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BUILDING BRIDGES, CONNECTING JASPERS
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EDITOR Kristen Cuppek
The first Women's Lasallian Conference convenes, a new soils lab opens in Leo
DESIGNER Kat Lepak
Hall, science students study under NSF grants, the Buttimer Institute returns to campus, and so much more.
ASSISTANT EDITOR Christine Loughran STAFF WRITERS Patrice Athanasidy Sarah R. Schwartz CONTRIBUTORS Taylor Brethauer Joe Clifford Pete McHugh Kevin Ross Amy Surak GRADUATE ASSISTANTS Kelsey La Cour Katherine Psaltakis PHOTOGRAPHERS Ben Asen Josh Cuppek Patrick Faccas Brian Hatton Dana Maxson Chris Taggart
ON THE COVER The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which replaces the Tappan Zee Bridge, opened a span to all traffic this past fall after four years of construction. Photo credit: New York State Thruway Authority
SPORTS Jaspers make their debut in the big leagues, plus news and recaps of the spring season.
32 SCATTERBOMB Members of the popular comedy troupe Scatterbomb learn more than improv as they engage and entertain.
36 BUILDING BRIDGES Meet a few of the alumni engineers who helped to build the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
COMMENCEMENT The College celebrates recent grads at its Commencement ceremonies in May.
DEVELOPMENT The class of 2017 honors the late Rev.
Published by the office of Marketing and Communication Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10471 Lydia Gray Assistant Vice President, College Advancement and Executive Director, Marketing and Communication
George Hill with a scholarship, plus read about a student scholarship recipient.
ALUMNI Reunion Weekend, alumnotes, Jasper profiles, and more reminiscing about a long-lost tradition.
62 OBITUARIES In memoriam, Brother Ray Meagher, Edward Brown, Jerome Cashman, George Knapp Jr., John Mueller, Bernard Harris, Robert English
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Instilling Curiosity, Courage and Community at Fall Honors
O BUILD A LIFE OF SOUND MIND AND EFFERVESCENT SPIRIT, Katherine Capshaw ’90, Ph.D., professor of English at the University of Connecticut, had a simple suggestion for the nearly 150 seniors that were recognized at this year’s Fall Honors Convocation. Think back to what you loved as a child. Was it ecology? Drawing? Literature? Use it to develop new ideas and remain curious about the world around you. “Be the engineer who writes poetry. Be the artist who knows how to design apps. Be the chemist who draws comics. Be everything you want to be. Your minds are alive, expansive. Nurture them,” she told students, who were inducted that day into Epsilon Sigma Pi, the oldest College-wide honor society on campus. Upon being honored at the convocation with a Doctor of Humane Letters, Capshaw offered suggestions for building an enriched life through curiosity, community and courage. With these pillars, the former English major has been able to notch an expanse of literary achievements since graduating from Manhattan. Both of her books, Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks and Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance, won the Scholarly Book Award from the Children’s Literature Association, in addition to other awards. Most recently, she co-edited Who Writes for Black Children? African American Children’s Literature Before 1900, and has published two dozen articles on race and childhood throughout her career. But the event wasn’t about touting Capshaw’s own accolades; it was about inspiring the soon-to-be College alumni that they have the knowledge to excel personally and professionally. They, like Capshaw, have the enviable foundation of a Manhattan College education, and have proven their abilities to accomplish their goals: all 146 inductees of Epsilon Sigma Pi gained entrance into the honor society by earning a
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GPA of 3.5 or higher during their first six semesters at the College. Alannah Boyle ’18, a peace studies and philosophy double major, said her participation in the convocation represented a significant milestone in her college career. “Being honored [at the event] felt like a culmination of my academic experience here at Manhattan College. I have had the privilege to conduct and present two summer research projects that correlate directly to my two majors, and Dr. Capshaw’s speech had a great focus on the idea of being curious in one’s future work,” she said later. This past summer, Boyle presented findings of her previous research at the first-ever Lasallian Global Women’s Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand, where she represented Manhattan College. In remarks that followed the presentation and awarding of certificates and keys to candidates for Epsilon Sigma Pi, President Brennan O’Donnell called on the honor society inductees to acknowledge the support of the parent or guardian who accompanied them that day, as well as any other loved one, teacher, or coach who ever challenged them to develop their talents growing up. He then urged the students to further extend their gratitude by paying it forward throughout their adult lives. “No one makes himself or herself; no one is an island; and everyone is called to be responsible to others in working for the common good. Give thanks for their presence in your life, and then resolve: what they did for you, you do for others,” he reminded the newest members of Epsilon Sigma Pi, before closing the ceremony.
Katherine Capshaw ’90, Ph.D., professor of English at the University of Connecticut, challenges newly inducted members of the College-wide honor society Epsilon Sigma Pi to frequently ask themselves the question, “What if?” throughout their adult lives, as a way to draw inspiration for personal and professional growth.
Yankees Honor Jasper Veteran CORPORAL NICHOLAS JUREK, a member of the class of 2018 who completed two tours in Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps, was recognized as the Veteran of the Game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 1, when the Yankees hosted the Detroit Tigers. He and his family attended the game free of charge in box seats and were honored on the field in the middle of the seventh-inning stretch. Jurek is studying nuclear medicine technology and is the current vice president of Manhattan’s Student Veterans Organization, formerly known as the VALOR Club. The New York Yankees honor a military veteran during every home game in cooperation with the Wounded Warrior Project Foundation. The group aims to help veterans who were injured during their service at any time after Sept. 11, 2001.
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. Speaks at Latino Heritage Month Dinner
HE SOUNDS OF LATIN MUSIC and the aroma of traditional Hispanic food made their way around campus, as the College kicked off Latino Heritage Month with its annual opening dinner in September. Both students and members of the community gathered to hear Rubén Díaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, serve as the keynote speaker and start the monthlong celebration. Díaz, who is of Puerto Rican descent, immediately praised Manhattan College and its Multicultural Center not only for welcoming him to the College to speak but also for honoring Latino Heritage Month. He was pleased to hear that Manhattan does not just celebrate it one night, but makes a point of it being a month-long celebration with many different programs and events to “open people’s minds, and educate both Latinos and non-Latinos on our culture.” The South Bronx native spoke passionately about finding these “teachable moments” — times to educate non-Latinos about the Latino culture, in order to help get rid of the misconceptions that many people have. In order to do this,
Díaz believes Latinos themselves need to be educated on their culture, which starts at home. As the father of two boys in their early 20s, Díaz spoke about how he has taught his sons about their ethnic background through celebrating and paying homage to the Latinos who have paved the way: Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic astronaut; Guillermo González Camarena, who invented the colored television in the early stages; José Ferrer, the first Hispanic to win an Academy Award; and Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, for example. Díaz encouraged the Latino community to educate themselves on those who broke barriers to make it, so, today, they can follow their own dreams. The borough president recognizes that he would not be where he is if it was not for the Hispanic politicians that stood before him. “These are folks who fought against injustice, who fertilized, at the very least, the political soil so that a young boy from the South Bronx could one day be the 13th borough president,” Díaz said. “So that a
young boy from the South Bronx could be the youngest legislator at the time serving seven terms in the New York State Assembly.” Moving forward, Díaz hopes to see the nation and city grow to accept different cultures, including Latino culture. He took a moment to encourage everyone to continue to educate themselves. “If nothing else, what I see here, and what I hope becomes contagious, is the spirit of unity — the spirit of openmindedness,” Díaz said. MANHATTAN.EDU N 3
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Bethlehem Students Explore Academics and NYC Spending the summer in the northwest Bronx taught five students from Palestine that the many wonders of New York City are best experienced with each other and members of the Manhattan College community, and might also provide fodder for academic research. From May through August, five upperclassmen from the West Bank participated in the Bethlehem University−Manhattan College Summer Research Program, for which they partnered with College faculty and students on projects relating to their fields of study, and lived on campus. Their trip was both educational and cultural, as they took advantage of all the city has to offer — walks on the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge, visits to renowned art museums, and more. They watched a live performance of one of their favorite Lebanese music groups, Mashrou’ Leila, in Prospect Park, and went to a jazz club near Columbus Circle with Natalia Boliari, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and finance. A day at the beach was also organized by Aileen Lowry Farrelly, visiting professor of accounting, who took them on several other excursions throughout the summer. But the trip wasn’t all fun and games. Jackline Khoury, who is studying accounting and business at Bethlehem, analyzed demographics of the Bronx (i.e. population size, education, and average economic and income levels) and in the West Bank to determine financial literacy among residents in both areas. For the comparative study, she worked in partnership with College student Alyssa Reeser ’18, and under the guidance of Farrelly and Amira Annabi, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics and finance. Conducting research in America enabled the Palestinian students to experience many firsts. This is my first time actually working with someone,” says Jane Alawi, a chemistry major at Bethlehem who partnered with Amanda Peterman ’18 on research facilitated by Gennaro Maffia, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering. “Back home, I’ve worked alone, and we don’t have the equipment. Here, we have that, the people, and the materials, which is nice.” Ali Zawahrah, an aspiring chemist, came to Manhattan to conduct complex genetics research with assistant biochemistry professor Bryan Wilkins, Ph.D., and was eager to get as much out of the summer as possible. “Ali had an innate desire to learn. He went far above the expectations of any student coming to do summer research,” says Wilkins, who also taught Zawahrah skills he could use outside of the classroom. “[Wilkins] taught me how to manage my time, how to meet and introduce myself in a professional way, and how to make a good first impression,” the Bethlehem senior reflects. Meanwhile, Musa Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of computer information systems, spent the summer helping Ghassan Harami and Manhattan student Shintaro Nakamura ’18 understand the intricate 4 N fall 2017
Bethlehem University chemistry major Jane Alawi partners with students and faculty in Manhattan’s chemical engineering department to create artificial human tissue from waste bovine corium.
web programming language, Python, for the purpose of eventually developing a social media analytics platform. Randa Al-Obayyat and faculty adviser Ahmed Hussein, Ph.D., an electrical and computer engineering professor at the College, focused their research on increasing the capabilities of high-bandwidth networks. This summer counted the largest number of Bethlehem summer researchers — last year, there were two students, compared to this year’s five. Growth can be partially attributed to a trip in January that involved six Manhattan College faculty and two administrators, including Farrelly and Maffia, who met with faculty in Bethlehem to discuss summer research initiatives for which they planned to recruit students. In the future, Cory Blad, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology who co-directs the Summer Research Program, and Rani Roy, Ph.D., assistant vice president for student and faculty development, hope to expand summer research to include more collaboration between Bethlehem and Manhattan College students and faculty, and to launch joint courses that enroll students from both universities.
Jaspers Turn Secret Agents To Compete at Google Games NOT ALL TOP-SECRET MISSIONS are carried out in trench coats and dark sunglasses. Some, particularly when embarked on by Manhattan College students, are accomplished with brainpower. In April, two groups of computer science majors participated in the Google Games, an annual competition held at the multinational tech company’s New York City office. This year’s event had a secret agent theme, meaning that the 20 teams were tasked to complete programming challenges and decrypt files that gave away clues determining the time, location and target of a hypothetical criminal organization’s next crime. Each group was ranked on its ability to solve 27 puzzles, which got them a bit closer to cracking the case. Competing as one team from the College were computer science majors Steve Romero ’18, Elizabeth Bruchansky ’18, Niko Colon ’19, Arlind Bebja ’19 and Christopher Woodhouse ’19, who put their heads together to derail the dangerous crime underway: an organization’s plot to steal the world’s largest ball of string for the purpose of conducting illegal string theory research. Ryan McPartlan ’18, a computer science major who competed alongside Megan Haber ’19, Ellison Madsen ’19, Karolina Fik ’18, and Paul Revelo ’18 on Manhattan’s other team in the Google Games, found the experience to be an enjoyable way to test his classmates’ tech-savviness. “[The competition] was a great opportunity to practice our programming skills,” he says. McPartlan’s group placed ninth out of the 20 teams that entered, while the other team of computer science students placed 12th. MANHATTAN.EDU N 5
International Studies Student Receives Scholarship to Summer in Spain DIANA BALAJ ’19 is now fluent in Spanish, thanks to an international scholarship that enabled her to spend four weeks this summer in Malaga, Spain. Balaj, an international studies major and Spanish minor, is the second student from Manhattan College in two years to earn a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. She was one of 1,200 American undergraduate students from 354 colleges and universities across the country to receive the award, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and funds up to $5,000 toward study abroad or internship program costs for recipients. During the month she was there, Balaj was enrolled in an intensive Spanish course at the University of Malaga, where she learned the language by speaking it in conversation with students from Russia, Japan, and other countries. She was also able to visit Madrid, as well as famed museums and other cultural attractions she had only before read about, such as the Picasso Museum, and Centro Histórico. “This study abroad experience was probably the best time in my life because I not only learned Spanish, I also learned the culture and the people of Spain. Now I can not only write in the language, I can speak it as well,” says Balaj, who found many ways of incorporating her studies at the College. While in Malaga, she correctly recognized the flamenco music and dance that was being performed around the city because of SPAN 300: Hispanic Musical Heritage, a course that taught her various aspects of Spanish culture and tradition. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or internships abroad. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.
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A Conversation with the College’s New Chaplain
ANHATTAN COLLEGE BEGAN THE FALL SEMESTER with a new college chaplain who will provide direction, guidance and pastoral care for all members of the campus community. Since the passing of the Rev. George Hill last year, the College had been on the search to hire its next chaplain — a call, the Rev. Thomas Franks, OFM Cap., says, that he was willing to answer. A member of the Capuchin order (which he always jokes that it shouldn’t be confused with the Capuchin monkey), Fr. Franks was ordained into priesthood in 2008. He graduated from Fordham University as valedictorian of his class in 2003, and went on to earn his Master of Divinity in sacramental theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Fr. Franks sat down with M for a quick Q&A about his role and expectations at the College.
Q: What drew you to Manhattan College? A: I was able to help out with some of the Masses after Fr. Hill had passed, so I celebrated a few Sundays, and I was really struck by how close the community was. There was a real sense of family among the students and the faculty. I had always been interested in college and higher education in ministry, so when I heard that the position was open as chaplain here, it really seemed like a great place to be a part of. Q: How is working on a college campus different than where you were before? A: For the past nine years, I’ve been at a parish in midtown Manhattan, and our main ministry there was really welcoming and tending to folks with Mass and confessions, whether they were going to work or coming home. There was kind of this, “you never know who you’ll encounter” feeling. There was a lot of change among the folks that came to the church. Whereas in higher education, there is an opportunity to journey with students through their four years of undergraduate education, and then keep in touch with them as alumni. Also, having a whole breadth of activities at the College with clubs, events and sports, and as a chaplain, being able to take part in all of those brings the communities closer. Q: What has made you stay in New York City for your career? A: There’s a uniqueness to New York City that’s really not like anywhere else. I grew up in suburban Connecticut, and I quickly learned that there’s a constant activity here in the city and an opportunity to connect with people from so many different cultures and experiences. Everyone seems to converge in the city, and there’s an excitement that’s always there.
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Q: When did you decide to become ordained and what led you to that decision? A: I came to know my community, the Capuchin Franciscans, when they ran my home parish back in Middletown, Conn. Throughout high school, I kind of felt a calling, and I wanted to explore religious life and the priesthood. I kept thinking about it, but saying, “Oh, well, I’m not sure.” Then it was just one of the friars in particular really sitting down with me and encouraging me to give it a try, so I did, and I’m in my community now for 20 years. I think that’s a great part of vocation. You know, God approaches all of us, and we have to try whatever it may be, and beautiful things can happen. Q: If you could give a general message to the student body, what would you say? A: I’m here for everyone, and I want to be a part of everything. My message would be that the chaplain’s job is not just about celebrating Mass or doing formal things, but I look forward to being a part of the life of the campus and the community. Don’t be afraid to approach. I’m hoping I can be visible on campus, and everyone should feel comfortable to talk and bring anything they have going on, and we can work through it together.
Growing Conservation Community Shrinks Campus Footprint
HE QUESTION ON THE MINDS OF MANY GRADUATES, as they go on to the workplace, graduate school, or service sites, is “What will I leave behind?” For Thérèse Kelly ’17, the answer is a smaller carbon footprint on campus. The biology major and Green Club president launched a composting program at Manhattan College. The program saves organic waste — food scraps, such as fruit and vegetable peels, from food preparation on campus — from occupying landfills. Instead, these materials are reconstituted into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that will be used on the campus landscape. Composting officially began in April, but the program has been a long-time goal of the Green Club. In 2016, Kelly, along with then co-president Derek Smith ’16 approached the College’s administration about the environmental benefits and educational value of composting, and with encouragement, the Green Club set out to learn more about the process by volunteering at several sites in the Bronx. Kelly and Smith found support within the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and the NYC Compost Project, whose members trained them in the basic methodologies, including Jodie Colon, project manager of
the New York City Compost Project-New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, who advised her to create a project proposal and educate a student team. “Jodie taught me that you can have the funding, and you can have the materials, but if you don’t have the people power, it isn’t going to be successful,” Kelly says. To ensure the project’s success, Kelly hosted training sessions for interested members of the Green Club. This newly minted Compost Crew helped to develop the proposal and committed to composting shifts. With a formal proposal, the Compost Crew earned the backing of Andy Ryan, vice president of facilities, who was a champion of the project, and Brian Weinstein, general manager of Gourmet Dining, as well as the long-term assistance of Physical Plant. Sarah Stone ’19 and Phillip Dombrovskiy ’20 are leading the project in Kelly’s stead now that she has graduated, and ensuring the project moves forward throughout the school year. “Composting really takes a community,” Kelly says. “The project taught me a lot about communicating, being organized and keeping up enthusiasm. I was lucky to be a part of it and carry on the idea to fruition. It made my last year at the College really meaningful.”
Nearly 90 Percent of the Class of 2016 Reports Employment AN ANNUAL SURVEY DISTRIBUTED BY THE COLLEGE’S Office of Career Pathways has some great news to report about recent grads’ career outcomes: 88 percent of the class of 2016 reported that they are employed or in graduate school. For those that reported being employed full-time, 84 percent said that their employment is related to their field of study, and 86 percent indicated it is in their desired industry. Of the total members of the graduating class, 94 percent responded to the survey, including 99 percent of May 2016 graduates. In addition, the median base salary of 2016 graduates that accepted employment was $50,000-60,000 for those working full-time. The average salary from individual reported salaries was $55,715, excluding fellowship and service program stipends.
Engineering topped the list of industries with 26 percent of grads that accepted employment entering the engineering industry. Another nine percent entered the business world, while 12 percent entered the finance and accounting fields. With respect to mission-focused careers, about five percent of 2016 graduates accepted public service jobs in government, advocacy roles or fellowships in service, including AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, FEMA, Lasallian Volunteers and Jesuit Volunteer Corps. In addition, about eight percent of the class of 2016 accepted employment in education.
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New Trustees Join College’s Board MANHATTAN COLLEGE RECENTLY WELCOMED FIVE NEW MEMBERS, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise, to its board of trustees. Kenneth Bouyer ’90 is the Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting at Ernst & Young, for which he is responsible for developing and implementing a recruiting strategy that focuses on creating a diverse talent pool. Prior to his current role, he was an Americas director in the advisory services practice, and supported various global internal audit clients. Bouyer has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Manhattan College, is a certified internal auditor and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals for America. Brother Carlos Gómez Restrepo, FSC, is Visitor of the Bogotá District with the Brothers of the Christian Schools. For more than 30 years, Br. Carlos has served in secular and private educational institutions, including serving as vice president and president of the International Association of Lasallian Universities, as executive secretary of the Region Latino Americana Lasallista, the Mission Educative Lasallienne commission, and as coordinator of the preparatory committee for the 44th General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Prior to his appointment as visitor of Bogotá District, Br. Carlos was president of Instituto Técnico Central (1991-95), a public higher education institution in Bogotá, vice president for academics at Universidad de La Salle in Bogotá (2005-08) and then president. A native of Colombia, Br. Carlos received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1984 from Universidad de La Salle, Bogotá, Colombia, a master’s degree in political science in 1990 from Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, and a doctorate in education in 1999 from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota. Louis J. Lamatina ’79 is owner of his own law firm, a general practice of law with emphasis on family law, in Paramus, N.J., and includes all types of litigation and transactional work. In addition, Lamatina was elected mayor of the borough of Emerson, N.J., in 2015. This is his second four-year term, having previously served from 2007-10. He was also a member of the Emerson planning board from 1995 to 1997 and 2007 to 2011. He served as prosecutor for the borough of Oradell, N.J., in 1999. Lamatina became president of the Manhattan College Alumni Society in July 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree
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from Manhattan College and his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University. Lamatina is a member of the Bergen County Bar Association, a current panelist for the Bergen County Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel, and is an attorney volunteer for Alternatives to Domestic Violence. Brother Dennis Lee, FSC, was recently appointed as the second Visitor of the District of Eastern North America (DENA) by the Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Brother Robert Schieler, FSC. Br. Dennis has worked as an elementary school teacher at Saint Gabriel’s in Queens, has done parish work at Saint Cecilia’s in Brooklyn, has been a high school religion teacher at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, and served as a campus minister, both at Bishop Loughlin and Manhattan College. Since 2002, he has alternated as missionary at Christ the Teacher Institute for Education, Nairobi, Kenya, and as Auxiliary Visitor with LINE District and DENA. A native of Queens, Br. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in education from Fordham University, as well as a master’s in catechetical ministry from St. John’s University in Queens. Suni Munshani is CEO of Protegrity, a data security firm, providing end-to-end data security solutions and web applications. Before being named CEO of Protegrity, he was the CEO of Novitaz, a leading provider of customer relationship management software solutions for the retail, banking, healthcare, hightech and hospitality industries. Prior to Novitaz, he served as a managing partner at Persephone Investments, a venture capital firm focused on early stage investments. While at Persephone, he led the firm’s investment in Synetics, Inc. and eventually assumed the role of CEO and led Synetics’ acquisition to Affiliated Computer Services, a NASDAQ listed company that was later acquired by Lockheed Martin. Munshani is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology. He is a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit whose mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, education, incubating and funding through wealth creation and giving back to the community.
The program gives students the opportunity to learn firsthand how cities work, through its many connections to various nonprofits, urban planners, local politicians and developers.
