Knight Writer

Congrats to winners; Students out and about presenting and performing

by Debbie | April 16, 2013

justin deering

Justin Deering

And the winner is … Lynn’s Student Employee of the Year is Justin Deering, who also happens to be the son of Elaine Deering, English instructor in the College of Arts & Sciences. Justin works in the College of Education Project Access as a student mentor. He serves as a role model to these students, helping them with their course work and assisting them in navigating the many challenges they may face in a college campus environment. Congratulations, Justin!


Anna Krift, Joe Hall and students at AAC&U conference

Model citizens … Professors Anna Krift and Joseph Hall and students Andrés Auger, Bel Zelaya Castillo and Philip Allison presented The Citizenship Project: Commitment to Community at the AAC&U’s Student Success and The Quality Agenda conference on April 6. The presentation provided views from an administrator, faculty members and students participating in the project. Several members of the audience asked the students for further input related to their experience in The Citizenship Project as both peer mentors and students.

homeless project winners

The Debate Team won first place in the shelter building competition.

If you build it … Students learned about the plight of the homeless during the shelter building competition as part of the Better Together campaign. Terence McCorry declared the competition a “great success” with 60 students and 10 staff members participating. And the results: 1st Place went to the Debate Team of Colin Lewis, Alec Petro and Skytar Scoggan; 2nd Place to Zeta Beta Tau and Honorable Mention to BSU. The staff/faculty team “Namaste” consisting of Harika Rao, Paula Johnson, Stacy Lanigan and Professor Michael Lewis won the Level 1 Multi-Faith Quiz Show and their prize was Maintenance Shelter Consultant Ronnie Brown, but they honorably deferred to the student winners of the Level 1 Multi-Faith Quiz Show, the CRU team of Connor and Chris Darken, Daniel Williams,and Andrea Perez.


chance israel

Chance Israel

Take a Chance … 17-year-old pianist Chance Israel delivered an inspired performance of Chopin’s Grand Polonaise, Op. 22, in the Young Pianists Concert sponsored by the Chopin Foundation of the United States on April 13 at the Broward Main Library auditorium in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Performers for this special all-Chopin program were chosen via competitive auditions. Chance is a freshman in the BM program in the Conservatory of Music in the studio of Roberta Rust.

Final Four

Sports Management students at the Final Four

The ball’s in their court … For the seventh consecutive year, Lynn University sports management students studied and worked at the NCAA Final Four. The sports marketing class focuses on corporate sponsorship of the biggest event in college athletics. Another great sports management opportunity for our students!


Communication students at Delray library

Centennial fun … Professor Harry Murphy took 15 communication students to participate in the Delray Beach Library’s centennial celebration. Students demonstrated their talents while having a great deal of fun portraying characters from the five eras of the library’s existence.

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Vote for Lynn; New U.S. citizens take oath

by Debbie | April 4, 2013


The Providencia Award

Vote for Lynn … We need your help! We have been chosen as one of 3 finalists for the 2013 Providencia award, which is then voted on by the public on the Palm Beach Post website which is officially LIVE starting today (April 4). The rules are: one vote per computer, tablet or smart phone for the duration of the poll (April 25).  This prestigious award is given to a local business, organization or individual that is making an extraordinary contribution to the vitality and prosperity of Palm Beach County as a desirable tourist destination. So, vote today!

A special naturalization ceremony was held in the Wold on Tuesday.

I pledge allegiance
… 325 new U.S. citizens took the Oath of Allegiance during a special naturalization ceremony on campus at our Wold Performing Arts Center on Tuesday (April 2). Congresswoman Lois Frankel delivered the welcome address, and our own President Kevin Ross was the speaker. The 325 citizenship candidates originate from 51 countries. The top five countries of origination are: Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Colombia and Brazil. 

