LIM College Faculty Blog

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

Buongiorno LIM College

Posted on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

by Michael Londrigan, Dean of Academic Affairs

Rome

This July I have had the distinct pleasure of representing LIM College as a visiting professor at the American University of Rome (AUR). My Global Fashion Marketing class has 10 students. They are from various parts of the globe, which gives the class a real global feeling. The students hail from countries ranging from Panama to Bangladesh, along with a contingent from several states in the U.S., including one of our very own LIM College students.

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Rome has been fantastic, but it has taken a few days to get used to the bus and tram systems. Our AUR-assigned apartment (aka student housing) is about a 20-minute bus ride from campus. The directions we received were just to walk out of the apartment and get on the 44 bus. Well, they neglected to say you’ll walk about 7 blocks, making various turns, before coming to the bus stop.  But we (my wife and I) are not complaining, as it is the adventure of it all that makes it worthwhile.

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AUR has a lovely little campus overlooking the city with simple classrooms well-equipped with all the necessary technology. Our apartment, like most in Italy, does not have air conditioning and you are expected to leave the window guards down to keep out the heat. This seems to be working - with a few fans to supplement the process.

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One thing I can say about Rome is that you better be prepared to walk, especially if you want to fully experience what the city has to offer. Food shopping has proved to be a learning experience, as you must weigh and get a price sticker for all your fruits and vegetables (while wearing disposable plastic gloves), something we did not know on our first trip to the market. We held up the line and got some looks from the local patrons! Speaking of food, the restaurants are to die for and we are looking forward to our weekend trips to Naples, Florence and Monterosso. 

Topics: Michael Londrigan, American University of Rome, Global Fashion Marketing

Laos: From the "A" to "B" List

Posted on Mon, May 05, 2014 @ 09:51 AM

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For about an hour at the airport in Bangkok, it looked as if we might not get to Laos—a country long on my bucket list. Though my wife and I had lived in Asia for many years, Laos had slipped under our radar. I had long desired to visit the five remaining Communist countries, and had been to all of them except Laos. But I confess that my visit to North Korea consisted of a walk around the north side of the giant negotiating table at Panmunjom, which straddles the border between North and South Korea, and is where the 1953 armistice was signed.

But after straightening out a technicality about processing a passport, we were on our way.  Our hotel, the Vila Maly, just 15 minutes from the airport, proved a perfect choice. LP is a small, laid-back, informal, low-rise and somewhat sleepy city. The city center is nestled between two rivers—the fabled Mekong and the smaller Nam Kahan, which meet at the north end of town. There is still a significant French influence from colonial days on the food and architecture. Two large quiet streets hug the rivers parallel to Sisavangvong Road, the main commercial avenue. At night, half the street is quickly converted to a vibrant market with hundreds of stalls selling local crafts, textiles and accessories, street foods, tourist items and locally grown coffee, tea and spices.

The most poignant items for sale are jewelry and kitchen implements crafted from the casings of bombs left from the intensive US bombing when Laos was used by the Chinese as a staging area for their assistance to the North in the Vietnamese War. These ordinances still occasionally kill or maim farmers tilling the fields and sometimes children who collect metal bomb fragment scraps to sell.  The U.S. dropped some 200 tons of explosives on Laos, and it is estimated that more than thirty percent did not explode but remain dangerous.

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After twenty years of civil war and subsequent isolation, Laos has reemerged as a tourist-friendly country.  Its strong Buddhist tradition has also reappeared. “Wats” (temples with giant Buddhas) dot the landscape and LP has dozens, many of which have been or are being restored. Some of the more noteworthy include: Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest (1560 AD) and largest of Luang Prabang style temple architecture, featuring a giant seated Buddha; Wat Visoun with its giant gold monkey Buddha; and Wat Visonulat, featuring a watermelon stupa. A 300 step steep climb will take you to the top of Mount Phu Si in the city center, where you will find a golden stupa and great views of the city and its rivers. If you don’t mind rising before 6am, you can view the parade of barefoot saffron-robed monks file down Sisavangvong Road to collect food from kneeling locals and alms from early-rising tourists.

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The National Museum is a must. Housed in the former King’s Palace built by the French in 1904, it houses a large collection of royal and religious art and artifacts including statues, furniture, stone tablets, the King’s throne, weapons and a collection of gifts from foreign dignitaries including Presidents Nixon and Kennedy. Highlights for me included the Royal Car exhibit which features a 1957 Edsel, a gift of the US Government (one must wonder just what President Eisenhower must have thought of the Laotians to give them an Edsel) and the gold Royal Barge. 

Most tourists visit Laos for hiking, Mekong River cruises, elephant-watching and riding, biking, rafting and touring the native Katu villages. While we went to relax, walk, visit a few of the temples and sample the local fare, I very much wanted to take a day trip up the legendary Mekong. Unlike many Asian rivers, the Mekong in this part of Laos is quite bare of traffic. I doubt if in our five hour trip we saw more than twenty boats. We stopped at Xiang Hai Village, known for its hand-woven textiles, and then to the famous Tam Ting caves, carved into a mountain and filled with more than 4,000 Buddha images of every shape and size left by thankful worshipers over the years. We chose the luncheon cruise on the Nava Mekong, a traditional covered river long-tail boat, preferring it to the dinner cruises which do not stop at the caves. At $25, it was a great bargain. 