Urban Studies Program Launches Semester in New York
VERY JASPER KNOWS THAT ONE OF THE BIGGEST BENEFITS of Manhattan’s Riverdale location is being able to take classes on a traditional campus while also having easy access to all that New York City has to offer. Starting this spring semester, students from other colleges will have the opportunity to experience those benefits, too, thanks to a new program in Manhattan College’s Urban Studies department. The Semester in New York program is designed for students who want to study away from their home campuses and take advantage of Manhattan College’s location in New York City. The program will feature classes in Urban Studies, including field trips around the city led by professors, as well as full integration into Manhattan life — a room in the residence halls, meal plan, and access to all student services and cocurricular opportunities.
The Urban Studies program offers students the most field-based, hands-on courses outside of the classroom and in New York City. It also gives students the opportunity to learn firsthand how cities work, through its many connections to various nonprofits, urban planners, local politicians and developers. Semester in New York is a multidisciplinary program that is geared toward students with backgrounds in liberal arts, business, engineering and other interests. Classes will range from an introduction to urban theory, to a history of the musical, to the politics of New York City.
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Reeling in the Rankings U.S. News & World Report U.S. News & World Report released its 2018 version of America’s Best Colleges this past September, and Manhattan College ranked 15th among the 145 best regional universities in the North, placing among the top 20 in the category for the 11th consecutive year. The College’s School of Engineering was again recognized in the Best in Undergraduate Engineering category, tied for fourth among schools in New York State. Manhattan improved its ranking from 55th last year to 38th due to an improved peer assessment score, based on surveys of engineering deans and senior faculty at undergraduate engineering programs accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). For the third straight year, Manhattan College was highlighted as one of the best colleges in the country for veterans. Manhattan was ranked sixth among regional universities in the North, moving up two spots from last year, when it ranked eighth within the category. The College ranking categories are based upon the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifications. U.S. News has used the Carnegie classification system since the first Best Colleges rankings in 1983, because they are accepted as the basis for classifying schools by most higher education researchers.
Payscale A Manhattan College education continues to be one of the best investments a student can make, according to PayScale.com. In PayScale’s 2017 annual College Return on Investment report, Manhattan College ranked 28th among private colleges and universities and 57th among the 1,833 institutions surveyed throughout the United States, placing the College within the top four percent of all institutions in return on investment. The College’s 20-year net return on investment is $588,000, calculated as the difference between 20-year median pay for a bachelor’s degree graduate and 24-year median pay for a high school graduate, minus the total four-year cost. PayScale notes that Manhattan College graduates’ typical median early career salary — those with 0-5 years of experience in their field — is $58,500. The typical mid-career salary, for those with 10+ years of experience in their field, is $104,000, according to the survey. The survey also indicates that 31 percent of Manhattan College 10 N fall 2017
students receive Pell grants, based on data from the 2015 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System report. In addition, 70 percent of Manhattan College graduates stay in New York State to begin their careers after graduation. Forbes Manhattan College is included among the top 100 in the Northeast and the top 15 Catholic schools recognized on the list of Forbes Best Value Colleges 2017: 300 Schools Worth the Investment, released this past May. Forbes notes: “the school is in an ideal location for internships, just a subway ride from midtown Manhattan. Most students participate in internships in their four years, with many working at large companies like Goldman Sachs, IBM, and New York Life Insurance. Also, the school has a mentorship program, which allows students to shadow alumni.” The Forbes list continues Manhattan College’s national recognition as a top school in preparing its graduates for successful careers. The 2017 PayScale rankings placed Manhattan in the top four percent of all United States colleges and universities in return on investment. The Best Value College ranking indexes 300 schools that deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-graduate earnings, student debt and graduation success. Forbes used data collected from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and PayScale, the world’s largest salary database. Money For the fourth consecutive year, Manhattan College made it onto Money magazine’s list of top value colleges. The College placed 17th on the Money list of the top 50 colleges in the country that add the most value. Money ranked colleges based on comparative-value grades for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment, eliminating schools with any negative grades or a graduation rate below 50 percent. Calling Manhattan College “a quintessentially New York City school,” Money cites growing evidence that attending a college in a city with a dynamic economy dramatically improves a student’s earning power. It also notes that Manhattan College students, once graduated, boast average salaries of $60,200 within five years. That is 33 percent more than what is typical at similar schools, and nearly $7,500 higher than the averages reported by graduates of nearby schools such as New York University and Fordham. Manhattan College was also placed among Money’s 25 great colleges for good science students. Money ranked colleges based on 27 measures of educational quality, affordability and alumni success. In each category, it used at least one “value-added” measure, which reveals a school’s performance after subtracting the impact of its average students’ test scores and percentage of low-income students.
Top Management Degrees Manhattan College’s Master of Science in organizational leadership program ranked third among the top 10 master’s in management programs in New York State, according to TopManagementDegrees.com. The site’s authors write that the M.S. in Organizational Leadership “is one of the most affordable on our list of top-quality programs in the state.” The program, offered through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, is specifically designed for working professionals in a highly structured format. The online organizational leadership master’s degree helps students to tailor a leadership approach based on their strengths. Students have a unique plan to further develop leadership skills and learn how to best leverage proven leadership principles that can advance a career.
The 2017 PayScale ranking places Manhattan in the top four percent of all United States colleges and universities in return on investment.
Wall Street Journal Manhattan College was recognized as one of the top colleges in the United States, according to a report released in September by the Wall Street Journal, in conjunction with Times Higher Education. Manhattan College ranked in the top 25 percent of more than 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide, scoring particularly high in a survey of students that cited strong career preparation, student engagement, and outcomes after graduation.
Mechanical Engineers Take Home Top Prize in Energy Savings Competition
A GROUP OF SENIORS IN MANHATTAN’S MECHANICAL ENGINEERING program left their mark in the energy industry before they graduated this May. Under the advisement of mechanical engineering professor Mohammad Naraghi, Ph.D., four students — Maggie Brownson ’17, Nicole Oliveri ’17, Matthew O’Meara ’17 and Patrick O’Sullivan ’17 — won a $10,000 prize at the 7x24 Exchange University Challenge for their presentation on how customers and companies can save energy on their cooling systems during the summer. The Manhattan team presented an evaporative cooling system in conjunction with a geothermal dehumidifier, designed to allow evaporative cooling to be used in all climates. The judges decided that the group’s plan provided the best solution for data centers to gain a significant amount of energy and cost savings. The 7×24 Exchange Metro New York chapter provides an educational forum, bringing together those who design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures to promote a better understanding of the issues involved in achieving high levels of uninterrupted infrastructure support at the local level.
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M.A.R.S. Pulls in Celestial Scribes THE MAJOR AUTHOR READING SERIES (M.A.R.S.) returned to Manhattan College this spring for its seventh year, and in doing so continued its tradition of sparking discussion about contemporary literature on campus. The biannual events have brought numerous acclaimed writers to the College for readings, discussions and book signings. The first of four speakers, Heidi Julavits, came to campus in February to give a hilarious reading of sections from her novel, The Folded Clock. Written in a journalistic style, the book is a creative nonfiction work of the author’s everyday adventures and misfortunes. The novel originally started out as a diary, Julavits said, but suddenly she had hundreds of pages written and thought, “This could be something.” She became more aware of the ordinary moments in her life and made them more interesting through her writing. As Julavits found inspiration in the mundane, she advised the audience, which was filled with aspiring writers, to do the same. “The more limited my life became, the more creative I became,” she shared. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, Esquire, and McSweeney’s literary journal, among others, and she currently serves as the director of undergraduate creative writing at Columbia University. The next speaker, Stephen Kiernan, visited the College in March to read excerpts from his novel, The Hummingbird. Written from the perspective of a female hospice nurse, the book offers a humorous, touching twist on the serious topics of death, post-war emotions, and finding peace. When asked if it was difficult to write from a female perspective, Kiernan said, “Every narrative voice is an act of imagination. As I write, the characters emerge.” Toward the end of the discussion, Kiernan treated the audience to a preview of his latest novel, The Baker’s Secret. Also the author of The Curiosity and two nonfiction books, Kiernan has won more than 40 awards during his 20-plus years as a journalist, including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. Kiernan currently lives in Vermont and travels the country speaking on the use and expansion of hospice and palliative care. The last speakers in the spring M.A.R.S. lineup, John Hoppenthaler and Keetje Kuipers, arrived on campus in April for a poetry doubleheader. Hoppenthaler’s playful personality shined through his work as he read poems entitled Treehouse, Best Friends, and Farm Sitting. His captivating use of sensory language allowed audience members to immerse them-
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selves in the reading. “We all have these feelers out, so we sense what’s around us,” Hoppenthaler explained, crediting his keen awareness of his surroundings. Kuipers shared Hoppenthaler’s enthusiasm for writing about her environment. “Wherever I live, I’m always going to be collecting images I want to make use of,” she said. Kuipers read A Beautiful Night for the Rodeo, from when she lived in the South, Fourth of July, which was written in her current home of Seattle, Wash., and Teaching Day Aubade, written during her time as a professor at Auburn University. Kuipers’ ability to absorb the sights and emotions present in her surroundings radiated from her work. Hoppenthaler has published Domestic Garden, which won the Brock-Campbell Award for the best volume of poetry by a North Carolinian, Anticipate the Coming Reservoir, and Lives of Water. Kuipers has published Beautiful in the Mouth, which was awarded the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, and The Keys to the Jail. This spring’s M.A.R.S. events prompted conversation about writing strategies and an increased awareness of one’s environment. The two novelists, Julavits and Kiernan, and two poets, Hoppenthaler and Kuipers, motivated the College’s young writers and literary enthusiasts alike to find inspiration in the ordinary and to appreciate everything going on around them.
Poets John Hoppenthaler (left) and Keetje Kuipers (top) hosted a double reading for the last event in the Major Author Reading Series this past spring. Both writers shared their enthusiasm for writing about their environments with the audience.
Business Analytics Team Harnesses Big Data for Bigger Rewards
IG DATA CAN REAP BIG REWARDS, that is, if you’re adept at the art and science of decision-making. The Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College (BAC@MC), now in its third year, is an opportunity for undergraduates to practice just that, by gleaning intelligence from data and translating it into a business advantage. It’s not a task for the uninitiated. It requires specialization in a variety of areas, from creative visualization techniques to advanced statistical analysis. Diverse teams tend to produce the best results. Musa Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of Accounting, CIS and Law, assembled a team that hails from two schools and three majors at the College: computer information systems majors Ryan-Arnold Gamilo ’19 and Christopher Sandoli ’17, mathematics major Hope Miedema ’17, and accounting major Patrick O’Connor ’18. They worked independently and as a group since February, building an arsenal of skills as they analyzed the data that was given to them as part of phase one of the competition. “Everybody contributes something, and Dr. Jafar definitely did a good job at turning us into a well-balanced team,” Gamilo says, noting that as the team’s faculty adviser, Jafar gave one-on-one tutorials on everything from computer programs like Tableau to programming languages such as R, often in the evenings or over the weekend. Coordinating schedules while balancing a full course load and an array of extracurricular activities forced the team to give up their Friday nights last semester. They often worked in a classroom in De La Salle Hall well into the evening. But each member of the team agrees, the rewards were well worth the sacrifices. “Preparing for this competition was pretty much an independent study at times where I get to learn all these things that I didn’t learn during my math studies,” Miedema says. “I was just trying to take advantage of all those one-on-one sessions with an expert in the field.”
“All of the software and the programming languages are useful for outside of the classroom, in a career,” Sandoli adds. “Having experience with these tools, and having it on your résumé — that’s huge. Overall, it’s been a great learning experience.” That is why when the team went up against more than 70 participants from 15 colleges and universities from the U.S., Canada and Palestine, they were focused on more than the first-place prize. “The competition required us to show what we found in the data, but we wanted to show Dr. Jafar that we took in everything he taught us,” Miedema says. “He’s put so much into us this semester, so rather than win the competition, we wanted to make him proud.” The Jaspers were awarded third place with their presentation on U.S. Educational Funding Decisions, and achieved their goal of making their adviser proud. “I commend them for their hard work and the way they collaborated and worked together as a team,” Jafar says. “The team performance was a shining example of what Manhattan College students can rise up to as compared to peer institutions. The performance of the team is a testament to the work ethics of our students and the quality and rigor of education our students get at Manhattan College.” Registration for the 2018 event opens in December, and Jafar already is looking forward to the next competition with another group of dedicated, driven students.
Patrick O’Connor ’18, Hope Miedema ’17, Christopher Sandoli ’17 and Ryan-Arnold Gamilo ’19 represented Manhattan this spring at the College’s Business Analytics Competition, and were awarded third place for their presentation on U.S. Educational Funding Decisions. Sandoli explains what they found in the data, which the team had been analyzing since February.
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New Soils Lab Enhances Learning for Engineering Students
ROUTINELY RANKED AMONG the top 50 engineering schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the School of Engineering continued to reach new heights recently with the addition of a new soils lab. Located across from the former soils lab on the first floor of Leo, the new facility targets the geotechnical aspects of civil engineering — the study of the behavior of soils and rocks with the goal of designing and constructing structures above and below the ground, such as foundations, dams, wells and levees. Within this new lab are tools that help students to characterize and understand the behavior of soils by conducting direct shear tests and triaxial compression tests, among other experiments. With this new technology, the students now can see the data right on the machine and plot it themselves. The goal is for the students to then take the information they collect and determine how they can use it to design structures. Since its completion in April, the soils lab has been utilized by undergraduate students enrolled in the course CIVL 311: Soil Mechanics Laboratory. The 100-120 civil engineering students that take this required course each year learn how to conduct everything from index property tests for water content to parameter tests for permeability. Preparations for a new graduate course that will utilize the lab are underway, as well. Before the new soils lab was built, students would learn about these devices in a lecture or the older lab. That is, as far as the lesson would go, as the older lab was not equipped with the devices that the students were learning about. Now they are able to physically try them out in the new lab. The equipment in this lab is similar, if not the same, as the equipment found in the labs of major engineering organizations, which is a big plus for students when they are looking to enter the work world. The addition of the new soils lab would not have been possible without the construction industry group, alumni, donors and friends of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, who all helped to further the education of students at the College. As the size of the program continues to grow, the new soils lab has become an essential component to educating civil engineers of the future.
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The Jasper Battalion
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, America’s entry into World War I threatened to upset the normal processes of college life. Manhattan’s members of the National Guard were mobilized, while others voluntarily enlisted. Abounding with true patriotic loyalty, the remaining student body organized its own battalion, and performed drilling exercises on the lawn of the old Manhattan College campus at 131st Street and Broadway.
Two Science Students Study Under NSF Grants This Summer
ANHATTAN COLLEGE STUDENTS TRAVEL FAR AND WIDE each summer. Some live and work in their hometown, and some live and work on campus in Riverdale, while others take advantage of the College’s study away programs. In addition to those options, others have the opportunity to do research through a grant. For Danielle Baik ’19 and Anthony DePinho ’19, two juniors in the School of Science, they chose to pursue opportunities in the state of Massachusetts to continue research they began on campus. Both students received a summer research grant under the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Baik spent 10 weeks during the summer working on a marine biology project at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology. Located at the tip of Buzzards Bay, 60 miles south of Boston, the location provided an excellent opportunity for Baik to leverage her background as a biology major and explore engineering solutions to tackle the issue of overfishing, especially black sea bass and cod, which is one type of fish that is heavily monitored by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. “We worked on this project because black sea bass is important recreationally and commercially,” Baik says. “We enjoy eating it, and we enjoy catching it for fun, but if we overfish, we’re going to destroy our oceans.” DePinho, a mathematics major and computer science minor, was part of a team of five students selected from institutions around the
United States to study at Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health. As part of their research, DePinho and his team created mathematical and computer science models to determine levels of air quality in and around the Boston area. “One thing we tried to focus on with this project was visualizing the results in a meaningful and intuitive way,” DePinho says. The group is currently working on a digital heat map that allows individuals in different areas to look up the levels of air quality in their own neighborhood. DePinho and his group identified the heat map as a vital component to their research because of the lack of accessibility and clarity of air quality data. One of the sponsors on DePinho’s project was chemical engineering alumnus Gary Adamkiewicz ’89, ’90 (M.E.), Ph.D., an assistant professor of environmental health at Harvard. A leading scholar on public health, Adamkiewicz guided DePinho and the student team on the project’s next steps and encouraged the students to publish their research when the project is completed. “Being together on the project was a unique aspect to the whole summer,” says DePinho, referring to how there were two Jaspers working together at Harvard. Baik and DePinho were two of 75 students at Manhattan’s Summer Research Scholars Symposium back on campus in September, to display their research projects to a group of their peers and faculty. Baik plans to continue to pursue her interest in biology, and is considering a research project in botany or horticulture next summer, while DePinho is focused on graduate school in applied math or data science, after experiencing how academia worked this past summer.
At Manhattan’s Summer Research Scholars Symposium in September, math major Anthony DePinho ’19 presents the mathematical models he helped to create at Harvard University to determine air quality levels in and around the Boston area. Biology major Danielle Baik ’19 was stationed for 10 weeks this summer on the tip of Buzzards Bay, exploring ways to combat the overfishing of cod and black sea bass. Their experiences were made possible by summer research grants from the National Science Foundation.
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College Hosts International Leaders in Lasallian Education
OR TWO WEEKS THIS SUMMER, Manhattan College was the classroom in which 120 education professionals learned new ways of applying the goals of the Lasallian Catholic mission to their own ministries. In the process, they became more deeply in tune with its core values. Attendees of the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies visited campus from June 25−July 8 to participate in the annually held intensive program, which seeks to help educators gain a more in-depth understanding of the teachings of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Conducted during a period of three summers, students are eligible to receive graduate credits at the end of the final year. The program is named for Brother Charles Henry Buttimer ’33, FSC, former Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and is carried out by the Office for Lasallian Education at Christian Brothers Conference, the Office for the Lasallian Region of North America. This year at Manhattan College, Buttimer included several U.S. participants, and 23 international students hailing from countries such as New Zealand, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. One of those individuals was Brother Shahzad Gill, FSC, an auxiliary visitor and the principal of La Salle High School in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Br. Shazhad participated in the program as a “Buttimer II,” which means that he and his fellow second-year students studied and reflected upon De La Salle’s pedagogical writings both individually and in smaller groups. Afterward, he called to mind the people he met at the conference who helped to broaden his connection to the international network of Lasallian universities. “My two great weeks in the Buttimer II program have been full of insights and rich experiences. We all have come from different backgrounds and numerous ministries all involved in the Lasallian mission. I have learned a lot in this short time. I have experienced the tremendous and wonderful diversity of the groups,” Br. Shazhad says. In addition to bonding with his fellow participants, Br. Shazhad also had the opportunity to meet members of the Manhattan College community, thanks to Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Ph.D., the College’s vice president for mission, who also noted what a significant event it was for all who attended and for Manhattan. “Given that Manhattan College is the first institution of higher education in the international Lasallian world, and that Manhattan College is the alma mater of the program’s founder, it was truly a wonderful blessing to welcome the international participants of Buttimer on campus. From all that I witnessed and experienced, it was a great experience for the participants and for Manhattan College as well,” Br. Jack says. During the time they were here, Buttimer participants took part in three classroom sessions per day, morning and evening prayer
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sessions in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers, and numerous social activities that helped them to interact with each other. The group also visited the chapel with Manhattan College archivist Amy Surak, who spoke about 12 newly restored stained glass windows that depict the Life and Work of John Baptist de La Salle. As the culmination of their studies at the Institute, each of the 25 graduates of Buttimer III presented findings of research they conducted in order to receive their certificates. Manhattan College philosophy professor Sarah Scott, Ph.D., presented her project, “Education as Spiritual Resistance: Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber and the Lasallian Charism.” This is the first time the Buttimer Institute was held at the College in 33 years, since its launch in 1986, and it isn’t the last; in 2018, the program will take place on campus, as well. In the future, Manhattan plans to continue to find ways of expanding upon its partnership with the Christian Brothers Conference, and the Lasallian education community at large.
In their two weeks at Manhattan College, Lasallian educators from high schools and universities around the world worked individually and in small groups, took part in twice daily prayer sessions, and participated in social activities that helped the students of the Buttimer Institute connect with each other, and more deeply with the mission and teachings of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.
Principles and Practices of Reading in Elementary School (EDUC 401) Course Description: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME SOMEONE READ TO YOU? Was it in elementary school? In Principles and Practices of Reading in Elementary School (EDUC 401), aspiring teachers in the School of Education and Health have the opportunity to learn as their future students will, by reading award-winning classics such as Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Angelina Ballerina. This firsthand approach prepares students to become effective teachers of reading, as they discuss why the books capture young readers’ attention, and perform comprehension activities that could be found in any elementary classroom today. The overall purpose for EDUC 401 is to focus on the importance of reading as an integral part of the total communication process, which also includes listening, speaking and writing. Taught by Lisa Rizopoulos, Ph.D., professor of education, the course helps students to better understand how reading and language comprehension impact the diverse group of learners that teachers will find in their classrooms (from typical students, to disabled students, to gifted students). With required field experience at local Bronx elementary schools, students not only get hands-on experience in Rizopoulos’ classroom but also in real classrooms to see how their lessons impact actual students. Projects in the course include creating a reading autobiography, a core curriculum project, a mini-lesson and a multicultural author study. Text: Gail E. Tompkins, Literacy for the 21st Century (New Jersey: Prentice Hall) Lectures: Monday and Thursday, 12:00-1:15 p.m. Professor: Lisa Rizopoulos, Ph.D. About the Professor: With a long list of accomplishments, scholarly articles and research experience, Rizopoulos has been a significant resource to the world of academia. Her current research focuses on successful literacy strategies for the inclusive class, and developing creative and practical methods for using computer and telecommunication resources. She received her B.A. from SUNY Lehman College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University.
