Healthcare Symposium Tackles Obesity and the Pandemic

Joan Facelle on campus wearing glasses, a dark suit jacket, with bobbed blonde hair.

Joan Facelle, MD, moderated the 7th Annual Healthcare Symposium, “Obesity and Weight Gain During the Pandemic,” on February 23, 2021.

During the 7th Annual Healthcare Symposium, “Obesity and Weight Gain During the Pandemic,” a panel of experts discussed the “quarantine 15” and how obese patients fared with COVID-19.

Lisa Hirsch, MD, an Internist with Bon Secours Medical Group, stressed that obesity increases the risk of poor outcomes with COVID-19. “It not only increases the risk of severe illness, but increases the need for critical care services.  It triples the risk of hospitalizations, increases the risk of death, and although it is too early with the vaccine to know, other vaccines have had decreased efficacy with overweight people,”  she said.

Hirsh said that factors leading to pandemic weight gain included stress, boredom, gyms closing down, more accessibility to the kitchen, and an increase in baking. Her advice to lose the weight involved three steps:  motivation, plan, and compliance.

Other panelists included Jill L. Brodsky, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist, CareMount Medical Urgent Care; Michelle S. Kleinman, Public Health Nutritionist, Rockland County Department of Health; and Robert Ranieri, Senior Vice President, Rose & Kiernan, Inc.

The symposium took place via Zoom on February 23, 2021, and was moderated by Joan Facelle, MD, Former Rockland County Commissioner of Health and Vice Chair of the Dominican College Board of Trustees.




Dominican College President Elected to Council of Independent Colleges Board

Photo of Sr. Mary Eileen O'Brien outdoors on the campus of Dominican College

Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D.., President of Dominican College, was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges.

Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., President of Dominican College, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), based in Washington, D.C.

The CIC is a national association of independent colleges and universities dedicated to supporting college and university leadership; advancing institutional excellence; and enhancing public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society.

“The wisdom and dedication of the members of the Board of Directors ensure that CIC continues to address the issues of greatest importance to its member colleges and universities,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We are grateful to these busy and distinguished individuals for their generous service to independent higher education through CIC’s Board of Directors.

Sr. Mary Eileen is one of seven presidents of colleges and universities across the country who were newly elected to the CIC Board of Directors.

Hospital CEOs Discuss COVID Vaccine at Palisades Institute Forum

Montefiore Nyack Hospital CEO Dr. Mark Geller assured those participating in a Palisades Institute forum on COVID-19 that the rapid development of the vaccines should not be a concern.  He stressed that  research and development about coronaviruses and Messenger RNA have been going on for years.  What was speeded up, Dr. Geller explained, was production of a vaccine that was targeted to this particular virus.  Dr. Geller cautioned against waiting to get a vaccine or trying to get one vaccine over the other.  He said both vaccines are safe and effective.

“When and if a vaccine is available to you – take it.  Don’t ask which one it is – take it,” said Dr. Geller. “The sooner we get to 80% vaccination of the community, the sooner we will return to normalcy —  in the economy, in our personal lives — until we get to that place of what is called herd immunity,”

Bon Secours Charity Health System CEO Dr. Mary Leahy also participated in the January 14, 2021 Zoom forum.  “Masks work. Social distancing works.  We believe the vaccine works and if we are just patient and continue to do those things we will be in a far better place by the end of this year,” she said. ”But we all have to do this together.”  Both Dr. Geller and Dr. Leahy expect the availability of the vaccine to increase in the near future.

About 125 people participated in the Palisades Institute forum, “Defining the Future:  The Impact of COVID-19 on Rockland County’s Healthcare System.”


CACC Announces Revised 2021 Season for Men’s and Women’s Basketball

The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC)  announced updated plans for its revised 2021 schedule for the men’s and women’s basketball season on January 8, 2021. The new schedule will now feature seven schools and a 10-game regular season. The announcement was made by CACC Commissioner Dan Mara, as the new campaign will still tip off on Thursday, Jan. 28.

The seven schools that have still elected to compete in a winter basketball season include Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Concordia College, Dominican College, Felician University, Georgian Court University and Nyack College.

Each school is slated to compete in the 10-game conference schedule, as contests will still be held on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s of each week from Jan. 28 through Feb. 27. All competing teams will qualify for the CACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship tournaments, as those events are currently being planned to be held the week of March 1-7.

Fans will not be allowed to attend any CACC basketball games during the regular season and postseason tournament. The CACC will also split its traditional men’s and women’s basketball doubleheaders for the upcoming season, with one gender playing at the site of one of the two competing schools, and the opposite gender playing at the other school’s site.

More information on the 2021 campaign and the CACC Basketball Championships will be announced at a later date. For more information on CACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball, click here.

TD Bank Supports Student Success Program

Kennee Torres wearing a red sweatshirt with a Charger horse on it, standing in front of an evergreen tree.

Kennee Torres is one of the students who benefited from the TD Bank grant by receiving a new laptop to use for schoolwork.

The TD Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded Dominican College a $5,000 grant to support its Student Success Program.  Students in the program who need laptops to do schoolwork are able to access them through this grant.

