Local leads first crop of LIU Riverhead graduates

05/11/2011 1:16 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | LIU graduate and valedictorian Alicia Burt and husband Nat Burt outside their home in Riverhead Tuesday afternoon before the graduation ceremony.

Just three years ago, a Riverhead resident interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education from Long Island University would have had to trek back and forth to Brentwood or Brookville to attend most classes.

But since LIU at Riverhead opened its doors, students have another option much closer to home.

Long Island University began offering undergraduate classes in education and homeland security management at its Riverhead campus, located on the Suffolk County Community College site in Northampton, in September 2009.

And on Tuesday, 13 students received bachelor’s degrees from LIU at a ceremony at Giorgio’s in Baiting Hollow, the first baccalaureate commencement in campus history.

“We’ve really gotten to know each other,” valedictorian Alicia Burt said of her LIU/Riverhead classmates. “It’s almost like a little family.”

Ms. Burt, who received her degree in elementary education, said one reason she chose the school was because it was just minutes from her Fishel Avenue home. She decided to return to school several years after obtaining an associate degree from Suffolk County Community College and had first considered St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

“It was a coincidence. One of my teachers said you should really look into LIU,” Ms. Burt said. “Then I got a letter in the mail saying LIU just opened a Riverhead campus.”

LIU/Riverhead is the only school east of St. Joseph’s to offer a B.A. in education.

“With the conferral of our first bachelor’s degrees, our partnership with Suffolk County Community College has come to fruition. This is an historic achievement for both institutions,” said Jennifer Browne, associate provost for LIU at Riverhead. “These are the first bachelor’s degrees conferred by a private university on the East End in several years, and we look forward to serving the region with high-quality undergraduate and graduate education for many, many years to come.”

Ms. Burt, who maintained a 4.0 average during her tenure at the school, said she would recommend the program to anyone seeking a degree in education.

“It’s a very hands-on school,” she said, attributing that to the small class sizes. At LIU/Riverhead, she said, “you get that additional support that you need.”

vchinese@timesreview.com

68 Comment

  • Really? This is how he decides an important civil rights vote… by some unscientific polling of miscellaneous voices… I’d prefer he told the truth and just admitted he didn’t think we deserved equal protections under the law… very disappointing… cowardice…

  • Really? This is how you decide a civil rights vote… by some unscientific polling of miscellaneous voices… I would feel better if he just told the truth and said he didn’t think we should be treated as full citizens….

  • Senator Lavalle when you say a lot of people “are not ready for it” make it clear that you are speaking only for yourself and don’t tarnish us with your narrow mindedness.

  • Bigotry is alive and well in Suffolk County. It’s up to we voters to vote him out.

  • Mr. Lavalle – You cannot simultaneously claim to support equality while denying equality to an entire segment of the population.

    “It could happen someday in the future, but just not right now,” tells me that you’re just a huge wet puss when it comes to standing up for every citizen’s right to be treated fairly and as equals.

  • I am pleased that Mr Lavalle opposed gay marriage. I would rather he oppose it because it is immoral and he is following his own values, rather than we are not ready for it.

  • Fear is the mother of morality.

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

    LaValle = yellow belly

  • If legislation was not an ongoing process, and we never changed laws, our country would not be what it is today. Your wife would not be allowed to vote, but your gay lover would.

  • a reply to your thoughts on legislation—— we might as well legalize Euthanasia, heroin, all drugs included, and OUTLAW our right to bear arms. Some, but not all, legislation is good for the country. Legalization of gay marriage is not one of them —- Don’t forget to cook a good meal for Dan tonight. He has a reward for you

  • So, Alonzo…should we not have overturned the Jim Crow laws either? Would you, in 2011, be ok with people of color not being given the same rights as your white countrymen? You know how awful all of those people look now–you know, the ones who supported segregation and treated blacks as second class citizens or worse…that is how you will be looked at very shortly.

  • Mr. LaValle has been in his very comfy position for a very long time. He no longer has the best interests of the people in mind. He is far more concerned with lining his pockets than what is right. He has not had my vote in years.

  • Your fixation on other’s sexuality may have to do with your own hang ups. Wouldn’t you want to be accepted when you come out?

  • Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.

    H. L. Mencken

  • Love, hate and intolerance are actually amoral. Immoral def: deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong. Since the beginning of time marriage has been understood and accepted as between a man and a woman. There is no need to change it because a segment of society chooses to live a life which is contrary to accepted standards and unnatural.

