Students Build Homes During Alternative Spring Break

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These students spent Spring Break in North Carolina and Florida, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes.

For the past 10 years, a group of Dominican College students have passed up on the traditional Spring Break, instead volunteering to work with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing.

This year, about 30 students participated in the week-long Alternative Spring Break Program. The students were split into two groups, with half going to Goldsboro, North Carolina, and the other half to Palm Bay, Florida.  

The popularity of the Alternative Spring Break Program at Dominican College demonstrates that the students connect with the service mission of the College, according to Melissa Leigh Grau, College Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development. “Not only do the students return every year, but they bring their friends and they get new people and they show others what it means to be part of the Dominican College community,” said Grau. 

Freshman through seniors participate in the trip. The students pay for a portion of the trip, with Dominican College subsidizing the cost. 

Grau says the students understand that Spring Break doesn’t have to be about relaxing at the beach and having fun. “Spring Break can be having fun, but building and contributing and being part of something bigger than yourself,” she said.


Business Leaders Get Practical Advice on the Affordable Care Act


Business leaders attending the last Palisades Institute forum walked away with practical advice on how to be in compliance with changing regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The forum entitled “The Affordable Care Act: Its Impact on Business Strategy and Operations” was held on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Lawrence Room of Rosary Hall.

A panel of experts on the Affordable Care Act  let business leaders know what is required of them and answered questions.

The panel included:

  • John Rosenberger, CPA, Tax Manager, GKG Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants
  • Matt Libby, Vice President , MDG Employee Benefit Solutions, Certified Insurance Consultants
  • Stu Kornberg, Director, PayServ Corporation, Payroll Service

Topics discussed included: healthcare coverage that must be provided to employees; how to determine ACA-related “full-time equivalent” employees; how to minimize tax liability and penalties; forms that must be submitted to the federal government; and financial and human resources data and software compatibility with ACA requirements.


Upcoming Career Fair Open to the Public

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Dozens of area businesses will gather at Dominican College on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, looking for prospective employees.   The event is open to the public.  Don’t miss this opportunity to meet company recruiters, apply for jobs and internships, and polish your networking skills.   The event will take place in the Hennessy Center, 495 Western Highway, Blauvelt, from 2 to 5 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity for our students and local residents to meet with many different employers in one location,” said Evelyn Fiskaa, Director of Career Development. “Participation at the Career Fair is a great way to connect and network with representatives of organizations that are recruiting for positions and internships.”

Companies who will be in attendance include, but are not limited to:

Adecco Staffing
Adventist Health
Active International
ARC of Rockland
Allstate Insurance, Hamilla Agency
Braemar Living at Wallkill
Camp Chen-A –Wanda
Camp Venture, Inc.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
Coca-Cola Refreshments
Combined Insurance
Constellations Health Service
Crystal Run Health
EF International Language School
Enterprise Holdings
Express Employment Professionals
Ezras Choilim Health Center
Foresters Financial Services
Head Start of Rockland, Inc.
i9 Sports
New York City Department of Correction
New York Life
New York State Environmental Conservation Police
Nice Pak/PDI
Northwestern Mutual-White Plains
Nyack Computer
NYS Department of Labor
Orange & Rockland
Rockland Boulders
Rockland County’s Sheriff’s Office
Sleepy Hollow Physical Therapy
Sparkling Pool Services, Inc.
Spectra Laboratories
St. Dominic’s Home
SUNPOWER by infinity solar
Sunshine Healthcare services
The NYS Dept. of Taxation & Finance
Townsend & Associates, Inc.

Interested in recruiting at the event? Register here!

For more information, call 845-848-4033. 

Dominican College to Participate in National Research Project


Dominican College has been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to pilot a new laboratory for undergraduate biology students. Just 20 schools were chosen nationwide to participate in the SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) Project.

Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, said the program will result in freshman biology students being trained in more advanced laboratory techniques than they had been in the past. She said the students will become “virus hunters” and will look for bacterial viruses, otherwise known as bacteriophages, in soil samples. Once they isolate a virus and extract the DNA, HHMI will do the genome sequencing on the virus and students will subsequently piece together the genomic information. 

