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Hofstra University Honors College


One of the best things about HUHC is that our students come from a representative sample of all programs and majors offered at Hofstra. Quite naturally then, HUHC alumni are succeeding in so many different ways we can’t begin to categorize them.

We are proud of our alumni and communicate with them regularly. Often we hold breakfast, lunch or dinner Alumni Pathway events where current students learn from the recently graduated what to expect as they start out on their own post-college careers. Below we list our lineup of recent alumni visits. We’re always looking for additional alumni volunteers.  If you are a recent alumni who would like to share your experience with HUHC students, contact Ms. PeggyAnn Matusiak, at honors{at}hofstra.edu

April 2016

2013 Alumnus Bari Morchower  graduated  from the School of Communication with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Performance Studies. Bari has had success in Community Outreach,  Interfaith Dialogue, Project Management.

After graduation, Bari moved out to Pittsburgh to serve as a Repair the World Communities Fellow (werepair.org) where she volunteered with inner-city middle-school students and worked on community engagement and outreach for 11 months. After the fellowship she spent a brief time working for Trader Joe’s, and since December 2014 has worked as the Assistant Director for the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee (PAJC), a small Jewish nonprofit focused on interfaith dialogue serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area. There she is responsible for managing two youth programs, as well as program planning, marketing, and general office management. Bari is also currently in the process of making a career switch from non-profit into the field of Higher Education

February 2016

2015 Alumnus Sarah Holzberg earned the HUHC Associate designation as a transfer student. Sarah has had success in Sports, Media and Marketing. 

Sarah Holzberg was born and raised on Long Island, where bleeding blue and orange was a way of life. Her love for the New York Islanders and New York Mets is what led her into her sports career. Sarah attended Ithaca College for two years and after a semester abroad in London working in European sports; she began working for the Islanders. She later transferred to Hofstra University and graduated in May 2015 with her BA in Business Marketing. After the New York Islanders, Sarah continued with her career in hockey, working with Stan Fischler and Madison Square Garden. Upon her graduation Sarah took the position as Marketing Manager with Mayer CPAs LLP. Currently she is now the Marketing Associate at Prager Metis CPAs LLP, a Top 100 Accounting Frim.  Sarah was the co-host on a Saturday morning sports radio show “Droppin’ the Gloves with Sarah and Jackie”. Sarah has recently accepted a Part Time Production Assistant position at MSG Networks. The world of media, marketing, public relations, and broadcast are just a few destinations Sarah has stamped in her passport. Make sure you book your ticket for this wild ride.

2014 Alumnus Jillian Schon earned the HUHC Recognition designation and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Exercise Science. 

Jillian has had success in Applying to Physician Assistant School & getting in!, Former founder & president of the Hofstra Yoga Club. Unsure where in the health field she wanted venture, she began taking upper level science courses through a post-baccalaureate program at SUNY Farmingdale. During that time, she worked as a medical assistant at an OB/GYN office, shadowed a family medicine PA and volunteered at North Shore University Hospital’s emergency department. She fell in love with the unique role that a PA plays in the health field especially the ability to pursue multiple specialties once licensed. After accruing over 1,000 hours of patient care experience and completing all of the pre-requisite courses, she applied to several programs in the Northeast this summer. She is thrilled to have received acceptances from highly competitive programs and is excited to share her experiences, discuss the application process and answer any questions!

November 2015

2014 Alumnus Ben Suazo Ben Suazo who has had success in Publishing, Sales and living to see Star Wars VII.

Ben first came to Hofstra for its brilliant greenscaping and its unique publishing program. He briefly turned to journalism and physics before finally settling on an English Lit and Global Studies degree, where he met some of his best life mentors. Thanks to their guidance, Ben completed a senior honors dissertation on race perceptions in Santo Domingo and New York. Since graduating, he has picked up quite a few books and enough Excel formulas to get by in his white-collar/Friday-casual office space.

