A collection of frequently visited links on Hofstra.edu.
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Launched in fall 2006, the Alumnus of the Month program is designed to recognize alumni who are doing interesting and exciting things, or who have made exceptional contributions to their chosen profession. To read full profiles of all our Alumni of the Month visit, hofstra.edu/AOTM. If you know someone who should be an Alumnus of the Month, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or a fax to (516) 463-5897. Include the person’s name, class year and a brief paragraph describing his or her achievements. Please also include your name, class year and phone number.
Melanie Moore Carpenter is founder and partner of i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc., an investor relations agency based in Manhattan’s financial district. Founded in 2000, i-advize’s clients include some of the largest publicly traded companies in Latin America. Carpenter launched her post-college career as a market analyst at IFR-Latin America, covering the macroeconomics and politics of the Andean region. Her renowned pieces were published in several major newswires worldwide. She earned a B.B.A. with a concentration in international business and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. A New Jersey native, Carpenter lives with her husband of 10 years, Matthew Carpenter, B.B.A. ’96, and their two children, Vincent and Madeleine. Carpenter is a permanent fixture in the Chelsea Piers Recreational Women’s Basketball League.
As founder and CEO of MyWorkster, Jeff Saliture is securing his position as one of the brightest young minds in the social media marketplace. Since founding MyWorkster in 2005, Saliture has helped grow the company from a dorm room start-up to a leading professional networking utility that provides access to 5 million jobs and thousands of human resources.
Seeing the impact of networking utilities like Facebook on social trends, Saliture responded by building the same successful social model into a professional utility. This was the foundation for MyWorkster. Since then, Saliture has overseen the company’s deployment of a world-class product that is changing the way students, graduates and employers network. Through Saliture’s efforts, Hofstra University has become the fi rst higher education institution in the United States to provide online career advising through MyWorkster.
A fierce believer in the power of prevention, self-esteem, and resiliency, Meredith Poulten has led numerous programs on substance abuse, coping skills, suicide prevention, parenting, and other topics of interest to the community. She has developed a multitude of programs for Medway High School in Massachusetts, including a peer counseling program, a teen diversity group, and a health advisory program.
Poulten began her career as a middle school guidance counselor. In 1987 she pursued a large grant from the U.S. Department of Education and tirelessly petitioned for support to start a health education program. Her persistence paid off, and Poulten received the funding to establish a walk-in center at Medway High School. The center is located within the school, enabling students to obtain psychological services on site, in a timely manner.
Now retired, Poulten has lectured widely about her experiences working with adolescents and has received several dedications and awards from the school district, colleagues, and students.
Two-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer/writer/performer Dennis Scott has had his songs performed by such diverse artists as Faith Hill, Ray Charles, Sugarland, Allison Kraus, The Muppets, Amy Grant, Trisha Yearwood, Donna Summer, The Charlie Daniels Band, Jon Secada, Roberta Flack, Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and Ben Vereen.
His numerous honors include two Grammy Awards, an Emmy and a Parents’ Choice Award. His songs have also been featured on many television shows. In fact, he receives many inquiries about “Always a Friend,” performed by Ray Charles on ABC-TV’s Who’s the Boss, from brides asking to use the tune at their weddings. Scott has served as music director for several children’s television shows, including the PBS series Noddy, for which he composed and produced more than 100 original songs. He is also a contributing writer for Sesame Street Live and composed a new score for the live touring show of Scholastic’s Magic School Bus.
Linda Gassenheimer is a television and radio personality, syndicated journalist, bestselling author, spokesperson and food consultant. She went on to teach after earning a B.A. in history at Hofstra, but later followed her passion to all things culinary. She is the producer and host of the weekly segment “Food News and Views” on WLRN, 91.3 FM National Public Radio.
She has appeared on national and international television programs, including Good Morning America, Cookin’ U.S.A., and Canada AM, and had her own segment titled “Dinner in Minutes” on the Miami NBC-TV affi liate. She has appeared many times on the Food Network.
Her Miami Herald column “Dinner in Minutes” is syndicated to more than 4 million readers each week. She has written for Food & Wine, Prevention magazine, Cooking Light, and other national publications. Her books include Mix ‘n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes (second edition), The Portion Plan, and Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes.
When U.S. Airways Flight 1549 crash landed in the Hudson River, James Coll was a first responder on the scene. In 1997 Coll – like his father and brother before him – was sworn in as a New York City police officer. He worked in patrol assignments before being selected in September 2002 with the distinct honor to be part of the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit (ESU). In 2004 he was promoted to detective and continues to work in the NYPD, assigned to ESU.
For his work with the NYPD, Coll has received numerous accolades, including a Mayor’s Certifi cate of Appreciation for an elevator rescue during the blackout of 2003, a commendation from the Life Saving Benevolent Association of New York for a water rescue in April 2006, and Cop of the Year from the New York City Police Foundation for efforts during the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 plane crash in the Hudson this past January.
Sheryl Hall holds the distinction of being the third person in Hofstra history to score 1,000 points in basketball. She came to Hofstra as a walk-on athlete in both field hockey and basketball and earned a B.S. in physical education. After graduation, Hall began teaching at a New York City private school, and later worked at a residential school for emotionally disturbed and learning disabled children, where she became assistant principal.
