Pandora’s Box Recognizes Professors with Great Achievements

By Rachel Dalloo

Pandora’s Box recognizes and highlights five professors with achievements in their fields.

Beverly Horowitz. Photo Courtesy: York College


Beverly Horowitz.

Beverly Horowitz, the director of the Occupational Therapy Program has been invited to the State Society of Aging’s (SSA) annual conference. At the two-day conference, Horowitz will be receiving the SSA’s Walter Beattie Jr. Award in recognition of her work within the SSA in New York and as a New York State gerontologist. 

She will be receiving the award on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

“It is an incredible honor to have SSA bestow upon me the Walter Beattie Award,” Horowitz said. “I have been active in SSA-NY since the early 1990’s and know a number of individuals upon whose shoulders I stand. One of whom were my mentor at Fordham University, Marjorie Cantor. She was also a recipient of the Walter Beattie Award, and the fact that even after all those years, I think the award is incredible.”

The conference, to be held in Saratoga Springs from Oct. 29 – 30, will be under the theme, “New Ideas for the New Old Age.” It will explore several topics of current interest in the field of aging, including the role of technology in older adult services, the issues of human rights of older people and education and training for professionals in the aging field.

“At one point in time, prior to the last 4-5 years, many Americans thought we were making headway in regard to racism, and the “isms”, sexism, but ageism has not really gotten that much attention and given the demographics worldwide, I think it is important that ageism should be recognized as something we as a society should combat, for older adults and younger adults,” Horowitz said.

Portrait of Jacob Apkarian. Photo courtesy: Jacob Apkarian

Jacob Apkarian

Jacob Apkarian, an assistant Professor of Sociology, has won a $1,000 award for having had “the best paper of 2018” in the journal Socio-Economic Review. 

It was recently presented by the Society for the Advancement of Socio- Economics (SASE) at their annual conference. The SASE notes that Apkarian’s paper is “…the paper is an example of excellent integration of economic and sociological theory.”

“I am surprised, humbled and obviously excited,” Apkarian said about his reaction to his receipt of the reward. “The paper that I wrote, I wasn’t sure of the degree of interest in it, but the fact that this committee found it valuable enough to give it an award, that made me happy. That shows that there is probably more in what I’m studying than I thought.” 

Apkarian stated that the idea for his paper began during his dissertation in graduate school while earning his PhD when he had begun to study the topic in 2012.

Apkarian is interested in quantitative methods for research and he teaches research methods and statistics to sociology, anthropology, and political science majors. The type of research he does examines the conflicting logics in the bond rating industry and governance in higher education.

“So, the main target of this piece were folks that study finance from a critical perspective,” he said. “So that is largely sociologists, organizational scholars, political scientists and some critical economics.”

Jillian Abbott. Photo Courtesy: Jillian Abbott

Jillian Abott

Jillian Abbott, an adjunct English Professor was able to secure a PSC-CUNY grant to attend an international conference on digital and immersive writing in the United Kingdom in July. This was made possible with the help and support of Heather Robinson, the former Chairperson of the English Department at York.

“I was really excited and I couldn’t wait to go and see what other people are doing, what best practices, what’s happening in the field,” Abbott said. “I was just really grateful to have that opportunity.”

Stella Wisdom, a digital curator at the British Library and Abbott put the panel together and British novelist Rosie Garland and Prof. Abbott “will discuss the ethics of writing in the digital realm.”

“The digital world has opened up so many options, and you get to see the experimentation, how people are experimenting in the digital round, and bending it and twisting it in order to tell a story,” Abbott said.

PSC-CUNY is a union that represents about 30,000 faculty and staff of the City University of New York. It is dedicated to advancing the professional lives of its members, enhancing their terms and conditions of employment, and maintaining the strength of the nation’s largest, oldest and most visible urban public university.

“I’m really proud to have that opportunity to work on that project in England, but I would love to do it over here,” Abbott said.

Abbott serves as one of the many PSC-CUNY delegates who advocate for higher increase in pay for adjunct professors.

“One of the things that was particularly gratifying to me is to be in a place where it’s okay to be an activist,” she added. “To be in an atmosphere where debate, disagreements, passion, where those things are not only welcomed, but encouraged. Creative writers are held in esteem. So, it was nice going from the lowest of the low to being respected. Even if it was for only a couple of days.”


Margarett Alexandre. Photo Courtesy: Margarett Alexandre

Margarett Alexandre

Margarett Alexandre of the Nursing Department and the School of Health and Professional Programs was the keynote speaker at the annual Haitian American Nurses Association (HANA) of Hudson Valley.  She also received a service award from the organization in Suffern, New York.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by an organization that not only works here in the United States, but they do local, regional, and international work,” Alexandre said. “I have presented with them before, so this is a true honor to be recognized by my peers.”

Alexandre was a huge part of the development of the first nursing elective and global nursing course in the department of Nursing at York in 2012. The course was NUR 450-”Assessment of Global Health Needs in an underserved community” 

“Right now, I would really like to see the Nursing Department to continue to evolve and to really be an integral part of the college,” Alexandre said. “For us to, with the resources, expand our admissions, because the demands are really great. Also, for us to do more work in the community and to work on our scholarship piece.”

For many years in the Nursing Department she has taken students to engage in service learning in Caribbean countries. Earlier this summer, she also took a cohort of 10 students to Moldova, where they volunteered their nursing skills as well.

“I hope that students learned to be humble, to understand that there are areas that do not have what’s available in the United States,” she said. “To be grateful if anything. To be grateful for the opportunities that you have in the U.S. Be accepting of differences, and really not to be critical until you know where the person is coming from.”

Dr. Linda Gerena. 

Linda Gerena, a professor of Teacher Education and the interim chair of the Teacher Education department at York, has been accepted to present at the upcoming Center on International Teaching Benchmarking (CIEB) Conference in Madrid, Spain. She will be presenting in October.

Gerena will be presenting two academic sessions. One session will be on effective practices and the second one will be on student perspective/student voice. Also known as student feedback, this is where students will be able to talk about how they feel about learning a foreign language.

“I feel honored, this is an organization in Spain that is dedicated to providing bilingualism education to all children in Spanish schools,” Gerena said. “Spain has a national curriculum and they started around 2002, where they set a goal for the country, to provide bilingual education.”

Gerena has also been asked to organize and chair a roundtable discussion on effective teaching practices in bilingual schools and classrooms. She has high hopes that the coordinators for the event will push forward with the plan of her organizing a roundtable discussion.

“What I hope to achieve is to share the research that I’ve done in Spain and the research that I’ve done here on bilingual effective practices for bilingual teachers,” she said. “So that when we plan programs, and when we teach, we are doing things that will increase student participation, increase their linguistic competency.”

In 2012, she received the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award to research bilingual education in Madrid, Spain. As part of her Fulbright commitment, Gerena had spent the spring semester of 2012 working with the Universidad Autonoma in Madrid, Spain. She was there to support the teacher education faculty in bi-lingual education.

Gerena hopes to be able to take some of her students abroad with her in the future, so they can better understand the work of the bilingual study.

“I have spoken to Dean Becker and the Provost, and one of my goals now with this trip is to see how we can create some type of study abroad program, even if it’s a short one,” she said. “I think I would start small. Hopefully I am working on getting a partnership here.”

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