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

HCLAS Dean’s Weekly Message

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

February 24, 2020

Dear Students:

Here we go: it’s the last week of February!  Spring is on its way. And with spring weather come spring choices.

For seniors who are graduating in May:  make a choice now to go visit the Career Center, if you haven’t already, so you are on the best possible path for the day after Commencement and the days after that.  This is also a great time to think about books you haven’t had time to read and make a list of things you want to read so you can continue your learning even if you aren’t registered for credit-bearing courses to do it.

And for everyone else:  Here’s something to consider about spring –

The research shows that students who have a major and a minor in two very different disciplines or two majors in very different disciplines (for instance, art history and chemistry or physics and French) finish their academic programs with higher scores on tests of creative problem solving than individuals with just one major or with two academic programs (major and minor or double major) in disciplines that are “adjacent” (e.g., chemistry and biology, or sociology and psychology). 

So – this is a great time to think about adding a second major or a minor that reflects your interests and passions but that is different from your first major. 

If you’re majoring in the natural sciences, having a minor in ethics, religion, the arts, civic engagement, or a world language is a way to engage parts of your mind that are not getting lots of exercise in your science classes.  If you’re majoring in history, English, or one of the arts, consider picking up a minor in sustainability or scientific reasoning and data analysis. 

No matter what your career ambitions for life after college, having a well-rounded academic program, including a second major or a minor different from your first major, will help you achieve those goals.  Med Schools, Law Schools, and Employers will all like that balance.

Don’t be a student who goes through college like water, always seeking the path of least resistance. Instead, seek the challenge and revel in it.  Make this experience as meaningful as it can be by taking advantage of the opportunities around you.

You can see a list of all the majors and minors at Hofstra here at this link.  After you find something that interests you, reach out to the department that offers it and ask for an appointment to talk with a faculty member who can discuss the option with you. If you do this before the advising season for Fall 2020 registration begins, you’ll find it easier to get access to the people who can help you, including your friendly neighborhood advisors at the Center for University Advising (with whom you should make appointments through Connect in the portal)!

Speaking of deadlines, don’t forget that Monday, March 2 is the deadline for applying for HCLAS’s Transformative Learning Grant, with funds to help defray the costs of participating in study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, or community service in the summer of 2020 or fall 2020 semester.  Get that application in!  (Click on the link to learn more about the grant and download the application. 

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to highlight some very special events.  On Wed., Feb. 26 the Center for Civic Engagement is sponsoring a full day of events focusing on civil rights.  Please make every effort to get to at least one of these events.  Secondly, we have a very special experience in the arts that is coming up this week:  the opening night for Troilus and Cressida, a full-length production of Shakespeare’s drama of love during war.  Don’t miss it!


Your Friendly Neighborhood Dean, 


PS If you’d like to see the February 2020 HCLAS Alumni Newsletter, you can find it here:  https://www.hofstra.edu/academics/colleges/hclas/hclas_updates.html.  It features references to many students (some who have recently graduated) who have had great accomplishments in the last 6 or so months.  After you graduate, you’ll be getting emails with these newsletters twice a year.


You saw him in Hair at Hofstra.  You saw him last semester in Legally Blonde at Hofstra.  Pretty soon, you’ll see him on Broadway.  Congratulations to Drama senior, Michael Lepore for his Broadway Break!  See  https://news.hofstra.edu/2020/02/18/broadway-break-for-lepore/ for the details.

Congratulations to our math students, Brandon Crofts, Daniel Dimijian, Briana Schmidt, and Joseph Ronzetti, who participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate students in the US and Canada, all of whom had great results among the more than 4000 students competing in this prestigious contest!   Congratulations and thanks to their math mentors and to our faculty advisor for the Putnam contest, Dr. Ismailescu!

Congratulations to our Hofstra Speech and Debate students who competed in two tournaments this past weekend, one organized by Cornell University and the other the Southern and Northern Atlantic Forensic Union (also known as SNAFU).  Special shout out to these award-winning students in their respective categories:

Cornell University Tournament

Program Oral Interpretation:  1st Place – Alexis Hughes

Impromptu Speaking:  1st Place – Jack Dalrymple

Dramatic Interpretation:  1st Place – Jack Dalrymple 

Debate Team Sweepstakes:  1st Place – Hofstra University 

Overall Team Sweepstakes:  1st Place – Hofstra University

1st-Hofstra University 

SNAFU Tournament

Poetry Interpretation:  1st Place – Richkisha Walcott

Program Oral Interpretation: 1st Place – Alexis Hughes

Extemporaneous Speaking: 1st Place – Richard Caldwell

IPDA Debate: 1st Place – Alex Dersh 

Individual Events Speaker:  1st Place – Alexis Hughes

Open Individual Events Team Sweepstakes:  2nd Place – Hofstra University

Debate Team Sweepstakes:  1st Place – Hofstra University

Overall Team Sweepstakes:  1st Place – Hofstra University

And a special shout out to the faculty director of Forensics Program at Hofstra, Dr. Tomeka Robinson, Associate Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of Writing Studies and Rhetoric. If you’re interested in joining our extremely successful speech and debate team, reach out to her at Tomeka.m.robinson@hofstra.edu.