Dr. Connors stressed that the students will have ownership of the project throughout the 2016-2017 school year.   “They find the organisms.  They extract its DNA.  They figure out what the sequence looks like that makes that organism what it is,” she said. “It’s very experimental.  We don’t know what the results will be, so they are really digging and figuring it out for themselves and controlling it.”

HHMI provides support for the program by training faculty and conducting the genome sequencing. At the end of the project, one Dominican College student will be chosen to go to a national meeting to present the work of the group.  In addition, the class will become authors of an article in a peer-reviewed publication. 

Dr. Connors said the program will provide students with a good foundation. “All of biology is going the way of bioinformatics –putting together DNA pieces to better tell what an organism can and cannot do.”


Former Dominican College Athlete Inducted Into CACC Hall of Fame

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Director of Athletics Joe Clinton, Maryellen Massey Montera ’88, and CACC Commissioner Dan Mara, shown left to right.

Former Dominican College basketball and softball star Maryellen Massey Montera ’88 was Inducted into the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Hall of Fame on Saturday, February 6, 2016. This is the first year that the CACC has inducted athletes into a Hall of Fame.   

The ceremony honoring Montera took place in Hennessy Center between games of the Dominican-Philadelphia University basketball doubleheader. CACC Commissioner Dan Mara presented Montera with a framed portrait featuring photos from her legendary career.

In women’s basketball at Dominican College, Montera is the all-time leading scorer with 2,066 points. In softball, she was a standout as both a pitcher and a hitter.  She posted a 1.23 earned during her career, which is tops in program history. She also pitched a pair of no-hitters, including a perfect game against John Jay College.  At the plate, she had a .414 batting average and became the first and only student athlete in school history to have her jersey retired in 2009. 

Just six athletes, including Montera, were chosen for the inaugural class of the CACC Hall of Fame. The CACC is a NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 schools in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  


Performing Arts Center Named After College Musical Director

Dr. James A. Filipelli, shown here with College President Sr. Mary Eileen O'Brien, Ph.D., O.P., recently had a Performing Arts Center at a Westchester High School named in his honor.

Dr. James A. Filipelli, shown here with College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., recently had a Performing Arts Center at a Westchester High School named in his honor.

A Westchester County High School is honoring the former director of its theater program – who also directs the musicals at Dominican College – by naming its Performing Arts Center after him. The Lakeland Central School District Board of Education voted  on January 21, 2016, to rename the Walter Panas High School Performing Arts Center after Dr. James A. Filippelli.  Dr. Filipelli taught English for more than 35 years at the high school and retired last June.  He continues working as an adjunct instructor at Dominican College, where he has also taught for 36 years.  At Dominican College, Dr. Filipelli teaches classes in communications and theater. 

The move to rename the center came after a former Walter Panas High School student started an online petition that garnered more than 900 signatures. Dr. Filippelli said he is humbled, flattered and honored. “I share this honor with the countless number of students, the administrators, the teachers, the community members, anyone who ever stepped foot in that place, or performed on the stage – backstage, lighting, scenery, costumes, anything.  I share with them, because I couldn’t do it alone, “  he said.

Dr. Filippelli is now working with Dominican College students rehearsing for the March 11 and March 12 performances of Kiss Me Kate.  Tickets will go on sale a few weeks before the performance. 


Leaders from the Federal Reserve Bank of NY Speak at the College

Joseph Tracy (left) and Jason Bram (right), both senior leaders of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, took questions from the audience at Dominican College on January 15, 2016,

Joseph Tracy (left) and Jason Bram (right), both senior leaders of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, took questions from the audience at Dominican College on January 15, 2016.

Local business leaders gathered at Dominican College on January 15, 2016, to hear what senior leaders from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had to say.

Joseph Tracy is the Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He said that many Americans were surprised that it took so long to reverse the job losses of the recession. “The other bit of folklore is that the stronger the downturn, the faster the recovery – you had these v-shaped recessions and recoveries.  We just didn’t experience that,” he said.

Tracy explained that the recovery took longer because of a changing economy, labor force, and demographics.

