LIM College Faculty Blog

Meet Professor Andrew Cotto

Posted on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 03:43 PM

Hi. I'm Professor Andrew Cotto, a Lecturer at LIM College in the Department of Arts & Sciences. I'm the course coordinator for Writing Essentials, and I also teach Composition.

I have a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Lynchburg College in Virginia and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The New School. This blended academic / creative background is appropriate since I'm also a professional writer.

I'm the author of an award-winning coming-of-age novel and a critically acclaimed noir. I also write for many magazines, websites and newspapers, including regular contributions to The New York Times. My journalism tends to focus on subjects such as travel, food, parenting, politics, and music. I do the occasional book review, as well.

I'm currently revising a novella + short story collection. I also have a TV pilot that is being shopped around the major networks. My next novel will be set in Italy, where I have lived on two separate occasions. My primary location, though, is in Brooklyn with my wife, daughter and son. And dog. 

Here is some of my recent work:

A Little Off the Sides, Camraderie on Top – The New York Times

Ecuatoriana Restaurant Is a Link to Ecuador in Harlem – The New York Times

Lacrosse Beats Baseball for our Boys – Huffington Post

Flash fiction (super short story) on Akashic Books' website as part of their weekly noir series

Topics: faculty, faculty blog, Andrew Cotto

BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE 2015 ACADEMY AWARDS

Posted on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 11:06 AM

Professor Amanda Hallay Takes a Look at This Year’s Oscars

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With the obvious exception of host Neil Patrick Harris’ ‘tightie whities’ and a reference to Twitter in his opening number, the 87th Academy Award ceremony seemed like a blast from the past, transporting viewers back to Oscar nights of bygone times.   Award recipients used the podium to raise awareness of ALS and Alzheimer’s, Civil Rights and Equal Pay, their impassioned pleas harking back to an era of a social responsibility that often seems lost in a world of Instagram photos, showbiz gossip and celebrity Tweets.  And instead of the often too self-referential approach of recent Oscar nights (a show about showbiz that sometimes forgets its purpose), the 87th Academy Awards took on the reverence and elegance of the ‘40s and ‘50s, where nobody was out to shock, losers were good sports, and jokes were kept on just the right side of propriety.

This year, Oscar behaved himself.  When word got out that Lady Gaga would be performing a tribute to The Sound of Music (in honor of its 50th birthday), the ‘net was abuzz with speculation (Maria Von Trapp in a flame-throwing bustier?), yet Gaga’s graceful, respectful, and almost operatic performance was in perfect step with an evening out to celebrate film, not celebrities.  Much has been made of the omission of Joan Rivers from the always moving In Memorium segment, yet her absence from the roll call seemed to highlight the Academy’s overall intent; to offer an evening that focused on film (and not ‘Hollywood’ in general).

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Were there awkward moments? Of course (and what would The Oscars be without them?), yet John Travolta’s ongoing weirdness is now so ubiquitous that he’s almost like a creepy uncle we only see once a year at a family gathering, and one’s heart went out to Terrence Howard, whose autocue malfunctioned as he introduced The Imitation Game, the actor left to improvise oddly as he waited for his scripted words to once again roll.   Host Neil Patrick Harris made a brave start, but his role of Emcee lacked the genius of his Tony hosting, and there was more than one embarrassed silence when jokes fell flat.

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Still, these were minor moments in an otherwise smooth - and very earnest - ceremony.

This deferential approach began on the red carpet, stars looking grown-up, sophisticated, and above all, modest.  Nobody was flashing too much skin, and nobody dressed to shock, with even J-Lo’s overly plunging neckline almost invisible in her flesh-toned Elie Saab gown.

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Some critics have slammed the ceremony for lacking in laughs and ‘wow factor’, yet personally, I feel that this respectfully retro approach struck just the right note for a year where the nominated movies concerned Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Gay alienation – subjects deserving of our respect.

Amanda Hallay is a full-time faculty member at LIM College and cultural commentator.

Topics: Lady Gaga, 1760, Oscars, Academy Awards, amanda hallay

GET SMART!

Posted on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 01:17 PM

Professor Amanda Hallay Discusses the Burgeoning Interest in Brains

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In a world that seems intent upon the antics of The Housewives, Kim and Kanye, and Honey Boo-Boo, it is heartening to see a burgeoning interest in brains. After all, there was once a time when intellect was sought and celebrated, yet the past twenty years have seen a dwindling of interest in intelligence. Rom-coms and comic book heroes top the box office, and reality TV of the very worst kind (Who could possibly be interested in Hoarders?) are more popular than ever.