Congratulations to Dr. Debra Goodman (Specialized Programs in Education) who, with her coauthor Keri-Anne Croce, published a chapter on miscue analysis research focusing on children reading texts about science in a newly published volume of scholarly essays on science.

Congratulations to Dr. Christa Farmer (Geology, Environment, and Sustainability) and her colleagues who have been offering coastal sustainability seminars as part of a grant from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

Congratulations to our colleagues in the Hofstra University Library, especially Geri Solomon, Assistant Dean of Special Collections and University Archives, for their ongoing project with students and teachers in the Hempstead Schools focusing on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the British colonies in North America, part of Hofstra’s Legacy 1619-2019 commemoration:  https://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/hempstead-schools-black-history-hofstra-partnership-1.41789593

Congratulations to our colleagues at Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies, which is being honored with an award at the 45th Annual Equal Opportunity Day Benefit and Awards Gala this week.


If you’re interested in the Hofstra Study Abroad Tour to Florence, please attend the information session on Wed., Feb. 26 during common hour (11:15 to 12:45 pm) in Calkins 332.  If you can’t attend the session, please contact Dr. Pell at gregory.m.pell@hofstra.edu

If you’d rather go to Amsterdam, the information session for that program will also be on Wed., Feb. 26 at common hour (11:15 to 12:45) in 106 Roosevelt Hall. If you can’t make it in person, please contact Dr. Fixell at maria.l.fixell@hofstra.edu.

The Council on International Educational Exchange has an offer of a $1,000 travel voucher for students participating in CIEE study abroad programs in Latin America in the Fall 2020 semester. If you’re interested, see www.ciee.org.

If you’d like to apply for a transformative learning grant from HCLAS, your deadline is coming up:  March 2, 2020 is the deadline and it’s a week from TODAY!  This grant, only for HCLAS students, is designed to help defray the costs of study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, or community service projects.  The March 2 deadline is for students whose projects will unfold in summer 2020 or fall 2020.  (There’s a deadline in October for projects for January 2021 or spring 2021.). You can find the application form here.

The deadline to apply to participate in the Hofstra University Digital Remedy Venture Challenge is Monday, March 2.  Find out more information and apply here.


All Week

The Rosenberg Gallery: Daniel Giordano Exhibition

Other People’s Parties

Uncharted: American Abstraction in the Information Age

Spring Writing Proficiency Exam (Registration)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

06:00 PM – 09:00 PM:  Advanced QuickBooks Desktop Workshop

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

It’s Civil Rights Day – brought to you by the Center for Civic Engagement.  Please click this link to get the full calendar of events all day long and make a point to celebrate by attending at least one.

11:15 AM – 12:40 PM:  The Colloquia Series: Visual Rhetoric and Representations of the Amistad Mutiny

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: 71st Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival Troilus and Cressida Symposium

11:30 AM – 01:30 PM: Second Annual Black Business Expo

01:00 PM – 02:00 PM: Entrepreneurship Assistance Center (EAC) Webinar

05:30 PM – 07:30 PM: Proficiency Exam Workshops

06:30 PM: 16th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series presents Emily Wilson

Thursday, February 27, 2020

06:00 PM – 08:00 PM: ‘Music, Memory and Identity’ Series: ‘Research as Composition’ by Prof. Steven Feld

06:30 PM: Annual Critical Spiritualities and Global Judaisms Lecture: What Does it Mean to be a Jew in a Post-Ethnic America? Judaism as a Global Religion

Friday, February 28, 2020

07:30 AM – 03:00 PM: Genie in the Bottle: Unleashing the Brain’s Potential in Educational Settings

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM:  Spring Writing Proficiency Exam

11:00 AM – 05:30 PM:  2020 Model United Nations Conference

07:30 PM: The Rhoda Pinsley Levin Honors Recital

08:00 PM – 10:00 PM: 71st Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival: Troilus and Cressida:  Maybe one of these actors will go on to become a Broadway star?  Don’t miss seeing them on the Hofstra stage!

Saturday, February 29, 2020:  Leap Day!

08:30 AM – 01:00 PM:  17th Annual HNET (The Hofstra Network of Elementary Teachers) Conference

09:00 AM – 07:00 PM: 2020 Model United Nations Conference

06:00 PM – 08:00 PM: Individually Intersex, The Voices of a Hidden Community

08:00 PM – 10:00 PM: 71st Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival: Troilus and Cressida

Sunday, March 01, 2020

09:00 AM – 02:30 PM:  2020 Model United Nations Conference

02:00 PM – 04:00 PM: 71st Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival: Troilus and Cressida

02:00 PM – 03:30 PM: AIA/LIS Lecture Series: About the Nuraghe: Colonialism and Rural Exploitation at S’Urachi Sardinia

Monday, March 02, 2020 

Last Day to Apply to the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge

Last Day to Apply for an HCLAS Transformative Learning Grant

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