Currently, Ben is working across the academic fence as an academic sales rep for Bloomsbury, which publishes Rowling’s Harry Potter series in London. He has interned in both trade and academic publishing and once found himself working at Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut. In his Hofstra days, Ben joined the gifted Chronicle staff and tutored with the Writing Center. Many of his best college memories are from a residence hall which, like Ben, no longer resides on campus.

October 2015

2009 Alumnus Julia Gardiner graduated with a  duel print journalism and publishing major.  Julia has had success in publishing, marketing and taking really awesome instagram photos. She lived in the honors housing at Liberty and Republic (RIP) for 3 years, worked as an Orientation leader for 3 summers , and built some of her most cherished, long-;lasting friendships from within those communities. After working as a staff writer and news editor with the Chronicle, a production intern at Kaplan Publishing, an editorial intern at W.W. Norton & Co. she got her first full time job as a marketing assistant at the academic publisher Routledge jsut after graduation.  She is now the narketing manager at Routledge, where she works on academic Psychology books, develops relationships with professional societies to leverage exposure for her products, and manages social media feeds that include a follower base of over 70,000 people.

2010 Alumnus Brent Weitzberg graduated cum laude, where he majored in political science and triple minored in English, History, and International Affairs. Brent then went on to graduate in 2013 from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, where he was a member of the Hofstra Youth Advocacy Clinic and on the Dean’s List.

Brent was then an associate at the Westbury law firm, The Law Office of John M. Zenir, Esq., P.C., where his practice areas focused on Family and Matrimonial Law. His case load included actions involving divorce, child custody and visitation, child abuse, child support, and domestic violence. Brent was then given the opportunity to re-enter the area of politics, where he currently serves as the Chief of Staff to New York State Assemblyman, Andrew D. Hevesi, representing the 28th Assembly District in Queens, NY.

Brent is excited to speak with students regarding the fields of law and politics and how they compare to one another. Brent can discuss topics such as time management, what to expect when interning in law and politics, what to potentially expect during law school, the differences between law school and undergrad, and how a law degree can be versatile and transition itself between different industries. Brent will also be open to discussing anything else that the group is interested in, including the NY Giants and your favorite authors! He is looking forward to seeing you all at dinner!

September 2015

2006 Alumnus PETER STRECANSKY earned the HUHC Graduate Designation. He has had success in the field of ENTERTAINMENT.

Almost ten years ago, Peter Strecansky began his career with Disney, accepting a Disney College Program internship while midway through his studies at Hofstra. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in English literature and secondary education, he would go on to perform for Disney both on land and at sea, both on stage and on television, and in fifteen different countries worldwide. Peter has worked for Walt Disney World in Orlando and for Disney Cruise Line. He has toured internationally with Feld Entertainment's Disney Live!, which brought him to Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Venezuela. Peter was part of the 2010-11 National Tour of Mickey's Magic Show, performing in 78 cities domestically including Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. He also appeared on the nationally-televised Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, singing alongside Grammy Award-winning superstar Celine Dion.

Peter has been privileged to study under actor/puppeteer John Tartaglia (Broadway's Avenue Q, Sesame Street), director Daniel Goldstein (Broadway's Godspell) and award-winning vocalist Eric Michael Gillett (Broadway's Sweet Smell of Success and Kiss Me Kate, and former Ringmaster of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus). 

2010 Alumnus Jenna Applebaum graduated Summa Cum Laude and as an Honors College Graduate with Distinction from Hofstra in 2010. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an active and enthusiastic English major. Post-graduation, Jenna accepted a full fellowship to pursue her doctorate in English literature at Lehigh University, but plans changed, and after earning her master’s degree in English, she pursued a second masters in Higher Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jenna currently works as the Assistant Director of Tutoring & Operations at both campuses of the New York Institute of Technology, where she runs academic support service programs. She also serves as an admissions reader for the MBA program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, reviewing about 300 applications per admissions season. She has taught freshman composition for 5 semesters at various institutions of higher education, including Hofstra! 