Teal ribbons displayed for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sobering statistics … This is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Did you know that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime? On Monday, teal ribbons were displayed on the grass in front of the Green Center each representing a student who, according to the National Statistics, has been or will be the victim of a sexual assault. If you should need assistance, be aware of the Sexual Assault Hotline: 561-212-8356.

It has a nice “ring” to it … It seems like only yesterday, but it was 17 weeks ago that the men’s soccer team  won 2012 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer National Championship Trophy. And now they have the bling to go with it. Their championship rings were presented to them in a private ceremony recently.  Head coach John Rootes said, “These rings are a symbol of all the hard work and sacrifice they put forth to win a national title.  They will cherish these all of their lives, knowing that they were a part of history, a part of Lynn’s 20th national title.”  And congrats to Matt DiCerbo, Jason Sangha and Jack Winter who all garnered All-America accolades.

Cool recycling ideas

 A-maze-ing … Several months ago, Robert Watson assigned his J Term and Dialogue students the task of coming up with creative ways of greening their lifestyles and motivating students to recycle. Well, better late than never … one of his students, Hussam, sent him the above photo! Kind of a cool idea… Maybe she should try it here on campus as one of our Going Green initiatives.

Carolina Filippi at the Pentagon during her internship

Opportunity knocksCarolina Filippi, an international relations major from Venezuela who has an internship this semester through the Washington Internship Institute, is shown on their website at the Pentagon with the International and Foreign Policy Studies group of students. Carolina says opportunities like this internship would not have happened if it were not for the experiences she had during the debate which helped her gain valuable contacts and connections. She was a runner for NBC and MSNBC, was featured on CSPAN, gave interviews and was featured on the front page of two major Venezuelan newspapers. She’s definitely making her mark …

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Energy gets Lynn family feeling; Students are all-access at Miami Fashion Week

by Debbie | March 27, 2013

Get well soon … You know that “family feeling” you get at Lynn? Well, Energy Mabarutse from Zimababwe certainly does. Students and staff showed their support and compassion in a big way for the newly selected RA who landed in the hospital with a broken leg and his 20th surgery. VP Gareth Fowles and Admission Director Stefano Papaleo brought him a Lynn teddy bear which stayed by his side, as did fellow student Brian Guzman who slept on a chair by his bed the entire first night in the hospital.

Fashion and CIC students and professors at Miami Fashion Week

Behind the scenes … They didn’t exactly strut their stuff on the runway, but Fashion Management and Radio, Television, Internet Media majors did show their stuff behind the scenes at Miami Fashion Week. Fashion event students dressed models and communication majors worked among photographers, producers and videographers with all-access press passes. Our own professor Andrew Burnstine was one of the distinguished fashion judges for the event, and professor Denise Belafonte-Young showed students the media areas that covered this large event.

Conservatory students play at Pulse 2.0 Late Night Concert.

Tickling the ivories … Conservatory pianists Giorgi Chkhikvadze, Anastasiya Timofeeva and Darren Matias played orchestral piano with the New World Symphony on March 22, at the New World Center in Miami Beach in a Pulse 2.0 Late-Night Concert, an innovative series that transforms the New World Center into a hip, nightclub-style setting where classical music is theatrically enhanced. 

Robert Watson and his son at Lantana library

Father son bonding … We all know how prolific and busy Robert Watson is in what seems like his every waking hour (all 3 of them) teaching, talking, writing. But in between it all he somehow managed to get another book, Tsunami, under his belt this time with his 12-year-old son Alex as co-author. And he told the Palm Beach Post who interviewed him about it, that the bonding that came from working on the book with his son convinced him that other parents and kids might enjoy it as well. So in addition to the book, they have a website and a 32-page writing guide to encourage others.

Mailroom supervisor Mike Clyburn shows off his "blue" spirit.

Singing the blues
… You’ve probably seen him around campus delivering packages and mail. That’s because he’s our mailroom supervisor – but you might not have recognized Mike Clyburn decked out in his blue duds–spiked hair and all–to show his school spirit in honor of our 50th. Well, you have now! 

