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EDITOR Kristen Cuppek
Fellowship forum introduces students to public service careers, Shake Shack
DESIGNER Kat Lepak
founder speaks at Horan Lecture, Microsoft staff teaches data analytics, L.O.V.E. trip focuses on Flint, Michigan,
ASSISTANT EDITOR Cecilia Donohoe STAFF WRITERS Patrice Athanasidy Taylor Brethauer Christine Loughran CONTRIBUTORS Kelly Carroll Connor Giblin Kevin Ross Amy Surak
and so much more.
Published by the office of Marketing and Communication Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10471 email@example.com Lydia Gray Assistant Vice President, College Advancement and Executive Director, Marketing and Communication
SPORTS Women’s basketball celebrates its 40th anniversary, plus news and recaps of the past winter and fall seasons.
24 THE LEGACY OF LONGEVITY A handful of Manhattan’s longestserving professors reflect upon the College's changing landscape during the past half century.
GRADUATE ASSISTANT John Dove PHOTOGRAPHERS Ben Asen Anna Calma Harriet Carino Josh Cuppek Laura Meoli-Ferrigon Brian Hatton Camryn Holly Emma McDonald
32 ACADEMIC INTERSECTIONS Manhattan’s latest interdisciplinary programs are giving students new perspectives and encouraging connections across the schools.
DEVELOPMENT The De La Salle Dinner honors Con Ed chair and CEO, and meet a student scholarship recipient making his mark in engineering.
ALUMNI The Hall of Fame inducts new stars, alumnotes, Jasper profiles, and more reminiscing about a long-lost tradition.
OBITUARIES In memoriam, Nicholas Kafes,
ON THE COVER At New York City’s virtual and augmented reality space Jump Into the Light, students from the Victorian Media course use virtual reality applications like Tvori and Tilt Brush to create their own 3D animations.
Alfred Del Vecchio, Brother Malcolm O’Sullivan, FSC, Robert La Blanc
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1010 WINS Hosts Community Spotlight on Campus
MITH AUDITORIUM WAS THE VENUE for a Neighborhood Spotlight hosted by New York’s all-news radio station 1010 WINS in March. The twofold purpose of the event was to recognize Bronx businesses that have made positive contributions to the local economy and culture, and to engage in conversation with major area institutions on the roles they serve in the community. The evening opened with an address by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who presented Community Leadership Awards to several well-known establishments in the College’s vicinity, including Lloyd’s Carrot Cake and An Beal Bocht Café. “As I travel around the city and beyond, everyone is talking about the Bronx,” Diaz said, citing promising figures on low unemployment and higher occupancy rates, as well as increased investment in commercial and residential housing development across the borough. He thanked small businesses for continuing to “bet on the Bronx … you’re the backbone of all that’s happening.” Renowned 1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa then introduced the evening’s panelists, who were on hand to discuss the role of anchor institutions in community building. Manhattan College and Hostos Community College were represented by their presidents, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., and David Gómez, Ph.D., respectively. Montefiore Medical Center was represented by Melissa Cebollero, senior director of government and community relations, and Nicole Harris-Hollingsworth, Ed.D., assistant vice president of community and population health. Papa opened the discussion with a question about the ways in which Manhattan, Hostos and Montefiore can reach out to the community. “Unfortunately, we can’t do everything,” GÓmez said. “We have to partner with health-care providers and legal services and others who can do for our community what we cannot.” “[At Montefiore,] we care as much about the health outside our walls as the health and wellness inside our walls,” Cebollero said. “We understand that health is much broader than biological makeup, and the social and economic realities of our patients have probably a bigger impact on their health outcomes.” 2 N spring 2019
O’Donnell, who is on the board of the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, noted that the College is working to help Van Cortlandt Park, the third-largest park in New York City, reach its full potential. “[The park] provides tremendous opportunities for all of us,” he noted. “It’s such a resource at our fingertips ... We recognize that the better the park is, the better Manhattan College and the surrounding community will be.” The conversation then turned to the particular needs of the institutions. GÓmez proposed more “intentional and focused” cooperation between Bronx colleges. “I think a more systematic approach to collective planning on how [colleges] can serve the citizens of this borough is in order,” he said. “We do it on an ad hoc basis, but it’s a tremendous opportunity.” O’Donnell stated that he would like to see greater leadership from state legislators in terms of public-private partnerships that would allow for greater cooperation between public and private colleges. Prior to the public event, Papa met with communication majors and students involved in The Quadrangle student newspaper and the recently relaunched WRCM campus radio station. She recounted the trajectory of her career, from a college radio internship to her early days as a reporter, to her live coverage of tragic and historic events, including 9/11 and the election of Pope Francis. She peppered her experiences with wisdom gleaned from years on the beat. Learning new skills, she explained, with an emphasis on writing, is key. “It’s so important to write well in anything you do,” she said. “Write well, know your English language, know syntax.” When asked how to approach people at the center of a difficult news story, Papa said, “Try to be as classy as possible and treat people with dignity. Always respect who you’re talking to.” Many of the students then attended the 1010 WINS event after their conversation with Papa. Communication major Jennifer Conte ’22 and computer science major Alyssa Tipton ’21, both involved with WRCM, said they were energized by their meeting with the radio icon.
New York City Public Service Leaders Highlight Fellowship Opportunities
EMBERS OF NEW YORK CITY’S PUBLIC SECTOR visited campus this past November to inform students about a range of opportunities that have a productive impact on the lives of their fellow citizens. The Fellowship Forum was moderated by Rob Walsh, the College’s senior advisor for strategic partnerships. Walsh began his career in public service as a New York City Urban Fellow and later directed the program. He also spent 12 years as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS). “Public and community service is part of the DNA of Manhattan College,” he said. “We have seen it over and over again with our students and faculty lifting those in need and building communities. It’s great to see such an enthusiastic response.” Walsh then introduced Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the SBS. Bishop explained that SBS helps to unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting them to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the city. Two prominent SBS members, Lara Birnback and La-Toya Niles, discussed the Neighborhood 360° Fellows Program. Designed to empower community-based organizations, the program offers the tools and resources to help strengthen the city’s commercial districts and create the conditions that attract private investment. Following Birnback and Niles, Emma Kantor spoke about her role as a policy adviser for the Urban Fellows Program. This nine-month fellowship combines work in mayoral offices and city agencies with volunteer service opportunities and a seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy. Elaine Roghanian, director of the Coro Fellows Program in
Public Affairs, concluded with opportunities offered by the program, which uses the city as a classroom to provide Coro Fellows the chance to meet private, public and nonprofit decision makers. Fellows work as a group to develop critical thinking, Emma Kantor, policy adviser for the Urban Fellows Program, governance and and Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the New York City leadership skills Department of Small Business Services, talk to students and go on to join about opportunities to work in the public sector. a community of engaged alumni with the knowledge and skills to make New York City a better place. As a result of the forum, several students have expressed interest in public-sector careers, and fellowship applications already have been met with positive results. Vincent Wiedemann ’19, a history major, was offered a position for the 2019-20 Neighborhood 360° fellowship class, and urban studies major David Caiafa ’19 was accepted to the Urban Fellows Program — the first Manhattan College graduate to participate in the program’s 50-year history.
The College Continues to Earn Military Ranking FOR THE FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR, MANHATTAN COLLEGE HAS EARNED A SPOT ON VIQTORY’s list of Military Friendly Schools and is the only New York City private college to be placed in Military Friendly’s silver category or higher, which includes the top 20 percent of the 766 colleges and universities on the list. Manhattan College has a longstanding commitment to helping educate veterans and ensuring their professional success after graduation. As a partner in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon program, Manhattan has assisted veterans in their transition from military to academic and civilian life and eventual professional careers.
Methodology, criteria and weighting were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
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Manhattan Welcomes GermanAmericans Interned During World War II
NGABORG LUCIE WOHLPART AND HER BROTHER, ALFRED WOHLPART, have vivid childhood memories of their internment during World War II. Like thousands of people of German descent, the siblings and their German-born parents were sent to a camp run by the U.S. government in Crystal City, Texas, in 1943. More than seven decades later, the Wohlparts joined a group of former German internees from the U.S. and Latin America for a “Day of Remembrance” pop-up exhibition held in Kelly Commons in February. The visit was coordinated by Adam Arenson, Ph.D., associate professor of history, and Teresa Van Hoy, Ph.D., professor of history at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, who brought several of her students to the event. Arenson’s HIST 100 students came to interview the internees for reports they will submit to the Tenement Museum in New York City and the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. The former internees are seeking recognition from the U.S. government for the discrimination and confinement they experienced. George Hirose, president of the New York Chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League, was present to show his support. In her introductory remarks, Van Hoy explained that the New York-New Jersey region had the highest detention rate of German-Americans in the United States. “Our purpose in New York is for New Yorkers to learn this history and then tell 5,000 of their best friends,” she said. Historical background was provided by Herbert Scherer, whose late father was repatriated to Germany on the M.S. Gripsholm, a “mercy ship” chartered by the American government to exchange detainees of German and Japanese descent with U.S. citizens living abroad. Scherer displayed FBI lists of families requesting or refusing repatriation to Germany, as well as photographs from the voyage that departed from Jersey City in February 1944. Students then interviewed the visitors, who recounted their wartime experiences and showed mementos, including clothing, photographs and official documents. Otto Schwarz Klaeschen, who was raised in Ecuador, described the forfeiture of his family’s business and property and their eventual detention in the Crystal City internment camp. In a pamphlet he created, Klaeschen described daily life in the camp, where he attended an American school and became fluent in English. Klaeschen’s father, a spokesman for the German camp residents, published a weekly newsletter. In the Dec. 28, 1945 issue, he wrote: “The joyful farewell we are giving to this passing year is a mixture of trust and hope; the NEW YEAR will find us again as useful members of society.” Students also interviewed Ingaborg and Alfred Wohlpart, who described FBI searches of their home in the Bronx and their father’s detention on Ellis Island in 1942. After a year of separation, their mother requested that the family be interned together. “My mother was terrified of being recognized as a German,” Ingaborg said. “At the time the word ‘Nazi’ was used for anybody that was German, including the kids. We were ostracized.”
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MC’s Economic Impact on NYC
After several months in Crystal City, the Wohlparts and hundreds of Germans from the U.S. and Latin America were transported on the Gripsholm to Lisbon, Portugal. From there, they were repatriated to Germany, where some families chose to remain after the war. Ingaborg and Alfred recalled hiding in a root cellar as American soldiers approached their village, and watching as tanks rolled over the ancient cobblestone streets. Their memories were threaded with details — a looted Mickey Mouse watch, candy handed out by U.S. soldiers — that reminded listeners that this was wartime as experienced by children. The opportunity to speak to people with indelible memories of World War II gave Manhattan students insights into the consequences of a government policy that was intended to root out potential enemies. Sean Tierney ’22, a freshman engineering major, says he hadn’t been aware of the treatment of German-Americans. “I feel like these things are pushed under the rug,” he notes. “It was eye-opening for me,” says Rebecca Grech ’19, a senior engineering major. “I was thinking about how history repeats itself and how the discrimination the German community faced parallels discrimination issues that communities are facing now.” “Our internees and their descendants (nearly 20) very much enjoyed sharing their stories with Manhattan College students,” says Van Hoy, in an email. “[St. Mary’s University] students also felt energized by the engagement of Manhattan students. At all levels — young and old — we were pleased to team up.” Back in the classroom, Arenson’s students wrote reflections on their interactions with the internees and their relatives, and considered how to bring their histories into the public eye. “They discussed how important it was to have objects and photographs, as well as stories, to be able to tell these stories in as many ways as possible,” Arenson notes. Time to tell 5,000 friends. (Opposite page, top to bottom) During a visit from former German internees and their relatives, Herbert Scherer, whose father was interned and eventually repatriated to Germany, describes the February 1944 voyage of the mercy ship M.S. Gripsholm 75 years ago. The ship carried Scherer’s father and more than 600 others to Portugal before their repatriation to Germany. Attendees pore over letters and documentation that attest to the internees’ wartime experiences. (This page) Otto Schwarz Klaeschen shares memories of his childhood years in the Texas internment camp during WWII.