Second Student in Two Years Receives Newman Civic Fellowship
THROUGHOUT HER STUDENT CAREER, Jaena Sigue ’18 has been a staunch advocate for public health, the Bronx, and her collegiate community. The environmental science major was recently recognized for contributions in these areas as a Newman Civic Fellow, an award that is sponsored by Campus Compact and supports community-minded students who work to find solutions to challenges facing their local communities. Sigue is one of just 273 students nationwide to receive the fellowship, and the second in two years from Manhattan College to do so. In 2016, David Caiafa ’19 was named a Newman Civic Fellow. A new member of the 2017 class of Newman Civic Fellows, Sigue is interning with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). There, she is working with the organization’s health justice committee to develop a health training for community residents that identifies the root causes of poor health, in order to determine a strategy for addressing immediate problems and systemic causes. Sigue is also entrenched in a violence prevention program through the New York City nonprofit, YouthBuild, a nationwide program that helps low-income youth learn construction skills. Since she began working with the NWBCCC, her range of involvement has continued to widen. “My role [at the NWBCCC] began
as an intern, but I quickly became a developer, researcher and facilitator. I have been so committed to them because they have been committed to helping me develop as a leader, public speaker, policy analyst, and as a person. I have also connected to community members through my experience with NWBCCC, both professionally and personally. Through them I have learned my strengths, weaknesses, and supplemented my education with valuable work experience,” she says. Her philanthropic efforts began at Manhattan College, however. Shortly after beginning her freshman year, Sigue joined the Lasallian Outreach Collaborative, and began tutoring children at an after-school program. She also started volunteering at Part of the Solution as part of a servicelearning religion class. Since the spring, Sigue has embarked on a new cause that combines her interest in public health with a passion for the environment. As a student intern with the rooftop garden above the Manhattan College parking garage, she has helped to grow fruits and vegetables that have been since donated to a summer farmer’s market led by the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Sigue will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship that, as a one-year experience, emphasizes personal, professional and civic growth. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also connects fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and postgraduate opportunities.
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Researching Sustainable Development in the Amazon
HE WORLD’S MOST COMPLEX AND LARGE-SCALE PROBLEMS — habitat destruction, conflict, poverty — may seem insurmountable, but a group of Manhattan College MBA students are learning how to get to the bottom of these complex issues and offer solutions. They hope to lay the groundwork for a task some deem to be impossible: saving the Amazon rainforest. This summer, a group of seven MBA students, led by Poonam Arora, Ph.D., associate professor of management and marketing, traveled to Peru to research sustainable economic development solutions as part of an International Management Field Project (MBAL 647) course. The seven-week course was developed by Arora, and the MBA students were accompanied by a group of undergraduates along with Carolyn Predmore, Ph.D., professor of management and marketing. Predmore designed the corresponding undergraduate-level course, International Field Study Seminar (MKTG 414), that ran during the spring term. Peru is Latin America’s biggest gold producer, but the mining process is causing deforestation in the Amazon. The Madre De Dios region of Peru has been the hardest hit by the effects of illegal gold mining to date. For a quick profit, trees are knocked down; river banks are destroyed; and mercury is being deposited into the soil and water. In essence, mining is destroying the forests, biodiversity and rivers, which the indigenous people depend upon for their lives and livelihoods. It’s a complex situation. Conditions are dire, money is scarce, the local attitudes toward mining are mixed, and many who do practice illegal mining don’t feel they have any other option. To gain a broad perspective of the challenges facing the region, the group’s first stop was Lima, where they met with several agencies including the U.S. Consulate, United Nations Development Programme, Peruvian National Park Service, and SERNANP (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado). Next, they hopped aboard a flight to Cusco, and took a tour via bus and train through the Sacred Valley. Eventually, they arrived in Aquas Calientes, which served as home base for their trek through Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. Feeling a bit more connected with Peru’s natural beauty and storied culture, they traveled to Puerto Maldonado to conduct field research made possible by Josh Fisher and Michelle Leppert of AC4 (The Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity), Columbia University, as well as two advisers from the La Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazonica, an NGO that works closely with the locals. They visited fish farms, toured the entire supply chain of the Brazil nut (Castaña) industry, investigated the topic of ecotourism with local business owners, and discussed the pros and cons of seeking product certification, such as fair trade or green organic, with local biocommerce leaders.
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Back in Riverdale, the MBA students completed their analysis and presented alternative solutions that would allow for sustainable development in Madre De Dios. They suggested a combination of livelihoods, including fish farming and Brazil nut harvesting and processing, along with capacity building and greater access to credit. While the multiple income approach is something that is already practiced by many locals, the framework laid out by Manhattan College MBAs is more sustainable as it addresses issues of seasonality and economies of scale in earnings to ensure families would have an adequate yearly income. As the MBA group explained in their presentation to the campus community in June, certain things can’t be learned from textbooks. “The class is over, but it is our responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t just end right here, and right now,” Hunter DeMartino ’17, ’18 (MBA) said in the cohort’s concluding statements. He hopes to gain a following for their roadmap. James Noeker ’17, ’18 (MBA) agreed, noting: “I think one of the most important takeaways from this is remembering that our actions have consequences on other people — a bunch of tiny actions come together into one big force and that’s what came to pass in Madre de Dios. And it’s not just isolated to the region, it exists here, on the other side of [Manhattan College] Parkway.” The class was particularly eye-opening as a first master’s level course for Manhattan alumna Michelle Ragusa-McBain ’04, ’18 (MBA), who has been working in corporate America for the past 12 years. She calls the program “an MBA with a soul.” “Throughout this journey, everyone we spoke with truly cared — not only about the business, but helping to give back to the communities, and preserve the environment, which we researched to serve,” Ragusa-McBain wrote in a blog post. “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of such incredible efforts — to see even myself and our fellow [College] students can help change the world.”
Deep Foundations Doles Out Awards EVANGELIA IERONYMAKI, PH.D., assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, along with two Manhattan College students, Alexa Raffaniello ’17 and LisaMarie Nilaj ’18, have been recognized by the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) Educational Trust for their efforts in civil and geotechnical engineering. Manhattan College was the only school with two students chosen to receive the award. Ieronymaki received a grant of $1,750 from the DFI Educational Trust and the DFI Women in Deep Foundations Committee for her involvement in design and construction of deep foundations to attend DFI’s 42nd Annual Conference in New Orleans. The former DFI student chapter president at Manhattan, Raffaniello is currently on track to get her master’s degree from the college. During her time as an undergraduate, she received the first George Tamaro ’59 scholarship which was funded by the Educational Trust. Nilaj, her successor for chapter president, was also awarded the $2,000 at-large scholarship. DFI Educational Trust is the charitable branch of DFI, with scholarship programs funded by endowments, donations and fundraising events. The scholarship recipients are chosen from students with good academic standing who require financial aid and are pursuing opportunities in civil, geotechnical or construction management fields.
This summer, seven MBA students, along with a group of undergraduates, traveled to Peru to research sustainable economic development solutions as part of International Management Field Project and International Field Study Seminar, respectively.
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Women’s Conference Draws Inspiration for an On-Campus Resource Center
Megan McCabe, a moral theologian visiting from Boston College, discusses ways of employing a missioncentered approach to sexual assault culture on Catholic campuses at the first Lasallian Women’s Conference in April.
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TUDENTS AND FACULTY LEADING THE CHARGE for a Women’s Resource Center on campus asked the College community this spring to consider which services it could offer to benefit the greatest number of people. Their suggestions — scrawled on blank notecards distributed at the first annual Women’s Lasallian Conference on April 7 — ran the gamut. According to responses received by the Lasallian Women’s Resource Committee, which was established earlier this year by students Victoria James ’17, Olivia Smith ’17 and Alannah Boyle ’18, and philosophy professor Jordan Pascoe, Ph.D., among other College faculty and staffers, attendees recommended that the center provide guidance to female students striving to achieve professional success and those who may be dealing with health and body image issues. They also proposed that the center lend support for all individuals who identify as LGBTQ. The purpose of the Lasallian Women’s Conference was to get students, faculty and administrators at Manhattan to begin discussing possible offerings of the resource center, and how certain issues can be acknowledged by the College community. The event featured presentations from speakers in the wider New York City community and discussed initiatives to improve the dialogue surrounding sexual misconduct and assault. In the morning, Manhattan College Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator, Vicki Cowan, reminded students of the sexual assault resources that are currently available on campus. These include but are not limited to the Counseling Center, Residence Life department, and the Manhattan College chaplain and nurse practitioner. Students may also get involved with Green Dot, a violence prevention program that works to combat partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, identity-based targeting, and bullying. Cowan’s remarks were followed by those of Megan McCabe, a moral theologian from Boston College, who
offered suggestions for how the College can utilize its Catholic mission to address sexual assault on campus. During her presentation at the conference, Elaine Garbaty, who serves as director of the North Bronx Sexual Assault Response Unit, described how her organization cares for victims of the crime. She also issued a poignant statement about who is eligible to receive its services. “All you need is the desire to talk,” she said, describing how the organization can be a resource for college students, and why it’s important for them to have an outlet in their time of need. “It’s not acceptable for people to feel alone.” This sentiment might have directly referred to the responsibilities of the North Bronx Sexual Assault Response Unit but can be easily applied to the mission of the future Women’s Resource Center. The goal of its organizers is to provide a safe space on campus, where students can openly discuss their issues with a classmate, trusted faculty member or administrator. A lunch and panel discussion at the conference jumpstarted many of these conversations by focusing primarily on the actions the College can take as a Lasallian institution to improve the overall well-being of all students. This segment, entitled “Lasallian Mission, Women, and Sex,” featured Boyle, a peace studies and philosophy major, Pascoe and fellow philosophy professor, Sarah Scott, Ph.D., and Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Ph.D., an associate professor of religious studies. Together, they discussed issues that today’s students are facing. Imperatori-Lee drew a connection to the teachings of Pope Francis, who has aimed to position the Catholic Church as an establishment of “encounter and accompaniment,” in which leaders of the faith stand alongside its constituents throughout their religious journeys. In a similar way, she said that the College should guide students down their personal and professional paths. “The values of ‘encounter and accompaniment’ are essential to a Lasallian education — meeting students where they are, walking alongside and guiding them, and giving them what they need in order to be successful in the world,” Imperatori-Lee said. As development of the Women’s Resource Center gets underway, members of the College community are encouraged to contribute wherever possible. Organizers also are planning a second conference to take place during the spring semester.
Costello Lecture Converses About Consent
RINGING TO LIGHT the issues of alcohol and consent in medieval times, Carissa Harris, Ph.D., presented her talk, Alehouse Lessons: Alcohol, Consent and Sexual Education in the Middle Ages, as the speaker for the 16th annual Costello Lecture in October. At the annual event, the 2017 Costello Award for Excellence in Teaching was also presented to David Bollert, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy. Harris, who is an assistant professor of English at Temple University and a scholar of Middle English and Middle Scots literature, began by touching on two topics that received significant media attention during the past five years — the Baylor University football scandal, and Brock Turner’s assault lawsuit. She emphasized how both Baylor University’s administration and Turner’s lawyer tried to place the blame on the women for their alcohol consumption rather than the men who committed the criminal acts. Harris noted that this stigma surrounding alcohol-facilitated assault actually dates back to the Middle Ages. In speaking about the issue in the Middle Ages, Harris mentioned that men were often portrayed as victims then, too. She said that during this time, people often reverted back to two stories in the book of Genesis in which alcohol-facilitated assault took place, and used these stories as cautionary examples of the consequences of excessive imbibing.
Harris also discussed how women in alehouses were perceived in the Middle Ages, as alehouses were seen as places of sexual transgression. A popular form of writing at the time, she explained, were letters from mothers to daughters, which often warned women to stay out of alehouses and to limit their drinking, calling it “shameful.” Other examples, of literature, she continued, suggest that drinking alcohol makes women more likely to say “yes” to men. But alehouses in the Middle Ages had more purpose than just a poor man’s place to drink, Harris noted. Alehouses were also places where women could offer each other peer sex education. They became a symbol of women’s education and empowerment. “I hope that understanding this rich history can help us more thoughtfully approach issues of intoxication and consent in our own culture, both now and in the future,” she said. In addition to Harris’ lecture, Bollert was awarded the 2017 Costello Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes faculty in the School of Liberal Arts. Bollert received countless student nominations noting that he challenges, inspires, and engages them not only as students but also as people. Bringing leading historians to campus, this lecture series was established in 2001 in honor of former Manhattan College history professor Brother Casimir Gabriel Costello, FSC.
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ON C AMPUS
Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter Discusses Snowden Affair
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ewen MacAskill speaks to Manhattan students about his famed coverage of the Snowden affair in The Guardian to illustrate an important issue facing Americans today: how confidential is your personal security information in an age of terrorism?
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WEN MACASKILL, THE DEFENSE AND INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT at The Guardian, who was on the team of reporters that published the controversial security information leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013, spoke at Manhattan College in October for the Gargano Lecture. At the annual event presented by the School of Business, MacAskill, who shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with two journalists from the Washington Post, talked about meeting Snowden, a former technical assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency (NSA) employee. He also discussed the aftermath and historical significance of the event and, more broadly, issues of privacy and surveillance in a time when terrorism has become increasingly prevalent. On the last Friday in May of 2013, MacAskill recalls how the U.S. editor for The Guardian summoned MacAskill from across the room of the publication’s New York office to ask him to go to Hong Kong the following day. She and MacAskill laughed as she told him that there was someone in Hong Kong claiming to be an American spy that wanted to leak top-secret documents to them. Little did they know, however, that 29-year-old Snowden was about to make history, and they were going to be the ones reporting on it. The next day, MacAskill flew to Hong Kong with the two other reporters. There, Snowden relayed his story and gave MacAskill a memory stick with 60,000 documents on it — some had one page, while others had thousands. These documents showed that major Internet and telephone companies, such as Microsoft, Google and Verizon were sharing information about U.S. citizens to the NSA, without their knowledge. This information was sold to the U.S. government for large sums of money — figures that these companies have been reluctant to disclose. After the release of Snowden’s documents, MacAskill and his fellow reporters were attacked for aiding terrorists and “exposing tools” that the NSA was using to monitor and intervene in the communication of terrorists. But that’s only part of the issue, he explained, and Snowden’s leaked documents are symptomatic of a larger problem that needs to be addressed. “Some people are so worried about terrorism, that they’re prepared to surrender their right to privacy. That’s a legitimate position,” he said. “It’s also legitimate to feel that terrorism is not sufficient grounds for handing over basic privacy rights.” After recently being asked to analyze the cost benefits of the revelation that companies are sharing information about private citizens with the federal government, MacAskill simply said: “Snowden just wanted a debate on the extent of which privacy had been eroded by surveillance. We have heard that debate; it’s still ongoing in the U.S., and we’ve had it around the world. To me that seems to outweigh any of the damage caused.” MacAskill concluded the event with a quote from Eric Holder, who served as U.S. attorney general during the Snowden affair. “‘What Snowden did was inappropriate and illegal,” said MacAskill, quoting what Holder had said when he left office. “‘We can certainly argue about the way Snowden did what he did, but I think he actually performed a public service.’” Agreeing with this opinion, MacAskill continued: “Snowden is a whistleblower, but I think he’s an American hero, and I think he deserves amnesty.”
Specialist Speaks About Child Soldiers
HIS SPRING, Manhattan College welcomed Columbia University professor Michael Wessells, Ph.D., to discuss child soldiering as a global problem in his lecture, Reintegrating Former Child Soldiers: Issues of Identity, Gender, and Community. Sponsored by the College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, the lecture sought to inform attendees of the issues caused by forcibly enlisting children to fight in third-world countries and then later assimilating them into society with few resources once wars are over.
“The children are subject to imminent danger — the violence, the trauma and the loss of rights ...” With constant political, economic and social strife occurring in numerous underprivileged countries, there is often the threat of civil war. As conflicts arise, children in countries such as Syria, Sudan, and Colombia, are recruited or forced into warfare, he explains. Children are taken from their families at gunpoint or are subject to other terror tactics. Some even voluntarily join militant groups because they believe
fighting will offer them power, money and excitement — a seemingly better life than the abuse or poverty in which they currently live. “The children are subject to imminent danger — the violence, the trauma and the loss of rights,” Wessells says. The U.N. Peacekeeping Operations’ Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs work to remove children from such dangerous situations and help them to assimilate into daily life. However, Wessells says that DDR programs do not provide enough aid. There is a shocking stigma attached to being a former child soldier, especially for women, he explains. Upon their return to society, women and children are isolated, have difficulty finding spouses, lack money and basic resources, and are often harassed. He finds that the key to the success of these programs is to listen directly to children and women in order to identify and then meet their needs. Wessells, a longtime psychosocial and child protection specialist, carried out an action research project in rural Africa with girls to work toward improving their post-war situations. The girls completed a six-month bonding process to discuss their problems and arrived at the mutual conclusion that they all desired one thing: money. Thus, Wessells and his team helped the girls to find cooperative social actions through non-government organizations in their communities. During the course of two years, the girls received business training, learned animal husbandry skills, and started group businesses. Combined with psychosocial support, the girls’ social and self-care skills flourished, and they were more socially accepted, as they were viewed as positive and productive members of the community. “The voice of the young people needs to be
the guiding force in reintegration,” he says. “There’s a lot of resilience, a lot of hope.” Wessells’ work proves it is possible to help former child soldiers return to society. A sense of mutual reciprocity can be built within affected communities, provided all members’ voices have a chance to be heard, there is full participation, and psychosocial support is available. Global awareness and discussion of child soldiering is simply the first step in the aid process. Wessells is currently a professor in the program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University. He is former co-chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Having conducted widespread research on the effects of war and political violence on children, Wessells has authored Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection. He also frequently advises U.N. agencies, governments and donors on issues of child protection and psychosocial support, including in communities and schools.
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Jaspers in the Big Leagues
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(Bottom) Photo of Tom Cosgrove: Judy Simpson and the Tri-City Dust Devils
RESH OFF BACK-TO-BACK TRIPS to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Baseball Tournament, Manhattan’s baseball program saw two former student-athletes begin their professional careers this past summer. Left-handed pitcher Tom Cosgrove celebrated his 21st birthday by hearing his named called by the San Diego Padres in the 12th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft. Shortly after, Cosgrove inked a contract with the Padres; forgoing his final year of eligibility and heading west to start his professional career. Last year, Cosgrove earned Second Team All-MAAC honors as a junior and matched the single season record, with a league-leading 105 strikeouts, previously held by 2006 MAAC Pitcher of the Year and former Detroit Tiger/ Milwaukee Brewer farmhand Chris Cody ’07. Cosgrove finished the season with a 5-7 record with five complete games and a 4.38 ERA over 84.1 innings. The hardthrowing lefty finished his Manhattan career sixth alltime in Jasper history with 225 strikeouts. The Staten Island native made his professional debut on June 26, striking out three batters and allowing just one hit over 2.1 scoreless innings. Cosgrove was later promoted within the Padres organization to the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League and finished up the summer with a 3.22 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 44.2 innings. He has since returned to Manhattan for the fall semester to continue his studies and will work out with a familiar Jasper — Cody. Cody, who made it to the Triple-A ranks, was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in November. Although his name wasn’t called in the draft, Jose Carrera ’17 realized his professional dreams when he agreed to a free agent contract with the New York Yankees on June 30, and became the first former Jasper to play for the legendary organization since Joe Gallagher ’37 was one of the “Four Joes” on the 1939 roster of the New York Yankees along with Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy and Joe Gordon. When the Cuban-born infielder, affectionately known as “Chiqui” by the Manhattan community, received his deal, he also received some acclaim in the New York Post due to his stature as the smallest player in professional baseball at 5-foot-2. Carrera hit .266 in his final season at Manhattan, including .299 during MAAC play, with seven doubles, two triples and 11 stolen bases. Down the stretch, the Florida native batted .309 with 12 runs and six doubles while hitting safely in 14 of his last 16 games as the Jaspers qualified for the MAAC Tournament on the final day of the season.
He played his first year for the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Yankees and hit .276 (34-of-123) with 20 runs, six doubles, a triple, home run and 19 RBIs while stealing 11 bases. Carrera saved his best for last, though, as he crushed a home run in the deciding game of the GCL Championship series to lead the Yankees to the team title. The duo now gives the College 41 former student-athletes that have signed contracts with a Major League organization since 1884. Additionally, they are the first former Manhattan student-athletes to be signed by a Major League organization since Anthony Vega was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. If Cosgrove or Carrera were to make the Major Leagues, they also would become the first Jaspers to get called up to the “Show” since Mike Parisi ’14 realized his dreams with the St. Louis Cardinals. Parisi was selected by St. Louis in the ninth round of the 2004 MLB Draft and was called up by the Cardinals in 2008. He would go on to pitch a total of 12 games in the Major Leagues. Despite not reaching the Major Leagues, Nick Derba ’07 is continuing to leave his mark on baseball. After being drafted in the 31st round by St. Louis in 2007, he spent six years in the minor leagues and reached Triple-A before retiring to pursue a coaching career. That decision has proven to be a good one, as Derba was named as the interim head coach at the University of Maine prior to the 2017 season and then tabbed as the permanent coach at the conclusion of the season.
THE BOYS OF SUMMER With Jose Carrera ’17 and Tom Cosgrove joining the professional ranks this summer, there is a good chance that Fabian Pena ’19 will follow in their footsteps and become the next Jasper to sign with a Major League organization in 2018. Pena, who started his junior year this fall, was selected as the top MAAC pro prospect prior to last season. This past summer, Pena played in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Chatham Anglers. The town of Chatham developed a spot in popular culture when the 2001 movie Summer Catch was loosely based on the town and the league. Playing in arguably the top summer league in the country, Pena more than lived up to the hype as he batted .275 with nine runs, four doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs against some of the top college pitchers in the Division I ranks. In addition to Pena, 16 other student-athletes played baseball in wood-bat leagues this summer. Stephen Arntsen ’18 and Brendan Bisset ’18 both played for the Seaford Mariners in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, while the foursome of Matt Forlow ’17, Matt Jones ’19, Nick Massa ’20 and Ian Scheuer ’20 played for the Saugerties Stallions in the Perfect Game Collegiate League.
