Monday, November 25, 2013

Xing & Jing ---- Our first international twins

Xing Jiang and Jing Jiang, the twins from China Hangzhou - Qiandao Lake are our first international twins at Hofstra.  Xing (星) and Jing (晶), the names their father gave them are from Twinkle Twinkle (晶) Little Star (星).  Apple and Berry are their English names.

Different from many other identical twins growing up, Xing and Jing are still dressing the same and using the same products.  They are both majoring in Human Resources Management.  From the outside looking in, everything about them is the same.  However, just because they dress the same and use the same things does not mean they are the same.  They still have different personalities and think differently.

Even though they study the same major, they find their opinions on the topic are different.  Before pursuing their Master’s degree, Xing studied accounting for her bachelor’s degree and Jing studied Korean and Japanese languages.  They said because of their previous majors, when they talk about a classroom topic they always perceive it differently.  Xing has more logical thinking.   
Left is Jing (Berry) and Right is Xing (Apple)

They both agree Xing, the older sister, is the leader most of the time.  Coming to America, Jing followed Xing.  Jing originally planned to go to Japan to study, but Xing does not speak Japanese.  They did not want to separate from each other.  They chose to come to America since they both speak English. However, in daily life Jing is the one choose clothes and other items to buy.  Who decides what to wear on daily basis?  That depends on who gets up earlier!

What if they have different opinions?  Do they argue with each other?  Yes, they do!  They told me that they always argue about small things for hours and nobody understands why.
Left is Jing (Berry) and Right is Xing (Apple)

During our conversation, you could tell that these two sisters love and trust each other.  They told me that if you see them on campus, please say “Hi” and introduce yourself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Office of Off-Campus Living & Commuting Student Services: Shake a Rake, Flavors of the neighborhood, and Commuter hour in the game room

What a week the Office of Off-Campus Living and Commuting Student Services had! From student/community inclusion, to Cuban cuisine, to the commuting student hour in the game room; the commuting and off-campus students were sure involved on campus this week!

This past Saturday, over 180 students got together to volunteer for our annual Shake a Rake program. The students were ready and roaring at 9 a.m. to make a difference in a senior community member’s day. The students enjoyed a breakfast together, and then dispersed in groups with rakes in hand to go rake the yards of community members in need.

The students raked the leaves in the yards of 19 homes in the Hofstra vicinity, and helped beautify two community parks.

The community members were extremely grateful to have this experience with the students, many of them home bound due to health issues. The students’ visits to the homes lifted the community members’ spirits and made them feel like students really do care for them and the community. Many of the citizens chatted with the volunteers and expressed their deep gratitude for the student's actions.

 The students also felt very grateful for the experience. They knew that what they were doing was so much more than raking leaves, rather, lending a hand to people who could really use the help and interaction.

A sincere thanks to the students who volunteered their time and effort on that beautiful Saturday morning!

On Thursday, November 14th, our office combined programming efforts with the Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs to take  Commuting students and international students on a Latin food-venture! Students enjoyed a sweet and savory Cuban meal at Havana Central in Garden City and immersed themselves in the Cuban culture while eating gastronomic staples such as empanadas and tamales all while enjoying the traditional Latin music and ambiance.

The commuting student hour in the game room was great fun, hosted with the Office of Student Leadership and Activities! Commuting students had the opportunity to play games, have snacks, and get to know each other during common hour on Wednesday, November 13th.  The students enjoyed playing Foosball and  video games, creating bonds with one another and further establishing themselves on campus. 

If you are a commuting or off-campus student, be sure to check your Hofstra pride email for our regularly sent newsletter to get the latest scoop on any events we are hosting to get involved! 

Cristina Pappadake-Gomez
Graduate Assistant
Office of Off-Campus Living & Commuting Student Services 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Becoming More

Multicultural Mixer: Collegiate Women of Color recite a Maya Angelou poem.
Photo taken by Laura Bellini, Hofstra class of 2017, 

Political Science and Journalism major
I am often asked, “Why do you like living in the U.S.?”

My immediate answer is always: “Its diversity.” Then, I usually explain that in the U.S. you can not only interact with people from very diverse backgrounds (heritage, religious, etc.) but you can also find rich cultural diversity that was developed in the various regions/states of the country. You can also find geographic diversity, diversity in food, diversity in seasons/weather, etc.

Multicultural Mixer: H*INT performs a Bollywood dance called "Desi Girl."
Photo taken by Laura Bellini.
When hearing Lisa Young’s keynote address at the Diversity Awareness reception today, I was immediately taken in with our shared view on the diversity of diversity that exists! Lisa Young, a Hofstra alumna, spoke about the fact that “diversity is everywhere and is in all of us.” She continued to define that everyone has culture, whether you are coming from a majority or minority group. She emphasized that each of us helps make diversity more complete, “Without you, diversity becomes a little less.”