THE COLLEGE IS DOING MORE THAN JUST EDUCATING and preparing students for lifelong success; it’s also making an impact on New York City’s economy. Manhattan College provided a $324.7 million economic impact to New York City’s economy in 2017, through its institutional operations and jobs related to supporting student services and construction. The report comes from the Center for Governmental Research on behalf of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). In 2017, the study showed that the College’s spending translated to $121 million in wages, was responsible for 2,330 jobs, and contributed $8.7 million in New York State income and sales tax revenue. Manhattan is one of 48 independent private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the five boroughs that contribute as much as $58 billion to New York City’s economy. Meanwhile, New York’s 100-plus private, not-for-profit colleges and universities contributed $88.8 billion to New York’s economy in 2017, according to the CICU study. The economic impact of these institutions has increased by 12 percent since 2015. “The findings of this study underscore the vital role that private, not-for-profit institutions like Manhattan College play as economic engines and job creators throughout the state,” President Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., says. The study looked at three components of total economic impact: institutional impact, which includes spending on instruction, research, construction, salaries and spillover spending; student and visitor impact, which includes spending by students at local stores and restaurants and spending by campus visitors including parents, conference attendees, and sporting event attendees; and academic medical center impact, which includes patient revenue and the benefit of residents and fellows at New York’s nine academic medical centers. New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities educate nearly 500,000 students annually — 39 percent of the total college students enrolled in the state — and confer 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees, 73 percent of the master’s degrees, and 79 percent of the doctoral and professional degrees awarded in the state. MANHATTAN.EDU N 5
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At Senior Wisdom Retreat, the Young Lead the Old(er)
MID THE BUSTLE OF THEIR FINAL SEMESTER BEFORE GRADUATION, more than 50 Manhattan seniors had a chance to step away from college life in February to reflect on the past four years and prepare for the next chapter of their lives. Now in its third year, the Senior Wisdom Retreat was conceived as a way for underclassmen to show their appreciation for the wisdom that they’ve gained from their “elders.” With assistance from the office of Campus Ministry and Social Action, a group of sophomore and junior student leaders spent the greater part of a year planning the overnight retreat, which was held at the Empowerment Center in Goshen, New York. Conor Reidy, campus minister, notes that the senior retreat, which is part of the Lasallians in Faith Together (L.I.F.T.) program, is intended for students from a variety of religious backgrounds, or none at all. “Spiritual maintenance is very important, and it can be very exciting, but it can also be as practical as brushing your teeth or exercising,” he says. One of the goals of the retreat, he adds, is to provide seniors with “a toolbox with different tools — whether it be meditation, prayer, conversation, poetry or books — ways in which they can continue to exercise their spiritual muscles.” The six student leaders who organized and ran the retreat traveled to Goshen the night prior to the retreat’s start. They made beds, prepared meals and decorated so that the senior participants had no work to do once they arrived (other than turning in their cell phones!). Isabel Quiñones ’20, a double major in childhood special education and math, had participated in other off-campus retreats, such as Kairos. As a student leader, she says she wanted participants to become comfortable with the unknowns that come with leaving college life behind. She led a reflection activity on time management that underlined the importance of knowing one’s priorities. 6 N spring 2019
“In adult life, you can’t do everything and stretch yourself too thin,” she says. “We talked about balancing work or grad school with maintaining healthy relationships with your family.” During the course of 24 hours, through prayer, meditation, reflection, communal meals, a scavenger hunt and a raucous Manhattan College-themed trivia game, the seniors had time to both enjoy the company of their fellow Jaspers and contemplate the wisdom they’ve received and shared while at the College. Taylor Brethauer ’19, a communication major, enjoyed a craft activity in which students decorated mason jars and wrote encouraging notes to one another. “I have a lot more friends and people I’ve known since freshman year than I thought,” she says. “I received so many heartfelt notes and was able to reflect on fond memories I’ve shared with them.” As a surprise, students were shown a video of messages of advice and encouragement recorded by Manhattan faculty, staff and alumni. Quiñones says, “We wanted it to be known that all the people on the retreat are there for you, and then some.” “It was such a delight seeing people that I’ve looked up to as role models say that everything will be OK and our futures are so bright,” Brethauer says. On the retreat’s second day, Brother Ralph Bucci, FSC, career development recruitment coordinator, led a unique reflection in which students made two clay cups, first with their eyes open and the second with their eyes closed. By following spoken directions and focusing on the clay and their own movements, students had to disregard considerations such as aesthetic quality and what their neighbor’s cup looked like. Br. Ralph says the exercise is a metaphor for personal and spiritual growth. “You can’t do it with just three fingers,” he notes. “You need an overall support, such as the acceptance of family or friends, or God’s presence.” By the retreat’s end, the seniors were ready to face the rigors of life back at Manhattan — and beyond its gates. The effort and planning of the underclassmen was appreciated by all. “Everything was clearly done out of their appreciation and love for the graduating class,” Brethauer says. “It was yet another example of why I’m so happy to be part of the Jasper community.” “They do it out of the kindness of their hearts,” Reidy says. “They are very dedicated. It’s kind of incredible how lucky we are with our student leaders.” Mixing contemplation and fun, the February 2019 Senior Wisdom Retreat gave seniors a chance to reflect on their college years and what lies ahead after graduation.
History in the Bronx (HIST 100) Course Description: THE CURRICULUM AT MANHATTAN COLLEGE CHANGES and adapts as the times require. This is especially evident in the new School of Liberal Arts program, Digital Arts and Humanities, or DAsH for short. DAsH courses integrate technical skills such as data mining, website design and digital archive research into traditional liberal arts subjects. In one such course, History Seminar: History in the Bronx (HIST 100), students explore the legacy of slavery in the Bronx through the use of online government and ancestral records. Led by Adam Arenson, Ph.D., associate professor of history, the class is learning and practicing new digital skills that the DAsH program seeks to encourage. Students have several opportunities for community-engaged learning, including visits with community leaders and museum professionals at slave burial grounds in Joseph Rodman Drake Park in the Hunts Point neighborhood and Van Cortlandt Park. The course also builds upon work already done by the New York City Department of Education; the Kingsbridge Historical Society; and the schoolchildren of P.S. 48. The class looks into slavery’s legacy in a community where “most people wouldn’t think of there being a legacy of slavery at all,” Arenson notes. Off-campus visits are required in order to ensure that students interact with the community as they learn from it. Online texts also relate the course back to real-world concepts. Arenson hopes that the process of framing and investigating questions of slavery’s impact in the Bronx and investigating the availability of digital information will serve as an eye-opening experience both for his students and the College’s community partners. (To learn more about DAsH, see page 32.) Texts: Assorted online reading materials Lectures: Mondays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:45 p.m. Professor: Adam Arenson, Ph.D. About the Professor: With a concentration in slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Arenson builds his classes around his research and knowledge of important historical moments. HIST 100 is particularly relevant as he researches his third book, which looks at African-Americans who moved between the U.S. and Canada during emancipation. Along with his desire to connect Manhattan College to the Kingsbridge and Riverdale communities, Arenson’s interest in public history projects was piqued when he found fragmentary and census evidence of slavery in the area. These projects could ultimately help to explain and recover some of the history of Bronx regions, including the former Van Cortlandt, Pell and Hunts Point plantations. Before joining the Manhattan faculty, Arenson received his Master of Philosophy, Master of Arts and doctoral degrees from Yale University, and his A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges.
Hourani Honored for Outstanding Achievement EACH YEAR SINCE 1941, the national organization for heavy construction industry professionals, The Moles, has selected two individuals to receive its Outstanding Achievement Award. Honorees are traditionally chosen from the leadership ranks of the construction industry. However, last year the organization made a rare exception and bestowed the award on a Manhattan College professor who has been a force in the industry by virtue of a three-decade career spent in the classrooms and labs of Leo Hall: Moujalli Hourani ’81, D.Sc. Hourani, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the graduate program in civil engineering and construction management, has long been recognized for his dedication, having received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award for 2004-05. The Manhattan alumnus also has garnered the Civil Engineering department’s Teacher of the Year honors 10 times since 1995. Considering Hourani’s legacy of mentoring civil engineers, it’s no wonder that Jaspers from The Moles’ membership ranks lobbied for his recognition. The late Michael McHugh ’80 initiated the nomination process several years ago, and Milo Riverso ’81, president and chief executive officer of STV Group Inc., took up the nomination and presented the award to his old friend and classmate at the awards dinner in January. “Dr. Hourani is renowned throughout the design and construction industry for his personal touch and untiring dedication to his students and their families,” The Moles tribute states. “He has a longstanding record of mentoring his students, from finding ideal starting positions for them as they embark on their careers to then fostering close relationships throughout their professional careers.” Hourani’s own words bear this out. “I love my students,” he says. “Unless you are able to love, you cannot teach, and unless you are being loved, you are not going to learn.” “The recognition is not really for me, it’s for Manhattan,” he continues. “It’s really for all my students who made me a much better teacher and a better human being.” MANHATTAN.EDU N 7
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Shake Shack Founder Makes a Case for Community at Horan Lecture
CELEBRATED RESTAURATEUR AND PHILANTHROPIST DANNY MEYER served up insights gathered from his journey to the pinnacle of the culinary world at the College’s John J. Horan Endowed Lecture last November at the University Club. Known for founding fine-dining establishments like Union Square Café, as well as the crowd-pleasing Shake Shack burger chain, Meyer promoted his take on corporate social responsibility to an audience of more than 100 Manhattan College alumni, faculty and special guests. “Whoever wrote the rule,” he asked, “that a restaurant can’t be a citizen?” Eugene McGrath ’63, former chairman and CEO of Con Edison, introduced Meyer, recalling their work together on the 14th Street Union Square Local Development Corporation. “In addition, he somehow found the time to commit himself to fighting hunger and lifting those New Yorkers who needed a hand and a good meal,” McGrath said, referring to Meyer’s longstanding involvement with hunger-relief nonprofits Share Our Strength and City Harvest, among others. Meyer traces his culinary roots to his youth in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was exposed to guests from France, international cuisines and lively mealtime debates, all thanks to his father’s travel business. “I was actually getting pretty intense training for who I became and where I ended up,” he said. “I really liked what was on my plate and what was in my glass … I loved the power of the table to bring
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people together, and I always looked at the table as the place where we had our best conversations.” Another experience that proved foundational was Meyer’s first post-college job as an election campaign field coordinator. He quickly learned that, in order to unify and motivate a volunteer workforce, it was important to identify a higher purpose. He applied that lesson five years later, in 1985, when he opened Union Square Café near the eponymous Manhattan park. “I wanted to hire the kind of people who easily could have gotten another 25 jobs in New York City,” he said. “I treated them as if they were actually volunteering to give that part of their lives to us.” In the 1980s, the Union Square neighborhood was characterized by widespread crime, drugs and decay. Meyer soon became involved in community-building efforts to revitalize the area. “A restaurant that is named after a park has a responsibility to be a great citizen for that park, and a placemaker for its neighborhood,” he said. “When other communities were saying, ‘We cannot have homeless people in our community,’ the Union Square community said, ‘We want the Genesis House in our community, to find a dignified way for formerly homeless people to get back on their feet.’” He carried that ethos with him when he launched Eleven Madison Park, through which he became involved with efforts to rejuvenate and sustain the adjacent Madison Square Park. His efforts succeeded (and then some) when a seasonal hot dog stand he established in the park grew into New York City-favorite Shake Shack. The company went public in 2015 and now has 200 U.S. and international locations. Meyer joked that, in spite of his many years in the world of fine dining, he is often recognized as “that hamburger guy” by passersby on the street. Through a public-private partnership with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the flagship restaurant contributes nearly a million dollars to the park annually. Meyer has since relinquished his financial stake in Shake Shack, but his portfolio of upscale eateries and catering establishments, the Union Square Hospitality Group, continues to expand. Meanwhile, his commitment to what he calls “enlightened hospitality,” both within and beyond the walls of his restaurants, hasn’t wavered. “There has not been one day,” he said, “whether it’s fighting hunger in New York, or whether it’s trying to build parks like Union Square Park or Madison Square Park, that I have not felt that I have gotten much more in return.” The Horan Lecture Series was endowed by the late John J. Horan ’40, who served as chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck for almost a decade. The series features notable figures from business, media, the arts and beyond.
Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, traces his career from his early years as a political campaign staffer to his setbacks and successes as a restaurateur, at the Horan Lecture in November.
Microsoft Employees Serve as Data Analytics Instructors AS THE WORKPLACE BECOMES MORE TECH-DRIVEN and fast-paced, data analytics have proven to be a key factor for staying ahead of the curve. The O’Malley School of Business strives to prepare students to use cutting-edge analysis technology in preparation for their future careers. The Data Mining for Business Analytics course (BUAN 410), designed to use real-world examples to foster the development of data-analytic thinking through the use of data mining software, did just that. The class, taught by Musa Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of computer information systems and data analytics, invited two technical solution specialists from Microsoft to serve as guest instructors for the new software, Power BI. Power BI is a business analytics service that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards. In February 2019, Gartner, a global research firm for leaders in IT, designated Microsoft the industry leader in the “2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform” as a result of the capabilities of the new platform. To give students insider knowledge on current software applications, Jafar reached out to John O’Sullivan ’87, a technology strategist at Microsoft. O’Sullivan then connected Jafar to his Microsoft colleagues Steven Batista and Kendall Jakes to teach a crash course in Power BI. The two specialists spent a week guiding students along the program and introducing them to the new application features. “I had never used Power BI before this class, and by the end of the week, I felt like my skills were enhanced with this application,” Ashley Pajer ’20 says. “And it serves as a good résumé booster.”
Batista and Jakes taught advanced data mining techniques by using real-world examples. They reviewed data from New York City’s MTA website and broke down statistics from the National Football League’s 2018 season. “Having the Microsoft team take over the Data Mining for Business Applications class for a week gave our students an opportunity to communicate directly with Microsoft with hands-on real data, real projects and real applications,” Jafar says. Students from Manhattan College’s business data analytics club, along with Alin Tomoiaga, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer information systems, also planned to visit Microsoft’s midtown Manhattan office at the end of the spring semester. “We want to be on the cutting-edge of data analytics. It’s essential for a range of business careers, from finance to marketing,” says Donald Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the O’Malley School of Business. “We appreciate the Microsoft team visiting our classroom and look forward to building on this relationship.”
Graduate Education Program Receives Grant from My Brother’s Keeper Alliance MANHATTAN COLLEGE’S TEACHER OPPORTUNITY CORPS (TOC) recently received a grant from the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance for graduate special education. Former president Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. The MBK grant-funded program is a continuation of the original TOC program, with greater emphasis on reaching men of color. Through TOC II MBK, Manhattan College partners with high-need school districts in New York City and Yonkers to offer teachers and paraprofessionals the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in
education. The tuition-assisted intensive training program leads to New York State childhood (grades 1- 6) or adolescence special education certification with the option for a bilingual extension. The project seeks to increase the number of teachers from underrepresented groups who are qualified to teach bilingual students and those with disabilities. It provides enrichment activities and mentorship for the graduates’ first year of teaching. Based on a cross-discipline model, the program fosters the collaboration of general, English language learner, and students with disabilities teachers in order to promote the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to increase the achievement of all students.
