By Jennifer Siebert
The Center for Intergenerational Policy and Practice at Dowling College, founded in 2008, was established to raise public awareness of the interrelated needs of all generations through education, advocacy, and practice by bringing together education, government, not-for-profit and business organizations in order to enhance the quality of life on Long Island. The Center has held a number of workshops, conferences and programs during this time and our inaugural keynote speaker was the noted Pulitzer Prize winner, gerontologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Robert N. Butler. The next conference will be held on Friday, February 17, 2012 in the Ballroom of Dowling College and will focus on using music, language, finance, and humor to bridge the gap between the generations. The Center was founded by a grant the College received from the Dolan Foundation. Its director is Dr. Susanne Bleiberg Seperson, professor and chair of the Sociology Department at Dowling. She is also a founder of the Alpha Chi honor society at Dowling College, New York Rho Chapter. Last year, Dr. Bleiberg Seperson was the honoree for the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, which held its gala at the Garden City Hotel. In 2008, Board Member, Ron Roel, created an Intergenerational Resource Directory of Intergenerational Programs on Long Island, which includes a section on best practices. The standards for an Intergenerational Specialist are:
Dr. Seperson gave an example of how intergenerational thinking benefits the participants and society. “It is about the caregivers and the people who receive care and the families. The goal is basically to work together…We have day care programs and centers for the elderly and the young and after school programs for children. Rather than building and maintaining three buildings, it makes more sense for the building to be shared and provide opportunities to unite the seniors and young people. During the day, the seniors and toddlers can share the same building to interact in and enjoy each other’s company; after school the older children can come and use the space. It’s a win-win for everyone in terms of time and money well-spent,” said Seperson during an interview. The programs initiated by this organization offer the opportunity to unite grandparents with the young.
“When one group prospers, we all prosper. When one group hurts, we all hurt,” said Dr. Seperson. This has inspired the Center to hold workshops and conferences to educate the community on how an intergenerational perspective covers many different aspects from school, to home, to work, to healthcare, to finance.
The Intergenerational Center is also a member of the New York State Intergenerational Network as its Long Island section and NYSIgN is connected to the national organization, Generations United. In April 2011 the Center for Intergenerational Policy and Practice at Dowling College initiated a volunteer program in which students, undergraduate and graduate, and community members tutor immigrant elders in English and preparation for the US citizenship test. Board member, Maria Studer, has been central in developing the initiative with the help of Councilman Steve Flotteron from the Islip Town Board, who has connected Dowling with partnering agencies, including PRONTO of Bay Shore and Adelante of Brentwood. The current Dowling student volunteers are mainly education majors, but any Dowling student can assist, regardless of major or undergraduate or graduate status. A pilot program was developed for May and June at PRONTO and during the pilot program, three tutors, James Browning, Patricia Toledo and Cristina Sousa, aided lead teachers in two existing English classes at PRONTO. This fall a program has begun at Adelante.
The mission for Dowling students (9 of whom have been trained so far) is to teach ESL and help prepare immigrants for the citizenship test. Approximately 50 people are being served so far in the local community. On October 16, 2011, the original three students, James Browning, Patricia Toledo and Cristina Sousa were honored for their work at a “Goals for Unity” Soccer Tournament and Information Fair, as well as receiving commendations from Councilman Flotteron. A training session will be held on October 28, 2011 at Dowling. Anyone interested should contact Dr. Bleiberg Seperson at bleibers@Dowling.edu.
In addition, Dowling now offers a major in Gerontology, the study of the elderly community. The focus on intergenerational programming and needs has helped to inspire this new major at the college. Sociology majors specializing in social work, as well as other programs, are also able to gain experience through this program in their field. Students pursuing education majors that volunteer in this program also receive teaching experience that provides them with a competitive edge in the education field, compared to someone who has no prior education experience, according to Dr. Seperson. “They can put on their resume that they have real teaching experience,” says Dr. Seperson. Students are strategically placed and carefully monitored in their placements by Maria Studer to ensure that the placement is going well.
The training for participation in the ESL/citizenship training program gives the volunteers a chance to realize what it is like to know absolutely nothing about a language. Powerpoints and exercises are used to educate in the training programs. “We have had a few training sessions and in one, the one I attended, we had someone who spoke Japanese. And it doesn’t matter if you have a Ph.D. or not. When people are talking to you and you understand nothing, you are sitting there lost—exactly the way immigrants who don’t speak English are really lost,” said Dr. Seperson. “It could be as simple as ‘walk to the other side of the room,’ and you just stand there because you have no idea what was just said.” She stated that the next training session will have someone who speaks Farci, a Persian language.
