Broadway Concert at Convent Chapel to Raise Funds for Jackson DiDona

Jackson DiDona has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. A concert on Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. will raise money to help pay for his medical treatment.

Broadway and off-Broadway performers will be singing show tunes during a special concert on Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. at the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt Convent Chapel on Western Highway. Tickets will be sold at the door for a suggested donation of $20.  All money raised from the event will benefit 5-year-old Jackson DiDona, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer.

Jackson’s father is Greg DiDona, the Assistant Director of the Academic Success Center, and his grandmother is Nancy DiDona, Director of Nursing.  The Dominican College Community is supporting the DiDona family as they pray for a miracle for Jackson who has been diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a type of brain tumor found in an area of the brainstem.  The treatments are very costly and a number of fundraisers are taking place to help the family pay for Jackson’s medical care.

During the concert, performers will be singing songs from Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, Camelot, My Fair Lady, and many other favorites.  The concert was organized by Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Michael Pizzi, who will be performing with his friends. When he is not teaching, Professor Pizzi is busy producing charity cabaret concerts, musical revues, and creating classes and Broadway camps for children with special needs.

Parking for the concert will be at the main Dominican College parking lot at 480 Western Highway, Orangeburg, NY.  For additional information about Jackson and to learn more about how you can help, visit

Campaign to Build New Turf Field and Track Underway

The architect’s rendering of the proposed turf field, which is surrounded by a six-lane track, is shown above.

Dominican College is planning to construct a NCAA regulation size turf field, with a six-lane track surrounding the field, on the site of the current grass field near Forkel Hall. The project includes plans for permanent bleachers to seat 225 spectators, a press box, and a new scoreboard.

A fundraising campaign — called “dirt 2 turf” – aims to raise about $3 million for the project, which will benefit Dominican College men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as men’s and women’s cross-country, and track and field teams.  It is hoped that construction will be completed sometime next year.

John Burke, V.P. for Student Development and Dean of Students, said it is critical to complete the project as soon as possible because the soccer and lacrosse teams need somewhere to play and practice. “Our current soccer field is in disrepair.  The last two years we’ve had to go off campus for a number of matches because our field was not playable,” he said.

Senior Advancement Officer Sal Pennino said the fundraising campaign officially began with the Turf Field Kickoff event on November 30 with former soccer and lacrosse athletes. “The campaign, which is named dirt 2 turf, will be reaching out to community members, corporations, and our alumni for support in raising the necessary funding to complete the project,” he said. “Our hope is to have our alumni step forward and leave their legacy with their gift towards the construction of the turf field.  Every gift matters, no matter how large, in order to bring a state-of-the-art field that will be used and enjoyed for generations to come,” he said.

The new turf field will have a number of naming opportunities to recognize the commitment and generosity of our donors.  For more information about the new turf field and the dirt 2 turf campaign, visit



Dominican College Launches Effort to Become a Tobacco-Free Campus

Students Gianluca Barecchia and Ashley Sainvil recently attended a Truth Initiative Conference in Crystal City, VA.

Dominican College has joined a national movement to address smoking and tobacco use at college campuses. The College will receive funds and technical support from Truth Initiative®, the nation’s largest nonprofit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past.

“Dominican College is committed to making our environment safer, healthier, and more productive,” said Director of Student Health and Project Leader Lynda Chesterman. “Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be asked to support the adoption of a 100 percent tobacco-free or smoke-free policy.”

Co-leader Jenna Tacinelli Hach, Clinical Education Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Athletic Training, added, “Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death in this country.  In addition, secondhand smoke exposure causes cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases.”

Dominican College has formed a Taskforce for a Tobacco-Free Campus to assess tobacco use, identify a treatment plan for current smokers, and draft a smoke-free or tobacco-free policy. Two students on the task force will develop and lead educational efforts among students. The policy ultimately must be approved by the President’s cabinet before being enacted.

“With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 26, college campuses are critical platforms for preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding those current tobacco users in quitting, and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. “We are looking forward to supporting Dominican College’s efforts to make smoking and tobacco use a thing of the past.”


A 100 percent tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of any tobacco product, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco (otherwise known as dip, chew, snuff, spit and snus) and other smokeless products. It can also include electronic cigarettes. A comprehensive tobacco-free policy could also address tobacco sales, marketing, sponsorship, and investments at colleges. A 100 percent smoke-free policy is one that prohibits the use of smoke-producing tobacco, such as cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, small cigars, pipes and hookah, as well as e-cigarettes.  Both policies apply to anyone on campus and on any campus property. For more information on model campus policies, visit the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

Adjunct Instructor Receives NYS Assembly Women of Distinction Award

NYS Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (left) presented Hilda Kogut with a 2019 Women of Distinction Award on April 8, 2019 in Albany, NY.

Hilda Kogut, a Dominican College adjunct instructor in criminal justice, was honored with the 2019 New York State Assembly Women of Distinction Award on April 8, 2019.   The award honors women who are making a difference in New York State, their communities, and in the lives of others.  Kogut was one of 10 Women of Distinction to be honored this year by New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee.

Assemblywoman Jaffee said, “It is my distinct pleasure to recognize these 10 remarkable Rockland County women.  The 2019 Women of Distinction Awards are an important opportunity to pay tribute to these women whose strength, vision, hard work, and compassion are lifting up others, strengthening our communities, our economy, and improving our quality of life.”

Kogut is a former FBI Agent with 25 years of experience in law enforcement, who loves teaching criminal justice classes at Dominican College.  As Chair of Citizens United to Protect our Neighborhoods (CUPON) in Chestnut Ridge, she has fought against illegal housing and overdevelopment,  and advocated for proper land use and zoning laws.

The 2019 Women of Distinction were recognized in the Assembly Chambers at the New York State Capitol.

