OT Students Create Intergenerational Program for Dominican Sisters

OT student Daniela Naclerio assists preschoolers and Sisters with an intergenerational arts and crafts activity.

Students in the Occupational Therapy Program have been working with Dominican Sisters at the Convent in Blauvelt as part of their Level I fieldwork. Two of the students, Alyana Pomerantz and Daniela Naclerio created an intergenerational program which involved preschoolers from St. Catharine’s Early Childhood Center playing and doing arts and crafts with  Sisters from the Infirmary on Friday, November 3.

Michael Pizzi, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, said,  “So the students are creating right now a more interactive thing between the Sisters and the preschoolers and if you observe, the Sisters are smiling.  They are engaged.  When they are sitting in their rooms, there is nothing else going on and they sleep.”

Other activities that the OT students have used to engage the Sisters include gardening, cooking, and painting, as well as socialization and memory activities.


College Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Hennessy Expansion

Student athletes demonstrate to College Trustee Dr. Clement Osei how to use equipment in the new fitness center during a tour of the facility.

The latest campus addition – the Hennessy Center expansion – was showcased during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., reviewed the College history from its founding in 1952 and the need since then for recreational opportunities for residential students. “This expansion includes an additional gym, a well-equipped fitness center and creative practice and program space. How grateful we are to the many people who brought it to fruition,” she said. 

Sr. Mary Eileen thanked the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board, Holt Construction, Dominican College’s Facilities Staff and the many donors. In addition, she thanked State Senator David Carlucci, who was in attendance, for his support.

Senator Carlucci cited a study that found students enrolled in a school fitness center had higher GPAs and were more likely to graduate. That is important, he said, because Dominican College graduates contribute so much to the community.  “The things that are going on here at Dominican College don’t just stay within these walls, they proliferate to our community and improve the quality of life of all of the people in our community and in New York State,” he said. 

The dignitaries and donors at the ceremony toured the improvements and additions to the Hennessy Center, including the new gym, the fitness center, an athletic training lab, and a recruiting/conference room. The festivities included a ribbon-cutting outside both the gym and the fitness center.  Sr. Barbara McEneany, O.P., Director of Campus Ministry, blessed the area outside of the fitness center with Holy Water.  In addition, a plaque listing the project’s top donors was unveiled outside the new gym.   


Social Work Student Battling Lupus Awarded Scholarship

Student Deset Seyoum, a recent L.I.F.E. scholarship winner, is shown here on the Dominican College campus,

Social Work student Deset Seyoum has been awarded a scholarship from the Lupus Inspiration Foundation for Excellence (L.I.F.E.).  L.I.F.E.’s mission is to promote lupus awareness and award merit-based scholarships to college students diagnosed with the disease.  The foundation also offers support to the students. 

“It’s my dream come true, “ said Deset. “I feel that there’s someone who can understand me and help me so it means a lot to me.”

Deset is a native of Ethiopia and after moving here to be with her husband in 2014, became very ill with joint pain and rashes. When she was finally diagnosed with lupus, one of her kidneys was nearly failing and she had to take about 15 medications daily. Today, Deset said she is almost in remission and she takes just four medications.   

Deset discovered the L.I.F.E. scholarship application while she was surfing the web for information about lupus. She credits Debra Moniz, Director of the Academic Success Center (ASC), and Sr. Ursula McGovern, O.P.,  a professional tutor at the ASC, with assisting her with the scholarship application.


College Board Welcomes Two New Trustees

Sr. Michaela Connelly, O.P., President of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt.

Michael Santos, Director of Ethics and Business Standards at Orange and Rockland Utilities

Two new trustees — Michael Santos and Sr. Michaela Connelly, O.P. —  are now on the Dominican College Board of Trustees.

Michael Santos has been the Director of Ethics and Business Standards at Orange and Rockland Utilities since 2014 and is responsible for developing, monitoring, and enforcing all aspects of the ethics program. He previously worked for Consolidated Edison in a number of positions concerned with business ethics and employee and labor relations.  He also sits on the board of the Palisades Institute of Dominican College.  

Sr. Michaela is the President of the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, taking the top leadership position of the Congregation after serving as Vice President from 2011 to 2017.

Sr.  Michaela also has a long history of working in education. She started her career teaching elementary and junior high school students for the Archdiocese of New York in the Bronx and later served as Dean of Students and Principal at St. Raymond Academy for Girls.  In addition, she worked at Dominican College from 1972-1987 as Director of Public Relations and Director of Development.  Sr. Michaela earned a B.S. in Education from Dominican College in 1968 and an M.S. in Education (Administration) from Fordham University in 1973. 

Two highly-respected trustees who are stepping down from the board – James E. Hennessy and Anthony Montalbano, Esq. – were approved as Trustee Emeriti at the October Board Retreat. 



Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Bob Hurley Sr. Speaks at Basketball Tip-Off Dinner

The Men’s Basketball Team, along with their friends and family, got advice on basketball, coaching, and life from legendary basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr. at the Tip-Off Dinner on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Hurley spoke about how he first started coaching as an 18 year old for CYO Basketball before taking a job at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, N.J., where his teams won 28 state championships and four national titles.

College Trustee and former DC Basketball Player Michael McLaughlin introduced Coach Hurley by saying that he has changed lives. “You want to talk about character? Here’s a man that could have demanded a seven or eight figure contract and gotten it at will later on in his career,” said McLaughlin.  “He bypassed that because there was a community that needed him.”

Coach Hurley said over the years he became comfortable in his skin and learned the best way to coach based on his personality. His advice to the players in attendance was that they should concentrate on individually being the best they can be. 

Coach Hurley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a 2017 ESPY Award winner as “Best Coach.” He ended his speech talking about the ESPY award ceremony and being among great athletes.

“From being in a little gym, upper 30 school in Jersey City on Friday nights at 18, to being almost 70 years old being on the ESPY’s, it was quite a run,” he said.

The 2017 Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Dinner was held at Casa Mia Manor House in Blauvelt.


Palisades Institute Forum Focuses on Data Centers

Panelists shown left to right are: J. Todd Raymond, CEO and Managing Partner of 1547; Bill Kohlman, Consultant; Alan Posner, Senior Solution Architect at VirtuIT Systems; and John Bonczek, President of Datacenter Division at 1547.

Local businesses leaders had a lot a questions for panelists at a Palisades Institute forum that focused on how businesses can utilize the resources of a modern data center. The forum was held on October 11, 2017, at the fifteenfortyseven Critical Systems Realty (1547) in Orangeburg, NY.  The company owns, operates, and develops data center facilities around the country.  Topics discussed included safeguarding the physical security of data systems, cyber security, and the need for disaster recovery.

J. Todd Raymond, CEO and Managing Partner of 1547, said a data center can allow your business to keep running in the event of an emergency. “We’re in an environment now where we’ve had three major hurricanes in the U.S. We have fires raging out in California,” he said. “And of course, Superstorm Sandy, which drove a lot of demand for disaster recovery.”

The other panelists were: Bill Kohlman, a consultant; Alan Posner, Senior Solution Architect, VirtuIT Systems; and John Bonczek, President of Datacenter Division, 1547. Following the panel discussion, participants took a tour of the 1547 facility.

The Palisades Institute was created in 1990 as part of Dominican College to serve business, government, and not-for-profit organizations in Rockland and nearby counties. The Institute encourages professionals to integrate the concepts of leadership, quality, and ethics to achieve long-term success.



Delegation from China Visits Dominican College

A delegation from the Medical School of Quzhou College of Technology in China attended a three-day healthcare seminar in the Badami Room during a visit to Dominican College.

A delegation of Chinese doctors, nurses, and professors from the Medical School of Quzbou College of Technology visited Dominican College October 3-6, 2017, to learn more about the education of health care professionals in the United States. The participants attended three full days of seminars taught by Dominican College faculty.

Yao Shuihong, Dean of the Medical School and head of the delegation, said the instruction was very helpful. “As the society is aging in China, there is a lack of qualified nursing personnel, so it is crucial that we solve the issues involved in nursing education,” he said. 

The delegation is looking for ways to improve China’s education of nursing students. As part of the trip to Dominican College, the delegation visited the infirmary at the Convent of the Sisters of St. Dominic. The trip concluded with a tour of Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. 


New Members Inducted Into Athletic Hall of Fame

The new members of the Athletic Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremony. Shown left to right, Jaclyn Spitaleri, Kyle Clancy, Jamar Snider, Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., and Michael Zani.

Five new inductees were welcomed into the Dominican College Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday, September 29, 2107,  in the Granito Center. The new inductees include: Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., ’64, Service; Jaclyn Spitaleri, ’07, Basketball; Michael Zani, ’07 Baseball; Kyle Clancy, ’06, Soccer; and Jamar Snider, ‘01, Basketball. 

Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., ’64, Service

John Burke, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students, described Sr. Mary Eileen as a humble leader who holds athletics close to her heart. As President of the College for about 30 years, she has been at the helm, he pointed out, for about 60 percent of the College’s athletic history.  “Sr. Mary Eileen I think is on the short list of the most valuable people to the 50 years of athletics at the College.” 

Sr. Mary Eileen thanked those gathered for the honor. “It has been a privilege to serve with so many good people interested in very important and good things,” she said. “Go Chargers! We need your team spirit, your strong bodies, your keen minds, and determination to win.”