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Celebs walked the red carpet at Lynn

by Debbie | March 20, 2013

Burt Reynolds and Bruce Campbell head into the Wold.

Celebrity sightingsBurt Reynolds and Bruce Campbell showed up at the Wold Performing Arts Center for the Student Showcase of Films (SSOF) Awards last week. Campbell, of horror and sci fi movie fame (The Evil Dead and Burn Notice), helped Reynolds out of the car explaining the red carpet drill to him – as if Burt never walked on one of those!

President Ross meets Burt Reynolds.

The winners of the competition received awards in front of more than 700 attendees at the live SSOF awards show during which Reynolds presented the $2,500 scholarship that also that bears his name. And President Kevin Ross got a photo op moment with Burt as well.

Are you a Ralph Lauren or Versace wannabe? … well, it may not be a gown worn by the Oscar nominees on the red carpet, but 500 new students could be wearing your t-shirt design at 2013 New Student Orientation. The winning design will be chosen based on Lynn pride, originality and relevance to orientation. Submit your design by March 29. Check OSI’s page for details.


Robert Reidel and students at the conference

Presenting … Professors Robert Riedel and Brad Trager along with students Daniela Santos, Malicia Bouyer and Ashley Nazario presented their research at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga., March 13-16.


BSU gets set to honor Paul Turner.

A fond farewell, PaulPaul Turner, our venerable and beloved dean of students who is retiring at the end of this semester, will be honored and presented with an award for his years of service on behalf of the student body at the Black Student Union’s first Annual Black Tie Gala on March 30. It should be a lovely evening. 

Let’s get this party started!The BIG event is almost here – a weekend full of activities to celebrate our 50th anniversary. There is something or a lot of things for everyone: from our traditional auction to an exciting groundbreaking ceremony, a cocktail reception with lots of good food and good music, the opening of the library debate exhibit, a good old-fashioned pool party and a cool concert. So, check it all out here and then register (if necessary) for the events you want to attend.

What’s in a name? … Apparently a lot since SAS has changed theirs from Student Administrative Services (SAS) to Student Financial Services (SFS) to highlight the financial nature of the office since it most often deals with financial aid and student accounts. Makes sense … or is it cents?

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What lucky student met President Obama and Stevie Wonder?

by Debbie | March 13, 2013

Welcome to the first post of our reinvented Knight Writer blog with a new focus and format. It’s all about YOU – our Lynn community. So, check back often right here to see if you got your 15 minutes of fame …

Talk about “wonder”ful: Not everyone has a chance to meet President Barack Obama and Stevie Wonder – never mind both at the same event. But International Relations major Carolina Filippi met them both at the White House’s annual civil rights reception during her stint with the Washington Internship Institute this semester. Her internship is with the Perennial Strategy Group – one of the premier political strategy firms in the country. Way to go, Carolina! …

It’s a toss up: If you happen to be on the Wold stage and look down, you might find a coin. But you won’t be able to pick it up. There are now two coins permanently embedded in the stage floor that were used for the presidential debate. The coins are positioned where the candidates sat and the face of the coin indicates who flipped heads/tails. Obama sat on the right (if you are facing the stage) and his coin reads “Debate” – which was HEADS; Romney sat on the left and his coin reads “50th”- which was TAILS …

It was HEADS for Obama.