The program is defined by trying to improve the lives of the young and the old in Long Island society and to show how both groups can work together. One key initiative that occurred last year was a contest for high school students in which the students were to write a script about the stereotypes of the old and the young. Over 200 students submitted work for the competition. It yielded four winners who received a Gift of Knowledge for 3 credits. A second scriptwriting contest has been initiated for this year, as well as invitations to high schools in Suffolk and Nassau have been sent out. The goal of this initiative is to breakdown the stereotypes of old and young and to encourage younger people to think about the quality of life for multiple generations.
At its most recent Board meeting, Dan Cohen was invited to discuss his intergenerational work, which is to bring music to all generations through his organization, the Memory and Music Foundation. He works with high schools and trains staff and volunteers who work in nursing homes to use music in helping patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. “People who are listening to music that was meaningful to them when they were young, calm down,” said Dr. Seperson, in reflection to the music initiative run by Dan Cohen. In the video presented by Cohen, “people who were not walking got up and danced, and people who were not talking started to sing,” she said during an interview. “When the music stopped, they kept talking. It is not a cure, but it is an effort to improve the quality of life.” Alpha Chi, under the leadership of its president, Ashley Fred-Muench, will be running a fundraiser in which they will collect iPods to bring music to nursing homes and other facilities. Dr. Seperson will be the advisor overseeing the donation process.
Another issue the Center will address during its upcoming February 2012 is finance. In these economic times, financial literacy is essential for young people trying to begin their adult lives. “Grandparents can teach the younger generation about finance,” says Seperson. Board members Henry Montag and Ron Roel will share their views on this important issue. Grandparents have experience that can be passed on to younger generations.
The founding of the Center was based on a grant that Dowling received from the Dolan Foundation with the participation of Paul Arfin. At the end of the grant, Dr. Seperson became the sole Director. “I took this on as something that I thought was good, something that I believe will improve the quality of life for people.” She added, “When people work together, everyone can benefit.”
Kevin Brabazon, president of the New York State Intergenerational Network and adjunct professor at Dowling College, has led United Nations meetings dealing with intergenerational issues and invited Dr. Seperson to participate.
Another goal of the program is to increase tolerance and to increase respect for each other across generations, from both the old and the young. Since Dr. Seperson’s parents were Holocaust survivors, she has gained inspiration from their experience to create an atmosphere of respect and tolerance in the program. The concept of the intergenerational program is unprecedented on Long Island. Its goal is to bridge the gap from the young adult just getting started on life, to the retired grandparents in local communities. It provides opportunities for the young to teach the old and the old to teach the young.
By Melissa A. Theodorakatos
Bullying has become a nationwide epidemic, visible in schools and work environments everywhere. Studies have shown that about 70% of students will experience a form of bullying during their educational lifetime, including upper educational levels. Bullying ranges in multiple forms of aggressive behaviors including emotional, verbal, and physical. These behaviors also range in severity, but ultimately, the effects are the same. When an individual is bullied, his or her self-esteem is jeopardized, creating effects that can last long-term. When a child is bullied at an early age, depending on the extent of the aggression, they may suffer later in life due to the damage that exists on our self-perception. In some cases, self-perception is deteriorated entirely, leading individuals to take their own lives to release the pain. Throughout the United States, many states have created legal definitions of bullying, with others disregarding the epidemic entirely. Without a uniformed approach against these issues, a solution is extremely difficult to achieve on a nation-wide level.
Aggressive behavior can be directed towards groups or minorities based on gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, etc. This behavior may often fall under the category of a hate crime, with some states including laws that will convict individuals based on their actions. In the recent months, many suicides have been reported throughout the LGBTQ community, with young predominately male high school and college students reaching an intolerable level of bullying. In several cases, the bullying was reported to administrations in order to find a solution. Unfortunately, some administrations did not follow up on any reports, and remain neutral during the visible actions of bullying. Guidance counselors and social workers, at times, refrain from becoming involved in the situation simply, because they feel they are not obligated to act as mental health counselors. If students cannot depend on their administration for support, many feel that bullying will continue indefinitely.
Cyber-bullying is at an all time rise with the increasing amount of individuals that use social networking outlets on the Internet. In many cases, this form of bullying is extremely convenient due to the ability to operate under an anonymous personality to victimize individuals. In some cases, bullies are unaware that their actions are categorized as bullying due to the lack of written descriptions of what is and is not considered aggression. Verbal aggression on an adult level is also a dangerous issue that is often uncategorized as a form of bullying, however, the effects and actions are typically the same as those recognized at an adolescent level with a more mature approach. Often in times, this form of bullying can be more harmful due to its transparency to the world.
