Dominican College Nursing Students Help Care for COVID-19 Patients

Recent nursing graduate Claudia Charles wearing protective equipment and standing in front of a bulletin board with handwritten thank you notes.

Recent nursing graduate Claudia Charles at Montefiore Nyack Hospital, showing handwritten thank you notes from residents to healthcare workers.

Recent nursing graduate Claudia Charles is among the Dominican College nursing students who have helped to care for patients with COVID-19.  Claudia has worked for several years as a Patient Care Associate at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Nyack, NY.  She credits her professors with preparing her to handle any situation.

“I find myself not panicking.  I am there and I’m doing what I was taught to do,” said Claudia.  “And I was like, ‘Wow, my education paid off.’”   Because family members were unable to visit the hospital at the height of the outbreak, Claudia would hold the patients’ hands and listen to them.  “I express to them that I can’t replace your family member, but I can be a comfort if you need to talk to me about anything,” she said.

Claudia was impressed with the teamwork she saw as hospital workers were redeployed from other areas to help care for COVID-19 patients.  She was also touched by the outpouring of support from the community – local residents hosting dinner for the healthcare workers, writing thank you notes, and cheering for the healthcare workers.


Criminal Justice Professor Awarded Faculty of the Year Award from Honors Council

Tara Parrello, Ph.D., standing behind a podium in the Granito Center.

Tara Parrello, Ph.D., was recently named the 2020 Honors Professional of the Year in the faculty category by the Northeast Regional Honors Council.

The Northeast Regional Honors Council has honored Tara Parrello, Ph.D., as the 2020 Honors Professional of the Year in the faculty category. Parrello is Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Dominican College and an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology.

Since Parrello was secretly nominated for the award by two colleagues,  the announcement surprised her.  “I was absolutely floored, humbled, and completely blown away,” she said.  “I didn’t even know this honor existed, so to receive an award never expecting it was so exciting.”

The winner of the award must demonstrate a dedication to honors education, be passionate about the honors program, and be an advocate for students. Parrello is a member of the Dominican College Honors Committee and has mentored students in the Honors Program.


County Leaders Discuss Renewed Interest In Suburbs During Annual Forum

Rockland County Executive Ed Day at home participating in the County Executive Forum via Zoom.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day participated in the annual County Executive Forum via Zoom. He was joined by Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus.

About 200 business leaders and local residents participated in the Annual County Executive Forum on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 to hear the latest information from the County Executives from Westchester, Rockland, and Orange Counties.  The event, which was sponsored by the Palisades Institute, took place via Zoom.

The county leaders spoke about reopening businesses following the COVID-19 outbreak and the financial challenges  faced by local governments. However, all three leaders said that there is a silver lining to the tumultuous times — a renewed interest in moving to the suburbs.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “People want to be where there is less dense, intense population.  They want to be in places with a little more elbow room and they believe that will help them stay real healthy.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said with crisis comes opportunity, “We are hearing anecdotally that housing sales are a very hot market right now.”  Orange County Steven Neuhaus  agreed and said that there is also a boom in the real estate market in his county.

In addition, the County Executives predicted telecommuting will become more widespread in the future since many people have been working from home during stay-at-home restrictions, while continuing to be productive

The County Executive Forum is a long tradition of the Palisades Institute and has been held annually since 2005. The aim of the Palisades Institute of Dominican College is to assist leaders to advance their organizations by providing them with professional development and information to integrate the concepts of Leadership, Quality, and Ethics to achieve long-term success. In serving the business, not-for-profit and government community, the Palisades Institute of Dominican College also aims to serve Dominican College students by fostering their participation in these educational opportunities.



College President Addresses Racism in America

College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., sent the following letter to students, faculty, and staff on June 5, 2020:

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his hope-filled “I Have a Dream” speech.  In it he longed for the time when his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character”.  How appropriate to recall these words today as we mourn the unconscionable act of violence that took the life of George Floyd.

Racism in America has had a long and painful history.  It began over 400 years ago with the arrival of African slaves in 1619.  In the past few months we have witnessed a rise in brutality – the killing not only of George Floyd in Minnesota, but Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and so many others.  We cannot remain indifferent to the ongoing abuse of people of color in our country.

During the past 68 years, Dominican has been blessed to be a diverse College community, especially among our student body.  We are united in the belief that all people possess dignity and are worthy of respect.  Our mission statement calls us to be creators of an environment “characterized by respect for the individual and concern for the community”.  We are encouraged to educate in a manner that fosters “reflective understanding and compassionate involvement”. Hence, we cannot remain silent when members of our human community are abused.  Rather, we must stand together in condemning that racism which harms the dignity of human life.  We support the right to protest while opposing those actions that abuse people and destroy property.

Dominican’s core values of community and service are particularly motivating at this time.  We embrace our diversity and renew our commitment to serve in ways that are ethical and just.  We cannot gather “face to face” at this time of the Covid19 separation but we can join in prayerful remembrance, honoring those who have been killed and those who remain marginalized.

May our efforts contribute to a more respectful and inclusive society.



Nursing and Education Programs Receive Special Recognition

Dominican College has received special recognition from Colleges of Distinction for its Nursing and Education Programs.  This honor is in addition to Dominican College being named overall as a College of Distinction for excellence in education.  

 “We complete a thorough review of the programs before granting the honors,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “We’re looking for qualities such as accreditation, breadth of program, advising and mentoring, integration of career services, and successful outcomes for students. It’s wonderful to see how Dominican College really exemplifies these qualities.”

 Now in its 20th year, Colleges of Distinction is committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in higher education. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience.