October 2014

2007 Alumnus Michael La Femina earned the HUHC Graduate Designation and graduated Summa Cum Laude with double majors in History and Music.  He continued at Hofstra earning his M.S. Ed in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages in 2009. Michael was on a undergraduate research project that was the first student-commissioned exhibition for the Hofstra Museum, which took him and his research partner to Guernica, Spain. 

Michael has had success in:

  •  living the dream
  •  non-profit management
  •  alternative education (environment; yoga)
  •  getting the most out of Hofstra (seriously, he had a good run)

Michael is currently enrolled in a Masters Program at Tri State College of Acupuncture, following two and a half years of “retirement.” Most of that time was spent traveling domestically and internationally and living and volunteering in yoga Ashrams with the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. Before that, he worked for the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) in Chicago and California as an Educator and the National Campaigns Manager.

April 2014

2008 Alumnus Daniel Berg earned the HUHC Graduate Designation with departmental High honors in English.  After graduating HUHC, Dann started a personal blog that slowly gained a sizable audience. He used that blog to get a staff writer position at LAPTOP Magazine, followed by moving to The Verge as their Reviews Editor.

In late 2013, he left The Verge to launch his own venture, Novice No Longer, a website and podcast dedicated to teaching non-technical people how to build apps and websites.

He is currently co-founding a company called TripExpert, that’s going to change the way people find the best hotels. The website is scheduled to launch early June.

His writing has appeared in MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, Mashable, and Gizmodo.

Daniel Berg
Seth Dellon

2006 Alumnus Seth Dellon earned the HUHC Graduate with a major in English and Creative Writing.  An internship in publishing led him to attempting and failing to get a job at a traditional publishing house, which resulted in him finding work at a very small (only 7 employees) “marketing for publishers” firm in Westchester county called Combined Book Exhibit.  Through this job, Seth has traveled the world over on behalf of publishers and authors, and has continued to change and evolve his role within the company, creating new initiatives and products and working his way up the (albeit quite small) chain of command.  Seth is also an equity partner in the publishing tech start-up, PubMatch, which is currently going through its first round of venture capital.

In 2008, Seth co-founded the punk rock band The Jukebox Romantics.  The Jukebox Romantics have toured an average of 2+ months a year in each of the past 5 years, including several national and regional tours, weeks-long stints on The Vans Warped Tour, and appearances at South by Southwest, The Fest, Valley of the Vapors, and more.  They just finished recording their third full-length album, produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls, which is set for release in late 2014.

Balancing the life of being a touring musician, a “higher-up” in a traditional business, and—as of 2012—a married man has made Seth a good resource for balancing responsibility with pleasure, hobbies with requirements, fun with less fun, and tattoos in the work place. 

Seth currently lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife and fellow Hofstra graduate, Erin Meehan.

Samuel Rubenfeld

2009 Alumnus Samuel Rubenfeld graduated Cum Laude, and earned the HUHC Graduate Designation with a major in Print Journalism (a major no longer offered at the University), and a minor in political science. During his tenure at Hofstra, Rubenfeld was news editor of The Chronicle, using his position to pester everyone from University Relations to the Honors College staff to Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. Rubenfeld took The Chronicle’s mandate on the road, covering the 2008 New Hampshire presidential primaries and both national nominating conventions. He was a guest on “The Martha Stewart Show” on Oct. 16, 2008, the day after Hofstra hosted its first presidential debate.

Rubenfeld parlayed one of his five internships into a position at Dow Jones & Co. as an entry-level copy editor three weeks after graduation. Nine months later, when the newsletter he edited was folded, he transitioned into reporting. Rubenfeld now writes for Risk & Compliance Journal, the Web-only editorial product he helped launch that is published by The Wall Street Journal. He has been published several times in the print edition of the newspaper, covering stories varying from a New Jersey mayor’s indictment to exposing an Atlanta-based company’s potential U.S. sanctions violations in Syria.

He is heavily active on Twitter, using his @srubenfeld account to complain about the Knicks, Jets and Mets, and post breaking news stories, along with longer investigative articles. He attends a lot of punk rock shows, and listens to tons of music.

