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Alumni of the Month

March 2015
Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes

BA, Radio and Television Communications, Hofstra University, 1980

Q & A:

  1. What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
    My favorite classes at Hofstra were Basic TV Production, Television Performing and the Documentary Film. I loved the idea of working with my peers to produce a segment that would be critiqued not only by my professor, but also by other students. Thankfully, those productions were well received and replicated, and my professionalism was complemented. It greatly contributed to my confidence and instilled a growing love of artistic expression and creation.
  2. What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra?
    I graduated with a BA in radio and television communications, intending to embark on a career in that industry. However, right after graduation, I was offered a marketing job at IBM where my brother was an executive, and he encouraged and convinced me to get experience in business first because, as he said, "business knowledge will be the foundation to any future success."
  3. What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
    First and foremost, I am a writer. I love telling stories. My experience in writing has evolved in so many ways: as the publisher of my own community newspaper in New Jersey, as the small business editor at Black Enterprise magazine in NYC, as a grant writer in the health care industry, and as a poet whose poem "Our Children" – dedicated to the children who died during the Oklahoma City bombing – was read by and entered into the Congressional Record by the Honorable Bob Franks (R-NJ) in 1995. It took me 10 years to complete my first adult novel, A Woman's Game, because during that time, "life" got in the way. However, I feel that the story is even better because of it.
  4. What advice would you give to Hofstra students?
    Once you've discovered your passion, chase the dream. Don't ever stop or let anyone discourage you. We all have something inside of us that we either have to share or prove. Take the time to find it, discover it or prove it, no matter how many detours you may have to take.
  5. In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
    Pride.
  6. What is a typical day like for you?
    Well, because I have a full-time job as a grant writer in the health care industry, it can be quite stressful knowing that you are the gateway or first step to the process of securing project funding opportunities for doctors, nurses or administrators to benefit the community. And with the publication of my first novel, A Woman's Game, in February 2014, I am constantly in promotion mode. I've participated in the Book Expo and Harlem Book Fair in NYC and done private readings and book signings, and I am preparing for a book fair in October in New Jersey. A Woman's Game is literally like my third child. I have put so much love, passion and hard work into this project and am willing to do whatever it takes to have it succeed.
  7. Where do you see your writing career progressing?
    I will continue to publicize and market A Woman’s Game and have already had readers ask, “When is the sequel?” The reviews have been extremely encouraging.

    I have to write. It is something that is within me, whether it be a poem, notes from my journals written over the years or my next novel. I simply have to write.
  8. Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
    My mom. Although I give special thanks to both my parents, it was my mom who taught me that no matter who you are, where you come from or where you choose to go, your education is the foundation that will take you there, and your personal talents and belief in yourself will help you soar. My mom told the most interesting stories of her childhood as a mixed-race child growing up in Louisiana and the struggles she and her siblings had after moving to Texas. Her stories of inspiration, love, heartbreak and pride are deeply instilled in me, and I will be forever grateful for having had her in my life and sharing her journey.
Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes

Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes is the author of A Woman's Game; How to Be an Entrepreneur and Keep Your Sanity; and Quite Simply How I Feel, a collection of poetry. Formerly an editor at a prominent New York business magazine and the publisher of a small business newspaper in her suburban New Jersey hometown, Paula’s venture into fiction began more than a decade ago when some intriguing characters began taking shape in her mind and developed over time to become A Woman’s Game. Paula received the 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the New Brunswick Area NAACP for publishing the first African-American newspaper, The Franklin Voice. She also received a Life Empowerment award from the Houston, Texas, Area Triplex African Heritage Society in 2006.