A special thanks to all the Multicultural Mixer participants!
Photo taken by Laura Bellini.

Reflecting on Lisa’s words, I think of our event on Monday, the Multicultural Mixer, where we greeted more than 300 students, faculty, and administrators to taste and smell the diversity of food, watch and listen to the diversity of performance art shared by our students. If one person didn't participate in that event, yes, the event would have not been the same. And I also recognize, that while we had a great turnout for the event, if more people would have participated, the richer the event would have become.

Diversity Awareness Reception: Opening Remarks by
Chelsea Gillyard, Class of 2014, Marketing Majo
Lisa further emphasized in her speech that “Diversity is healthy and it enriches our life.” She talked about how fruits and vegetables have a wide variety of nutrients to keep us healthy and how working out with a varied routine makes us stronger. She also talked about how the arts help enhance our lives for celebration, relaxation, and/or community building.

Diversity Awareness Reception:"Who We Are" moving poem participants

Diversity Awareness Reception: Keynote address by Lisa Young,
Award-winning Entrepreneuer and Sociolinguist, Hofstra Alumna 2010 and 2012

Diversity Awareness Reception: Drum Circle led by Terry Muldoon with Steel Margarita
We were able to experience this healthy enrichment later on during the reception, after Lisa spoke, when we were able to participate in a drum circle, led by Hofstra alumna, Terry Muldoon. We were able to select the percussion instrument of our choice, and Terry showed us all the unique characteristics that each instrument brought to harmony of sound. Not only did the drum circle enhance the reception’s activities, but is also helped us de-stress and find a rhythm with each other.

The final point Lisa emphasized in her speech was that “The more you diversify, the more you become.” As diversity of thought and talent will help continue to help the human race evolve, Lisa encouraged the audience to continue to learn about the unique characteristics everyone brings to the table. She pointed out that seeking to understand will not only expand your comfort zone, but it will bring about immense personal growth.

I couldn't agree more. One of the reasons I love my work is that I get to interact with people with such varied backgrounds. Every day I learn something new. Working in a diverse setting is becoming the norm. Just today on the radio, I learned about community spaces where people from various working backgrounds come together to work in the same space, build connections, and enhance ideas. The workforce is changing from the emphasis of individuality toward a more collaborative environment. This change has everything to do with the value of diversity.

In the spirit of honoring the diversity at Hofstra, we are calling on members of the Hofstra community to join us in planning our heritage months. We host 6 heritage months throughout the year, and we are looking for your input into these events. If you are interested in participating on any of the planning committees, please email me at

Please help us embrace the diversity at Hofstra!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Learning Support presents HANGOUTS!

Interested in Prezi? Did you know that Calkins has a 3D printer? Want to find out about Linux? Join us for a Hangout in Calkins Computer Lab (room 106). Hangouts are user group discussions led by students, for students, regarding various technological topics. Share tips, tricks, and ideas and have some cookies! Our Prezi Hangout will be Wednesday, November 13th during Common Hour, our 3D Printer Hangout will be Thursday, November 21st at 3pm, and our Linux Hangout will be Wednesday, December 4th during Common Hour. If you can’t make it but have questions, please stop by Learning Support in Calkins 106!

Guest Blogger: Rose Tirotta, Coordinator, Learning Support

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

What are you doing this weekend?  You may plan on spending all day in the library, but wouldn’t you rather be sipping a pumpkin spiced latte in Bryant Park?  All too often, we forget just how many great things there are to do both on and around campus and in the city.  So when you’re making plans this week, try something new! 

Lucky for you, we have just the thing to help you decide.  The Division of Student Affairs just launched a new section of the Life@Hofstra website created by Hofstra students, for Hofstra students.  It details everything fun there is to do on Long Island from local movie theaters to bowling to laser tag.  The site also provides ticket info for each major sports team and concert venue.  If you are looking to go into the city for the day, there is a ton of information on cool activities, museums and cultural events to name a few.  There is even an entire section devoted to FREE things to do in NYC. (Beause who doesn’t love free stuff?) 

Make sure to take advantage of your time here at Hofstra and get creative this weekend!  So check it out and let us know in the comments if there is anything you would like to see on it in the future!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Multicultural and You

In the bestselling self-help book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, the author speaks of how showing a genuine interest and respect for others is among the ways of making friends, influencing people, and effectively becoming more successful in life. Carnegie profiles captains of industry and successful individuals to illustrate the potential a personal life orientation toward taking a genuine interest in others and respecting what is important to them has. “If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind…Become genuinely interested in other people.” Carnegie illustrates this point by showing that a salesmen only made a sale when he took a genuine interest in finding out what was important to his customer, the salesmen gained more than just a sale he confessed “he opened my eyes to things I had never even dreamed of. He changed my whole mental attitude.”

