Alumni Success Stories

Senior Vascular Surgeon
St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital

Dr. Donna Mendes
B.A., Biology, 1973

Senior Vascular Surgeon at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt (SLR) Hospital Center in New York City, Dr. Donna Mendes holds the distinction of being the first African-American, female vascular surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery. Being a pioneer was not something she recognized immediately. “I was busy just doing my best in my work, so it didn’t hit me right away. I came to realize I was different because there were not many female vascular surgeons in general. I would go to large conferences and conventions, and the vast majority of the people there were white men.” Donna has been at St. Luke’s since completing her vascular fellowship at Englewood Hospital (New Jersey) in 1984. She has been chief of vascular services at SLR and at North General Hospital, one of SLR’s affiliated hospitals. Currently, she is

site director of vascular surgery at St. Luke’s, and associate clinical professor of surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. While at Hofstra, Donna aced her science classes for her declared major in speech pathology, and soon switched over to premed. “My advisor, Beatrice Nivens, was very encouraging, and she is still a friend to this day,” she noted. Today, Donna mentors other young women interested in her field. “Clearly there are still challenges in the health care profession for minorities,” she explained. “Some of the same people that I went through school and training with received a lot more mentoring and guidance along the way than I did. In many ways I’m considered a role model, so it’s up to me to be a mentor to other women interested in vascular surgery.”

Co-owner Tampa Bay Rays and Windham Mountain Ski Resort and Hotel

Randy Frankel
B.B.A., Accounting, 1979

Randy Frankel’s favorite memories of Hofstra include the cheering crowd at the Providence Civic Center during the first round of the NCAA college basketball championship and a somewhat smaller crowd at a party in one of the high-rise residence halls that included “a very special girl whom I ended up marrying.” Randy was a member of Hofstra’s 1976 men’s basketball team, which played in Providence in the first round of the NCAA tournament against the University of Connecticut. Today, Randy is co-owner of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and co-owner of Windham Mountain Ski Resort and Hotel in the Catskills. Randy also recalled taking accounting and business courses at Hofstra with Dr. Ralph Polimeni. “He is a great educator and a very nice person,” Randy said. “I also really enjoyed the library at Hofstra, as it provided me with a place to study in groups downstairs, or I could take the elevator up to a quiet floor and just hit the books.” He graduated from Hofstra University in 1979 with a B.B.A. in accounting, and went on to become a CPA at Peat Marwick in New Jersey. From there, he headed to Wall Street where he worked with

the accounting firm Oppenheim, Appel & Dixon. In 1986 Randy joined Spear, Leeds & Kellogg as the firm’s tax director. He was appointed managing director in 1996, with responsibility for the clearing business, operations, technology, order execution and the futures business. In 1999 he was appointed to the firm’s executive committee. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, Spear, Leeds & Kellogg was acquired by Goldman Sachs, where he became a managing director. Randy experienced the tragedy of 9/11 firsthand. Soon after, he made the decision to retire from Wall Street and spend time with his family. But retirement didn’t last long. In 2004 he and his Wall Street partners acquired the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now known as the Tampa Bay Rays. The following year he became a co-owner of Windham Mountain Ski Resort and Hotel in Windham, New York. In his spare time, Randy has been involved with several real estate projects and has opened restaurants in New Jersey and New York. He and his wife also established the Randy and Barbara Frankel Foundation, which supports education for students at Newark Academy and scholar-athletes at Parsippany High School, from which he graduated. Randy was inducted to the Parsippany High School Hall of Fame in 2005. He and his wife are also involved with Homeless Solutions of Morristown, New Jersey, and Camp Happy Times, which was founded by Randy’s father.

Vice President of Engineering Boeing

Michael Delaney
B.E., Aerospace Engineering, 1985

In 2003 Michael Delaney was named the chief project engineer on the Boeing 737 Next Generation airplane program. The “workhorse” of 130 airlines, this aircraft was redesigned from 1994 to 1997. Boeing delivered its 2,000th 737 Next Generation plane to airlines in 2006, he noted. As chief project engineer, Michael said, “I was the executive responsible for the safety of the design, implementing the product strategy, partnering engineering with marketing and sales, and overseeing the technical integration of the airplane, including structural, aerodynamics and systems.” Michael has taken those areas of responsibility one step further, having been named vice president of engineering at Boeing in 2010. Even as a youngster, Michael added, “I always loved airplanes and wanted to design them.” He chose Hofstra’s engineering program in part because “I wanted to work at Grumman on Long Island, and a lot of Hofstra faculty were involved with Grumman. My first job after graduation was at Grumman as an aerodynamics engineer – until the end of 1988, when I joined McDonnell Douglas.”