  • Let us face reality.
    Lavalle is a politician who sulks about grasping about the muck for the lowest order and greatest number of people who just might elect him, his exclusive aim each and every day of his dim legislative life. He is a bottom feeder for votes. A twisted negative mind that values nothing whatsoever except, of course, the votes that keep him on the payroll. Intelligently challenged and morally demented, Lavalle represents no one other than his infamous perpetual political existence. Let us for one election all transfer our residences to our East End homes and, once and for all, rid ourselves of this political malignancy. This ogre must go!

  • OMG THE HATRED THAT GAYS SHOW WHEN THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY .

  • Amoral refers to a neutral observation without regard for moral bias. I think we can all agree that hate and intolerance leads directly to moral violations.

    More importantly, you seem to have missed the point of this conversation. Marriage is a social construct that varies widely over cultures and time. You are displaying profound ignorance and self righteousness to assume that the notion of what is “standard” or “unnatural” has been a precedent since “the beginning of time.”

    On another note: I think there is a big misunderstanding that we need to embrace gay relationships as natural, or beautiful, to be in favor of same sex marriage. Think about your grandparents. It’s entirely disturbing to think about their sex life, but does it mean they should not be married?

  • Hey Alonzo… OMG? All Caps? Dramatic rhetoric? And who’s the flamboyant one? Do everyone a favor and come out already before you go all Ted Haggard on us.

  • there you go again Emton —— in your distorted world, everyone is gay. Gay used to mean happy and if we still refer to gay as being happy instead of Queer – yes, we all need to be happy (gay) in order to laugh at your distortion of life

  • Please forgive me for being ignorant and self righteousness, I pray that my righteousness comes from my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and not from anything that I have done. Again please forgive me.

  • Sometime in the future? Talk about putting your finger in the air and checking which way the wind is blowing! Lavalle kowtows to the Christian fundamentalists, I’ve heard him ndorsed from the pulpit.

  • Yeah, unfortunately he opposes it because he knows he has Christian FundaMENTAL ists in his back pocket and he wants to keep them there.

  • Many times “since the beginning” marriage was considered between a man and as many women as he wanted. Marriage was instituted because of property rights, men owned all the property, including the women. Let gays enjoy the same rights as anyone else, including the rights of inheritance.

  • Jesus wasn’t a bigot.

  • I love it when people are “opposed” to something that will not have any effect on their own lives.

  • Jesus would tell you to love thy neighbor.

  • Talk about a distorted world…

  • Whatever the need may be our family has experienced the care and compassion of the San Simeon facility and it’s staff, each and every employee is professional in their work and manner. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing the care they provide!

  • “We are just not ready for it.” This sounds like a quote from a southern politician in the 1960′s as an excuse for continuing racial discrimination. Just as was the case with them, Lavalle will be proven to be on the wrong side of history if he votes against this civil rights bill.

  • Let’s not bring race into this discussion. Lots of people, regardless of race or nationality do not accept the fact that two members of the same sex are to be treated as husband and wife, or wife and wife, or husband and husband.. Lets get realistic and us our body organs for the intended purposes that they were made for. Get out your biology book and you’ll know what I’m saying

  • Thank you for posting. Also, (631) 696-6900 Kenneth LaValle District Office.

  • I’m not for nor against this issue. I basically don’t care! We’re living in a world where there are “couples” being represented as man and man or woman and woman. Now if these two “individuals” want to marry or better yet join in a union so be it. The Webster’s Dictionary defines marriage as: A union. Actually, this sort of practice has been going on for centuries, however, recently these individuals have decided that they would like to make it “official” that they are a “union.” Do I agree with the politicians decision: YES. Why? EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR BELIEF AND OPIONS. They, the political leaders, are doing the best for the entire community. So, Mr. LaValle and other politicians you are doing as your conscious is telling you to do.

  • This “issue” is entirely different from that. You need to learn to separate racial issues from marriage “union” issues. Gay marriage in New York needs to be dealt with on a much different level.

  • Alonzo, you’ve got it correct.

  • You just don’t get it do you dude??? This is a very complicated issue. Mr. LaValle and his colleagues are trying very hard to deal with this issue. Don’t read into his words so much.

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH ALONZO!!! You right!!!

  • It is not complicated. The economy is complicated. War is complicated. This is a simple up or down vote on equality.

    In what way does Mr. LaValle’s opposition to this bill indicate to you that he is “working very hard to deal with this issue?”

