college of mount saint vincent
Alumnae/i, Students, & Friends
Building on a Solid Foundation of Academic Excellence
By Pat Conti & Erin Walsh
ver the past 10 years, the College of Mount Saint Vincent has strategically leveraged its historic strengths to build a student body that is both its largest and among the most academically gifted in the school’s more than 100 year history. The outcome of this ongoing effort to maintain academic excellence is a tremendously accomplished and talented freshman class. We spoke with senior administrators Dr. Guy Lometti, Provost and Dean of Faculty; Dr. Dianna Dale,Vice President for Student Affairs Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Dean of Students; and Tim Nash, Vice Dr. Dianna Dale chats with members of the freshman President and Dean of Admission and Financlass. cial Aid, as well as members of the freshman class to discuss what this means for the College. “There’s definitely been recognition among the professors here at the College that this current student body is among the most intellectually engaged in our history,” says Dr. Dianna Dale. Continued on page 6
A SOLID CORE IN THE BIG APPLE By Raanan Geberer
graduate College Dr. Paul Douillard.
o enrich its strong undergraduate liberal arts education, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is revising its core curriculum for the first time since the 1980s, with input from students, professors, and administrators. A core curriculum provides a broad foundation of general knowledge, with the goal of making students well-rounded individuals. Having a core curriculum is a requirement for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, says Dean of the Under-
According to Dr. Douillard, one of the main concerns in revising the core was to increase the variety and number of available courses to fulfill requirements. CMSV’s current core encompasses a wide variety of fields, including literature, fine arts, philosophy, religion/religous studies, economics, psychology, and mathematics. While the idea of a well-rounded education will continue, the core will be reduced by 6 credits, from 55 credits to 49. This will give students more opportunities to take electives outside of their majors. Students will also have more
choices within the core itself. Dr. Sarah Stevenson, Associate Professor of English, is spearheading the overhaul of the Mount’s core curriculum. She says students will still be required to take English literature, but will now have a choice of taking a drama class or a poetry class to fulfill the requirement.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Center for Undergraduate Research By Raanan Geberer
There was a time in the not so distant past when graduate school admission was based primarily on a student’s G.P.A. and performance on the GRE. As admission to higher education at all levels has become increasingly competitive, many graduate schools now require evidence of research skills. To help students hone their critical thinking, build areas of expertise, and develop strong research skills, the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Dr. Omar Nagi, Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research
established a Center for Undergraduate Research in 2010, according to Dean of the Undergraduate College Dr. Paul Douillard. The goal of the Center is to formalize and centralize research that was already underway at the Mount.
Another innovation will be a freshman seminar program. Students
Last year, roughly 25 students presented original research at undergraduate research and professional conferences, and the numbers are steadily increasing. Although they work with faculty advisors, students get the primary credit for their work, says Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Omar Nagi.
Continued on page 4
Continued on page 7
In the sciences, rather than taking three credits of biology, three of math, three of chemistry, and so on, students can now select one math course, one science class, and then a third in either math or science, says Dr. Douillard.
COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT 6301 RIVERDALE AVENUE | RIVERDALE, NY 10471 | PHONE (800) 665-CMSV | (718) 405-3345 | WEB:WWW.MOUNTSAINTVINCENT.EDU
CMSV in the
MEDIA Perhaps you missed the photos taken by Mount student Joy Sarabosing in the “newspaper of record” this past January? Highlights of this and other Mount news featured in regional and national publications… ®Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Mount’s Mentorship Program Kristin Lawler was quoted in HR Executive in January on the value of mentorship. The Mount’s Mentorship Program, launched in the fall of 2009, pairs successful alumnae/i, Trustees, and friends with dedicated students eager to gain insight into the skills necessary for success.
Mount mentors Dr. C.S. Rani (far left) and Maria L. Ellis (far right) at the Harvard Club with Mount students Minajiah Scott, Angeline Rivera, and Sonia Ramos. Robert Mecea/NY Daily News
®Mount Saint Vincent Trustee and mentor Maria L. Ellis and biology major Angeline Rivera ’13 were profiled in the Daily News about their close bond forged through the Mount’s Mentorship Program. Ms. Ellis, a salesperson at Manhattan real estate agency Citi-Habitats, is exposing her mentee to a different lifestyle and is helping her to achieve personal goals. “I think working with Maria, I just know that I’m always going to have a backbone in addition to family and friends,” Angeline said in the publication.“You always get that one on one push to really accomplish your goals.” ®Nursing major and avid photographer Joy Sarabosing ’12 was selected by the New York Times to photograph the Mount’s stress ball making workshop during finals. Her photos were featured in the Jan. 22 edition of the newspaper. — Chelsea Daus ’12
Joy Sarabosing’s photo that ran in the New York Times.
