Apr 25, 2014

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An Interview with Dr. Elana Zolfo: Vice President of Corporate Programs/Continuing Education and Interim Provost

By Peter Rice

Dowling College has long been known as a top-rate personal college. Whether your field of study is in education, business, or one of the other highly accredited undergraduate programs, you can be assured that the faculty and staff at Dowling College will go the extra mile to lighten your concerns. Recently, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Elana Zolfo, Vice President of Corporate Programs/Continuing Education and Interim Provost.

Dr. Zolfo has not only been working at Dowling College for the past 17 years but has also been a student on the campus as well. When she arrived at Dowling in 1993, she was very impressed by the breathtaking beauty of the campus and the culture of organization available here. Dr. Zolfo stated, “Dowling College is a gem, and I felt the brilliance of its innovative programs.” She considers her doctorate degree her greatest professional achievement and is very proud to call herself a Dowling graduate. Dr. Zolfo understands the philosophies of Dowling College well, and wants its students to be enriched and enlightened.

In the 17 years Dr. Zolfo has been affiliated with Dowling College, she has always had student interest in the forefront of her mind. The college experience is a very important issue for Dr. Zolfo, and she wants Dowling College students to have a memorable one. Dr. Zolfo commented, “I believe that a college community must strive to provide the best educational and social experience for every student. The college must be aware of the environment and provide the best of everything for the students, the employees, and the community.” Dr. Zolfo strongly believes in community involvement and has actively volunteered her own time for the community as well. She feels that “we must all make time to volunteer and give back to the society that nurtured us.”

As Interim Provost, Dr. Zolfo’s responsibilities encompass oversight of all academic areas. She believes “a college provost needs to be open to new ideas, needs to be a strong leader and work closely with all members of the college community.” Her leadership abilities have proven to be strong, and the individuals who have worked alongside her would say that she is a compassionate, fair, and honest supervisor. Dr. Zolfo, in turn, admires the honesty and integrity found within the individuals that she has had the pleasure to work with. Dr. Zolfo refers to the Dowling team as “truly amazing.” “It’s difficult to fail with such a great team,” remarked Dr. Zolfo, “and I look forward to working with the new president.” She takes her position as Interim Provost very seriously. Dr. Zolfo believes that an aspiring provost must have a love and thirst for learning and understand all areas of the college well. She states, “The aspiring provost should first be a teacher; then, the candidate must learn to be an administrator and must develop the leadership qualities that inspire loyalty from staff. Having conquered these challenges, the candidate is in a position to become provost.”

While working at Dowling College, Dr. Zolfo has been instrumental in broadening the college’s horizons. “Throughout my years as Vice President for Corporate Programs and now as Interim Provost, I have worked diligently to widen Dowling College’s recognition, both nationally and internationally,” remarked Dr. Zolfo. “Our faculty members are first-rate, and we offer excellence in education through collaboration and open academic inquiry.” Currently, the Study Abroad and International programs are expanding their scope to offer a wider array of opportunities for American and international students alike. Looking ahead, there are plans to recruit a larger group of international students who wish to come to Dowling College to pursue degree programs they can then use in their native countries. While pursuing their degree, they are also encouraged to study English. As for the American students, there are hopes of providing additional intercultural experiences and exchanges. “Dowling College is committed to providing the best possible culturally diverse educational environment for all members of the Dowling College family,” stated Dr. Zolfo.

After ten years as Vice President and committed involvement with the management team since 1995, Dr. Zolfo still places Dowling’s students in high regards. Her long-term career objective is to continue working at Dowling College alongside her outstanding team. “I know that we are making a qualitative difference in the lives of our students and that our faculty and staff work well as a team,” commented Dr. Zolfo. “It is important for Dowling College to continue to prepare young people for the future here on Long Island.” This is why Dr. Zolfo has continued to be part of the employment process for hiring new faculty. She feels that credentials are vital for all applicants, but they are not the only requirement. Any person who applies to Dowling College must also possess the ability to help students prepare for the many challenges that they will face in their futures. By employing individuals that understand the difficulties of the 21st century, Dowling students will be better prepared for the many job opportunities that may not yet be available to them. Looking into the future will not only facilitate Dowling students’ endeavors but will also help the Long Island community. Dr. Zolfo feels proud and honored to work at Dowling College and looks forward to many more successful years to come.

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Chicago Bound

By Kathleen Scott

On Saturday, February 23rd, 2011, a group of 30 people boarded a bus at the Performing Arts Center in Oakdale to see Chicago on Broadway. We were incredibly fortunate to have deliciously gorgeous weather. In fact, it was warm and sunny; and, when we reached the city, it was 50 degrees!