March 2014

2012 Alumna Louise Waters graduated Cum Laude, earning an HUHC Graduate Designation with a major in Psychology. Louise began work at the Long Island Crisis Center (LICC) in 2011 and continues to provide short-term crisis intervention counseling during the hours of 12 AM-7 AM on several hotlines. LICC is the primary crisis hotline provider for Nassau County. Aside from their own Middle Earth hotline, LICC is a provider for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE, the Children of Hope Hotline, and a hotline for the township of Huntington. LICC provides crisis counseling, information, and referrals to callers with concerns such as suicide, rape, sexuality, substance abuse, self-injury, and others. LICC has implemented unique counseling styles such as internet counseling and text counseling to create a broader outreach to the community. After receiving extra instruction, Louise has begun to teach new counselors.

Between undergraduate and graduate school, Louise also worked for Project Hope, a crisis counseling outreach project implemented in December 2012 across New York to provide free counseling to survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Louise worked in Long Beach, one of the most heavily hit areas on Long Island, and helped coordinate various community outreach projects in order to provide help for the scattered population that remained. She helped design and run a creative arts therapy after-school program implemented in local elementary schools, as well as providing individual trauma counseling, group counseling (for children, seniors, and latina women), staff training in crisis counseling, and community presentations.

Louise Waters is currently a graduate student at Hofstra University’s School-Community Psy.D program. She is also an intern therapist at the Child and Family Trauma Institute in the Saltzman Center on campus.

Louise Waters
Joanne Giordano

2005 Alumna Joanne Giordano is a proud member of the first graduating class of HUHC.  She graduated Cum Laude, earning an HUHC Graduate Designation with a major in TV/Video/Business.  Joanne spoke about her career journey from intern to supervisor at AMC, the home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

Joanne currently works as Supervisor, Promotional Planning & Strategy for AMC. She is responsible for checking the daily logs for air in the US and Canada, as well as scheduling episodes of AMC’s original series for air on VOD.  Joanne works with her team to make sure all promotional spots and graphics are scheduled in the most effective way to reach target audiences.  Joanne also works with Creative Services to coordinate delivery of spots and with Marketing to request specific promos for sponsorship opportunities.

February 2014

2006 Alumnus Paul DeKams earned the HUHC Graduate Designation with a major in Audio/Video/Film. Upon graduation he started in the mailroom of Nice Shoes, an NYC-based postproduction studio. He eventually worked his way into a position in Sales & Marketing, running the company's social media and PR efforts. 

In his spare time, he's gotten married to fellow Honors College alum Chrystal Conklin. They have two cats and live in Astoria. Paul has also worked with a crew of fellow Hofstra graduates to write and produce a horror-comedy short, Frank and Barry, as well as an upcoming feature film entitled Completely Normal.

Paul has worked to find a balance between a marketing career in the postproduction world and pursuing the dream of telling original stories. He's not sure if he's fully found it, but he's going to keep trying.

November 2013

2007 Alumna Laura Giunta graduated Summa Cum Laude while earning an HUHC Graduate with Distinction Designation with a major in English Literature. Laura is currently a children’s librarian at Garden City Public Library where she has been working since 2009. She is also the Recording Secretary for the Nassau County Library Association for 2013 and will hold that position in 2014. She recently organized and moderated the professional panel, “Beyond Harry Potter and Percy Jackson: Great Middle Grade and Tween Fantasy Books,” at New York Comic-Con 2013. The convention, which was attended by over 130,000 people this year, is one of the biggest pop culture events in the country. She, along with other members of the Nassau County Library Association, have lobbied in Albany for libraries, including speaking with New York State Senator Kemp Hannon as well as New York State Assemblymen Tom McKevitt and Edward Ra. She is currently in the second phase of the application process to be a reviewer for the professional journal, School Library Journal.

Laura graduated from St. John’s University in 2009 with a Masters in Library Science. During her two years at St. John’s, she was awarded a graduate assistantship, which included full tuition-remission. Her graduate assistantship included working with rare books and records in the University Library’s Special Collections and Archives. 

