Convocation 2013

Join the Pace Community on September 3 as we kick off the school year at our 6th Annual Convocation on the PLV Campus and enjoy a talk by Pace Associate Professor and keynote speaker Susan Herman.

On Tuesday, September 3 at 3:00 p.m. in the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center, the entire first year class, faculty, and staff are invited and urged to attend this year’s Convocation which marks the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Keynote speaker and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Susan Herman, winner of the 2013 U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victim Service Award, is best known for her groundbreaking work on parallel justice for victims of crime. She believes that “we must meet our obligation to victims, not just because we are a compassionate society, but because helping victims rebuild their lives is an essential component of justice.” Her presentation at this year’s Convocation with the continued focus upon the theme of Justice.

Pre-convocation activities will take place on each campus prior to the University-wide event.  Students will meet in small groups with faculty, staff, and student facilitators to engage in a discussion of Justice and to prepare for Professor Herman’s remarks. The students will have read Class Matters, a book that explores how class (a combination of income, education, wealth, and occupation) influences American society.

On the NYC Campus, pre-Convocation activities will be 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with travel to the Westchester Campus immediately following. Westchester’s pre-Convocation activities will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  If you are interested in facilitating a small group discussion, please contact Michael Rosenfeld in NYC or Ross Christofferson in Westchester.

An important change to this year’s program is that faculty will not be in academic regalia.  However, there will be a designated section in the Gym for the faculty and staff to sit together. You will be recognized during the Convocation ceremony remarks. Therefore, when you enter the gym, please sit in the special section. Transportation back to the city will begin immediately after Convocation.

Questions about the program or logistics can be directed to Dean for Students Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo at (914) 773-3860 or

For more information about Professor Susan Herman and this year’s Convocation, please visit the website:


The Results Are In

We asked and you answered! Expanding on the University’s academic theme of “Justice,” we asked the Pace Community several hard-hitting questions to better understand their interpretation of the theme.

“I was thrilled to see how diverse the responses were to the questions, as they are reflective of the diversity of the Pace Community,” says University Director for Student Academic Engagement, Sue Maxam, EdD.

The questions, which were posted in both Opportunitas and The Pulse during the fall semester, sought to open a dialogue and get respondents really thinking about equality, freedom, fairness, happiness, and respect.

“The polling was important because these controversial questions enabled our community to think about, and weigh-in on, justice related questions that have no easy answers,” Maxam explains. “In the end, 100% of respondents had justice in mind when answering the questions, yet their personal experiences, cultural or religious backgrounds, and moral upbringing all resulted in different conceptions of what the ‘right’ answer was.”

The following graphs express the poll data collected from faculty, staff, and students during the Fall 2012 semester:


How do you weigh in on the questions above? What do you think these results say about the Pace Community? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

The Quest for a Just Society

Would you sell your kidney on the black market if it meant making enough money to support yourself and your family?

Answer this and other hard hitting questions as part of the University’s common theme: The Quest for a Just Society. Kicking off the academic year earlier this week was the Convocation keynote address from Harvard professor and bestselling author Michael J. Sandel, who spoke on what it means to be just and live in a just society.

In an effort to promote and integrate the academic theme within the Pace Community, the Office for Student Success has developed a series of questions that seek to open the lines of communication between faculty, staff, and students. In the coming months, be on the lookout for thought-provoking questions about justice posted within various Pace publications, such as Opportunitas, The Pulse, and on Pace’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. We’ve launched the first justice poll in this issue of Opportunitas as a pop-up in the lower right hand corner of your browser. Cast your vote and see the running totals.

If push came to shove, would your colleagues resort to cannibalism? How do students feel about mail-order brides and grooms? At the beginning of the spring 2013 semester, Opportunitas will announce the polling totals that have been gathered throughout the fall semester. Stay tuned, stay engaged, and find out what others are saying.

In addition to the polling, the Office for Student Success has also set up a discussion board that can be used by faculty, staff, and students to discuss, debate, and ponder what justice means and why we feel that way.