In order to address this issue, Dowling College will be participating in its own End the Hate Campaign throughout the current academic year. Dr. Ring, Dr. Johnson, Ronnie MacDonnell, and Melissa Theodorakatos met recently to discuss the campaign in which many ideas were created to reach as many students as possible on the college level around campus. In the coming weeks, students can expect to see posters around campus with statistics that expose some of the most unexpected information that will bring light to the bullying epidemic. The group will also meet in the upcoming weeks to create a policy to be incorporated in the Dowling Catalog and Handbook that clearly defines the consequences of bullying and cyber-bullying throughout the campus. Workshops will be implemented to FYE classes, athletic groups, and dorms to promote a healthy self-esteem and self-perception. Ideas of a lunch symposium in the spring have begun to try and engage students to increase awareness. They also plan to reach out to clubs and organizations on campus that focus on a minority group to work on ways to reach individuals most susceptible to discrimination. Faculty and staff will also be involved in the campaign to push the initiative as much as possible.
As always, the Dowling College Administration is available for students who feel that they need assistance dealing with issues pertaining to bullying. The campaign alone will help create a safer environment for students and bring awareness to the increasing bullying outlets that are affecting older and younger individuals nation-wide. Students can expect to see a great deal of change around campus in the upcoming months, making Dowling a college for equality and peace.
By Melissa A. Theodorakatos
The Anthony Giordano Gallery of Dowling College will be hosting its very own exhibition featuring artwork from faculty members of the Visual Arts Department. Artists that are included in the show include: Pam Brown, Hugo Fernandez, Jennifer Formica, Ross Grandin, Patricia Hubbard-Ragette, Elise Kaufman, Stephen Lamia, Jason Mones, Harold Naideau, Chris Nworjih, Patricia Pepe-Clark, Linda Prentiss, Herb Reichert, and Michele Evola Wanger. Each professor was given the opportunity to submit pieces of their own individual art that reflect his or her artistic abilities and experiences. The show features a range of two and three-dimensional pieces that were created with a wide variety of media. Some artists have chosen to use very basic materials, where others have reached out beyond the traditional. The title of the exhibition reflects the content that can be expected when viewing this show in explaining the movement between the real and abstract world. Some pieces will express the artist’s view of the natural world, with others engaging the viewer’s mind into a depicted world imagined within the artist.
This exhibition is extremely important for the Visual Arts and Graphic Design departments due to its significance to the student-learning environment. By engaging the students in this show, they are able to reflect upon their own work and educational experience in order to enhance their own future pieces. Students will be given the chance to study and analyze the work of their professors and engage in conversation that will spark a wide variety of ideas. The gallery hopes that you will stop by and enjoy the wonderful selection of artwork that is available for our campus.
Exhibition Available: November 6 – December 18, 2011 Reception: November 13, 2011 1:00–4:00pm (Faculty Presentation will begin promptly at 2:00pm) Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 10am-4pm Saturday-Sunday 12pm-4pm For more information: Gallery Director Pamela Brown at brownp@Dowling.edu.
By Stephen F. Sullivan
On September 29, 2011, Dowling College welcomed visitors from Moscow State University. The luncheon consisted of a meet and greet session, presentations, and general discussions. President of the college, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown, was in attendance, as well as students from several majors. Dowling professors from the Social Sciences department welcomed Professor Yuri Zinchenko, Dean of Faculty of Psychology, President of the Russian Psychological Society, Professor Olga Tikohmandritskaya, Provost, Prof. Alla Kuznetsova, Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Professor Sergey Molchanov, Department of Developmental Psychology, Curator of Graduate Studies, Alexander Kipiani - Assistant to the Dean, Ph.D. Student, and Dr. Olga Zinovieva, Director for Russia and the U.S. Urban Symbolism.
Professor Yuri Zinchenko spoke of the state of the Psychology field in Russia, gave a history of Moscow State University, and thanked the college for hosting their visit. Professor Tikohmandritskaya followed this with a presentation on Stalinist Monumental Propaganda, a topic that combined art history, psychology, and political ideology. Dowling students and staff were exposed to cross-cultural research and interesting takes on history.
Following the presentation, the group took a break and reformed in a smaller, more intimate core group. Dowling’s psychology professors spoke with the Russian visitors about our program, as well as the focus of their research and opportunities for a potential exchange program between the two respective student bodies. Professors from both colleges spoke of their own personal research, what students are interested in, and how they focus on teaching. The event established a new relationship that transcends international and ideological barriers in the name of academia. The discussion was thought-provoking, and the visitors were eager to work with Dowling College in the future to share resources, exchange students and share lectures through technological means. The meeting concluded with words from Dr. Brown on what we can learn from these important relationships and how they can affect both colleges in a positive manner.
By Kimberly Charles
Dowling College successfully launched its 1st Annual Eastern LI American Cancer Society Breast Cancer walk at the Brookhaven campus on October 2, 2011. Justine Garcia, assistant director for financial aid and long time fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society organized preparations for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. “I received a call from the American Cancer Society asking me ‘What are the odds that Dowling will host the Breast Cancer walk this year?’ I said I don’t know but I will ask, and to my surprise they said yes! So my job was to help organize a team and a fundraiser for Dowling College,” says Justine. Soon after, both Dowling College campuses put up posters and fliers about this public event that took place on October 2.