    November is Diversity Awareness Month at Hofstra; diversity refers to the unique combination of identities that make up who we are in relation to others. It relates to the culture to which a person belongs; culture is a “set of values, beliefs, expectations, worldviews, symbols, and appropriate behaviors of a group that provide its members with norms, plans, and rules for social living.” Learning about a person’s culture means you are learning about something that is important to who they are. It should be clear that people regard their values, beliefs, and worldview as important. Diversity Awareness Month provides various opportunities for Hofstra students to take a genuine interest in the diverse experience of others. Throughout the month, keep a lookout for events and programs that will illuminate the diversity of racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, religious, and other identities that are important to you and important to those around you.

At Hofstra, if your academic major is physics, you may think that knowing and mastering physics will mean success for you. I’m writing to tell you that while that is very important, it is only half the picture. Whatever your academic major: math, businesses, journalism, etc., do not forget that we live in a world inhabited by people, not subjects. Each person you meet could be in some way responsible for whether or not you are successful in your career, and they will have a unique set of identities that make them who they are. Many of the blog posts you’ll read by our very own Career Center will talk about this nebulous concept of “networking”, which is espoused as one of the most important ways of securing a career. Networking is often boiled down to “who you know, not what you know” being the most important factor in a career search. However, merely knowing another individual will not make them want to give you a job or even like you. Showing a genuine interest and respect for what they view as important, their cultural identity, and viewing it as equally important to your own is the key to making a lasting impression and possibly an enduring connection.

Here at the Multicultural and International Student Office as a part of Diversity Awareness Month we will be celebrating International Education Week.   The week will begin with the Multicultural Mixer in which multiple organizations and our office are collaborating to celebrate our campus' diversity.  The event will take place on Monday, November 11, from 6pm to 9pm.  On Tuesday, November 12 2013 the Next Stop: Africa.  An event in which will educate students about the continent that is Africa and the different countries.  Wednesday, November 13 our Diversity Awareness Month Reception int eh Plaza Rooms, from 11:15 to 12:30pm with keynote speaker Lisa Young, a Hofstra alum.  Our trip to Havana Central on Thursday, November 14th and closing with H*INT (Hofstra International) Cultural Festival on Friday in the Main Dining Room on Friday November 15th.  Make sure you check out all of our events during International Education Week!  If you're interested in our events for Diversity Awareness month, CLICK HERE and check out all of our wonderful events!

Guest Blogger: 
Jason Schaefer Graduate Student Assistant for LGBTQ Programs at MISPO
Mental Health Counseling Graduate Student

Friday, November 1, 2013

Holiday/Winter Travel Guide 2013

Many of you will be leaving for the holidays this upcoming November and December. Although it’s exciting to visit family and friends sometimes the task of planning your travel can be more legwork than the travel itself. So, here are some tips to help ease your holiday travel and cost:

Take the train – Although, for many of you living across state lines the first thing that comes to mind is booking your airline ticket, some travelers find they can save more than half on their travel spending by taking the train this holiday season. Also, if you book on Amtrak early (like, now) you can save up to 25% on your November/December tickets.

Get on the bus – Taking the bus home is another great option and although it might be a little more crowded (which transportation isn’t during the holidays?) it can save you hundreds of dollars. Greyhound Bus offers great deals during the holidays and has two (2) convenient terminals in NYC – one at Penn Station (34th Street) and another at the Port Authority (42nd Street).

Book your flight early & save– Taking a flight home might be the easiest option for many of you. So, if this is your only option because of your city location or the time it takes to get home, be sure to book your ticket early. Usually booking your ticket 20 – 30 days in advance can help you beat the last minute hikes in prices. Also, be sure to check out discount sites such as Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, or TravelZoo for more savings. If you’d like more tips on how to save on your airline tickets check out this article here.

Zip home in your Zipcar – If you’re within driving distance you might consider booking a Zipcar for the holidays.  Zipcar has partnered with Hofstra and for only $25 students can join. Plus, students only have to be 18 and older to reserve a car. The other bonus is if you need a car last minute you can access cars 24/7 right here on campus! To learn more check out:

Don’t forget the Blue Beetle – Yes, the Hofstra shuttle (a.k.a. Blue Beetle) will be at your service for transportation to the Hempstead and Mineola bus and train terminals for local and city travel. Plus, Hofstra has just announced that there will be shuttles to JFK airport starting on November 27th. You can view the current and holiday shuttle schedule here.

Please keep in mind with all of these travel methods it’s important that you travel safely.  If possible plan to travel during the daylight hours and be sure to notify your family/friends of your mode of transportation. When speaking with your family/friends include your travel details (e.g. arrival/departure times; flight/bus number; carrier; etc.).
Safe travels!