And speaking of debate: our own Speech and Debate Team “cleaned up” at the National Forensics Tournament held at the University of Florida March 1-4. Making it to the finals are N’Quahvah Velazquaz for Dramatic Interpretation and Mark Spiro for Extemporaneous, and Tommy Postek and Andres Auger also received medals. Five team members will be judging the High School National Forensics League Qualifying Congress tournament on March 15. Go team! …

Speech and Debate Team at National Forensics Tournament

Ready, set go: The following students were quick on the draw and got themselves a free pair of Passion Pit tickets (say that three times fast): Gary Pelletier, Jacob Carr, Brandon Portheine, Joseph Hefferan, Kristen Seto, Joshuaw Deal, Grace Paulus, Jaime Johnson, James Brown and Zaid Dajani. Enjoy the show! (Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m.) …

Lucky Passion Pit ticket winners

Tell me a story: Check out our new Student Storytellers who will be sharing their Lynn experiences through their own social media channels: Azra, Chase, Jennifer, Meaghan and Misaki.  You’ll find them on our new Social at Lynn page.

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All good things … must come to an end

by Debbie | March 4, 2013

I happen to be a very sentimental and nostalgic type of person, so when it comes time to say goodbye, no matter how necessary or how much it would be for the better, it’s not easy. For instance, we have to say goodbye to Saturday mail. I get it. People aren’t using snail mail like they used to and the U.S. Postal Service is bleeding, so it’s a necessary evil.

Someone pointed out recently that the changes that have happened in the past 10 years have been monumental in the world of communication especially. I love those commercials that have a 14-year-old telling his younger siblings how easy they have it these days and how tough things were in his day what with slow internet speed and having to actually watch a TV in one room. But it’s not far from the truth.

Bye Bye Blogs

So, it is also with a somewhat heavy heart, that we say bye bye blogs, but with an eye toward the next new thing … we say hello to social media storytellers. Social media is moving at warped speed and as such we must keep up.  With that in mind, we are changing our student Blog Squad to Student Storytellers who will use the more popular forms of social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc., to share their Lynn and personal experiences through their own accounts. It’s an exciting new venture called Social at Lynn, and we officially debut it on March 11. 

Knight Writer reinvented
So, where does that leave Knight Writer, the blog written by Lynn staffers Debbie Stern, Laura Stephens and Joshua Glanzer? Well, Knight Writer will remain, but with a new focus and format. We are going to make it a more internal communication vehicle to impart information in a more personal, casual style, similar to a column written for Lynn Minute, an e-newsletter that goes to all Lynn employees.

One of the most popular sections is called Seen & Heard, which is literally what the name implies – things that are “seen and heard” around campus that are relevant and interesting to employees. We will take that concept and make the Knight Writer blog more of a Seen & Heard column for the entire Lynn community and include shout outs about students, faculty, staff activities, developments, accomplishments, awards, etc. It will also be a place where we talk about the latest in Lynn’s social media, reflections from major events (debate, 50th anniversary), the year in review, etc.  So, look for the next generation of Knight Writer on the home page of myLynn. The first of the “new” Knight Writer posts will be coming soon …

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We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day, or did we?

by Debbie | January 14, 2013

I don’t pay much attention to the majority of postings people put on Facebook – especially the regurgitated jokes, photos with cute sayings and the anecdotes that are passed back and forth ad nauseum. I don’t mind people sharing some of their personal milestones or interesting vacation pics – I recently put up my own news and photos about becoming a grandma – or even sharing interesting news stories. But what is the sense of re-posting other’s work? Maybe my distaste has something to do with the fact that a major portion of my day is spent originating new and fresh content in my capacity as a writer.

But given my propensity for “back in the day” type ramblings and the major sustainability initiatives we’ve got going on at Lynn that we’ve dubbed Going Green, I found a recent Facebook “share” rather clever and particularly relevant given the above two topics.

Before I share, however, I must give a shout out to what has been going on at Lynn this past week. Our students are involved in “Citizenship Project” activities during J-Term, many of which are all about sustainability and the impact on our environment. They’ve been cleaning up preserves and canals, planting native plants and an herb garden, and restoring our butterfly garden. Nine classes had a contest to see who could pick up the most trash at the beach. Now, that’s something we didn’t really do back in the day.

Lynn students collect trash during a beach clean-up.

