New BEST Program Comes to Dominican College


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BOCES representatives briefed College Department heads on the new BEST program. Shown here (from left to right) are Director of the Health Center Lynda Chesterman, Director of Food Services Anthony Longobardo, as well as Maureen Danizig and Dawn Kitz of BOCES.

Dominican College is teaming up with Rockland BOCES to prepare high school students with disabilities for the world of work. The new program is called BEST (Business Expertise for Student Transition and Training) and it will kick off in September 2016 with eight students.

College Director of Special Services Margaret Giuliano said the high school juniors and seniors in the program will be entering the workforce or going to college after graduation. “Through the partnership, they will be spending 1 ½ hours  each day on our campus, experiencing real life job placement as interns and learning soft skills that are key to college and career success,”  she said. 

Rockland BOCES is providing a full-time teacher, teaching assistant and part-time coordinator to work with the students at the College and teach what are considered soft skills. “It could be interview skills, resume writing, social skills – how to dress on the job, how to speak to your co-workers, anything related to a job,”  said Dawn Kitz, Transition Coordinator at BOCES. 

During a recent Open House hosted by BOCES in the Badami Room, representatives of different College departments dropped by throughout the day to be briefed on the new program and to sign up to accept BEST students as interns in their departments.

Dominican College Announces 2016 Persons of the Year


The Wortendyke Brothers, owners of Cal Mart Enterprises, Inc., have been chosen as the 2016 Persons of the Year. Pictured from left to right are Peter, Carl, and Martin Wortendyke.

Dominican College and its Board of Trustees have named Carl, Martin, and Peter Wortendyke – owners of Cal Mart Enterprises, Inc.—as the 2016 Persons of the Year. They will be honored at the College’s 44th Annual Grand Reception on Friday, May 6, 2016.

The Grand Reception will be held at the Old Tappan Manor in Old Tappan, New York, at 7 p.m.

“Carl, Martin, and Peter Wortendyke were chosen as the 2016 Persons of the Year for their outstanding professional leadership, their community involvement, and their philanthropic works,” said Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., President of Dominican College. “Not only have the Wortendyke brothers built a successful business here in Rockland County, but they have given back to the community by generously donating their time and money to support so many causes.”

Cal Mart Enterprises, Inc. is a construction company located in Congers, NY, and has built major commercial, industrial, and residential projects.

Cal Mart and the Wortendykes have been honored for their generous contributions to many organizations, including Nyack Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Helen Hayes Hospital, Camp Venture, Jawonio, and the Boy Scouts of America. They received the Helen Hayes MacArthur Award in 2004 and the Pinnacle Award for Contracting and Development from the Rockland County Builders Association in 2015.

Carl Wortendyke has been a board member of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) since 2005. He also served as a Saratoga Capital District Regional Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation for 10 years. Carl was the Republican Businessman of the Year for the Town of Clarkstown in 1986 and the Rockland County Businessman of the Year in 2000. He resides in Upper Nyack, NY. 

 Martin Wortendyke is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Rockland Community College. In addition, he serves on the Helen Hayes Hospital Board of Visitors and is a member of the Sterling Bank Business Leaders Council. Martin belongs to the NYS Society of Professional Engineers, as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers. He lives in Upper Nyack, NY, with his wife Liz and their daughter Krista.

Peter Wortendyke is President of the Oak Hill Cemetery and was a member of the Jackson Hose Company Nyack Fire Department for 30 years as a volunteer firefighter rising through the ranks to Commissioner. He was elected Commissioner of the Nyack Joint Fire District in 2014. Peter lives in Upper Nyack, NY, with his wife Mary Ann and their daughter Tori.

The tickets to the Grand Reception, honoring the Wortendykes cost $350 each. All proceeds will  support the expansion of the Hennessy Center, academic programs, and technological advancements at the College.  For additional information, and to purchase tickets, click here.


College Celebrates Culture and Cuisine of Ireland

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Musicians from the Pearl River School of Irish Music performed at the Night in Ireland event.

Dominican College held its third annual Night of Culture and Cuisine on Friday, March 11, and this year a sell-out crowd was transported to Ireland. The attendees were treated to the sights and sounds of Ireland in the Lawrence Room in Rosary Hall from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The menu consisted of Irish favorites including scones, shepherd’s pie, Guinness stew, Irish smoked salmon and corned beef. For dessert, there was pavlova, trifle, and more. Of course, there was plenty of Guinness to drink, and Irish coffee to end the night. 

While dining on delicious food, guests were treated to local Irish entertainment. Dancers from the Broesler School of Irish Dance delighted the crowd with their footwork.  In addition, musicians from the Pearl River School of Irish Music played traditional Irish instruments and performed a few songs. 

Denise Mingione, was among those who attended. “Not only was the food fabulous, but the live Irish music, step dancing, and singing by the local children was truly amazing. When that young girl sang ‘Emigrant Eyes’ a cappella, it reminded me of grandmother’s journey to New York, alone at only 19 years old, “  she said.  “Thank you for a really fun night with neighbors and friends.”

Orangeburg resident Deirdre O’Boy, from the Department of English at Lehman College, and director of the CUNY Institute of Irish Studies spoke about how food had been portrayed in Irish literature over the ages.  

As part of the decorations that filled the Lawrence room, The Danu Gallery of Pearl River generously displayed beautiful Celtic giftware.

The Night in Ireland event follows a Night in Argentina and a Night in Sicily.


Dominican College Presents “Kiss Me Kate”

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Some of the cast members of this year’s Spring Musical at Dominican College, “Kiss Me, Kate.”

Performances of the Dominican College Spring Musical Kiss Me, Kate were held Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m. at St. Dominic’s School, 488 Western Highway, Blauvelt, NY 10913, behind the Convent of St. Dominic.

Kiss Me Kate is a Cole Porter musical that takes place in Baltimore, where a theater troupe is putting on a performance. Egotistical leading man Fred Graham is reunited with this ex-wife Lilli Vanessi when the two are forced to play opposite one another in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. It becomes clear that as much as they profess to hate each other, they are still very much in love. The show also has gangsters, mistaken identities, and more romantic entanglements. Kiss Me, Kate has something for every — including comedy, romance, drama, and suspense.  

Kiss Me, Kate was presented by the Dominican College Aquin Players and directed by James Filippelli.