  • The issue is equal rights–for all people. It doesn’t matter their race, religion, age, height, or sexual orientation-every citizen of the United States of America should have the SAME rights. Anything else is unAmerican and prejudiced.

  • Frankly, it doesn’t matter what people “accept”. What matters is equal rights for all citizens of the United States.
    There are many things that I don’t accept, such as the drivel you and Geoff spout, but because of the rights afforded to you as an American citizen, you are allowed to continue to make an ass of yourself at will.

  • I bet when you typed the word ass — you got a RISE out of yourself – We can debate this issue until the cows come home and the rooster crows. But with the arrogance that the Queers , now known as gays, show and with the upcoming political clout that they are gathering, because most politicians are a sellout for votes, you will eventually have your way. And your way is abnormal. Amen , we will continue to pray for this United States of America so we can return to the way our founding fathers meant this country to be. I am a veteran and I fought for your right to make an ASS out of yourself.

  • I’m sorry that everyone feels that Mr. LaValle isn’t following “the crowd.” However, this issue isn’t about following anyone its about morals and values and beliefs. So be it!!! This is how the world is that when someone doesn’t get it “their way” they scream and holler and rant and rave until they get it. Sort of like road rage. Get out of my way. Move it. Make it happen NOW!!! There seems to be too much of that.

  • Everyone has an opinion. So let it go at that. Thanks.

  • Since ninety-nine percent of you don’t like where our politicians stand then why don’t the ninety-nine percent of you go run for office and change things!

  • I have been gay for and living with my partner for thirty somewhat years. We both agree that we don’t want to do the “marriage” things and become a “union” as someone below wrote. Its not all that important to us to reach that “plateau” in our relationship. Do we disagree with Mr. LaValle’s vote and other politicians? We accept and move on. Its THEIR choice and belief to put this “marriage” into a whole different perspective. Mr. LaValle and his colleagues have their opinions as some one pointed out. That’s okay. Do we ALL need to feel the same way? Do people all LOOK alike, THINK alike, ACT alike. Apparently, that is very important to you. Its not all that important to my partner and myself. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do.

  • Marriage? Union? I don’t want to be joined at the “hip” to my partner of over twenty years. We’re both very satisfied to just remain as we are. Marriage or union whatever you want to call it is an “institution” that binds one. Its like having a “ball” and “chain” on your legs and arms. My partner and I enjoy life as it is now! Why make it complicating?! Oh, and another thing, Mr. LaValle is entitled to his morals and beliefs.

  • Marriage? Union? I’m an actor and I’ve been part of the gay community and living with my partner for over forty years. We’ve spoken about this issue and the stand that Mr. LaValle and his associates have taken. Are we upset? NO. Should we be? WHY. My partner and I don’t want to be joined in a union. We belong to the SAG union. Marriage? If we felt that way we would have married women. We’re very happy with the way life is now for us. As actors we travel to other parts of the world filming and stage work. Sometimes together, sometimes separately. We both agreed we don’t want to be “joined at the hip.”

  • One of the reasons gays would like to be able to marry is that marriage conveys certain rights that cannot be conveyed by contract. For example, ifyou and your partner own a home and one dies, the other cannot take full ownership without paying taxes. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship is only possible through marriage. Same with social security or other issues. This is why gay marriage rights are important.

  • Well, I’m not gay but I believe that homosexual marriage should be allowed. You can pray all you want, but God made gays too.

  • And wow…all the hatred hetero’s show when they dont get their way… again… wah, wah, wah… if we are ALL created equal, shouldn’t we ALL have the same rights (gender rights included) as the next dude down the block? I dunno, just a thought… I think it’s positively hysterical when personal beliefs govern a society… when it’s really the society’s beliefs and where we can put ourselves in others shoes for just a split second in time, that should govern the populous. And by the way, I’m straight… :)

    “How does it feel?…”- Dylan

  • I don’t know about Social Security, but I can’t believe that if your home is in both your names that it would not automatically go to the survivor. Also, you can name anyone you want to have Durable Power of Attorney over your and your partners money and medical decisions, which are perfectly legal, and binding. Getting married was mostly to unite men and woman, who didn’t have outside paying jobs years ago, to make it legal and simpler to have and raise children under one name, and for their protection in case anything happened to the father, and the so-called breadwinner. Why not make Civil Unions, stronger for monitary protection if that is not good enough now?