Happily, smarts are making a comeback. The phenomenal and international success of BBC’s Sherlock was the first sign that we’re becoming as enamored with brains as with brawn, and recent movies like The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game (the former, a biography of the life of Stephen Hawking, the latter, the story of Alan Turing, the celebrated cracker of Nazi codes and computer pioneer) render quintessential ”brainiacs” as cool, romantic heroes.  

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On TV, new shows debuting in 2015 are jumping on the cerebral trend as well.  The USA Network’s Dig is a thriller set in the world of archeology, while Lifetime’s new reality show, Child Genius, promises to explore the nation’s most intellectually gifted children—quite a departure from Toddlers and Tiaras.

This interest in intellect is sure to impact fashion. Instead of the overly embellished, raunchy, rock n’ roll attire we have been programed to like, recent collections are simple, stylish and – above all – smart.

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Is brainy the new sexy? If the heartthrob status of Benedict Cumberbatch (star of both Sherlock and The Imitation Game) and The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne are anything to go by, the answer seems to be a well-informed “yes”.

Amanda Hallay is a full-time faculty member at LIM College where her courses, Cultural Connections to Fashion, Who Wore What When, and Fashion Forecasting explore the relationship between fashion and the world that wears it.

Topics: fashion trends, amanda hallay, TV trends

OUT OF ORBIT!

Posted on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 @ 03:52 PM

Professor Amanda Hallay Explores the Space Revival

The last time it happened was in the 1950s and early 1960s; space, our "Final Frontier", became a cultural phenomenon, splashing down on everything from toys to movies, textile design to greeting cards. Every little boy wanted to be an astronaut, his nose pressed to the TV watching The Jetsons, his head hot and sweaty beneath his fake NASA helmet as his mother cleaned the carpet with her ”Constellation” vacuum.

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Of course, it all made sense back then. The Space Race was on, and words like "satellite", "Sputnik" and "Telstar" spoke directly to an era obsessed with "The Future" – a future where every home would come complete with its own, friendly robot, and where it was no doubt imagined that (by 2015), some of us would live on Mars.

The optimism of the Space Program fizzled with time, and apart from a sudden burst of space obsession in the late 1970s and early ‘80s (Star Wars, Battleship Galactica, and ET), we were so focused on the micro- technology that changed our daily lives that we seemed to forget that there’s a universe out there that is infinitely more interesting than a celebrity tweet or an Instagrammed photo.

There is, however, strong evidence to suggest that Earthlings are again ready to venture out of orbit with what I am dubbing "The Space Revival". Movies like the Oscar-winning Gravity and the recent Interstellar have beautifully depicted the wonder of the universe, while TV shows like Extant (starring Halle Berry as an intergalactic voyager) and Ascension use space as the setting for standard, sci-fi thrills.

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For the slightly more cerebral, last year’s revamped Cosmos scored a cosmic coup, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson taking viewers on a journey through time and space, and (through the artful use of CGI) the planets had never looked better.

I don’t know if life is imitating art or the other way around, but these cultural blast offs have coincided with some real-life space news. In December, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic test shuttle crashed, and although this was a terrible occurrence, it reminded us that "off Earth" travel is back in the news. Happier was the successful launch of Orion, NASA’S first genuine attempt to test the viability of putting a man on Mars.

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One need not have the brains of Stephen Hawking to see that space is back, but the interesting question is "why"? Could it be that after gazing inwardly at micro-technology for so long, we are bored with techno gadgets, with even the latest iPhone failing to excite in the way it once did? Or perhaps it is a fear for the future of our own little planet that is subconsciously sparking an interest in "other options".  More probably, it is just another, passing fad (and Earthlings do love fads) that will soon get swallowed up in the black hole of contemporary culture, to be replaced (and then forgotten) until the next time space is "hot".

Still, as long as it lasts, this interest in space will be sure to impact fashion, and the silvery frocks at the recent Golden Globes are a hint of what’s to come.

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Amanda Hallay is a full-time faculty member at LIM College and formerly the International Fashion Editor for Couture and Men Mode magazines, and the European Trend Analyst for The Doneger Group.  She hopes to never travel to Outer Space.