In 2001 Hall began teaching at the Margaret C. Ells School in Springfield, Massachusetts. Due to her efforts, the Ells School added one of the first community climbing walls to its physical education program. Hall’s goal in developing a quality physical education program is to teach the fundamentals that enable children to build the confidence they need to be successful in a variety of activities. Hall fi rmly believes it is her responsibility to help her students develop a foundation for participation in physical activities. She strives to continually enhance her program to reach every student. In 2008 she was selected Massachusetts Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
Thomas DeLorenzo has some pretty outrageous stories to tell, after nearly 15 years as an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles, working with clients such as Chad Allen, Lyndsy Fonseca, Kathy Joosten, Alison Mack, Carter Oosterhouse, Cameron Romero, Nancy Sinatra, Heather Tom, Nicholle Tom, David Tom, Jim Turner and Bree Williamson. DeLorenzo has the most nominated client list in Emmy history for an individual publicist, having four nominated clients at one Emmy® Awards ceremony alone.
In 2006 The New York Times chose DeLorenzo as one of five “Unsung Heroes in the Battle Against HIV/AIDS” for his project benefiting the hospice clients of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation. His profile ran in The New York Times World AIDS Day section. In 2008 the San Antonio AIDS Foundation named him “Angel of the Year.” In 2008 he expanded the project to include Joseph’s House, an AIDS hospice in Washington, D.C.
As a person living with AIDS, DeLorenzo continues to work on behalf of a variety of AIDS organizations throughout the country. He is also a regular columnist for HuffingtonPost.com, writing about health care from the point of view of a person with AIDS.
Alyssa Jayson graduated from Hofstra with a B.F.A. in performance and acted on ABC-TV’s All My Children, as well as in independent films and regional theater productions. In 2002 she entered the business side of entertainment as an associate producer for ADM Productions in Port Washington, New York, where she produced corporate media events for Fortune 100 companies.
In 2005 Jayson’s life took a brand-new direction when she was diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration, a complex retinal disease. This diagnosis motivated Jayson to focus on performing and pursue a lifelong passion for composing music. At the urging of a business colleague, Jayson decided to take her music into the studio. Her debut CD, titled Use As Needed, is a collection of the beautiful, thought provoking songs she’s been working on her whole life. Today, Jayson is combining her musical talent with her business skills and has started her own independent record label, My Mind Records. She is currently performing and promoting the release of Use As Needed.
As a Hofstra student, Jorge Sanchez studied psychology and speech and played NCAA Division I baseball. After graduating, he attended the University of Texas School of Law on a full scholarship. After completing his studies, his career path took a unique turn. After a grueling tryout, he was chosen from 10,000 individuals to compete on the national television show American Gladiators – from which he emerged the champion. At this time he also began modeling and acting. His roles have included The Rookie with Dennis Quaid and The Life of David Gale with Kevin Spacey. Sanchez also has his own production company, Blessed One Productions.
More recently, Sanchez started a sports agency firm, where he represents several NFL and NBA players, and concurrently established the Sanchez Law Firm. Realizing the need to give back to the community, Sanchez started and coached a little league team as a part of a program called ACTS (Assisting Communities for Success), where he has had the opportunity to mentor hundreds of at-risk youth.
Erin Fogel discovered her comedic skills while standing up to school bullies, often embarrassing and leaving them speechless. With a passion for performance, she attended Howell High School of the Performing Arts and pursued a B.F.A. at Hofstra University. Between productions at Hofstra, she commuted to the city for auditions, rehearsals, and performances.
Fogel began performing in Manhattan theater and was honored with the Jean Dalrymple Award for her work in the premiere play The Mother Song. She continued working steadily, jumping from one play to another, until it was time to expand. She entered the world of voice-overs and began meeting casting directors. After some time, Fogel signed with the Kolstein Talent Agency and landed the role of Shari Rabinowitz in the People’s Choice Award-winning comedy 27 Dresses – her first noteworthy booking. Watch for her next role as Mrs. Mills, the bohemian fifth-grade teacher, in the touching Gary Terracino fi lm Elliot Loves.
Brothers John and Peter Coco are co-founders of The Music Academy of Garden City (MAGC), which provides high-quality music education to students in Garden City, New York, and surrounding communities. Peter Coco, bassist, pianist and cellist, and guitarist John Coco, recognized the need for a school such as MAGC while they were majoring in music at Hofstra. Their ingenuity and their ability to build, grow and market the new school has helped it become a successful venture.
The brothers have impressive dossiers of their own and continue to perform solo and in professional ensembles. Peter Coco has toured extensively and performed and recorded with artists such as Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jane Monheit, Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, drummer Matt Wilson, trumpeter Jon Faddis, Tony Bennett’s musical director John Bunch, and vocalist Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer. John Coco has performed with Anthony Hart, Tony Tedesco, Frank Vignola and Jerry Weldon from the Harry Connick Jr. Band. He is also founder of Gravity Guitar Innovations, which manufactures original tools and accessories for guitar and bass.