I particularly enjoyed a “Fish Spa” where you sit and dip into a foot bath containing hundreds of tiny minnow-like fish that feast on your foot callouses. It provides a pleasant tingling sensation and you emerge after 10 minutes with clean feet and the fish having enjoyed a good meal. 

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After four restful days filled with interesting sights and friendly people, it was sadly time to take leave of Laos and fly back home via an overnight stay in Bangkok. But Laos has not truly dropped from my bucket list.  It has simply moved to the “B” List of places I need to visit again.

Topics: Laos, Arts in Laos, Mekong River, Buddhism in Laos

Our Lady Macbeth Can Beat Up Your Lady Macbeth

Posted on Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

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After bingeing on House of Cards, then the original British series, The House of Cards, I wrote a post in this space six months ago noting that the American version of the show was more sexist, and less concerned with conflicts between social classes, than was the British series.  Now that the long wait for the second season is finally over, my thoroughly predictable if not downright obvious comments call out for revision.  

For those of you who do not know the series, the core story is of the rise to the Presidency of a corrupt and power-mad politician, Frances Underwood (Kevin Spacey). Underwood engineers drug and sex scandals, uses and then betrays a newspaper reporter, and contrives the failure of legislation simply to manipulate or destroy his rivals.  Underwood sees murder as just one among other acts he must commit to further his career, and he prefers to kill with his own hands.  As anti-politician as the current cultural climate has become, most ordinary citizens probably still do not imagine that senators and the vice-president have killed anyone at close range.  Such elements make House of Cards more melodramatic as well as much more fun than a series like the more realistic The West WingHouse of Cards does not shrink from portraying vicious evil, whereas the characters of The West Wing were flawed, but ultimately on the side of the angels.

Constant text messaging, video surveillance, invasion of privacy, the sins of the media, and competition with China make House of Cards a distinctly modern study of blind ambition and power. But if you were compelled to read Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth or Richard III in high school, House of Cards includes all of the treachery, violence, and adultery of those plays (as well as many plot points and character traits stolen from Shakespeare, as Michael Dobbs, the writer of the best-selling novels on which the show is based happily admits.)  The series neatly fuses timeless battles--pragmatists versus idealists--with contemporary challenges and in a Shakespearean way. No one is purely monstrous or purely heroic. What distinguishes the second season is that the female characters truly come into their own.

Robin Wright may be the best thing about House of Cards. She demonstrate all the ferocity of Lady Macbeth, and is also a far more complex and central character than her counterpart in the original British series.  I stand by my earlier view that the American show is more sexist and less incisive in social criticism than was the British original.  But Wright's performance is something rare in U.S. television, a woman with sexual allure, independent power, and little to no regret.  It is almost as if the rewriters of The House of Cards were determined to return us to the strong women characters of 1940s films, the likes of which we seldom see today.

Robert Clark

Robert Clark is the Director of The Writing Center and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts and Sciences. 

Playing Nice: The 2014 Academy Awards

Posted on Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 02:26 PM

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Watching The Oscars is always a chore. Everyone in fashion has to watch the ceremony for the clothes, and those of us who teach have a special obligation to observe the show carefully. The Academy Awards are a gift to class discussions, not only in terms of the dresses, but in terms of the broader issues the event suggests.  As strange as it may sound to those who watch The Oscars for fun, the ceremony is a pretty good barometer of what our culture as a whole is feeling.

That understood, I came away from The 86th Academy Awards feeling sort of good.  Host Ellen DeGeneres teased the A-List stars, but her banter was playful and good-natured.  The acceptance speeches were eloquent and genuine, quite a change from Anne Hathaway’s overly rehearsed and faux-emotional acceptance speech last year. Although the ceremony’s theme (Celebrating Heroes) didn’t come across, the fact that heroes, both real and fictional, were applauded at all was a pleasant and positive departure.

As for the fashion, nobody dressed to shock, with both ladies and gentlemen looking elegant, grown-up, and respectful of the ceremony.

Were there missteps? Well, of course.  The producers should have seen that Kim Novak, at 81, wasn’t truly up to the task of presenting.  John Travolta’s mispronunciation of singer Idina Menzel’s name was so completely off that one wonders if the wrong name had been written on his autocue.  Still, these were minor moments in a ceremony that was good humored, warm, focused on family (heartening to see how many nominees came with their moms!), and succeeded in humanizing the galaxy of stars whom we usually see airbrushed to perfection on the cover of a magazine...and all it took was a slice of pizza.

Amanda Hallay

                                    

Amanda Hallay is a full-time professor at LIM College where she teaches courses that explore the relationship – both past and present – with fashion and the world that wears it.

 

Topics: Oscars, Oscar Fashions, Academy Awards, John Travolta, Idina Menzel, Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Kim Novak, Fashion and Culture

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