To view a complete listing of the Mount’s recent press coverage, visit http://www.mountsaintvincent.edu/cmsvmedia 2 Spring 2012
around campus DUST OFF YOUR DANCING SHOES! SCHOLARSHIP TRIBUTE DINNER MAY 7th The annual Scholarship Tribute Dinner will be held on May 7, 2012 at the New York Public Library. This year’s distinguished honorees are C. Edward (Chuck) Chaplin, President, CFO, and CAO of MBIA Inc., and William J. Fishlinger, Esq., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WRM America. Visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/ tributedinner to purchase your ticket. SAVE THE DATE: REUNION The Mount’s Reunion Weekend will be held on June 8, 9, and 10, 2012, for classes ending in “2” and “7.” A special tribute will be paid to the Class of 1962, which is celebrating its 50th reunion, and the Class of 1987, which is celebrating its 25th reunion. Reunion Weekend is a wonderful time for Mount Alumnae/i to celebrate and reconnect with fellow classmates. Visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/reunion.htm for more information. DANCE TAKES CENTER STAGE Renovations are slated to begin this summer on two dance studios at the Mount— one of which will double as a wrestling room in the Mount’s original gymnasium, and the other will occupy a space in Spellman Hall. The College also plans to add a dance minor, which will benefit from the upgraded dance studios. YOU’RE ALL HEART LUNCHEON The School of Professional and Continuing Studies hosted “You’re All Heart,” a luncheon celebrating the hard work and valuable contributions of local nonprofit organizations, in February. The Hebrew Home in Riverdale received an award for its longstanding partnership with the Mount, and the College’s “Partnering in Excellence” initiative, was also announced. Sixty employees from 20 local non-profit organizations attended, including senior administrators from the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York, Riverdale Neighborhood House, Hebrew Home for the Aged, Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, World Vision, Toastmasters, Literary Freedom Project, the Council for Economics Education, Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services, St. Margaret of Cortona, Head Start, and the Bronx News Network. President Charles L. Flynn, Jr. spoke at the luncheon on the
Hebrew Home employees received the Mount’s award for outstanding community partnership at the “You’re All Heart” luncheon.
importance of partnering in tough economic times, while Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies Edward Meyer presented the Partnering in Excellence Initiative, a unique opportunity for local businesses to offer employees continuing education at the Mount at a discounted fee. For more information about this exciting new initiative, contact Assistant Director of SPCS and Graduate Admissions Christine Leake at (718) 405-3269. “WORDS” DANCE THEIR WAY TO DISNEY The Mount’s Words Dance Company completed fundraising for their highly-anticipated trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. from August 511, 2012. Words President Joseph Saldoriga ’12 and 11 dance company members will participate in dance workshops, and perform on Disney’s main stage. Words combines traditional and modern styles of dance, with the goal of enriching the Mount’s performing arts. MOUNT STUDENTS SPEND SPRING BREAK GIVING BACK For more than 40 years, Mount students have volunteered with the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). This year, six students and two chaperones continued this tradition during Spring Break. In the past, students have helped CAP volunteers build homes in the impoverished Appalachian region of Kentucky. Their extra hands and helping hearts provided disaster relief in response to the damage caused by devastating storms in Kentucky this past March. On March 11, four senior nursing students, accompanied by Director of Campus Ministry Cecilia Harriendorf, S.C., traveled to Guatemala for the Mount’s Second Annual Service-Learning trip to the country. This service-learning project is a collaborative effort of the Office of Campus Ministry, the Department of Nursing, and the Sisters of Charity. The trip allows senior nursing majors to employ the skills they have gained at the Mount to address the health needs of indigent Guatemalans. CMSV LAYS THE GROUNDWORK FOR RESTORATION OF ART MAJOR Plans are in the works to expand Maryvale Hall to add a state of the art sculpture studio. This addition will make it possible for the future exploration of reinstating the Mount’s art major. — Chelsea Daus ’12
COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT NEWS Editor Erin Walsh, Director for College Relations Contributing Writers Chelsea Daus ’12, Raanan Geberer, Christina Gonzalez ’09, Paul Leonard Photography Ben Asen, Dana Maxson, Robert Mecea, Christina Gonzalez ’09 College of Mount Saint Vincent News is a publication of the College of Mount Saint Vincent Office of Institutional Advancement & College Relations. Madeleine Melkonian, Vice President for Institutional Advancement & College Relations Address all Letters to the Editor and suggestions for future issues to: Erin Walsh, Director for College Relations, College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, NY 10471, (718) 405-3345 or firstname.lastname@example.org Send all Address Changes and Alumnae/i Updates to: Alumnae/i Relations Office, College of Mount Saint Vincent, 6301 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, NY 10471, (718) 405-3336 or email@example.com
Did You Know? ® Learning the Business of Sports The Mount now offers a sports management minor (for nonBusiness majors) and concentration for Business majors. Students learn what it takes to succeed in one of the top industries in the U.S. through classroom visits from seasoned professionals, intensive projects, guest lectures, and internships. Students in the program also have the opportunity to take advantage of the Mount’s NYC location by volunteering at events for the New York Mets, the New York City Director of the Sports Marathon, and others. For more informaManagement minor, tion, visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/ Jonathan Rosenberg sportmanagement.
® Bienvenido Latin American
Studies Minor The Department of Modern Languages is now offering a minor in Latin American Studies. The Latin American Studies minor is designed to provide students with greater awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the diverse people and cultures in Latin America. The program is an area-specific cultural studies alternative to the Spanish minor, which allows students to take up to two courses from other departments, making them more versatile in an increasingly competitive global job market. For more information, visit www.mount saintvincent.edu/latinamericanstudies.
® Learn English at the Mount’s Institute for
Immigrant Concerns The Mount’s Institute for Immigrant Concerns has recently launched an English Program for International Students. The Mount’s Intensive American - English Language Pro(IAELP) for International Students provides gram CM SV an integrated skills approach. Students acquire the English skills to speak fluently and confidently and to write accurately in preparation for their future academic goals. Students enrolled in the IAELP Program qualify for the I-20 Visa. For more information about this innovative program, call the Institute for Immigrant Concerns at (212) 421-9538, or visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/iic.