Since 2001, 92 percent of the College’s Teacher Opportunity Corps participants have completed the program, were recommended for certification and remain in the education field. Of those, 83 percent teach in high-need schools, and five percent hold administrative positions in high-need schools. A former school paraprofessional, Ysmel Del Orbe ’18 is now a teacher at PS 294 in the Bronx and is pursuing bilingual certification. She says that participating in the program has changed her as an educator. “I am more aware of all the needs of all students,” she writes. “I am able to take into consideration all of the cultural differences and ensure that they are addressed in my lessons.” MANHATTAN.EDU N 9
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Faith in Flint
organize clothing donations that would benefit residents in GROUP OF STUDENTS TRAVELING TO FLINT, need. While observing classes taking place in three nearby MICHIGAN, in January encountered something elementary schools, the group witnessed another troubling unexpected during their visit. Despite issues reality — exposure to lead poisoning had caused many young of prolonged economic struggle and, more recently, a children to suffer from developmental learning delays. widespread water crisis, participants of a recent Lasallian Students also had the opportunity to sit down with a Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) trip found that clerk for a local judge, who told them about mental health residents still had faith in the city’s recovery. programming currently offered to people with criminal Student leader Olivia Gartland ’19 can recall one instance convictions. in particular where that feeling was palpable. She and five Through an assortment of formal and informal meetings, other Jaspers — Allison Hickey ’19, Sophia Misiakiewicz the group’s understanding of the Flint water and economic ’20, Michael Hackett ’20, Kerianne Costello ’21, and trip crises deepened, and so did their passion for educating adviser Amy Surak — were attending an evening event that friends and family back home. convened city officials, community leaders and residents Gartland, a marketing major focusing on business at the Flint Public Library. After voicing opinions about analytics, presented on problems largely related the topic of Flint in New to the Flint water crisis, York City to colleagues at the room divided into the sustainable eyewear small groups to discuss company Warby Parker, the issue, which began in where she worked as a 2014 and has since exposed communications intern. roughly 100,000 people to “People were shocked, lead poisoning. A series of and asked how they could candid discussions during help. I told them to visit and those talks intimated support the local economy, people’s hopefulness for and hear from the people the future. living there,” Gartland says. “We learned a lot In its inaugural year, the about community, and the Flint trip exemplifies the resilience and positivity [of L.O.V.E. program’s mission the residents] rubbed off to educate students about on us,” Gartland says. During a new Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience trip to Flint, Michigan, social justice issues facing The city of Flint has a group of students learn about the city’s recovery efforts in the wake of the communities domestically been struggling since the recent water crisis, as well as its longtime economic struggles. and abroad. mid-1980s, when a onceAccording to Lois Harr, executive director of campus thriving workforce was stomped out by the downsizing of ministry and social action, and assistant vice president for General Motors, which eliminated thousands of jobs. For student life, the trip also embodies its five main pillars — Manhattan students, the purpose of the L.O.V.E. trip was to service and social justice, cultural immersion, community, culturally immerse themselves in Flint and discover what it’s spirituality and simple living. like to be a part of the community in its current economic “A L.O.V.E. trip provides an opportunity for students to climate. Through interpersonal conversations and service events organized in part by the Firestone Center, an advocacy see, judge and act on long-standing issues of social justice. Specifically, in Flint, students learned how racial and and social justice organization, students learned the socioeconomic inequities resulted in the disastrous water impact of various racial and economic injustices. They also crisis that largely affected poor people and people of color,” discovered how many families are currently living without she says. electricity and clean drinking water. During spring break, students in the L.O.V.E. program also During their time in Flint, L.O.V.E. students took part traveled to Montana, Jamaica, Palestine and the Dominican in service events led by Luke’s Center for Life, Whaley Republic. This summer, groups will head to Arizona, Illinois Children, Crossover Ministries and other nearby nonprofit and Florida. groups. They helped to distribute food in soup kitchens and
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Manhattan Hosts International Conference on Refugee Crisis
Commemorating the Tercentenary of Saint De La Salle’s Death “I HONOR THE GUIDANCE OF GOD in every aspect of my life,” were the final words spoken by Saint John Baptist de La Salle. After suffering from chronic rheumatism and asthma, he died on Good Friday, April 7, 1719, just shy of his 68th birthday. Throughout this year, the Lasallian world will celebrate the tercentenary of the Holy Founder’s completion of his earthly journey. This is an important and meaningful occasion for the College community to trace our roots, remember our successes and failures, and reflect on our heroes and our spirit. The Manhattan spirit goes back to De La Salle, more than 300 years ago, when he accepted the challenge of educating the poor children of France. He and the early Christian Brothers brought to the task faith, zeal and devotion — and they did it well. De La Salle was tested by disappointments and failures, but his faith in God remained untouched. It was, perhaps, his most striking characteristic. His whole life can be seen as a profound journey of faith. This anniversary proves significant because it helps us to remember and appreciate the important Christian values that guided the Founder and that guide us in our daily lives.
IN NOVEMBER, MANHATTAN COLLEGE HOSTED the 2018 Refugee and Migrant Education Network International Conference, a three-day event focusing on the responsibility and role of universities and other institutions in light of two new international agreements emerging from the United Nations: the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration. The participants included faculty and researchers from nearly a dozen countries and from higher education institutions and organizations continuously working for the well-being of refugees and migrants, including the Center for Migration Studies in New York and the Jesuit Refugee Service. “At the first International Conference on Refugee and Migrant Education last year in Rome, Pope Francis called on colleges and universities to take a more proactive role in responding to the challenges facing refugees and migrants today,” said Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies, who helped to organize the conference on campus. “As a Catholic college in New York City, Manhattan College is well positioned to respond to this crisis. By hosting this global conference, we were able to respond to this call and show the ways our Lasallian Catholic community is responding to this crisis. I’m proud of what we are doing, and I hope that other colleges in the United States will follow our lead.” Featured speakers included Stephen Rasche of the Catholic University of Erbil in Iraq; Joan Rosenhauer, executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service USA; Ashish Gadnis, co-founder and CEO of BanQu; and Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations. Each delivered keynote addresses on the moral and ethical responsibilities of universities in response to the realities of migrants and refugees. A number of Manhattan College students, faculty and staff also participated in the conference, including Naouras Mousa Almatar ’20, Kaiyun Chen ’19, Katherine Compton ’19, August Kissel ’20, Kelsey Quartulli ’19, Donya Quhshi ’19, Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center and associate professor of religious studies, Ricardo Dello Buono, Ph.D., professor of sociology, Jacqueline Martin, coordinator of social action, and Luisanna Sardu, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern languages and literatures.
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Yankees Manager Leads Off Student Lecture Series
OST DIEHARD YANKEES FANS REMEMBER where they were on the night of Oct. 16, 2003, as the team faced off against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh game of the American League Championship Series. They especially remember Aaron Boone’s 11th-inning, walk-off home run, which dramatically clinched the Bombers a spot in the World Series. In late January, having completed his first season as the Yankees’ manager, Boone shared his thoughts on leadership with students and faculty at the Student Engagement Lecture Series. Boone finished the 2018 season with a 100-62 record and led the team to the American League Division Series. As someone who played in the majors for 18 years, he has seen both healthy and toxic environments in the clubhouse. As a manager, he emphasizes the importance of creating a healthy team culture while pursuing a winning season. “My biggest strength this season was the people in the clubhouse,” he said. “They set a culture of winning, which ultimately rubs off on others and helps athletes put their best foot forward. Team culture is a top-down thing, and I feel I play an integral role in providing a place where the team is in a healthy environment.” Boone noted that the biggest role player on and off the field was 2017 Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge. “He was my biggest surprise,” Boone said. “He is a special player and person, and his presence is known when he is on the roster.” Audience members were eager to ask Boone questions about his attitude toward the game and his decision-making process as spring training and the 2019 season approached.
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Regarding any potential deal to sign former National League MVP Bryce Harper, who was a free agent at the time, he said: “I have a good idea of what the team will look like for next year, but I never say never, and there are always some last-minute opportunities that you don’t want to turn away.” He noted that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman works on acquisitions, but that he is always aware of the possibilities. A student mentioned that the game has recently been criticized for its slow pace and its potential to lose fans. “I have loved the game from when I was a kid to right now, but I think there are always things that could be improved on,” he said. “MLB has been thinking of ways to improve the game and speed time, which has been a problem.” In a time where baseball analytics has become a major part of the game, a student asked Boone whether he uses his gut or the data to make game-time decisions. Boone considers analytics helpful for decision-making, but the snap decisions that are made in a game are based off of what the data is saying, whether or not the coaches realize it. After the formal discussion, attendees were invited to take pictures and get in quick one-on-one conversations with the Yankees manager.
Current Yankees manager and the hero in one of the most memorable moments in Yankees postseason history, Aaron Boone visited campus in January to discuss leadership with the College community. Those in the audience, including the Manhattan College baseball team (above), had the chance to ask the former infielder about the game and his thoughts on the upcoming season, and even tried to sneak in a few questions about possible free agent signings.
With Last Lecture, Geisst Bids the College Adieu SINCE 1985, CHARLES GEISST, PH.D., the Ambassador Charles A. Gargano Professor of Global Economics and Finance, has been explaining emerging and arcane economic concepts to his students. So it is only fitting that in March, on the eve of his retirement, Geisst delivered a Last Lecture: Financial Crises Past and Present before an audience of longtime colleagues, current students and alumni protégés who gathered in Kelly Commons to hear his thoughts one last time. In his remarks, Geisst focused on American financial crises from the mid-1800s to the present day and addressed the specter of future meltdowns. “You can only use the past as a guide,” he said. “I know well when somebody says, ‘Can it happen again?’ that they’re going to ask the old question, “Does history repeat itself?’ Guess what? It does.” He then traced the pattern of recessions and depressions in the United States during the past 200 years. These financial calamities, Geisst pointed out, were actually panics brought on by steep declines in the credit market, rather than the stock market. “We’ve been hearing about the [stock market] averages every day on the news since we were all children,” he said. “How do we possibly question the law of the stock market? Well, we Americans have a problem: The stock market is too central a part in our lives. We wouldn’t have this discussion in Germany.” Geisst then outlined the events that preceded the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. The 1920s, he explained, began with a relatively severe recession, followed by a recovery. A consumer boom then ensued, during which people developed a taste for a more affluent
lifestyle. Consumer credit increased, and commercial building and residential building took off. “The competition grew so fierce among the builders during that time that builders were advertising apartments in Yonkers, calling it ‘the new frontier of New York City,’” he said. A land boom developed in the Sun Belt states, during which people were buying land sight unseen. “Unsuspecting Yankees” were sold a piece of the dream — only to find that the towns in which the land was sold didn’t exist. Yet the notion of regulation didn’t sit well with New York bankers who sat on the board of the Federal Reserve. “When the idea of slowing down credit was actually mentioned, the attitude was, ‘There’s a stock market boom going on; there’s a credit market boom going on. Why would you want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?’” he said. Eventually, the stock market crashed “under numbers that would seem almost implausible,” and the Great Depression soon followed. The whole chain of events, Geisst noted, is strikingly similar to the one that began in more recent memory, starting with the dot-com bubble of 1999-2000 and leading to the financial meltdown that began in 2007-08. “You can’t draw much more of a parallel because that’s about where we are now,” Geisst said. “It was clear from Dr. Geisst’s lecture that he is at the forefront of scholarly knowledge on the different financial markets,” said John Dove ’18, MBA ’20, who attended the event.
“His ideas about credit market statistics will help me with investment choices in the future.” “It was a privilege to hear professor Geisst’s Last Lecture,” said Don Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the O’Malley School of Business. “He was able to provide that sweeping historical knowledge characterizing his many books. With vivid examples, he remarked on the certainty and pattern of financial cycles and why the actions of the Wall Street elite are so consequential for the rest of America and the world. Dr. Geisst is a skeptic about the equities markets, and he helped us all to think more carefully about them.” Geisst has published 20 books focused on financial history. Collateral Damaged: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America (Bloomberg Press, 2009), was named one of 2009’s best business books by USA Today and Choice. Wall Street: A History (Oxford University Press, 1997, 2004, 2012, 2018) was on The New York Times Business Bestseller List for three months and has been translated into several languages. For countless business journalists in the U.S. and around the world, Geisst has been a key contact who can interpret financial data and provide context for audiences. He has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, including ABC World News, Nightline, CBS Evening News and Frontline. MANHATTAN.EDU N 13
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Peace Week Panel Addresses Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Ph.D., director of the College’s Catholic Studies program, and Father Thomas Franks, OFM Cap., College chaplain, join Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Ph.D., vice president for mission, for a panel discussion on the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church.
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N THE WAKE OF THE SCANDALS THAT HAVE COME TO LIGHT in the past 20 years, the Catholic Church has been confronting the issue of sexual abuse by members of its clergy. As part of the College’s annual Peace Week, which highlights issues of race, disparity and injustice, a panel discussion on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was held in February. Students and faculty gathered to listen and ask questions about the history of sexual abuse within the church and what developments to expect moving forward. Manhattan College chaplain Father Thomas Franks, OFM Cap., Brother Jack Curran, FSC, Ph.D., vice president for mission, and Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and director of the Catholic Studies program, were the featured panelists. Moderator Heidi Furey, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Ethics, presented them with three broad questions. The first question pertained to the scope of the problem that is facing the church. Overall, from 2001 to 2010, the Vatican has received sexual abuse allegations involving about 3,000 priests dating as far back as 50 years. “The main crimes are the sexual abuse of minors, as well as the church trying to cover up their acts,” Br. Jack said. “In addition, religious sisters and nuns have been sexually abused.” Imperatori-Lee noted: “The majority of the crimes that we are discussing happened in the distant past, the ’40s through the ’70s; the revelation of these crimes have come from 1995 to the present.”
The second question addressed why this scandal has happened. “The practice of moving offending priests from one diocese to another without informing the bishop of the diocese to which the offending priest was going allowed more abuse to take place,” Imperatori-Lee said. “Our understanding of consent has completely changed, and clericalism has allowed priests to be seen as superhuman in the eyes of young kids. Pedophilia is also something that you cannot rehab out of a person.” Fr. Thomas, the only ordained priest on campus, explained how the church is far behind in sexual education. “The church’s teaching on sexuality is incredibly distorted,” he said. “Young boys were taught that human development was not a topic of viable conversation. The principle that was taught was if you just don’t say anything it will go away. It led to an unhealthy climate.” The final question posed to the panelists was, “What is the church doing to make sure this does not happen again?” “The Lasallian part of our community puts the burden on each other,” Br. Jack responded. “This is our problem that can be fixed from the inside. I have seen many students at the College concerned about how they can make a difference.” “The bishops of the U.S. Catholic Church gathered and created the Dallas Charter, which is a review board for allegations and files the pattern of action,” Fr. Thomas concluded. “There are also two educational institutions that make priests attend ongoing training about appropriate relational boundaries.” At the end of the panel, the audience submitted written questions to the presenters on topics ranging from clericalism to the modernization of the church’s views.