SPORTSSHORTS ACADEMIC HONORS Four teams were acknowledged for their success in the classroom with NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Awards. The golf, softball, women’s basketball and women’s cross country programs were honored after ranking among the top 10 percent nationally in the multiyear APR, which is the NCAA’s real-time measure of academic achievement for all Division I teams. This was the golf team’s fourth straight Public Recognition Award, while the softball team was recognized for the third consecutive time. The women’s basketball squad received the award for the second year in a row, and the women’s cross country team earned its first citation. MAAC HALL OF FAME Former Manhattan basketball stars Donna Seybold ’90 and Larry Lembo ’65 were inducted into the MAAC Honor Roll at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 16. One of three players in program history to play on two MAAC Championship teams (1987, 1990), Seybold is the only one to score in two NCAA Tournament games. She was named MVP of the 1990 MAAC Tournament after tallying 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds against Holy Cross in the championship game. The 1989-90 Metropolitan Player of the Year, Seybold was the fifth 1,000-point scorer in program history, and currently ranks ninth with 1,217 career points. She was elected to the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. Lembo graduated as Manhattan’s all-time leading scorer (1,443), a distinction he held for 13 years, and his career scoring average of 21.9 points per game is second-best in program history. He averaged a school-record 25.7 points per contest in 1963-64, then tallied 23.5 points per outing during the 1964-65 campaign. The Jaspers would reach the quarterfinals of the NIT that season, defeating Texas Western in the first round before losing to Villanova. Lembo was selected by the New York Knicks in the fourth round of the 1965 NBA Draft before going on to a distinguished career as a college basketball official. He was inducted into the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. VICTORY SCHOLARS Caitlin Bricketto ’15, ’17 (MBA) was chosen to participate in the Dubai Business Internships Victory Scholars Program, a 10-month business training in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Bricketto, a former Jaspers tennis player, will spend an academic year in Dubai, where she will gain an immersive knowledge of international business and build commercial skill sets, while also helping to shape initiatives to encourage participation and engagement in youth sports. She was nominated by the Sports Changes Life Foundation, a Belfast-based charity that founded the Victory Scholars program as a means to give elite-level U.S. college athletes the opportunity to complete graduate degrees while using the power of sport to transform young peoples’ lives through community involvement. 26 N fall 2017
ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA Stefan Hoeller ’17 was named to the 2016-17 Academic All-America Division I Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Third Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America. A six-time MAAC AllAcademic Team selection, Hoeller graduated from the College in May 2017 with a degree in finance. He is the 37th Jasper to earn Academic All-America honors, and the first member of the men’s track and field team to be recognized since 2003-04. Hoeller won the 400-meter hurdles at the 2017 MAAC Outdoor Championships. RED, WHITE AND BLUE Emma Kaishian ’19 of the women’s lacrosse team won a silver medal with the USA D1 Elite team at the 2017 World Cup Festival in Surrey, England. Held in conjunction with the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, the World Cup Festival brought together teams from the United States, England, Germany, Ireland, Wales and Japan. The D1 Elite squad, which was made up of players primarily from the Northeast, went 10-1-1 in the tournament, with its only loss coming from England in the championship game. NEW WEBSITE The Athletics department has partnered with SIDEARM Sports on a redesigned GoJaspers.com, which launched on Aug. 1. The new site is compatible with any device and includes an improved video player, as all live and on-demand Jasper Sports Network content is now available free of charge. In addition, the MAAC has entered into a conference-wide relationship with SIDEARM Sports, allowing fans to view live games (for free) from other conference members, as well as MAAC Championship events. SIDEARM Sports is the nation’s leading digital provider, serving more than 900 partners that include nearly 150 NCAA Division I institutions. THE FEW, THE PROUD In May, assistant women’s basketball coach Sahar Nusseibeh participated in the United States Marine Corps Coaches Leadership Workshop at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. During the threeday workshop, the coaches were immersed in military lifestyle and experienced the same training candidates undergo to become Marines (including the world-famous Marine Corps obstacle course). They also attended classroom sessions on leadership, and toured the National Museum of the Marine Corps, where they received certificates for participation.
FUNFACTS NEW STAFF AND PROMOTIONS In July, Molly Belk was introduced as the Jaspers’ new head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach. A 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Belk represented the Golden Gophers at three NCAA Championships, and qualified for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. She received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award as a senior before beginning her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota. Most recently, Belk was the lead coach for Asphalt Green United Aquatics in Manhattan. Whitney Swab was named associate director of athletics, marketing, fan and donor engagement in August. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Swab comes to Manhattan after two and a half years at UMass Lowell, where she was the associate director of athletic advancement. She previously spent six years at the MAAC and twice served as assistant tournament director for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament games. Brandon Kuhn has joined the men’s basketball staff as the program’s strength and conditioning coach and director of operations. He spent the past two years as the director of strength and conditioning at Coppin State University, where he oversaw all facets of athletic performance. Callan Taylor has been promoted to assistant coach with the women’s basketball program after serving as the Jaspers’ director of operations in 2016-17. Brooklyn Cartwright has been hired as director of operations for the 2017-18 campaign. She spent last season as a graduate assistant coach at Lenior-Rhyne University, helping the Bears to a 17-12 record. FACILITY UPGRADES Both Gaelic Park and Draddy Gymnasium underwent extensive renovations during the summer. The turf field at Gaelic Park was completely replaced, while improvements also were made to the locker rooms. In Draddy Gymnasium, the basketball floor was rebuilt, and new bleachers were installed. Both the basketball and volleyball courts were redesigned, as well. In addition, the facility was rewired to allow for future ESPN3 broadcasts.
anniversary of the men’s soccer program, which became a varsity team in 1967
hits allowed by softball pitcher Nicole Williams ’20 against Saint Peter’s on April 12. It was the first no-hitter in program history.
pick used by the San Diego Padres to select Manhattan pitcher Tom Cosgrove in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft
school records broken by Alexandra Hutzler ’18 at the 2017 MAAC Swimming and Diving Championships
wins by the softball team in 2017, tying the single-season program record
consecutive years in which the Manhattan track and field team has had at least one athlete qualify for the NCAA Championships
finish for the men’s golf team at the 2017 MAAC Championships, the Jaspers’ second straight top-three showing
teams (golf, softball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country) that received NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards for their success in the classroom
Manhattan baseball players that took part in six different collegiate summer leagues this summer
conference games for the men’s and women’s basketball teams in 2017-18, a reduction of two from the 2016-17 season
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Baseball THE BASEBALL TEAM USED A LATE-SEASON CHARGE to qualify for the MAAC Tournament for the second straight season and the third time in the past four years. Needing a big performance down the stretch, the Jaspers went 5-2 during the final two weeks of the season, highlighted by a three-game sweep of Saint Peter’s that clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the year. Manhattan entered the MAAC Tournament in Niagara Falls, N.Y., as the No. 5 seed and drew local rival Iona in the first round. After dropping a 5-1 decision to the Gaels, the Jaspers saw their season come to an end the following day with a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat against Rider. Junior Tom Cosgrove became the first Manhattan player in five years to be drafted when he was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 12th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. He was later joined in the professional ranks by senior Jose Carrera, who inked a free agent deal with the New York Yankees. Cosgrove was named to the All-MAAC Second Team after matching the single-season school record with 105 strikeouts. He also tallied five wins and four complete games while compiling a 4.38 ERA over 84.1 innings pitched. Cosgrove earned MAAC Pitcher of the Week honors twice during the season. Sophomore Fabian Pena was a unanimous choice to the All-MAAC First Team after posting a .330 batting average and a school-record Fabian Pena ’19 24 doubles. He added three home runs and 32 RBIs. Junior Matt Forlow, meanwhile, hit .305 with 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 30 RBIs to earn Second Team All-MAAC honors. Also turning in strong seasons were senior Joey Rocchietti and junior Brendan Bisset. Rocchietti tallied five wins, 74 strikeouts (against just 15 walks) and a 4.77 ERA over a team-leading 88.2 innings pitched. Bisset was the Jaspers’ top hitter, notching a .335 batting average and 13 extra-base hits. In addition, seven Jaspers were recognized with places on the MAAC All-Academic Team.
THE MEN’S LACROSSE TEAM continued to show improvement in its second season under head coach Drew Kelleher. The Jaspers posted a pair of thrilling double-overtime wins against Wagner at Delaware, and Manhattan dominated NJIT on Senior Night. Sophomore Parker Giarratana paced the squad in scoring for the second straight year. He ranked fourth in the MAAC with 29 goals and 2.07 goals per game. Senior goalkeeper Michael Zingaro turned in another strong season, as well. His 12.14 saves per contest were the second-most in the MAAC and ninth-most in the nation. Junior transfer Joseph Bressingham, meanwhile, collected 5.69 ground balls per outing to lead the MAAC and rank 19th nationally. Manhattan also had a strong corps of newcomers, with 19 different players making their debuts during the 2017 campaign, and freshmen accounting for more than half of the team’s scoring. Freshmen Trevor Pelletier and Brandon Grinnell both earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors during the season, and were joined on the MAAC All-Rookie Team by C.J. Scharf. In addition, the Jaspers enjoyed another successful year in the classroom, and placed nine student-athletes on the MAAC All-Academic Team. Michael Zingaro ’17
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Golf FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, the golf team registered a top-three finish at the MAAC Championships. Led by junior Connor O’Rourke, the Jaspers posted a team score of 918 (+54), which was eight strokes off the pace. O’Rourke ended up tied for eighth after carding a 226 (+10) to earn All-MAAC honors. It marked the second straight season in which Manhattan had a golfer named to the All-MAAC team. O’Rourke paced the Jaspers in scoring five times during the spring season. Junior Charles Seward, meanwhile, won the Monmouth Invitational, which made him only the third player in program history to claim an individual title. The Jaspers also honored the Rev. George Hill, the College’s longtime chaplain who passed away in September 2016, by renaming their annual fall tournament the Father George Hill Collegiate Invitational. The inaugural event was held on Sept. 25-26 at the Split Rock Golf Course.
In addition, Manhattan was recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America with a selection to its All-Academic Team. The Jaspers also received an NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Award, which goes to those that finish in the top 10 percent of the annual multiyear APR, for the fourth consecutive year. Individually, Seward represented Manhattan on the MAAC All-Academic Team. Connor O’Rourke ’18
IN HEAD COACH KATIE MCCONNELL’S FIRST SEASON at the helm, the women’s lacrosse team achieved its highest win total since 2009. The Jaspers earned a pair of conference victories and just missed qualifying for the MAAC Tournament, finishing seventh in the final MAAC standings. Manhattan’s first win of the season (and McConnell’s first as head coach) was a dominant 16-3 performance against Saint Mary’s on March 12. It was the Jaspers’ highest goal output in two seasons, as well as their largest margin of victory since 2014. Manhattan also earned a pair of non-conference road wins at LIU Brooklyn and Sacred Heart. On April 12, the Jaspers notched a thrilling, 10-9 victory over rival Iona on Senior Night at Gaelic Park. Sophomore Molly Fitzpatrick scored 41 seconds into double overtime to give Manhattan the victory. The Jaspers then earned a 15-12 triumph at Siena behind five goals from junior Kara Hodapp on April 15. Fitzpatrick led the team with 34 goals, 19 assists and 53 points, while senior Darby Nolan and junior Sarah Lang contributed 26 goals apiece. Sophomore Emma Kaishian was named to the All-MAAC Second Team after pacing the Jaspers with 47 ground balls. Freshmen Emily Sandford and Hailey Siemek, meanwhile, both earned places on the MAAC All-Rookie Team. A total of 10 Jaspers earned places on the MAAC All-Academic Team, while junior Katie Tucker was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Academic Honor Roll. Manhattan was also chosen as an IWLCA Academic Honor Squad for the second straight season, and the Jaspers received the IWLCA’s Team Community Awareness Award for their community service efforts. Darby Nolan ’17
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Lauren Pitney ’19
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THE SOFTBALL TEAM WON 34 GAMES — equaling the single-season program record set in 1993. It was the Jaspers’ second straight 30-win campaign, and the fifth in school history. Manhattan also made its fourth straight appearance in the MAAC Tournament. The team was paced by its strong pitching all season long. The Jaspers led the league with a program-record 12 shutouts, including four straight from March 29-April 2. That shutout string came in the midst of a 20-game stretch from March 24-April 19, when Manhattan went 17-3. On April 12, freshman Nicole Williams tossed the first no-hitter in program history against Saint Peter’s. She struck out 14 Peacocks in that game and finished the year with 122 in 109.2 innings pitched. Williams led the league in opponents’ batting average (.180) and ranked second in the MAAC with a 2.04 ERA. She would go on to earn MAAC Rookie of the Year honors, and became just the second Jasper ever to receive the award, while also being selected to the AllNortheast Region Second Team. Junior Briana Matazinsky finished third in the MAAC in both wins (15) and ERA (2.09). She was named Second Team All-MAAC as a pitcher and also earned First Team All-MAAC honors as a utility player. She served as Manhattan’s right fielder or designated player when not pitching and put together a .268 batting average with nine doubles and 33 runs scored. Matazinsky was also selected to the MAAC All-Tournament Team after allowing just one unearned run over five innings of relief in the Jaspers’ 4-3 elimination round victory over Siena. Matazinsky was joined on the MAAC All-Tournament Team by sophomore Lauren Pitney, who was also named First Team All-MAAC and Third Team AllNortheast Region. Pitney hit .324 and belted a team-best seven home runs, including a three-run blast against Siena in the MAAC Tournament. She also led the squad with 37 RBIs. Junior Shannon Puthe earned Second Team All-MAAC honors after scoring 50 runs and tying the single-season program record with 27 stolen bases. She also led the league with seven triples. Sophomore Alexa Dawid and junior Victoria Ross placed second and third in the MAAC in steals, as the Jaspers swiped a program-record 92 bases and ranked 24th nationally with 1.69 stolen bases per game. Freshman Christine Gebhardt, meanwhile, started all 55 games and was a unanimous selection to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. She crushed three home runs and tied for second on the team with 29 RBIs while playing stellar defense at first base. Seniors Stephanie Reinhardt and Jenn Vazquez also started every contest and finished their careers as Manhattan’s all-time leaders with 207 games played. Reinhardt never missed a start in her four years and played all 1,383.2 defensive innings at shortstop during that span. Six Jaspers were recognized for their efforts in the classroom with selections to the MAAC All-Academic Team, and Matazinsky earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District honors for the second straight season. Manhattan also received its third consecutive NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Award, which goes to teams that rank among the top 10 percent nationally in the multiyear APR.
Outdoor Track and Field JUNIOR LOVE LITZELL AND SENIOR HAYDEN CLARKE represented the outdoor track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Lexington, Kentucky. It was Litzell’s third NCAA Preliminaries appearance in the hammer throw, while Clarke qualified in the long jump for the second straight year. Litzell also led Love Litzell ’18 the Jaspers at the IC4A Outdoor Championships, and took the gold medal for the third time in his career. Clarke added a third place showing in the long jump, while senior Lina Bengtson placed fourth in the discus at the women’s ECAC Championships. Manhattan made the ECAC final in the women’s 4x100-meter relay at the Penn Relays. The quartet of junior Paige Chapman, senior Kathy Cadet, freshman Niasia Boone and junior Dayzondra Gonzalez ended up fourth overall with a time of 46.95 seconds. The Jaspers also set a school record in the men’s shuttle hurdles at the Penn Relays, as senior Stefan Hoeller, freshman Conner Oldt, sophomore Sean
Mirando and senior Dennis Eriksson registered a 1:00.11 time to finish third in the Championship of America. The school record also fell in the women’s 5,000 meters. Sophomore Lisa Fajardo notched a time of 17:03.97 at the Larry Ellis Invitational to break the 29-year-old mark by nearly two seconds. At the Metropolitan Championships, the men took second, and the women’s team secured third place. Junior Ire Bozovicar finished first in both the shot put and discus, while Litzell (hammer throw) and senior Fabian Mueller (100 meters) also earned Metropolitan titles. On the women’s side, Bengtson (discus), junior Kelly Gorman (1,500 meters), sophomore Ellinor Persson (long jump) and senior Marisa Robbins (pole vault) were crowned Metropolitan champions. Both the men’s and women’s teams then placed third at the annual MAAC Outdoor Championships. Four men — Clarke (long jump), Eriksson (triple jump), Hoeller (400-meter hurdles) and Litzell (hammer throw) — claimed MAAC titles, while Chapman (200 meters) and Robbins (pole vault) earned conference championships on the women’s side. Freshman Brenton Foster, meanwhile, was named Men’s Rookie of the Meet for Field Events. A total of 35 Jaspers (18 women, 17 men) were recognized for their success in the classroom with selections to the MAAC All-Academic Team. Both squads also received U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team honors. Individually, Clarke and Litzell were chosen to the USTFCCCA AllAcademic Team. Hoeller earned a place on the Academic All-America Third Team.
(From right to left) Allison Eichorn ’20, Maggie Tebbetts ’18, Meredith Domaleski ’20, Shannon Forty ’20 and Amy Sniffen ’18
IN ITS SECOND SEASON AS A VARSITY PROGRAM, the rowing team competed in 11 events, including a number of prestigious regattas, such as the Head of the Passaic, Head of the Schuylkill, Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta, and Spring Mets. At the 2017 MAAC Championships, the Jaspers placed ninth as a team. Manhattan was paced at the MAAC Championships by the Varsity Four. The freshman quartet of Allison Eichhorn, Elizabeth McCabe, Meredith Domaleski and Shannon Forty, as well as their junior coxswain Amy Sniffen, posted the third-fastest time in the preliminaries, and then finished fifth in the grand final with an 8:59.137 clocking. Meanwhile, the First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight both took ninth place, with the First Varsity beating rival Iona by nearly 40 seconds. The First Varsity consisted of senior coxswain Scarlett Salinas, seniors Lorraine Piccorelli and Kathryn Watroba, junior Maggie Tebbetts and sophomores Rebecca Arcomano, Grace Murphy, Phoebe Costello, Jillian Rider and Lisa Dominguez. The Second Varsity included freshmen Isabel Shirron, Shannon Colford, Jaclyn Leighton, Zoe Nikolopoulos, Naomi Uy, and Katie Sexton, as well as sophomores Jeanette Burke and Leah McGovern, and freshman coxswain Erin McWilliams. It was also a successful year in the classroom for the Jaspers. Manhattan placed 11 student-athletes on the MAAC All-Academic Team. MANHATTAN.EDU N 31
oug by Christine L
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U L A GH I NG
their way to the top Manhattan College students involved in the extracurricular improvisational comedy troupe Scatterbomb are utilizing the social prowess they develop in its community to excel both personally and professionally.
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N A SUNDAY AFTERNOON, shortly after beginning his freshman year at Manhattan, Mike Lepetit ’06 trekked to the East Village to watch his first improvisational (improv) comedy performance, held at the iconic Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre. He enjoyed it so much that in the weeks following, Lepetit and his Jasper Hall floor-mates began to routinely attend the weekend show, which has become known throughout the years for often featuring famous faces. On one occasion, Lepetit can remember hearing the founder of UCB, renowned comedian Amy Poehler, call into the audience, “Raise your hand if you’ve been to more than 100 shows here!” (They had.) Other times, they watched Mike Myers, Tina Fey, and Alec Baldwin perform onstage. During the long hours spent waiting in line to gain entrance to the venue commonly referred to as UCB East, the College friends began considering a possibility: what if they created an opportunity on campus for students to practice sketch and improv comedy? Their idea materialized later in the semester into what is now Scatterbomb, a mostly student-run organization that counts Mike Scollins ’05, a current writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers who has also written for Saturday Night Live, Funny or Die, and MTV, as one of its early members. Soon after its formation in early 2004, the group participated in two comedy events: the now-defunct Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Theatre Festival and the National College Comedy Festival (ComFest, for short). The latter is still held at Skidmore College and has since been attended by Manhattan teams for more than a decade. Thinking back to their first few shows performed in Jasper Lounge and in Thomas Hall’s Black Box Theater, Lepetit remembers: “We began to hear people talking about their plans for Friday night, as how they would revolve around our Scatterbomb performance. [The hype] was something we had done ourselves, and something that the College took a chance on and allowed us to do.”
DEVELOPING A SOCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL SKILL SET Although a few things have changed since the mid-2000s, like the location of performances (now in Hayden 100), others have remained constant. The rapport that’s built during the execution of every comedy skit, bit, and sequence Scatterbomb-ers act out onstage is still distinct, infectious and a little off-kilter, much like the art form itself, which is largely unscripted and created spontaneously by performers. Shows are formatted to resemble that of the popular comedy television show Whose Line is it Anyway? and begin with the same prompt to the audience. “Give us a word to start with!” members say, and, based on the response, construct scenes around it. Throughout each academic year, Scatterbomb hosts a range of four to five shows that have recently begun to include one “bit show” — consisting of a series of skits that surround a common theme. In April, use of this format resulted in a “10 Minute Movie” starring Will Lamparelli ’17, Kevin Donald ’19 and Madison Blecki ’18, who spent that time summarizing the plot of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and impersonating several of the film’s characters. At the end of the spring semester, the improv-ers also host Scatterprom, an annual tradition that was begun by the group’s original members. (If you’re wondering whether the event features students donning formal wear on stage, as the name would suggest, then you’d be correct.)
Together they remain a thriving cult community that affords students the opportunity to simultaneously fit in and stand out, laugh with abandon, and boost confidence and trust, two fundamental qualities for personal and professional growth. “I’m a musician [in the Manhattan College Jazz Band], and nowhere else is it so important that you trust the people you’re performing with to have your back. That’s what’s special about improv [comedy]. You immediately need to connect in that way,” says Donald, who joined Scatterbomb his freshman year. At the time, he was looking to make friends, so his resident assistant in Chrysostom Hall, Sam Martin ’16, recommended that he audition. At the time, Martin was also a member. Two years later, Donald remains actively involved in Scatterbomb and the Jazz Band, and has contributed to the College’s Summer Research Program. This past summer, he was recipient of a Branigan Scholars Grant, which helped support a project he collaborated on with a faculty adviser that studied aspects of Japanese media. Off campus, Donald travels downtown to perform with Buscemi, an improv team of College alumni that hosts a monthly show in Ridgewood, Queens. To rehearse, the group convenes each week at an agreed-upon space somewhere in Manhattan. In addition to Donald, Buscemi is comprised of Martin, Carolyn Egan, R.J. Liberto, and Drew Murphy, who all graduated in 2016, as well as Gavin Sass ’15 and Tom Englehart ’14. Each of them describe the mental release they feel through comedy, and the community they built during participation in Scatterbomb, as a tool that helped them fine-tune certain interpersonal skills. Sass for instance, a former English major at the College, currently serves as a digital strategist for the multimedia agency OMD Worldwide. He’s found improv to be a great exercise for improving communication. “A lot of times you talk to people, and the whole time they’re not listening because they’re thinking of ways they can talk about themselves,” he says. “Improv is a space where you can truly be present together with other people. It allows you to actually be heard.” At this year’s Scatterprom, Buscemi hopped on stage with members of the College group for a special alumni jam that allowed the two groups to perform together as one. They also attended the campus event in a row specially reserved for alumni.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 33
… AND IN CLASSROOMS OF THEIR OWN
Egan transferred to Manhattan College from Stony Brook University her sophomore year, but she began laying the foundation for an eventual career in comedy before then. As a freshman, she would travel to New York City from Long Island to take Improv 101 classes at UCB, where she landed in the sales department as an intern during her senior year at the College. The former English major continues to work for the organization on Saturday evenings. This allows her to attend shows at the East Village venue for free, connect with the comedians, and see what goes on backstage. Apart from her own performing role in Buscemi, Egan is also part of a team affiliated with The Tank, a theater in midtown. And she isn’t the only one getting her feet wet in the entertainment industry. Recently graduated Scatterbomb member Lamparelli was a general production intern last year at Late Night with Seth Meyers. There, he was on a team of 22 interns who learned about production by assisting with varying duties on set, about leadership, and how the social and academic knowledge base he amassed in College could translate into professional success. Of the many skills he fine-tuned in college, Lamparelli points to confidence as being one that was particularly enhanced through improv comedy. “It used to be nerve-wracking to go on stage in front of a room full of people, but now, when I enter a new situation on stage or in my daily life, I find that I am more relaxed than I used to be. Scatterbomb is a special thing, and it will be among my fondest memories of college,” he says.
