Art To The Rescue

Guest post contributed by Dr. Shoshanah Findling, Graduate School of Education. 

Artist: Julia Rand, “Untitled”, Oil.

Building off the success of our school-wide faculty art show called “Art After Dark”, I saw the need to keep the momentum going. But how do you do that during a worldwide pandemic? We had to get creative (pun fully intended) regarding how to keep art alive. Although we could not gather in person to curate or gather for a live artist reception, it did not mean that people didn’t want to. We were determined to try.  

Covid-19 had us scrambling for ways to engage our students. As a self-trained artist, I know that artists have a need for solitude and reflection to make uncover the meaning that will translate into their art. But we also crave social interactions with fellow creative souls for validation and inspiration. Artists will seek a tribe where they can discuss themes, mediums, techniques and “play off each other”. When I need a spark of inspiration, I can turn to my art league for all this.  During the pandemic they could not have live meetings. They made use of Zoom and PowerPoint presentations to have virtual shows. Here at Touro, we were doing this for our courses. I knew I could make this work. What did I have to lose?   

I always say “when you make a wish, the universe will conspire to help you”. I made a passing comment to a colleague about the need to deal with all the uncertainty surrounding Covid with a new art show. Annecy Baez, of the Graduate School of Social Work suggested an Art Museum Gallery template she used to enter a different show. All I had to do was keep the format and give credit to the designer.  I also had an amazing group of school counseling students in the Graduate School of Education that semester who enjoyed art as a hobby. They wanted to participate and even offered to co-curate with me. Samantha Marinello, who holds a Masters degree in Art Therapy and attends the School Counseling program was a tremendous help.  I also have to thank Inna Smirnova for her help promoting the two shows on Touro’s website. She discovered an unusual virtual gallery called Artsteps and designed another 3-D virtual art show with the images I sent her.   

The first faculty-student virtual art show was held from November, 2020-January, 2021. The show was called Covid Creations: The Art of Uncertainty. We also held a virtual workshop to design Mandalas on glass bottles. In spring of 2021, flowers were not the only things to come out of dark. In some ways we all bunkered down into our own cocoons. When the Covid vaccine was approved for emergency use, we too could have a sense of hope and renewal.  Looking for signs of change and hope inspired me to create a second virtual show.  There is still time to see the second virtual art show which is titled “Hope Blooms”.  When we reopen in September (with the Lord’s help) we will complete our indoor Garden of Hope as a green reminder of our shared experiences during the pandemic.    

Everyone has their own coping mechanism. Mine has always been art. It is a way to make sense of what is happening to me and all around me. It can form community, draw people to a cause or bring their innermost dreams to life. Art has the power to transform lines, shapes, colors and patterns which adds beauty into the world.  

Artist: Annecy Baez, “Grief”, Digital Collage. 
Artist: Samantha Marinello, “Saying Good-Bye”, Acrylic. 
image: Hope Blooms exhibition announcement

The virtual art show, Hope Blooms, can be viewed here through 8/10/21.

-post contributed by Dr. Shoshanah Findling, Graduate School of Education 

2020-2021 Library Statistics are in!

As we close out another academic year (this one like no other) we take a look back at the library services we delivered to the Touro community.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, almost nothing was normal about this year. The Fall semester began in the thick of the pandemic, with much, but not all, of our work shifting to remote service as Touro transitioned most classes to online learning. Some of us remained working in our libraries, in-person, throughout the year, some worked remotely the whole year, and some did a combination of both. We had to learn new skills, new technologies, and adjust our workflows for just about everything we did. Yet, Touro Librarians and Library Staff found new ways to connect with our students and faculty and continued to provide the same great library services that we always have, pandemic or no pandemic.

As we had relatively few students and faculty on our campuses this year, most of our reference service moved to being remote. We had the most reference activity via email and phone, with our Chat and Ask-a-Librarian services fielding a steady stream of inquiries as well.

Our librarians regularly teach classes on research methods, and this year was no exception, only that all of these classes were shifted online and carried out via zoom. Through the year, we taught 136 classes over zoom, and had 2131 students attend our library classes. Our asynchronous educational efforts were successful as well, with 408 students and faculty using our many libguides this year. Our librarians and library staff also continued to educate ourselves, attending webinars throughout the year, with a combined total attendance of 544.

Let’s take a look at all the numbers!


We are still hard at work over the summer and are looking forward to what the next academic year will bring, with the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Until then, see you in the library (call first to verify hours) and online!

post contributed by Kirk Snyder, Open Educational Resources & Instruction Librarian.

Library Staff Profile: Starrett City Library Assistant Rita Hilu

This post is originally from 2014. It continues our tribute to Rita Hilu, who passed away last weekend. Rita was an incredibly important member of the Touro College Libraries staff, and we want to remind everyone of what made her so special to students, faculty, and staff.

The Fall 2009 issue of the Starrett City campus newsletter Touro Times featured a glowing profile on one of Touro’s most beloved information professionals, Rita Hilu.

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Insights from Touro Graduates

It might only be September, but it’s never too early to think about what you’re working towards
(image © Touro College)

If you’re just starting college, or even if you’ve been at it for a few semesters, you’ve probably gotten advice from lots of people – professors, friends, parents, acquaintances – whether you wanted it or not. Librarians aren’t shy about handing out advice either, but for today, we thought we’d share some words of wisdom from those most likely to know what you’re experiencing, because they’ve recently been right where you are. Here are excerpts from the speeches given by the valedictorian and salutatorian of last year’s graduating NYSCAS class, Yasmin Itshakov and Eleanor Moquete. We hope that you’ll find inspiration and guidance for a successful fall semester and along your path to your own moment on the graduation stage. Continue reading

Research Day 2015

Research DayOn Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, Touro College held its Fourth Annual Research Day at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine/Touro College of Pharmacy campus in Harlem.  This was a great opportunity for faculty and students to showcase their recent research and share it with the Touro community.  Many people came to take part in this special event, including deans from graduate and undergraduate divisions and members of senior administration. Continue reading

Touro College Program Supports Veteran Education

(CC image by Chris)

Showing gratitude to United States Veterans and service members is just the beginning of how Touro College – New York supports our military men, women and families.  The Touro College Veteran’s Program was created to help our service members realize their educational goals. This program allows military veterans, active service members, National Guardsmen and the Reserves, as well as their dependents, the opportunity to continue their education.

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Kristallnacht: Reflection and Remembrance

  (Image from Center for Jewish History via Wikimedia Commons)
Synagogue Eisenach burning, November 1938 (CC0 image via Wikimedia Commons)

Kristallnacht means the “Night of Crystal” or “Night of Broken Glass” 1). It refers to the anti-Jewish attack instigated by the Nazis that took place throughout Germany and Austria from November 9th-10th, 1938. The name comes from the broken glass that resulted from smashed-in windows in Jewish-owned shops, buildings, homes, and synagogues 2. Continue reading

Are Audiobooks for you?

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Have you ever listened to an audio book? A key advantage is that they are hands-free, allowing you to listen to a book while doing something else. There are opportunities to listen while sitting on the bus, train or plane, traveling by car, standing on line, working out, sunbathing, knitting, fishing, gardening, sitting in a waiting room, cooking or walking. The possibilities are endless! Continue reading

Library Staff Profile: LCW Librarian Dr. David B. Levy

Wmns bldng skylight 2008 10 03 020 - CopyDavid B Levy, librarian at Lander College for Women, loves serving LCW students, whom he believes possess great derekh eretz (manners), middot tovot (character traits), and pleasantness. David cherishes Torah lishma (learning for its own sake), as described in the TC Philosophy of Education LibGuide. Continue reading