There were specially made t-shirts that were being sold with the Dowling College logo and the school slogan Making it personal. “We sold 250 t-shirts at $10 a shirt. The Student Government Association (SGA) funded all of the t-shirts for us. They did not even ask for anything in return. Theresa Gabriel and the SGA were amazing! The donation will definitely go under SGA, and the recognition will go to them,” says Justine. When asked how she thought the event turned out, Justine responded, “I was satisfied with the turn out in terms of the walkers, volunteers, and the event itself. I was worried that no one would come, but I was very impressed.”
“Fight, Cure, Win!” was a powerful slogan that was seen on every pin, poster, t-shirt, and heard from many breast cancer survivors. Before the breast cancer walk even began, people were introduced to the procession of the Coast Guard National Band. This kicked off the event and filled everyone with excitement to begin the journey for raising awareness for breast cancer. The pinkly affair was filled with love, great energy, and fun attributes that made the experience memorable for many Dowling students and supporters. There were cotton candy and popcorn stands, loud music coming from the Zumba warm up session, and a special appearance from Dowling College mascot Rory who took pictures with helpers and supporters. Most of all, breast cancer survivors and participants were encouraged by a special needs cheerleading team that cheered “Yay! You can do it, thanks for walking” as they reached the finish line.
This event touched many hearts and empowered people to continue the fight and spread awareness all around. “It was a good event. My mom’s friend is a survivor and now my friend’s mom is going through it. It was really inspiring and I would love to do it again,” says Taisha Cordero, a Dowling junior. Another supporter and a Dowling alumnus Tyasia Cobbs, who came out from Harlem to participate in this walk remarked, “This walk was filled with love and honor, loving and honoring people who are fighting breast cancer.” With such a great turnout, the American Cancer Society expressed high interest in annualizing this event at Dowling College.
By Kimberly Charles
College students can sometimes feel overwhelmed when it comes to school, work, personal life, and academic activities. Fortunately, Dowling College offers a Stress Management SMP 1038N class that educates students on how to detect and relieve stress before it is too late.
Professor Joyce D. Boffert gives insight on the different kinds of stress that a person can have in his or her life. One may have acute stress, which is “short lived,” or chronic stress, which is much more difficult to get rid of. Professor Boffert states “I personally think that there isn’t a person on campus that does not deal with stress. Stress is an overwhelming thing and most of us don’t understand what stress really is. Everyone can benefit from learning about stress. You can definitely quote me on this ‘Everyone has stress from the womb to the tomb’.”
Students are learning tips on how to relieve stress such as the Re-framing concept, which involves replaying the scene in your head, analyzing the situation, and the consequent realization that the circumstances could be worse. Another stress relief tip is doing a Zen Walk, a technique in which her class recently applied. This walk allows you to completely let all of the negative aspects of life go and concentrate on positivity and yourself. “I registered for this class because I needed an elective, but when I started learning about stress and the risk factors, I started to take it seriously. I am learning on how to manage my stress better, and I use the Re-framing concept a lot, which puts a lot into perspective for me. I think all Dowling College students should take this class, because it is a problem that a lot of people have today,” says Guirlene Lindor, a senior at Dowling College. Here is a startling fact that can help you avoid stress: it takes 47 muscles to frown and 17 muscles to smile, so why not smile and avoid those wrinkles!
By Alyssa Copeland
On August 28th, her wrath was devastating. The wave of destruction that Hurricane Irene left behind all along the East Coast is almost unimaginable. Among one of the thousands of communities to be affected by the powerful storm, Oakdale’s Dowling College, particularly the Rudolph Campus, was amidst it all. Located along the Connetquot River and south of Montauk Highway, we were right in the path for the strong winds and flooding. While there was fear of what could happen, the students, staff and administration pulled together to prepare the school for evacuation and to clean up once the storm broke.
The main concern for the college was the safety of the athletes and dorm students who had already moved into the Oakdale dorms, along with ensuring that as little of the campus would be damaged. Closing all offices and postponing events, including the New Student Orientation, facilities packed up everything that was outdoors and braced anything that could not go indoors, such as our new sculptures that decorate the walkway between Racanelli Center and Fortunoff Hall. Oakdale dormers were evacuated to the Brookhaven campus the day before the storm hit. But it was a rather smooth transition, as described by Christina Ring, a grad student who assisted in the evacuation and stayed out at Brookhaven. According to her, “Everyone bonded overnight.” David George, president of the Photography Club and a Brookhaven dorm student, said that he “met some cool kids from [the] Oakdale dorms.”
