Thursday, May 24, 2012

Controlling Tragedy

Just outside the exhibition entrance.
"Painting tragedy is to overcome tragedy, to control tragedy," says Jewish painter, poet and former Hofstra University professor, Yonia Fain.  Throughout his career, Fain has controlled the tragedy of his past in moving visual works, which are the focus of the retrospective, Remembrance, currently held at Emily Lowe Gallery on Hofstra's campus Fain's work deftly evokes the brutal sorrow of surviving anti-Semitic persecution through lively, hopeful colors reminiscent of expressionists and Mexican muralists.  In fact, muralists Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo were two of his closest confidants and supporters following a move to Mexico City in 1946.  Fain and his family have lived all throughout the world, following their cultural diaspora from Poland to Japanese-occupied Shanghai.  In 1953, he moved to New York (where he resides still) at the behest of the aforementioned Tamayo.

Lowe provides a perfect space for works from every stage of Fain's career (1959-present).
Being a bit of an art-buff, myself, the idea of an exhibition by a well-traveled and renowned artist on campus definitely intrigued me.  The thing of it was, I wasn't too familiar with his poetry nor his paintings and unsure what to expect from him, how he would represent his harrowing experiences in his work.  What I found was a beautiful mesh of expressionism and abstraction.  Works such as Still Life (pictured below) convey the stark melancholy of those living with memories of the Holocaust while honoring their humanity whereas the newer multimedia pieces illustrate the continuation of the human struggle, suffused with the vibrancy of hope.  I found myself entranced before each image, eyes affixed, taking the journey from despair to hope with each painting.

The "most astoundingly wonderful" humanity pours through Fain's re-envisioned Still Life.
Yet the exhibition doesn't stop at Fain's paintings: a touch screen podium situated against the back wall details the artist's life through his travels (via digital timeline) and even a selection of his poetry.  As a man who intimately faced the horrors of persecution and the suffering of refugee life, Fain brings a wealth of tragedy to the fore.  And yet, like all great tragedy, the impact of his work is not demoralizing but instead inspiriting.  As he himself says, "There is something in humans that is most astoundingly wonderful," and whether they are dispossessed or have been disregarded, Fain ensures that this ineffable, wonderful thing remains in each of his subjects.

Remembrance will run in the Emily Lowe Gallery until August 3.  The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday-Thursday from 10am-5pm and Fridays from 10am-4pm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hofstra Career Center: CAP AND GOWN!

Hofstra Career Center: CAP AND GOWN!: The Career Center wants to be among the first to congratulate you on your upcoming graduation! You have worked hard to get here, and now it’s time for you to move on to the next phase of your life!  Know that the Career Center is here for you, call us, follow us, visit us or check out our website 

Each year we ask students to take a short survey when you pick up your cap and gown telling us about your employment and education plans for next year. More importantly, graduates like you help increase the value of the Hofstra degree with every step you take, and this survey helps us compile data for national rankings in publications such as Businessweek and Barrons. Success.  When you complete it, you will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of several Amazon Gift Cards!

Don’t forget, it’s not too late to meet with a Career Center representative for assistance with perfecting your resume and job search techniques. Please visit to explore all of the services available to you and remember Hofstra alumni can stay connected with the Career Center after graduation.  Call us at 516-463-6060 to book an appointment!

See you at Cap and Gown pickup on May 16 and 17, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. in the Student Center Plaza Rooms. And again, congratulations on this accomplishment and we wish you continued success!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring Service!

The spring 2012 semester is almost over (good luck on all your finals everyone!) and it has been a great semester for service! I hope you saw all the posts from the Alternative Spring Break and the Stay-cation, but that is just a small part of the service programs the Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA) helped to sponsor this spring. Let's take a stroll down memory lane and recap all the successful service our students have participated in.

On February 16, 2012 OSLA hosted another Senior Service Day by taking ten students to volunteer at the Hempstead Boys and Girls Club. While there, we helped mentor elementary aged school children by helping them with their homework, reading to them, and doing crafts. The students also spoke to the children about what it is like to be a college student and encouraged them to one day go to college as well. Both Hofstra students and the children had a great time!

From March 15 - 20, 2012 OSLA hosted two Genocide Awareness programs: Erase Genocide and Invisible Children. Erase Genocide is an annual awareness program setup in the Student Center Atrium that allows students a moment to stop and think about past and present genocides. The word "genocide" is written out on a large piece of banner paper in pencil and students are asked to stop and literally "erase genocide." This year we also invited Invisible Children to come to campus with an Ugandan genocide survivor to educate our students about the genocide currently going on in Uganda and share his story. At the time that they came Invisible Children was all over the news and around 100 students came out to learn more.

On April 21, 2012 OSLA co-sponsored the WalkINN to Fight Hunger with The Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN). The INN is Long Island's network of soup kitchens and homeless shelters and was started right here on Hofstra's campus almost thirty years ago. Since then, Hofstra and The INN have had a strong bond and continue to work together on a regular basis. Three years ago we started a new tradition, the WalkINN to Fight Hunger which is a fundraising walk for The INN right here on Hofstra's campus. Every year the walk continues to grow and this year was no exception! Hofstra students, faculty and staff along with the outside community helped raise over $5000 for the The INN.

