Advisors and Project Leaders

Michael D’Innocenzo

Professor D’Innocenzo received the American Historical Association Eugene Asher National Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.  Entering his 52nd year at Hofstra University, D’Innocenzo serves as both a Professor of History and The Harry H. Wachtel Distinguished Teaching Professor for the Study of Nonviolent Social Change.  He has degrees from Columbia University (where he was a Danforth Scholar and an Edward John Noble Leadership Fellow) and from Union College (where he was recognized with the Freling Smith Prize for outstanding history thesis, and received the Bailey Prize for outstanding senior service). For the past twenty-two years, D’Innocenzo has led the Hofstra Social Science Associum and Public Policy Institute.  Working closely with the Kettering Foundation, the National Issues Forums Institute, and the Public Agenda Foundation, Hofstra’s programs have involved more than 50,000 people over that time span, mostly high school students and teachers, but also increasingly reaching into the community to sponsor intergenerational programs.  These extended programs have developed into “town meeting” sessions at nearly a dozen public libraries where D’Innocenzo leads “current events in perspective” discussions.  Because of these endeavors and others, he has received many public recognitions, and has written extensively on themes of diversity and communication, both historically and in the present.  D’Innocenzo says that directing the Deepening Democracy through Deliberation project is one of the most stimulating programs in which he has ever participated, and he particularly celebrates the outstanding Hofstra student leaders who are serving as Herman Goldman Foundation Democracy Fellows.

Etana Jacobi

Etana is The Harry H. Wachtel Leadership Scholar, a Herman Goldman Foundation Democracy Fellow, and Assistant Director of the Deepening Democracy through Deliberation project.  She recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hofstra University Honors College as a Political Science and Global Studies double major, with a minor in Geography. Her senior thesis, iGlobalization: Kodak, Apple, and the Evolution of US Employment from 1960 to 2012, earned High Honors distinction in the Global Studies and Geography Department and was awarded the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library Undergraduate Research Award.  She is a member of several national honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key, and is the youngest member of the Center for Civic Engagement Advisory Board at Hofstra University.  Etana was a Fellow at the CCE and also served as Chair of the Student Affairs Committee for University Senate, Hofstra’s shared governance body.  During her time at Hofstra, Etana spent a year studying in the Netherlands on a full academic scholarship to the University of Amsterdam, where she fell in love with the city and Dutch culture.  Etana is tremendously excited to be working on this project and is thoroughly enjoying her work bringing community members together to discuss issues that affect us all.

Bernie Stein

Bernie is now retired after more than 30 years as a secondary school Social Studies teacher, having taught virtually every course from grade 7-12, specializing in Psychology, Participation in Government, AP American History, and AP American Government.  He also served as the Senior Class advisor, Key Club advisor, founding advisor to the Gay-Straight Alliance, as well as the creator and advisor to the Peer Leadership and Peer Mediation programs.  Bernie works as a trainer of high school student participants in the Athletes Helping Athletes program and is a presenter of programs to high school students on child abuse awareness, date rape awareness, and mandated reporter of child abuse programs for Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS).  He is also a Distinguished Past President of Kiwanis Club of Merrick and Chair of their annual School Supply Drive. In addition to his great work as a Social Studies teacher and volunteer in the community, Bernie is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 25 years experience as a psychotherapist.  On top of it all, he serves as the Associate Director of Hofstra University’s Public Policy Institute, working with Hofstra’s Center for Civic Engagement and the Kettering Foundation to encourage the use of deliberative discussion by youth and adults as a way to increase civic engagement and address local, national and international problems.

More Coming Soon!


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