Topics: amanda hallay, space revival

SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO - ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE NOVA SCOTIA

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

By: Fred Steinberg

Unless you are a historian or a dedicated fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd President, you probably have never heard of Campobello Island. This Canadian island lies in the Bay of Fundy, just across a small bridge from the northeast corner of Maine. A summer home for the Roosevelt family starting in 1885, it’s where Franklin spent most summers until being struck with polio at the age of 29 in 1921. Franklin enjoyed hiking, swimming and picnicking with his family on the island and it was there he learned to sail and acquired his love of the water. Campobello, which Franklin always referred to as his “beloved island,” is known to most because of the play and movie, “Sunrise at Campobello,” which celebrated the story of Franklin’s adjusting to living with his polio disability and re-entry into politics.

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But the prime reason over 100,000 visitors come to the park each summer is that it’s home to Roosevelt Campobello International Park, the only U.S. National Park located in a foreign country. The 3,000 acre Park, open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, contains a Visitors Center, Museum, hiking trails, formal gardens and four restored “cottages,” formerly built by wealthy Roosevelt neighbors. Guided tours are available.

But the highlight for most visitors is  Roosevelt “cottage,” the centerpiece of the park. Purchased by Franklin’s mother in 1909 and later gifted to Franklin and his wife Eleanor, the 34-room, beautifully restored “cottage” is designed in early American colonial style and is furnished as it was in 1920, the year before Franklin was stricken with polio. The cottage had no electricity or telephone. Light was provided by kerosene lamps, heat by seven fireplaces and drinking water brought in by cart from a well on the island. The cottage is now filled with family art, photos and a wide collection of memorabilia. Guides stationed throughout the home offer information, descriptions of the historic furnishing and answer visitor’s questions.

Of the four additional restored “cottages” in the park, one, The Fireside, is a full service restaurant serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Hubbard and Wells-Shober cottages host the very popular “Tea with Eleanor” program which features hostesses who serve tea and cookies and talk about Eleanor’s years of social activism. Eleanor regularly held afternoon teas for neighbors and visitors and they became a beloved tradition at Campobello.

Campobello Island is easily accessible via a free bridge from Lubec, Maine. The three by five mile island is an outdoorsmen’s paradise with miles of hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, excellent birding and water activities including, sailing, kayaking, whale watching and fishing. There are three automobile “carriage” roads which traverse the island and pass bold cliffs, woodlands, bogs and stunning seascapes. Six observation decks are located at particularly scenic sites throughout the island. There are a number of small motels, guest houses and restaurants, but few man-made sites other than the well maintained Mulholland Point and East Quoddy Light Houses, the latter of which is located at the Northeastern tip of the island. Go to the Quoddy Light House at sunrise and you will be among the first in the U.S. to witness the dawn. And on a clear day you can see forever – well Nova Scotia anyway.

Topics: traveling, faculty blog, Professor Steinberg

Please Watch - Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center

Posted on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Professor Patrick Tormey

On WNET (Channel 13) watch Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center to see a truly wonderful and historical perspective of the fashion industry in NYC and just how this industry was largely populated by Jewish immigrants and entrepreneurs alike.

Read the extremely favorable review of this video by the New York Times here.

My guess is that you will learn a great deal about our wonderful industry and have a laugh or two while watching.

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Professor Patrick Tormey

Topics: Professor Tormey, fashion industry in NYC

Professors Do Have A Sense Of Humor!

Posted on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 11:30 AM

by Derek Cockle

As proven during our recent trip to Tokyo and Kyoto, Professor Burstein and I did have our fun moments!

Me, with turquoise hair and flowers, at Bunka Fashion Graduate University in Tokyo. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I did have hair once and there is Professor Burstein hugging a tree in Kyoto for a long life and fanning himself on the “Shinkansen,” as even on the Bullet Train between Tokyo and Kyoto the humidity followed him.

There is a photo of me once again when we did, “So who has the biggest glasses frames of us all?” Kyoto, June 2014.

It was an amazing trip and soon some of the 1,407 photographs I took will come to light in a PowerPoint presentation. Stay tuned!

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Totally Over the top in Tokyo at Bunka Fashion Graduate University.
Hair for the first time in years! Forget the flowers! June 2014.

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“I want to live to be 100!” Professor Burstein in Kyoto, June 2014.

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Too hot, even on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kyoto. June 2014.

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I do have the biggest eyeglass frames! Kyoto. June 2014.