Christen Program Explores British Mapmakers’ Erroneous Vision of the New World
RITAIN’S IMPERIALISTIC AMBITION TO COLONIZE AMERICA meant one thing to the empire: wealth. After the Seven Years’ War ended in 1763, British mapmakers set out to survey the vast domain of the New World to help create a new empire. At the biannual Robert J. Christen Program in Early American History and Culture, held in February, University of Virginia professor of history, S. Max Edelson, Ph.D., explained how British cartographers underestimated the versatility and complexity of North American geographical features. This turned out to be Britain’s undoing for conquest of the New World in the late 1700s. Edelson, who recently published his book, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence, concentrated his studies on British cartography of colonial America as a Kislak Fellow in the Library of Congress. He presented his research through a captivating digital presentation featuring original maps of Florida, the New England coast, the Mississippi River, the Native American frontier, and new island colonies in the Caribbean. “These images express the belief that, with these maps, they could govern the colonists with ease and expand the reach of the British Empire,” Edelson said. He curated a sample of 257 maps that illustrate how Britain attempted to take command of a great Atlantic empire. Access to the Mississippi River was key to navigating the southern territory of British America. However, the Spanish controlled the territory in the South (modern-day New Orleans), and the British needed to access the river without getting into conflict. They believed they could do this by utilizing smaller tributaries, as detailed by the maps of the landscape. However, the open waterway that appeared to be unobstructed on paper turned out to be little more than a shallow stream. In order for the British to build a new fort along the Mississippi, they needed to clear out the stream. This took months to accomplish. “What seemed to have the potential to be one of the most useful colonies was a geographic blunder with no useful waterways connecting them with the trade of the Atlantic,” Edelson said. King George III had his eye on the development of agriculture and industry, and the islands of the Caribbean stood out as a ripe place for sugarcane to flourish. The map of the island of Dominica was shown to have rolling hills and a perfect structure to sufficiently boom agricultural production. The map was so detailed in design that it had already depicted where the plants would grow best and where the houses and fences would be built. “Caribbean plantation maps tempted investment to capture the beauty of the island and use it as a plantation,” he said. However, when the British arrived they realized that, contrary to the map’s
depictions, the landscape was full of steep valleys that clearly could not sustain agricultural development. The British sought to achieve peace between the colonists and Native Americans by using the Appalachian Mountain range as a proclamation line. They hoped to negotiate a settlement to keep colonists east of the mountains, and leave the western interior to various Native American nations. Despite the vision of peaceful coexistence that is evident in these maps, the desire to explore the land was driving settlers into the continental interior. Native Americans were too few to resist the colonists’ invasions. The reason these visions failed, Edelson explained, was because no one could locate the abstract “proclamation line” in the real spaces of eastern North America. No colonial map accurately depicted the geographic complexity of the Appalachians, which encompass mountains, foothills, valleys and plateaus. They could not provide the information needed to draw a neat line to define borders. Once again, Britain had put its faith in maps that simplified and distorted the realities of the Americas. Founded in 1986, the Robert J. Christen Program in Early American History and Culture honors the late Robert Christen, Ph.D., a longtime Manhattan College history professor who later served as director of the New York State School Boards Association. MANHATTAN.EDU N 15
Women’s Basketball Looks Back on 40 Years BY TOM PEDULLA ’78
ANHATTAN ALUMNAE WHO GATHERED TO CELEBRATE the 40th anniversary of the varsity women’s basketball team made sure to acknowledge the grassroots effort that launched the team as a club sport in 1975. Lisa Toscano ’79, Ed.D., professor of kinesiology at Manhattan, never imagined the significance of her actions when she cofounded the club with Kathleen McCarrick-Weiden ’79. The two just wanted to play ball — and they went to great lengths to do it. At first, they received a bare-bones budget from student government. Jerry Fahey, a physical education major, coached. Players used their own cars for transportation to road games. When they needed T-shirts, everyone chipped in. The team was restricted to night practices and allowed to take the floor at old Alumni Hall only after the men’s team completed its practice. Without their own locker room or restroom, the players changed in a closet with a large window, and teammates took turns
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holding a towel across the window while the others dressed. Fahey’s halftime instruction was often superseded by the need to run to a women’s restroom at Manhattan Hall (now Miguel Hall) before dashing back to the gym, leaving players all but breathless for the start of the second half. “You can’t make this stuff up,” Toscano says. “And, you know, we just did it. You didn’t think twice about it.” The team initially suffered the ignominy of losing to some of the area’s better high school rosters. But the Lady Jaspers, as they were called, grew through adversity and closed their groundbreaking first season with a two-point victory against crosstown rivals from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. “You’d have thought we won the Olympics,” Toscano says. Challenging times continued after the move to varsity in 19781979 and the hiring of Michelle Blatt as coach. Marianne Reilly ’82, the team’s first recruit and now the College’s athletic director, recalls resentment among male athletes after their budgets were reduced to accommodate women in compliance with Title IX. Each member of the Lady Jaspers received one pair of high-top sneakers. Reilly, a power forward, referred to them as “boots” because they were inordinately heavy. “We were always fighting for equity, let’s put it that way,” Reilly says. “We didn’t get a lot, but we certainly appreciated things. And sometimes we didn’t even know what we were missing.” Those remain treasured times, for they laid the foundation for an essential Division I program that has enhanced the lives of countless women, empowering them to assert themselves as leaders in the workplace and their communities. “To see the women come back for the 40th anniversary of the varsity program, they’ve all gone on, and they’re successful and they love what they do,” Reilly says. “The impact it’s had on our women is tremendous.”
(Opposite page, from left to right) Kathleen McCarrick-Weiden ’79 and Kathy Fox recruit new players for the women’s basketball club during an activities afternoon. Sheila Tighe ’84 drives to the basket. (This page) Lisa Toscano ’79 attempts a foul shot. Marianne Reilly ’82, Toscano, current women’s basketball coach Heather Vulin and McCarrick-Weiden gather at the 40th anniversary celebration in March.
The program always has been about more than wins and losses. “I do believe Manhattan has always emphasized the student and the athlete, and sometimes it’s really tough in Division I when the athlete piece gets pushed on the student part,” Reilly says. “We definitely put the student in front of the athlete.” The reward is women who make a difference. Sheila Tighe ’84, whose ability to thread the needle with passes was so uncanny that she would admonish teammates to “keep your hands up,” made an indelible mark on Manhattan basketball. Tighe arrived in the program’s third year as the most heralded recruit in New York since Nancy “Lady Magic” Lieberman. She justified that billing, guiding the Lady Jaspers to a 17-12 record. That included a victory against archrival Fordham, which had advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament only two years prior. Tighe remains Manhattan’s all-time leader in points (2,412) and steals (310). Later, she turned qualities developed on the court into corporate success. Her Los Angeles-based company, City Films, produces television commercials. In a sense, not all that much has changed since Tighe alerted teammates to be ready for her slick passes. “You face adversity every day in the workforce, whether you’re bidding to get a job or you’re hustling to find a director,” she says. “Some days the sun is shining and other days it’s rainy. And that’s what sports is.” Stacey Jack Edwards ’87 sees it as no coincidence that she earned her degree in chemical engineering and left behind a 1987 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship team to join another seamless unit at Swiss multinational ABB Lummus in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Jack Edwards says of her time at Manhattan: “It taught me a lot about working with others, being a team player and contributing what you could for the good of the team. That really carried into my working as an engineer. Everyone has to pull their part to get the project done on time.” Amani Tatum ’17, who became the College’s coordinator for student-athlete academic success services after graduation, says she thrived in Manhattan’s family atmosphere after transferring to the College and learning about “pushing past limits.” The future seems bright, with nearly 70 percent of this past season’s minutes devoted to freshmen and sophomores. Courtney Warley ’21, a 6-foot-3-inch sophomore center and the conference’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, leads the young core. The team graduates only one player in 2019. Seven current players under third-year coach Heather Vulin achieved a GPA of 3.20 or higher, qualifying for the MAAC’s AllAcademic team. Players regularly participate in community service. The aspirations of today’s players are reflected in their motto, “Play Green.” “I’m incredibly excited for the future of the program,” Vulin says. “Everything we do, we try to do it at a championship level.” Perhaps the greatest sign of progress through more than four decades is that the name Lady Jaspers was dropped some time ago in favor of Jaspers. Manhattan’s community is one, after all. MANHATTAN.EDU N 17
SPORTSSHORTS MEN’S SOCCER SETS SCHOOL RECORD The men’s soccer team set a school record with 12 wins, highlighted by a 1-0 victory over nationally ranked Fordham in September. The win was the program’s first-ever victory against a nationally ranked opponent. THIRD ANNUAL BREAKFAST FOR THE STARS The third annual Athletics department Breakfast for the Stars honored 237 Manhattan College student-athletes on Feb. 10. The event honors the top academic-performing member of each of the Jaspers’ 19 intercollegiate teams, as well as all student-athletes earning a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better. Former men’s soccer student-athlete Lawrence Grassi ’93, a sales trader covering institutional clients at Goldman Sachs, served as the keynote speaker. WARLEY IS NAMED 2019 MAAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Courtney Warley ’21 became the second student-athlete in school history to take home the MAAC’s highest defensive honor at the conference awards show on March 8. Warley led the MAAC in a number of categories this year, including a league-high 9.1 rebounds per game. Only one other Jasper women’s basketball player has won Defensive Player of the Year, former standout Amani Tatum ’17, who claimed the accolade in 2016. WARFVINGE IS MAAC FEMALE FIELD ROOKIE OF THE MEET Freshman Lisa Warfvinge ’22 was honored as the top-performing freshman at the 2019 MAAC Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships. She won silver medals in the women’s long jump, 60-meters and 200-meters during the two-day competition, and is the second-straight Jasper to win the conference award. IELFIELD EARNS MAAC TOP ROOKIE HONORS Freshman Hali Ielfield ’22 became the first-ever MAAC Most Outstanding Rookie honoree, thanks to her 12th-place finish at the 2018 MAAC Cross Country Championships in Loudonville, New York. She was the top freshman finisher in the race and the second Jasper to cross the finish line for the Manhattan women. STUART IS CHOSEN AS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN Right-handed pitcher T.J. Stuart ’20 was named to the 2019 Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American Third Team, powered by Diamond Sports. Last Year, Stuart established himself as one of the top pitchers in the MAAC in going 6-2 with a school-record and league-leading 10 saves while also pacing the circuit with 2.57 ERA and 50 strikeouts over 63 innings. The Connecticut native also limited opposing hitters to a MAAC-low .178 average as Manhattan went 18-7 in his outings, including winning 14-straight at one point.
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WOMEN’S SOCCER RAISES $7,000 FOR FOUNDATION In Manhattan’s 1-0 double-overtime win against Niagara, the women’s soccer team helped to raise $7,000 in the fight against cancer in honor of a childhood friend of senior Caroline Taylor ’19, Jack Mattsson, who passed away in October 2017 as a result of osteosarcoma. On its website, the Jack Mattsson Foundation (JMF) states that the event was “a great start for the JMF as we are on our way to begin giving to the many who need support — whether it is through sarcoma research, supporting anti-bullying programs in our schools, and providing financial assistance to patients and their families.” ST. BALDRICK’S FUNDRAISER NETS MORE THAN $4,100 The Manhattan Student-Athlete Advisory Committee raised more than $4,100 at its fourth annual Brave A Shave For Kids With Cancer event. Coaches and staff members raised money by either having a pie thrown in their faces or shaving their heads. All proceeds were donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help fund research in the battle against pediatric cancer. The foundation was founded in 1999 and has raised more than $200 million in research grant funding since 2005. MANHATTAN CELEBRATES GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY The women’s basketball team celebrated Girls and Women in Sports Day with an all-team clinic on Jan. 20, immediately following the Jaspers’ MAAC contest against Rider at Draddy Gymnasium. The event, which is open to all children in sixth grade or under, included stations run by student-athletes from many of Manhattan’s 19 Division I teams. BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT RECOGNIZED Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was recognized for his dedication to the Bronx during the 111th Battle of the Bronx men’s basketball matchup between Manhattan and Fordham at Draddy Gymnasium in December. Diaz was given a framed photo of legendary Jasper Jack Powers ’58, who accumulated 1,139 career points and played on two of the College’s NCAA Tournament teams during the 1950s. Powers later coached the Jaspers for 10 years before becoming the athletic director in 1980. He is the first Jasper to have his number (#34) retired. GALLAGHER IS NAMED TO IRISH ECHO’S 40 UNDER 40 LIST Women’s cross country head coach Kerri Gallagher was named to the Irish Echo newspaper’s 40 Under 40 list recognizing Irish and IrishAmerican people who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of work before reaching the age of 40. REILLY IS FEATURED AT WOMEN’S PHILANTHROPY SUMMIT Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Marianne Reilly ’82 served as a featured panelist at Fordham University’s Women’s Philanthropy Summit, held in October. Reilly’s morning panel, A View from the Top: Perspectives from Successful Women, focused on how each of the panelists have navigated both professional and personal obstacles to break into the upper echelons of their industries.
Photo courtesy of Jak Kerley
Batters Beware: Jacques is in the Bullpen WHEN JOE JACQUES ’18 arrived in Bradenton, Florida, he soon realized that he was in for a whole new ball game. Having played his first season for the Bristol Pirates, a rookie-class Pittsburgh affiliate based in Virginia, the lefthanded pitcher was already accustomed to life in the minor leagues. But he hadn’t yet experienced the intense environment that comes with spring training. “It was exciting to be around all the Pirates’ big-leaguers and front office guys every day,” he says. “These are people I used to watch on TV, and now I’m part of the same organization as them.” With those big names came pressure to impress, but Jacques didn’t let that (pardon the pun) throw him. Rather than worrying too much about whether he’d achieve his goal of being selected for a full-season team, he focused on doing his best in practices and games, a strategy he says he’d pass along to next year’s newbies. “Make sure you come to play every day because you have the most important people in the organization watching you,” he advises. “You’re being judged, from the way you play to the way you carry yourself off the field.” The toughest part, he says, was playing for 30 days straight with no days off. But it helped to know he had the backing of his most fervent fans. Jacques’ parents made the trip from New Jersey to watch him pitch against the Yankees. His talent and tenacity paid off, as they have since the days when he was shutting down batters for the Jaspers. At the end of spring training, Jacques learned that he’ll be going to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Pirates’ Class-A affiliate, a full-season team. Having achieved his goal, Jacques is aiming for new ones — winning Pitcher of the Year and a team championship. Jacques says he wouldn’t have made it this far if not for his time at Manhattan. “I’ve gathered knowledge from some of the best,” he notes. “My journey of the walk-on process has shaped me into the player I am today. I feel like I have to prove myself every day, which is exactly what you need at this level.” As he begins a new chapter of his baseball career, Jacques counts himself fortunate. “Although it’s a long season with brutal bus rides,” Jacques says, “I get to do something I love for a living.”