Volunteers and staff members assisted in the evacuation, including SGA President James Rhodes. He, along with everyone else involved, helped dorm students pack their belongings and settle into a new dorm for the weekend; he also assisted in closing up the SGA and other offices to prevent flooding and any subsequent damages. SGA coolers and food from Resident Life were provided for the students, college administrators, Mastic Fire Department, and any locals who were also evacuated to the Brookhaven campus during the hurricane.
Thankfully, there was only minimal damage done to our beautiful Rudolph Campus. The Lion’s Den canopy was destroyed from the winds and IT equipment, stored in room 110 in Fortunoff, was also damaged. The buildings itself, however, suffered minimal damage, and the power was back on just in time for the start of the fall semester on September 1st.
But there is even more to be thankful for than just simply suffering only some damage and flooding to the campus; there were also the amazing things that occurred during this time of crisis. Pulling together as a community, all of the different members of the college made the evacuation and preparation of the Oakdale campus a very smooth, easy process. Friendships were made between students dorming on the different campuses, which goes far towards unifying Brookhaven and Oakdale after years of division. And in the wake of the storm, a little four week old kitten was discovered, cold and suffering from exposure to the rain. Rescued by students Christina Ring and Aileen Axelrod, they stayed up all night to nurse him back to health. Originally named Irene after the hurricane, his true gender was soon made known, and he was renamed to Storm. Storm has been placed in a no kill animal shelter and is waiting to be adopted.
While Hurricane Irene certainly caused a bit of a bumpy start to the school year, it is amazing to know that even in the face of fear and potential disaster, as a college, we banded together in order to help one another, from a fellow student or staff member, to local residents, and even to a little stray kitten.
By Kimberly Charles
Many Dowling College students, including myself, have uttered the same dragging question at the bus stop time and time again “Where is the shuttle bus!?”
There are many instances where students were left at the bus stop for hours, because it has broken down on the highway or the bus is too full to fit in anyone else. The uncertainty of the shuttle bus has left many students frustrated and extremely late to class, and students cannot even use that as a reason because some professors do not accept it. “I don’t like the shuttle buses at all. They have three buses that are garbage, and I don’t understand why they do not change it. They spend money on trying to fix it and/or buy a small disability bus for X amount of dollars, which only seats a few students. Take the buses to the junk yard and use the money to buy better buses.” says Steven Melendez, a senior at Dowling College.
This has become a rising issue amongst Dowling students, and there has not been a solution to the problem. The shuttle buses need to offer better services, because students are paying the fixed transportation fees and at times students do not get transport. “They need more buses, and they need to fix the ones that they have now,” says another Dowling College student.
Although, there is a majority that feels that the shuttle buses are unreliable, others think that it is a great service that Dowling College offers. “I feel like it is reliable, it gets you from point A to B, I don’t think other colleges offer that as much as Dowling College does,” says Joshua White a junior at Dowling College. In essence, the Dowling College shuttle bus service needs a tune up.
By James R. V. Rhodes
Oakdale, NY – On Sunday, September 25th the National Society of Collegiate scholars at Dowling College inducted over sixty new members into its ranks, including two distinguished or honorary members, Dowling’s fifth president, Mr. Scott Rudolph, and Dowling’s Vice President of College Administration and Student Affairs, Dr. David A. Ring.
According to the NSCS website, “NSCS is an honor society that engages high-achieving first- and second-year students in the top 20% of their class.” The ceremony boasted a lovely program which was opened by Alumni Council member Soh Young Lee-Segorek (Class of 2005) singing the Dowling College Alma Mater, “Dowling Forever.” Michelle M. Knuth, president of the college’s chapter of NSCS, extended greetings to the eager inductees and their families. Next, SGA President and NSCS Vice President of Community Service, James R. V. Rhodes, accepted on behalf of Scott Rudolph, and introduced Dr. David Ring, as they were presented honorary membership on the grounds of “providing guidance for Chapter endeavors, influencing on the success of first- and second-year students, making a difference in the community, and/or contributing to the well-being of our campus community.” The keynote speaker was newly appointed college president, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown, who provided sensational words of wisdom to the inductees.
Steven Fournier, a sophomore, who was inducted, had this to say about his induction: “I’m very excited to be inducted into such a prestigious society. It is a testament to our faculty, as they have provided the tools and resources for such a large group of our students to reach this point.” Towards the end, the inductees were lead in the NSCS oath and were given membership pins. The ceremony closed to the sounds of “We Stand Taller,” an anthem written about Dowling College and a lovely reception in the Hunt Room. For more information about membership in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, contact Michelle M. Knuth, via her email at mmk1@Dowling.edu.
By Jennifer Siebert
Dowling students with outstanding academics and leadership were inducted into The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). The Dowling College Chapter of NSCS is run by Michelle Knuth, President and Vice Presidents: Jessica DeAngelis, Russell T. Kuhn, James R.V. Rhodes, and Jen Siebert. Arthur Perri, Director of Grants and Research, advises the Chapter, along with Kim Poppiti, Associate Professor of Drama and Science. The members of this organization must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher.