Kennee Torres, a junior communication studies student, is among the students who received a new laptop.  He is using it to do schoolwork and log into his classes remotely.  “It benefits me in a lot of ways,” he said.  “It’s much easier than having to use my cell phone.”

The Student Success Program provides regular enrichment labs and a “ReCharge” class that educates students on effective study habits, notetaking, time management, and personal finance.  The additional structure and support put students on a path to improved academic performance.



College VP Joins Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. Advisory Board

Joseph Valenti wearing a blue shirt and blue tie standing outside Rosary Hall.

Joseph Valenti, Dominican College Vice President for Institutional Advancement, has joined the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) Advisory Board of Directors.

The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) announced on November 17, 2020 that Dominican College Vice President for Institutional Advancement Joseph Valenti has joined the HVEDC Advisory Board of Directors.

Mike Oates, President & CEO of HVEDC, said, “Developing a partnership with local educational institutions is important to grow the regional economy. We look forward to further developing a relationship with Joe and his team at Dominican College to help create and prepare a developed workforce that will keep skilled workers living and employed in the Hudson Valley.”

HVEDC is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan counties. The public-private partnership markets the region as a prime business location to corporate executives, site selection consultants, and real estate brokers.

Valenti said he looked forward to working with the HVEDC Board and has long admired their leadership skills and dedication to the betterment of the greater Hudson Valley community.

Forum Held on Doing Business in the Age of COVID-19

The four business leaders who shared advice at the forum “Defining the Future: The Shifting Business Landscape of the Lower Hudson Valley Region due to COVID-19” include Walter Goldman (top photo) Howard Hellman, Hal Roth, and Rob Mayer (left to right).

Four business leaders shared advice on how to survive and thrive during COVID-19 during a Palisades Institute Forum via Zoom on November 10, 2020.

Although businesses are dealing with health concerns and financial hardships, Walter Goldman of Goldkap Consulting Group in Suffern, NY, said there is a silver lining.  “From a business perspective, these are very exciting times,” he said.  “And I know when I say that, people are surprised by it, but the reality is that business entrepreneurs and business executives kind of thrive on disruption. They thrive on disruption.  They thrive on a changing marketing environment, which obviously there is.”

Goldman’s advice was to adapt to the new environment, innovate with bold initiatives and new services,  and look for efficiencies.  The others business leaders who took part in the discussion, “Defining the Future: The Shifting Business Landscape of the Lower Hudson Valley Region due to COVID-19”  included Howard Hellman of All Bright Electric in West Nyack, NY; Rob Mayer of Autopro in Spring Valley, NY; and Hal Roth of All Recycling, in Newburgh, NY.

Biology Students Get Career Advice From Regeneron Scientists

Screen shot of some scientists and students participating in Zoom meeting.

Regeneron scientists gave students career advice on Zoom as part of the Regeneron Day for Doing Good.

Scientists who work at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shared their educational background and career paths with Dominican College biology students during a Zoom panel discussion on Monday, October 26, 2020.

The advice from Lyndon Mitnaul, Ph.D., Senior Director, Research Program Management at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was to be exposed to a lot of different careers so the students could find where they would “fit” best.   Mitnaul told the students he had a “take-home lesson” for them.  “Make your future where you can make a difference.  I think that’s really the take-home,” he said.  “There’s a lot of opportunity where you can play a role if you are interested in drug discovery and development.  You just need to find out where you can make that difference.”

The panel discussions with students are part of Regeneron’s Day for Doing Good project where Regeneron employees volunteer in the local community.  Volunteer New York! and the Dominican College Career Development Center coordinated the event.


Most Spirited Faculty and Staff Members Awarded

Gregory DiDona was the winner of the Most Spirited Faculty Member Award. Kimberly Piard received Most Spirited Staff Member Award.

As part of Spirit Week activities, students voted for the faculty and staff members that exhibited the most spirit.

Assistant Director of the Academic Success Center and English instructor Gregory DiDona received the Most Spirited Faculty Award for the second time.  “I am honored to be recognized by my students,” he said.  “They help me to be the best version of myself by demanding challenging and creative engagement in and out of the classroom.”

The award for Most Spirited Staff Member went to Kimberly Piard, Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams. Piard said she found out she won when she received texts from her athletes telling her the news.  “I jumped out of my seat and did a happy dance,” she said.  “It feels good to know that I was nominated by so many people.  It lets me know that my purpose here at DC is appreciated.”

Spirit Week was held from October 12-16 and included special student events and giveaways.

Student Wins National Scholarship

Bruno Garcia ’21 is one of 20 students nationwide to be awarded the HACU Miller Lite National Scholarship.

Senior Bruno Garcia has been awarded the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Miller Lite National Scholarship.  Garcia is one of just 20 students nationwide to receive the award.

“The world has been significantly changing.  The unpredictable times challenge us to believe in a brighter future.  After four months of uncertainty, faith, and high expectations, I am thrilled to receive the National Miller Lite Scholarship,” Garcia said. “I would like thank HACU and MillerCoors Company for supporting Latin-American communities across more than 500 colleges and universities.”

HACU champions Hispanic success in higher education.  Garcia is an honors business major and a soccer player.  He has earned a 3.92 GPA, is Senior Class President, and the Founder and President of Dominican College’s International Students Association.


Next Page »