® Mount Alumnus Walter Galiano, Jr.
Named Top Teacher in New York City CMSV alumnus Walter Galiano ’04, M.A. ’06 was rated the top teacher among 18,000 NYC public school teachers in the City’s Teacher Data Reports, a controversial attempt to assess exactly how much individual teachers impact the progress of their students, using demographics and past student performance on tests, among other factors, to gauge the best and worst educators in the five boroughs. According to an article in the New York Times, Mr. Galiano taught for nearly a decade at P.S. 205 near the Bronx Zoo and was promoted to Assistant Principal of P.S. 69 in the Bronx in 2010. — Chelsea Daus ’12
Spring 2012 3
THE MOUNT PARTNERS WITH ESTEEMED COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES TO OFFER ACCELERATED DEGREES By Raanan Geberer
The College of Mount Saint Vincent sponsors cooperative programs with various esteemed institutions of higher learning, which allow students to earn credits towards advanced degrees while pursuing their bachelor degrees at the Mount. Students begin taking graduate courses in their junior year, so that they get a head start on earning their advanced degrees. These courses they take as juniors and seniors often count towards both their bachelor’s at CMSV and their graduate degrees at the host institution. These programs include: a doctor of podiatric medicine offered in conjunction with the New York College of Podiatric Medicine; a master’s of occupational therapy offered with Columbia University; a doctorate in physical therapy with New York Medical College; a degree in optometry with SUNY State College of Optometry; and two master’s degrees with St. John’s University, one in sociology and the other in criminology and justice. One of the newest cooperative programs at the Mount is a biomedical sciences partnership with Brown University. The Mount is one of four partner institutes with Brown, with the renewal of Brown’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) grant, says Assistant Professor of Chemistry Janet Rollins, who helped spearhead the Mount’s partnership with the Ivy League university. Brown hopes to receive $3 million from the National Institute of Health (NIH), which will
allow it to support 12 Ph.D. students a year at $40,000 per student per year. As part of this program, Mount students will get priority status when applying to graduate programs in the biomedical sciences at Brown. Two students from the Mount have already been accepted and one is awaiting a decision as of this spring, says Dr. Rollins. Dr. Andrew Campbell of Brown has also submitted a T36 grant, also from NIH, which involves a collaborative partnership between faculty from the Mount and Brown. Under this arrangement, Dr. Rollins will partner with a prominent reproductive toxicologist from Brown, and the two will submit a research plan. “If funded, undergraduate students will spend a summer up at Brown doing research on this project,” says Dr. Rollins. The grant is currently being reviewed. “Both of these programs will help our students succeed in the sciences, opening doors to the exciting world of biomedical research,” says Dr. Rollins. Dr. Alfred D’Anca, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, said students who apply to programs at St. John’s need a 3.5 GPA in sociology and an overall 3.0 G.P.A. “They apply to St. John’s in the second semester of their sophomore year at the Mount,” he says. “On being accepted, they can start taking mas-
ter’s level courses in their junior year. When they graduate from the Mount, they already have earned 12 graduate credits.” So far, two juniors are enrolled in the program, with a Mount sophomore set to apply and several freshmen on track to begin studies that will eventually lead to earning both a bachelor’s from the Mount and a master’s from St. John’s, he says. Dr. D’Anca says cooperation between the Mount and St. John’s is a natural fit because both schools have a Vincentian tradition. Provost Guy Lometti says a combined bachelor’s and M.S.W. program in cooperation with Fordham University is currently awaiting approval by the state. Another new cooperative agreement program is the doctor of pharmacy in conjunction with St. Joseph’s University, says Professor of Biology and Director of the Division of Natural Sciences Dr. Patricia Grove ’74. “I think it’s a wonderful program for our students in the biology major and also in the biochemistry major,” she says. “One student is currently at St. Joseph’s, and she’s doing very well.” According to Dr. Lometti, the Mount’s cooperative programs leading to advanced degrees allow students to save time and money, while also building their body of knowledge and professional credentials. I
A SOLID CORE IN THE BIG APPLE will be able to sign up for a seminar of their choice, during which they will not only learn about a particular subject, but how to ask questions, complete original research, develop ideas, and other “building blocks” of learning. The revised core curriculum is awaiting official approval. Changes will be phased in over a period of time, and courses are still being developed, says Dr. Stevenson. The new curriculum will firmly posi4 Spring 2012
Dean of Undergraduate College Dr. Paul Douillard
Associate Professor of English Dr. Sarah Stevenson
Continued from page 1
tion the Mount for a new phase of educational excellence. “Students will feel that they have some control over their courses, and be engaged by the exciting courses that the new core will offer,” says Dr. Stevenson. “The increased attention to critical thinking, in particular, and to active inquiry, will prepare our students well as they embark on careers or graduate school,” she says. I
A Theater with an Emphasis on
COMMUNITY By Paul Leonard
Cahill Lounge, which is currently an area where members of the College of Mount Saint Vincent community come to hang out, exchange ideas, and complete coursework, is poised to become an entirely different kind of meeting place. As students return for classes in the fall, they will find Cahill transformed from a sea of chairs and tables into the Mount’s first dedicated black box theater. And it won’t just be returning students who will be taking notice.
Dr. Brad Crownover is coordinating and developing the College of Mount Saint Vincent's theater program, which will inhabit its renovated new home later this year.
