Professor Mordechai L. Friedman passed away September 17, 2019, after a short illness. He taught until his death at age 81, and had started the fall semester this year. Mordechai taught for 60 years, beginning his career in the New York City high schools at age 20. He had two masters degrees (1961 MA and … Continue reading In Memoriam: Professor Mordechai L. Friedman
What started as a summer job to make ends meet turned into a surprising career for Nick Jiwa (’91). The alumnus worked at a call center in 1986 and couldn’t wrap his head around the concept. “But I needed the money,” he recalls, “and so I stuck with it.” More than three decades later, Jiwa … Continue reading The CX Pioneer: Nick Jiwa (’91)
For decades, Tom Lapinski ('72) has worked to inject humanity into America’s prison system. And his latest project, Through the Bars, is his most ambitious venture yet. The foundation supports history, music, and arts programs at San Quentin Prison, with a goal of reducing recidivism and promoting successful reintegration of inmates into society. Programs include … Continue reading Reaching Through the Bars: Tom Lapinski (’72)
It was a homecoming, of sorts, for Jillian Flexner (MBA ’16), when she returned to campus in April for the New York City premiere of Bound, a one-act chamber opera, at the Baruch Performing Arts Center. The opera was presented by Fresh Squeezed Opera, an organization founded by Flexner in 2013. “We created Fresh Squeezed … Continue reading Operatic Homecoming: Jillian Flexner (MBA ’16) and Fresh Squeezed Opera
When class of 1947 alumnus William Newman made a $5 million gift to his alma mater in 1993, its impact was immediate and seismic. At the time, it was the second-largest gift ever received by The City University of New York (CUNY), surpassed only by the 1965 bequest from the College’s namesake, Bernard M. Baruch.
When it comes to harmonizing professional and philanthropic pursuits, entrepreneur Jie Hayes (MBA ’99) hits all the right notes. The Zicklin alumna is the founder and portfolio manager of Songbird Capital, a boutique investment advisory firm based in Princeton, NJ. She is also the donor behind the Songbird Capital Scholarship Program at Baruch. Both the company and the scholarship program owe their names to the Fleetwood Mac tune “Songbird,” from the group’s mega-album Rumours, which she was learning to play on the guitar at the same time she was establishing her firm. “The song represents the confluence of my passions, from entrepreneurship, to music, to doing the right thing for my clients, my family, and the larger community,” she explains.
Before entering Baruch College, Mark Smiley had taken only one science class in his life. A little more than 15 years later, he is an emergency physician in North Carolina, saving lives on a regular basis.
The scene: New York City, 1996. Acting legend and Manhattan native Robert De Niro and his producing partner, Jane Rosenthal, whose dream of nurturing the local film community led them to found the Tribeca Film Center several years prior, need a finance whiz with a commercial real estate background for their growing venture. Enter Zicklin School grad Sandy O’Hearen (’91), who takes what proves to be a life-changing phone call from a job recruiter with an offer she can’t refuse.
Luxury cruises were an alien concept to Bronx-born Harry Sommer (’88). “They just weren’t a big deal in New York City,” he recalls, “especially in the late eighties.” Today that has all changed, for the industry and for the alumnus. Mr. Sommer was recently appointed president international at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, a position in … Continue reading All Aboard with Cruise Industry Leader Harry Sommer (’88)
When President John F. Kennedy famously declared, “We choose to go to the Moon” in 1962, few Americans fully understood how we would achieve that lofty goal, including—apparently—many NASA engineers. “I knew nothing about space, but who did?” laughs Gerald Sandler (’56), an unassuming statistics major who became a lead engineer and program manager with the Apollo Lunar Module Program. “Even for those of us behind the scenes, reaching the Moon was like going on a vacation where you don’t know how you’ll get there and have no idea what the destination will be like!”