Spotlight — Dougherty, Khreisat, Mezger, Pirres


James Dougherty

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Co-director, School of Natural Sciences
Metropolitan Campus

How long have you been at FDU?

This fall will be the beginning of my 12th year at FDU.

If you could meet anyone in the world, whom would you pick? Why?

I’d like to meet Jay Leno, just for fun.

What book or film did you recently enjoy? Why would you recommend it?

I recently finished reading Cornelia Funke’s trilogy Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter, although the “Inkheart” movie was a disappointment.

Something I’ve always wanted to learn is ...

… everything. If I had the time, I’d be taking classes now.

My first job was …

… a technical service representative for a chemical company.

One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is …

… milk. You can’t have four children and have no milk in the fridge.

Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that ...

… I was voted one of the shiest students in my grammar school.

My biggest challenge is ...

… getting enough sleep.

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt, and what profession would you want nothing to do with?

I’ve already had another profession. Prior to joining FDU, I worked as a research scientist for a specialty-chemicals manufacturer. I would not want to be an astronaut; I’d prefer to stay a little closer to home.


Laila Khreisat

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
College at Florham

How long have you been at FDU?

I have been at FDU since August 2005.

If you could meet anyone in the world, whom would you pick? Why?

I would like to meet Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft.

What book or film did you recently enjoy?

I read A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.

Something I’ve always wanted to learn is ...

… making pottery and ceramics.

My first job was …

… as a computer programming instructor.

One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is …

… milk, yogurt and lots of fruit.

Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that I …

… am fascinated with architecture and was planning to become an architect, but then I changed my mind and decided to become a computer scientist instead.

My biggest challenge is ...

… finding time to exercise.

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt, and what profession would you want nothing to do with?

I would like to be an architect or archaeologist, and I would not want to be a lawyer.


Samita Mezger

Associate Dean of Students
Metropolitan Campus

How long have you been at FDU?

Since December 2006; three-and-half years.

If you could meet anyone in the world, whom would you pick? Why?

Oprah Winfrey, because she’s been so successful and has such positive energy.

What book or film did you recently enjoy? Why would you recommend it?

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It is such a great inspiration and is also able to positively change one’s outlook on life.

Something I’ve always wanted to learn is ...

… how to sing.

My first job was …

… with Enterprise Rent-A-Car as a management trainee.

One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is …

… my favorite soft drink: Coca-Cola.

Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that I …

… am trained in a South Indian classical dance known as Bharata Natyam and also in Bollywoood dance techniques.

My biggest challenge is ...

… taking time out for myself and just enjoying the moment.

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt and what profession would you want nothing to do with?

I would like to own my own business and be my own boss such as running a lounge/bar. I would not want to work in a hospital, because I cannot handle people being sick or dying from illnesses.


John Pirres

Learning Disability Specialist, Regional Center for College Students with Learning Disabilities
College at Florham

How long have you been at FDU?

I graduated from FDU in 2003 and was a student in the Regional Center, so I was enthused to return here as a learning disabilities specialist in November 2008. I felt like I was returning home.

If you could meet anyone in the world, whom would you pick? Why?

Although he died in 2008, I would have liked to meet Abe Osheroff. He was a working-class Jewish kid from Brooklyn, N.Y., and during the ’30s he became involved in the labor movement. He also fought on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War and in the Army during World War II. Moreover, he was committed to the civil rights and anti-war movement up until the time of his death.

What book or film did you recently enjoy? Why would you recommend it?

The last book I read is I Want My Life Back, by Steve Hamilton. It is an autobiography of the author’s passage through trauma, drug and alcohol addiction and his continuous effort toward redemption. I value the concept of a rebirth and starting over. Also, I just saw “Lonely Are the Brave” again with Kirk Douglas. His character, John Burns, personifies the theme of the last American cowboy and is an awesome anti-hero.

Something I’ve always wanted to learn is ...

… some sort of transcendental meditation.

My first job was …

… when I was 14. I worked as a camp counselor at a summer day camp in my hometown, Bridgewater, N.J.

One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is …

… Greek yogurt. I am Greek American, and it is commonly eaten in Greece and numerous other countries such as Armenia and India. Having yogurt as part of their diet is one of the reasons why people from the Greek island Icaria live to be a 100.

Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that ...

… due to poor grades during high school, I could not get into a baccalaureate institution, and I had to go to a community college prior to receiving my bachelor’s degree here at FDU. I am convinced I would not be where I am today if I was not a student in the Regional Center.

My biggest challenge is ...

… that I sometimes try to please everyone, but I think I am growing beyond that.

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt, and what profession would you want nothing to do with?

I would like to be an able-bodied seaman on a freighter ship or an oil tanker. A lot of men in my extended family did that, so I think that would be cool. However, I would not want to be a coal miner; they are horribly exploited.


April/May 2010

In This Issue

View text only for this complete issue.

Flor = College at Florham,
Madison, N.J.

Metro = Metropolitan Campus,
Teaneck, N.J.

Information Deadlines

The deadline for the September issue of Inside FDU on the Web is August 26.

Copy received after deadline will be included in the following issue. Every effort will be made to deal with late-breaking stories. Send information to: Carol Black, Publications, at H-DH3-14, fax to 201-692-7039 or e-mail to black@fdu.edu.


Inside FDU on the Web is published by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Newsletter Staff: Carol Black, editor; Mary Ann Bautista, Angelo Carfagna, Scott Giglio, Howard Gilman, William Kennedy, Dan Landau, Lillian Lukac, Rebecca Maxon, Melissa Payton, Shweta Kulkarni Van Biesen.

Index of back issues

 
 
[100423]