This post though does show what we did do (maybe not by design, but just by the nature of our world back then) …
It’s all about how the younger generation gives the older generation (which sadly I guess is the category I am now squarely placed) a hard time for how wasteful and non-green we were back in the day. But this little ditty belies that. I couldn’t even find the original author, but everyone has seen fit to re-post it. You can read it in its entirety here (if you haven’t already seen it somewhere).

Using the running interlude … “But our generation didn’t have the green thing back in the day” … it makes mention of some undeniable and very green-of-us points:

Here’s how it begins:
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

And it goes on to enumerate how we really were very green, while sarcastically chanting after each: But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Here’s the abbreviated list:
• We returned milk, soda and beer bottles for recycling.
• We kept the brown paper bags from grocery stores (no plastic then) to reuse for other things like book covers (remember that?).
• We washed diapers (okay, I admit I did have Pampers back then) and dried clothes on a line (and a dryer). Okay, maybe not me, but way back then.
• We had fewer electronic devices that sucked up power – one TV per household, a push lawnmower.
• We drank from a water fountain (no plastic water bottles to recycle or clog up the landfills).
• We replaced our razor blades and even refilled the ink in our fountain pens (what’s that, you say?) That was before computers, never mind laptops, iPads and smart phones.
• We rode our bikes, took the bus and dare I say it – walked.
• We had one electrical outlet, not a major strip to power several devices.

Anyway, you get the point … As our friend Billy Joel sang, “We didn’t start the fire!”

Year in Review: Top 10 Lynn newsmakers of 2012

by Debbie | January 3, 2013

In keeping with my Knight Writer tradition of the past three years, here are my picks for Lynn’s top 10 stories of 2012. The number one pick is just a “little event” you may have heard about …

1.   Lynn hosts the final 2012 presidential debate. 

And  even though it seemed like we did nothing but eat, sleep and drink debate,  there were some other amazing achievements and initiatives throughout the year including:

We are the champions: men's soccer team takes the national title this year.

2.   Awesome athletics
Men’s soccer gave Lynn its 20th national championship title.
Lynn received a gift to help build a new soccer/lacrosse stadium

3.   Great green machine
Lynn launched the largest sustainability effort of its kind in Florida,
and kicked it into gear throughout the year.

4.   Raking in the rankings
U.S. News ranked Lynn 4th  in international students.
StudentAdvisor ranked Lynn in the top 50 in the nation and 4th in Florida in social media.

5.   Not business as usual
Lynn received a $6 million gift  to construct the new International Business Center.
The College of Hospitality Management merged with the College of Business and Management.
Ralph Norcio was named senior associate dean of the College of Business and Management.

6.   New and expanded
A new office to oversee international education was launched.
The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life was established.


The Remembrance Plaza is a fitting tribute to those we lost in Haiti.

7.   A fitting tribute: The Remembrance Plaza was dedicated.

8.   3+1 =:
accelerated path to a graduate degree at Lynn.

9.   Making an entrance:
Lynn got 2 new entrances and a long-awaited traffic light.

Billy Joel made a special appearance at Lynn.

10.   In concert: The Piano Man came to Lynn for a special performance.

I know there is probably even more in all areas that are worth mentioning, so please feel free to add your own picks to this list. 

And one final non-Lynn personal pick for 2012: The birth of my grandson Benjamin.

Happy New Year to all!

The Holi-daze are coming

by Debbie | November 27, 2012

No sooner do you take your last forkful of turkey than, just like that, the holiday season hits. For those who make Black Friday a tradition, well, there wasn’t much breathing space between the dinner table and the shopping mall. There was a lot of grumbling and snickering over the record early opening times of the stores this year. And I for one make it my own rite of passage never to go anywhere near the malls during Black Friday – or Thursday, if you prefer – craziness. 

