Three former Dominican College soccer players were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Achievement on Sunday, April 29 during a ceremony in the Granito Center. The new inductees are: Donald Briggs Jr., ’83, for Excellence; Michael Hagopian, ’02, for Leadership; and Alice O’Hara, ’99, for Service. A photo of the three inductees will hang in the lobby of the Prusmack Center with other honorees.
Donald Briggs, Jr., ’83, for Excellence
Former soccer and basketball player Donald Briggs said the person he is today has a lot to do with Dominican College. “The person who walked in the doors at Dominican College was not the same person who left four years later,” he said. He credits the College with developing his business sense and teaching him to be an independent thinker.
Briggs has had a successful career in the credit union industry. He worked for more than 30 years with the NEA Federal Credit Union, which merged with Affinity FCU one year ago. Briggs is a Vice President of Administration.
Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, O.P., Chancellor of External Affairs, said, “Don and his wife Sonja have contributed their time, their talent, and their treasure to serving the community and to serving Dominican College in countless ways”
In addition to having served on a number of professional boards, Briggs volunteers as treasurer of the Cornwall Girls Basketball Youth League and a board member of the Cornwall United Soccer Club. Since 2008, he has been a member of the Dominican College President’s Advisory Council.
Briggs and his wife Sonja have three daughters. Their eldest, Renee, graduated from Dominican College in May and his daughter Erin is a junior at the College.
Michael Hagopian, ’02, for Leadership
As a student at Dominican College, it was clear that Michael Hagopian was a leader. He was president of the Student Government Association, captain of the men’s soccer team, a member of the Aquin Players, a student ambassador and a recipient of the Founders Award. After Dominican College, he earned two master’s degrees — in education and educational leadership.
Hagopian is now an Assistant Principal in the Oradell Public School District in New Jersey. Dr. AnnMarie DiSiena, Coordinator of the Communication Studies Program, was Hagopian’s former professor and said he was always a role model to others. “He is making a difference today supporting students who struggle academically, socially, and emotionally by organizing interventions and being a support for the teachers, as well as the parents of the students,” she said.
Hagopian said he was humbled and honored to be inducted into the Hall of Achievement. “I share this award with all those who were my mentors, my supporters, my cheerleaders, my friends, and would like to recognize each of you today.”
Among his volunteer activities, Hagopian serves as a board member of Loeb House, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for those with special needs. He is also on the executive board of the Dominican College Alumni Association and is a coach for the Orangetown Mighty Midgets Soccer Association.
Hagopian lives in Orangeburg, NY with his wife Amy and his young son.
Alice Kivlehan O’Hara, ’99, for Service
At Dominican College, Alice Kivlehan O’Hara studied psychology and was competitive on the soccer field – earning the Most Valuable Player award her senior year. She came to Dominican College as a transfer student, but has a strong allegiance to the College.
“I would really like to thank all the teachers and staff who made Dominican College what it is today,” said O’Hara. “I received such a personal and individualized education at the College and that’s the reason why I am where I am today,” she said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Dominican College, Alice earned a master’s degree in education technology and then began her teaching career. For the past 18 years she has worked at the Bardonia Elementary School in New York. Dr. Mike Kelly, her former professor and Director of the Graduate Programs in Education, said O’Hara has grown in her expertise in general and special education at Bardonia Elementary. “She has touched the lives of hundreds of fifth grade students, who have had the privilege of experiencing her care for their academic, physical, social, and emotional needs as she prepares them for the next transition in their lives – middle school,” he said.
O’ Hara has spearheaded a program at her school to promote health and fitness. On Move It Mondays students design a workout and give healthy-eating advice to younger students. The students also voluntarily agree to use recess to run laps and participate in workouts. O’Hara practices what she preaches. She participates in numerous community triathlons and races for local charities and families in need. She also volunteers with various local youth recreational leagues.
Alice lives in Tappan, NY, with her five children. .