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Professors' Interviews

Professor Interview: Vincent Parisi

By Ramona Sav Nolan
September 24, 2010

Vincent Parisi is a Professor of Mathematics at Dowling College. The following interview will give its readers an insight into Prof. Parisi’s interests and life experiences.


Photo Courtesy eschoolnews.com

Favorite quote: The cards that they deal you are the ones you’ve got to play.

1. What was your original major in college?

Mathematics, with a minor in Philosophy.

2. Why did you choose to become a professor?

I taught evening high school for many years and felt I needed more interesting math to teach with a more motivated population.

3. What should students look forward to when signing up for one of your classes?

The enthusiasm, respect, appreciation, and love I have for the subject.

4. What is the most rewarding part about your profession?

When students go out of there way to say hello or say something kind to me.

5. Do you have any suggestions to improve Dowling College?

Can I be as bold to say “hire me full-time in the Math Department?”

6. Do you have any advice for students about to graduate?

Yes. Find an occupation you enjoy, rather than one that pays the most.

7. Do you have any advice for freshman students?

Read as much as you can. Question everything. College will be over before you know it and you’ll really miss it when it’s over.

8. What are you most proud of?

My past.

9. What are you least proud of?

I never learned to play an instrument, yet I love music more than anything.

10. Do you have any guilty pleasure(s) or hobbies?

I’ve been attending as many live concerts as I can since 1977 and have a great autograph collection and stories to tell from many of them. Anybody that knows me knows I love the Cincinnati Reds and the great Pete Rose.

11. Who is your favorite musician or artist?

My favorite musicians are Jack Bruce and Frank Zappa with Cream (1966–1968, 2005) being my favorite band. My favorite live concerts have been Dave Koz and his band.

12. What is your favorite book?

No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre.

13. What is your favorite movie or television show?

Favorite movie: Reservoir Dogs

Favorite TV shows: The Adventures of Superman (George Reeves) and The Fugitive (David Janssen).

14. What is the most romantic gesture you have ever done?

Perhaps playing romantic jazz at the most appropriate times.

15. What are your thoughts about the afterlife?

I find it more difficult believing there ISN’T an afterlife.

16. How long have you been teaching at Dowling?

Teaching since 2002 and tutoring since 1988.

17. What decision do you most regret? (asked by Dr. Rosenstreich)

I became intimate with a woman who was a long time friend. When our relationship was over so was our friendship.

18. Where would you next like to visit? (asked by Dr. Wilkens)

Cincinnati.

19. What, and where, was your most memorable meal? (asked by Dr. Gidding)

On October 26, 1985 my friends and I had the opportunity of spending time with our musical hero Jack Bruce after a concert at Carnegie Hall. Our “meals” were served by a bartender.

20. If you were not an educator, what do you think you would be doing for a living instead? (asked by Dr. McDonnell)

Something I wouldn’t enjoy as much.

21. What is your feeling about answering all these questions? (asked by Prof. Tholl)

I really appreciate being asked to do this. Thanks, Ramona!

22. What is your favorite city? (asked by Dr. Lamia)

Cincinnati.

23. If you could transport yourself now to any year in history, what year would it be? (asked by Prof. Parisi)

1968 for many reasons.

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Professor Interview: Stephen Lamia

By Ramona Sav Nolan
May 6, 2010

Stephen Lamia is a Professor of Visual Arts at Dowling College. The following interview will give its readers an insight into Dr. Lamia’s interests and life experiences.

Favorite quote: “It looks done to me!”

1. What was your original major in college?

I was an Art & Art History Major. Surprise!!

2. Why did you choose to become a professor?

I went the Museum & Gallery route for a while, but then I realized that I rather enjoyed sharing the knowledge and skills I have with others.

3. What should students look forward to when signing up for one of your classes?

A high-energy Professor who wants to inspire confidence in his students by having them make art & understand and appreciate the art of the past and present. Also, taking them on field trips into the City to see real art and architecture up close.

4. What is the most rewarding part about your profession?

The positive feedback I receive from my students when they have a break-through moment in the Studio or when they delight in seeing art in a museum.

5. Do you have any suggestions to improve Dowling College?

Plenty!

6. Do you have any advice for students about to graduate?

Believe in yourself & your ability to attain your goals.

7. Do you have any advice for freshman students?

Organize your time well, hone your study skills, make lots of friends, join a club, decide that you will succeed in your major, seek out a professor who will mentor you & fall in love with another human being.

8. What are you most proud of?

I am proud to be a native New Yorker & amazed that I’m still on this side of dirt, after some pretty harrowing experiences!