A lot of people were complaining that the Thanksgiving holiday has been ruined by the greedy retailers. But, just like the Hollywood gossip trade, they only do what the market will bear. In other words, if you don’t like it, don’t go or read or watch! But unfortunately, just as we can’t seem to turn our eyes away from the accident scenes, so we can’t help honing in on the latest reality gossip mongers or in this case, for many, a real good bargain. As one of those incessant cartoons/photos that show up on Facebook said, isn’t it ironic (as Alanis Morissette would say) that we spend the day giving thanks for what we have and then run to the stores to buy what we don’t have.  Well, yes, it is ironic.

'Tis the season: The Schmidt lobby is decked out for the holidays.

On a more positive – and less ironic – note, it was wonderful to have a few days off to rest, relax, spend time with friends and family – and all without the pressure of a presidential debate hanging over our heads. And the good news for us at Lynn is that it is only a few short weeks until our next nice long and lovely break. But before everyone heads off into the Winter Break sunset, Lynn will, as always, ring in the holidays in style with several of our traditional holiday events: Winterfaith: The Festival of Light on Dec. 3 (with ice skating in Perper Plaza a la Rockefeller Plaza), Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8 (employees bring their little ones to meet and greet Santa), The Gingerbread Concert on Dec. 9 (celebrating its 10th year of making memorable music for old and young alike), and the Holiday Gala (another seasonal tradition for students) on Dec. 10.

So, although there will always be the bah humbuggers among us, there is plenty to enjoy this holiday season regardless of crowds, traffic jams, long lines, commercialism and materialism. I will be heading up north for a gift that money can’t buy: the gift of life in the form of my soon-to-be born grandson.  Enjoy the holidays!

Life at Lynn goes on

by Debbie | November 9, 2012

Now that everyone has caught up on their sleep (hopefully) and gotten back to a semi-normal routine, it’s almost hard to imagine the mammoth event -  aka the third and final presidential debate – that took place here on campus a scant week and a half ago. And I hate to even bring this up given the devastation and hardship going on in the northeast courtesy of Sandy (my poor mother didn’t have power for 10 days!), but Sandy actually gave us a bit of a reprieve. The university was closed as were all the public schools in the area and we were able to enjoy the day off without much inclement weather. And boy did we ever need it – the day off, I mean.

Fried Oreos are always a Founders Day favorite.

But we didn’t have too long to rest on our laurels for little more than a week later, we somehow managed to pull off one of our major annual events – and especially important this year on our 50th anniversary – Founders Day. When I say “we” pulled it off, I mean  our awesome events department did – with spirited and competitive canoe races, the family picnic with amazing food (including the ever popular fried Oreos), fun for kids of all ages (bounce houses, a zip line), a live band, etc. and even a new “glowing” event for students.

Sgt. Pepper was the inspiration for this Lynn Founders Day poster.

It was one of the best Founders Day ever – and I’ve been around since we started having them eight years ago. I, of course, loved the theme, which included plenty of back in the day references since Lynn was “born” in 1962. So, there was plenty of ‘60s pop culture – hippie costumes, a vintage Beetle bus and car, a psychedelic glow tent, and music to match. There was even a poster made that replicated Sgt. Pepper’s album with members of the Lynn community plugged in to the rock icons’ spots. Plus we dedicated our new front entrance with long-awaited traffic light and the new plaques commemorating Founders Day and the 50th anniversary. More Founders Day photos.

A Founders Day canoe race team came dressed in appropriate hippie attire.

And that’s not all:  Disabilities Awareness Month activities are going on this month, along with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. And next week we have the annual Veterans Day celebration, the Red, White & Blue BBQ and the State of the University address.
So, though we hosted the mother of all events a few short weeks ago, we’re not stopping there. Beyond the most recent past and upcoming events, we also have some major initiatives rolling out: a brand new soccer stadium and International Business Center.
We will all be able to take a collective breath to celebrate Thanksgiving and a few weeks later comes our holiday break. But I can guarantee that come spring semester, it all revs up again. 
As you can see, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – life goes on (another ‘60s reference) – at Lynn University.