Hali Ielfield ’22 became the first-ever women’s cross country runner to win MAAC Rookie of the Meet honors
Gold medals won by Niasia Boone ’20 at the MAAC Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship
Rebounds per game for MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Courtney Warley ’21, the most in the league
Seconds remaining when Samir Stewart ’22 of the men’s basketball team hit a game-winning three-pointer against Saint Peter’s
Fans that attended the 111th edition of the Battle of the Bronx between Manhattan and Fordham at Draddy Gymnasium on Dec. 1, 2018
Different MAAC Rookie of the Week selections for women’s basketball: D’yona Davis ’22, Kania Pollock ’22 and Sydney Watkins ’22
Personal bests attained by the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs at the 2019 MAAC Championships
MAAC-best All-Academic team selections for women’s soccer
Points in volleyball’s 37-35 set win over Canisius, representing the longest set in the MAAC this past year
Percentage of scoring returning for the men’s basketball team in 2019-20
The last time that men’s soccer reached double figures for victories until this past season when they finished with a school-record 12 wins
MANHATTAN.EDU N 19
Amir Khaghani ’19
IN HER FINAL CROSS COUNTRY SEASON IN RIVERDALE, Lisa Fajardo ’19 cemented her reign as one of the best runners in Manhattan history. Finishing fifth overall at the 2019 MAAC Championship, she earned AllMAAC honors for the fourth-straight time in her collegiate career. She also won the 2018 Metropolitan Championship and helped the Jasper women to a second-place team finish. Fajardo broke her own school record for the Van Cortlandt Park 5K course at the 2018 Fordham Fiasco and ended her season with a second-place finish at the ECAC Championships. Newcomer Hali Ielfield ’22 made an impact right away for the Jaspers, often part of a 1-2 punch with Fajardo throughout the season. She finished 12th overall at the MAAC Championships, earning All-MAAC honors and winning the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie title. Ielfield was also the Jaspers’ top performer at the 2018 NCAA Regionals. Amir Khaghani ’19 paced the way for the Manhattan men this past season, earning All-MAAC honors for the second time in his career by finishing 12th overall at the MAAC Championship. Khaghani placed fifth at the Met Championship and helped the Jaspers to a second-place team finish. The men also placed second at the annual Fordham Fiasco, with Chad Maier ’19 finishing in second place. At the end of the season, the men’s and women’s teams combined for 15 MAAC All-Academic Team selections.
Women’s Soccer THE WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM REGISTERED one of the top defensive performances in school history and surrendered the secondfewest goals (16) in the 28-year history of the program. The Jaspers permitted more than two goals only once and didn’t allow more than one score in all 10 MAAC games. Manhattan traveled to the Sunshine State in late August and posted a thrilling 2-1 win over Jacksonville with two goals in the final 10 minutes of action. Victoria Reis ’19 netted the equalizer before classmate Annie Doerr ’19 delivered the game-winning strike. Manhattan also posted a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory against Niagara on a Bri DeLeo ’21 penalty kick. Doerr would go on to pace the squad in scoring with five points on two goals and an assist, while DeLeo and Arizona transfer Tia Painilainen ’21 each added two scores. Additionally, the goalkeeping trio of Kelly DiGregorio ’19, Camryn Nici ’20 and Olivia Printy ’20 combined to register a sparkling 0.98 goals against average. The Jaspers also stood out in the classroom, as a MAAC-best 19 student-athletes (out of 23) earned inclusion on the league’s Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes with a 3.2 overall GPA or higher.
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Tia Painilainen ’21
Volleyball AFTER A THRILLING, COME-FROM-BEHIND, five-set victory over Marist on Senior Day, the volleyball team closed the season with a trip to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to the 2018 MAAC Volleyball Championship. The Jaspers fell to eventual semifinalist Fairfield in the first round but received postseason honors by way of Vivian Donovan ’22, who was selected to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. Donovan led Manhattan in total kills (224) and kills per set (2.22) in her freshman campaign. After four years with the program, senior libero Alyssa Rehrer ’19 led the Jaspers with 354 digs this past season, and finished her Manhattan career at sixth on the program’s all-time list with 1,402. Off the court, the Jaspers excelled academically and placed eight student-athletes on the All-MAAC Academic Team. Senior Samantha Wagner ’19 also earned Google Cloud Academic All-District First Team honors, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The award, which recognizes the nation’s top volleyball student-athletes, honors individuals for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.
In addition, Ginamarie Napoli ’20 is credited with organizing the team’s annual Go for Gold fundraiser for Friends of Karen, a nonprofit organization that provides vital and comprehensive support, at no cost, to families in the New York tri-state region who are caring for a child battling cancer or another life-threatening illness.
Men’s Soccer THE MEN’S SOCCER TEAM CONTINUED its upward trend following a breakout 2017 season. The Jaspers raced to a three-game winning streak to open the season and never took the pedal off the gas en route to ripping off a school-record 12 wins. Manhattan also went 7-1 during nonconference play in posting its highest winning percentage (.875) in program history. The 2018 Battle of the Bronx between Manhattan and Fordham highlighted the stellar start to the season. After more than 89 minutes of scoreless action, defender Adrien Awana ’20 headed a corner kick into the net with 36 seconds remaining in the second half. The Green and White beat No. 25 Fordham 1-0 for its first-ever victory against a ranked opponent. Following their triumph over the Rams, the Jaspers received votes in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 National Poll. In the East Region Poll, they slotted in the top 10 for seven consecutive weeks, with the highest ranking coming at third for the week of Sept. 25. Additionally, College Soccer News ranked the Jaspers 30th in the nation for the week ending Sept. 23. With the help of its standout defense, the team recorded a program-best nine shutouts and 12 goals allowed on the year. At the end of the season, the Jaspers ranked 11th in Division I with an .821 save percentage, 12th with a .656 goals-against average, and 14th with a .500 shutout percentage.
In recognition of his performance, Awana was voted by MAAC coaches to the First Team. The defender posted four goals in 2018 and made the CSN National Team of the Week. Goalkeeper Marcellin Gohier ’21 and forward Berti Fourrier ’22 made the All-MAAC Second Team. Gohier became the program’s all-time leader with 13 shutouts, while Fourrier posted four goals and a team-high five assists.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 21
Swimming and Diving
Evan Battisti ’19
MANHATTAN SWIMMING AND DIVING ACHIEVED both individual and team success in the 2018-19 season. The men’s team recorded four wins and finished in the top five in three invites. The women also notched a pair of top-six finishes and defeated MAAC rival Saint Peter’s in the NJIT Invitational. The men’s team had a first-place showing at the Fairfield Invitational and defeated St. Francis Brooklyn, American, Howard
and Mount St. Mary’s to begin the season. At the 2018 ECAC Winter Championships, the Jaspers totaled a program-record 1,048 points to place fourth as a team. Artur Polyak ’21 became the first Jasper to win the 200 individual medley and the second to win an individual event. Eight Jaspers reached personal bests across 12 events. Records fell in seven events during the course of the season. Kyle Bergin ’22 broke the 50 butterfly record at the ECAC Winter Championships, while Connor Marshall ’22 set the new standard in the one-meter dive with a score of 237.83. At the 2019 MAAC Championships, Polyak broke the 100 and 200 backstroke records and finished fourth in both races, while Tyler Dalton ’21 swam the fastest 400 individual medley. The men’s side also established program bests in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relay. Lexington Passamonte ’22 reignited women’s diving with new records in the one- and three-meter dives. At the NYU Fall Invitational, she earned scores of 228.15 and 246.15 in the one- and three-meter, respectively. Eleven Jaspers were nominated on the MAAC All-Academic Team. Nine seniors graduate from the program in May 2019. Patrick Malone, a former Division III standout at Rowan and assistant coach at LIU Brooklyn, was named as the new head coach to lead the teams.
Indoor Track and Field THE WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD TEAM earned three MAAC championships this season. These included gold medals in the shot put, won by Lasma Padeze ’21, the 200-meter race, won by Niasia Boone ’20, and the 4x400 relay. Freshman Lisa Warfvinge ’22, a multidiscipline performer, was named the league’s Female Field Rookie of the Meet — the second-straight year that a Jasper has won the honor. In addition to Warfvinge, who was a 2019 Metropolitan Champion in the long jump, several newcomers made their marks on the track and field program this season. Amahri Boyce ’22 earned a MAAC Performer of the Week nod after winning the women’s 200-meter race at the Yale Season Opener. Classmate Lilly Brown ’22 claimed the Met Championship in the pole vault, while Nina Bjorkman ’22 also won a Mets crown, this
time in the weight throw. Transfer Enrique Martinez ’20 won silver in the men’s weight throw at the MAAC Championships. The returning performers also kept their stride this season: Padedze, Anu Awonusi ’21 and Eric Waugh ’19 all earned MAAC Field Performer of the Week honors for their heroics in the shot put during the winter. Ryan Addlesberger ’19 won a Met Championship in the event. The Jasper women placed third as a team at the MAAC Championships, while the men placed fourth overall. Twentytwo men and women qualified for the ECAC/IC4A Championships in Boston, taking on 13 total events and earning six top-10 performances. The two programs combined for a total of 31 selections to the All-MAAC Academic Team. Niasia Boone ’20
22 N spring 2019
Men’s Basketball THE JASPERS FINISHED THE YEAR STRONG WITH SEVEN WINS in the final 12 games, highlighted by a sweep of the annual Western New York trip and a victory over preseason favorite Rider, and won their first MAAC Championship game since 2016. Warren Williams ’22 became the first Jasper to earn MAAC AllRookie honors since the 2012-13 season and averaged a team-high 9.2 points per game while shooting a MAAC-leading 57.1 percent from the floor. Williams capped his big season with a career-high 27 points in the MAAC Tournament against Canisius and was one of six Jaspers to hit the 20-point mark on the year. Samir Stewart ’22 earned MAAC Rookie of the Week honors after averaging a team-leading 15 points per game in wins over Saint Peter’s and Fairfield. Stewart also fueled Manhattan’s comeback win from down 14 points against Niagara with a career-high 22 points, going 6-for-6 from the floor, including 5-for-5 from long range, and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line. In the aforementioned victory over Rider, junior Tyler Reynolds ’20 scored a career-high 23 points while draining six three-pointers. Reynolds was one of 10 newcomers who also combined to account for 62.6 percent of Manhattan’s scoring and 51.4 percent of the rebounding. In the nonconference portion of the schedule, Williams and Nehemiah Mack ’21 each earned KEMI Northern Kentucky
Warren Williams ’22
All-Tournament honors after leading the Jaspers to a pair of wins. In the classroom, Ibrahima Diallo ’19, Jesse Boyce ’20 and Samson Usilo ’19 earned inclusion on the league’s Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes with a 3.2 overall GPA or higher.
Courtney Warley ’21
IN ITS 40TH YEAR AS A VARSITY TEAM, the women’s basketball team added to the program’s history books during the 2018-19 season. For just the second time in four decades, a Jasper was named the MAAC’s Defensive Player of the Year. The award went to the league’s leading rebounder, Courtney Warley ’21. Manhattan also secured a selection
to the MAAC All-Rookie Team for the second-straight season, with freshman D’yona Davis ’22 earning a unanimous nod from the league’s coaches. The Jaspers finished the season tied at fourth in the MAAC, with upsets over perennial powerhouse Marist and No. 2 Rider during the regular season. Manhattan established itself as one of the MAAC’s best defensive squads, holding the second-best scoring defense in the league, leading the conference in blocks, and ranking second in steals per game. Warley, who was also named to the All-MAAC Third Team, finished the year in sixth place on the program’s single-season rebounding list. She grabbed 282 rebounds, including 162 defensive boards (eighth) and 120 offensive boards (third). She blocked 55 shots on the year for seventh place on that single-season list, and her 84 career blocks put her at sixth place in program history. Not only a member of the MAAC’s All-Rookie Team, Davis also earned Rookie of the Week accolades from the league three times during the season. Her teammates Kania Pollock ’22 and Sydney Watkins ’22 each earned Rookie of the Week honors once. In addition to their on-court successes, the Jaspers placed seven studentathletes on the All-MAAC Academic Team.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 23
S t o ry
SOME OF MANHATTAN’S LONGEST-SERVING FACULTY REFLECT ON HALF A CENTURY OF COLLEGE HISTORY
olleges and universities by their very nature are
behind. Many of them started back before the College was co-ed,
steeped in history. From their inaugural beginnings
when the Christian Brothers comprised a bigger portion of the
to ensuing expansions, their introductory curricula
faculty, and when the campus was not as developed as it currently
to comprehensive, new programs, and their initial scholarly
is. They have served under four Manhattan presidents and 10
groups to diverse student bodies, their histories run deep and
U.S. presidents, during wars and invasions, and during decades
wide. There are charters, covenants, chronicles and catalogs that
marked by the Civil Rights Movement, women’s rights, the energy
document the historical happenings of those early pioneers, as
crisis and recession.
well as periodicals and yearbooks illustrating the experiences of
But back on campus, what stands out for these enduring
succeeding classes. But one of the greatest sources for authentic
professors, in those early days, was a welcoming environment,
accounts of a college’s events, atmosphere and academic affairs
an engaged student body, and a prominent manifestation of the
lie in their longest-serving faculty. With decades spent teaching
College’s Lasallian mission. Nevart “Nonie” Wanger, Elizabeth
and toiling at their institutions, these faculty have become part of
Kosky, John Wasacz, Brother Patrick Horner, FSC, Walter Saukin
and Winsome Downie reflect on Manhattan College’s history, and
At Manhattan College, a few professors have reached and surpassed the half century mark, and another handful are not too far
how the legacies of those who can claim to have been here the longest have shaped the College’s past and influenced its future.