“It’s incredibly exciting to provide access to live theatre to students, faculty, and community members in this space,” says Assistant Professor of Communication Brad Crownover, who is coordinator of the Mount’s theater program and oversees the College’s theater minor.
It’s that program that will benefit most from what will be known as Cahill Theater. However, Dr. Crownover believes the ripple effects would likely be felt across campus.
LONDON CALLING L By Raanan Geberer
ast fall, several College of Mount Saint Vincent students headed to the U.K. to participate in the Mount’s exchange program with St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, in London, England. With their feet now firmly planted back on American soil, they report an overall positive experience, with friendly fellow students and faculty and a keen interest in America from their British counterparts. This unique program allows Mount students to study for one semester in London, while their British peers can study in the Big Apple as part of the exchange program. The Mount’s study abroad program in England is the latest in the College’s full roster of study abroad offerings, which includes programs in Russia, Japan, Italy, Canada, and Guatemala. At St. Mary’s, Mount students lived on campus and took courses in their majors, as well as other subjects. Sociology major Mahabir Samuel ’12 took two sociology courses, “Experience and Society,” and “Race and Representation,” a poetry course, and completed an internship in London. Classes were divided into two parts: a lecture by the professor, followed by a seminar. Fellow sociology major Jamelia
“In my time at the Mount, I’ve seen a growing interest in theater and performance,” he says. “Having a high quality space to do productions will be a real asset for our students across the board.” Construction on the new Cahill Theater will take place during the summer, with a target completion date of Aug. 31. Once completed, the space will also be the new home of Red Monkey Theater Group, founded in 1999 by O’Neill National Theater alum Tal Aviezer, whose love of classic drama, and Shakespeare in particular, seemed like a perfect fit for the Mount. Mr. Aviezer referenced the Mount’s connection to one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time, Edwin Forrest, who, during his heyday in the mid-19th century, built the castle that he named Fonthill Castle, a Mount landmark beloved by the College community for 100 years.
Top: Jamelia Bastien ’12 at Stonehenge. Below, one of her night shots of London. Right: Mahabir Samuel ’12
“It would be amazing to stage a production of Macbeth here,” he says. “But we’ll probably start with a comedy instead.” Red Monkey’s inaugural play at the Mount will take place this fall. And while the honor of the first play to be staged at the new Cahill Theater is still up for grabs, Mr. Aviezer said the second production, debuting in January 2013, is all set. So what can students, faculty, and staff expect out of the College’s black box theater as the cold winds of a Riverdale winter once more return to campus? The answer may surprise some, and delight others: Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I
Bastien ’12 says the seminar sessions “were always interesting because of the diverse backgrounds of the students in the class.” Both students found a friendliness and informality among most of the Continued on page 9
Spring 2012 5
Building on a Solid Foundation of Academic Excellence Continued from page 1
Indeed, Dr. Dale’s words are validation for those working in Admissions and elsewhere at the College, who have so keenly focused their efforts on building upon the school’s strong foundation of academic excellence. According to Dean Tim Nash, the Mount has employed a targeted recruitment strategy to attract a top-notch pool of students, which involves reaching out to a wider geographic area and better communicating the College’s strengths, including its strong academic programs and outstanding internship opportunities. “Our admission counselors frequently visit high schools in Long Island and New Jersey, as well as Westchester and Rockland Counties, and are doing a significant amount of follow-up in these areas, in order to pull in more of the top performing high school students,” he says. The accomplishments of the freshman class are indicative of steady progress made towards the realization of the Mount’s 10-year strategic plan, says Provost Dr. Guy Lometti. “In order to continue to best serve our students, by providing them with an excellent, well-rounded liberal arts education, the College has set forth several strategic goals,” he says. “First and foremost, the College aims to grow, and that growth must be accompanied by sustainable excellence. This year’s freshman class is indisputable evidence that we are on target to achieve this goal.” To continue to attract high-achieving students, the Mount has continuously updated its campus and facilities, in order to provide amenities that match the caliber of its faculty and student body. This fall, the new Men’s Wrestling Team will be housed in a renovated wrestling room. The College is also adding two professional-quality dance studios, the first step towards adding a dance minor. Plans are in the works to add a sculpture studio to Maryvale Hall, which lays the groundwork to reinstate the Mount’s fine arts major. Spellman cafeteria will be completely gutted during summer 2012, and replaced with a brand-new facility, featuring expanded dining options. Cahill Lounge will be transformed into Cahill Theater, the College’s first black-box theater, which will be home to Mount thespians, as well as the professional theater company, Red Monkey Theater Group. These efforts have attracted an incoming freshman class that has a median SAT score of 1030 and a cumulative high school GPA of 85 percent. For fall 2011, the Mount received 3,323 applicants and enrolled 438 students, an all-time record. “We’ve really made some great progress in reaching students from a much broader spectrum in terms of diversity and accomplishment,” Dean Nash says. 6 Spring 2012
This diverse group of freshman includes several National Honor Society members, as well as a host of students who are passionately interested in community service, says Dean Nash. One student who is representative of the stellar student body is class president and biology major Rodcliff Wint ’15. As class president, he holds a seat on the College’s Executive Council, and is a founding member of the Family Multicultural Awareness Organization. He is also a member of the College’s food services committee. For Rodcliff, being an active member of the campus community is what college is all about. “My brother told me that (being active is) the best route to go, because it opens up many avenues that help make the most out of the college experience, which is really what drove me to become so involved,” he says. And Rodcliff is not alone. In fact, this year’s freshman class is comprised of numerous bright, ambitious students who’ve set the bar of excellence incredibly high. Freshman English major Todd Gable ’15 writes