Every year, the society and its members commit to and initiate community service events such as, the annual Pet Walk for The Town of Islip Animal Shelter, which has raised over $1,000 since the event first began in 2009. NSCS members and students also participate in events held on campus such as, Integrity Week, Night of Beauty and the NSCS Picnic.
Our 3rd Induction Convocation was held on September 25, 2011 in Dowling College’s Ballroom. The guests of honor included the newest distinguished members, Dr. David Ring and Scott Rudolph. The keynote speaker was Dowling College’s President Dr. Jeremy Brown. This all made for a most excellent Induction Convocation. Congratulations to all the new members!
By Peter Rice
At the end of the 2010 academic year, Robert J. Gaffney abruptly announced his resignation as president of Dowling College. Initially, Gaffney planned on leaving upon the conclusion of the 2011 academic year, but for personal reasons, he felt that it was in his best interest to leave sooner. As a result, the college was forced to find a temporary replacement. Eventually, the Board of Trustees selected Scott Rudolph as the interim president. Rudolph, a board chairman and chief executive of NBTY (a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of nutritional supplements), had proven himself a dedicated member of the Dowling College community and was thoroughly prepared to see the institution through its impending academic year. In the meantime, however, the search for a permanent president was on. The Search Committee explored many options, but Dr. Jeremy D. Brown’s credentials and history of proven leadership left them thoroughly impressed. With unanimous support from the Board of Trustees, Dr. Brown officially became the 6th president of Dowling College on June 1. Moving steadily forward into the 2011–2012 academic year, it is finally time to meet Dowling College’s new president.
As a native to Manchester, England, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown proudly studied at the University of Birmingham. Within the walls of this English university, Dr. Brown would earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Ph. D. in physics. Focusing his doctoral work on experimental nuclear physics, he conducted his research at both the University of Birmingham and the University of California-Berkeley. Enjoying his work as a nuclear physicist, Dr. Brown immediately began conducting original research at the Indiana University upon the completion of his Ph. D. requirements and went on to publish scholarly articles, participate at international conferences, and become a professor of the Physics Department at Princeton University. Through his efforts to collaborate with fellow researchers on proposals and funding, not to mention his contacts with faculty members and students, Dr. Brown developed a greater appreciation for the role of educational administration.
Ever one to explore new horizons, Dr. Brown would get his feet wet in the pools of academic administration when he was named associate dean of the Graduate School at Yale University in 1992. There, he acted as chief budget officer for tuition and aid and helped to supervise, develop and implement academic policies. Eventually, he would make his way back to Princeton in 1995 as the associate dean of the faculty, where he worked on academic planning and budgeting. Then in 2000, he was appointed rector of Florida State University, where he ran a small U.S. university out of Latin America as its chief executive officer for three years. During his work here, he managed to increase enrollment, revenue, and the number of programs offered. In 2003, Dr. Brown was named provost at SUNY-Canton, an institution where he also went on to wear the title of vice president for academic affairs. There, Dr. Brown once again managed to flex his administrative muscles as he oversaw the growth of international learning opportunities and campus-wide planning. Continuing his development as an administrator, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown went on to become the 16th president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Helping to establish perceptions of academic excellence, physical growth of the campus, international relationships with other higher institutions for learning, and bring enrollment to new heights, Dr. Brown would be honored for his work by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees when they voted unanimously to re-name the new Human Services Building after him this past June. It is from this stage in Dr. Brown’s career that he would make the decision to once again move forward in his professional development as an administrator by accepting the position of president at Dowling College in 2011.
In his time spent at Edinboro University, Dr. Brown had many accomplishments to be proud of. Being a numbers person, he takes pride in the fact that enrollment reached record highs under the helm of his leadership and that retention was achieved. Overseeing more than $200 million in new and future construction projects and some of the best years for annual donor support are additional facts that Dr. Brown prides himself on. On the other hand, putting numbers aside and just focusing on what he personally found most rewarding, Dr. Brown remarked that he was pleased by the changes to the campus’s overall climate. To see alterations in the way “people internally felt about the place that they worked,” reflected Dr. Brown, “and feelings of real positive contributions,” were wonderful because it went on to transform the outside perceptions of the University as well. No longer is Edinboro University being perceived as a safety school but rather one that students strive to earn admittance to. It is under this light that Dr. Brown gazes upon his work at Dowling College and which he seeks to bring about changes.