Liberto, who began doing improv during his freshman year and now performs with Buscemi, began planting his roots in the Bronx after graduation, and has since incorporated William Shakespeare’s timeless phrase, “All the world’s a stage,” into his day job as a 7thgrade social studies teacher in the Co-op City section of the Bronx. “I basically use improv every day in the classroom. Working with 12-year-olds, you never really know what you’re going to get, so it’s nice to be equipped to quickly deal with those sorts of challenges, while sticking to a lesson plan,” he says. Liberto earned dual bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and history. He still lives in the Bronx, but now in Morris Park, and teaches at Equality Charter School. Englehart, a former education major at the College who works as a 9th-grade English teacher in Mineola, N.Y., said he never would have considered a career in the education field had he not been practicing comedy on a regular basis. There are numerous parallels between the two, he says. For one, his English classes usually contain 30-40 students, which roughly resembles a small audience. And two, he always needs to be prepared for the unexpected. “Improvising trains you to be on your toes. In a similar way, a teacher must also be able to take advantage of unplanned opportunities as they happen,” he says. More than a decade after graduating from the College with dual bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and English, Lepetit has continued to adapt the knowledge he gained through Scatterbomb and his classes seamlessly into his adult life. He is a teacher at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy (MS/HS 141), and has remained in
34 N fall 2017
Photos by Brian Hatton and Patrick Faccas ’17
CAREERS IN COMEDY
close contact with many of his college friends, with whom he still performs in the Riverdale area — just not in the way of comedy. Together, Lepetit, Alex Koveos ’09, Christopher McShane ’06, Peter Smith ’07, Russ Stevens ’06, John Tiglias ’07, and Adam Wisnieski ’00 make up the nearby alternative rock band, the Lightning Crabs. In this capacity and in his professional life, one aspect of Lepetit’s life has not changed since his Scatterbomb days: he’s still got an audience. “Today I was reading the book Walk Two Moons aloud to my students, and the kids were all laughing, and complimenting my ability to act out each scene and do the different voices. I thought to myself, ‘I still got it!’” he says. In many ways, the go-with-the-flow nature described by members of the improv community is similar to the means in which people achieve different goals throughout their lives — you can plan for them, but only to an extent. The rest just kind of happens, and you have to go with it. In that regard, Scatterbomb succeeds in preparing students for the future. Rocco Marinaccio, Ph.D., an English professor at the College, has served as the faculty adviser for Scatterbomb since 2008. Since then, he’s watched members come and go but has continued to track their personal and professional accolades. “When I see the kinds of lives and careers the Scatterbomb-ers have led after graduating, it just confirms once again the virtues of the performing arts as part of a college education,” he says. “In their way, they represent the best and brightest of Manhattan College students. They are creative thinkers, they are risk-takers, and they work tremendously well together. And they do so with tremendous passion.”
(Top) R.J. Liberto ’16 and Gavin Sass ’15 perform a boisterous ode to the animated comedy film The Boss Baby to the tune of classic pop hit, Black Betty, as an opener to Buscemi’s monthly show in Ridgewood, Queens. Entitled “Fast Talking Nonsense,” the recurring open mic event invites musicians and comedians in New York City to take the stage, and features the improv comedy team of Manhattan College students and alumni as emcee. (Bottom) Scatterbomb members get silly during an alumni jam at this year’s Scatterprom, an annual tradition that celebrates the end of the spring semester.
“Improv is a space where you can truly be present together with other people. It allows you to actually be heard.”
–Gavin Sass ’15
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BUILDING BRIDGES Connecting Jaspers Alumni contribute to the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the largest bridge in New York State history.
Story by Kristen Cuppek
Photo by Josh Cuppek
36 N fall 2017
T OFTEN HAS BEEN SAID THAT MANHATTAN IS
THE COLLEGE THAT BUILT NEW YORK CITY. With all the alumni engineers working in every facet of the industry, represented in so many companies within the metropolitan area, and involved in seemingly every major project in the five boroughs and beyond, thereâ€™s a definite truth to that statement. Now, Manhattan engineers have yet a new major project, a new milestone to add to their sky-scraping list of accomplishments. With more than 50 alumni working in almost every capacity, it can practically be said that Manhattan is the college that built the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, or at least has a sizable stake in it. This new bridge, which will fully open to traffic in 2018, replaces the existing Tappan Zee Bridge
with a 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge across the Hudson River between Westchester and Rockland counties. To say that the project has been newsworthy or highly anticipated for those living in the area, would be an understatement. The $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. Located fewer than 20 miles north of New York City, the cable-stayed span crosses one of the widest parts of the river and will be the largest bridge in New York State history. While those involved in the bridge were undoubtedly excited to be part of such an impressive project, many will say that working with fellow alumni made it all the more special, and made them even prouder to be a Jasper. Here are just a few of their stories.
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Tom McGuinness ’90
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Photo credit (bottom): New York State Thruway Authority
TOM MCGUINNESS ’90 was director of engineering services for the New York State Thruway Authority, the agency overseeing the building of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, when he was asked to join a few different committees that were working on the environmental impact statement for the project. He became increasingly involved in putting together the procurement documents and requests for proposals, and in 2013, when the Authority finalized the selection of the design-build team, he joined the project full time and took on a new role. As construction compliance engineer for the bridge, it’s his job to manage the construction. McGuinness is responsible for making sure the work is in compliance with the plans, specifications and standards that have been developed and under the provisions of the contract, as well as reviewing schedules to keep work on track. On any given day, he reviews the daily schedule and coordinates with the design-builder to ensure construction operations will be completed safely and without affecting the New York State Thruway, MetroNorth Railroad or the Hudson River shipping channel. He also reviews work plans, proposed design changes and tracks the progress. “Lately, a lot of our focus has been on the project schedule, with respect to the traffic shift we just completed, ensuring that outstanding items of work were completed in time for that milestone we just passed,” he says, referring to the shift of Rockland-bound traffic to the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge on Aug. 26, after nearly four years of construction. McGuinness, who began his career with the New York State Department of Transportation, has served as project engineer for a number of major transportation construction projects in the Hudson Valley. Yet, he found that the sheer scope and immense magnitude, not to mention the fast pace, of the new bridge came with some equally big challenges, especially as a number of major components were fabricated and assembled away from the project site. For example, the concrete components for the bridge’s substructure, large sections for the pile caps and the pier caps were being constructed as far away as Virginia, and structural steel girders were being fabricated in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. There were a lot of moving parts to coordinate once all of these pieces started to arrive on site. “It was just the pace and how spread out the project was, tracking work from so far away,” McGuinness explains. “The days are fast-paced. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of challenges every day. But I don’t think I’d trade it for anything else.” Because as grueling as those challenges were, they pale in comparison to the highlights he experienced working on this project. “Honestly, the big highlight was last weekend [Aug. 26], when we hit a very big milestone in shifting the first traffic onto the new westbound bridge,” he says. “Over the course of the project, there have been many success stories in which we were able to mitigate potential schedule impacts in order to maintain our aggressive schedule.”
As construction compliance engineer, Tom McGuinness ’90 oversaw the building of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. While the fast pace and multitude of moving parts were challenging, he couldn’t have imagined being anywhere else.
Tony Canale ’94
TONY CANALE ’94, a geotechnical engineer who works for Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, had been consulting for the New York State Department of Transportation on potential alternatives for improvements to the Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor, which included studying rehabilitation alternatives, as well as replacement bridge and tunnel alternatives. Once a bridge was selected as the preferred alternative, Canale became the owner’s engineer for foundation design oversight. As part of this work, he and his colleagues reviewed design submissions for conformance with structural requirements in the early stages, and then as construction ramped up, he would go out into the field and provide oversight, for example, of the pile driving, and resolve any comments on the design in time for construction. For Canale, who is also an adjunct professor in Manhattan’s civil and environmental engineering department, the major challenge on this project was also the biggest highlight: the foundation design. “During that whole process of reviewing the designs, it was a fairly unique experience — it’s not like we did this before,” he says. “The rock is deep, and one of the areas is
more than 700 feet, so the piles needed to be designed as friction piles, while others were designed to bear on rock. The unique foundation conditions were challenging, but it was also the most exciting because you’re working with the best engineers to resolve the foundation design.” For nearly two decades, Canale has been involved in a wide range of design and construction projects covering transportation, commercial and residential development, and public utility structures. Yet, the scale of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was awe-inspiring. “I’ve been working for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen things of this size, this magnitude — seeing a whole bridge section of 300-plus feet being lifted at one time,” he says. “The scale of the project is what makes everything.” There’s still one foundation left in the Rockland abutment to address, but his role has diminished now that the foundations are finished. He’s since started working on other projects in the office but finds it difficult to get back into the normal realm of things, after working on the new bridge, a project that was demanding but exciting, monumental but localized. “I think if you ask anyone that is here, as hard as this project was in terms of the pressures of schedule, the cost, and this and that, I don’t think anyone would rather be anywhere else, bar none,” Canale says. “It’s an opportunity to do some good for the community in a sense that it’s a tremendous bridge, it’s going to be a tremendous asset for the area.”
Tony Canale ’94, who served as the engineer for foundation design, had to contend with the unique footing conditions of the new bridge, where the rock is deep. But resolving the design difficulties and working alongside fellow alumni was an exciting experience.
A Tale of Two Bridges The existing Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge opened to traffic in 1955, and has been a vital artery for residents, commuters, travelers and commercial traffic ever since. But bridge traffic has grown to about 140,000 vehicles per day, which is far more than the Tappan Zee was designed to support. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to maintain the structure in recent years, but the cost of maintaining the current bridge for the foreseeable future rivaled the cost of building a new bridge, with no improvements to current traffic conditions. While the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has been in the making for almost two decades, permanent construction operations didn’t begin until late 2013. The new bridge carries eight general traffic lanes (four each on the westbound and eastbound spans), breakdown/ emergency lanes, space for future bus rapid transit and commuter rail, and an advanced traffic monitoring system. The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is also designed so that major maintenance will not be necessary for at least 100 years. In addition, the westbound span will feature a 12-foot-wide shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path, which will include six overlooks. A visually striking and recognizable landmark, the new bridge is one of the widest cable-stayed structures of its kind in the world. The cable-stayed main span is supported by eight 419foot towers, which stand at five-degree angles, and feature a sleek, chamfered design. The iconic towers support 192 stay cables, which are made up of roughly 4,900 miles of steel strands. The bridge will be illuminated at night with dark-sky compliant LED light fixtures to reduce light pollution, and emphasize its distinct features while respecting the scenic appearance of the Hudson Valley. As of Oct. 6, all traffic has shifted from the Tappan Zee Bridge to the first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in a temporary traffic pattern.
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Robert LaMagna ’84, ’86 (M.E.) and Michael Martello ’08, ’11 (M.S.)
“Teamwork and communication are a big thing. It’s satisfying at the end of the day knowing that we have our goal in sight, we’re not missing a target, and things are looking good, so that we can deliver on delivery day.”
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ROBERT LAMAGNA ’84, ’86 (M.E.), currently senior project manager at HDR, made a point of reaching out to HDR, where he had previously worked for 12 years, to rejoin the engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services firm and be a part of the new bridge project. A Westchester County native, it was too exciting of a project to pass up. “The Tappan Zee Bridge is something that I’ve grown up with, frequently driving across it,” he explains. “To see it transformed from the original bridge into the new structure and be part of the design team is something I couldn’t let pass.” LaMagna has worked for predominantly bridge design firms since he graduated, and with various local clients, including the New York City Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Thruway Authority, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In fact, he had been working on the design of another bridge on the Harlem River before he came back to work with HDR. As the lead designer or discipline lead for the bridge approaches for the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, LaMagna was responsible for the structural designs of the bridge from abutment to abutment, exclusive of the main span, which includes all the approach spans that lead up to the main span itself on both the Rockland and Westchester sides. He oversaw five or six design teams, and each design team was responsible for a number of approach spans. During the 14-month period he spent working on the project, he faced a few difficulties — the fast pace of the schedule, for sure, but also overcoming all of the changes that happen in design. “Working on an immense project like that with the tight schedule, you have only a certain amount of time to make sure the design is coordinated,” LaMagna says. “There’s a lot of communication involved in making sure that there are no conflicts between certain features of the bridge. “It was almost like an everyday race to just make sure that we’re keeping pace with the design schedule.” Often working 14-16-hour days, his dedicated design team made the necessary adjustments to maintain the schedule. By about midway through the project, LaMagna started to see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The teams were completing their sections, and the satisfaction that comes along with finishing the designs was exciting. But working with his team was one of the biggest high points, as well, which LaMagna compares to playing on a competitive athletic team. “You know, it was like playing in a heated sporting event where you get a lot of team camaraderie — everyone is in the same position, everyone is under the same pressures,” he explains. “Teamwork and communication are a big thing. It’s satisfying at the end of the day knowing that we have our goal in sight, we’re not missing a target, and things are looking good, so that we can deliver on delivery day.” Eager to drive over the newly opened span, LaMagna felt it all come back to him, as he cruised across the bridge. “As engineers, it’s all about design, it’s analysis,” he says. “We see it on paper. But to drive over it and see it in real life, it was just a great reminder of what we had done.”
Photo credit (top): New York State Thruway Authority
MICHAEL MARTELLO ’08, ’11 (M.S.) became involved with the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge from the beginning, back when his employer, HDR, was pursuing the project and working on its proposal efforts. He started out as the global analysis task lead, with his primary responsibility being the seismic analysis and design of the approach spans. However, given HDR’s involvement as prime design lead, he played many roles on the project throughout the years. With a project this big, HDR had design teams working across the country, and was pulling resources from multiple offices within the company, in addition to managing a multitude of sub-consultants. One of Martello’s jobs was to make sure that all of those individual design teams were on the same page, meeting the project requirements, and following the same technical approach. Those were his main responsibilities during the design phase. Afterward, Martello became project engineer for the approach spans during construction, and basically was tasked with making sure that the contractor had everything needed during construction, which included answering questions or clarifications on the design, facilitating any necessary design changes, and just ensuring the contractor could build to the requirements, which was a great learning experience for the young engineer. “Being the project engineer for the approach spans during construction really taught me a lot about how bridges are built, and how certain details during design flush out in construction,” says Martello, who has been with HDR for almost 10 years, starting there as an intern his junior year at Manhattan College. During his roughly four years on the project, like many of the engineers building the new bridge, the tight timetable was grueling but rewarding in the end.
“The biggest challenge was the schedule — it was a very rigorous schedule,” Martello says, explaining how the contractor was mobilized on site from day one, which essentially means they were designing and building at pretty much the same time. “It takes a certain type of individual to keep up the pace of a design-build project let alone one this big.” But along with the schedule, the high profile of the project was a bit of a trial. “This project is the biggest public infrastructure project currently under construction in the United States,” Martello says. “The bridge locally and even nationally is well-known, so there were a lot of eyes on the project. But it was nothing we couldn’t overcome as engineers once we put our mind to it.” And what began as challenges to overcome also presented themselves as opportunities to assimilate and innovate. “I think everyone on the project, no matter what they worked on in the past, saw something new on this project,” he says. “Given the size of the project, we were able to innovate so much and use cuttingedge technology and cutting-edge design that we wouldn’t normally get to do on a regular project.” Although he’s still involved, that’s where Martello left off the project in 2016, when he handed the reins over to a few other Manhattan College engineers, coincidentally, to see the project through to completion.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 41
Diana Brown ’15 and Alessandra Rosso ’14
While DIANA BROWN ’15 was taking her last course at the College, during the summer of 2015, she took on a part-time role as project controls specialist in the business services department at Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC, which quickly became a full-time job. A year later, she was snatched by the construction division, and started working as a field engineer for the main span superstructure. While no two days are ever the same, her duties regularly consist of preparing for deck pours, setting deck panels, stressing cables in the towers, ordering the correct type of materials — tires, fuses, transformers, plywood, rope, etc. — and making sure there is enough of everything, and that everything is built correctly according to plan and within tolerances. There are also days devoted to CAD (computeraided design), comprised of calculations, drawings, barge and crane layouts, and meetings — lots of meetings. Her hours could be allocated to learning about a system as quickly as possible and collecting as much information to then troubleshoot and make repairs, as well as foreseeing safety hazards and not just notating the issue but ensuring that it is corrected. In addition, she devotes a good amount of time to resolving many of the questions that arise each day. “How many ground heaters should we have and what type to help cure the concrete? How many layers/blankets should we have for a road deck pour in variable 20- to 40-degree ambient temperature? Will we be able to get strength in order to set the next field section?” she asks, just a sample of some of the queries she addresses. Problem-solving aside, Brown, who spends her days out in the field, found mother nature to be her biggest challenge, and
sometimes, her toughest foe. But, as many engineers on the project have said, so was the schedule. “Working in sideways rain, temperatures in the teens for extended amounts of time,” she says. “Working twice as hard to make up for lost time. Constantly pushing the crews to meet or exceed schedule. The schedule was aggressive. But that is the beauty of such a large complex project, it’s something bigger than yourself. You plant the seed, the tempo, look for opportunities to streamline.” And working on such a huge and complex project like the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, where she had the chance to work with various people from so many different fields, also has its benefits. “Learning from the different trades and people from all around the world. Collaborating between different personalities and work styles. It’s a thrilling sequence — erecting field sections, hauling cable, setting deck panels, installing rebar, pouring concrete,” she explains. “In each sequence, there are different variables, challenges, and then you can drive across the bridge!” In October, Brown transitioned into another role in the demolition of the existing bridge, as demo lead engineer for area 3 deck.
THE JASPER CONNECTION
“You’d see somebody in the field wearing a Manhattan sweatshirt, and you’d say, ‘You went to Manhattan?’ and a conversation would spark up,” he says. “I would definitely see Manhattan College engineers when I was out in the field at least once a week. And, of course, a lot of members on the design team that I worked with every day were Manhattan College engineers.” There are Jaspers spanning from the mid-70s to new graduates and interns, and they are involved in every aspect of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which Canale attributes to Manhattan’s exceptional education in engineering and its ability to produce great engineers. “It just speaks to the College that the engineering school, which has been around now for 125 years, has 50 alumni of various ages involved in the planning, design, highway, foundations — cutting through all disciplines — working on the bridge,” Canale notes. LaMagna had four or five friends also working on the bridge, but he met many of the other alumni engineers for the first time. It didn’t surprise him to learn of all the fellow Jaspers involved. “It’s a local school, and it’s got a great reputation,” he says. “It gave
WHILE SOME OF THESE ALUMNI STARTED WORKING on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge knowing a fellow alumnus/a or two, most of them didn’t realize the sizable number of Jaspers involved until they got into the field and began meeting the various engineers. For instance, McGuinness and Canale, who are just a few years apart, first met each other while working on this project. They began talking about other alumni whom they had met or heard about, and quickly realized, as they started to count them, that there were quite a few Jaspers involved with the bridge. And, of course, once they started to pay attention, that number just seemed to grow. “As we worked, and we got in the field, it’s ‘I went to Manhattan College’ or something like that, and that’s when we started adding it up,” Canale says. Martello remembers that when he joined the project, there were 12 alumni involved, but the more he would talk to people and the more he met people in the field, that list of Manhattan engineers continued to increase in length. 42 N fall 2017
ALESSANDRA ROSSO ’14 had been working part time for Granite Construction since her freshman year at Manhattan College. She remembers being in her hydraulic design class when she heard that the joint venture, of which Granite was a part, won the contract for the new NY Bridge. A Bronx native familiar with the former Tappan Zee Bridge, she really wanted to work on the project and participate in such a highprofile job. “Everyone was interested in it. Not just engineers, everyone. Even now when I tell people where I work, they almost always raise their eyebrows and ask me a question or make a comment,” she notes. Rosso started working full time on the bridge in May of 2014 (just two days after her Commencement ceremony) as the reinforcing steel or rebar field engineer, which she describes as intense. “I was the only field engineer assigned to that area and worked more hours than I thought possible,” she says. “I had so much responsibility immediately. I had taken one class at Manhattan College on rebar, and it did not cover most of the real-world problems I had to deal with. Eventually, I learned.” She was later moved to the stay cables in December of 2015, which was a much
different experience given that she worked with a group of engineers instead of on her own. Her day was evenly split between field work and doing paperwork. Rosso often starts the day by checking timecards and emails, and then going out into the field to check on the work and catch up with the foreman about any concerns or upcoming tasks. “I’d spend a lot of time inventorying — lots of counting,” she notes. “However, on days when the strand in the stay cables needed to be stressed (it happens about 3 or 4 times a week), I’d spend the day in the towers,” says Rosso, who likens the latter work to being in an igloo during the coldest winter months. Spending hours up in the air in the cold and wind, where everything surrounding her is frozen, sounds like a major tribulation for anyone, but this recent graduate, who previously worked on the Queens Bored Tunnel at the East Side Access Project and the path station at the World Trade Center, counts the size of the project as her most significant challenge.
us all a good education in the engineering basics and in advanced technologies. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all.” Brown had heard about all of the Jaspers on the job, but it didn’t really become apparent until she started meeting them. “I initially heard about other alumni, but it didn’t click until I met them,” she says. “It was a series of warm and fuzzies with each Jasper I met. When you get to the real world and see other competent people that graduated from the same institution, you realize that the engineering school has done something right.” There aren’t any other schools that could compare to Manhattan College in terms of graduates associated with the project. While the Thruway Authority is based upstate, and tends to have a lot of University at Buffalo (UB) alumni among its ranks, even UB, with its eight or nine alumni, couldn’t compete with the large number of Manhattan representatives. It did lead to a little bit of competition, however, and there was a mention of UB wanting to challenge Manhattan College to a softball game. But as McGuinness jokingly points out, they couldn’t field a team. In all seriousness, McGuinness notes that this Manhattan
“The project is so large, it is very easy to get swallowed by it,” she explains. “There are superintendents, project managers, project engineers, foremen, inspectors, construction managers, and countless others that you interact with almost daily. Things move very quickly, and not listening for a second can make you feel out of the loop.” Admitting that it’s kind of a boring highlight, staying on budget was something Rosso was especially proud of, considering there was a bit of a learning curve for a team new to keeping a budget.
connection has existed throughout his years in the industry. “As soon as I graduated, I realized that with every project I’ve been involved with, it seemed like every office I walked into, there was somebody that identified as an alumnus, so I had that link to somebody in every project,” he says. “As diverse as this project is, Manhattan College seems to have involvement in every corner.” Canale adds that if someone had told him, when he was a senior in college, that one day he’d be working on a project like this, he would have laughed it off as being crazy — he couldn’t even process how to get to that point. Looking back now, he credits the College for helping him get to that point — to be a part of such an exciting and historic project. And that association isn’t lost on him. “I was sitting here at the opening ceremony, and I texted Dr. Moujalli Hourani [associate professor of civil and environmental engineering],” he recalls. “I just said, ‘I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me.’ These professors care so much about us. I think if you talk to any one of these alumni, they would say that, too. You just don’t ever feel too far from Manhattan College.”