Michael moved into commercial aircraft flight testing at McDonnell Douglas, which ultimately became Boeing. One of his favorite aspects about Hofstra, he said, was its “small class sizes and easy access to the facilities and faculty.” An important lesson he learned as a first-year student, he recalled, came from a professor who said, “You can be the most brilliant engineer, but if you can’t articulate your ideas, it means nothing.” Another professor prepared him for his current career, Michael added, by pointing out that he “wasn’t teaching us how to do something, but rather how to solve problems — a concept we could apply to changing circumstances.” Michael’s advice for someone planning to enter his field is: “You’ll spend a lot of time in the work environment, so you should do something you really love. Go for what you really want to do, and enjoy your career – and life.”

Director Studio Directing Department ESPN

”For as long as I can remember, being in television is what I wanted to do,” Catherine Hunter said. “When I began searching for a college, Hofstra just seemed to have it all. The facilities were fabulous, and I knew that as a first-year student I would be working with the equipment in the studios. At other places, you had to wait until your junior year. I thought that was absurd.” As a junior, Catherine was among students taking turns producing and directing FYI, a then-new weekly magazine show, and as a senior, she directed a live music show, Live From Studio A. She was especially enthused about being so close to New York City, “one of the meccas for the television world, and I could take a train and be there in 25 minutes.” That close proximity enabled her, in senior year, to intern two days a week at Maury Povich’s syndicated show. Catherine, director in the Studio Directing Department at ESPN, noted, “I have two Emmys for SportsCenter, and a third one for ESPN’s College Game Day – Football, I’m proud to say.” She returns periodically to Hofstra “to speak to a class about working in television and to observe some of my old classes.” Professors like Randy Hillebrand and Peter Gershon “helped mold me into what I am today.”

Catherine Hunter
B.A., Video/Television Production, 2000

Care Transition Coach Atlanta Regional Commission

Gloria Jackson-McLean
Shortly after graduating from Hofstra’s School of Education and Allied Human Services (now the School of Education, Health and Human Services), Gloria Jackson-McLean became a public educator at Winthrop-University Hospital’s Long Island Regional Poison and Drug Information Center. In this capacity, she developed comprehensive education programs on poison prevention, and then presented these programs to communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties, via lectures, workshops and seminars. She also collaborated with other educators in New York state and the American Association of Poison Control Centers to create a systematic and statewide approach to public education. “I have always wanted to be a public health educator,” Gloria said. “My goal after graduation was to obtain a position as a health educator with an organization that focused on health education, health promotion and disease prevention. Thanks to Hofstra, my goal was achieved and the framework was set for me to advance higher on this career path.”

B.S., Community Health, 2005

In October 2006 Gloria relocated to Georgia. She is currently a care transition coach for the Atlanta Regional Commission. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In addition to “the sense of belonging” that she felt, Gloria fondly recalls the professors at Hofstra. “They were always willing to listen, advise and assist, especially in the Department of Health Professions and Kinesiology.” When asked what advice she would give those considering future careers in health-related fields, Gloria suggested “pursuing a B.S. in community health at Hofstra’s School of Education, Health and Human Services. This degree provides a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and can lead to a variety of career options in health – including health education, public health, epidemiology, health administration, nursing, social work, health counseling, and medicine.”

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Campus Crime Reporting and Fire Safety Statistics In compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and other federal law, an annual campus safety report which contains detailed information on campus security and fire safety, including statistics, is available by accessing the Hofstra website at hofstra.edu/ campussafetyreport or by contacting the Advisory Committee on Campus Safety. Crime statistics are also available at the U.S. Department of Education website at ope.ed.gov/security. The Advisory Committee on Campus Safety will provide upon request all campus crime and fire safety statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. For additional information or a paper copy of the report, please call the Department of Public Safety at 516-463-6606. Nondiscrimination Policy Hofstra University is committed to extending equal opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status in employment and in the conduct and operation of Hofstra University’s educational programs and activities, including admissions, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs. This statement of nondiscrimination is in compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the Age Discrimination Act and other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to nondiscrimination (“Equal Opportunity Laws”). The Equal Rights and Opportunity Officer is the University's official responsible for coordinating its adherence to Equal Opportunity Laws. Questions or concerns regarding any of these laws or other aspects of Hofstra’s Equal Opportunity Statement should be directed to the Equal Rights and Opportunity Officer at EROO@hofstra.edu, 516-463-7310, C/O Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, 101 Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549-1010. Hofstra University Harassment Policy Hofstra’s prohibition against discrimination is also addressed in Hofstra’s Harassment Policy. The Harassment Policy prohibits harassment--including sexual harassment and sexual violence--based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status. Hofstra University is committed to professional and interpersonal respect ensuring that no individuals are subjected to harassment or discriminated against in any way on the basis of any of these protected characteristics. Harassment based on any of these protected characteristics is a form of discrimination prohibited by law and by Hofstra University’s Harassment Policy. The Harassment Policy, which is available online at the link referenced below, contains complaint procedures for resolving complaints of harassment in violation of Hofstra’s Harassment Policy. Harassment policy link: http://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/Faculty/Senate/senate_FPS_43.pdf
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