Campus Advisory Access the latest updates, FAQs, and resources for the Adelphi community on the global coronavirus pandemic. » COVID-19 Updates

Coronavirus Updates on Operations: Department or campus operations may be modified during this time. Please call or email the department for more information or visit



January 31, 2017

Hands On, Clicker Off: Reshaping Education at Adelphi

Environmental studies students in the field

From outdoor recreation to museum visits and lab research, Adelphi students are learning in new and exciting ways. While traditional classroom syllabi are still alive and well, the university’s experience-based educational practices serve as a launchpad for student self-discovery.

Susan Briziarelli, Ph.D., acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, oversees various experiential learning opportunities that link the classroom with the real world. Environmental studies students hike, kayak and camp, while art majors travel to New York City to attend museums and galleries. “Coming to class doesn’t necessarily mean simply listening to a lecture,” Dr. Briziarelli said.

Small class size is also crucial to student engagement. Tuval Foguel, Ph.D., professor and department chair of mathematics and computer science, sees his classes—which usually number around 20 students—as a shared dialogue, not a transmission of information. He asks open-ended questions and waits for students to volunteer the answer, then cultivates discussion around the responses. “Sometimes the incorrect answer can actually be more productive,” Dr. Foguel noted. “It gets students to think about the question and understand it in a more nuanced manner.”

Assistant Professor Eugenia Villa-Cuesta, Ph.D., believes knowledge is best acquired by practical work rather than theoretical study. She heads a biology lab populated by several undergraduate students who engage in high-level research. Classrooms are often structured around a faculty-student hierarchy, but there is no pecking order in Dr. Villa-Cuesta’s lab—she encourages students to mentor each other and calls the lab group a second family. “We don’t focus on the product, we focus on the student,” Dr. Villa-Cuesta explained. “We care about their person as a whole and try to foster their confidence.”

Associate Professor Brian Stockman, Ph.D., who runs a chemistry lab dedicated to drug development, is a strong believer in the power of hands-on learning. He’s seen many students embark on a journey of growth and empowerment—one that begins with lab research and ends with ownership of their education. “I can see exactly when that switch flips,” Dr. Stockman said. “It’s when the student stops asking me, ‘What are we doing today?’ and starts saying, ‘Here’s what I did. Come look at what I found.’”


Want to read more stories like this?


From My Desk: News From the President   Browse by Topic

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

For further information, please contact:

College of Arts and Sciences
Science Building, Room 127
p – 516.877.4120