New Scholarship Program Supports Biology Students

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The 2015 BLISS Scholarship Winners, with their mentors. Pictured back row, left to right: Dr. Thom Nowak Albert Martinez, Kelly Murphy, Darian Fernandez and Dr. Bernadette Connors. Front row: Amanda Saab, Stephanie Denis, and Natalia Perez-Cervantes.

Six freshmen at Dominican College have been awarded up to $10,000 a year for four years as part of the new BLISS (Biology for Low Income Student Scholars) program. This scholarship program was made possible by a $592,688 grant Dominican College was awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) .

In addition to financial aid, the program assists these academically-talented biology students  by providing internships, research experiences, and field trips. The scholarship winners work closely with each other, faculty, and administrators to ensure their success in a biology career.

Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, said, “This program will help to draw those students who may have financial need, but who are very passionate about learning biology and about gaining an education in all the sciences with a liberal arts background.”

The students accepted this year in the scholarship program are: Stephanie Denis, Darian Fernandez, Albert Martinez, Kelly Murphy, Natalia Perez-Cervantes, and Amanda Saab. Next year, eight scholarships will be awarded.

Interested applicants should contact the Office of Admissions at


Winners of the 2015 Spirit of the Founders Award Announced

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The Dominican College 2015 Spirit of the Founders Award was presented to seniors Erica Descartes and Brett Mitchell during a luncheon at Granito Center on Thursday, September 24, 2015. The event was one of the highlights of the week-long celebration of Founders Week, the annual Dominican College tradition of celebrating our Dominican heritage.

The Spirit of the Founders Award represents a respect for the values and traditions that have endured for centuries and holds the promise that the Dominican tradition will be carried on. It is presented to students who have great potential as leaders as they leave Dominican College and make their mark in the world.

The winners of the award were selected by a vote of Dominican College administrators, faculty, staff and students. Other nominees for the award included seniors Kiara Rivera and Roberto Roman and juniors Adriannie Ascencio and Joseph Key.


Dominican College Offers Microbiology Workshop for High School Students

biologyDominican College is offering a microbiology workshop for high school students on weekends. The workshop will be held on six consecutive Saturdays, beginning on October 24, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Students participating in the program will have the opportunity to perform original biological research while learning techniques in microbiology. The workshop series is open to any high school student who has completed their life science course and has achieved an 85% overall grade in their science and math courses combined. A total of 16 spots are available.

There is no charge for the workshop, which is being offered through a donation from Orange and Rockland Utilities.

Interested students, should complete and submit the form below.  The deadline to submit an application and a letter of recommendation is October 8, 2015.

2015 Microbiology Workshop Series for High School Students

  • Math
  • Sciences
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All applicants will be notified by October 15 if they are accepted into the workshop.



Students Participate in National Day of Service and Remembrance

9-11 Jawonio Service 018Dominican College students paid tribute to the victims of the 9-11 attacks by volunteering on September 11, as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The volunteering efforts were organized by Melissa Grau, Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development. “I think the purpose of the attacks on September 11th was to break the American spirit and the reason that service has become such an important part of today, especially at Dominican College, is to show that it didn’t break our spirit and we still live and love in our community,” she said.

Some students volunteered at Jawonio in New City, playing board games and working on craft projects with adults who have special needs. “They just brighten up our consumer’s day. They bring joy to their faces,” said Jawonio spokesperson Dana Ferraro. “It’s a nice environment because they chose to be here and it really shows. We just love to have them.”

Also on September 11, students volunteered in the Granito Center, making handmade greeting cards that will be delivered to veterans and seniors who are homebound.

Congress designated September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009 to unite Americans in service in the same way so many came together following the attacks. At Dominican College, there is a commitment to community service year-round, so that students learn as much outside of the classroom as they do in it.


Former Charger Basketball Star Signed to Professional Team

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Former Dominican College men’s basketball star Nick Smith has signed a professional contract with the Solna Vikings Basketball Club in Sweden.

While at Dominican College, the 2015 graduate was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Co-Player of the Year and was a member of Dominican College’s 1000 Point Club. Among his many accomplishments, Smith was a member of the first men’s basketball team in College history to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA East Regional in 2013.

“I am very appreciative that the Solna Vikings Basketball Club believe in me and are giving me the opportunity to play professional basketball. I am going to continue to keep growing and never settle for anything less than my absolute best,” said Smith. “Also, there are many people who have been there for me along this long and tough journey. They all played a huge part in my growth as both a person and a player and to them I am truly thankful.”

Chargers Head Coach Joseph Clinton described Smith as an extremely talented young man. “The entire College wishes him only the best moving forward,” he said.

Nick will be travelling to Solna, Sweden to begin training with his new coaches and teammates for the upcoming season.





News 12 Covers Move-In Day

Dominican College was in the spotlight when our Freshman Move-In was featured on a local newscast. If you missed it click on the image below:

News 12 spotlights Dominican College

College Unveils New Logo

The College’s New Logo

College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D, unveiled a new Dominican College logo at the College-Wide Conference in Granito Center on August 26, 2015. The new logo combines the name of the school with an icon that includes stylized versions of the Dominican shield and the Dominican cross.

