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LIU Professors Honored at Krasnoff/Newton Award Ceremony

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Long Island University presented its most prestigious faculty honors on Friday, April 1, honoring two recipients of the biennial Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Awards for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement and six recipients of the David Newton Awards for Excellence in Teaching at an awards ceremony and panel discussion in the Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn.

“Teaching and scholarship are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of what we have to deliver for this generation,” said Eric Krasnoff, chairman of the LIU Board of Trustees. “When we talk about why the ‘50s and ‘60s were affluent times, I don’t think the fact that we had such an educated, motivated group of young people who came back from World War II is played out enough, and that education and motivation is something that we need to be mindful of and continue to do every day here.”

The Krasnoff Awards were presented to LIU Post Professor of Psychology Danielle Knafo and LIU Post Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies. Dr. Knafo has lectured nationally and internationally on the topics of psychoanalysis, psychosis, creativity, sexuality, and trauma. Her forthcoming book The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture, co-authored with Rocco Lobosco, is also the basis for a forthcoming documentary film, and considers the boundary between the human and the machine while touching on issues in the philosophy of science, ethics, evolution, social psychology, and clinical psychoanalysis.

“I attribute my interdisciplinary interests to being a first-generation immigrant and the child of immigrants,” Dr. Knafo said. “Like most immigrants, I got used to living between cultures and languages, and I learned to move easily between epistemological disciplines.”

Dr. Shapiro is a five-time winner of programming awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and serves as music director of the Prince Edward Island Symphony and the Cecilia Chorus of New York in addition to his position at LIU. He has conducted more than 160 world, national, and regional premieres, and conducts in Carnegie Hall as part of the Cecilia Chorus’s annual series.

“All the cool people nowadays are entrepreneurs,” Shapiro said, “and I’ve been thinking that we’re entrepreneurs, too, when we’re involved in scholarship and research. I think entrepreneurship is about looking for opportunity, and I think scholarship is also about looking for opportunity. The material is out there, the material is beckoning to you, there are connections in the world you want to make, there are communities you want to put together, and somehow, by following your passion and curiosity, you get to do that.”

Following the presentation of awards, the six winners of the 2016 David Newton Awards participated in a panel discussion on “Relevance in the Classroom.” The award recipients and panelists were Dalia Fahmy, Assistant Professor of Political Science at LIU Brooklyn; Veronika Dolar, Assistant Professor of Economics at LIU Post; Agnes Cha, Associate Professor in Pharmacy Practice at LIU Pharmacy; Geoffrey Goodman, Associate Professor of Psychology at LIU Post; Cristiana Kahl Collins, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at LIU Brooklyn; and Shawn Welnak, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at LIU Post. The professors spoke on a range of topics, including the impact of globalization, the need for multicultural literacy, and the reconciliation of a liberal arts education with professional learning skills to help students succeed in the global economy.

“When it comes to creating a cultural of inclusiveness within the classroom,” Dr. Cha said, “particularly for us in the College of Pharmacy, it can be very challenging, especially when we’re focused on pharmacotherapy and focused on science. What I try to do within my didactic lectures, whenever I lecture on HIV and AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections, I take my time talking about the high-risk populations, and the different stigmas that are involved, and breaking down those stigmatic barriers. I think that it’s challenging, because then I have to dive right into the science and the pharmacotherapy of it, but I do take my time on purpose, because I think it’s important for students to be aware of the different cultures and what we have to deal with when we manage patients in an actual practice.”

“I say about two or three times during every semester, ‘Why do you come to school?’” said Dr. Fahmy. “You’re here to learn how to think, and you’re here to learn how to think critically and globally, not just about yourself but about the world around you, and that’s not going to be possible without an education in the liberal arts, in political science, in philosophy and logic and ethics. You can’t understand the 2008 economic crisis without these parts of the problem. You can’t understand why we go to war today without understanding that we’re all connected. You can’t understand the refugee crisis without the human experience element. You come to a university to understand not just that you can make change, but that you matter, and that only happens if you have critical thinking skills.”

Posted 04/14/2016

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