for the school newspaper, the MountTimes, and is an editor for the College’s literary magazine The Underground. He is also a tour guide for the Office of Admission and is very involved with the Campus Ministry. “I guess for me, I really just want to make the Mount as great a place as possible,” he says. “It has such a wonderful atmosphere and is an incredible school with a lot of opportunities. I’m trying to do my part in making it even better.” The Warwick, Rhode Island native chose the Mount after a chance encounter with recruiter Mike Donahue, and hasn’t looked back. “I met Mike at a college fair during my senior year of high school and the way he presented everything about the College made me feel like I was home,” Todd says. “I felt welcomed here even though I hadn’t been to the campus yet.” Perhaps no one would agree with Todd more than fellow freshman and psychology major Rebecca Guzman ’15. “I chose the Mount because my best friend was planning on going here for nursing and she told me to check it out, so I did and just loved it,” she says. “I liked the fact that it’s a small school with a tight community. I really love it here,” Rebecca says. Rebecca is vice president of the freshman class, and is a member of the Media Club, Casa Latina, and the Family Multicultural Awareness Club. With a solid foundation of academic success to build upon, both Dr. Dale and Dean Nash are confident that the College of Mount Saint Vincent has a bright future ahead. “We have a good plan in place and will continue to employ the same recruitment strategy that we have over the past couple of years, which has proven to be so effective,” Dean Nash says. I
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS DR. GUY LOMETTI A well-published scholar, Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Guy Lometti earned his B.A. at the Citadel, M.A. at Queens College, and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. He formerly served as dean of the Graduate School at the College of New Rochelle, and is founding dean and professor of the School of Communication and the Arts at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
DR. DIANNA DALE Dr. Dianna Dale is an experienced higher education administrator and educator who holds a doctoral degree in education leadership from Drexel University and has a broad background in education and student affairs. Dr. Dale has been with the College of Mount Saint Vincent since 2009, and is Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. She is passionate about helping students achieve their fullest potential.
PARTICIPANTS Continued TIMOTHY NASH Timothy Nash is Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. He joined the Mount as dean of admission and financial aid in 2001. He was promoted to vice president in 2005. He holds an M.A. in human resource management from Salve Regina University, a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Rhode Island, and more than 20 years experience in enrollment management and higher education.
THE MOUNT GOES
GLOBAL The College of Mount Saint Vincent School of Professional and Continuing Studies offers a bevy of international exchange programs. This past March, President Charles L. Flynn, Jr. and Dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies Edward Meyer signed agreements with Beijing Normal University-Zuihai, China, to begin a “2+2 Program” for undergraduate business students from China. The program allows business students from Beijing Normal University-Zuihai to continue their junior and senior years of study at the Mount. Mount students will also have the opportunity to explore China at Guangzhou University. This program is a cooperative agreement for Mount students to spend a semester abroad,
TODD GABLE ’15 Todd Gable is from Warwick, Rhode Island. He graduated from Bishop Hendricken High School and is currently studying English at the Mount. Todd is an active member of the campus ministry, a writer for the school newspaper, MountTimes, an editor for The Underground literary magazine, and a tour guide for the Admission Office.
REBECCA GUZMAN ’15 Rebecca Guzman is a graduate from St. Catharine’s Academy in the Bronx and a Throgs Neck native. She is a psychology major. Rebecca is vice president of the freshman class, as well as a member of Casa Latina, Family Multicultural Awareness, and the Media Club.
RODCLIFF WINT ’15 Rodcliff Wint graduated from Union Square High School for Health Professionals and Human Services, where he played JV and Varsity Basketball and was a member of the Drama Club. He is currently president of the freshman class. He is also the cofounder of the Family Multicultural Awareness Club and sits on the Executive Council and food services committee.
taking classes in English, and exploring China’s vibrant culture. The School of Professional and Continuing Studies also recently welcomed President Philip Esler of St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, England this past February. The visit was a step toward the realization of a true exchange program for St. Mary’s students and Mount students interested in studying abroad. The Mount will welcome six St. Mary’s students this coming fall. — Chelsea Daus ‘12
SPOTLIGHT Continued from page 1 At these conferences, students showcase their work according to the conventions of their disciplines. Some illustrate their research and findings visually on a poster and some deliver oral presentations, says Professor of Biology and Director of the Division of Natural Sciences Dr. Patricia Grove ’74. Topics have ranged from the analysis of hip-hop lyrics and the examination of treatments for autism to the impact of the civil rights movement on NYC schools. Students frequently choose a worthwhile research project from a conversation with a faculty advisor, says Dr. Nagi. Under Dr. Nagi’s direction, Mount seniors Sarah J. Roman ’12 and Nizarys Vargas ’12 recently wrote “Advertising What?,” a paper comparing advertising for Victoria’s Secret and breast cancer research. Using illustrations from ads, they found that both used sexy images of young women to get their messages across. Nizarys says, “Breast cancer is not something that should be simply advertised. It is a serious condition, and not a ploy to be sexualized.” Sarah agrees, adding, “The study has made me more aware of how people perceive things in life, so I have a better understanding to teach others.”
