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Iftekhar Hasan: I am the Gabelli School

Profiles | Mar 04, 2021 |

“I am the Gabelli School” celebrates the people, moments, and events that provide us with pride and joy. Twice a month, we will feature a brief Q&A with a different member of the Gabelli School community, speaking in their own words about what the school means to them.

In this “I am the Gabelli School” email, Iftekhar talks about students who motivate him and the pride he has for his colleagues who embrace Fordham’s Jesuit traditions. He also shares the best piece of advice he offers students looking to always remain competitive in their pursuits.

What is the one thing you enjoy most about your work at the Gabelli School?

I am not sure about the “most” part of your question—there are so many aspects I enjoy! I am happy being a professor, and, like most of my colleagues, I enjoy the varied dimensions of my work. In particular, I enjoy teaching and talking to the students. I am naturally curious about academic research, interested in innovative curricula, and I care about and believe in the heterogeneity of intellects and people. I also believe in a high standard in our research and our institution. I am honored that the Gabelli School has trusted me to lead the Ph.D. program – we are growing slowly, but we are making steady, tangible progress.

What was a particular moment when you felt proud to be a part of the Gabelli School of Business and Fordham University? 

I was personally quite proud of the Gabelli School and Fordham when some of my faculty and staff colleagues traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019 to bear witness and help to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. These colleagues spent time and efforts in a manner befitting the Fordham name and values, in service and in care for others without any self-interest. I was truly proud that they had the opportunity to experience this.

Is there a member of our community who has inspired you? Why? 

With all sincerity, I would say Fr. Joseph M. McShane, SJ. It is quite comforting and uplifting to come to work when you know that the head of the institution is dedicated to his job with a sense of the highest moral clarity and prudent leadership to the best of his ability, day-in and day-out. I must add that I am not alone in this thinking; this question has arisen in the past and I know that my fellow faculty colleagues and senior leaders at the Gabelli School with whom I had the privilege to discuss this question feel the same.

What motivates you, and is there a particular piece of advice you’ve shared with others about determination or drive?

I suppose my motivation is like that of most who say, “my students,” and, also more broadly speaking, students everywhere, at all levels. We want them to be better, smarter, and more prepared than us and to be ready to make significant contributions in their own ways, locally and globally. 

I always tell my students that they should always do at least 50 percent more than what is asked for or required for every task, as that is the best way to stay competitive in their respective professions. I tell them to stay relentlessly focused on their respective goals, whatever those may be.

Any recent reading/media recommendations?

I liked the book by Michael Sandel “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?” and also a book by John Sexton, “Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age.” Both of these books reflect Fordham values very nicely and have a clear educational context.

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