students at Hofstra University

Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Transformative Learning Grants

About the HCLAS Transformative Learning Grant

HCLAS Transformative Learning Grants can be used to help defray costs associated with the following experiences:

  1. Internship (credit-bearing or not credit-bearing) during the academic year or during intersession or summer
  2. Study Abroad or Study Away
  3. Undergraduate Research
  4. Community Engaged Learning

Eligibility Criteria for HCLAS Transformative Learning Grants

To be eligible for an HCLAS Transformative Learning Grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate student with at least one major in HCLAS
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 from at least one semester at Hofstra
  • Have a qualified project

Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated financial need as verified by Student Financial Services and to students who have not yet had a Transformative Learning Grant.  By submitting an application for a Transformative Learning Grant, you are authorizing the Office of the Dean of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to inquire with Hofstra University’s Student Financial Services about the status of your financial need as verified by your FAFSA.  If you have not submitted a FAFSA, it will be assumed that you have no financial need.  The Hofstra College Dean’s Office will not be looking at your documents, only getting verification from SFS.


If you meet the criteria and have a project in one of the experiences 1-4 listed above, please fill out this application and submit it as per the instructions on the website by the deadlines indicated below for a grant that may be up to $1,000.

For grants to be used in a January term or a Spring semester
Download and fill out Part A of the Faculty Recommendation form (see right side of this web page) and send it as a word document (.doc or .docx) to the professor who you want to write your letter of recommendation in time for him/her/them to submit the recommendation form to Mrs. Paretta by the deadline of October 15.  Then submit your application form to Mrs. Paretta in the HCLAS Dean’s office  in 220 Heger Hall or by email attachment (link here to lorraine.e.paretta@hofstra.edu) in .docx or .pdf format only  by October 15 (or if October 15 is a Saturday or Sunday or falls during Fall Break, the next business day when classes are in session after October 15).  The faculty member will submit his/her/their recommendation directly to Mrs. Paretta by the deadline.

For grants to be used in Summer or a Fall semester:
Download and fill out Part A of the Faculty Recommendation form (see right side of this web page) and send it as a word document (.doc or .docx) to the professor who you want to write your letter of recommendation in time for him/her/them to submit the recommendation form to Mrs. Paretta by the deadline of March 1.  Then submit your application form to Mrs. Paretta in the HCLAS Dean’s office in 220 Heger Hall or by email attachment (link here to lorraine.e.paretta@hofstra.edu) in .docx or .pdf format only  March 1 (or if March 1 is a Saturday or Sunday or falls during Fall Break, the next business day when classes are in session after March 1). The faculty member will submit his/her/their recommendation directly to Mrs. Paretta by the deadline.

When you submit your application, Mrs. Paretta will confirm your financial need with SFS and add that information to the file for the faculty selection committee to consider.  She will also verify whether you have previously won a Transformative Learning Grant.

Some of our Previous Transformative Learning Grant Recipients

In December 2018, Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences announced that five students were selected to receive Transformative Learning Grants:



Victoria Crowley '20, a sociology, criminology and global studies major, is a first-generation college student studying abroad during the spring 2019 at the University of Limerick in Ireland. She is using the funds from her grant to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Victoria Crowley Transformative Learning Grant

I am loving my time abroad! We just had Easter break and I was able to travel to France (where I ran a marathon), Switzerland, Poland (where I went to Auschwitz concentration camp), and Germany. Flights are very cheap out here so it is very easy to travel. I love being immersed in a new culture and meeting so many people from all over the world.
I love Ireland in particular because it's not a huge country, everyone is so friendly, and the scenery is so amazing. It is green all year long because of all the rain they get here. Things aren't as fast-paced here as they are in New York and other European countries.
I am learning strengths and weaknesses about myself and how to be accepting of all different cultures. The world is so much bigger than we actually think, and you don't know that until you go out and see for yourself.
This experience has made me want to travel even more and see as much as I can in this lifetime



Kennedy Cymerman '20, a music major, is taking classes at the University of Melbourne in Australia over the spring 2019.