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The College’s Commencement Ceremonies Exude Excitement
HE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE surrounding Undergraduate Commencement were undeniable on May 19, when the College’s newest group of alumni celebrated their graduation from the Schools of Liberal Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, and Education and Health. This year, the event bid farewell to 700-plus departing seniors who earned bachelor’s degrees from Manhattan College in an array of academic disciplines. Dedicated alumnus Thomas Moran ’74 served as honorary speaker, and shared plot points from his personal and professional history, which currently includes his role as chairman of the board of Mutual of America Life Insurance Company. In a particularly moving speech from this year’s Carty Valedictory Medal recipient, John Evans ’17 spoke about the obstacles he’s overcome since going blind at the age of 5. He also credited Manhattan for giving him the knowledge to begin achieving his professional goals. 44 N fall 2017
A day earlier, 285 graduate students earned master’s degrees from the Schools of Business, Science, and Engineering, master’s degrees and professional diplomas from the School of Education and Health, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Class valedictorian Lorraine Brancale ’17 (M.S.), who earned a 4.0 grade point average in the mental health counseling program, delivered a profound yet relatable address to her fellow students at Spring Commencement on May 18, as Bettye Perkins, Ph.D., founder, president and chief executive officer of Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT), gave remarks that were inspirational to outbound professionals. To recognize her achievements as an educator, Manhattan College awarded Perkins with an honorary degree in pedagogy.
For her academic accolades, accounting major Kelly Freeman ’17 was chosen to be a student marshal for the School of Business at Commencement, but her level of commitment to cocurricular clubs and activities is similarly impressive. In addition to membership in prestigious honor societies Alpha Iota Delta (decision sciences and information systems) and Epsilon Sigma Pi, she worked as a research assistant for management and marketing professor Janet Rovenpor, Ph.D., on numerous projects. Freeman also served on the board of the Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) program, through which she participated in three service trips: two to Montana, and one to Ecuador. She currently is pursuing her MBA, and is serving as the graduate assistant for the School of Business this fall. Thomas Moran ’74 proudly touted his Jasper heritage in his delivery of the Undergraduate Commencement address to Manhattan College’s class of 2017. Moran, who was recognized at the ceremony with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, defined success as passion and a deep sense of caring to the newly minted alumni. He also noted his own achievements since graduating from Manhattan, which include, but are not limited to, his current role as chairman of the international humanitarian relief organization, Concern Worldwide.
Joseph Mozdierz ’17, who served as a student marshal for the School of Science at Commencement, graduated from Manhattan with an exceptionally high academic standing (3.97 GPA), and with extensive cocurricular experiences. Throughout the 2016-17 academic year, Mozdierz collaborated on research with biochemistry and chemistry professor Bryan Wilkins, Ph.D., which investigated the cross-linking of vital maintenance proteins with specific amino acid positions on histones in ultraviolet radiation. He also gained membership into four honor societies — Phi Beta Kappa, Epsilon Sigma Pi, Sigma Xi, Gamma Sigma Epsilon (chemistry) — and interned during the summer at the clinical stage biotechnology company ContraFect Corporation. In the future, he hopes to work in either the pharmaceutical industry or public health sector.
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Christopher Hoey ’17 culminated his illustrious undergraduate career by earning the Joseph J. Gunn ’30 Alumni Medal, one of the College’s highest undergraduate honors, at this year’s Spring Honors Convocation, where he was acknowledged for embodying Manhattan’s Lasallian mission through varied leadership and service positions. In addition to his role as the scholarship and service chair of his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Hoey led the first-ever Lasallian Collegians retreat; the first Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) trip to Guatemala; and the annual Kairos retreat at Manhattan College. Hoey began work this fall as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Katherine Encarnacion ’17 became the first student from the College to graduate with a Master of Science in applied mathematics-data analytics, after completing a program that was introduced at Manhattan just two years earlier. Her achievements have included notable internships at the digital media holding company CPXi, and at UPS, where she spent a year serving as a capacity and performance analyst. This summer, Encarnacion began a full-time position she landed in the Mainframe Systems Programming department at UPS.
“If my time at Manhattan College has taught me just one thing, it is that we are only vindicated by our battles when we dare to see them through.” As would be appropriate for an English major whose future plans include becoming a professor of medieval literature, John Evans ’17 constructed his valedictory address around a story — his story — about the challenges he’s faced since losing his eyesight. But, moreover, his address to more than 700 graduating seniors inspired perseverance, hope and determination. “If my time at Manhattan College has taught me just one thing, it is that we are only vindicated by our battles when we dare to see them through,” he told the class of 2017.
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As a graduate student in the College’s mental health counseling program, Spring Commencement valedictorian Lorraine Brancale ’17 garnered various experiences working with young people, which collectively helped her to develop a renewed perspective for the future. Referencing this new insight, Brancale advised her classmates to always, “Be present, find connections, and to always be true to who you are,” in an address that detailed numerous achievements on and off campus. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Wagner College, she was a member of the Jaspers’ cross country and track and field teams during the 2015-16 academic year. Brancale also completed fellowships at Montefiore Hospital and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, where she focused on targeting and treating adolescents with learning disabilities, and students with special health-care needs. In a fitting transition from his various roles on campus that allowed him to interact with and build relationships with students, Ron Jovi Ramirez ’17 exited the College ready to begin a full-time position teaching 11th- and 12thgrade mathematics at St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx. While he was earning his master’s in education, Ramirez was a graduate assistant for the Residence Life department and served as resident director of Lee Hall. He was also a Lasallian Scholar during his undergraduate years at Manhattan.
In describing her shift from corporate America to education, where she maintained a steadfast commitment to helping the underserved, Spring Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Bettye Perkins, Ph.D., relayed an emphatic message to the advanced degree recipients of 2017. “I pray that you will find purpose in your life, and that you will use your passion to go forth and create, change and transform the world. The world needs you now, more than ever before,” she said. Nicholas Weyland ’17 is no stranger to leading others, having acted as student body president during his junior year at Manhattan. An accomplished business student, Weyland participated during his senior year in the College Fed Challenge, a national academic competition that consists of a panel of judges who work at the Federal Reserve Bank. As a sophomore, the finance major also helped to establish the Kairos retreat, served as president of the Lasallian Collegians for a time, and took part, during two separate years, in the International Association of Lasallian Universities Lasallian Leadership and Global Understanding Program. MANHATTAN.EDU N 47
Class of 2017 Creates a Scholarship Honoring the College’s Late Chaplain
IKE PREVIOUS SENIOR CLASSES BEFORE THEM, Manhattan College’s graduating class of 2017 has worked together to provide a gift to the College. This year’s gift is a memorial scholarship in memory of the late Rev. George Hill, the College’s long-serving chaplain, who passed away in September 2016. The award benefits an unrestricted scholarship in memory of Fr. Hill. The senior class donated the entirety of its fundraising to the scholarship in Hill’s honor, so that its funding can continue to support students years into the future. “We chose to create a scholarship in loving memory of Fr. Hill to continue the legacy he left here on campus. He touched the lives of so many in our community, so we wanted to continue his service to students through the creation of this scholarship,” said Kelly Freeman ’17, a member of the senior class gift committee, to the Quadrangle in April.
A respected and beloved member of the Manhattan College community for nine years, Fr. Hill presided over many of the College’s Catholic services, including Sunday Mass and holy days. He began a weekly meditation program that became highly popular with students and traveled with many of the Jaspers’ intercollegiate athletics teams all across the country. Fr. Hill came to Manhattan College in 2007 after 10 years as the parochial vicar at St. Raymond’s parish in the Bronx. A licensed mental health counselor in New York, he also provided therapy out of an office at St. Bernard’s parish in Greenwich Village, and served as a chaplain and bereavement counselor at the Bailey House in Harlem, where he worked with patients suffering from HIV and AIDS. Prior to his time at the Bailey House, Fr. Hill worked at the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, N.Y. He was the retreat director at the monastery of strict observance, where the monks observed a strict policy of silence. It was there where Fr. Hill learned about meditation, a practice that he carried to his role in Riverdale. A native of Worcester, Mass., Fr. Hill graduated from St. John’s Prep and the College of the Holy Cross, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. He received a master’s degree at Assumption College, and a Master of Divinity from St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, N.Y.
Members of the class of 2017 chose to honor the late Rev. George Hill in their graduation gift to the College by creating a scholarship in his name. The beloved chaplain passed away in September 2016.
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Scholarship Helps Future Engineer Achieve Big Dreams
OMING TO COLLEGE, Terence Coppinger ’20 had big dreams about what his future would hold. An aspiring engineer, the Long Island native has ambitions to use his work and ideas to change the world for the better. Thanks to Manhattan College and a scholarship from an anonymous donor, Coppinger is well on his way to achieving his career goals. The School of Engineering’s prestigious reputation and vast alumni network is what lured Coppinger to Manhattan College, where he has flourished. A mechanical engineering major, he maintained a spot on the Dean’s List every semester during his first year. Coppinger also works in the school’s environmental lab, where he researches pharmaceutical detection under Hossain Azam, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Coppinger also plans to become part of the Manhattan College chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a group that introduces students to opportunities and careers in the mechanical engineering field. Keeping busy and taking full advantage of all Manhattan College has to offer is a key part of his educational experience. “The most important thing about my education is the experience and knowledge I will gain to better myself,” he says. “I look to improve myself every day. Manhattan has given me the resources to make this possible.” With the experience and knowledge he has gained and will continue to gain during his time in Riverdale, Coppinger aims to make a difference in the world. “I hope to be able to bring about new advances and applications of technology in our everyday,” he says. “I want to strive every day to help society as a whole through my work.” When he is not in the lab or a classroom, Coppinger can be found in Draddy Gymnasium or at Gaelic Park participating in intramural soccer. His involvement in sports has helped him to balance his academic life by giving him the opportunity to take a break from work and socialize with his friends — all while playing his favorite sport. Coppinger is grateful for the time and experiences that being a Jasper has given him, and credits his donor for those opportunities. “My scholarship donor has had a positive influence on my life,” he reflects. “I have only been able to meet him once, but he strives to help me to achieve in school and the workplace.”
“The most important thing about my education is the experience and knowledge I will gain to better myself.” MANHATTAN.EDU N 49
Reunion Weekend 2017
OME 450 JASPERS from class years dating as far back as 1951 returned to campus the weekend of June 2–4 for Reunion Weekend 2017. The annual event was highly anticipated beforehand by former classmates excited to reconnect. During the three-day period, Reunion Weekend delivered its usual dose of nostalgia for times past, but alumni also were able to build new memories that they will fondly look back on in the months and years to come. At a Golden Jaspers Luncheon on Saturday, graduates from the class of 1967 — who set sail on a cruise around New York Harbor the evening prior — presented a $500,000 class gift check to Manhattan, and received jubilarian medals from President Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., who also awarded anniversary plaques to 60th- and 65th-year alumni. But they weren’t they only ones celebrating. During a Silver Jaspers Reception on Friday, the class of 1992 made a $50,000 donation to their alma mater, at which they also received anniversary medals. Throughout the weekend, alumni from all class years took part in favorite traditions, such as the Green and White Picnic and Saturday evening’s Reunion Dinner, where festivities under the tent carried into dessert and dancing in Smith Auditorium.
2 & 3 | Alumni from the classes of 1967 and 1992 process into the annual Reunion Vigil Mass, where the anniversary medals they received earlier, are blessed by Jasper clergy during the Celebration of the Eucharist.
4 | Patrick Garvey ’57 and his wife, Elizabeth, take part in a Reunion dinner on Saturday that invited all graduates of the College to enjoy food and music under a tent on the Quadrangle. 5 | Class of 2007 members gather in front of Smith Auditorium in celebration of their 10-year anniversary as alumni.
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1 | Young alumni from the past 10 years kick off the weekend’s numerous social events with a Friday evening reception.
6 | Graduates from 1972, 1977, 1982, 1997 and 2002 begin Reunion Weekend with an evening cocktail reception on Friday that honored those milestone anniversaries.
FROM THE COLLEGE’S ARCHIVES
Whatever Happened to ... the Staten Island Division
DDING TO THE CONFUSION OF SOME THAT MANHATTAN COLLEGE is actually in the Bronx, for about a decade, Manhattan College was also located on Staten Island. A Staten Island campus opened in New Brighton in 1935 as a junior annex to the main College, and educated primarily freshmen and sophomore students. The Staten Island Division carried on the traditions and standards of the main campus, but allowed Islanders to pursue their degrees without a tiresome and circuitous commute to the Bronx. The Rev. Monsignor Joseph Farrell, a “Brothers’ Boy” from grade school through college (Manhattan College, class of 1895) and a pastor on Staten Island, founded this branch of the College on what was formerly the Arden School. Farrell focused much of his work on Catholic education on Staten Island. Renowned for his concern for the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of young men under the guide of the Christian Brothers, he founded St. Peter’s High School on Staten Island in 1931, just down the road from the College annex. Having provided the property and equipped the buildings of the Staten Island annex, Farrell agreed that if the school was unable to meet financial obligations, he would be responsible. Unfortunately, due to a diminishing student body during the Second World War, the decision was made to close the Staten Island Division in April 1944, never to be revived. It then began operating as St. Peter’s High School.
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Bob Driscoll recently welcomed his first great-grandchild, a bouncing baby boy named Emmitt.
James Connors and wife Johanna Connors ’70 celebrated their 40th anniversary on July 9. He writes in the Bethpage Newsgram, “My wife and I decided to to revisit our original home and environs where [our 40 years of marriage] took place. No trip to Riverdale would be complete without a tour of Manhattan College. The campus was in excellent shape and indicated a number of upgrades.”
James Murphy, Ph.D., has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the National University of Ireland Galway in recognition of his promoting Irish studies globally and developing cultural and academic relations between Ireland and the United States. Professor emeritus, Murphy founded and served as director of the Irish Studies Program at Villanova University.
John McCarthy, M.D., writes: “Happily retired and busier than ever. Have crossed paths with other Jasper alums: Felix Sarubbi, M.D., and James Powers, M.D., both class of 1965; Charles Flanagan ’60, Esq., and Stephen Quinones ’84. Would love to hear from Jaspers of any class.”
Sr. Elaine Maguire, FSP, is celebrating 60 years as a Franciscan Sister of Peace. Her assignments have been throughout New York and New Jersey, including St. Mary’s in Elizabeth and St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark. 52 N fall 2017
William Groneman III was invited by the Heart of Texas Historians and Storytellers to speak at their fifth annual event on Sept. 10 at the Heart of Texas Event Center in Waco, Texas. His book, September 11: A Memoir, which talks about his experience on 9/11 as a firefighter, was the primary focus of the talk, but he also spoke about his time studying the battle of the Alamo.
J. Steven Dowd has been chosen by the White House to be the United States director of the African Development Bank. Dowd is currently awaiting confirmation from the Senate on his appointment.
William (Billy) Cunningham, P.E., FASCE, a project manager with Mohawk Northeast Inc., in Plantsville, Conn., has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Directors. He has made celebrated contributions and developed creative solutions that have advanced the profession around the world. Cunningham’s involvement with ASCE began at the John Pascal Brooks Student Chapter at Clarkson University, where he was chapter president. Joseph Lauria, P.E., has been named vice president and director of planning and growth for the Americas at the Black & Veatch Holding Company, in its water business. His appointment allows him to continue his work to improve water sustainability.
William Shelley is now senior vice president of Power Stantec Consulting. He leads more than 700 power personnel in North America.
Mark Edsall, P.E., P.P., was named president and CEO of McGoey, Hauser, & Edsall Consulting Engineers, with offices in New York and Pennsylvania. Maureen Doran-Houlihan was honored by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She was recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in entrepreneurship. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and more than 200 operating local chapters. In her role as innovative learning architect at Mastercard, she leads an award-winning team of internal and external learning consultants and instructional/ digital designers.
Joseph Seebode, deputy district engineer and chief of programs and project management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is a finalist for the 2017 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Award/Medal, which recognizes excellence in the federal workforce. Seebode was nominated for his selfless service, outstanding leadership and management excellence during a 35-year career. He oversaw recovery efforts from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and provided leadership and management oversight of the recently completed $2.1 billion project to deepen the federal shipping channels leading into the Port of New York and New Jersey. Earlier in his career he coordinated emergency response actions and infrastructure recovery with New York City following the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
James Breheny has been sworn in as the new chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors. As the current Bronx Zoo Director, Breheny has been a strong advocate for protecting species and practicing
JASPER BOOKSHELF Joe Bassi ’74 published A Scientific Peak: How Boulder Became a World Center for Space and Atmospheric Science. Besides describing in detail how Boulder, Colorado, rose to prominence as an international center for science, the book also is a study of how U.S. science funding varied from the Depression era in the 1930s to the early Cold War era in the late 1950s. The book received an award for being one of the best books in atmospheric science from the Atmospheric Science Librarians International. Bassi is assistant professor of arts and sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Tonia DeCosimo ’91, author of the new book Single and Not Settling! A Journey of Surviving the Dating World, has taken her advice and her experiences “on the road.” In addition to two major book signings, at Book Revue in Huntington, N.Y., and Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine in Rockville Centre, N.Y., she’s been featured and interviewed on 21 different radio broadcasts. DeCosimo also writes for The Date Mix, Zoosk.com’s online magazine, and offers seminars and lectures on dating and relationships. Thad Dupper ’79 published Attack on Nantucket, a modern-day, Clancy-like thriller that features a U.S. president, Nantucket, a terrorist plot, and the U.S. Navy. It’s an adrenaline ride with great authenticity. Dupper is a technology executive who has held senior positions at leading technology companies, and was named president and CEO of Secure64 in October. In addition, Dupper, a lifelong advocate of the U.S. Navy, is a member of the Tailhook Association, having made four carrier arrested landings on the USS John C. Stennis, USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson (2). field conservation, which makes him a great choice for the new chair. Thomas Pirro joined the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants board of directors as a representative of its Suffolk Chapter. Pirro, who is president of Thomas S. Pirro CPA PC, has been a society member since 1988 and also a member of the society’s executive committee and Suffolk Chapter executive board.
James Dixon, Esq., has been named senior vice president and chief operating officer of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc. The new holding company is comprised of three Con Edison corporations: Solutions, Development and Energy. Dixon will oversee the safety and efficiency of the unit.
Lt. Gen. William Bender has joined the Fortune 500 Company, Leidos, as its strategic account executive for government relations. In this role, he will oversee the science and technology company’s relationship with customers and advancing its strategic plans.
Dorothy Cudia has been appointed vice president of engineering of Chowbotics, a food robotics company. Cudia was chosen for her new position based on her role in pioneering the food service automation industry. Paul Kirchgraber, M.D., MBA, is the vice president and global general manager of Covance Laboratory Services, a division of LabCorp. Working on developing new drugs for the marketplace, he has been involved with many of the most influential new pharmaceuticals in the current management of disease. Kirchgraber writes that he “appreciates the time spent at Manhattan and just recently had a toast in honor of his mentor, Fr. Mahoney.”
Michael Breslin was named chief financial officer of New York-Presbyterian, effective Jan. 1, 2018. In this role, he will oversee all financial matters, including financial reporting, financial planning, revenue cycle, budget, reimbursement, cost accounting, financing, insurance, strategic sources, supply chain, patient access and managed care.
Andrew Gyves was promoted to senior vice president of national advertising sales at Screenvision Media, a national leader in cinema advertising. His responsibilities include oversight of the company’s multicultural offerings and the Screenvision Media lobby network. He joined the company in 2014 after more than 25 years at CNN, where he served in a similar capacity. Vatche Minassian joined HDR as the Northeast client development manager for the company’s water practice. In his new role, Minassian will be responsible for driving regional business growth, strategic planning implementation, and leading key pursuits. He is based in White Plains, N.Y. Elizabeth O’Hagan organized a golf outing event for members of the class of 1987 at the Fairways at Dunwoodie in Yonkers, N.Y., in October. It was a great day of golf, friendship and food. Check out the Facebook page Jasper87Angels or email jasper87angels@gmail. com for information on upcoming events. Michael Paliotta, a former member of the Manhattan College board of trustees, has joined Evercore ISI as the CEO of its business equities. His new job will have him overseeing strategic planning and management.
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Stephen DeSimone, president and chief executive of DeSimone Consulting Engineers, has become a member of the Skyscraper Museum’s board of directors. Regina Smith has been named principal of Bedford Village Elementary School. She joined the school district in 2004, and was selected on the basis of her educational experience and “her record as a thoughtful, collaborative leader who is a continual learner with a deep commitment to the students and community of the Bedford Village Elementary School,” according to the district. Shaun Willie was appointed to the board of directors of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. He worked as senior counsel for Macy’s Inc., focusing on major commercial agreements and regulatory matters. He was previously a senior associate counsel for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, where he was active with the American Public Transportation Association and the Conference of Minority Transit Officials.
