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Alumni Seen and Heard

LIU Brooklyn

Bill Halbert, who holds an M.B.A. from the LIU Brooklyn campus, is passionate about the power of entrepreneurism to transform lives. He and his wife, Ginny, have included a $1 million gift to Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship programs in their estate planning. Upon Mr. Halbert’s death, an endowment will be established to provide seed money for school-based startups and to fund a $10,000 scholarship to a New York City high-school student. The couple’s philanthropy drew the attention of the Wall Street Journal; they were featured in the paper’s Donor of the Day column on February 17, 2011. Mr. Halbert, a former health-care marketing executive and the founder of a chain of donut shops, told the paper, “"If these kids can get enthused in starting a business and we give them a little encouragement and seed money, we can help break the cycle of dropping out of school, going on welfare and getting into the criminal justice system."

John Welton B'82John Welton, a magna cum laude graduate of LIU Brooklyn's physician assistant program, was profiled in The New York Times on May 5, 2008. Welton, who works the late shift in Montefiore Medical Center's palliative care unit, monitoring and treating the symptoms of patients with incurable diseases, brings an acute understanding of the toll disease can take on the body to his role as a physician assistant. He contracted polio as a child and did not make a full recovery-- many of his muscles have atrophied, and his diaphragm sustained irreparable damage. As a result, Welton needs crutches to walk and has begun to experience problems breathing and swallowing. Despite the considerable physical challenges he faces, he is committed to helping his patients. "It's nothing that's gotten in my way yet," he says.


LIU Hudson at Rockland

Christine DiFalco Christine DiFalco, who earned an M.S.Ed. in elementary education from LIU Hudson at Rockland in 2002, was chosen as Teacher of the Week by The Record newspaper in northern New Jersey. DiFalco teaches fourth grade in Fort Lee, N.J., and is an intramural coach in her school's sixth-grade basketball tournament. The Teacher of the Year distinction is not the first such honor she has received; the six-year veteran was named Governor's Teacher of the Year for the 2006-2007 school year. Christine said that what she likes best about being a teacher is working with her students. "The pride I personally receive as a teacher is through watching my students' accomplishments, whether great or small," she says.