Once we arrived at the Ambassador Theatre, we had an hour before the matinée performance, which gave us just enough time to grab a quick lunch. Due to the time factor, my companion and I headed across the street to Charley O’s Steakhouse. We were immediately greeted by a terrific Maitre D’ that asked us if we were going to the theatre. When we answered that we were, he quickly seated us and made sure our server was aware of that fact so we could order quickly and still have enough time to eat before show time.

After lunch, we went back to the theatre and made it just in time for the show to begin. Luckily for us, the show was not packed; so our usherette asked us if we wanted to sit closer to the stage. Of course, we enthusiastically said, “yes!” As soon as we were seated, the orchestra began playing. Our seats were great, the acoustics at the Ambassador were fabulous, and the production commenced.

The storyline, set in Chicago in the 20s, shows two women: one accepted and one out-casted. It involves intrigue, murder, and redemption, portraying the way two different women cope with circumstances surrounding their lives. Both of the leading ladies find their own place, one because of deception and one because of acceptance. Isn’t it true of life today?

WOW! What a show. The casting was tight, and all the stars were in rare form. The sets were slick, scene changes were executed flawlessly, the choreography was first rate, and the musical numbers were snap-your-fingers-to. In short, the performance lived up to all the wonderful reviews that have been written about it.

After the show, we took some pictures of the theatre (and our tour guide had to fetch us). All in all, it was a fun-filled day with students, faculty, alumni, and friends. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and would like to invite all of our readers to take advantage of upcoming trips. Remember, all learning doesn’t have to take place in the classroom.

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Aviation and Alpha Eta Rho

By Thomas Richter

Alpha Eta Rho (AHP) is an International Collegiate Fraternity that has been with Dowling College for over 40 years. The purposes of AHP are: to further the cause of aviation in all of its branches, to instill in the public mind a confidence in aviation, to promote contacts between the students of aviation and those engaged in the profession, and to maintain and promote the highest moral standards as members of this unique fraternity. With that in mind, we are working closely with the Dowling aviation clubs to plan and organize events for the student body.

President Peter Luckel, Faculty Advisor Tom Daly, and Pledge Leader Tom Richter are working hard to increase the popularity of Alpha Eta Rho. This semester alone, the fraternity welcomed over 25 new members and expects to see that number increase in the Fall of 2011. Membership is open to any aviation student. Advertisement for next semester’s New Member Interest Meeting will be posted around campus towards the end of this semester and the beginning of the next. Keep an eye around both campuses for our black and gold AHP shirts. Anyone wearing one is a member and would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

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The Dowling College AAAE Hosts Their Annual Alumni Night

By Rowland George

On March 3rd, 2011, the Dowling College Student Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) hosted their Annual Alumni Night, with great success. Over 100 students and faculty gathered to learn more about the aviation industry through the experiences of two Dowling alumni: Gavin Beharry, Operations Manager of JFK International Air Terminal 4, and Lawrence Cutler, currently a corporate captain for Allen & Company.

The event, held at Dowling’s own Brookhaven Campus, garnered a full room of Dowling alumni, faculty, and students who had the opportunity to listen to the two gentlemen discuss their personal journey within the field and how Dowling College played a significant role in their careers. Mr. Cutler began the evening with an overview of his life as a pilot along with the challenges and rewards that accompany the position. With over 10,000 hours of total flight time and an impressive 21 years in the field, Cutler emphasized the importance of establishing firm relationships and reputations while remaining passionate about aviation. Offering a glance of aviation from the airport managerial perspective was Gavin Beharry, who had been involved with JFK IAT 4 since he was a junior at Dowling, now currently managing day-to-day operations of the 1.2 billion dollar terminal. Gavin echoed a similar message of diligence and creating lasting bonds through his experiences and stressed to students that aviation had a variety of job opportunities, not only directly related to piloting. Mr. Beharry closed his presentation by challenging students to continue to work hard, to network with a multitude of individuals, and to proudly represent Dowling wherever their careers in aviation may take them.

Additionally, Dowling College AAAE chapter President, Justin Vaughan, went on to conclude the event by addressing the student body: “The objective for many years has been to place Dowling College and its aviation program on the map. I can honestly say that tonight, as a student, I feel we are well on our way to reaching that goal; and I’m proud that I chose to attend Dowling.”

The Dowling College Student Chapter of the AAAE would also like to specially thank the many alumni who were in attendance to support the event, including Bruce Trimble, Jim Record, Gerry Stonebridge, and Andre Kurbanali. With such a great showing by students and alumni alike, all sights are set on next year as we anticipate the return of such a wonderful and successful event.

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