College Celebrates 800th Jubilee of Dominican Order

st-dominicDominican College’s Annual Founders Week celebration has special significance this year because the Dominican Order is marking its 800th anniversary. 

In 1216, Pope Honorius III approved the founding of the Dominican Order of priests and sisters, which is also known as the Order of Preachers. College Chancellor Kathleen Sullivan, O.P., said throughout the years the Dominican Order has kept its spirit of searching for the truth, as well as its dedication to learning and study. “To have persisted in changing worlds that we’ve had from 1216 to 2016 is remarkable,” she said. “The four pillars of the Dominican Order are prayer, study, community, and service – and that continues.”

A number of renowned Dominican Sisters spoke at Dominican College during the week of September 19 – 24, 2016. On Monday, Sr. Kathleen McManus, O.P., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, from the University of Portland gave the keynote address in the Hennessy Center at 11:15 a.m. That evening, Sr. Barbara Reid, O.P., V.P., and Academic Dean of the Catholic Theological Union gave a presentation at 5:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Room.   On Tuesday, Alumna Sr. Mary Doris, O.P., ’63, delivered the  Living the Legacy speech at 11:15 a.m. in the Palisades Room. Sr. Mary is the founder and director of Siena House. 

Two students who traveled to France to walk in the Footsteps of St. Dominic in June spoke Wednesday about their experiences. A Dominican Jubilee Liturgy was held Thursday in the Dominican Sisters Convent Chapel. The week wrapped up with students volunteering in Preaching in Action activities on Friday and the Annual Dominican Sisters Festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the Dominican Sisters Convent.  

Students at Dominican College have also been invited to enter a contest to capture the Dominican spirit by writing an essay, creating a slogan, or crafting a design.

Dominican College was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt in 1952.



A Cappella Group Performs National Anthem at Mets Game


Singers from Dominican College were shown on the jumbotron at Citi Field while they performed the National Anthem on September 3, 2016.

Dominican College’s a cappella group Pitches and Cream performed the National Anthem at the Mets game at Citi Field on Saturday, September 3, 2016.

“What an incredible, indescribable experience,” said Musical Director of Pitches and Cream Lydia Maynard, Ph.D. “To have the honor of singing the National Anthem in front of 36,000 people, hearing the crowd erupt in applause during our final notes, having two Mets players walk by us as we rehearsed near the tunnel, and most importantly, representing Dominican College – none of us will ever forget this experience.”

Students, faculty, and administrators travelled by bus to the Mets game to support Pitches and Cream and cheer the singers on from the stands. Pitches and Cream was formed three years ago by Maynard who is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the College. 



College Offers Biology Research Workshop for High School Students


Dominican College is offering a Biology research workshop for high school students on weekends. The workshop will be held on five consecutive Saturdays, beginning on October 29, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Students participating in the program will have the opportunity to perform original biological research. The workshop series is open to any high school student who has completed their life science course and has a demonstrated interest in completing a research project. A total of 10 spots are available and there is no charge for the workshop. 

Interested students should contact Dr. Bernadette Connors at or 845-848-6020 prior to October 15, 2016.




Construction Begins on $5 Million Expansion of Hennessy Center


Dominican College administrators and representatives from Holt Construction attended a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on an expansion of the Hennessy Center.

Construction has begun on a $5 million expansion of the Hennessy Center. The Hennessy Center is Dominican College’s Athletic Center and is also home to community concerts and events. 

The Hennessy Center expansion will include a new, regulation-size NCAA gym on the same level as the current gym, with batting cages that can be lowered from the ceiling. A new lower level will have a fitness center, dance studio, weight room, and coaches’ offices. Plans call for the current exercise room to become an Athletic Training Lab for students in the Athletic Training academic program.  Construction is expected to be completed in less than a year. 

“With this expansion, Dominican College will meet the needs of a growing student population and be able to attract and train more student athletes.” said College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D. ”The Hennessy Center will continue to serve the community by hosting summer camps, concerts, job fairs, programs for people with disabilities, and community events.  In addition, nearby residents will also be able to use the new fitness center for a reasonable membership fee.”

More than half of the money needed for the expansion has been raised. The College recently launched a new fundraising campaign to raise the remainder of the funds.  If you are interested in donating, or would like to learn more about the Hennessy Center project, please contact Dorothy Filoramo at



Biology Professor Placed on Fulbright Specialist Roster

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Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, has been placed on the Fulbright Specialist Roster.

A Dominican College biology instructor has been selected to be placed on the Fulbright Specialist Roster by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

The Roster is a list of all candidates who are eligible to be matched with overseas academic institutions needing expertise from Fulbright Specialists in a particular area of study.

Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, said she was delighted when she received the email stating that she would be placed on the Roster. “I was beyond excited at the opportunity to represent Dominican College as well as the United States,” said Dr. Connors.  “Having the unique experience of teaching biology at a small school might be valuable to another institution similar to our own overseas.  That is what is most exciting about it.”

Dr. Connors can remain on the Roster for up to five years. She is eligible for consideration for two to six-week grant opportunities through the Specialist Program. While Dr. Connors said she would consider traveling anywhere in the world as a Fulbright Specialist, her top choices are England and China. 




