Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.

    News Stories

  • Hofstra University Students React to the Ebola Outbreak

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Hempstead, NY — Since the inception of the Ebola outbreak, people have grown increasingly concerned. The first man to have Ebola in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan, died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on October 8, 2014. However, this past week, a health care worker, who took care of Duncan, has improved and Ashoka Mukpo, the freelance cameraman, who contracted the virus on assignment for NBC, is now Ebola free.

    “It’s scary. I’m nervous,” Brianna Borresen, graduate student at Hofstra University and assistant news director of WRHU-FM, Hofstra’s Marconi award-winning student-operated radio station, said.

    “Those countries that are dealing with [Ebola], are already dealing with poverty on top of it,” Dan Savarino, senior at Hofstra said.

    “We can handle these medical emergencies [in the United States] very well,” Sean Bates, a sophomore remarked, adding, “We have the resources to handle an outbreak and make sure it doesn’t spread too far.”

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  • Playing for Pride: Hofstra Field Hockey Honors Alumna with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Hempstead, NY — The Hofstra Pride Field Hockey team earned their 10th victory of the season, 6-3, Sunday, October 19 against the Rider Broncs on Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Awareness Day. However, it was no ordinary game as the Pride had even more motivation to win than their Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament hopes, which seemed to be an afterthought compared to the meaning of this regular season game.

    Hofstra alumna Jillian Geysen played four seasons on the Pride field hockey team. She graduated from Hofstra in 2013. This past summer, Geysen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.

    “Jill was one of my best friends and we were super close during her time here,” said Jonel Boileau, Pride senior captain, adding, “She’s the nicest person inside and out.”

    Geysen was named honorary coach for the game against Rider.

    “I just feel so much love, so much support and obviously this is one of the hardest times of my life,” Geysen said. “I couldn’t have asked for the amount of support that I had. It brings tears to my eyes,” added the 22-year-old.

    Jill received her first chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on September 17. She is continuing treatment in Connecticut.

    “She’s great. She’s really positive,” said Jill’s sister Jenna Geysen, who believes it’s Jill’s optimism that resonates with her loved ones. “She has such a strong mind and heart,” Jenna added.

    The Pride sported t-shirts, purple wristbands, headbands and ribbons symbolizing the fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Shirts and wristbands were also sold to raise money for Jill’s medical expenses. Hofstra, clearly moved by Jill’s message, scored the first three goals of the game and ended on a high note with three unanswered goals.


    The Pride warm-up in white t-shirts with a purple ribbon on Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Awareness Day at Hofstra Field Hockey Stadium.


    “It’s quite a privilege for me and certainly our team to have this opportunity to dedicate this game to Jill,” De Angelis, in her 17th season as Pride head coach said.

    In the pre-game ceremony, Hofstra gave Jill a framed number 1 blue jersey, which she wore from 2009 to 2012.




    Jillian Geysen is surrounded by family, friends, former teammates and coaches and the Rider Broncs (right) during a pre-game ceremony.


    “I feel like this is my family. I have a second home here at Hofstra,” Jill said after the game. “It’s all about the fight. You never underestimate a team; you never underestimate any challenge that you’re faced with in your life. My time here has carried over into what I’m going through now and made me who I am.”

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  • Momentum Shift: Being “Up-Standers” to Bullying

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    Hempstead, NY — From an old-fashioned wedgie to personal attacks on the World Wide Web, bullying is a serious issue.

    Twenty-eight percent of students in grades 6 to 12 have experienced bullying and over 70 percent of young people and upwards of 70 percent of school staff have seen bullying at educational institutions, according to data, compiled from journalists and other content creators. National data reveals that 62 percent of school staff have witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month; 41 percent witness bullying once a week or more. However, only about 20 to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying.

    October is National Bullying Prevention Month, an awareness initiative that hits home for Bruce Avery, co-organizer of the Anti-Bullying Conference and general manager of WRHU-FM, Marconi award-winning radio station, which sponsors the campaign with North Shore-LIJ Cohen Children’s Medical Center and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    “I was bullied as a kid on a regular basis,” said Avery, who is the producer and co-host of “Tender Talk Tough Topics,” a weekly program on WRHU-FM, which is a forum for topics like bullying in the top market. Avery was able to overcome bullying on his own and now helps others. “One of the things that I made a commitment for throughout my adult life was that I would be a person that was an up-stander, finding ways of empowering people to not necessarily have to empower themselves,” said Avery.

    Students, who came from 6 school districts across Long Island, participated in workshops where they discussed how they could cultivate an environment of mutual respect.


    Students share their “vision boards” at a workshop at the 2nd Annual Anti-Bullying Conference at Hofstra University
    Students share their “vision boards” at a workshop at the 2nd Annual Anti-Bullying Conference at Hofstra University.

    “A long time ago, I was bullied by this girl, who I didn’t like,” said Jade, an elementary school student. “She made fun of me for how I look, my braids and because I didn’t have any friends, but because I stood up to her, it hasn’t happened again,” she continued.

    Another girl told a story about how her classmate wanted her to kill herself. Others told stories about being cyberbullied, among physical forms of bullying.

    “Everyday I see kids with headaches, you name it, but not during weekends,” said Mark Welles, M.D., a pediatrician at North Shore-LIJ Health System and co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ regional anti-bullying committee. “It’s much worse to suffer in silence. Make sure to tell physicians, counselors, etcetera and most important parents,” said Welles, addressing an auditorium consisting of 250 middle-school students.

    Every state plus Washington D.C. has laws, policies or both implemented to handle bullying and cyberbullying cases brought to court.

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  • End of an Era in the Big Apple: Farewell 2 the Captain

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    By Neil A. Carousso

    New York, NY — Three days before his final home game in the Bronx, Derek Jeter met some fans and answered questions at Steiner Sports’ “Farewell to the Captain” event at the Historic Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Hotel in Midtown.

    Former Yankees players like Hideki Matsui, Chris Chambliss and Bucky Dent were in attendance. They came to recognize the man, who anchored the Yanks’ locker room for 20 years. “Just his overall career,” Dent, who played shortstop for the Yankees from 1977-1982, said regarding his admiration for Jeter, adding, “The way he carried himself on and off the field, a true professional, a guy that did it the right way throughout his career and a guy who goes down as one of the great Yankee players.”

    Jeter was a bit emotional and clearly grateful for his opportunities. “Winning is the most special, but I have a lot of personal moments, too,” Jeter said. Continuing, “Now pretty much every time I take the field is a special moment. The fans are the ones that make it special.”

    Jeter’s final game in the Bronx was a storybook ending to Jeter’s illustrious career. With seemingly no moment too big for Jeter, he hit a walk-off single to give the Yanks the 6-5 victory over their division rival Baltimore Orioles. Number 2 finished his career in the last regular season series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park as designated hitter.

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