Jaclyn Spitaleri, ’07, Basketball

Basketball inductee Jacklyn Spitaleri was a strong, athletic. and smart basketball player, according to her former coach John Burke. “I think she was by far the most talented point guard we ever had here, “ he said.  Burke pointed out that she was the all-time leader in assists with 530 assists, held the single season record with 173 assists her senior year and scored more than 1100 points. 

Spitaleri told the crowd gathered that she couldn’t express how honored she was to be at the induction ceremony, “I took great pride in being a Dominican Charger and will hold onto those memories for the rest of my life,”  she said.

Michael Zani, ’07, Baseball

Baseball Coach Rick Gianetti said Michael Zani was a solid player, a great lead-off hitter, and made two of the greatest catches he has ever seen. Zani was a member of the 2006 team that won the CACC Tournament Championship and played in the NCAA East Regional Tournament .  He has the second most hits in College history at 214.  Zani thanked his family and friends and said at Dominican College he learned to be respectful and to value other people.  “Baseball was a big part of my life.  It impacted me on and off the field,”  he said. 

Kyle Clancy, ’06, Soccer

Kyle Clancy was a “dream find” for any coach, according to former Dominican College Soccer Coach Michael Swanwick, who came back to the College to speak about Clancy during the induction ceremony. “He scored 71 goals in his college career and the majority of them were game winning goals – games right down to the end – nail-biters,”  he said.  While Clancy was at Dominican College,  the soccer team won three conference championships.  Swanwick said in addition to having excellent soccer skills, Clancy was an excellent student, a great teammate, and a nice guy. 

Clancy pointed out that as a forward, he got to score the goals, but stressed that he had a great team behind him. “The real reason I’m able to receive this amazing honor tonight is my teammates,” he said. 

Jamar Snider, ’01, Basketball

Coach Joe Clinton said Jamar Snider was the reason the College won a Conference Championship two years in a row. He scored over 1,000 points in three years and grabbed over 500 rebounds.  Coach Clinton stressed that Snider also had tremendous loyalty to the program and the school and years later likes to give the basketball team pep talks when they are playing near his New Jersey home.  “I’m proud of him.  He’s well-deserving and again one of the best players to ever put on a Charger uniform – especially all-around players,” said Clinton.   

Snider talked about the relationship that he’s built to the school over the years and spoke to his teammates and Coach. “To that relationship I say thank you guys, I say I love you guys.  It’s been a wonderful ride and a great journey,” he said.  






Winners of the 2017 Spirit of the Founders Award Announced

Senior Hannah Ameen and junior Joshua Guzman were selected as the winners of the 2017 Spirit of the Founders Award.

The Dominican College 2017 Spirit of the Founders Award was presented to senior Hannah Ameen and junior Joshua Guzman during a ceremony at the Granito Center on Thursday, September 28, 2017.   The event was one of the highlights of the week-long celebration of Founders Week, the annual Dominican College tradition of celebrating our Dominican heritage. 

The Spirit of the Founders Award represents a respect for Dominican values and traditions that have endured for centuries. It also represents the promise that the honorees will carry this spirit into the future. The award is presented to students who have great potential as leaders when they leave Dominican College to make their mark in the world.

The winners of the award were selected by a vote of Dominican College administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The runners up for the award included seniors John Ameen and Aleksandra Pogon, junior Cliona Smith, and sophomore Rollens Florvil. 


College Celebrates Founders Week

Reverend Claudio Carvalhaes, Ph.D., wore wings and played a guitar during his Keynote Presentation in the Hennessy Center.

The annual celebration of Founders Week got underway on Monday, September 25, 2017,  with an impassioned, animated keynote address delivered by Rev. Claudio Carvalhaes, Ph.D., in the Hennessy Center.

This year, Founders Week focuses on the life and work of Antonio de Montesinos, O.P., a 16th century Dominican Preacher in Hispaniola who spoke out against the exploitation of the indigenous people under Spanish Conquest. Rev. Carvalhaes compared that struggle to the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the fight against global warming, and the struggle to protect Native Americans’ land in the U.S.

Rev. Carvalhaes used props and videos as he shared the story of his childhood in Brazil in which his mother and the community gave him “wings” to fly. He even put on a pair of wings in the middle of his address and played the video of the song “Glory” from the movie Selma.  Rev.  Carvalhaes said that Montesinos had used his wings and sang a song of glory to help the indigenous people, and Martin Luther King had used his wings and song of glory during the Civil Rights movement.

Then Rev. Carvalhaes challenged the students, faculty and administrators in attendance, “Now it is to you and to me. Where are your wings?  What are our songs of glory? “  he asked. 

Rev. Carvalhaes is a theologian, liturgist, and artist, who is an Associate Professor and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 2017, he spoke at the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in Rome, Italy. 

For a complete list of Founders Week activities, please click here:


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