On April 28 - 29, 2012 Hofstra hosted our 5th Annual Relay for Life and it was bigger and better than ever before! All year our student Relay for Life committee works alongside OSLA and the American Cancer Society to put on one of the largest on-campus events of the year. This year over 1000 members of the Hofstra community came out for the event which was held on the intramural fields and raised over $106,000 for the American Cancer Society. Participants walk all night in remembrance of those who have lost their battle with cancer, to support those who are currently battling the disease, to celebrate those who are survivors, and to help find a cure. It was an incredibly touching event that affected everyone who was in attendance.

Last, but certainly not least on May 10, 2012 eleven students handed out clothing, food and toiletries to the homeless on the streets of NYC with the Midnight Run program. For six weeks prior, the Midnight Run student committee was hard at work collecting clothing donations, going out into the community to ask for food donations from local vendors, and fundraising at the Dutch Festival and in the Student Center Atrium to ensure they had enough supplies to help the homeless. In the city we were able to help over 50 different people, giving them everything the student committee was able to collect. It was an eye-opening experience for the students to interact with the homeless and all the students agreed it was far better than they were expecting. OSLA sponsors a Midnight Run trip every semester.  

OSLA hosts various service projects all year long, so make sure to take advantage of these great opportunities next year!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Managing the Stress of Finals

Its that time of the semester where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but still need to muster up that last push to get through finals. Walking around campus I can see the tired, bleary eyes from nights up studying and large cups of coffee in hand in an attempt to make it through. However time is limited for you right now, its so important to remember to take care of yourself and manage your stress the best you can. Think about setting up a study schedule for the next week and don't forget to schedule in breaks throughout the day to get up, walk around, call a family member or friend, or check your email. This will help keep your energy up, your stress level down and decrease the need for those all-nighters! 

Also break the volume of studying down into manageable parts - thinking about ALL that studying you have to do can be overwhelming. Instead think about working through one section, rewarding yourself with a break, then moving onto the next section, and so on. 

Above all else do your best to get some sleep - a nice deep sleep actually helps you retain information. So study, then close your eyes and let all that material sink into your brain and you'll wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on any exam! 

But most of all, don't forget to breathe....Good luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

RA of the Month for April!

Residential Programs would like to congratulate our “RA of the Month” winners for the month of April. The resident directors nominate their outstanding staff members each month in recognition of their hard work and “above and beyond” characteristics. As the end of the year draws closer, it’s a big challenge to keep your academics and your student leadership positions in good balance, and this months’ nominees have proven that they have what it takes to rise above the rest!

RA of the Month: Alex Romano
Alex is a senior marketing major working in Stuyvesant Hall- one of Hofstra’s all first-year residential halls. Alex has done a wonderful job in knowing all of her residents and this shows in many ways. Alex has had many spontaneous programs where she’ll watch a movie, grab lunch or just hangout. Alex has not only developed such great relationships with her floor, but with the rest of the building as well. Whenever Alex is on duty, residents come in to say hi, talk about the Rangers, or ask her advice on a multitude of subjects.  Alex also proved to be a very valuable resource while many of our residents went through the pledging process. Alex came up with the idea of having a “pass the coffee” dates to strengthen relationships between her co-workers. Each week a staff member picks another staff member who they haven’t seen a lot over the past week to get coffee with. This idea has really helped the RA staff to spend some individual time together and has strengthened the relationships that were already there. Wonderful job Alex!

Program of the Month: Murder Mystery Dinner hosted by Rebecca Gianarkis and Lauren Mrachko from Liberty/Republic
Lauren and Rebecca teamed up with faculty member Dr. Seirup and hosted a 20’s themed Murder Mystery Dinner in the Republic Lounge.  The program was great because Rebecca and Lauren had to cancel all of the dinner plans they made and therefore did this program without the incentive of food (the usual programming gimmick!)  Lauren and Rebecca approached resident students and asked them for parts in the play.  All of the residents they approached dressed the part and put on a spectacular performance! Even the residents who weren’t involved with a role still dressed up.  Everyone had a good time trying to figure out who the murderer was. This program suited the nature of honors college housing because there are so many Theater, Film, and Television majors living in that complex, and the program gave the students a chance to participate and act.  Everyone had a great time and it was a program that will be used in Lib/Rep for years to come! Thanks Rebecca and Lauren!

Thank you to ALL our wonderful Resident Assistants and their hard work this school year! 
~Becky Christiansen
Residential Programs.

Word on the Street- What's the best year of college?

It's funny that wherever you sit, the grass always seems greener somewhere else. When I was in college, I thought work would be so much easier, and when I started working, I missed the "easy life" in college. In reality, every phase of your life has its pros and cons, and all are special. But from where you sit right now, where in college do you wish you were-- or do you wish it was all behind you already and you were living life as an alum? Take the poll, but your comments are welcomed as well! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So Close, and Yet So Far...