  • Helga, that is not what I said. A home owned jointly by two gay people would go to the survivor, however the survivor would have to pay taxes on the inheritence. Husbands’ and wives’ property passes without tax because of the status of joint tenanancy with rights of survivorship, which only marriage conveys. I wonder if what you state was actually the purpose of marriage, or if it was to protect the males property and make a claim on it. Frankly I don’t think it was created to make it simpler to have and raise children or for anyone’s protection other than the males.

    Personally, the gay marriage issue doesn’t affect me because I am not gay, but I can understand why they want marriage. I also don’t understand why people have no objection to “civil unions” but don’t want gays to be able to marry. Actually I do, but it makes no sense.

  • There are a couple of posters here that I’ve never seen before who all post with the same icon, same color, and all seem to have the same “I’m gay and I don’t want a ball and chain” opinion. I suspect they are all one heterosexual person who is trolling. If you’re gay and don’t WANT to get married, you don’t have to, just like heterosexuals don’t have to. There’s no law that says you have to marry someone you want to simply live with.

    However, google is your friend. If you’re at all interested in which rights marriage AUTOMATICALLY conveys, look here (Helga, I’m talking to you! :) ). Some of these may be arranged through power of attorney or other means, but some can’t, and all are AUTOMATIC with marriage.
    http://buddybuddy.com/mar-list.html

    Now, I’m not endorsing any organization or website ,this was the first one that came up with google, but you can get this list anywhere on line:

    Marriage automatically conveys:
    * Assumption of Spouse’s Pension
    * Automatic Inheritance
    * Automatic Housing Lease Transfer
    * Bereavement Leave
    * Burial Determination
    * Child Custody
    * Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits
    * Divorce Protections
    * Domestic Violence Protection
    * Exemption from Property Tax on Partner’s Death
    * Immunity from Testifying Against Spouse
    * Insurance Breaks
    * Joint Adoption and Foster Care
    * Joint Bankruptcy
    * Joint Parenting (Insurance Coverage, School Records)
    * Medical Decisions on Behalf of Partner
    * Certain Property Rights <———————————————————!!!!!
    * Reduced Rate Memberships
    * Sick Leave to Care for Partner
    * Visitation of Partner’s Children
    * Visitation of Partner in Hospital or Prison
    * Wrongful Death (Loss of Consort) Benefits

  • I’m going to have to agree with you on this one. Everyone should be afforded the same rights, period.

  • Yeah, it’s pretty obvious if you read what they’re saying that these are trolls posting disingenuous fabrications meant to lend credence to those opposed to same sex marriage. If they truly did not care about their own rights to celebrate their relationships (if they decide to take that next step), they would most certainly not take the time to join a discussion and sabotage their entire gay community. I bet they felt pretty clever though.

  • The politicians are representatives of an electorate. It is okay to let them know how we feel.

  • Thanks for your service, but you tarnish your accomplishments with your prejudice.

    This country was created on the basis of freedom–something you fought for, but now are content to deny to your own countrymen. There is a very sad irony to that.

    Anyone who uses the term “queers” to describe gays and lesbians is the one making an ass out of themselves.

  • Demanding equal treatment under the law is nothing like road rage.

  • I was born in 1935 and when I reached that certain age my buddies and I chased girls. Now the world is upside down. Whoever thought that, I’m seventy-six years old, that I would be reading and seeing this come to fruition. I knew and realized that this has been going on for many years and knew of people who entered into the field of the Arts and where it was practiced. But to have a law passed to join in “union” as one. I’m sorry, but, as a devote Roman Catholic I would definitely have to take Mr. LaValle’s position and support him wholly on his decision. I’m positively sure that Mr. LaValle has more pressing issues to address and don’t get me wrong, which you probably will read into my words more seriously than not, he’s been very good for Long Island. So don’t complain and fix what not is broken!!! Nothing makes sense anymore!!! Do as thee wish. But what’s next???

  • You are 100%, there are WAY more pressing issues, that affect every one of us. Let’s allow gays to marry and move on to those issues! Mr LaValle ought to move on to working on the health insurance problem, the government employee benefit problem, and the job problem. But you folks insist he must agree with you that gays shouldn’t marry! Stop taking up his valuable time! Obviously you don’t want to marry another man, so this issue doesn’t affect YOU at all, so stop wasting politicians’ time!

  • Are you under the impression that everybody who was born in 1935 was straight? Maybe you’d be more comfortable in Iran where “there are no gays,” as their leader claims. In America, we have the freedom to be who we are… Roman Catholic or Buddhist, liberal or conservative, gay or straight, educated or dumb as shit. Be yourself, and live and let live!