Honora Eskridge has been named director of the Stevenson Science and Engineering Library at Vanderbilt University. In this role, she will support research and learning in STEM fields, working closely with the School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Science. Eskridge publishes in the area of STEM research and library service models, working on topics such as lab-integrated librarians, bioengineering resources, and the information-seeking behavior of engineers. MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick has joined the staff of Cortlandt Living magazine as a contributing writer. In addition, she will be performing her poem Tabula Rasa at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, N.Y., during Writing the Walls 2017. Matthew McGrath is associate general counsel for the Knights of Columbus at the international headquarters in New Haven, Conn.
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REUNITED WITH HIS LOST RING IN JUNE OF 1970, Patrick O’Hagan ’69 felt his heart drop as his class ring slipped off his finger and into Cape Cod’s surf while on his honeymoon. His wife, Christine, had bought it for him as a graduation gift after saving up for more than a year. The couple searched for the beloved ring in Dennis Port beach’s murky waters, but they were soon forced to accept that the riptide had engulfed it, as it was nowhere to be found. Or so they thought. Thanks to Jim Wirth, the wind and fate, O’Hagan has been reunited with his ring 47 years later. Wirth found the ring in roughly the same place O’Hagan had lost it all those years ago, and was able to track him down through a Google search of his name that led him to a memoir written by Christine O’Hagan. After reaching them, Wirth kindly had the ring cleaned and returned in pristine condition. The unlikely circumstances had O’Hagan feeling extremely fortunate. “I had felt that the ring was lost forever, and to have it back in perfect condition was an incredible feeling,” O’Hagan explained. “I felt that if you had read this in a novel, you would have said that it was not believable. I could have replaced it, but it would not be from Christine.” O’Hagan met Christine during his sophomore year at Manhattan, and continued to date her throughout college. Being a gift from her is the main reason it is so important to O’Hagan, as he thinks of it at a symbol of their early years together. “We had no money basically, and our ‘dates’ usually consisted of a double feature movie and a Coke, or we took a train into Manhattan and walked around the city.” These memories of their young relationship are not the only thing of which the ring reminds O’Hagan. “The ring brings back a lot of memories of the years at Manhattan. The friendships developed by a group of kids on a journey together, studying as a group to pool our knowledge, so that we could all do well,” O’Hagan says. “Ultimately, it reflects the sense of accomplishment in graduating from Manhattan.”
1990 Timothy O’Sullivan was appointed president of Diba Industries, Inc., a leader in precision fluid handling solutions to global original equipment manufacturers in diagnostics, life sciences and medical devices. For the past six years, he has served as the president of Bio-Chem Fluidics Inc., part of the UK-based Halma plc group of companies, also parent to Diba Industries. While at Bio-Chem, O’Sullivan led significant change in all areas of the business including reinvigorating the vision and culture of the business and launching new product lines.
Laura Ricciardi, the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and co-creator of the popular docu-series Making a Murderer, gave the keynote speech at the New York Law School 2017 Commencement ceremony. Bruce Walker was appointed to be an U.S. assistant secretary of energy, electricity, delivery and energy reliability. This appointment was announced by President Donald Trump, with the intent to place Walker into a key position within the current administration.
John Cronin was ordained into priesthood on June 17 at Albany’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. His first Mass was celebrated at St. Madeleine Sophie parish in Schenectady. Daniel Dobas, who works as a Drug Enforcement Agent in California, was interviewed by KESQ, an ABC-TV affiliate, this summer on a story about local homes being broken into and used as drug farms. “Criminals target rental homes in high-end gated communities because the owners mostly live out of state,” he said in the interview. “It’s the lure of easy money.” Dobas and his team investigate drug-related crimes in the Coachella Valley area of California. Michael Lyons, who passed away on 9/11, has been honored in his hometown of Hawthorne, N.Y., where the street in front of the firehouse has been renamed Michael J. Lyons Plaza. Lyons, who began working for
1998 the FDNY a year after graduating from the College, lost his life in the tragic events of that day.
Stephanie Matruo is the Center for Instruction and Innovation’s (CiTi) new director of technology. She came to CiTi with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of education and technology, including a decade with the Fulton City School District as a network administrator, and previous experience as a systems engineer in the business field.
Vaughn Denton has been named assistant superintendent for pupil personnel and community services of the Longwood County School District in Suffolk County, N.Y. He recently served as assistant principal at Longwood Middle School in Middle Island, N.Y. and Coram Elementary School in Coram, N.Y., where he served as principal for five years. Ron Matten has been appointed executive director of facilities management and planning for Hunter College. A recent recipient of a master’s in public administration from Pace University, Matten worked as director of facilities for Greenwich Public Schools. The Rev. Juan Francisco Perez Jr. has been named the new priest-in-charge at the Harlem Valley Ministry in Brewster, N.Y. The ministry is comprised of three Episcopal parishes, where Perez hopes to foster cultural appreciation and a passion for ministry.
Ana Gonzalez Ribeiro, MBA, PDMM, recently translated Financial Advice for Blue Collar America from English to Spanish. The articles she has written as a personal finance, health, wellness and nutrition writer have been published in various news outlets and websites including Huffington Post, Fidelity, Fox Business News and Yahoo Finance.
James Napolitano has been promoted to vice president for MAST Construction Services, Inc. He previously worked as project executive and senior manager at MAST. In his new position, he will oversee the company’s sales and marketing business.
Aliann Pompey’s efforts to enhance the track programs in her native Guyana have resulted in the creation of an international track meet in her honor, the annual Aliann Pompey Invitational, held in Georgetown, Guyana. The second edition of the invitational was held on July 15.
Ruth Mazzarella published Drenched by Grace: One Woman’s Story of Faith, Hope, Love, and Cancer (Fulton Books, 2015). James Snyder, Ph.D., received the Marist College Board of Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is the honors program director and associate professor of philosophy at Marist College.
James Magur is on the Republican ticket for November’s City Council elections in Troy, N.J. Magur owns and operates the Troy Grooming Co., and he and his wife, Amy, have also invested in the Collar City. In the past two years, they have bought and renovated three buildings in Troy.
Kerry Lee, associate director of development at Montefiore Medical Center, was included in The Bronx Times’ list of the 25 Bronx Influential Women. Prior to holding her current position, Lee served as an account executive at The Journal News, and acted in other notable professional roles. Wilson Nazario has been named the new president of the Puerto Rico Construction & Infrastructure Cluster, which creates alliances with the local and federal government, MANHATTAN.EDU N 55
international and local businesses, suppliers, academia and other institutions to increase the economic productivity nationally in Puerto Rico and globally.
Ronald Hattar, Ed.D., is the new superintendent of Yorktown Central School District. A resident of Yorktown, Hattar has been the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the Eastchester Union Free School District since 2011, and serves as president of the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Curriculum Council. He and
his wife, Nicole, have two children. Jason Thorpe, P.E., has joined John P. Stopen Engineering, LLP as a geotechnical engineer.
Elaine Dorkhom joined Axletree Solutions as director of compliance solutions. In this role, she is responsible for business development and delivery of solutions to new and incumbent clients.
Brattleboro, Vt. Kauffman graduated from the high school in 2002 before attending Manhattan College. She had been teaching special education, as well as first-grade, second-grade and fourth-grade classes, before accepting this new administration role.
Nick Derba, who played baseball for Manhattan, has been named the head coach of the University of Maine baseball program. He served as interim last year.
Mary Kauffman is the new assistant principal of Brattleboro Union High School in
ALUMNA DEEPENS HER PROCLIVITY FOR PHILANTHROPY AT FOUNDATION AFTER 15 YEARS as the chief financial officer/chief administrative officer of the Posse Foundation, Rosanna Aybar ’98, ’01 (MBA) has been named vice president, finance and administration, for the William T. Grant Foundation. “I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen to join the William T. Grant Foundation as its vice president of finance and administration,” Aybar says. “The foundation’s mission to support research to improve the lives of young people and its emphasis on reducing inequality are very close to my heart. I’m looking forward to making a positive contribution in my role as we are currently living in a nation of unprecedented challenges.” In this position, she will oversee the external managers of the foundation’s endowment, its budget, accounting, audit, human resources and information technology systems, along with managing the foundation’s space and office operations. Aybar is also responsible for the management of the infrastructure that is crucial to the overall success of executing the foundation’s mission. The William T. Grant Foundation’s strong values, vision and mission are extremely important to her. These are traditions that she learned about while at Manhattan College, where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “During my time as a student, I always saw the many opportunities available for students to get involved and support social issues,” Aybar notes about her time in Riverdale. “I think that’s an important aspect of the Lasallian tradition that I hope the school always holds on to and continues to provide support through student activities and other means to those in need.” In this new role, Aybar gets to continue doing what she loves while helping those in need. She credits her passion for philan-
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thropy to her mother, who gave Aybar and her siblings the understanding that money is not the only way to help others. Whether it was providing food and shelter to someone in need or donating clothing, her upbringing in the Dominican Republic was spent watching her mother help those who had less than them. “My mother has been a great inspiration … [She] was born a philanthropist and has always had a natural love for giving and helping others,” Aybar says. “Those are the values I was raised with.”
Chris Vieau, M.D., was the first alum invited to speak at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s Commencement ceremony in May. Vieau was among the first to graduate from the school in 2014, and will switch from resident physician to attending physician when he completes his residency in family medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. He will join Union Family Practice in suburban Charlotte, in their rural track.
Melissa Bekisz is currently working as an associate attorney for Brosnan & Hegler, LLP, a Long Island law firm that specializes in estate planning, administration and litigation. She is also serving as a village justice in Stewart Manor. Christine Rogutsky Bleecker has been named principal of Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts. In 2003, Rogutsky Bleecker was part of the team that spearheaded the Early College Initiative, a partnership between the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Education. Through this initiative, she founded the College Academy of the Arts, a public high school for the arts in New York City. She currently serves as an adjunct associate professor for graduate studies in counseling, leadership and education at Manhattan College. Dana Lindsay ’12 (M.E.), has been promoted to project engineer at DiPrete Engineering, a leading civil and environmental engineering firm in New England. As a project engineer, Lindsay will work with designers and other engineers, while also providing guidance for junior staff.
Adriana Michilli is pursuing a Ph.D. in human rights, society and multi-level governance at the University of Padova, Italy.
Kerry Hynes studied what it takes to save species in the wild and engage with local partners developing and testing site-specific methods of community engagement to sustain ecological and social health in Hawaii, this past summer. Hynes, a teacher at P.S. 176 in Brooklyn, took the graduate course in pursuit of her master’s degree from Miami University’s Advanced Inquiry Program.
Nate Higgins published a book, It’s Not Rocket Science: Tips to Educate Black and Brown Boys (Milestone Publishing House, 2014). Written for educators who desire better classroom management tools and effective teaching strategies to reach boys of color, the book unveils a practical and “real” approach to engaging and discovering often hidden potential in these boys in classrooms all across the U.S. Alessandra Rosso was featured in The Journal News (N.J.) for her role as a field engineer working on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Aspects of her job had her “stressing” the bridges stay cables, which had her working hundreds of feet in the air. “I used to be scared to look over the edge, and then by the end, you don’t care anymore,” she said of the experience. “It’s pretty amazing how far down you can see.” (See feature on page 36.)
Jose Carrera, the former shortstop for the men’s baseball team, has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees. After working out with summer league coaches in Covington, Va., the Yankees brought him in for a workout in Tampa, Fla., and were impressed enough to offer him a contract as a middle infielder. (See feature on page 24.) Brenda Velez was nominated for a 2017 Big Apple Award, a citywide recognition program that celebrates educators of New York City who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.
CARLY HERTICA and James Jaicks, daughter, Ellie James Jaicks, 7/30/17
MATT HADDAD & Jenna Salvucci, 5/6/17
ANDREW ELBRECHT & HOLLY TURNER ’11, 7/21/17
THOMAS BURNS and KAITLIN HANSMAN, 8/26/17
RON MATTEN received his master’s in public administration from Pace University.
MATT HADDAD earned his master’s in business administration from Clark University in December.
RYAN SEN graduated from Villanova University with his master’s in civil engineering.
IVY SERAPHIN earned a master’s from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. KAITLYN PARLOW graduated from Villanova University with a master’s in education.
CLAIRE MULGREW earned her Master of Science in occupational therapy.
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Procuring a Spot in the Cyber Security Sphere THE CYBER SECURITY FIRM VERACODE released the findings of a study in October that produced big news for the tech world. Some 88 percent of applications using the popular web programming language Java contain at least one component that could make them vulnerable to attacks, according to an expansive analysis that was conducted by the company during a yearlong period, from March 2016-17. What’s more, Veracode’s research was able to identify the vulnerable component in the first scan among 77 percent of Java applications tested. These types of findings not only help to reaffirm Veracode’s place in the cyber security sphere but also they carry out the company’s mission, which is to fulfill a need, according to Bob Brennan ’82, executive director of its parent company, CA Technologies. “Most of the world’s websites weren’t developed with security in mind,” he says. “What we do is figure out how a corporate application could be breached, and plug that hole. We do this as a service using the cloud-based technology we developed. People hire us to find vulnerabilities in their applications and fix them.” So, how does Veracode set itself apart from Hewlett Packard, IBM and other software giants? According to Brennan, who served as CEO and chairman of the firm since 2011, the company’s success is largely owed to its diverse culture — roughly one-third of Veracode’s employee base are young professionals, one-third are mid-level, and the last third he would classify as experienced. Today, Veracode’s portfolio also includes 32 percent women, compared to the 17 percent it had six years ago. Brennan predicts that in the next five years, a dozen or so company employees will go on to serve as CEO of other companies, an accomplishment he attributes to the firm’s broad range of talent. Since the company’s foundation in 2006, that range of talent has helped to solidify its status as a leader in securing web, mobile and third-party applications across the software development lifecycle. When Veracode was acquired by CA Technologies earlier this year, they had built a customer base that included several banks on the Fortune 100 list, as well as a certain multinational mass media and information firm, and a world leader in the aerospace industry. In total, the company was earning more than $100 million in sales annually. The fundamentals Brennan has used to cultivate Veracode’s ethos and amplify its success are rooted in his education at the College, where he was a psychology major.
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“I’ve always leaned into psychology,” he says. “Leadership is about identifying people who fit into the culture, and are driven to achieve in a way that fits into it. At Veracode, there’s a high standard for kindness and performance.” In part, Brennan’s aptitude for gauging personality types in the workplace is something he learned from former Manhattan psychology professor, John Miele, Ph.D., who taught him that understanding people at their best and their worst can result in greater effectiveness both personally and professionally. On a personal level, it helped him to recognize failure patterns within himself, which made it easier for him to self-correct. He uses these skills in all aspects of his life, both in his career and in relationships with friends and his family, which is heavily membered by Jaspers. Brennan’s father, Robert J. Brennan ’58, is an alumnus, as is his brother Kevin Brennan ’98, two of his uncles, and two of his cousins. His nephew John Gaffney ’12 graduated recently as a finance major. At this point in his professional life, Brennan has shifted gears. In his new appointment at CA Technologies, he’s now playing the role of executive coach and board member — a position in which he can utilize both his knowledge and finely tuned people skills. “I’m very happy with the role. I’m thankful [the business] has enjoyed such a great outcome, and I’m very proud of having helped create a great place to work,” he says.
Making the Message Matter
N A WORLD IN WHICH THE WAY PEOPLE communicate is constantly changing and media consumption habits are always evolving, it can be hard to break through the clutter and get messaging across, especially if you work in public relations. Sometimes it takes a really bold idea to get clients on board and consumers to pay attention. But that’s exactly the environment in which Lisa Wolleon ’00 thrives. As executive vice president, consumer, at Coyne PR, one of the top 10 independent public relations firms in the United States whose roster of clients includes many of the world’s most respected companies, she’s not afraid to bring bold thinking to the table. Wolleon oversees Coyne’s food, nutrition and consumer health practices areas. Her accounts range from Arnold Brownberry Oroweat Bread, Purdue, Newman’s Own and Eggland’s Best to Pfizer’s consumer healthcare brands, including ChapStick, Robitussin, and several Advil lines. She started at Coyne 17 years ago, back when the agency was small, and only had two employees. What Wolleon didn’t realize back then was the face time she was able to get with top-level directors at Coyne would lay the foundation for her own career. “I started right out of the gate as an account coordinator, an entry-level position, but one of the great benefits that I got to experience at a small agency was the interaction with the senior executives,” she says. “I was in the room with the CEO and president of the company right from the start, learning the creative process.” Throughout her nearly two decades at Coyne, she’s risen through the ranks, from the junior account side and account executive, to senior vice president and her most recent promotion. Wolleon has been a part of Coyne’s success and progression, which includes nabbing some awards for being the best place to work along the way. Coyne’s culture is part of the reason why
she has built her career there. “It’s not uncommon in the communications field to see a lot of jumping around from company to company. When you think about it, you spend more time at work and with the people you work with than you sometimes do at home and with your families, so I think it’s so important to love what you do and do what you love. This is definitely a place where I’ve been able to truly live that over the last 17 years,” she says. But the other reason is that Wolleon loves her job. She loves everything about it. “I love that I never really know what every day is going to bring,” she says. “I love that I work on a couple of different industries, and I’m not afraid to bring bold thinking to the table. It’s just never really the same thing every single day for the same client.” She pays attention to what’s trending, and what’s in the news, so they can leverage it. For example, Wolleon was watching the Home Run Derby this summer, and noticed that Justin Bour from the Miami Marlins was eating doughnuts in between hits. So was New York Yankee Aaron Judge, who eventually beat Bour by one hit. So, she and her team went to their client, Entenmann’s, and told the baked-goods company that they are
New York-bred, just like the Yankees, and asked if they can make pinstriped doughnuts to give to Judge as a congratulatory treat for doing so well in the derby. “It’s these ideas that the client doesn’t expect that can snowball into the biggest successes,” she notes. When Wolleon started at Manhattan, she was actually considering a career in law. Her dad was a lawyer, and she worked with him for a couple of summers during college. But when Wolleon really started to think about her career path, she asked herself if there was anything else she could do, and what would those job characteristics be. “I think it’s really the creative aspect of PR that got me really excited about doing it,” she recalls. As a communication major, Wolleon interned the summer before her senior year at Viacom. That was when it all started to come together for her. “What you learn in the classroom is so important, but that real-world experience is what really brings it all together,” she says. A lot has changed since her intern days at Viacom. The communications and PR fields have evolved dramatically since then and continue to evolve. It can be challenging to stay ahead of the curve. “I think with the constant changing of the way people are communicating, you just have to be on your toes. I think there’s a lot of clutter that you need to break through,” she says. “One is the fact that a lot of people are reaching for the same person, so at some point, only certain messages and brands are going to break through. But the other point is what are the right ways to do it?” One message, however, hasn’t changed for Wolleon throughout the years, and it’s also her best piece of advice. “Don’t be afraid to fail,” she says. “Because you’re going to learn something along the way. So you just have to pick yourself up, take that learning, and get back out there. Then do it better the next time.” MANHATTAN.EDU N 59
Ad Executive Grows Business with Science and Human Connection
PURELY BY COINCIDENCE, the upcoming two-year anniversary of a global marketing agency with both a literal and figurative heart for the business is Feb. 14, 2018 — Valentine’s Day. “That’s the day we got the IPO!” proclaims Kathleen Brookbanks ’80, ’84 (MBA), the chief operating officer of Hearts and Science, an already lauded data-driven firm whose retained clients include AT&T and Proctor and Gamble — two of the biggest media accounts in the world. For its early success and twofold approach, which combines qualitative and quantitative data to connect with consumers and cultivate strong relationships with the clients themselves, AdWeek named Hearts and Science its Breakthrough Agency of the Year in 2017. Brookbanks was also included in the industry publication’s list of the top 50 most indispensable executives in marketing, media and technology.
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This praise for the Manhattan alumna, a former marketing major at the College, is reflective of achievements that span nearly 40 years, since she landed her first job out of college at Young & Rubicam. The Riverdale native fondly recalls that she secured that initial job interview through a classmate from Manhattan. Brookbanks went on to work at the agency for 13 years, where she continued to rise in the ranks. After becoming media director, she eventually moved on to a larger role: managing director of the international advertising, marketing and public relations agency, Ogilvy & Mather. From there, Brookbanks went to OMD Worldwide, where she served in numerous capacities: first as managing director of its Midwest office, and then as president of OMD East, which is headquartered in New York City and at the time, included clients such as Apple, Dell, Hershey, Nissan, and FedEx. Eventually, she became chief operating officer of OMD USA. Brookbanks built her career at a transitional time for the industry. Previously, advertising agencies housed both creative and media planning and buying assets, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were beginning to split off into separate organizations — a shift that was caused largely by the Internet, when people began to consume media digitally, rather than simply through television and radio. As an executive, Brookbanks was responsible for helping to navigate the new media and how it related to her business. “[Both media and creative] were fighting for their fair share of the revenue, so it was a complex situation, but I’ve always thrived in that kind of environment,” she says. Currently, Brookbanks is the chief operations officer at Hearts and Science, an Omnicom Media Group agency, where she is not only navigating new technologies but is also leveraging them to grow the still-young company. That’s the science component of
its business model. But data analytics mean nothing without heart — it’s a blend that allowed the company to secure AT&T as an account within its first six months of business, and net $119 million in its first year, as well as hire 800 employees and set up offices in Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile, Mexico, and other countries. To put the business model for Hearts and Science into perspective, Brookbanks references a campaign involving one of its clients, a certain multinational manufacturer of family, personal, and household care products. In order to best accomplish its advertising goals, Hearts and Science launched a partnership between the company and one of their major retailers. The relationship built between the manufacturer, the retailer, and the ad agency produced a “beauty box” of the company’s products, which, utilizing social media, helped glean information on who purchased the item, and what their buying behaviors were. As a result, the three parties were able to strategize how best to target this audience in the future. But the beauty box itself wasn’t a novel concept, Brookbanks stresses. It largely resembled the popular Birchbox, a monthly shipment of makeup and other beauty products that are tailor-selected for the consumer. The idea wasn’t what mattered, however. It was the execution. “To be innovative, you don’t necessarily need to be original,” says Brookbanks, who regularly employs a “data tells us this, what do we do with it?” mindset. Of all the career accomplishments that have peppered her career so far, perhaps the most significant has been Brookbanks’ ability to achieve success through business acumen and genuine humility — two important keystones of the Hearts and Science business model. “We’re grounded in science, data and technology, but also rooted in the intuition that staying connected to consumers and creativity is what makes brands great,” she says.
