The Hofstra faculty are a diverse community of scholars who offer our students a broad-ranged and well-grounded perspective of the world. We are at once a community that identifies closely with a geographic region and assumes responsibilities to promote it, and a community that looks far beyond local boundaries to the national and international arenas. This issue of Hofstra Horizons highlights the work of three Hofstra faculty and pays tribute to the lives of two very special members of our community.
We were saddened by the loss of two colleagues – and friends – in 2011, Drs. Dana Brand and Vincent Brown. These outstanding scholars will be greatly missed. Dr. Brand, a professor of English and American literature, was highly respected by both students and colleagues. His latest work, The Spectator and the City in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, is an innovative study of the urban observer in transatlantic texts. An avid Mets fan, Dr. Brand will likely be remembered most for his publications on baseball, such as Mets Fan and The Last Days of Shea, as well as his Mets fan blog. Dr. Brown was an associate professor of psychology. He was a frequent collaborator on myriad subjects, including idea generation, the processing of word meanings, and animal behavior. He and his team of researchers were recognized by the National Science Foundation for their research on the cognitive process of brainstorming.
The article in this issue of Hofstra Horizons written by Dr. Dilruba Ozmen-Ertekin addresses the national problem of traffic congestion. With a national congestion cost of $115 billion, Dr. Ozmen-Ertekin assesses various simulation models that can be used to estimate the amount of delays, as well as strategies to mitigate traffic congestion.
The article from Dr. J Bret Bennington, Hofstra professor of geology and resident paleontologist, discusses his statistical approach to fossil data through several research projects. For years, he has led undergraduate students on fossil-collecting field trips, and his recent research with former undergraduate student Christa Abatemarco allowed him to apply basic statistics to an analysis of dinosaur tracks preserved at Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut.
Finally, the article by Professor Robert Leonard, director of the recently formalized graduate program in forensic linguistics and Institute for Forensic Linguistics, Threat Assessment and Strategic Analysis, details Dr. Leonard's pioneering role in the creation of both the program and the institute – which have allowed Hofstra to take the lead in forensic linguistics research and training.
Our goal at Hofstra is to continuously extend knowledge beyond that which is known and to prepare the next generation of leaders to do the same. Thanks to our outstanding faculty, we are able to meet this goal.
Herman A. Berliner, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs