News

New Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams to Start Up in Fall

Beginning in fall 2019, Dominican College’s intercollegiate athletic programs will include men’s and women’s tennis, for a total of 17 NCAA Division II Sports.

“We are excited about the addition of the men’s and women’s tennis programs,” said Director of Athletics Joseph Clinton. “We have been looking for ways to increase opportunities for student-athletes and with both sports already being conference championship sports, it will allow both programs to have immediate post-season opportunities as part of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.”

Clinton named Joseph Gravagna as the head coach of both programs. Gravagna was most recently the head coach of Rockland Community College’s men’s and women’s tennis programs.  At RCC, he coached three All-American players and took his men’s team to back-to-back National Championships after winning Regional and Conference Championships. In addition, Gravagna’s women’s team finished as high as seventh in the nation.  He also coached a women’s player to the NJCAA D3 National Championship. Prior to coaching at RCC, Gravagna served as an assistant coach at Fordham University, Queens College, and Manhattan College.

The men’s and women’s tennis programs will compete in the fall and spring athletic seasons.  The women’s CACC Championship Tournament is held in the fall, while the men’s CACC Championship Tournament is held in the spring. To learn more about men’s and women’s tennis, visit www.chargerathletics.com .

Students Who Deliver Meals Named Volunteers of the Week by Local Newspaper

For the past five years, Dominican College student volunteers have been loading up food prepared by Meals on Wheels into a van and then delivering the meals to the elderly and homebound.

A local newspaper, the Rockland County Times, named Dominican College students who volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the “Volunteers of the Week” in their December 6, 2018 edition.  Every Friday, the students deliver meals to the elderly and homebound along a designated route.

In the Rockland County Times article, Meals on Wheels Volunteer Coordinator Dianna Diffley said that Dominican College students have great enthusiasm. “Some have returned after graduation and taken their own route.  Connecting the aging population to the youth has proven to be wonderful,“ she said.

Melissa Leigh Grau, Dominican College Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development, was also quoted in the article. “The human connection is a language of love when we help each other.  Students volunteers get a chance to say hello to an elderly homebound person, who may not be able to leave home or have a visit from someone else that day,” she said.

Dominican College students have been delivering nutritious meals for Meals on Wheels for the past five years.

 

International Scholar Visits Dominican College

Dr. David Clare is an Assistant Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, where Dominican College students will have the opportunity to study beginning in fall, as part of a new student exchange program.

International scholar and native Rocklander Dr. David Clare visited Dominican College for several days in November and delivered a public lecture on Friday, November 16 in Rosary Hall. The lecture entitled “Bernard Shaw’s Inextinguishable Pride in Being an Irishman” focused on the playwrights’ formative years in Dublin and how his Irish experiences left a big imprint on his plays.

Dr. Clare is an Assistant Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.  Since 2009, he has delivered more than 60 conference papers and public lectures in Ireland, Britain, Hungary, Canada, and the United States on important figures in Irish, British, and American Literature. His first monograph, Bernard Shaw’s Irish Outlook, was published in 2016 and his essays have appeared in numerous journals and edited collections.

Beginning in fall 2019, Dominican College students will have the opportunity to study at Mary Immaculate College as part of a new student exchange program which Dr. Clare discussed during his visit to Dominican College.  Dominican College Trustee Emeritus Karim Abood, who is Dr. Clare’s father, has generously announced that he will pay the transportation expenses for one student during the inaugural year of the student exchange program.

College Hosts Forum on Cybersecurity

The presenters at the Palisades Institute Forum on cybersecurity were Mikhail Falkovich, Director of Information Security, Consolidated Edison Company (shown on the left) and Tony Cetera, Chief Information Security Officer, New York University Information Technology.

Two cybersecurity experts shared their advice with business leaders during a Palisades Institute forum called “Cybersecurity:  Protect Yourself and your Business.”  The presenters at the forum on October 10 were Tony Cetera, Chief Information Security Officer, New York University Information Technology, and Mikhail Falkovich, Director of Information Security, Consolidated Edison.

Companies were advised to follow five steps when devising their security plan – identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover.  Even with planning, there is a danger of an attack, said Cetera.  “People are the weakest link.  I think that’s probably an important message that I want to send,” he said.  “You can put lots of tools and technologies in place, but if someone makes a mistake or clicks on the wrong thing because they are not paying attention, that’s when the attacker gets in.”

The experts recommended phishing testing, using benign emails, to find out which employees might be susceptible to an attack.  Another recommendation was that companies consider having cyber insurance.

 

Annual Healthcare Symposium Focuses on Groundbreaking Cancer Treatment

Former trustee and cancer survivor Jon Prusmack, Dr. David S. Siegel, Chief of the Division of Multiple Meloma, Hackensack University Medical Center and Dr. Joel W. Beetsch,  Vice President, Global Patient Advocacy, Corporate Affairs, Celgene Corporation (shown left to right) were speakers at the 6th Annual Healthcare Symposium at Dominican College.

The 6th Annual Healthcare Symposium focused on CAR T-Cell Therapy – a groundbreaking new cancer treatment that has had promising results in clinical trials.  Former College Trustee and cancer survivor Jon Prusmack is one of just 20 people nationwide to take part in a clinical trial using CAR T-Cell Therapy to treat multiple myeloma.  One year later, Prusmack is cancer-free.

Prusmack opened the health symposium by telling his success story.  He started the clinical trial after his cancer mutated and chemotherapy, which he had been on for 15 years, was no longer effective.  “The end result is no chemotherapy.  You live a normal life.  Does it work forever? Nobody knows.  It’s still in clinical trials.  But for the one year, that I’ve been on it, it’s been terrific: live a normal life; work hard; no chemo; energy.  I just feel terrific,” he said.

The speakers at the October 5, 2018 event were Prusmack’s physician, Dr. David S. Siegel, Chief of the Division of Multiple Myeloma, Hackensack University Medical Center, and Dr. Joel W. Beetsch, Vice President, Global Patient Advocacy, Corporate Affairs, Celgene Corporation.  Celgene has worked on developing this new therapy.

Dr. Siegel said CAR T-cell Therapy is an enormous step forward for all oncology.  So far, the therapy has been tested only on blood cancers, however, clinical trials are beginning for treating solid tumors.  The therapy involves removing T-cells from the body and modifying the cells in a lab to be able to identify cancer cells. The modified T- cells are grown and expanded and then injected back into the patient.  The CAR T-cells bind to cancer cells and kill them.

The Health Symposium was held in the Fury Lecture Hall in the science center bearing Prusmack’s name.

Chargers Win CACC Golf Championship

In September, the Chargers won their third CACC Golf Championship in program history.

The Dominican College golf team won the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Golf Championship held September 29-30, 2018 at the Deerfield Golf Course in Newark, DE. The Chargers compiled team scores of 298 both days to finish the tournament with a final score of 596 (+36) to win their third CACC Tournament in program history, after winning back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002.

Post University finished in second place with a team score of 603 (+43) and Wilmington University (+48) rounded out the top three with a final score of 608.

Senior Daniel Parker (Ocean City, Md.) took second place overall after shooting a 73 (+3) on the final day to finish with a two-day total of 143 (+3) with round of 70 and 73.  In today’s round, Parker was even after two holes and birdied the par four third hole.  He also had a birdie on hole seven and completed the front nine two shots above par.  He began the back nine with his third birdie on the par five hole and delivered his last birdie on hole 15 to finish the tournament one stroke behind the leader, Matthieu Sicard of Post University.  For his play, he was named to the CACC All-Tournament Team.

Teammate Hunter Wescott (Portland, Ore.) finished in a tie for seventh place overall with a combined 150 (+10) score.  After a day one round of 77, Wescott completed the front nine with one birdie on the par four fifth hole and birdied two out of the first three holes on the back nine to finish the day with a 73 (+3).

Junior Bryce Tickner (Victoria, British Columbia) improved one stroke from day one’s 76 score, shooting a 75 (+5) today.  Tickner shot four pars and getting a birdie on the second hole on the front nine and followed with seven pars and two bogeys on the back nine for a combined 151 (+11) total score.

Josh Farmer (Hollis, N.H.) followed yesterday’s 75 (+5) round with a 77 (+7) today for a combined 152 (+12) total score to tie for 12th place.  He opened the front nine with back-to-back pars and a birdie on hole three to be one shot under par.  He finished the front nine with three pars and three bogeys.  On the back nine Farmer had five pars and a birdie on the 15th hole.

Junior Carlos Armas Stenner (Durango, Mexico) was shot a 79 this afternoon, besting his first round score by four strokes to tie for 31st place overall with a 162 (+22) score.  On the day, Stenner produced two birdies (holes three and 13), five pars on the front nine and three pars on the back nine.

Up next for the Chargers will be the College of Saint Rose Fall Shootout at the Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland, N.Y.

 

College Celebrates Founders Week

Father Brian Walker, O.P., sang a gospel hymn during his keynote presentation for Founders Week.

Dominican Friar and Itinerant Preacher Father Brian Walker, O.P., kicked off the celebration of Founders Week 2018 on September 24 with his keynote presentation, which addressed racism.  Fr. Walker talked about the life of St. Martin de Porres, who was of mixed race and is the patron saint of racial harmony.  Although he faced many injustices, St. Martin dedicated his life to helping others.  St. Martin had unique healing powers and founded a residence in Lima for orphans and abandoned children.

“When we have our doubts about whether or not we are being treated right,” said Fr. Walker, “let us take a lesson from him and ask the question, ‘Are we treating others right?’”

Fr. Walker surprised the audience by belting out a beautiful gospel hymn during the speech.  “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain,” he sang.

Founders Week celebrates the spirit of the Dominican Order.  Other highlights of the week–long celebration include:

  • Walking in the Footsteps of Dominic — Students Jeantil Beltre and Sierra Sheridan spoke about their mission trip to Fanjeaux, France.
  • Living the Legacy – Wendy St. Felix, DNP, ’17 and 2018 Badami Award recipient talked to students about the effect a Dominican College education had on her life.
  • Spirit of the Founders Recognition Luncheon – Sr. Barbara McEneany and her sister Sr. Carmel McEneany, who passed away in February,  received the Spirit of the Founders award.
  • Preaching in Action – Dominican College volunteers prepared 10,000 meals to be distributed through local food banks and charities.

Founders Week concluded on Saturday, September 29 with the 68th Annual Dominican Sisters Festival, which featured games, food, and pony rides.

OT Students’ Invention Moves Ahead in Statewide Competition

Recent graduate Amanda Fortuna is shown here building a prototype of a battery-powered reacher. The invention was selected as a semi-finalist in a statewide competition.

An invention of Dominican College Occupational Therapy (OT) students has been chosen as one of 25 projects to move ahead in a New York State Department of Health (DOH) competition.   The DOH Aging Innovation Challenge encourages New York students to develop innovations to assist aging New Yorkers and their caregivers in completing activities of daily living.

Recent OT graduate Amanda Fortuna took the lead in submitting the idea for a battery-powered reacher, which was conceived with some of her classmates during an Advanced Practice OT course.  “Typically in field work or clinical scenarios that we’ve been in, we’ve seen that people are given reachers, but they don’t have the grip strength to maintain a grasp to pick up an item,” she said.

In order to become a semi-finalist, Fortuna had to submit a written proposal. For the next phase of the competition, Fortuna and former classmate Samantha Kromer are developing a prototype.  They must submit a video demonstrating the use of the battery-powered reacher for bathing, dressing, and meal preparation by November 1.  Five finalists will be awarded $5,000 and the developers of the top innovation will be awarded $25,000.

 

College Welcomes Class of 2022

Our Welcome Team of upperclassmen helped new students move into Hertel Hall on Freshman Move-In Day

The Class of 2022 has arrived on the Dominican College campus.  The new students moved into Hertel Hall and Rosary Hall during Freshman Move-In Day on Thursday, August 23.  They then attended a two-day orientation with many activities, including sessions on leadership and academic success, a game show, and a barbecue.

Melissa Grau, Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development, said the Freshman Orientation is all about connections. “It’s about connecting with new people. It’s about connecting with this campus and it’s about connecting with themselves so that they are really able to find their place and succeed here academically, socially, and in every way,” she said.

There are 294 registered students in the Class of 2022.  The most popular major among freshmen is nursing, followed by biology, teacher education, management, and criminal justice.

 

High School Students Attend STEM Camp at College

Dominican College junior Tahinah Lamour (left) is shown here mentoring Spring Valley High School students to help them extract DNA from water samples collected in local ponds.

Twelve Rockland high school students are attending a 3-week science camp at the College this summer.  The experience is called RISE (Research Immersion in Science and Ecology) and is being held on campus from July 22 through August 10.  The program is free and was funded through a generous grant from Orange and Rockland Utilities.

“The program is important because it’s exposing high school students to the sciences and they are doing hands-on projects that they may not have the opportunity to do somewhere else,” said Biology Professor Regina Alvarez.

The students are taking samples of the Sparkill Creek and local ponds and using microbiology and chemistry to analyze the samples in the College laboratories.  The students are also studying the biodiversity of the area with botanical and ecological surveys. In addition to the three College professors working with the students, five Dominican College students are working as mentors with the high school students.  On Friday, August 10, the high school students will present their findings during a ceremony in the Lawrence Room in Rosary Hall at 7 p.m.  Family and friends are invited to attend.

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