratulations to the five Hofstra students who won scholarships to attend a January seminar at the Washington Center to study American politics with journalists, campaign strategies, and political office-holders and staff, thanks to the generosity of Scott Rexler, who supports the scholarships.  These five students are Sahar Caravan ’21 majoring in Biochemistry, Alena Clark ’20 majoring in Global Studies and Anthropology, Benjamin Morawek ’21 majoring in Political Science, Cristian Sanchez ’21 majoring in Political Science, and Alyson Sann ’20, a triple major in Political Science, Public Policy/Public Service, and Global Studies.

Congratulations to students Jessica Kurtz and Danielle Hiller for participating in a program at the Levittown Public Library called “College Essay Boot Camp” for most of the Fall 2019 semester.  These HCLAS students made a difference right here in the community and it is much appreciated!

Congratulations to Dr. Simon Doubleday, Professor of History, who has won an NEH Grant to study the eleventh-century realm of León in northwestern Spain and the Islamic realms of al-Andalus in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The NEH fellowships are extremely competitive and we are very proud of Dr. Doubleday and look forward to learning what he discovers in his research!

Congratulations to the three faculty members from the Math Department – Drs. Johanna Franklin, Eric Rowland, and Zoran Sunic – and the Math Department’s Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Manon Stipulanti, who participated in the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Denver earlier this month.  Dr. Rowland and Dr. Stipulanti organized a special session on sequences, words, and automata in which Dr. Stipulanti gave a talk; Dr. Franklin exhibited a piece of art in the juried Mathematical Art Exhibition and gave a talk on data across the curriculum; and Dr. Sunic gave a talk on groups and topological dynamics.

Margaret Abraham (The Harry H. Wachtel Distinguished Professor for the Study of Nonviolent Social Change & Associate Provost), Michael D’Innocenzo (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History) and Andrea Libresco (Director, Hofstra Center for Civic Engagement & Professor of Social Studies Education) are involved in the year-long initiative, “Hidden Common Ground,” in association with the Kettering Foundation, the National Issues Forums Institute, the Public Agenda Foundation and USA Today, to explore the ability and willingness of citizens “to talk about issues in a different way, particularly during an election year.”  During 2020, issue guides will be available for deliberative discussions at Hofstra and across the country concerning political divisiveness, health care costs, immigration, and economic fairness.  The three faculty members spearheading this exciting initiative invite inquires and engagement.


Urgent!  Deadline coming up very soon!  The deadline to apply for summer research programs in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering is Sunday, February 2:  These 10-week programs begin on June 1 and end on August 7, 2020.  The online applications are available here.

If you’re interested in a job teaching English in Russia, there is an opportunity in Vladimir, Russia (about 3 hours by train east of Moscow) at this organization:  www.serendipity-russia.com/teach.html.  The deadline to apply is March 1, 2020.  You can learn more about this organization on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AmericanHome

If you’re interested in study abroad in Latin America or the Caribbean, please note that one of the international study abroad organizations, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), is offering increased financial support (grants of up to $9,000 and a flight voucher worth up to $1,000) for Fall 2020 semester-long programs in the region, including opportunities to study in Monteverde in Costa Rica, the Yucutan area in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Santiago in Chile, and Buenos Aires in Argentina.  See this link for more details about the grants, but to be eligible for a grant you have to apply by April 1.

Attention Humanities Majors:  This database tracks organizations that fund summer work for college students with a major in the humanities; click the link and see what you might find for yourself!

The Department of Writing Studies and Rhetoric has opened up its 2019-2020 Annual Essay Contest in which all current Hofstra undergraduate students are eligible to participate.  There are cash prizes for first, second, and third prize!  Email your essay as a word document to WSRwritingcontest@hofstra.edu.  The deadline to submit is Monday, March 2.  You’ll find the topic and the guidelines here.

If you’re looking for a part-time job this semester, you might be interested in working for the US Census Bureau, which pays $23.50 per hour plus mileage.  A representative of the Census Bureau will be tabling in the Student Center Atrium this semester, but you can find out more right now by calling 1-855-Job-2020 and asking to be connected to the Garden City / Nassau County Field Office.  You can apply online at www.2020census.gov/jobs.  (Please note that these jobs do not end on Census Day, but can continue beyond Census Day if you’re interested.)

Every semester Hofstra College awards Transformative Learning Grants of up to $1,000 for students with at least one HCLAS major who want to go on study abroad, participate in an internship, engage in undergraduate research, or volunteer for a community-engaged learning project for which there are costs not covered by their Hofstra tuition package.  Preference is given to students with financial need.  The deadline to apply for a Transformative Learning Grant to use for a qualified project in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, you have to apply by March 1, 2020.  You don’t have to have the internship or study abroad finalized by the time you apply.  For more information and for the application and instructions, click on this link.


Exhibits All Week

Other People’s Parties

Uncharted: American Abstraction in the Information Age

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

11:15 AM – 12:40 PM (Common Hour):  Join historians for a conversation about impeachment.  This is only the third time in American history that the US Senate has been charged with the decision about whether or not to remove the president of the US.  The issues are complex and the decision will be consequential for decades to come.  This is a discussion for all to participate in: all points of view are welcome.  Shapiro Family Hall, Room 302.

04:30 PM – 06:00 PM:  Uncharted: American Abstraction in the Information Age Exhibition Reception

Friday, January 31, 2020

07:30 PM: Hofstra Opera Theater: The Magic Flute

Sunday, February 02, 2020

03:00 PM: Hofstra Opera Theater: The Magic Flute

Monday, February 03, 2020

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM: Reframing History Through Slavery’s Legacy with Nikole Hannah-Jones

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