Department: Physics School: College of Arts and Sciences Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 1966
Forty-five years after joining NYIT, Professor Gabriel Sunshine, Ph.D., is still invigorated by teaching physics. Dr. Sunshine, a former U.S. Air Force pilot who served from 1956 to 1986 on active duty and as a reservist, was doing research in atomic physics at another university when he met NYIT's first president, Alexander Schure, Ph.D.
Dr. Schure's educational vision hooked Dr. Sunshine, whose career milestones have included serving as the first chair of the physics department and helping to earn its first accreditation; starting a chapter of the national physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma; and founding the NYIT Faculty Club (he served as its first president for two years.)
Dr. Sunshine has also enjoyed the lighter moments, including when he watched Dr. Schure film a scene in Old Westbury for the 1975 Robert Redford movie, Seven Days of the Condor.
Equally important to Dr. Sunshine's teaching career is his experience as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. During this time, he was stationed at air bases around the country and served in the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of numerous service awards and medals, including the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars. Since retiring from the Air Force, he has logged nearly 1,000 civilian flying hours, mostly in twin-engine aircraft, and flies weekly from Republic Airport on Long Island, N.Y., sometimes taking faculty members and students with him.
Tantamount to Dr. Sunshine's career satisfaction is his love of teaching – and the opportunity to be part of NYIT's evolution from a small institution to a global success.