Sophomore teacher education and sociology major Jane Holbrook ’14 is doing research on the Science Communicators Forum, an organization that utilizes active learning techniques in schools in rural India to transform education with limited resources. “Doing this research has given me a platform to write my honors thesis,” she says. As a result of her research and her travels to India, Jane is interested in joining the Peace Corps after graduation. “Obviously I have much more research and work ahead of me, but the more research I have done, the more I have become interested in the subject,” Jane says. “The research has become a passion and motivated me in ways even I cannot believe.” All three students praise Dr. Nagi for his help and support. “Dr. Nagi has really been the catalyst to the research I am doing now,” Jane says. “He is always available to help me and has walked me through every part of the research process. I also appreciate that he has given me the space to think abstractly and produce my own ideas while being there to guide me in the right direction.” I Spring 2012 7
JANET ROLLINS A “Fruitful” Career in Teaching & Research By Erin Walsh
that decorates proteins, which will either activate or de-activate the protein orchestrating the proper development of the tissue. I just presented my research at the 53rd Annual Drosophila Research Conference in Chicago, where it was well received.
ssistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Janet Rollins is drawn to flies like the said insect is drawn to honey.
Much of her research at the Mount and at Rockefeller University centers on the cell and developmental biology of male and female germ cells in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. She first began researching fruit flies as a doctoral candidate at St. John’s University in Queens, under the tutelage of her professor Dr. Chris Bazinet. “I thought I wanted to do molecular biology at first, but after doing a rotation in Dr. Chris Bazinet’s lab, I realized cell and developmental biology was much more interesting and exciting,” she says. “The lab studied male fertility, but one of the mutants I was working with was female sterile as well, and I learned all about both developmental systems. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a wonderful model system to study this process. There are many molecular tools often free to the research community and 65 percent of the genes in the fly are the same as in humans with a lot less redundancy of genes. If you knock out the only gene in flies, you can study the role of that gene directly.” Besides being a prolific researcher, she also mentors outstanding science students and helps them to secure competitive research internships that make them more attractive to top-tier graduate programs. Q: What does your research entail? A: My current research project is studying the role of the post-translational modifier SUMO in sperm development. When our genes get transcribed into messenger RNA and then the message is translated into proteins, often those proteins are not in their active form until they are modified. This is sometimes necessary for various developmental processes to occur. The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is a tag 8 Spring 2012
Q: Describe your relationship with Rockefeller University and what you do there. A: In the spring of 2008, I received a two-year visiting professorship grant from the American Society of Cell Biology, Minorities Affairs Committee (MAC) that allowed me to perform summer research in a prominent scientist’s lab. The first summer, I went to the University of Toronto to work in Dr. Julie Brill’s lab studying a biochemical pathway and its role in development. This turned out to be a ‘fruitful’ experience, leading to three publications in top tier journals. The next summer, I worked in Dr. Patricia Morris’ lab on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at Rockefeller University’s Population Council. Dr. Morris is an expert in mammalian and human fertility. The SUMO project started in this lab; since it has been shown in humans that SUMO is reduced in males with fertility problems, we have been examining the mechanism of how
SUMO affects sperm development in flies because there is only one SUMO gene and three in humans, allowing us to isolate the gene. I have done work with Rockefeller University for three summers, and in the summer of 2010, two of my research students from the Mount, Astrid Estevez ’11 and David Guerrero ’11, worked as paid interns and gained invaluable research experience. Q: You have mentored many high-achieving science students. How do you get the best out of your students and help them to realize their full potential? A: I know that my passion for research and science can be contagious and the students catch the bug. We attend research conferences regularly, where the students present and sometimes win awards for their presentations, such as David Guerrero ’11 and Ana Uruena ’11, who earned top honors nationally for their work. This is a great experience for the students. It not only allows them to perfect their presentation skills, but it also provides them with the opportunity to network with other graduate and undergraduate students. Continued on page 9
MAKING STRIDES IN THE SCIENCES The following individuals have graced the pages of our publications when they were standout undergraduates. As Mount alums, they are successfully forging their paths in the sciences. Alexandria Bobe ’11, Ana Uruena ’11, and Albert Bararwandika ’10 are carrying on the tradition of achievement that they began at the Mount, in Chicago, Texas, and in New York City. After graduation, Alex enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Chicago. She is currently Alexandria Bobe ’11 deciding which university she will attend to pursue doctoral studies in molecular and cell biology, after being accepted to Brown University, Columbia University, University of Chicago, and University of Texas Southwestern. “The Mount has helped prepare me by always supporting and encouraging me to be successful and instilling a solid science foundation that I was able to build upon during my research experiences,” she says. Ana is currently studying for her Ph.D. in genetics and Albert Bararwandika ’10 developmental biology at the University of Texas Southwestern. “Thanks to the guidance and support I received at the Mount, I got into a top graduate Ph.D. program and am holding my own just fine,” she says. Albert is currently a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “The Mount was key to getting where I am today,” Albert says. “Before I came to the Mount, all of my education was in French, Ana Uruena ’11 so having small classes and professors who took their time to give me extra attention helped me get through college successfully.” — Christina Gonzalez ’09