Photos by Josh Cuppek
E l i z a b e t h K o sk y ELIZABETH KOSKY, ED.D., professor of graduate counseling, leadership and education, came to Manhattan College in 1964 as a graduate student and started teaching full-time at the College in 1969, after finishing everything but her doctoral dissertation. “We were the first laywomen admitted into the graduate education program,” she remembers. “I think the one thing that all of us did was pave the way for the eventual co-ed Manhattan.” Kosky was full-time when she started, so she taught three courses — all counseling courses at that time and a few child development and mental hygiene classes tossed into the mix — in the basement of what was then Manhattan Hall, now Miguel Hall. “I remember teaching mental hygiene one summer and looking out into the audience,” she recalls. “I was in Hayden Hall in one of those big auditorium rooms, and I must have had 50 students in the room. All I could see was the black garb of the nuns and the Brothers, with a few laypeople scattered in between them. So that is very different from today.” In the early 1970s, Kosky notes being one of three female faculty members but that those numbers have slowly increased throughout the decades. In fact, today, the graduate education programs are predominantly led by women. As one of the first female students at Manhattan, Kosky also has noticed a significant increase in the involvement of women on campus. “It took some people a little time to adjust to females,” she explains. “But we’ve grown. I think you really can see the presence of women today. We’re involved in all sorts of committees and initiatives.” Something else that stands out to Kosky about those early years at Manhattan was the almost palpable sense of the Lasallian mission.
“I simply came to take one course, and it was readily apparent that the atmosphere at Manhattan was so different from the other Catholic college where I was earning my master’s degree,” she says. “The presence of the Brothers and the Lasallian sense of community came through even for someone who was only taking one or two courses. This eventually resulted in my obtaining my second master’s degree at Manhattan.” Unfortunately, the diminishing presence of the Brothers has been one of the biggest changes that she’s noticed on campus throughout the years. “When I came here, almost all of the classes were taught by Brothers, and with maybe a few lay individuals,” she says. On a more positive note, the master’s degrees offered in the graduate education program have expanded immensely since she started. There was only a school counseling program, for which Kosky was hired, and a school leadership program, which was then called the administration program. But that was it. There wasn’t a program in special education, an area that she has overseen since 1990. As one of the largest graduate departments at Manhattan College, it now offers 17 different degree and advanced certificate programs in the fields of counseling, school leadership, special education, instructional design and delivery, and bilingual education. While noting that Manhattan has always been committed to educating first-generation students, she’s observed how racial diversity has grown at the College. “I know back in 1987, when I wrote the first Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) grant, the number of diverse students was small,” she says. “The TOC program looked for and recruited diverse candidates to teach in New York State schools. This initiative continues today with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance grant. These grants played a small part in increasing the diversity of our student body.” As a special education professor, she is also quite cognizant of the changes that occurred when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into law in 1990, which resulted in the modifications that were made on campus to accommodate people with disabilities. With all that has changed at the College during her 50-year tenure, Kosky can also point to a few things that have remained the same. For one, the mission. “Even though the Brothers have decreased in numbers, I think the mission of Manhattan is very firmly established,” she says. “I think the faculty is committed to upholding the tradition and mission. The administration has certainly encouraged that and has had a strong influence on the commitment to the Lasallian mission.” And, of course, Kosky can still count on the dedicated students who genuinely commit their lives to educating others. That’s something that has not changed at all. “We have many students who have experience working with special needs individuals though service outreach programs, as well as in the schools,” she says. “They seem to know what they want to do and are dedicated to working in education.” With half a century of Manhattan College experience behind her, Kosky contemplates the legacy of her peers, as well as her own. “I hope all of us have carried the spirit of the Brothers, for those of us that are lay, and tried to maintain the integrity of those that went before us, particularly the Brothers,” she says.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 25
JOHN WASACZ, PH.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry, arrived on campus in 1969, which he remembers being a really good year for more than just the beginning of a long and happy career at the College. “I always said that was a good year for a whole variety of reasons, including the Jets winning the Super Bowl in January, the Mets winning the World Series in October, and I also met my wife in October of that year,” he notes. Wasacz says he owes his position to a little bit of luck. “The College had just gone through a transition with the curriculum,” he explains. “One of the reasons I got hired was they needed somebody to teach organic because they didn’t have enough organic chemists. So, I lucked out on that part.” His first course was Organic Chemistry at 9 a.m. on Thursday mornings in Hayden Hall. Wasacz remembers it being a crowded class, with at least 30 (mostly pre-med) students, which is big for this class, even today. And he taught his first semester with a broken right collarbone that he injured playing softball with the chemistry students that following Saturday at the department’s annual picnic. It made writing on the board a little tricky. The student body was much different back in the late ’60s. For one, the students were male, as the College hadn’t officially gone co-ed yet. Also, they tended to be commuters. “It was all male in 1969,” he says. “Maybe as many as 90 percent were commuters. That was a big change from then until now.” The dress code was a bit more formal, too. He recalls that students were still wearing jackets and ties to class for that one year. While they may have swapped the ties in favor of more casual clothing, Wasacz notes that many of the students in his classes are still primarily first-generation. Although the nationalities have changed throughout the years. And the campus has physically changed since his arrival. Draddy Gym hadn’t been built yet, and he remembers taking the subway to basketball games at Madison Square Garden, as well as those subway rides home after playing archrival Fordham. “The big game was Manhattan versus Fordham. Often that led to a little trouble on the subways coming home,” he quips. “I remember that I gave quizzes every week, but I never gave quizzes on the day after a game.” What’s remained the same, however, is the importance of research within his department. “Research has been important from the very beginning,” he explains. “That continues to this day, and I think that’s good. What is different is there’s more support now than there was back then. We have different types of grants for summer research, especially. I was lucky to get a grant from the NSF [National Science Foundation], where I could have some students working for me.” When Wasacz first started teaching at the College, the chemistry department offered a B.S., but the program was expanded to include a B.A. for students who were thinking of going to medical school. Wasacz then worked with the chair of the chemistry department, the late Brother William Batt, FSC, Ph.D., to add a new area — one that would be influential within the School of Science. “Brother William Batt always had an interest in biochemistry, so we started a biochemistry program in the 1970s, and that became a model for other programs,” he says. “Biochemistry, in a
26 N spring 2019
J o h n Wa s a c z
graduate school, often would be a separate department, but in an undergraduate institution, rarely did you have a separate group giving a biochemistry degree. We started that in the ’70s, and it actually has been very successful.” Wasacz also has noticed what the students pursue after Manhattan, whether it be careers or advanced education. “Roughly one-third of the students went to industry when they graduated. One-third went to graduate school, and then another third went to medical school. That was back then,” he notes. “Nowadays, probably more from our department go to graduate school or work. Not that many go to medical school. Then again, back then, you had to be either a chemistry or a biology major in order to be pre-med, and that’s no longer the case.” He even had a hand in introducing the sciences to arts and business majors in the 1970s and taught Topics in Science — it was one of his favorite courses. “At that time, Arts and Science was, of course, one school, and science majors had to take a lot of arts courses, but arts students didn’t have to take science courses. Business majors didn’t have to take science courses. As a result, we formed a committee and developed a whole curriculum around the physical and biological sciences, and it was open to business majors and arts majors, and it was quite successful. One year, we even had 17 sections of it.” Now he sees his role and legacy, aside from teaching, as serving as a resource to the younger members of his department. “Right now, I communicate with the younger people in my department, and I like doing that the best,” says Wasacz, who served as interim dean of the School of Science in 2010-2011. “That’s where I often am called upon for advice. I take great satisfaction in that part.”
WINSOME DOWNIE, PH.D., assistant professor of political science, was still a graduate student at Columbia University when she was hired in the fall of 1978. Downie attributes her hiring to the former chair of what was then the Government department, the late Eleanor Ostrau, Ph.D., who wanted a professor to teach comparative politics from a more global perspective. “As it turned out, the areas that I was working on in graduate school — I was doing my research and graduate work on African politics and Latin American and Caribbean politics — were, in a sense, the non-U.S. areas that she wanted taught,” she explains. Downie was hired to teach one course in African politics that first fall, and was brought back in the spring of 1979 to teach Latin American politics. That continued until she was appointed full-time in the fall of 1980. There was a vacancy for a professor of American government (her second field after comparative politics), so she switched gears and taught Intro to American Government that fall. Downie remembers the College being a lot more male back then — it had only gone co-ed seven years prior. The student body (and faculty) also lacked in diversity, but she would start to see the changes in these populations during the ensuing years. “There were not very many black or Latino students, and just a relatively few women,” she notes. “As the years went on, you could see the number of women particularly increase, so that by the early ’80s, many of the best students in our department were actually young women.” The maleness of the College really didn’t present any difficulties to her in those early days because, in a way, it was a familiar landscape. “I didn’t really see it as such a big challenge, maybe because I was
Wi n s o m e D o w n i e
in political science, which tended to be an overwhelmingly male field,” she says. “I can remember liking politics as a kid and going to political meetings in the Caribbean. By the time I got into graduate school at Columbia, the department even then was mostly male. All of my professors were men. Most of my fellow students also were male.” Downie was involved in what was the first organization for students of color at Manhattan. “I remember we called it the Third World Student Union, as, at that point, the Cold War was still on, so you had the two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and then the developing countries called themselves the Third World, beginning around the mid-1950s,” she says. “It was Third World Student Union through maybe the mid1980s, and then as more students of color began to come in, I also became faculty adviser for what then evolved into a minority student union, that we then would call the Multicultural Student Union.” Downie’s department also underwent several changes during her 41-year term. For one, it was still part of the School of Arts and Sciences, which wouldn’t become separate schools until 1992. But also, the name of her department had various incarnations. “It started out as Political Science, then it became Government, then it was a joined department with the History department until 1973,” she explains. “During Ostrau’s tenure, it became Government and Politics. Then we went back to being Government. As of last year, we became the Political Science department.” It wasn’t too long before Downie also started suggesting and making curriculum changes within the department. “Being on the cusp of the women’s movement at Barnard College, I was very sensitive to and conscious of the maleness of our curriculum,” she says. “I proposed a course on women in politics. That became our first gender course. We also didn’t have anything that dealt with diversity to any extent. I was teaching our comparative courses on African politics, Latin American politics, Caribbean politics. By the beginning of the ’90s, we were teaching Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, so our offerings were quite global.” Downie remembers the kindness of the Brothers, from the late Brother Francis Bowers, FSC, Ph.D., former provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, who made sure that Downie was paid during what she thought would be an unpaid leave when she took off to finish her dissertation and be home with her newly adopted baby, to the late Brother Thomas Scanlan, FSC, president emeritus, who invited her to be on a presidential committee addressing diversity issues. “I think that illustration of Brother Frank Bowers paying me that semester was illustrative of the way some of the Brothers were at that point when there were many more of them on faculty,” she says. “I think about what Brother Thomas used to call the ‘caring campus community.’ In a lot of ways, I think they tried to illustrate that.” That spirit and kindness of the Brothers is something that persists, though with far fewer Brothers on campus. For Downie, the legacy of professors who have served for so many decades is to help tell the College’s story, as well as to keep Manhattan connected to generations of students. “I think that there is certainly the compass of memory that we can contribute, and I suppose should contribute to telling the story,” she says. “I can share my perspective on how the College has changed, evolved, but I think particularly being able to continue to mentor students and stay in touch with the students that I’ve mentored over the years is one way of contributing.”
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WALTER SAUKIN, PH.D., associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, felt the influence of the Brothers at Manhattan College immediately, when he started working at the College in 1977. “The Brothers had a very solid presence, and the spirit of the Brothers was visible in the students, the faculty and the alumni, with no question,” Saukin says. “It was more personalized, it was without question caring and supportive on all levels and very much professionally oriented. I saw more of this here in combination, holistically, than in other places.” Saukin, who taught at Lafayette College for six years and conducted research at Princeton University for three years prior to Manhattan, was really impressed when he arrived in Riverdale. “When I got here, I understood that this was a good place, especially in terms of the quality of the people,” he says. “Just to use environmental engineering as an example, you had world-class faculty, but they were like a family. Nobody could compete with that, and it was unique from what I had seen. It was like a brotherhood, absolutely a brotherhood.” Saukin taught Intro to Environmental Engineering and Statistics when he started. The classes, he recalls, were pretty big, with 30-32 students, yet the faculty were able to maintain meaningful connections with their students. “The relationship between the faculty and the students was very close,” he adds. “I think the concept of the relationship between the faculty and the students on an academic and personal basis and professional basis has not changed. All faculty, at least in my opinion, took a sincere interest in the students.” The way the engineering faculty teaches is also one of the
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modifications he’s witnessed and experienced along the way. “We’re always reviewing and assessing the quality of each of the classes, the concentrations, just to make sure that we’re producing a marketable commodity,” he explains. “You have an ever-growing level of the knowledge that the students require, and it’s getting broader and broader, but the class time is limited. So, of course, we have to come up with clever ways of trying to bring as much information to the students as possible without overwhelming them and realizing also that today’s students are more cyber-based and consequently, aren’t the same students that we had back in the day that were more physically based.” When you’ve been teaching for 42 years, you learn to be more creative, more resourceful. But the fundamentals and in-person conversations are still the tenets of Saukin’s philosophy. “Computers and communication by the internet certainly provide a tremendous amount of numbers and resources,” he says. “Those are great, but fundamental skills, still in my opinion, require personalized attention and physical reinforcement.” While the Brothers don’t occupy as many offices and classrooms as they did in Saukin’s early years, he sees their work being carried on by lay faculty. So that spirit is still present on campus. “Even though we have fewer Brothers here now, the spirit of the Brothers and the type of atmosphere that they created is now being maintained by lay folks and carried forward by guys like me, who actually taught with the Brothers and shared offices with them,” Saukin says. “I think the spirit of the Brothers, the focus on the individual, student and faculty, is still there.” What also hasn’t changed is the School of Engineering’s determination to be the best, and its close connections to the many successful alumni who have gone on to run the city’s best and biggest engineering firms. “I remember at department meetings, we would say, ‘We’re Manhattan College, and our program should be viewed as the best program around. We are the best,’” notes Saukin, who served as chair of civil and environmental engineering in the 1990s. “So, when we went in, we went in to do the best job possible, and between what we do as faculty and the alumni that we can bring in from New York City, is very difficult to match. Especially since the alumni understand what the calling is from their own experience, and they understand what we’re looking to do — and what we do supports the industry.” When Saukin thinks about his legacy and those of his fellow longterm faculty, he touches down on the idea of perspective. “I think perspective because that helps to influence values that are stressed,” he says. “They know what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and they’ve seen the evolution of education, the profession, students and technology. They’ve seen that evolution so that they have a good perspective on how to advise students professionally and how to appropriately conduct their preparation.” Saukin, who has been introducing high school students to studies and careers in engineering, math and science for more than 35 years through the Summer Engineering Awareness program, lives by a different sort of precept. “I’d say leading by example and knowing no limits to what your capabilities are and by understanding that you never know when you’ve played your best game,” Saukin says. “No matter how old you are, you don’t know when you’re going to make your best contribution to our society, our profession or the College.”