College Offers Additional Career Fair for Healthcare Students

The College held its first Healthcare Career Fair on April 3, 2019 in the Granito Center.

Students met with company recruiters, applied for jobs and internships, and polished their networking skills at two Career Fairs in April.  For the first time, the College held a Healthcare Career Fair to cater to the College’s many healthcare students.  The annual Career Fair, which is open to the public, took place on April 2, 2019. The Healthcare Career Fair, which better accommodated students who had clinicals, was held a day later.

“Our first Healthcare Career Fair was a huge success,”  said Internship Coordinator/Career Counselor Rose Macom, MSEd.  “Students took advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with healthcare employers.  The two hours went by very quickly.  Employers gave us excellent feedback and we learned about new externship opportunities for our students.”

The annual Career Fair also was successful with a 20 percent increase in the number of students who attended.  Macom said that recruiters at both events were impressed with how well prepared the students were,  based on their resumes and knowledge of the companies.


Director of the Bronx Zoo Speaks at the College

The Director of the Bronx Zoo, Jim Breheny, spoke at Dominican College about the Zoo’s efforts to nurture the regrowth of endangered species and their habitats.

The Director of the Bronx Zoo, Jim Breheny, spoke at Dominican College as part of the 2019 Honor’s Lyceum and Science Seminar Series on March 27, 2019.  Breheny also serves as Executive Vice President of the Wildlife Conservation Society and is featured in Animal Planet’s hit docuseries “The Zoo.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Emma C. Sarro, PhD, said Breheny’s presentation focused on the work that the Bronx Zoo and its collaborators have done to nurture the regrowth of endangered species and their habitats.  “Jim provided several heart-warming examples of how some of our most precious animals are getting another chance to flourish in their own habitat, due to the research and work by the staff at the Zoo,” said Dr. Sarro. “Our students left the seminar with a greater appreciation for the mission of the Zoo and many students stayed after the talk to meet Jim and continue the conversation.”

Breheny explained that helping endangered species is done partly through the education and awareness that the Zoo brings to its visitors. He said a lot of work is done out in the field and behind the scenes as well.  Breheny’s presentation took place in the Lawrence Room of Casey Hall.

Students Explore Careers on Criminal Justice Day

FBI Recruiter FX Flaherty spoke at Criminal Justice Day about the FBI application and hiring process.

Students studying criminal justice learned about possible career paths during the Seventh Annual Criminal Justice Day on March 21, 2019.  The three presenters were Chief of Rockland County Sheriff’s Patrol William Barbera, FBI recruiters FX Flaherty and Sahara Juarbe, and Department of Homeland Security Deputy Regional Director Jason S. Martinez.

Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program Tara Parrello, Ph.D., said every year students gain useful information from the presentations. “The students feel very fortunate that they get to ask questions and to hear about these careers that maybe some of them didn’t know existed,” she said.

A few exceptional students are invited to have lunch with the speakers after the presentations to allow them to ask even more questions.  Criminal Justice Day takes place in the Fury Lecture Hall of the Prusmack Center.


Mens Basketball Team Wins CACC Championship

The mens basketball team celebrated winning the CACC Championship after the victory at Caldwell University.

The Dominican College mens basketball team won the 2018-2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship on March 10, 2019 after downing the top seed, Bloomfield College, 70-55, in a game played on Corino Court on the campus of Caldwell University.

With the win, Dominican (23-7) earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA East Regional Tournament. Making their third consecutive CACC Championship Final appearance, DC brings home the crown for the first time since joining the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II back in 2000.

Junior guard Daraja Rodwell (Baldwin, N.Y.) was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and to the All-Tournament Team.  Teammates Jonathan Garcia (Springfield, Mass.) and Ian Gardener (Norwalk, Conn.) also joined Rodwell on the All-Tournament Team.

The Chargers opened the game with the first five points, but the Bears rallied to take an 11-9 edge with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.  Gardener tied the game with two free throws and began a 17-1 tear that saw DC jump in front 26-12.  BC would cut the lead to 26-21 in the final two and half minutes, but Rodwell recorded back-to-back trey’s and Tavon Ginyard (Brentwood, N.Y.) closed out the half with a layup to give the Chargers the 34-21 lead at the intermission.

Dominican would lead by as many as 20 points in the second half as Ginyard connected on a three-point bucket (68-48) with 3:31 left in regulation en route to the 70-55 win.

New Online Master’s Program in Organizational Leadership and Communication

Dominican College will offer a new Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication starting in fall 2019.  The 33-credit online program can be completed in one year by taking two courses during each eight-week session. There are six sessions in the year.

Professor AnnMarie DiSiena, Ed.D., Coordinator of the Communication Studies Program,  said the program is designed for the working professional.  “Our Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication will help students advance their careers by learning leadership strategies and communication skills for success. Throughout the program, a faculty mentor will provide individualized attention to each student,” she said.

Dr. DiSiena said the program will help professionals in all fields, including those in business, healthcare, government, higher education, and law enforcement, as well as in non-profit organizations.   For more information about the new Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication, click here.

College Introduces Online RN to BSN Program

For the first time ever, Dominican College will be offering a new program for working nurses that allows them to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree online.

Barbara Polowczyk, FNP-BC, RN-BSN Coordinator said the new RN to BSN program will begin in fall 2019 and is 100 percent online.  “This will allow the working RN to do their courses at home and at their own pace to get their bachelor’s degree,” she said.

Polowczyk said the 18-month program will be taught by the same instructors who teach in the classroom.  The online students receive all the benefits of a real campus, including career counseling, tutoring, advisement, and access to the library.

In December 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law commonly referred to as the “BSN in 10 Law.”  It requires new nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of initial licensure.

For more information about the new online RN to BSN program, visit

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