Kennedy Cymerman Transformative Learning Grant

These past few months have easily been the best months of my life. The best part about Melbourne is that there is always something to do! Whether it’s free food on campus, the Melbourne comedy festival, free museums, walks along the beach or in parks, going to concerts and just making new friends, I have had countless memories and I still have two months left!
I’m currently taking classes in music history, music theory and ear-training (the same classes I would be taking at Hofstra), but it has been so interesting learning the same material but from a different perspective. It’s always fun to joke around in class (“You call them crotchets? In America we just call them quarter notes haha!”). My favorite class so far is ear-training because not only do we simple piano dictations, but we also sing in class and do dictations of popular songs, such as a song by Daft Punk.
My most memorable day so far was driving down to the Great Ocean Road. I’m a huge fan of nature, so the sights that day were incredible! I’m so happy I chose Melbourne, because I’ll never run out of amazing things to do here!



Gurkamal Dadra '21, an anthropology major, interned at the New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) in lower Manhattan during the January 2019 intersession. Dadra, a first-generation college student, worked full-time at the Pro Se Clinic, housed at New York University Law School. Dadra used the HCLAS grant toward his expenses commuting into New York City.

Gurkamal Dadra Transformative Learning Grant

The New Sanctuary Coalition is an immigrant and refugee rights agency that does a multitude of stuff such as legal work, connecting people to social services, and community building and solidarity meetings. I worked mostly in the legal aspect, filling out legal paperwork and forms with a team of volunteers and attorneys. Everything we did in terms of forms was filled out for free, and if our friends -we call our clients that - needed more in depth assistance we would connect them to a low fee or pro bono lawyer.
We would see about 200 cases a week and would run a clinic in NYU law school, taking up three separate buildings because we needed the space. The timing of my internship turned out to be especially important, because it was during the government shutdown. As such, we had even heavier workload than usual, trying to get paperwork through in time and making sure that appointments were rescheduled.
When I think about my most memorable day, there was a mother whose son we helped. At the next community meeting she and her entire family came with three tables full of food that they prepared from scratch. There was food ranging from tacos, tamales, Mexican hot chocolate, chicken Marsala, and so much more. To see how grateful this mother was for our work and how happy she was to be reunited with her son – this is a memory I’ll always carry in my heart.



Gillian Greene '20, a music business major, has been using her grant to pay commuting expenses to her spring 2019 internship at Sony music where she is working in the Business and Legal Affairs Department.

Gillian Greene Transformative Learning Grant

My job is very 'behind-the-scenes', but super important. I’ve worked on everything from sync licensing to fair use cases, involving some of the biggest artists from every genre you could imagine. It's really cool knowing that my research at Sony is going to eventually be used in real-life lawsuits and settlements.
The best part about my internship has definitely been meeting the amazing people who work for Sony. My advisors, Peter and Sarah, have made me feel at home in my department, and they are so passionate about music and law. My mentor and friend Mike does copywriting at the Legacy record label. He has really gone above and beyond for me, trying to help me secure another internship at the company.
Overall, the Transformative Learning Grant made it possible for me to pursue my interest in entertainment law in my favorite city, and make lifelong connections in one of the most iconic music companies in the world. I am truly grateful for Dean Rifkin and HCLAS giving me this unique opportunity. It has opened so many doors for me.



Aaron Hampton '19, a political science and sustainability studies major, has been using his grant to study the prevalence of lead and bacteria in water distribution systems as part of an spring 2019 undergraduate research project. Hampton’s research has examined potential flaws in premise plumbing that can alter water quality after it has passed through the municipal water system.

Aaron Hampton Transformative Learning Grant

What sparked my interest in water quality was the situation in Flint, Michigan. There was very little information on the status of their water distribution system, and the decision to flip the water supply from Lake Michigan to the Flint River was a complete lapse in government oversight.
This research and my sustainability studies major fits into the theme of community activism and environmental justice. I want to become a part of the new grassroots movement that works on issues of access. Access not only in terms of people with disabilities but access in general for disenfranchised communities; access to healthy food and clean water. Just things you wouldn’t normally have to think about. The HCLAS grant this semester has helped make my research possible.






Congratulations to our Spring 2019 HCLAS Transformative Learning Grant recipients! Veronica Catricala, Kimberly Chambers, Tyrone Harmon, Alexandra Johnson, Komal Khokhar, Manmeet Nijjer, Emma Trombetta (pictured here with Dean Rifkin)!

Fall 2018 Transformative Learning Grants