At Hofstra, she was the Recording Secretary for the Student Government and the co-founder and president of SCAFFU (Science-Fiction, Comics, Anime, Fantasy Fans United). Because of her love of literature, as well as her love of all things science-fiction, fantasy, comics, and anime, she decided to pursue a career as a youth services librarian.

October 2013

2010 Alumnus Brian Shoicket graduated Summa Cum Laude while earning an HUHC Graduate Designation with a Liberal Arts major and Marketing minor. Through internships and on-campus organizations, he pursued his passion for the music industry, working with musical artists like Gym Class Heroes, Brand New, Ghostface Killah, The Format, Lupe Fiasco, and The Proclaimers, along with organizations like the Government of Canada and SiriusXM.

By graduation, Brian had developed meaningful relationships in the NYC-area and an unrivaled love for the city’s 24-hour subway system; he wasn’t leaving any time soon. He began working for a boutique music management company, representing GRAMMY Award-winning and nominated producers, songwriters, and mixers who worked with artists like John Legend, Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson, and Eric Church.

In 2012, Brian started freelancing as a copywriter and copy editor, unintentionally focusing on career development for college students. The side project went well, and he soon found himself heading up the university program for NYC-based startup Wakefield Media. Through this role, Brian works with schools around the country to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education, as well as expose students to the career opportunities that exist at startups. Surprisingly, it’s not as different from the music industry as you might expect!

2005 Alumnus Andrey Gordiyenko who has had success in Finance, International Corporate Governance, and Software Project Management.  

Andrey Gordiyenko graduated summa cum laude from Hofstra in 2005 with a BA in Political Science and History, having minored in Philosophy. He went on to prove that a Liberal Arts education does not preclude one from “real-world” jobs.

In 2006, Andrey began working in the Client Services department of Bear Stears Investment Bank, a job he proudly held for 6 months before facing the first of many existential crises and opting to move on. He then entered his first career stint at Broadridge Financial Solutions, where he worked with an international team on operationally supporting corporate governance products sold to institutional shareholders and publicly traded companies all over the globe. In this role, Andrey was able to visit accounts in Europe, Latin America, Israel, Turkey as well as Citibank’s regional headquarters in exotic Tampa, Florida.

Dissatisfaction, ennui and apathy reared their ugly heads in 2010 and Andrey resigned from Broadridge to apply to graduate programs in International Relations. Formally accepted to Georgetown and Johns Hopkins University, Andrey paid the tuition deposit to enroll at JHU and then dropped out a week before classes started.  

For the last two years, Andrey has been working as a Project Manager at automotive software development firm, DealerTrack. He manages a variety of projects and interacts with teams of programmers, QA analysts and database administrators. He also supervises two direct reports and sometimes is fortunate enough to work from home.

Andrey currently lives in Queens. He enjoys downloading podcasts and seeing electronic music in small venues.

Dinner with Nadia

Nadia Kahnauth graduated magna cum laude from Hofstra in 2005 with a BA in English Literature and minor in Business Law, where she obtained her degree in three years in the hopes of jump-starting her legal career.

As Hofstra was her alma mater and a place where she truly felt at home, Nadia studied law at Hofstra University School of Law where during her first year as a 1L she suffered a major car accident whereby her car was totaled and she suffered a broken leg. Determined to complete law school, she took 3 buses to school each day and traveled two hours each way with her broken leg. She graduated with honors in 2008.

Nadia is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association and other bar associations where she works with many other attorneys in providing pro bono work for those who cannot afford legal assistance. She has assisted people in need in various immigration, matrimonial, real estate and general legal questions.

Nadia works for the boutique law firm of Kopel & Spinner LLP as real estate counsel and settlement agent where she represents many lenders whose clientele are high net worth individuals including movie stars, celebrities, athletes, financial professionals etc.  She assists various lenders close millions of dollars in deals on a daily basis. Her largest residential real estate deal to date has been a $65,000,000 deal for a Hampton’s property.

Nadia is the mother of two-year-old daughter and successfully manages the duties of her demanding career with the role of being a good parent to her daughter.