Softball Coach Authors Suzi Softball Book for Young People

Head Softball Coach Joseph Burbridge has written a book called Suzi Softball to encourage young people to be more accepting of others.

Dominican College Head Softball Coach Joseph Burbridge has written a book, Suzi Softball, that he hopes will encourage young people to be more accepting of others.  The book follows the adventure of a young softball determined to make everyone feel included.  Suzi ultimately persuades neighbors – like Franny Football, Bobby Basketball, Vicky Volleyball and others – that they can be friends with people who are different.

“I really think it’s a simple way of saying, ‘Don’t leave anyone out and everyone just get along,’” said Burbridge.

Burbridge has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education.  Prior to coaching at Dominican College, he taught and coached students in elementary school and high school.  Burbridge will be donating $1 from the sale of each Suzi Softball book to the dirt 2 turf campaign, which will fund the construction of a new turf field on campus. For more information about Suzi Softball and to purchase the book, visit

Graduates Honored During Virtual Commencement

Alumnus Brandon Hasbrouck, ’08, delivered the Virtual Commencement Address on May 17, 2020, and received an honorary degree. Hasbrouck is an Assistant Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA.

The Dominican College Class of 2020 was honored during a Virtual Commencement on Sunday, May 17, 2020.  The  Commencement premiered on the Dominican College website and Facebook at 12 noon, with graduates, family, friends, administrators, and faculty remotely watching “together” as they reacted and commented on social media.

Alumnus Brandon Hasbrouck, ’08, Assistant Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, VA, delivered an impassioned Commencement Address to the graduates.  He challenged the graduates to “do justice” in whatever career path they choose. “A kind of justice that smashes hierarchies, privileges, and entitlement.  A kind of justice that requires courage – courage demonstrated by you throughout your time here at Dominican College – that even when you take a loss, and you will, you get up every single time and persist,” he said. “There is no path to justice that is only comfortable and convenient.  We will not achieve or create justice until we’re willing to sometimes position ourselves in uncomfortable places and be a witness.  Justice is hard work.  It is unending work.  It is our life’s work.  You are all ready!”

Dominican College awarded Hasbrouck with the honorary degree of Doctor of Law, in recognition of his accomplishments in the practice of law and of his dedication to criminal justice reform.

More than 560 students received degrees during the Virtual Commencement – 101 doctorate degrees,  130 master’s degrees, 328 bachelor’s degrees and four associate’s degrees.  The Commencement was held virtually because of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent stay-at-home orders.  Dominican College will be holding in-person graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 on campus, when it is safe to do so.

You can watch the entire Dominican College 2020 Virtual Commencement here.

Nursing Students Help on Front Lines in Battle Against COVID-19

Joshua Guzman, a senior nursing student, is working as a Patient Care Assistant at the Hackensack Meridian Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, NJ.

Senior nursing student Joshua Guzman is one of the many Dominican College students who are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.  Joshua is a Patient Care Assistant at the Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, NJ, where he has worked since November 2018.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Joshua has taken on extra shifts and rotated between two COVID-19 floors, the Intensive Care Unit, the Critical Care Unit, and the Emergency Room.  He pointed out that nurses who have been on the job for 20 or 30 years have never seen anything like this pandemic, and he is experiencing it with them. “I definitely feel very blessed that I am able to help out,” he said. “Besides the fact that it’s obviously an experience that’s unfortunate, it’s definitely one that is going to be useful in my career.”

In addition to helping the nurses provide patient care, Joshua has also been assisting families in communicating with COVID-19 patients though face-time.  He said the use of technology is comforting to family members who are unable to visit patients, but who long to see and communicate with their loved ones.

Biology Professor Awarded National Science Foundation Research Grant

Biology Professor Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., has been awarded a $166,042 research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Biology Professor Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., has been awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The two-year, $166,042 grant (award #1950018) will enable her to take a year-long sabbatical to work at the Bioinformatics Lab at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.  Connors said she will be working with world-renowned computational biologist Li-jun Ma, Ph.D.

“I will be spending next year’s sabbatical with her and her research team to understand how to analyze genomic data with different sequencing technologies,” said Connors.  “I will synthesize that work such that when I come back to Dominican College I can utilize that technology with our students and our undergraduate researchers.”

In addition to furthering her research of microbial communities in Hudson River Valley freshwater streams, Connors said the grant will fund new equipment for Dominican College’s laboratories and provide stipends for two undergraduate research students at the College.  The grant from NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology is awarded to scientists who have accrued meaningful data about environmental issues and challenges faced in the U.S., but who need financial support to synthesize their work.

Clinton Named Coach of the Year by Met Basketball Writers Association

Joseph S. Clinton has been named the All-Met Division II Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year for the third time.

Dominican College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Joseph S. Clinton has been named the All-Met Division II Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year by the Met Basketball Writers Association.

During the 2019-2020 season, the Chargers captured the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) North Division regular season title.  Clinton then guided his team to a second straight conference playoff championship and a second consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament.  The NCAA cancelled the regional tournament in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Clinton said he considers the Coach of the Year award “a team award” and he credits his coaching staff with doing a great job.   “The assistant coaches and players were awesome.  They put in a lot of hard work and it paid off for us.  We were disappointed they had to cancel the regional because this was a team that had the potential to get to the Elite Eight,” he said.  “I am really going to miss this senior class.  They won a lot of games in their careers and won two championships.”

This is the third time that Clinton has been named All-Met Division II Coach of the Year.  Clinton, who also serves as Director of Athletics, has 29 seasons and 857 games as the head men’s basketball coach.


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