From Student Satirist to Hollywood Screenwriter
URING HIS SOPHOMORE YEAR at Manhattan College, Michael O’Hara ’73 penned a modern-day version of the Inferno, the iconic first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century poem The Divine Comedy, for his English class. In it, he drew inspiration from current events — specifically, Robert F. Kennedy’s hesitance in accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1968, before Kennedy died tragically later that year. “I put him in the last circle of hell for being indecisive; it was a little harsh,” jokes O’Hara, who, after graduation, honed his creativity to build equally illustrious careers in screenwriting and executive producing. To date, he has since authored 32 made-for-television movies, including Those She Left Behind (1989) and Switched at Birth (1991), a popular mini-series for NBCUniversal that he also executive produced, and that later received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Dramatic Special. Many of his films are fact-based dramas, an admittedly niche genre that he joked about his achievements in The New York Times after Switched at Birth came out. “Someone described me as the John Hughes of domestic tragedy,” he said at the time. O’Hara has since traded the television set for traditional story-telling — his first published novel, Dos Angeles, was released in 2015. For O’Hara, who grew up in Inwood, New York City has remained a part of his identity throughout his years on the West Coast. He attributes his many accomplishments to hard work, persistence and his education at Manhattan College, where he found a mentor in Brother Eugene Law, FSC, the English professor who lauded the satirical Inferno piece, and offered him the kind of encouragement he needed to explore his craft. (Once, Br. Eugene permitted him to submit his version of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in lieu of a final examination.) “The roots of my writing career were planted at Manhattan College. [Br. Eugene] was probably the biggest influence on me,” says O’Hara, a former English major who shares a Jasper memory with another prominent literary alumnus. In 2003, O’Hara executive produced 1st to Die, a two-part NBC mini-series that was based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson ’69, a former classmate of his at Manhattan College. While they were both undergraduates, O’Hara remembers crossing paths with the now best-selling novelist when he was editor of a student publication to which O’Hara had submitted an article. Patterson reversed the editorial board’s decision to reject the piece he had submitted, and published it anyway.
This act of faith, in some ways, was the prelude to what initially helped to jump-start O’Hara’s screenwriting career in the late 1980s. At the time, he was working as vice president of media relations at NBC — a position he landed after working his way up in the network’s West Coast office for more than a decade. (He had started as a temporary employee after moving to Hollywood with ambitions to be a comedy writer.) O’Hara had been quietly writing on the side, when he passed the script he wrote for Those She Left Behind onto connections he had at the network. The opportunity presented itself perfectly: it was during the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, so network agents were more willing to take risks on first-time screenwriters. After producing the film, it quickly became a slam dunk for NBC. The years since have been something of a whirlwind, and O’Hara has learned many lessons along the way that he’d quickly share with current Manhattan College students. As he did with Br. Eugene, he suggests finding a trusted professional to read your work and who can offer needed perspective. As a writer, it is also important to remember to never stop learning. “You have to experience a lot of things to be a good writer because it allows you to see them from different perspectives,” he says. As a follow-up to Dos Angeles, O’Hara is nearing completion of his second novel, which incorporates several different literary elements. Similar to his career and life thus far, it features various plot lines and characters, proving that everyone you meet and everything you encounter can be fodder for a story.
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Manhattan College records with sorrow the deaths of the following alumni: 1937
Carmine J. Capozzola, 3/22/17
Henry A. Cosentino, 3/26/17 Raymond P. Curley, 9/5/17 George E. Gingras, 12/7/16 Alexander J. McMurray, 7/4/17 Conde B. Pallen, 7/2/17 Martin E. Weekes, 11/26/16
Vito W. Badia, 4/10/17 Paul F. Mercadante, 7/9/17
Arlene K. Bucci, 3/24/17 James K. McMorrow, 6/26/17 Donald J. Tripp, 7/29/17
Frank N. Beckwith, 7/28/17
Samuel S. Stephenson, 6/21/17
Walter D. Van Gieson, 8/27/17
Francis W. Bernacki, 3/16/17 John P. Crawford, 7/10/17 Michael J. Lynch, 9/29/16
Norman J. Blais, 7/16/17 William F. Daly, 3/29/17 Michael A. Freddo, 7/26/17 John C. McCabe, 3/23/17 John W. McGowan, 8/16/17 Charles A. Rivera, 10/2/16 Rudolph P. Russo, 4/6/17
John J. Collins, 3/20/17 John G. Flannery, 5/8/17 Thomas E. Hanley, 8/25/17 Robert J. Hayward, 4/3/17 Carlo P. San Giovanni Jr., 9/6/17 Frederic G. Schwarz, 6/29/17
Paul L. Anderson, 5/21/17 John E. Brennan, 6/13/17 James M. Flood, 3/23/17 Jerome A. Iacobelli, 8/5/17 Thomas P. Lynch, 8/24/17 John R. McByrne, 6/9/17 Frank J. McCann, 6/16/17 Dominick V. Romano, 3/1/17
Hubert D. Donohue, 3/27/17 Robert D. English, 4/16/17 Peter A. Farrell, 4/30/17 Br. Leo R. McAlice, FSC, 8/15/17 James J. O’Donnell, 7/4/17
John R. Collins, 6/16/17 James P. Doyle, 7/14/17 Patrick F. Dunleavy, 3/31/17 George B. Voetsch, 4/29/17
Gerard T. Boyle, 5/6/15
James M. Kearns, 2/14/17 Rodney S. Mazzei, 6/21/17
Walter R. Caughey, 4/17/17 Raymond A. Davis, 4/8/17 Sr. Mary R. Keane, CSJ, 6/2/17 Douglas O. Landy, 5/29/17
Joseph T. Gruspier, 7/12/16 Stanley T. Karachuk, 5/5/17 John J. Marsicano, 5/2/17
Daniel J. Donahue, 5/7/17
Herman N. Agoyo, 4/11/17 Charles E. Byrnes, 2/28/16 Joseph J. Danzi, 6/22/17 John A. Mueller, 5/7/17
Michael A. Collins, 2/26/17 Gerald J. McManus, 6/30/17 Thomas J. Shanahan, 9/2/17
William F. O’Connor, 3/20/17 Henry F. Ryan, 5/21/17
Daniel J. Capozzi, 4/7/17 Jerome P. Cashman, 4/9/17 Robert F. Cozzi, 4/24/17 John F. Croke, 4/8/17 George F. Knapp Jr., 8/19/17 Robert E. Martin, 9/17/17
Edward B. Brown, 4/30/17 Stephen J. Hnat, 6/24/17 Edward L. Montano, 5/30/17 Joseph Squarzini Jr., 4/13/17
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James J. Hunt, 4/28/17 Vincent C. Martines, 2/12/17 Paul C. Mottola, 8/29/17 Robert E. Padian, 9/4/17 Richard D. Vogler, 4/12/17
Lawrence H. Cox, 6/1/16 James D. O’Neill, 4/23/17
Fr. Frank W. Bassett, 7/4/17 Geoffrey T. Burnham, 5/1/17 Michael P. Carey, 7/11/17 John P. Flood, 6/21/17 Joseph M. Kennedy, 5/19/17 James M. Schlomann, 8/20/17 John S. Swierz, 7/7/17
Sheila J. Dunphy, 3/20/17 James A. Fitzgerald, 4/17/17 Dennis M. O’Connor, 3/22/17
Vincent D. Bartolomucci, 4/25/17
Robert C. Franciotti, 8/14/17 Anne M. Gargan, 5/1/17 John A. Ouimet, 8/4/17
James L. Gladden, 2/25/17 Christopher T. Morley, 6/19/17
William J. Lazarou, CPA, 1/3/17
Carol L. Van Scoyoc, 2/12/17
Daniel J. McAloon, 8/2/17 Arlene B. Reiskind, 5/1/15
Thomas J. Eyler ’91 (M), 4/30/17 Daniel J. McFadden, 7/7/17
Elizabeth A. Bazzicalupo, 7/2/16
Clement A. Findlay, 8/11/17
Fr. Carmen Giuliano, 3/7/17
Edward C. Deguisto IV, 7/3/17
Brother Raymond Meagher, FSC BROTHER RAYMOND MEAGHER, FSC, assistant professor emeritus of education, who taught in Manhattan College’s School of Education and Health since 1994, until his retirement in May, passed away on July 18. He was 74. Br. Ray began his time at Manhattan College as a member of the graduate school faculty in the School Counseling program in the mid-1990s. In 2002, he became an assistant professor in the School of Education and Health and taught undergraduates in the School Preparation program. For 11 years, Br. Ray served as the adviser of the Mu Sigma chapter of the international education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. In that time, the chapter won six consecutive Achieving Chapter Excellence awards and participated in Lasallian service-learning trips all across the globe, most recently to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Students knew Br. Ray as an inspiring teacher and caring mentor throughout his time at Manhattan College. His research and work with students was focused on helping them to prepare for their first student-teaching assignments and maintain their passion for teaching early in their careers. “Br. Ray was about building relationships and community and encouraging each individual to share the gifts they had received from God to make classrooms and the world a more inclusive, uplifting place for all,” says Karen Nicholson, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education and Health. “He felt strongly that each teacher had the responsibility to treasure each student and guide each to realize their importance and value.” During his tenure, Br. Ray received Distinguished Lasallian Educator Awards from both Manhattan College and the Brothers of the Christian Schools District of Eastern North America. “Br. Ray, faithful to the inspiration of John Baptist de La Salle, was always and everywhere an older brother to the students entrusted to his care: in class, out of class, after graduation and all during their lifetime,” says Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Ph.D., the College’s vice president of mission. Prior to his time at Manhattan College, Br. Ray served at St. Raymond’s Parish in the Bronx. He was principal of the high school and elementary school, director of education and social services, executive director of the Family Outreach program, and a social worker at the high school. Br. Ray also worked in social services at Lincoln Hall in Westchester County from 1969-81. He started his educational career at St. Peter’s High School in Staten Island, where he taught biology, physical science and mathematics from 1966-69. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from The Catholic University of America in 1966, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from New York University in 1971, and a master’s in social work from Columbia University in 1978. He received his Ph.D. in educational administration and supervision from St. John’s University in 1996. He
was a member of many honor societies and professional organizations, including Phi Beta Kappa, the National Association of Social Workers, and Kappa Delta Pi. A native of New York City, Br. Ray entered the juniorate at Barrytown, N.Y., in 1957 and the novitiate in 1961. He received the religious habit the same year and pronounced his perpetual vows in 1967 at Manhattan College. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers in July, and interment followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, N.Y. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Gerald and Madeline; his niece, Catherine Costella; a grandniece and grandnephews; and cousin, Mary Schlatch.
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Edward Brown ’61 EDWARD BROWN ’61, PH.D., former dean of science and professor of physics for decades, died on April 30. He was 78. Brown began his career at Manhattan College as an assistant in the physics department in 1961 after graduating from the College, where he was awarded the Radford Medal for Physics. At that time, he also received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation. Brown climbed the academic ranks throughout his Manhattan career, earning the title of full professor in 1989. Throughout the course of his tenure, he taught virtually all the courses offered in the physics curriculum. He also worked with numerous students and served as a mentor to student-faculty research projects. Brown was named the first dean of the School of Science in 1994 when Manhattan College expanded the School of Arts and Science into two schools. He served as dean until 2011, when he returned to the faculty as professor of physics. He was still actively teaching at the time of his death. “Under his leadership, the School of Science experienced significant renewal in teaching, curricular developments, and scholarship in a new atmosphere of openness and support,” says Sezar Fesjian, Ph.D., associate professor of physics and chair of the department. “His success and long tenure as the dean of science can be attributed to his knack in building consensus among faculty in diverse fields and to guide them in new directions. His style was always direct and seemingly effortless in making an issue crystal clear and convincing others of the best solution to a problem.” During his more than 50 years at Manhattan College, Brown also served as acting chair of the physics department. Under his direction, the College received a National Science Foundation grant to modernize and expand the optics laboratory, and created a plan to renovate Hayden Hall’s laboratory space. Active on campus, he served as chairperson of the Faculty Welfare Committee, and a member of both the Council for Faculty Affairs and the College Senate. He served on many committees for the board of trustees, including the committee on facilities planning, and served as a faculty member on the President’s Strategic Planning Implementation Group, as well as the chair of the Middle States Task Force III in 1990-91. Brown also published numerous scholarly articles and was an invited lecturer around the country. A graduate of Manhattan College on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Brown earned his doctorate in physics from New York University. He was a member of the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and Sigma Pi Sigma. Brown is survived by his daughter, Martha P. Brown ’89 and son, Edward B. Brown III. His wife, Suellen S. Brown, passed away in 2014.
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Jerome Cashman ’53 JEROME P. CASHMAN ’53, Ph.D., who began teaching at Manhattan College in 1957 and held numerous administrative positions at the College, including serving 20 years as vice president for student services, died on April 9, 2017. He was 89. Cashman, who was appointed assistant professor of psychology in 1962, served as a member of the Counseling department before becoming the director of vocational and psychological counseling. He also served as dean of men, and was named vice president for student services in 1970. During his tenure as vice president from 1970 to 1990, the College experienced many changes, including becoming coeducational and transitioning to a more residential campus. After leaving this administrative position, Cashman went back to his roots and served as a counselor in the College’s counseling center until 1995. “Dr. Jerome Cashman was an outstanding educator and psychologist who was enormously valued for his understanding of the psychological needs of those who sought his advice and counsel,” says Faraj Abdulahad, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of economics and finance, and dean of the School of Business during Cashman’s tenure. “He went about his vocation with great dedication, compassion and friendliness. I had the privilege of working with him administratively for over 25 years.” An alumnus of La Salle Academy and Manhattan College, Cashman earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Fordham University. He was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, Sigma Xi, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, and the Eastern Association of College Deans and Advisors of Students. He also served in the United States Air Force as a sergeant from 1945-1946. Cashman began his academic career as a head counselor for the New York Archdiocesan Vocational Service and served as director of guidance at Seton Hall University.
George Knapp Jr. ’53 GEORGE FRANCIS KNAPP JR. ’53, a former member of the board of trustees and retired vice president and group executive of ITT, died on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 85. An engineering graduate, Knapp served on the College’s board from 1988 to 2003, when he chaired the board’s finance committee. In 2004, he was honored at Manhattan’s Fall Honors Convocation with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. “George was an ideal board member,” says John Lawler ’55, Ph.D., former chair of the board of trustees. “He was always up to date regarding anything that affected or could affect Manhattan. As chair of the all-important finance committee, he, year in and year out, gave succinct and informative reports and recommendations on the budget, on the many capital improvements made during his tenure, on tuition, and on numerous other aspects relative to keeping Manhattan fiscally sound.” According to Lawler, Knapp went beyond the financial aspects of the College as a member of the executive committee. “He was an extremely thoughtful member of the executive committee and could always be relied on to contribute helpful insights to virtually any problem that arose, whether it involved academics, personnel, physical plant, student life, strategic planning or whatever,” Lawler continues. “George lived Manhattan green! We will all miss him.” Knapp comes from a Jasper family. His father, George Knapp Sr., graduated from Manhattan College in 1926 and was president of the College’s Alumni Society from 1953-54. One of his sons, Richard, also graduated from Manhattan College in 1984. Upon graduation, Knapp was drafted into the U.S. Army Signal Corps at the end of the Korean War, and honorably discharged in 1956. Professionally, Knapp began as an engineer in 1956 at New York Telco, where he rose to various executive positions until 1966, when he moved to ITT Corp in Santiago, Chile. In 1968, he was appointed president of Puerto Rico Telco, and ultimately sold the company to the government of Puerto Rico in 1974. Returning to New York, Knapp was appointed vice president and group executive of ITT’s 22 telecom companies until 1982, when he moved to Brussels, Belgium, to serve as director of ITT Europe. He returned to New York again with ITT until his retirement in 1988, which was followed by years of consulting for various venture capital and investment groups in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University in 1964 and attended Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program in 1974. Knapp is survived by his daughters, Eileen Sanchez (Eduardo), Kathleen Hayes (John), and Margaret Knapp-Palin (Bernard Boyle); and son, Richard (Kimberly); 11 grandchildren; and seven greatgrandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his wife of 63 years, Ann Eileen Stanley, this spring; and his son George F. Knapp III in 1983.
“He was an extremely thoughtful member of the executive committee and could always be relied on to contribute helpful insights to virtually any problem that arose ...” – JOHN LAWLER ’55, PH.D.
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John Mueller ’58
JOHN A. MUELLER ’58, retired professor and former chair of civil engineering at Manhattan College, died on May 7. He was 80. Instrumental in coordinating the College’s annual and prestigious Summer Institute in Water Pollution Control, Mueller was involved with water pollution control studies and mathematical models of natural water systems up and down the East Coast, as well as the Elbe River in Germany. This year, the Summer Institute was held for the 59th time. As a consultant for Hydroscience, Inc., in Westwood, N.J., he worked in New York Harbor, Boston Harbor, and the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida, to name a few. Hydroscience was founded by two Manhattan College faculty who became leaders in the field: Donald O’Connor, Ph.D., and Wes Eckenfelder ’46. It was one of the first consulting firms in the nation to specialize in combined wastewater treatment planning and analysis of water quality impacts. Mueller began teaching at Manhattan College as an associate professor of environmental engineering and also served as a visiting research lecturer involved in the toxic substance distribution in the Great Lakes and the James River, Virginia. In 1981, he was appointed chair of the College’s civil engineering department, which has continued to grow throughout the years to become one of the largest departments on campus. Observing that they served in different departments within engineering, Gordon Silverman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering, said he and Mueller attended a number of professional engineering and School of Engineering events and activities. “He was an eminently caring human being whose attitudes embodied the ethical integrity of a teacher who fully understood the Manhattan mission,” Silverman says. An Eagle Scout, Mueller served in the U.S. Air Force. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Lehigh University. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; children, Eileen ’87 (Dave), John ’86, Joseph ’93 (Patrick), Kathy, Anne Marie ’90 (Patrick), Rosemarie ’91 (Michael), and Jennifer ’94 (Carlos); and many siblings and grandchildren.
BERNARD HARRIS, who served as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering for more than three decades at the College, after a successful career in industry, died on Aug. 14, 2017. He was 89. Harris began his career as an associate professor in 1979, while still serving as president of his engineering consulting firm, Harris Scientific Services. Holding two patents, he brought a wealth of industrial knowledge to his classes. “I found him to be a likable people-person, as well as an accomplished technical professional,” says Romeo Pascone, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering. “He was an opera and theater fan, and had great interest in and appreciation for the humanities ... In retrospect, he was an admired and amiable colleague who will be missed.” Before creating his own firm, Harris worked in the research area for Hudson Labs, Sperry Gyroscope, Polarad Corporation and Ocean & Atmospheric Science, Inc. (OAS). He also worked with the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pa. A prolific writer, Harris was a member of American Men of Science, Who’s Who in the East, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi. He also was a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Diamond Lodge, Free and Accepted Order of Masons of Dobbs Ferry, for which he served as master in the early 1980s. A graduate of Cooper Union, Harris earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering from Columbia University, as well as an MBA from Pace University. He also served as a member of the United States Army during World War II. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Maria; children Lynn, Clifford, Robert (Loretta), Bernie (Phyllis), Peter (Jeannie), Steven (Beth), Barbara (Bob) and William (Kristin); grandchildren Mark (JimmieJo), Lindsay (Jeff), Devin, Michael, Marissa, Jacqueline, Catherine, Johnathan, Tyler and Parker; and great-grandchildren. Harris was predeceased by his first wife, Eleanor Pogeweit, in 1968.
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Robert English ’56
“Bob English was incredibly dedicated to alma mater; so much so that I believe the expression ‘he bled Jasper green’ was created for him.”
ROBERT D. ENGLISH ’56, a longtime member of the College’s board of trustees and retired partner at investment management and securities brokerage firm, Neuberger Berman, died on April 16. He was 83. An active philanthropist, English became chairman of the College’s alumni annual giving program in 1983 and was elected to the board of trustees in 1986. He took the annual giving program to new levels of success and organized the Wall Street Seminar Series, beginning in 1985. This program recognized the outstanding record of achievement of Manhattan alumni, which not only strengthened their bond with the College but also provided students with the opportunity to meet fellow Jaspers and to be inspired by their stories. In 1986, English was appointed to the College’s board of trustees and served as a member of the board’s executive, development and nomination committees, for which he played a leading role. “Bob English was incredibly dedicated to alma mater; so much so that I believe the expression ‘he bled Jasper green’ was created for him. I relied heavily on his wise counsel and very much appreciated his ready support and encouragement,” says President Emeritus, Brother Thomas Scanlan, FSC. “He exemplified the 3-T trustee mantra — as he was very generous with his time, talent and treasure,” Br. Thomas adds. “He was head of a wonderful Jasper family. I have no doubt that Brother Jasper and Brother Gregory Hunt and many other Manhatttanites warmly welcomed him to his well-deserved eternal reward in heaven.” On the track team at both Bishop Loughlin High School and Manhattan College, English is a member of both schools’ Hall of Fame. As a Jasper, he was part of the mile relay team that held the United States record. English anchored the Met mile relay championship team at the Penn Relays and was a member of four IC4A and six Metropolitan championship teams. He graduated from Manhattan in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 1997 Fall Honors Convocation. After college, English joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was an officer for 10 years and attained the rank of captain. He started his career with the New York Telephone Company, transitioned to selling insurance with Mutual of New York, and then moved his family to Michigan to enter the investment industry with Bache and Company. He later returned to New York and became a partner at Neuberger Berman until his retirement. English was also a member of Covenant House, the Wounded Marine Semper Fi Fund, Port Washington Port Youth Activities, and various other local charities. A resident of Sands Point, N.Y., he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patsy; his four children, Colleen Quinn ’89, Marypat E. Mulholland ’85, Robert, and Kieran ’93; and his nine grandchildren.
–PRESIDENT EMERITUS, BROTHER THOMAS SCANLAN, FSC
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PHOTO BY DANA MAXSON
PA R TING SHOT
A new addition to the Family Weekend lineup of fun-for-all activities, Family Day at the Bronx Zoo welcomed Jaspers and their parents and siblings to spend a day at another famous Bronx institution in October. 68 N fall 2017
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Who let the dogs out? Beta Beta Beta. Each semester, the national honor society for biology hosts Puppy Day to provide fellow students and the campus community with some cute and cuddly stress relief. The popular event, held for the past two years, raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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