To begin, Dr. Brown believes that it is important for the faculty and students to understand that he is committed to moving Dowling College forward. “This is not a one person show,” said Dr. Brown in a reassured manner. “Everybody working together, coming up with ideas, figuring out what are the solutions, and in some cases, the questions” is essential towards the development of optimistic teamwork that will propel the College forward into the future. To kindle this flame of inclusive cooperation, Dr. Brown calls on students to voice their opinions about how Dowling can change for the better. In the future, this may be accomplished by a Campus Climate Survey for students to complete, but in the meantime, all are encouraged to actively participate in the general discussions floating around the campuses. As for the faculty and staff, “being a part of the planning process is very important,” because, as Dr. Brown passionately stated, he wants, “people to feel that they own what they do.”
Having open and transparent communication is important, Dr. Brown believes, to letting people know about the “positive things that are happening in the institution.” If the image of Dowling College is to change for the better, then it is essential to take internal and external steps to shape the general perception of the College. Bringing about these sorts of changes was one of the things that attracted Dr. Brown to the position of president at Dowling College in the first place. “Having the ability to make changes on a shorter time scale than is possible at more established institutions, such as Princeton,” said Dr. Brown, was appealing to him because, “overseeing the immediate impact on the lives of students” is rewarding. Looking to the future, he wants to guide the College’s evolution into a position of leadership for higher education on Long Island and beyond, while also being a place where students have pride and aspire to achieve greatness. To begin this work, he wants to affect how the incoming classes look upon their college experience by encouraging them to reach beyond their expectations and work hard to advance their academic endeavors. In this effort, they will be challenged and supported by the College, as they develop into individuals that can succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore, work towards reshaping the campus life and academic ambitions of students will always be a top priority for Dr. Brown.
All students are encouraged to join clubs of interest and remain open to the opportunities of leadership that they offer. This is important, because Dr. Brown believes that students are the best catalyst for producing ideas that foster a healthy campus environment that other students alike will appreciate. That is why he wants to ensure that Dowling continues to stand behind its students by providing the necessary resources required for them to improve campus life for all. Whether this means giving monetary support, physical items, or the personal presence of the administration and faculty of Dowling College is all dependent on the events that the students have put together. But considering the economic times that currently engulf the lives of all getting by today, Dr. Brown truly believes that the overall cost for students can be eased by efficiently using the College’s resources in order to pass along savings, while still creating an environment that offers a good education and plenty of outside opportunities. Yet, students will still need to be willing to challenge themselves and have, as Dr. Brown put it, “utilized the college experience to its fullest” to get the full value out of college.
If students are unable to participate in the Student Government Association (SGA) or any of the numerous clubs that Dowling offers, for whatever reason, then he believes that they need to make the most of their college experience in other ways. For example, speaking with professors during their office hours is a great way to develop a reciprocating relationship that leads to expanded learning opportunities, advice, and future references. Dr. Brown also believes that it was important for students to realize that – especially for those entering their first semester – things do not always go as planned. Being prepared to accept changes is important because courses, degrees, and college life itself carry with them unseen challenges that can cause a student to pause and readjust their journey through college. But in the end, with the resources available and people to meet, Dr. Brown is sure that all students can find their way; while also making Dowling College a better place for it. As the students do their part, Dr. Brown vows to do his. Making decisions is not always the easiest thing to do in the world, and Dr. Jeremy D. Brown understands this challenge as president. Yet, he bares this burden because, as he frankly stated, “I want to make a difference.” Having been a part of many other institutions, he has seen their many different kinds of problems and the possible solutions for them. With this experience, and the unique set of challenges that Dowling College presents, Dr. Brown feels confident that he has the knowledge and capability to nudge the College away from the status quo and towards a brighter tomorrow.
To begin this work right away, when Dr. Brown first visited Dowling College, he immediately noticed the discrepancy between the outside material about the College and the actual campus itself. For example, he believed that “the website was not a fair representation of the quality of the institution.” During his first visits to the campus, Dr. Brown was struck by the potential it possessed. He was also impressed by the people he met and the honest loyalty and dedication that they showed towards the College itself. Between the potential of its atmosphere and excitement of those working within its walls, Dr. Brown felt confident that Dowling College was a place he could effectively bring change to. In the short while of his being at the College, Dr. Brown stated that “these feelings have just been underscored again and again.” Therefore, a great deal of effort has been put into the re-development of the College’s website. Nearing its final stages, the site has been redesigned to better reflect the quality Dowling has to offer. It is through these kinds of efforts involving teamwork that Dr. Brown can be expected to make his difference at Dowling College.
Though he has only just begun to ease himself into the role as president, Dr. Brown has plenty of experience as an administrator and faculty member of several institutions to ensure the continued likelihood of his success. Understanding the pulse of the campuses and meeting with various staff members of the College, he – as he jokingly put it – “hit the ground sprinting” in order to make certain a clean changeover from interim president Scott Rudolph and himself occurred. This process has enabled Dr. Brown to develop a greater respect and influence over the College that will almost certainly better allow greater accomplishments to flower. Carrying high expectations for Dowling’s future, Dr. Brown is confident that under his cooperative leadership things will get done. Under this mindset, the future of Dowling College seems bright indeed.