  • The Squeaky wheel gets the grease and you’ve been as squeaky as they come. No one, except the gays, are wasting valuable time by the constant, and I mean constant, wailing and crying— ” we wanna get married.” Some people want to marry their pets to. Go for it, you’ll find someone to agree that this is a good thing and press for that right also

  • Why are you following this thread if you don’t want to hear about it? You don’t have to be gay to understand why this issue should be important to everyone who values their freedom. You just have to be thoughtful and lose the curse of a narrow mind. I am happily married and would be deeply offended if the state told me I could not be recognized as such.

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. First Amendment, that should sum it up, for the Bible thumper wife beaters and cheaters. Now if you insist on quoting the bible to make it work for you, then surely women must be put back in the closet. Don’t believe me? Keep reading instead of cherry picking. My view? 1) If you think Gay marriage is a threat, your marriage has much bigger problems, so I would worry about that. 2) Divorce rate is around 50%, why? because just like everything else in this country it has become throwaway, so stop the rhetoric about “preserving marriage”, unless of of course you would like to get involved in those relationships too. 3) I don’t care what people do in their life, I hope they do what makes them happy, so do me and others a favor, and stay out of my house. 4) Since most of those against this are Conservative, what happened to less Government involvement in our lives?..weird huh. 5) Ah, freedom..the feeling I get is, I have mine, I don’t care about yours so you can’t have it. 6) Speaking of freedom, if they cannot enjoy all the freedoms I have, then I say they should not have to pay the same taxes I do. Why pay for something you cannot have. And 7) Instead of wasting time posting and such, why not go to a child hospital, battered women’s shelter, or homeless shelter, and spend the time there, where it is truly needed if you are so concerned about the welfare of America.

  • No one except the gays is saying they want to get married, you say? I’m not gay and I’m saying gays ought to be allowed to marry.You think people want to marry their pets, too? I don’t know anyone who wants to marry their pet. Perhaps if you looked up “consenting adults” you would understand why all the slippery slope arguments are bogus.

  • How will your day to day life be affected by a gay or lesbian marrying their partner? Seriously…why do you care if someone wants to marry another person or even their pet? I mean someone may have even agreed to marry you…

  • Senator LaValle needs to be voted out of office. Shame on him for denying GAYS and Lesbians equal rights under the law.

  • Calling Ken LaValle a “bottom feeder trolling for votes” is a statement without merit. Mr. LaValle has been clear and outspoken on the gay marriage issue for many years. Nothing new in this recent vote. Also, nothing new applies to the very strong majority vote that has put Ken LaValle into office and back into office with each re election campaign.

    Therefore, if Ken LaValle states that he votes with the emotions of a majority of his consituents, then it is clearly fact.

    On the other hand, if a “pro gay marriage” candidate could not beat him, that candidate failed to meet the needs of the voting majority on other important issues that impact the lives of others. This is how Democracy works.

    There are many issues that many do not consider. The most important one being children. There’s an entire industry in NY State that caters to gay and lesbian couples for the purpose of creating children through arifial means. Matrimonial law and custody law in NY is in need of much revamping to restore civil rights of children. Children need both parents; a Mother and a Father. Those parents are traditionally celebrated throughout the world on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

    Look at the problems with “street kids” today and realize that most are the product of broken families and the inability of our legal system to expedite their position in matrimonial disputes and resolve divorce and separation in “the best interest of the child.”

    If allowing gay-lesbian marriage is going to “resolve a social acceptance issue,” rethink it and the position of children of such a marriage and ask how many new social acceptance issues children of this country will have to learn to cope with.

    We still haven’t gotten past drugs, tobacco, alcohol, vandalism, gangs and other juvenile social problems. Orphanages are overloaded and underfunded. Homelessness is a national plague. Agencies with good missions have become so dysfunctional that they have become near dangerous to the American family. Research the complete failure of “Child Protective Services” (CPS) and read the horror stories many face and the failure in the legal system to redefine and funtion in the best interest of the children. There’s a night mare going on daily in the lives of millions of children. The cost to every taxpayer is prohibitive.

    And now, we ‘fix a problem” and create so many more by it. No, not just many of us, but children too are not ready for this.

  • Children need love and support from involved caregivers. They need a society that will accept them regardless of their eventual sexual orientation. They need a government that does not discriminate against them and their family for being themselves.

    It is ironic that you favor legislation to “restore the civil rights of children,” yet you would strip them of these rights if they don’t turn out “normal.”