Jason Bram, Research Officer, Regional Analysis Function, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, gave a more regional perspective on the economy. He cautioned that the unemployment rates don’t tell the full story.  While U.S. unemployment is generally at the same levels as before the recession, labor participation is lower.  “What that means is that the unemployment rate is lower not completely because there are more and more people working,” said Bram,  “but to some extent because there are fewer people looking for work or people who are what we call ‘underemployed.’”

Bram said that the economy of New York State has outperformed the nation, and New York City has been the leader in the State.

The presentation was co-sponsored by the Palisades Institute and the Rockland Business Association.                                

Dominican College Team Travels to El Salvador for Service Mission

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A team from Dominican College gathers with the children they are working with at a summer camp in Sol Naciente, El Salvador.

Children at a summer camp in El Salvador welcomed a group from Dominican College on a service mission during the first week of January.  

The team of two administrators and five students traveled to the rural village of Sol Naciente to help relieve poverty and promote education. The summer camp in Sol Naciente was founded by a Dominican Sister, Sr. Flor Buruca, O.P., of Amityville, NY, a native of El Savador.  With the help of others, Sr. Flor has also built a chapel in the village, established an after-school program, and provided care packages for those in need. 

This year, the College administrators on the trip are Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dorothy Filoramo, who also serves as President of the Pearl River Rotary Club and Director of Residence Life Ryan Gorman, a Pearl River Rotary Club Member as well. While in El Salvador, they are partnering with the San Miguel Rotary Club to work on a water purification project.

The Dominican College students on the trip are Sarah Baradaran-Noviri, Kayla Grodzicki, Kiara Rivera, Patricia Simmons, and Sade Solan-Bennett.

This is the third year that Dominican College has sent a team to work at the summer camp in Sol Naciente. In El Salvador, the dry season from November through April is known locally as “summer,”  even though the country is north of the equator. 

Acclaimed Orchestra Holds Christmas Concert December 6

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The popular Dominican College Christmas Concert featuring the Reverend Alphonse Stephenson and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea will be held on Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 3 p.m. in the Hennessy Center, 495 Western Highway in Blauvelt. 

“The College is very grateful to be able to bring forty classically-trained musicians to perform a holiday concert worthy of Carnegie Hall to our community,” said Mary Lichtman, Director of Special Events.  “This annual event has become a treasured tradition at the College that so many people look forward to.” 

Tickets for the concert are priced at $30 for General Admission, $25 for seniors and veterans and $20 for students with a school ID.  Concert tickets include a post-performance dessert reception.  In addition, a  Holiday Buffet will be held in the Granito Center at 1 p.m. before the concert, at a cost of $20 per person. 

To purchase tickets, please e-mail or call 845-848-7406.  Tickets will also be sold at the door. 


Beautiful Christmas music filled the Hennessy Center yesterday during the annual concert featuring the Reverend Alphonse…

Posted by Dominican College on Monday, December 7, 2015

Former Publisher of Inc. Magazine Shares His Business Insight


The former Publisher of Inc. Magazine John Tebeau talked about business personalities at a recent forum sponsored by the Palisades Institute.

The former Publisher of Inc. Magazine shared his business insight at the Palisades Institute Forum on November 17, in the Lawrence Room of Rosary Hall.  John Tebeau talked to the business leaders and students in attendance about what makes a good leader and the different types of work personalities.   

Tebeau said throughout his career he has seen leadership styles in all shapes and sizes.   “Never underestimate who it is you are talking to.  Every relationship and personality you need to take seriously,” he said. 

Tebeau then explained the work-type personality theory of Les McKeon, who is the President and CEO of Predictable Success and has started more than 40 companies.  McKeon believes that everyone who participates in group or team work tends to act in one of three naturally-occurring styles:  visionary, operator or processor.  Visionaries generate creative ideas.  Operators translate those ideas into tasks and “get stuff done.”  Processors are compelled by data and like to bring order to the situation. The problem, said Tebeau, is that these three work personalities don’t “play well together in the sandbox.”

Tebeau said that for a team to be successful, one of the team players must also be a synergist – focused primarily on what is best for the enterprise. A synergist must be good at time management, priority management, crisis management and delegation. 


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