Faculty Notes - Fall 2006
Frank Bowe, the Dr. Mervin Livingston Schloss Distinguished Professor for the Study of Disabilities,
released a report titled "Video and People With Disabilities." The report explores the importance of video to people with disabilities and offers suggestions for ensuring its availability, affordability and accessibility to all Americans as soon as possible. In "Video and People With Disabilities," Dr. Bowe outlines the great benefits that competition in the video programming market will have for people with disabilities, including lower costs. Dr. Bowe found that where broadband and cable networks compete on a level playing field, consumer costs are significantly lowered. The report is available online at http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/frank_g_bowe/VIDEOindex.html
Robert A. Baruch Bush, the Harry H. Rains Distinguished Professor of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Settlement Law, and his colleague, Dr. Joseph Folger of Temple University, received the 2006 PeaceBuilder Award on May 9, 2006, at the Governor's Mansion in Albany. This award is given annually by the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA) to honor individuals and organizations that have promoted the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Professor Bush and Dr. Folger received the award for their work as the originators, and best known advocates, of the transformative model of mediation. Their award-winning and best-selling book, The Promise of Mediation, is recognized as a landmark classic that changed the field's understanding of the theory and practice of conflict intervention. In the book, they articulated the "transformative model" of mediation, which greatly humanized the vision of how the mediation process can help parties in conflict - not just by resolving their dispute, but by building their capacity for self-determination and for empathy. Professor Bush and Dr. Folger showed how mediation can be a powerful tool in our society for countering the sense of dependency and isolation that conflict creates, by restoring to people their sense of human strength and connection.
David C. Cassidy, professor of natural science, was elected vice chair of the Forum for History of Physics of the American Physics Society for 2006-2007. He will later become chair-elect and then chair of the forum, which has approximately 8,000 members nationally and internationally.
MarthaLeah Chaiken, assistant professor of psychology, weighed in last spring on headline-making research that revealed that starlings display the ability to learn abstract grammatical rules. Dr. Chaiken has been studying starlings for more than 25 years and was among the first to decode the complex syntax of their natural songs. Dr. Chaiken believes that the starlings performed so well on this task because it taps into an aspect of their natural behavior: starlings learn sequencing rules as a normal part of learning to sing. Most songbirds learn their songs by imitating adults. When Dr. Chaiken and her collaborators raised young male starlings without access to adults' songs, they sang an incompetent jumble of unrecognizable notes. When housed with older males instead, the young starlings developed typical songs. But starlings don't just slavishly copy a sequence of sounds. They are always ready to copy new motifs, drop some old ones, and make up a few of their own. Yet when they sing they arrange their motifs in correct starlinglike order. This suggests that the starlings learn the rules as such, not merely a sequence of sounds. The separate acquisition of rules and motifs became particularly clear in one set of studies by Dr. Chaiken and her collaborators where under certain experimental conditions young starlings copied a large number of motifs from their companions but failed to learn the sequencing rules, while under other conditions they learned the rules without copying the motifs. This situation is eerily reminiscent of the way humans use vocabulary and syntax.
Sally Charnow, associate professor of history, received Hofstra's 22nd Annual Lawrence A. Stessin Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award was given for her book Theater, Politics and Markets in Fin-de-Siecle Paris: Staging Modernity, published in 2005 by Palgrave Macmillan, New York. This work explores tensions within the emergence of theatrical modernism in France during the last years of the 19th century, providing new ways to understand the social, cultural and political history of the French Third Republic.
Lillian Dodson, adjunct professor of fine arts,
designed Stashou and Yashou: The Saga of a Friendship in Painting and Writing, a special limited edition portfolio conceived and produced by Paul Kowalchuk and released by The Deep Archives, Inc. This photographic portfolio pays tribute to the friendship between American abstract expressionist painter and photographer Stanley Twardowicz, associate professor emeritus of fine arts, and author Jack Kerouac. Only 250 copies of the portfolio were made, and it was on view at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills in February and March 2006. The portfolio contains candid portraits Professor Twardowicz took of Kerouac 39 years ago. Articles about the portfolio appeared in both Newsday and The New York Times. In 2007 the Hofstra Museum will present an exhibition of work by Professors Dodson and Twardowicz, who are married. For more information on the portfolio visit www.twardowicz.com
Eric Freedman and Mark Movesian, professors of law, were named the School of Law's Teachers of the Year and were recognized at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award, which is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, is based on nominations by graduating students.
Esther Fusco, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching, was named the School of Education and Allied Human Services Teacher of the Year and was recognized at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award, which is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, is based on nominations by graduating seniors.
Zilkia Janer, assistant professor, romance languages and literatures, received Hofstra's 22nd Annual Lawrence A. Stessin Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award was given for her book Puerto Rican Nation-Building Literature: Impossible Romance, published in 2005 by the University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Through critical readings of fiction by celebrated Puerto Rican writers and by little-known intellectual women and workers, Dr. Janer analyzes aspects of race, class, gender and sexuality in literature from the past two centuries and shows how different social groups imagined themselves and the island in its transition from Spanish to American colonial rule.