The Class of 2020 Moves Into Residence Halls

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Freshman Gianluca Barecchia said he decided that Dominican College was the right school for him because it was “welcoming and homey.”

The Class of 2020 moved into their residence halls during Move-In Day on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The freshmen come from 13 states across the country.  Almost 26 percent of the incoming freshmen plan to study nursing. The other top majors that freshmen have expressed interest in are athletic training, psychology, biology, and management. 

Freshman Gianluca Barecchia said it just took one visit to Dominican College for him to decide this was the place for him. “It seemed very welcoming and homey,” he said. “It felt like a home away from home.”

Barecchia was also impressed with Dominican College’s commitment to service. Barecchia is an EMT in North Branford, CT and has accumulated 800 hours of community service working for the volunteer ambulance corp, in a children’s hospital, at a church, and in a pantry for the needy. 

Freshmen attend several days of orientation activities before starting class on Monday, August 29.

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College Kicks Off 2016-2017 School Year

Dominican College administrators, faculty, and staff have welcomed students for the 2016-2017 school year.   Christine Dilts, Assistant Dean of Students, said that freshmen were busy with activities during a three-day Orientation from Thursday, August 25  through Saturday, August 28. 

“Our objectives for Orientation are that the students coming in feel welcome and they feel like they belong, which means that they are going to make friends and become a part of the Dominican family.  We also want them to be familiar with their surroundings so that they know where to go for class on Monday morning.  And we want them to have a sense of the resources that are available to them,” said Dilts. 

Student leaders have been trained as Orientation Leaders and have been helping freshmen with the transition to college. During Orientation, freshmen attend a number of activities and informational sessions to help them make friends and become comfortable at Dominican College.


Alumnus Invention Wins $1.125 Million Grant

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John Damiao demonstrates how his indieGo invention converts a typical wheelchair into a power wheelchair.

Alumnus and Adjunct Professor John Damiao ’09 calls his invention which turns an ordinary wheelchair into a power wheelchair for about $1,000 a “game-changer”  It’s called indieGo and has awarded  Damiao and his team at the Center for Discovery with a $1.125 million grant to develop it and get it on the market.  Damiao is an Adjunct Professor at Dominican College teaching Kinesiology. 

The indieGo is a small, lightweight device that you can roll any wheelchair on to in order to convert it to a power wheelchair. Damiao is an occupational therapist who works with individuals with Cerebral Palsy who are unable to control their own wheelchair.  His team in Hurleyville, NY, at the Center for Discovery is experimenting with a variety of controls, from joysticks to touch buttons to allow any patient with impaired mobility to drive.  Typical wheelchairs for these individuals can cost $10,000 to $15,000.

Damiao said it was nice that Google recognized the tremendous impact that this device can have and was not looking only at funding high-tech or flashy projects. “We felt great and excited that Google recognized the importance of trying to bring mobility to as many people as possible.  They are this big tech giant company and this device is very basic and simple,” he said. 

Google awarded 29 grantees with $20 million in grants to help address accessibility challenges all over the world and is helping bring the projects to life.



Four County Executives Answer Questions at Dominican College

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Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, and Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III (shown left to right) participated in the County Executives Forum at Dominican College on June 7, 2016.

The County leaders from Rockland, Westchester, Orange, and Bergen Counties were at Dominican College on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, to take part in the annual County Executive’s Forum sponsored by the Palisades Institute.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said New York State’s system for public assistance is a “recipe for fraud,” but said Rockland has a very aggressive Front End Detection System to root out fraud.  He also announced that Rockland County just reached a new milestone with more than 100,000 people on public assistance. “This is supposed to be a relatively wealthy suburban County,” he said. “Almost one third of our County is on public assistance.  It’s unsustainable.”

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III talked about the upcoming referendum in New Jersey on gambling in northern Jersey and stressed that a full casino is being considered – not simply slot machines. “The way the law is being written, there has to be a $1 billion investment by the person that brings gaming to Bergen County or the Meadowlands,” he said.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus also fielded questions from business leaders in attendance at the forum, which took place in the Lawrence Room of Rosary Hall.   

The aim of the Palisades Institute of Dominican College is to encourage leaders in business, government, and not-for-profit agencies to integrate the concepts of Leadership, Quality, and Ethics to achieve long-term success. 


A Capella Group to Perform National Anthem at Mets Game


Dominican College’s a capella group Pitches and Cream will sing the National Anthem at the Mets game on September 3, 2016.

Dominican College’s a cappella group Pitches and Cream will be singing the National Anthem at the Mets Game at Cit Field on Saturday, September 3, 2016. The group auditioned back in March and was featured on Channel 2 News.

Musical Director of Pitches and Cream Lydia Maynard, Ph.D. said this will be the largest audience Pitches and Cream has ever performed for – by far. “The stadium capacity is about 45,000 people and it’s Labor Day Weekend and the game is against the Nationals,” she said. “We are excited about it.”

Pitches and Cream was formed three years ago by Maynard, who is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Dominican College. “When I first interviewed here, I asked if they had an a capella group and they said ‘no’ so I knew I wanted to start one when I started working here.”  Maynard minored in music in college and has always enjoyed performing. 

Tickets to the Mets game are available for $25 and transportation will be provided. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. 



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