Students Build Homes During Alternative Spring Break

ASB Commissioning 2-18-16 018

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

career fair2

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

Massey CACC pcHOF

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.