Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sherrie (ARTS ’66) and Michael Pollack (ARTS ’64) on How They Fell in Love on the NYU Heights Campus Fifty Years Ago

The Pollacks will be celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary on July 16, 2017. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we sat down with them to find out the secrets to dating on campus, making love last, and their “fifty-year love affair.”

How did you meet?

Michael: Our story starts in the spring of 1963. There were two fraternities on campus which were very active in student government, Phi Epsilon Pi, which I was a member of, and Phi Sigma Delta. Generally each fraternity would have a candidate for each office, and you had to get enough signatures to be included on the ballot. Once that was done, the presidents of each fraternity would meet and determine who would move forward for the election and who would withdraw.

One day, I was in the student center looking for students to sign my petition. I walked in to the newspaper office, and saw this lovely blonde lady sitting at a desk. I asked her if she would sign my petition. She said “no.”

Sherrie: I didn’t know him, and I wasn’t signing his petition. He knew right off the bat…I was a little confrontational.

Michael: I was somewhat taken aback. I told her that it wasn’t as if she would have to vote for me, it was just to get me on the ballot. But I couldn’t persuade her.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Alumna Kristina Shull (GSAS ’06) on Giving a Voice to Individuals in Immigration Detention Centers

Kristina Shull is a lecturer in the Department of History at UC Irvine and an activist who shared with us how her education shaped the work she does to bring attention to the problems facing immigration and immigration detention centers in the United States.

Photo credit: Axel Dupex for the Open Society Foundations
Can you talk about your experience at NYU and how it helped shape what you do now?

I am so grateful for my time at NYU.  The interdisciplinary Master’s Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought was foundational in several ways.  It allowed me the flexibility to pursue and hone my intellectual interests, and it introduced me to theories and methods for understanding issues like immigration detention within the larger frameworks of global histories and human rights.  The program’s rigor prepared me well for doctoral work, and its opportunities for community engagement helped me envision a career in academic activism.  I think it’s most important contribution in shaping my career path was providing a model for a “hybrid” approach to making academia actionable in the world, where history can be marshaled as a catalyst for change.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Erin Cass (GSAS ’14) on her Work at Creative Writing Non-Profit 826NYC

As Development Manager at 826NYC, part of Erin’s role is planning innovative events. With the holiday season approaching, we caught up with Erin to find out her advice for planning celebrations and her experiences in the non-profit sector.

What did you study at NYU?

I had a great experience at NYU studying Politics. Two professors that made a big impact are Arnaud Kurze in International Relations, and Professor of Sociology Jeff Goodwin. I think both of them are really inspiring. My research was focused on social movements and social change, and they both provided me with excellent advice and guidance.

What was so great about my classes was the critical eye my fellow students had, and the real conversations we were able to have that got into a deeper level. There were so many different people from all over the world in my classes who are doing amazing things now and are really inspiring.  It was an incredible atmosphere that inspired me to want to go out and do more after school.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Maximilian Guen (GLS '14) on Becoming a Media Entrepreneur

Co-founder of creative firm Magna Carta, Maximilian was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Marketing & Advertising and Media along with fellow NYU alumnus Matthew Firpo (TSOA ’12). He spoke to us about his experiences at NYU, his inspirations, and working to change perceptions about the refugee crisis in Europe.

What did you study at NYU?

I studied Global Liberal Studies. Dean Fred Schwarzbach was the pioneer of GLS which married together an interesting mix of people with open minds to science, philosophy and the arts.

The fact that I have ended up in media is a prime example of its expansive focus. The subject of my thesis was “How to Manipulate the Mind using Visual Media.”

What inspired you to co-found Magna Carta, a creative firm, with fellow NYU alumnus Matthew Firpo (TSOA ’12)?

The environment of NYU and the energy of New York provided the inspiration. We realized that there was a gap in the media world and we wanted to create a company that acts as a pipeline for us and a small group of talented directors to constantly be creating and telling powerful stories across all mediums that are visual. We specialize in commercial, narrative, documentary and interactive content with the plans to develop a TV division.