9. What are you least proud of?

Please don’t go there!

10. Do you have any guilty pleasure(s) or hobbies?

The older I get, the less guilt I have. I do enjoy working out at my gym when my schedule permits & cooking a great meal. I also love living in Manhattan & exploring different neighborhoods in all five boroughs. “New York, New York is a hell of a town! The Bronx is up & The Battery’s down!!”

11. Who is your favorite musician or artist?

My interest in music ranges from Gregorian Chant to Zydeco with almost every other genre in between. As far as artists go, my preferences are equally wide, though my favorite periods are Ancient Egypt, Medieval and Modern.

12. What is your favorite book?

I have many, though one of my great faves is Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.

13. What is your favorite movie or television show?

Recently, I was blown away by Precious, though there are others that I like such Philip Glass’s Koyannisatqi, Walt Disney’s Fantasia & The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

14. What is the most romantic gesture you have ever done?

On one of our wedding anniversaries, my wife, Mimi, & I took a ride through Central Park in a Hansom cab & I asked the driver to take us home. Imagine galloping across town & arriving at our apartment building in a horse & buggy at night in the middle of Winter!!

15. What are your thoughts about the afterlife?

Uncertain, though I am impressed at the elaborate theology which some of the world’s religions have developed regarding that topic.

16. How long have you been teaching at Dowling?

OMG, since 1992!

17. What decision do you most regret? (asked by Dr. Rosenstreich)

I am happy to say that I have no regrets!!

18. Where would you next like to visit? (asked by Dr. Wilkens)

Greece, especially the town that bears my surname.

19. What, and where, was your most memorable meal? (asked by Dr. Gidding)

There were many, but I’d have to say Cassoulet in the Languedoc region of France, the birthplace of that wonderful dish, accompanied by a great wine from that same region. Yum!!

20. If you were not an educator, what do you think you would be doing for a living instead? (asked by Dr. McDonnell)

Being a full-time practicing artist.

21. What is your feeling about answering all these questions? (asked by Prof. Tholl)

They were fun to answer.

22. What is your favorite city? (asked by Dr. Lamia)

What else? New York!! However, I am also smitten with a whole bunch of other urban centers in North America & Europe.

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Professor Interview: Joshua Gidding

By Ramona Sav Nolan
May 4, 2010

Joshua Gidding is an English Professor at Dowling College. The following interview will give its readers an insight into Dr. Gidding’s interests and life experiences.

Favorite quote: “This book has parts that are both original and good. However, the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.” —Samuel Johnson.

1. What was your original major in college?

Classics.

2. Why did you choose to become a professor?

Because I love books, and I love to talk (sometimes even about books).

3. What should students look forward to when signing up for one of your classes?

Lots of reading and writing, and some good conversations.

4. What is the most rewarding part about your profession? Helping students improve their writing.

5. Do you have any suggestions to improve Dowling College?

Yes: raise money.

6. Do you have any advice for students about to graduate?

Go all out for what you love and believe in, and don’t compromise on the important things.

7. Do you have any advice for freshman students?

Read every day, write down all the words you don’t know, and look them up in a good dictionary, which you should own.

8. What are you most proud of?

Writing my second book (Failure: An Autobiography).

9. What are you least proud of?

Some of the things I wrote about in my second book.

10. Do you have any guilty pleasure(s) or hobbies?

Compulsive book-buying (of books that I don’t read.)

11. Who is your favorite musician or artist?

Musician: Handel. Artist: Paul Klee.

12. What is your favorite book?

Remembrance of Things Past, followed closely by The Magic Mountain.

13. What is your favorite movie or television show?

Movie: My Dinner with Andre.

14. What is the most romantic gesture you have ever done?

Taking my wife on a wild goose chase for her 40th birthday.

15. What are your thoughts about the afterlife?

Funny, I’m writing something about that now, so I can’t say anything. (Superstitious.) Ask me again in a year.

16. How long have you been teaching at Dowling?

Thirteen years.

17. What decision do you most regret? (asked by Dr. Rosenstreich)

Not taking Old English in graduate school.

18. Where would you next like to visit? (asked by Dr. Wilkens)

Pittsburgh. (I’m serious – I’m interested in the Rust Belt.)

19. What, and where, was your most memorable meal? (asked by Dr. Gidding)

L’Ambassade D’Auvergne (Paris), Summer ’98, where I had aligote for the first time. Aligote is mashed potatoes, butter, cream and Cantal cheese, whipped to the consistency of a fifth state of matter. It is what they serve in heaven. (Much better than nectar and ambrosia.)

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