Facultynews & notes David Aliano (Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures) became the associate editor for the Ethnic Studies Review and was appointed to the National Association for Ethnic Studies this past fall. Dr. Aliano also gave two conference presentations: “Re-Imagining the Nation: Italian National Narratives Abroad (19221945)” at New Directions in Italian and Italian American History: A Conference in Honor of Philip V. Cannistraro in New York, N.Y., and “The Challenges and Rewards to Teaching in a Study Abroad Program,” at the XXXIII Alpha Mu Gamma National Convention in Los Angeles, Calif. In April, he presented the paper, “Transnational Migration Then and Now: Italian and Central American Experiences Compared,” at the National Association for Ethnic Studies Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. Cathryn McCarthy Donahue (Associate Professor of English) presented a paper entitled “Mistrawthe: Subverting the Natural Order” in the Pearl Poet's Cleanness at the 36th International Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Conference at Villanova University in October. Tania Friedel (Assistant Professor of English) presented the paper, “Refuge and Refuse: The Street, the Cabaret, and the Theatre in Rudolph Fisher’s Harlem Stories,” at the 8th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference: Modernist Man-
hattan in March. She also presented the paper, “The Poetics of the Penitentiary: Reformation and Resistance in Prison Literature,” at the AHA conference at the University of Louisville, in March. Robert Jacklosky (Chairperson and Professor of English) published a short story, “Barbicide,” in Construction magazine. Rajkumar Kempaiah (Assistant Professor of Business and Economics) presented the article, “Global Analysis and Benchmarking Strategic Alignment Maturity in IT Service Industry,” at the South Dakota International Business Conference this past fall. Seonhee Cho (Assistant Professor of Teacher Education) published a review of the book, “Academic Writing in a Global Context,” in Critical Inquiry in Language Studies. She also presented the paper, “Secondary Content-area Teachers’ Perceptions of Fairness Regarding Assessing English Language Learners,” at the SETESOL conference, Richmond, Va. Cynthia Meyers (Associate Professor of Communication) published the article, “The Problems with Sponsorship in Broadcasting, 1930s-1950s: Perspectives from the Advertising Industry,” in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television this past September. She was a faculty fellow at the International Radio and Television Society in November 2011.
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Q: What’s your favorite aspect of teaching at the Mount? A: The diverse student population is important to me. Growing up in New York City, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the size of the Mount; I worked at St. John’s University for many years, which has more than 10,000 students. The small size of the Mount makes for a much better, more intimate learning environment. Students have the opportunity to participate in research because they are not competing with graduate students for precious research slots. The students are wonderful, hard-working kids. Q: What would you ultimately like to accomplish from your research? A: Biology and chemistry are becoming less isolated and more integrated, which leads to important collaborations with scientists in diverse fields. Collaborating with other scientists gives my students and me the opportunity to learn and grow as a scientist. As scientists, we learn from the past work of other scientists through the literature. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the body of knowledge of science. Training students in the field is and always will be my true goal as a science educator. As a colleague of mine once said, “I am not here to win the Nobel Prize, but to train the next Nobel laureate.” I
Dr. Meyers also presented two competitive conference papers in March: “Resist the Usual: Young & Rubicam’s Soft Sell Strategies in Radio Comedy Programming,” at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Boston, Mass., and “Changing Industry Views of Audience Toleration of Commercials: Hulu vs. Netflix,” at “What Is Television? A Conference to Explore the Past, Present, and Future of Television,” in Portland, Ore. Michelle Scollo (Assistant Professor of Communication) presented “Elaborations on Nonverbal Ways of Communicating with Nature,” as part of a panel entitled “Finding the Voices of Nature: Listening Beyond Words,” at the National Communication Association’s 97th Annual Convention in November in New Orleans, La. Joseph M. Skelly (Chair and Professor of History) recently wrote the peer-reviewed article “Muslim-West Relations: The Importance of Moderate Muslims,” for ABC-CLIO’s research database World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. He published a review of the book My Brother, My Enemy: America and the Battle of Ideas across the Islamic World (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2010) in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. In 2011, he was named to the Irish Voice’s “Irish Education 100,” which recognizes the top 100 Irish Americans in higher education in North America.
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people they met in London. Jamelia recalls that some of her classmates from St. Mary’s not only surprised her on her birthday, but they also celebrated Thanksgiving – an American holiday – together. Although they were more than 3,000 miles from home, Mount students found many similarities with St. Mary’s University. Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies Edward Meyer says, “St. Mary’s is a private college on the outskirts of the city, similar to the Mount here in Riverdale.” Of course, the students didn’t spend all their time studying. St. Mary’s offered weekly activities for students, such as karaoke, quiz night, international student night, and more. “These events bring a majority of the campus together to share a laugh and have a good time,” Mahabir says. Students were also encouraged to explore London’s great cultural institutions, the U.K., and other locations in Europe. Overall, both students were glad they had the opportunity to study abroad and to learn about a different, although similar, culture and people. I Spring 2012 9
A DAY IN THE LIFE
THE ABC ’s OF BROADCASTING By Divac Chiverton ’12
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has been a starting point for many communication majors from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Many Mount students have interned with the venerable broadcasting corporation in the past decade, a considerable feat given the stiff competition. ABC receives more than 400 applications from the Tri-State area, but only some 60 to 75 interns are accepted per semester, says Linda Henderson, internship coordinator for ABC.
comment email and check our comment phone line for any feedback that viewers have about the show,” Lisa says.
past shows; distributes incoming mail for producers; and labels the dressing room doors for guests.
Lisa also prepares fact sheets for guests appearing on the show; makes copies of DVDs of
Lisa says that she enjoys being on set and learning from the producers.
Lisa Gentile outside the “LIVE! With Kelly” studios.