NONIE WANGER, assistant professor of modern languages and literatures, was the fourth full-time female faculty member at the College and the first full-time female faculty in the Modern Foreign Languages department when the late Brother Andrew O’Connor, FSC, hired her back in 1966. “Manhattan in 1966 was a male college, which in the beginning was intimidating, since there wasn’t a big age difference between the students and myself, and my English was ‘hesitant,’” she says. She remembers the students being kind though. Having only arrived in this country a year or two prior to starting at the College, Wanger says the students were respectful. At the time, there were many Brothers in each department — three in her department alone — and everyone was welcoming. She fondly recalls the kind greetings and encouragement from the Brothers. “There were so many Brothers,” she says. “It was the way that they welcomed me, the way they treated me with warm consideration, trying to help in any way they can, giving me advice. And to this day, I have great love and respect for the Brothers.” Her first courses were four sections of intermediate French, which she taught on the second floor of Miguel Hall, then known as Manhattan Hall. Wanger still has that first textbook, La Robe et le Couteau. A native French speaker, she remembers how the students freaked out a bit when she would conduct the class, including the explanations, in French, when they were used to those explanations in English. While a big difference back then was the predominance of men, Wanger is proud to have contributed, along with other female faculty and staff, to Manhattan’s transition to a co-ed college. “In 1974, we women professors and library staff members created a Committee W, whose purpose was to welcome women students on campus and to make sure that there are proper facilities on campus for them,” says Wanger, who remembers receiving thanks from then president, the late Brother Gregory Nugent, FSC. “We organized several successful open houses for interested women.” Some other major changes that she has seen take place are the implementation of numerous new programs, more international students on campus, better facilities, new residence halls, which, of course, comes in tandem with more residential students. Now called Modern Languages and Literatures, the department and its curriculum also have undergone many revisions throughout the years. “When I started teaching, the language requirement was three years of one language. Now it is one year,” she says. “We offered classes in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian. Today, unfortunately, we do not offer German and Russian anymore, but we offer Arabic, Chinese and Japanese.” In addition to the International Studies program, the Latin American Studies and Francophone Studies programs were created, as well as the Languages Across the Curriculum program, which encouraged students to apply their language skills in other courses. The department has evolved and expanded during her 53-year tenure, which she has had a big hand in developing and promoting. On a more personal level, she met her husband, Manfred Wanger ’61, who was a fellow member of the department and taught German. Wanger also was instrumental in starting the study abroad program with Edmond Van Den Bossche, Ph.D., associate professor of French at the College in the 1980s, and eventually took it over, while
she was chairing the department. The first trip was to Reims, France, but the program expanded to include expeditions to Florence and Paris. Since then, Jaspers have studied in nearly 60 countries. What hasn’t changed at the College in the past half century, from her viewpoint, is the commitment of the faculty to the success of their students. “They encourage students, they work with students,” she says. “There is a commitment to their success, and a cooperation with the faculty in the other departments.” In fact, it’s how Wanger sees Manhattan’s longest-serving faculty contributing to the College’s history and legacy. “Without the dedicated and committed faculty, the College would not be the successful and attractive place it is today,” she says. “The faculty has always been the strength of the College. I think it is an honor to all the faculty that they are totally committed to what they do for the students, for the school.” To Wanger, not surprisingly, one of her most important contributions to the College is the development of the study abroad program and her teaching, both in Riverdale and abroad. “I think that teaching is one of the most rewarding professions,” she says. “To be a successful educator, one should awake curiosity, ignite the imagination, open the minds, instill love for reading, exploring, learning and above all, inspire. To be successful in anything, one needs passion and enthusiasm. I hope that I have been able to live up to that ideal.”
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Brother P at r i ck H o r n e r BROTHER PATRICK HORNER, FSC, PH.D., professor of English, came to the College in 1975 as an adjunct. He taught Comp and Lit, and an introductory English course, from 9:05 to 10:20 p.m. in what was the old evening division, geared toward professionals completing their degrees. He humorously dubbed it “the deathwatch.” “These folks had all worked the whole day,” he explains. “Then they would come and take their courses here, and they were determined that they were only going to come twice a week, and they wanted to take as many courses as they could. Most of them took three courses twice a week. So they started at 6 to 7:25 p.m. to 8:50 to 9:05 p.m. That’s what I mean by deathwatch.” Other than the exhausted students in his late-night classes, Br. Patrick remembers a campus that was welcoming and comprised of diligent students. “The campus was pleasant and placid,” he notes. “I think the students were, by and large, hard-working. I don’t know that I would say that the climate has changed all that much.” The late Brother Stephen Sullivan, FSC, had just become president that year, and the College had recently become co-ed. But Br. Patrick doesn’t recall any of his classes consisting of only men and consequently, didn’t really experience that transition. “Now that I stop and think about it, I don’t think I ever had a class of just men,” he says. “Maybe by happenstance, but I think every class that I taught was at least, in theory, co-ed.” Br. Patrick became a full-time faculty member in 1977. By the 1980s, he noticed the big shift from commuter to resident students and the necessary programs and infrastructure needed to accommodate them.
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“Residence life, that’s probably the biggest change in terms of climate and therefore, the kinds of programs you need,” he notes. “All of a sudden, you’re catering literally to a much larger and broader group of students. Gradually, the College expanded its net purposely, and I think successfully. I think we’re more regional now than we were.” Aside from needing new residence halls, student academic preferences were changing. “One of the major changes academically and specifically in Arts and Science, as it was then, was what’s called the old Arts One program,” he explains. “The Arts One program was developed postWorld War II. It was a highly structured program, and during late Vietnam, early ’70s, everything was changing. So the notion that a highly structured curriculum was still the appropriate one began to fade, and they introduced a much more elective kind of program as the overall curriculum.” Of course, Br. Patrick notes, the curriculum would shift again a decade later. But what they compromised on back in the 1980s seems to have stuck, as it formed the basis of what students still follow today, in the core: The Roots of Learning. “The notion of the Arts Two curriculum being sort of this freefloating, free-form kind of thing had run its course by the mid-tolate ’80s, and people in Arts and Science, particularly Arts, decided that we needed a little bit more structure in terms of organizing the curriculum,” says Br. Patrick, who served as chair of the English department from 1994-98 and again in 2006. “And so there was a major revision of the curriculum, and we went to what we now have, where there’s a core curriculum in which there are several courses laid out over a two- or three-year period, and then the remainder are majors and electives.” Curriculum and course changes aside, what Br. Patrick believes has not changed at the College or within his department is the purpose and the mission at Manhattan. “I would say that the academic integrity of the place has not really changed,” he says. “I joined a college that believes in and continues to believe in the purpose and value of education.” Although he has witnessed fewer Brothers involved in teaching and in the daily life of the College, that mentality of doing the work, getting tasks accomplished, and leading by example has remained. “When I first got here, there were 50 Brothers in the community, and 40 of them were involved in the College,” he explains. “There were a few older Brothers who were retired, but we had people all over the place. It was the presence of the Brothers who went about what they were doing, and the way they went about it that inspired, and, I hope, led others to do it the way they do it.” It’s a legacy that Br. Patrick hopes he has carried on at Manhattan. “I think over my time here, and it was true prior to my time here, the impact of the Brothers on the campus was the way they went about what they were doing,” he further explains. “I hope I have done it rather than talked about it. And I think it’s a tribute to those Brothers, and it’s a tribute to the institution that the loss of the numbers has not had, I hope, all that detrimental an effect.”
Creating a Course on Manhattan College History With almost 300 years of history shared among them, these professors are not only making Manhattan history, but they also are in the perfect position to recount the College’s history. So they each were given an assignment — to create a course on Manhattan College history, which could focus on any points, people and phases they deemed important or found fascinating. KOSKY’S history course would focus on the College’s service and outreach programs, how the mission was implemented, and how the Brothers set the stage for this type of involvement at Manhattan. “It’s always been interesting to me that we never require service, per se,” she says. “There’s no course that says you have to have so many hours of service or volunteering. Yet you still have these wonderful outreach efforts, such as the L.O.V.E. trips, particularly. And, of course, I’d be particularly tuned into them because a lot of the times they deal with special education.” If WASACZ were to create a course on the College’s history, he would focus on Manhattan’s administration and how they were able to accomplish so much with so little. “I was always fascinated by how the administration got things accomplished,” he explains. “Everything has seemed to go pretty smoothly. So I’m interested in these kinds of actions that people take. Why did they make decisions of that type?” DOWNIE’S class would definitely be interdisciplinary in nature. She would look at how Manhattan has grown its academic departments, as well as developed a more diverse faculty and student body.
WHEN PRESENTED WITH HIS ASSIGNMENT, BROTHER PATRICK HORNER, FSC, not only created the concept but also developed the syllabus for his Manhattan College history class, called Led by the Star, which references how the symbol of the Brothers’ Institute has always been the star — Signum Fidei. He explains that the history of the College has been a providential combination of that symbol and the attentiveness of various generations to the signs and needs of the time. The following is excerpted from his course description. The course would start with a brief account of the movement of the earliest school (Canal Street) in 1853 to Manhattanville, where it was to be located for more than 50 years. The initial period was devoted to gaining accreditation from the state and selection of a name. The original college was also in the Lasallian tradition in that it combined liberal arts with technical and professional programs. The second key moment is the movement to Riverdale in the 1920s. The star and the attention to the times here was the inspired
“It would deal with, in a sense, the evolution of Manhattan College from what was an all-male institution, and then by the time I got here, was co-ed,” she says. “From a faculty that was still overwhelmingly male to a faculty that’s evolved into one that is probably close to 50/50 at this point.” SAUKIN would call his course The Path to Lifelong Success. It would take a holistic approach and include spiritual, intellectual, financial and social success stories. “You have to look at the baseline,” he explains. “And what is the road to success? Education and an awareness of spirituality and social conditions. Having understood that, then look at how the various schools at the College sought to grow, and what were their successes? What were their limitations? How through inner strength those limitations were overcome, and how are they going to perpetuate themselves into the future? So one could then see by looking at past history and this evolution, what worked and how ours was effective given the baseline.” WANGER would like to teach a course on the history of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, his teachings, and his sense of community. And, given that she chaired the study abroad program for so many years, she would take this course overseas. “Since the Brothers have given me a lot, considering me a part of the Lasallian family, I would like to teach a course on The Life and Teachings of Jean Baptiste de La Salle,” she says. “It will be a course following in the footsteps of the founder, and it will be taught on location, starting in Reims.”
choice of a campus site near to the terminus of the No. 1 subway line, which became the “artery” of the College for the next 50 years. In the last 75 years, the College has continued to “keep its eye on the star” and adapt to the times. The Civil Rights era and the Vietnam War presented opportunity and anxiety. The College used both of these events to crystallize its commitment to social justice and human harmony, reflected in the establishment of the Peace Studies program, spurred on by the renowned papal encyclical, Pacem in Terris. And, of course, the Second Vatican Council had far-reaching impact on all aspects of Catholicism, especially education. During this period, the College adjusted its status to retain its Catholic identity but also allow it to receive financial benefit provided to enrolled students. No less transformational was the admission of women as students in the early 1970s. That such a change was handled with relatively little difficulty is a tribute to the abiding ideals of the College. More recently, the College has managed a demographic change in which far
more students reside on campus. As in the past, the College has responded to these new challenges with its perennial amalgam of faith and foresight. Finally, an existential issue that goes directly to the core identity of Manhattan College, that is, the presence and guiding influence of the Christian Brothers who founded the College and have been indispensable to its successful development and growth for more than a century and a half. In the last quarter century, the number of Brothers working in various capacities at the College has eroded significantly. Major efforts have been undertaken to preserve the impact of the Brothers by spotlighting the Lasallian heritage of the College and its manifestation on campus. But, as this summary of a course on the history of the College concludes, it is incumbent on the current generation of Jaspers to reflect on their collective history and identity so that they, too, can faithfully continue to be “led by the star.”
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ACADEMIC INTERSECTIONS Manhattan’s latest interdisciplinary projects are highlighting the many upsides to crossing scholarly lines. INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDY, which combines two or more academic fields, has had many proponents and practitioners over the centuries, from Leonardo da Vinci to Charles Darwin. In recent years, institutions of higher education have embraced interdisciplinary programs for their efficacy in preparing students for an interconnected world, and Manhattan College is no exception. “By crafting interdisciplinary programs, we’re actually looking at the origins of our own understanding of knowledge that isn’t silo-ized or segregated,” says Maeve Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. “Why not break the rules and see what comes out of it?” From a minor that merges the humanities with digital arts to a senior seminar that brings together students from three majors, Manhattan’s newest interdisciplinary offerings bridge divides and foster dialogue. Although sprinkled with acronyms like VERT, DAsH and CRISPR, these inventive initiatives don’t require a decoder ring, just a spirit of academic inquiry and collaboration.
BY CECILIA DONOHOE
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USHERING THE HUMANITIES INTO THE DIGITAL AGE
OSE BRENNAN ’20 knows quite a bit about Thomas Hardy’s short story Alicia’s Room, thanks to her studies in ENGL 335: Victorian Media. But the English and communication major won’t be writing a lengthy essay or research paper. Instead, her knowledge is on display through a virtual reality (VR) project that she created using the software program Unity. Wearing VR glasses, participants can walk through the character Alicia’s bedroom and read diary entries from pages they find scattered about the room. This merging of technology with the study of Victorian literature is the kind of innovation that’s at the core of a new interdisciplinary program, Digital Arts and Humanities, or DAsH, that was recently launched at Manhattan and will be available as a minor in the fall 2019 semester. Victorian Media is one of several history, business, sociology, communication and English courses included in the DAsH curriculum, which brings the techniques of data analysis and digital representation to traditional questions in the humanities (see also the course spotlight on page 7). DAsH uses new tools including computer mapping, content management and social media, and incorporates the use of internet and digitized resources into coursework.