The logo is designed to be eye-catching, timeless and distinctive, and captures the heritage of the College as well as the promise of the future. “The Dominican Shield, reflecting the College’s 800-year tradition of pursuing and conveying truth is an important part of the logo,” said Sr. Mary Eileen, addressing administrators, faculty and staff at the conference. “We trust that you will grow to take pride in this new symbol of our identity.”

The logo was custom-designed by Paskill, Stapleton & Lord, based in Philadelphia, as part of a comprehensive branding initiative undertaken by the College.   Among the many project components, was the development of a brand rationale and brand platform that speaks to the many positive attributes associated with the College. “They focus on rich heritage, challenging classes and exceptional faculty, proximity to New York City and all it offers, career preparation, the critical role of liberal arts, formation of an accountable and responsible student body, and convenient graduate programs for working adults,” said Sr. Mary Eileen.

The new logo will appear on Dominican College merchandise, campus signs, business cards and publications.

In the Footsteps of St. Dominic

Dominican College and nine other Dominican Colleges and Universities in the U.S. participated in a trip this spring to the medieval hilltop town in France where St. Dominic lived.

In all, 40 faculty, staff and students visited Fanjeaux, where St. Dominic’s vision of an order devoted to seeking and sharing the truth took shape from 1206 to 1216. Two students and one administrator from Dominican College in Orangeburg took part in the 17-day trip from May 26 to June 11.

Interested participants submit applications for the program. This year, those chosen were Kiara Rivera, ‘16, Kayla Lyder, ‘16, and Ryan O’Gorman, Director of Residence Life.

“Going on the pilgrimage trip to Fanjeaux, France allowed me to have a greater understanding of who I am, who St. Dominic was, and how the Dominican Charism is found in each of the pilgrims who were on the journey together,” said O’Gorman. “This was a life-changing experience and I encourage anyone interested to apply for the program.”

Each year, the College underwrites the cost of participation for one faculty or staff member and partially funds participation for two students, who are eligible to earn three credits.

The pilgrims studied each morning. In the afternoons, they visited historic sites in southern France, with a focus on places significant in the early history of the Order of Preachers. The program concluded with four nights in Paris.

Alternative Spring Break

Dominican College students worked with Habitat for Humanity during the week-long Spring Break to help build homes for families who are in need of decent, affordable housing.

This year, 30 students and five staff members volunteered their time in what is known as the Alternative Spring Break program. The students were split into groups and sent to three different locations: Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Asbury Park, NJ, from March 28 – April 4.

In addition to working with Habitat for Humanity construction teams to build, rebuild, excavate and renovate housing, the students who traveled to Kentucky and West Virginia explored the causes of pervasive poverty and the factors that keep families immersed in the cycle of poverty for generations.

In Asbury Park, Dominican College students looked at the impact of communities destroyed by natural disasters. Asbury Park was one of the many communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Dominican College students who volunteer their time for the Alternative Spring Break are required to pay for a portion of their trip. Dominican College subsidizes the cost, and donations are accepted. The Rotary Club of Pearl River makes an annual donation in support of the Rotaract Club members who volunteer.

This is the ninth year that Dominican College students have participated in the Alternative Spring Break.

El Salvador Service Trip

A team of four Dominican College students and two administrators traveled to El Salvador in January to work for a week at a summer camp for children in a rural village.

The summer camp in Sol Naciente was founded by a Dominican Sister, Sr. Flor Buruca, O.P. of Amityville, NY, a native of El Salvador. With the help of others, Sr. Flor has also built a chapel in Sol Naciente, established an after-school program, and provided care packages for those in need. The mission of the Dominican College team was to assist Sr. Flor in relieving poverty and promoting education in Sol Naciente.

Massiel Estevez, a 2015 graduate, said the trip was important because Dominican College emphasizes the importance of community, service and spirituality. “Experiencing El Salvador gave us the opportunity to learn more about the culture and the people of El Salvador – people who at the end of the day are just like you and me,“ she said.

Estevez said the Dominican College students sent the message, “We are here because we care.” She added that the students fell in love with the children at the camp. ”Spending a week working with some of the greatest children and young adults on the entire planet was amazing and life-changing,” she said.

Ashley Beard was another 2015 graduate who traveled to El Salvador to work at the camp. She described the entire experience as unforgettable, but particularly remembers one poignant moment on the last day of camp when the children surprised the college students with a song. “I began to cry because it was such a beautiful song and I was going to miss them all so much,” she said. “The one girl in the camp that I had been with a lot throughout the week, came over to me and started to wipe the tears from my face and kissed me. She then pointed to her smile signaling me to smile and not be sad.”

The other Dominican College students who worked at the camp in El Salvador were Shamel Medrano, Class of 2015, and Kayla Lyder, Class of 2016. They were accompanied by Ryan O’Gorman, Director of Residence Life and Christine Dilts, who was Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development at the time. She has since been promoted to Assistant Dean for Student Development.

This is the second year that Dominican College has sent a team to Sol Naciente. Plans are already underway for the January 2016 mission.

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