With just less than two weeks left in the semester, I know most of us are thinking about this:

But to get to that...we've all got to get through FINALS!!!

So, I wanted to remind you all about all the great stress busters Hofstra has to offer during the next few days, so you don't have to look like this:

From free yoga sessions and massages, to free snacks there's always something you could do to let yourself take a break and just relax for a little bit!  Take a look at this link for all of the OSLA Activities & Events coming up!

And a little reminder, the always popular Late Night Breakfast is happening Monday, May 14 at 10pm - come get free food provided by administrators!  See some friendly faces to encourage you through your finals :)

Good luck everyone and don't forget to relax and have fun, you're almost there!

Erica Serrazina
Asistant Resident Director, Netherlands

Monday, May 7, 2012

Clean Streets & Doggie Treats!

This past weekend was busy, successful and most importantly fun! Saturday morning started bright and early with the Uniondale Beautification Team, and a group of Hofstra students that volunteered to help clean up the community. They didn't let the weather stop them from helping their neighbors. Thank you again to our helpful volunteers!

The day continued with our Third Annual Pet Parade, where we had a great turn out of 12 dogs entered by Hofstra students and staff members.Congratulations again to Kaci, the Yellow Labrador Retriever for winning Cutest, Bailey, the Glen of Imaal Terrier for Third Place, Chloe the Toy Poodle for Second Place and this year's winner, Bella the Border Collie! It was such a great time watching the pets do their amazing tricks, and interact with each other. Thank you again to everyone who came out to support the events!

-Anita Ellis,
Director, The Office of Off-Campus Living
and Commuting Student Services

Friday, May 4, 2012

Active Minds works to "Send Silence Packing"

I was deeply moved yesterday by the suicide educational awareness program on our campus sponsored by the student organization, Active Minds.  The opportunity to connect with so many members of our community who stopped by to inquire about and support the Send Silence Packing program was a truly meaningful experience. 

As a community we can make a difference in the lives of others and we at Student Counseling admire Active Minds for so effectively organizing such a poignant event.If you were unable to do so at the event and would like to speak to a counselor, Student Counseling is always available for support. More information is available about this program at the Active Minds website. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Word on the Street- May

We know that it gets harder and harder to focus once May arrives. Is your head still in the game? Or is most of your focus on what's coming next?

Spring Events are in the Air

Best Sportswomen of the Week: Sigma Delta Tau
Phi Sigma Sigma. Winners of Toga
 If you've been around campus the last two weeks you know that there are events going on everywhere! I know I have enjoyed the last two weeks! After Spring Break I got to attend Greek Week which was a great week of events and seeing the over 600 Greek students competing and having fun was just awesome! On April 20th I had the honor of participating in the Holocaust Remembrance Day (video here) with Hofstra Hillel.

On April 28-29 I spent 8 hours on the intramural field with the Hofstra community raising money (over $106,000 at this point!!!!) to fight cancer and walking in honor and memory of family and friends and their struggle against cancer. Relay for Life was awesome. Each year this event grows and this year was no exception. There were over 100 teams, 1000 participants and they met their goal of raising over $100,000. This year's Relay committee was unstoppable!

Monday about 35 students and I watched The Voice in Hof USA to support Erin Willett (HU Alum '11) in the top 8. She put on an awesome performance and we were able to vote and hang out together watching the show by the fireplace. I am heading out tonight to see the ALFSA Yard Show at Hof  USA feel free to stop by around 8pm to this free open event. The Yard Show is an informal performance by the African and Latino Fraternities and Sororities on campus.
Willie and I at Relay!
Shane competing for 2012 Mr. Relay! (Relay for Life)
Friday is the Strictly Steppin' show in the Physical Education Building at 7pm and the Hofstra Gospel Ensemble's final performance of the year in the Student Center Theater. Then Saturday at 12pm doors will open for Music Fest (hosted by EU  , SGA and Hofstra Concerts). Hope to see you out on the Intramural Fields on Saturday May 5 and don't forget to bring your student ID. There will be food, carnival rides, activities and great music. Starting that day is Senior Week which is going to be a ton of fun for all of our seniors including a dinner cruise in Manhattan, a trip to Six Flags and much more!

The following day is the Dutch Festival which is free for students so, if you have the opportunity to stop by please do so. It's always a beautiful event and this year there will be a plant sale that you can purchase beautiful plants at for that special person (don't forget Mother's Day is the following Sunday!) Midnight Breakfast is Monday, May 14th starting at 10pm in the back of the Student Center Main Dining area. This is a great tradition that gives you that extra boost of energy you need while staying up late studying and completing papers and projects! There are many Stress Buster events hosted by OSLA that give students the opportunity to relieve stress during finals preparation. Some other events (massage, food breaks and study sessions) are highlighted on the OSLA main page so, check them out! I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of the Spring Semester as much as I have and I hope to see you out at these (and more) great events!