For more information on the University’s academic theme and for the polls and discussion board, visit

Do the Right Thing

Join the Pace Community on September 4 as we kick off the school year at our 5th Annual Convocation on the PLV Campus and enjoy a talk by keynote speaker Michael J. Sandel.

Is it moral to steal food for the benefit of the hungry? Is violence ever necessary? What is the value of one human life?

On September 4, 2012, faculty, staff, and students will gather on the Westchester Campus for an exciting address from Harvard University professor and bestselling author Michael J. Sandel, where he will discuss these and other quandaries related to justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship at Pace’s 5th Annual Convocation.

The theme of this year’s Convocation “The Quest for a Just Society” was inspired by Michael J. Sandel’s bestselling book Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, which explores  issues of morality, politics, and personal convictions. This year’s Convocation handbook, which was developed by Joseph Pastore, PhD, and the Justice Curricular Integration Committee, states that:The search for justice impacts our daily lives as we seek to do what is right for ourselves and for others. This agenda is crucial in a university setting where the search for learning is premised upon the development of a ‘good society’ where human development, rights, virtues and character are critical…We hope the academic year, 2012‐2013, will be a time when the entire Pace University community unites in a search for the meaning of a just society.”

“Interestingly, we decided to experiment with a different approach to the common reading this year,” says Susan Maxam, university director of Student Success. “Rather than have the incoming students read Sandel’s book, we are providing them with a comprehensive, thought-provoking handbook and asking them to view Sandel’s videos.”

“Additionally, we have two University-wide committees working tirelessly to integrate the theme into the student experience from both a curricular and co-curricular perspective,” she says. “This theme has garnered more excitement than any past theme; in fact, the enthusiasm from the faculty, students, and staff is palpable!”

Maxam emphasizes that this year’s Convocation and common reading theme is not about telling students what to think, but rather how to think. The efforts, she hopes, will get students engaged in dialogues that facilitate critical thinking. “We want them to see that there are many perspectives to each justice-related issue,” says Maxam. “And that it is important to consider them all before deciding for themselves what is ‘right.’”

Faculty and staff from both campuses are encouraged to be a part of providing a warm welcome to Pace’s newest class and helping usher in a year justice seeking!

Buses to the Pleasantville Campus will depart from the Schimmel Theater between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and the Convocation Ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Convocation and this year’s common reading selection, please visit

Come Ring in the New (School) Year!

Join faculty, administration, and staff in welcoming our newest faces at Pace—the incoming class—at our 4th Annual Convocation, September 6, on the Pleasantville Campus.

On September 6, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. faculty, staff, and students will gather on the Westchester Campus for an afternoon of festivities, food, and an exciting address from international best-selling author Chris Cleave at Pace’s 4th Annual Convocation.

The theme of this year’s Convocation is “Global Citizenship: Humanity through Action.” Global citizens are people who are not only aware of issues in the wider world, but also willing to act to upon them to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place—a topic that is covered in the most dramatic of ways in this year’s common reading, Little Bee, by keynote speaker Cleave. Little Bee is told from the alternating perspectives of a Nigerian refugee and a British magazine editor and takes the reader on a journey of morality, compassion, and friendship as a traumatic event inextricably links these two women from two very different worlds.

Little Bee was chosen by a University-wide committee consisting of students, faculty, and staff because it met all the criteria we were looking for in a common reading. Specifically, it was beautifully written, compelling, and engaging,” says Susan Maxam, university director of Student Success. “[It] raised thought-provoking issues related to a wide variety of themes—global citizenship, normative ethics, cross-cultural communication, human rights, sacrifice, immigration. These themes can all serve as a springboard for a wide variety of discussions and programs.”