Robert B. Kottkamp, professor of foundations, leadership, and policy studies, received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Educational Research Association's Teaching in Educational Administration Special Interest Groups at its annual business meeting in San Francisco in April. Dr. Kottkamp, an active member and leader of the TEA-SIG since its inception, was recognized for substantial contributions to the development of a critical perspective on the teaching work of university professors in the field of educational administration. Dr. Kottkamp has helped to legitimize inquiry into teaching, established high standards for research, and provided an organizational framework that enables professors to approach these important questions in a collaborative manner.
Robert Leonard, professor and chair of comparative literature and languages and director of the Forensic Linguistics Project, coordinated an event on April 19 titled "Current FBI and Academic Techniques in Forensic Linguistics." Forensic linguistics is an emerging science that uses language to help solve criminal and other cases. Dr. Leonard's seminar featured guest speaker James R. Fitzgerald, FBI supervisory special agent and program manager of threat assessment/forensic linguistic services of the Behavioral Analysis Unit-1 Critical Incident Response Group. Mr. Fitzgerald discussed the Unabomber case, on which he worked, and the use of the FBI's new Communicated Threat Assessment Database, or CTAD, in his talk, "The FBI's Use of Forensic Linguistics to Solve Crimes, Identify Anonymous Threatening Authors, and Prevent Acts of Terrorism." Dr. Leonard spoke about some of his own recent cases, ranging from the interpretation of an insurance contract to a murder in which linguistic analysis was crucial in demonstrating premeditation, in his presentation, "Overview of Forensic Linguistics in Civil and Criminal Litigation: Author Identification, Statutes, Contracts, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Crimes of Language Such as Perjury, Solicitation, Bribery and Conspiracy." In addition to his classes at Hofstra, Dr. Leonard has been teaching forensic linguistics to FBI special agents and other law enforcement personnel at the FBI Academy.
Phillip Lopate, John Cranford Adams Chair in the Humanities, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Lopate is among 175 new Fellows and 20 new foreign honorary members, including two former presidents of the United States, a Nobel laureate, winners of the Pulitzer Prize and a member of the French Senate. Fellows and honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. Those elected are the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation. An induction ceremony will take place October 7, 2006, at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots. An independent research center, the academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current academy research focuses on science and global security, social policy, the humanities, culture and education.
Dennis Mazzocco, associate professor of audio/video/film, was named the School of Communication Teacher of the Year and was recognized at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award, which is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, is based on nominations by graduating seniors.
Lisa Merrill, professor of speech communication, rhetoric and performance studies, was invited by the Barbara Caine, head of the School for Historical Studies, Monash University, Australia, to speak in Prato, Italy, June 2 to 4, 2006 at an international symposium on "Biography and Life Writing." The symposium was held in Italy and organized by Monash University and Kings College London. The invitation grew out of work she did for her Spring 2006 sabbatical at the Institute for Advanced Study, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. During that term she presented a seminar for the Melbourne Feminist Historians group and was a keynote speaker for the "Visible Women: 19th Century American Studies" conference at Kings College, London.
Rabbi Meir Mitelman, executive director of Hofstra Hillel, was honored with the Jewish Educator Award presented at the UJA-Federation of New York Long Island Caring Community Celebration on June 6 at Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, New York. Hofstra Hillel's achievements during his 21 years of leadership have been recognized with the highest honors awarded by International Hillel, Hillel in the New York metropolitan area, and Hofstra's Student Government Association. He was also recently honored as the Adviser of the Year by Hofstra's Student Government Association. In addition to his work with Hillel, Rabbi Mitelman is also a member of Hofstra's Jewish Studies Program, and of Project Identity, an adult Jewish education program in Great Neck.
John Morrissey, associate professor of biology, was named the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year and was recognized at the May 21, 2006, commencement exercises. The award, which is coordinated by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, is based on nominations by graduating seniors.
Peter Sander, professor of drama, directed an acclaimed off-Broadway production of the Rick Foster play Vivien, about the life of actress Vivien Leigh. The show was recognized with a 2005/2006 Drama Desk Award nomination for "Outstanding Solo Performance" by the play's lead actress, Janis Stevens. Incidentally, Hofstra alumna Margaret Colin '81 was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Actress in a Play" for her role in Defiance.
Susan Goetz Zwirn, graduate director and assistant professor of fine arts education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, had an article featured in the online version of the national journal Educational Leadership. "Of Paint, Pantomime, Pirouette and Pitch" focused on the results of a two-year arts program that Dr. Zwirn conducted in three high-needs school districts (Westbury, Roosevelt and Uniondale), as well as Hofstra's Diane Lindner-Goldberg Child Care Institute. Dr. Zwirn's program, funded by a grant from Hofstra, provided hands-on teacher workshops and in-class coaching sessions for early childhood teachers. Her role was to direct this program, which guided teachers in artistic development in the visual arts, music, dance and drama, and to provide specific methods for curriculum integration. Dr. Zwirn's article may be viewed online at www.ascd.org/el. Also available for viewing are video segments from a resulting DVD that showcased the findings of the arts program.