Topics: study abroad, faculty blog, Professor Cockle, Kyoto, Tokyo, Professor Burstein

The Importance of Using Content When Selling Your Product Online

Posted on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

by Lolita A. Alford, MBA

When it comes to selling a product, an eight word description isn’t going to cut it. You need to be creative in order to spice up the product. Creating content when selling your product online is crucial to its success. Content is currency, and online, it’s what the consumer sees.

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Content isn’t just a description of the product, it is also photos and videos. You want to stimulate your consumers from a visual perspective. Currently, video platforms are being used by several publications and businesses and according to MarketingSherpa, viewers spend 100% more time on pages with video on them. Video can be used to translate your passion for your product and to build a connection with your target consumers.

Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy is not simply making consumers want the product, but making sure they get what they want – a product that fits their needs, which they understand how to use and which will deliver on the promise made to them. Before developing a content strategy, you should consider the following:

  • Ensure that the strategy relates to the benefits of the product.
  • Be specific. Make sure that you outline the benefits of the product.
  • Keep your target market in mind at all times.
  • Who would/should use the product and how can you convince that person to buy the product.
  • Use words that are SEO friendly.
  • Don’t copy from your competitors.

Use Your Content to Gain the Consumer’s Trust

This is very important! Gaining the trust of your consumer will most likely lead to a purchase. Consumers love to feel connected to a brand, so think about providing a story about the product that would move the consumer. This could be a story about the origin of the product or how it was made. Consider adding reviews from existing consumers, that way, the purchasing decision can be made with ease.

The overall idea of online content for your product is to make the experience easy for the consumer. While there is no limit to the amount of content that can be used for a product, you want to include a lot, but also just enough for the consumer to make the purchase.

What are some other innovative ways to create content for selling products online?

Topics: marketing, faculty blog, Content Strategy, Professor Alford

EATALY

Posted on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Professor Michael Londrigan

What a great trip it was! The five weeks I spent in Rome teaching at the American University of Rome (AUR) flew by. It was an amazing experience from the people I met, the places I visited, and the food I ate, all created a lasting memory I shared with my life partner, my wife Marie. The weather cooperated so the lack of air conditioning was not an issue in our student housing although many of the students never mastered lighting the gas oven with a match! The class was an eclectic group of global proportion (Bangladesh, Panama, Sweden, Indonesia, South Korea, Kansas City, Cleveland, Atlanta, New Jersey, and Staten Island) which made the Global Fashion Marketing class come alive.

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As this was our inaugural foray sending visiting faculty to one of our study abroad partners, it is our hope that a professor from AUR will teach for us in summer 2015 and we then will send a faculty in summer 2016 and on and on. The LIM College student population was also represented in the second summer session by Rufina Yusupova, Gianna Rivera, and Kaycee Dawson. Rufina, who is hiding behind mustache man in the picture, was in my class while Kaycee and Gianna studied other subjects.

Rufina, Gianna, & Kaycee after dining at Tony’s in Trasterverde!Rufina, Gianna, & Kaycee after dining at Tony’s in Trasterverde!

The beach at Monterosso el Mare, the Italian Rivera about 4 plus hours north of Rome by train.The beach at Monterosso el Mare, the Italian Rivera about 4 plus hours north of Rome by train.

This was our last weekend and it was a great one.  That’s if from Italy, until the next time.

Cheers,

Dean Londrigan

Topics: study abroad, Rome, faculty blog, Professor Londrigan, AUR

Florence

Posted on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 @ 02:40 PM

by Michal Londrigan

What can I say that has not already been said! We took the high-speed train from Rome to Florence (1 hour and 35 minutes traveling at 155 plus miles per hour) on Friday morning and spent the afternoon walking to San Miniato al Monte with sweeping views of Florence.

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The church itself dates to 1018 and is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. Walking shoes were certainly in order. Saturday was spent walking the Ponte Vecchio and strolling along the Arno River while visiting the Duomo and taking in the breathtaking sculptures scattered around the city. Gelato, pizza, some shopping and a stop to repent at Santa Maria Novella capped an exciting day.

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Sunday, the Bobli Gardens at the Pitti Palace were amazing. Four hours and we did not see it all. The price of admission included a visit to the costume museum at the palace and was well worth the stop as the costumes covered the early 1700's to the modern day. More gelato and pizza and back to our apartment in Rome. Next stop Naples, Pompeii, and Capri, stay tuned.

Ciao

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Topics: study abroad, Italy, Florence, faculty blog, Professor Londrigan

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