DeMatteis Dean Sina Rabbany: The Inaugural Executive-in Residence Program

Last month’s blog reflected on the origins of the engineering and computer science programs at DeMatteis and Dr. Stanley Goldstein, who was the driving force behind our early growth. This month, I’d like to look forward and focus on how we can capitalize on the success of so many of our distinguished alumni and acquaint today’s students with the possibilities that await them upon completion of their degree programs.

One of our goals at DeMatteis has been to bridge the gap between education and professional life for our students and faculty. That was the impetus behind the creation of the DeMatteis Co-op Program five years ago, the development of our non-credit course SEAS 100: Professional Development to prepare students for their co-op experience, the launch of our Executive Speaker Series, the Hofstra in Silicon Valley program, and many other initiatives that connect both faculty and students with working engineers and computer scientists. We have three active advisory boards, one for each of our departments, and our Dean’s Advisory Board with whom we work closely on all major issues from accreditation to enhancing our school’s national visibility. It is these types of solid working relationships with industry professionals, in addition to our stellar faculty, that account for our steady climb in national recognition. We are proud to announce that the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science now ranks 32nd among 210 non-PhD granting engineering schools in the United States – our highest standing ever in the seven years we have been established.

This semester we are launching another program that allows our academic community to connect with successful alumni and learn first-hand from their professional experiences. The DeMatteis Executive-in-Residence Program is scheduled for the week of October 14th through October 17th and we are pleased to host distinguished alum Thomas Sanzone, former CEO of Black Knight, Inc. one of the nation’s leading providers of integrated software, data, and analytics solutions to the mortgage and consumer loan, real estate, and capital markets verticals. Mr. Sanzone received his BS in Computer Science in 1982, and over the last 35 years has held leadership positions in such companies as Credit Suisse, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Merrill Lynch, before becoming President and CEO of Black Knight. He retired from Black Knight last year and currently serves on Hofstra’s Board of Trustees. Experienced, passionate professionals such as Mr. Sanzone are in an ideal position to help students make the connection between theory and practice.

As the Executive-in-Residence, Mr. Sanzone will meet with students and share his professional expertise in two lectures on Monday, October 14th. First, he will talk to upper level engineering and computer science students about the importance of developing technical and soft skills before beginning their job search. Later that afternoon, he will speak to first-year computer science students about the abundance of career options in their fields of study.

On Tuesday, October 15th, Mr. Sanzone will lead a panel discussion with fellow DeMatteis Board Member Michael Delaney ’85, vice president, engineering, commercial airplanes at the Boeing Company, Mireille Genadry ’76, principal at MGEN Consulting, and Barbara Porter, chief technology officer at Fragrance.com to discuss current issues facing companies of all sizes in their related industries.

On Wednesday, October 16th, Mr. Sanzone will make a campus wide presentation and discuss important lessons he has learned on his journey from a computer science student at Hofstra to a CEO. Later that day he will speak with engineering students about the importance of computational thinking in their future careers.

He will complete his visit on Thursday, October 17th by meeting with faculty from the engineering and computer science departments, and with all university deans.

It is an ambitious itinerary, constructed so that he can share his expertise with all the constituents of our school. I strongly recommend that Hofstra students take advantage of these opportunities to learn and interact with such an accomplished professional and get a realistic outlook on future careers and professional possibilities.

I am very much looking forward to the week Mr. Sanzone will be with us. He is enthusiastic about sharing his experiences with students and with the academic community at large. I cordially invite students, faculty and members of the Hofstra community to attend his presentation “From the Classroom to the Boardroom” during Common Hour (11:15 am to 12:40 pm) on October 16th in 208 Adams Hall, South Campus.

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