What tomorrow may bring to Dowling College might be unknown, but if the perseverance of the College thus far is considered, then a bright future can be expected. Since its founding in 1955 as an outreach of Adelphi College into Suffolk County and breaking free on its own in 1968, Dowling College has proven its ability to adapt. Though the College may not be steeped in tradition, however, Dr. Brown thinks that this is a strength because “as a college of the 20th century operating in the 21st, [Dowling College] can be flexible and dynamic in its efforts to meet the needs of its students.” This ability to evolve is a positive fact, especially for a College residing in a residential area, because it is able to grow and adjust to its surroundings. For instance, Dr. Brown honestly believes in working with the neighboring communities by hosting events that all can enjoy and making sure that Dowling’s policies and actions do not breech too far beyond what is absolutely necessary for running a vibrant institution of higher education. Improving the community and college with the available resources is an obvious goal.
But at the end of the day, Dowling College does exist primarily to offer a great education with many majors to choose from. Providing courses grounded in the liberal arts tradition, students are sure to gain a well-rounded education that prepares them for the future. Maintaining high academic standards, excellence, and diversity are just a few of the basic goals Dowling seeks to uphold, while also providing a recognition that carries beyond foreseeable horizons. Dr. Brown can certainly be expected to continue these ideals as he fosters a supportive and collaborative learning environment for all to thrive within.
Dr. Jeremy D. Brown is clearly committed to making higher education more accessible to everyone willing to stand up for it. He sees Dowling College as an institution that is dedicated towards challenging and enriching the students it teaches, while offering faculty members opportunities to educate and pursue scholarly work. He understands the College’s responsibility to work alongside the residential community that surrounds it and encourages students to be creative innovators in constructing their own college experiences. He also believes that the decision-making process is a collective one and that all should be a part of it. He wants the voices of fellow administrators, faculty, and students to be heard, because they all have a joint interest in seeing that the College is constantly reaching for even greater heights. He, therefore, wants to cultivate openness into his role as president of Dowling College with efforts to leave his door open to anyone willing to express their opinions for him to consider. And he is eager to be visible. So please, do not be too surprised that if the next time you are walking to class or sitting down with friends in the cafeteria that you may just get a chance to meet Dowling College’s new president for yourself.
By Arianna Lindbergh
OAKDALE, NY – In the secluded Music House of Dowling College, there is one more vacant room. Professor Ron Armanini, Coordinator of Musical Concerts, had his position eliminated by the College on August 15, leaving his TMH 204 office vacant. Professor Armanini’s responsibilities included being the advisor to both the Music Club and the newly revived Radio Station. He was also the director of the college chorus, and helped establish a joint agreement between Suffolk County Community College and Dowling College, that fostered cooperation between their Performing Ensembles.
Professor Armanini was known for his selfless acts of kindness, willingness of working with different campus constituencies, and for his laid back style of teaching. Though unknown at the time of the construction of this article, it has been said by unconfirmed sources that he may come back as an Adjunct this fall. Staff and students college wide were reported to be very disheartened over the administration’s decision to terminate his position. “I have received many messages from both students and alumni who are very upset over the College’s decision. Though I understand we need to cut fat in our budget, they should not have cut a position that works so closely, and so well, with students” said Jim Rhodes, Student Government President and Armanini’s former work-study. Rhodes, along with other students, plan on submitting formal complaints to the Provost’s Office.
By Leanette Capella
Dowling College Residential Halls provide its students with the amazing experience of living away from home. There are two residential halls, one on the Oakdale Campus and the other at Brookhaven. It is always great to get away from home and gain a sense of independence, while you are studying at college. If you are looking for that experience, then check in at either one of the resident halls and ask for more information. The student dorms are enriched with diversity, which help expand your social networking. Overall, living at either campus is an enjoyable experience.
Both residential halls are constantly active. Events are regularly being hosted by the Resident Assistances, who live at each facility. These events are fun and creative, allowing dormers to gather together and socialize. They also help create a bond among the residents, giving the dorms a home away from home feeling to them. Residents, who are interested in finding out more information on the Residents Hall events, should stop by each campus’ dorm office and view the RA created newsletter with dates and times of upcoming events. Feel free to invite a friend or classmate to take part in the many activities we have planned for this year. Sign them into the dorms during an event to give them a sense of what the residence hall is like and how it is to live on campus.
Just recently, there was a new change made to the student lounge over on the Oakdale Campus. The lounge has been redecorated by two of the Oakdale residents in order to create a more inviting atmosphere. The lounge is an area used by many of our dormers, and we hope everyone enjoys the new changes!