A look at the many ways Adelphi made news and was recognized for excellence in 2015–2016.

The faculty, students, staff and alumni of Adelphi University are newsmakers. They win big federal grants and conduct groundbreaking research. They are artists, athletes and community activists. In the past year, Adelphi has gained recognition for their tremendous accomplishments and contributions.

Here, we celebrate some of the biggest stories of the 2015–2016 year.


In June 2016, Adelphi announced that Victor LaBruna, Ph.D., and Mandy Habib, Psy.D., directors of the Institute for Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training, housed in Adelphi’s School of Social Work, secured a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—$290,000 a year for three years—for an interdisciplinary public health program to train psychology, nursing and social work graduate students to provide early intervention screening and treatment for people who have or are at risk of developing substance abuse disorders.

In May 2016, Justyna Widera, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, secured funding from the National Science Foundationa total of $246,645 over three years—to bring 12 undergraduate students from the United States to Warsaw, Poland, to research ways to create cheaper and more efficient solar energy panels.

In May 2016, the FAR Fund of New York City awarded Adelphi $153,000 over three years to support the work of faculty and students at the Derner Hempstead Child Clinic. The clinic provides mental health services to children and their families in Hempstead, New York. It was conceived by Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D., senior adjunct professor, and Francine Conway, Ph.D. ’99, former professor and department chair, and is being run in partnership with the Mental Health Association of Nassau County. Denise Hien, Ph.D., professor, and Jonathan Jackson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Psychological Services and field training and director of the Pre-Doctoral Derner Institute Internship Consortium, helped secure the funds.


May 2016

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 featured Joel Weinberger, Ph.D., professor, for his research on how subliminal thoughts influence voter behavior.

Paul Moravec, University Professor of music, garnered extensive press and glowing reviews for his composition of The Shining—an opera based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. Moravec spoke to NPR’s All Things Considered and the Associated Press about the work. The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Broadway World and other news outlets gave it rave reviews.

In a follow-up story to the news of Malia Obama’s decision to take a gap year before going to Harvard, CBS New York spoke to a number of people at Adelphi about the gap-year trend, including Isuri Wijesundara, an Adelphi junior; Stephanie S. Espina, director of freshman admissions; and Thomas W. Shinick, M.B.A. ’82, a part-time professor in the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business.

Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D., senior adjunct faculty member, spoke to Newsweek about a poll showing that 82 percent of teenagers believe that racial discrimination will be a problem for their generation—up from 44 percent in 1966.

An article in the New York Post’s Education Guide on ways that college applicants can leverage their extracurricular passions and pursuits featured an interview with Kristen E. Capezza, M.B.A. ’12, associate vice president of enrollment management.

April 2016

NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed Michael D’Emic, Ph.D., assistant professor, about a paper he co-published in the journal Science on breakthrough research about the growth and parenting of a baby sauropod dinosaur.

Stephen Shore, Ed.D., clinical assistant professor, was included in a CBS News top-20 list of “inspiring stories of people on the autism spectrum.”

March 2016

Just days after terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, USA TODAY featured a front-page story on how the bombings could affect the ongoing battle between Apple and the FBI over iPhone encryption. Mark Grabowski, J.D., associate professor, who has written extensively about the case, was one of the experts interviewed for the story.

John McDermott, assistant professor, worked with Adelphi alumni and a student to design the sets for the recent production of Sense and Sensibility by New York’s Bedlam theater company. The production received a positive review in The New York Times, including a shout-out for McDermott and his team.

The Inauguration of President Christine M. Riordan as Adelphi’s 10th president on March 11, 2016, garnered considerable media coverage. Newsday published articles in its print and online editions. News 12 Long and FiOS1 News Long Island were among the other media outlets that covered the event.

February 2016

Adelphi figured prominently in the New York Times article “Dear Google, Is There a Shrink for That?” on the popularity of boutique psychotherapy. Lawrence Josephs, Ph.D., professor, and alumni Jocelyn Charnas, Ph.D. ’09, and Michael Garfinkle, Ph.D. ’09, weighed in on the trend.

January 2016

Robert Bornstein, Ph.D., professor, commented on Minnesota Public Radio’s classical music show, Classical MPR, on why political advertisements work and the power of the exposure effect.

WNYC radio’s popular talk show, The Leonard Lopate Show, featured an interview with Margaret Gray, Ph.D., associate professor and author of the book Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic, on the topic of “Who is harvesting your
farm-to-table produce?”

Mirirai Sithole ’12, a graduate of Adelphi’s theatre program, received a rave New York Times review for her performance in the off-Broadway production of Mother Courage and Her Children.

November 2015

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Newsday featured an interview with Grace Zhang, a sophomore finance major studying in Paris. She commented on her experience, noting that she was safe with her host family during the raid. NBC and CBS also followed the story of students studying abroad and interviewed Shannon Harrison, director of international education.

September 2015

Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Academic Services and Retention Lester Baltimore, Ph.D., shared his expertise in USA TODAY on 15 actions to take for a successful school year.


In June, Adelphi won the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents’ Cup for the third time in four years. The Presidents’ Cup is presented annually to signify overall athletic excellence in the Northeast-10 Conference. Notably, the women’s lacrosse team closed the season with a 21-1 record and fell just one game shy of clinching the NCAA Division II championship. The softball team won its second consecutive East Region crown to earn a trip to the College World Series, where it won the opening game of the tournament.

Panthers soccer player Taylor Groth ’16 won the NE-10 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in recognition of her excellence on the field and in the classroom, where she earned a 3.93 GPA.


In June 2016, Adelphi secured a coveted Best Buy rating from the 2017 edition of the
best-selling Fiske Guide to Colleges for the 11th straight year. Adelphi was just one of three private colleges in New York State and 26 nationwide to make the cut.

In March 2016, U.S. News & World Report released its graduate school rankings, and Adelphi moved up in a number of areas. The School of Social Work jumped up from 43 to 38. The Doctor of Audiology program advanced from 69 to 57, and the graduate program in speech-language pathology moved ahead 11 spots from 131 to 120.

In July 2015, Adelphi was named to the Forbes list of “Top Colleges 2015: Best Schools, Best Value, Best for You.” The list focuses solely on outcomes—student loan debt, graduation rates, student satisfaction and career success.

Adelphi held its inaugural TEDxAdelphiUniversity in April 2016. The event, which was organized by Adelphi’s Center for Health Innovation (CHI) and licensed by TED, featured nine Adelphi speakers—including President Christine M. Riordan as well as Adelphi faculty, staff, students and alumni—who, in typical TED fashion, gave short, provocative talks on a single theme. (The theme chosen by CHI was “What If?”) About 100 people came to the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center on April 5, 2016, to hear the talks, which were broadcast live on the Internet. Videos of the speakers are posted on the TEDxAdelphiUniversity website.

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