Cleave, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper in London whose first novel, Incendiary, was published in 20 countries and won the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award and the Prix Special du Jury at the French Prix des Lecteurs 2007, said the novel was influenced both by his childhood living in Cameroon and Buckinghamshire, England, as well as his experience working in a detention center for asylum seekers. Cleave has said that his new novel “came out of a sense of my own complicity in some of the evils of the world… I began to think about my life, and how it is relatively easy, and how it is therefore relatively easy to ignore the suffering of others. And since suffering is the rule rather than the exception in the world, it’s not an easy moral question to duck.”

“We are very excited about this initiative,” says Maxam. “Fortunately, there has been a great deal of cross-divisional collaboration and momentum with this initiative and we are thankful it has been so widely embraced by students, staff, and faculty. We are also creating a global citizenship website, which will be up and running by September, and which will serve as a one-stop shop for upcoming events, programs, common reading information, faculty and student resources (including relevant podcasts, links, and videos), student blogs from all over the world, global citizen quizzes, and a wide variety of other features.”

Faculty and staff from both campuses are encouraged to be a part of providing a warm welcome to Pace’s newest class and helping usher in a year of global citizenship at Pace!

Buses to the Pleasantville Campus will depart from the Schimmel Theater between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and the Convocation Ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. Acclaimed musician Jason LeVasseur will be part of the Post-Convocation festivities.

For more information about Convocation and this year’s common reading selection, please visit

Convocation to Common Reading: A Community Celebrating Differences

On September 7, first-year students will set the academic tone for their Pace experience as they step onto the PLV campus for an afternoon filled with self-discovery, inspiration, food, fun, and hopefully, YOU!

Pace’s third annual Convocation is right around the corner on September 7. What better way to kick off the fall semester than spending a day with bright new students, flinging yourself onto a velcro wall, and hearing an inspiring story from a woman who was diagnosed with autism, but not deterred?

The event will also include a Pre-Convocation Fair with more than 20 interactive booths and prizes, a BBQ, and tons of fun games and giveaways.

In addition to the food and festivities, this year’s event will highlight one of the world’s most inspirational heroes: keynote speaker Temple Grandin, who was featured in the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Diagnosed with autism before she turned three, Grandin is perhaps the most famous and accomplished adult with autism in the world.  Her pioneering understanding of animals, drawing on her own special sensitivities, has made her one of the world’s leading designers of facilities to increase the humane treatment of livestock. She’s written seven books and 700 articles, is in high demand as a speaker, and has been featured everywhere from People to the Today Show.

For more information on Convocation 2010, and to register and sign up for free transportation, click here.

Post-Convocation Celebration

Just because the party’s over doesn’t mean the learning–or the fun–has to end. In the weeks that follow Convocation, Pace will be holding two important evening programs for first-year students that will continue the important conversation about celebrating differences:

  • The first, Temple Grandin Film Viewing and Discussion, will include a screening of the biopic starring Claire Danes that the Wall Street Journal describes as “spellbinding.” The film, which is nominated for 15 Emmy awards, will be followed by 20-30 minute, large group discussions facilitated by you!  This program is slated for Tuesday, September 14, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Pace Perk on the Briarcliff campus.
  • The second, a Common Reading Discussion, will consist of interactive activities and discussions about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  A number of small-group discussions will be held in the first-year residence halls (in Briarcliff and PLV) on Tuesday, September 21, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Pace is looking for faculty and staff to help facilitate discussions at one or both of these events. If you are interested, please contact Sue Maxam at today. For those of you in NYC who are unable to make the discussions in PLV and Briarcliff, but would like to see it happen in NYC, send Sue your thoughts!

Cliffs Notes for Convocation

If you haven’t read this year’s Common Reading, which is written from the perspective of a young boy with Asperger syndrome, we encourage you to pick up a copy today. More than an entertaining whodunit, the book focuses on self discovery, uncovering and using one’s strengths, and celebrating the differences of others. It was also the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. But don’t just take our word for it. See what other Pace faculty and staff have to say:

You’ve heard what your peers have to say about this year’s Common Reading, now tell us what you think. Log in and post your comments below.