ABC only accepts applications from students who have a permanent address within the TriState area, says Ms. Henderson. The company offers interns many different opportunities spanning multiple divisions, including news, sports, programming, production sales, and many more. Some of the interns at ABC have secured fulltime employment with the broadcasting giant, as producers and even supervisors. Two Mount students, Lisa Gentile ’13 and David Booker ’12, are currently interning at ABC.
Lisa, a communication major, chose the internship because she hopes to break into the field of television production. “I wanted to learn how a show like “LIVE! with Kelly” is run, and also gauge the overall environment of the office,” she says. “I also knew that being there would help give me a better idea of what I want to do as a career.”
She attended ABC’s internship recruitment night, bringing several copies of her resume, and was interviewed by two different departments within ABC, “LIVE! with Kelly” and the production department.
David Booker outside of ABC.
Later that month, Lisa received a call from an employee at “LIVE! with Kelly,” offering her an internship. She reports to ABC on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lisa is responsible for many different tasks, including overseeing the maintenance of the green room and dressing rooms, and answering phone calls from guests confirming their tickets for the show.
“Ticket confirmations have to be entered into a binder every day,” she says. “We have to check the confirmation phone line as well and enter the guest names. We also have to look at the 10 Spring 2012
Lisa Gentile is ready to enter the famed broadcasting company for another day’s work.
David Booker at the corner of Peter Jennings Way and success.
Another Mount student currently interning at ABC is David Booker ’12. David is a big sports fan and chose to intern at ABC sports because he knew that it could help him achieve his dream of either appearing onair or working as a producer for sports broadcasting. He attended an ABC internship fair, and was interviewed by the sports department. A few weeks later, he received a call from the department head, offering him the position. David interns at ABC Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. He helps put together the nightly news sportscast that airs at 11:30 p.m. by watching games, writing highlights, logging videos, and going to New York sporting events to interview players. He covers all of the New York sports teams, and has even met some of the players for the New York Knicks. His favorite aspect of the internship is being out on the field and interviewing the star players. “I enjoy coming in and working with the anchors and producer to help them with their show,” he says. “The atmosphere is ideal. Everything is laid-back and humorous. We get the job done every night.” David has learned that, in television, like many other endeavors, it takes hard work and dedication to excel. “It takes a lot to become a sports anchor or a sports producer, but once you get your foot in the door, everything seems to flow,” he says. I
“There is so much hard work that goes into making the show happen, and everyone, including interns, has a special job,” she says. “Without even the smallest jobs, the show would not go on.”
NEW WRESTLING COACH RYAN COOLEY Brings His Signature Moves to the Mount By Erin Walsh and Michael Doughty
With the addition of Men’s Wrestling for the 2012-13 academic year, Ryan Cooley has been named the program’s first head coach. Mr. Cooley comes to the Mount after a four-year career at New York University and a coaching stint at Hunter. While at NYU, Mr. Cooley served as a team captain as a senior with the Violets, and used his talent and wrestling experience with the program at Hunter starting in the fall of 2008. While at Hunter, he assisted with the day-to-day running of the program, which included recruiting, scheduling, fundraising, and providing academic support. On the competition side, Mr. Cooley mentored one national qualifier and one student-athlete who advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and was named the City University of New York Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in mathematics from NYU in 2007, and currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. Q: What will the team add to the full athletics roster at the Mount? A: I’m looking to fill out my roster with student athletes who want to succeed in the classroom, as well as on the wrestling mat. In addition to their academic and athletic responsibilities, I expect members of our team to be active in all aspects of campus life. One aspect of life on campus that I will expect all wrestlers to be involved in is supporting other athletic teams.
Q: Share with us your recruiting methods. A: This year I’ve cast a broad net in recruiting. Since being hired last summer, I’ve attended high school wrestling meets almost every weekend with the goal of meeting as many student athletes as possible. I’ve attended meets in New York City, as well as on Long Island, and in Westchester, Monroe, Orange, and Rockland Counties. I’ve travelled to Albany on a few occasions for big tournaments. I’m regularly in contact with wrestlers I’ve met at tournaments, as well as some athletes whom I haven’t met, but who are interested in the Mount. Over the last few months, we’ve started to gain momentum by receiving large numbers of applications and a few commitments from student athletes, and I expect those numbers to rise once the wrestling season ends and high school wrestlers start to focus more on their plans for next year. Q: What do you love most about wrestling and coaching the sport? A: There’s a quote that’s often credited to legendary Iowa Wrestling Coach Dan Gable (although I’ve heard him admit that he never said it): “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
Wrestling coach Ryan Cooley
When I was young, I played almost every sport and was very successful in most of them. Wrestling was the only sport that I didn’t experience success in early on. Since I wasn’t successful, I invested more time in wrestling, because I viewed it as a challenge. As my commitment to the sport grew, I began to see results. In many sports, attributes that athletes have little or no control over, such as height or speed, play huge roles in determining how good they may become. In wrestling, these attributes play a role, but a lack of talent or natural ability can be overcome through hard work and commitment. Usually the wrestler who has worked the hardest will experience the most success. Wrestling demands a high level of commitment, hard work, and discipline, and these traits carry over into all aspects of life. My coaches instilled these traits in me when I was young, and they have shaped the man that I am today. I hope to do the same thing for my studentathletes.
Architectural rendering of the new wresting room
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College Mount Saint Vincent Spring 2012 Newsletter