“It’s an opportunity to re-innovate the work that we do and reanimate the way we think about methodology and the traditional objects of our study,” says Maeve Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. “For example, as a literary historian and critic, traditionally the object of my study is books. But if I think alongside folks who work in computer science, their thinking about storytelling is really different. Video games tell stories. Computer code tells us how to tell stories … Interdisciplinarity animates those kinds of experiences and brings not just fresh eyes, but fresh hands to the process of creation.” Brennan has already taken several DAsH courses, including ENGL 392: Writing and Remembering, and COMM 304: Digital Storytelling. “I’ve never been the most tech-savvy person in the world, and I know that in the 21st-century job market, there are a lot of software programs that will make you a more marketable candidate,” she says. “I had no idea I was going to use Unity in, of all places, a Victorian literature course. It’s another way you can share your ideas and make something in your head a reality.” Adams affirms that the program is designed to meet employer expectations in today’s digitized world.
“Whatever field our students are going into, increasingly what’s expected of them is that they have some skills in digital tools and data analysis, and an ability to understand what data is and what we can do with it,” she says. In addition to Unity, Brennan has learned the web-publishing platform Omeka, which she used to produce websites about Hardy’s portrayals of marriage, and an analysis of the John Lennon memorial in Central Park. She’s also annotated texts by Victorian writers like Charles Dickens using Hypothesis and Pressbooks software. “It was a way to show that we did our readings, but also another way to engage with the text,” she says. “It’s not just finding a deeper meaning, it’s also understanding the historical content and putting it on a digital platform so other people can experience it as well.” DAsH courses can include trips to venues that add further dimension to in-class concepts. Classes have already visited the Jump Into the Light virtual reality studio and the Virtual Arcade at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition, Manhattan is partnering with the NYC Media Lab, a public-private partnership that connects media and technology companies with New York City’s colleges and universities. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to work at RLab, a new virtual and augmented-reality lab, and pursue research projects that receive funding from the companies. Although still in its infancy, DAsH is already garnering interest from students, faculty and administrators. The provost’s office has provided funding to train faculty members from across the College who wish to create a new course or convert an existing one to align with DAsH objectives. “We’ve been blowing past our projections,” Adams says. “I expected that we’d offer 10 DAsH courses over the course of the next academic year. We’re offering 23 in the fall.” (Left) An image from a virtual reality (VR) project created by Rose Brennan ’20 for an assignment for her Victorian Media class. Using the VR development platform Unity, the class built scenes representing literary works they’ve read. Brennan designed a bedroom where visitors can find diary pages taken from the Thomas Hardy story Alicia’s Diary. (Right) At the virtual reality venue Jump Into the Light in New York City, students took a Unity tutorial and created their own 3D animations.
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FINDING COMMON GROUND: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY SENIOR SEMINAR
OW DO YOU DESCRIBE A SENIOR research seminar that brings together 12 students from three different interdisciplinary majors to work on their capstone projects? “I call it ‘interdisciplinary squared,’ or ‘doubly interdisciplinary,’” says course instructor Dart Westphal, director of the Environmental Studies program. “It’s a cross fertilization.” The seminar, which includes seniors from the Urban Studies, Environmental Studies, and Peace and Justice Studies programs, was launched in the spring 2019 semester as a way for students from small interdisciplinary programs to work in tandem with peers who are pursuing complementary lines of inquiry, from ways mass transit can reduce carbon emissions to whether social media exacerbates domestic abuse. “Everybody in the class is focused on making some sort of change happen,” Westphal explains. “It could be making the world more peaceful, or being more environmentally sustainable, or making cities more successful, civic places.” Several students are researching how well organizations — whether they’re not-for-profits, international NGOs, government agencies or profit-making companies — are making that change. A few are evaluating the work of organizations at which they hold internships. Environmental studies major Nikka DeMesa ’19 is investigating ways that the Climate Museum’s messaging can change people’s behavior, while Zachary Holmes ’19, a peace and justice studies major, is conducting an analysis of outcomes for young people who participate in Police Athletic League programs. In the seminar’s first run, Westphal is aiming to better meet the needs of students in interdisciplinary programs by combining their efforts. Throughout the semester, the class progresses from identifying the topics of individual projects, to refining hypotheses, to working in small groups as they develop and write their papers. Westphal urges rigor in every step of the process, as well as a mastery of social science research. “What does it mean to look at something with the scientific method rather than just writing a polemic?” he says. “It’s coming at an issue without having an automatic ideology that ‘X’ should happen.” Through her internship with the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, Kelsey Quartulli ’19, an art history and peace and justice studies major, has been able to visit the United Nations on a regular basis as she investigates how philanthropic uses of art affect international relations. Her research has informed the work of classmates who are examining authoritarian regimes from different perspectives. “The discussion-based classes are helpful because we’re able to spitball ideas with each other and share prior research that might be helpful for another student,” she says. “We work together in order to find common ground on issues that don’t seem similar but have at
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their root social change or promoting a cause. With several students pursuing a double major, as well as a variety of minors, there’s so much going into the pot. It’s the most open-minded class.” Adam Arenson, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of the Urban Studies program, says this new option is one he is pleased to offer urban studies students, who until this point have participated in political science, sociology or history seminars as a way to satisfy the senior seminar course requirement. “Part of the urban studies experience, both in the introductory level and in the senior seminar, is this sense of being a cohort,” he notes. “Approaching these questions together, using their interdisciplinary training together.” Urban studies major David Caiafa ’19 is drawing on his volunteer work at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to discover whether more social-emotional learning improves student outcomes. He’s benefited from his classmates’ insights into his work, and aims to do the same for them. “I’m in a developmental economics class, and we were reading a paper about democracy and socialism that included a study that was kind of counter to what someone in the seminar is arguing in her paper,” he says. “So I took pictures of the pages to send to her.” In addition to the collaborative work he’s conducted in the seminar, Caiafa appreciates Westphal’s efforts to bring in experts from fields that students are passionate about, like social work and environmentalism. “He has used this class as a springboard for us, career-wise,” he says. As Quartulli wraps up her capstone project, she credits the interdisciplinary nature of the senior seminar with pushing her to make her work stronger. “I think the interdisciplinary lens helps create an interconnected dialogue where you’re not just building each other up within your own discipline,” she reflects. “You need people to tell you when you’re wrong, when things aren’t necessarily clicking.” What does click for the students is that sense of being a cohort. Caiafa says they’ve become a tight-knit group over the course of the semester. “We all eat together before class.” As is often the case with being the “first,” the class has practiced what Arenson calls “learning by doing” and, along the way, shaped a template for the seminar’s future. “The students really did model the concept of interdisciplinary learning that we’re trying to emphasize,” Westphal says. “I’m really grateful to them.”
“I think the interdisciplinary lens helps create an interconnected dialogue where you’re not just building each other up within your own discipline.”
Photos by Emma McDonald
—KELSEY QUARTULLI ’19
A new senior research seminar is giving students from three interdisciplinary majors the chance to form their own unique cohort. Taught by Dart Westphal, director of the Environmental Studies program, the course brings together students from the environmental, peace and justice, and urban studies programs to work on their capstone projects. At a poster session in early May, the students gather one last time to present their research on a diverse range of issues, from the impact of mass transit on climate change to food disparities in the South Bronx to the impact of social media on domestic violence. Although their range of interests is wide, their work shares common underpinnings: an interest in making a positive change in the world.
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CONFRONTING CRISPR ON THREE FRONTS
T’S A TUESDAY AFTERNOON and the students in a graduate-level business class, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, are deep in debate. Their professor, Poonam Arora, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of management and marketing, has presented an imaginary scenario requiring them to make a business decision: Invest in the controversial genome-editing technology known as CRISPR, or walk away? “It’s a groundbreaking innovation,” says one student. “It can be used for extraordinary things. But at the same time, if it’s not regulated, if it’s not monitored, it could be used for evil purposes.” “Who’s regulating it?” counters Arora. The discussion turns to the pros and cons of government regulation, then to the prudence and likelihood of gaining first-mover advantage. “You have to understand the linkages here,” Arora prods. “This isn’t something foreign that’s the scientists’ fault. What are you going to take back to your venture capitalists and say — is it a worthwhile investment?” As the lesson progresses, students wrestle with the ethical implications of their hypothetical business decision, drawing on economic theories of utilitarianism and virtue ethics — and Manhattan’s Lasallian ideals. It’s an animated and wide-ranging conversation, just as Arora had anticipated when she, Heidi Furey, 36 N spring 2019
Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy, and Bryan Wilkins, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, first envisioned developing an interdisciplinary unit of study that would examine an issue by integrating business, ethics and science. The “CRISPR collaboration” between the three faculty members sprang from a mutual interest in extending academic inquiry beyond segmented silos, and the multifaceted questions surrounding CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) struck them as an ideal topic for the interdisciplinary unit. Wilkins is exploring the issue with his Advanced Topics in Biochemistry class, and Furey has presented it to students in her Ethics class. The technology, which has been increasingly in the public eye thanks to broad news coverage, has the potential to cure genetic diseases — and, critics say, to wreak disaster if not constrained. In preparation for the CRISPR lesson, the faculty members developed a packet of readings shared by all three courses. The process required thoughtful planning. “It’s interesting what you take for granted,” Furey says. “For me, one of the interesting questions is the difference between enhancement for genetic modification and curing disease and disability. Where do we draw the line there? To [Arora and Wilkins], that didn’t seem like a starting place.” On the subject of using CRISPR, Wilkins notes, “To a scientist,
(Opposite page) A rendering of the CRISPR gene-editing technique, which can target and edit DNA at precise locations. CRISPR has been lauded for its potential to cure disease but has also been the subject of controversy. The complex topic is the basis for an interdisciplinary unit of study shared across three courses in the Schools of Science and Liberal Arts and the O’Malley School of Business. (This page) At an endof-semester joint meeting of all three classes, students share feedback from their combined discussion groups with philosophy professor Heidi Furey, Ph.D. The exercise encourages them to consider CRISPR from a mix of ethical, business and scientific perspectives.
“You might not consider different stances if you’re looking through one lens all the time, but it’s important to embrace that aspect if you want to be a leader.” —MICHELE FAMULARO ’21, MBA
the almost automatic answer is that ‘we should definitely do this because it can advance science, and it gives us a greater understanding of scientific concepts.’ I like the idea that I can introduce students to some other aspect of their science. Not many of them have taken a business class. To be able to dialogue with people in different fields is extremely important.” Biology major Cole Johnson ’19 appreciates the extra dimension that business and ethical concerns have brought to classroom conversations around CRISPR. “Initially, when I thought of working with CRISPR, my attitude was, ‘Let’s do it,’” he says. Now, thanks to the inclusion of business and ethical concerns, he’s embracing the topic’s complexities beyond the realm of science. “You forget somebody has to own the rights to it, it has to be marketed correctly, and somebody is going to profit from it,” he says. “It’s going to have to be regulated in a certain way. You realize how intertwined everything is.” At the semester’s end, the three classes gathered for a meeting in which they broke into mixed groups to work together on a CRISPR-based case study. Across the board, the three professors noted, their students were enthusiastic about the prospect of the dialogue. Most of the students in Furey’s class aren’t philosophy majors, but she says they’ve started to think of themselves as philosophers. “They’re proud of what they’re learning and have some identification with the class and the [CRISPR] topic.” As the big meeting was approaching, she continues, “It’s cool to see them thinking about it in advance and being open to different perspectives.” “Obviously everybody is partial to their own field,” Johnson says. “But each discipline is equally relevant. You have to consider what everybody else is thinking, what their background is, how they feel about it. I’m excited to see how [the ethics and business students] feel. I’m expecting disagreements that we’ll have to figure out ways to resolve. It’s exciting to think about.” “I think it’s a great idea to bring everyone together to discuss their viewpoints,” says Michele Famularo ’21, an MBA student. “You might not consider different stances if you’re looking through one lens all the time, but it’s important to embrace that aspect if you want to be a leader.” At the end of Arora’s class, a vote is taken. Almost every hand is raised in favor of investing in CRISPR. To Arora, that doesn’t come as a surprise. “I’m not going to change their decision because it’s not as if markets are going to stop working,” she says. “But hopefully students are doing this with their eyes open and saying, ‘I understand what the investment means, and therefore I’m going to think through the next round of consequences more deeply.’” That lesson isn’t lost on Famularo. “In the business world, it could be tempting to do things to get a step ahead without considering the ethical component,” she says. “You’ve got to be proactive and have ethics already as part of your decision-making process, instead of as an afterthought.”
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In a classroom on the first floor of the O’Malley Library, radiation therapy students use the VERT (virtual environment radiotherapy training equipment) to practice techniques and learn theories that they’ll need for their clinical placements and eventually, their careers at medical facilities. The VERT also helps students to grow accustomed to using the pendant, a remote control for the linear accelerator, the medical device that targets cancer cells. Kayla Valentino, chair of Radiological and Health Professions and program director of Radiation Therapy Technology, says that working with the VERT is an important supplement to clinical internships.
“Every day we’re learning something we can do with it. The surface isn’t even scratched yet.” —KAYLA VALENTINO, CHAIR OF RADIOLOGICAL AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
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HIGHLIGHTING HUMAN CONNECTIONS IN CLINICAL WORK
Photos by Laura Meoli-Ferrigon and Camryn Holly
NE OF THE MANY BENEFITS of Manhattan College’s tightknit community is how faculty members from across disciplines are able to connect in informal ways, beyond interdepartmental meetings or academic convocations. Such was the case back in early 2018 when, while passing on the fourth floor of Memorial Hall, a collegial chat between Kayla Valentino, chair of Radiological and Health Professions and program director of Radiation Therapy Technology, and Shawna Bu Shell, Ed.D., assistant professor of education and director of the Instructional Design and Delivery program, led them to a realization that they had overlapping goals. At the time, Valentino was seeking to acquire virtual environment radiotherapy training equipment, or VERT, an instructional tool sometimes called “a flight simulator for cancer treatment machines.” Using the VERT, students can practice the skills needed to operate the pendant controls of a linear accelerator, the device that destroys cancer cells. They also view cross-sectional anatomy slides of actual patients and gain a deeper understanding of specific cancer treatments. Bu Shell, on the other hand, wanted to purchase 40 hours’ worth of avatar simulations to help students navigate ethical situations requiring cultural sensitivity. Avatars are interactive computer animations controlled by live actors and can be adapted to suit clients’ needs. “I said, ‘I think the two of us have some kind of synergy,’” Bu Shell recalls. “‘Why don’t we learn from each other?’” They decided to apply for, and ultimately received, a grant from the College to fund the two virtual reality technologies. Once the VERT was installed in a classroom in O’Malley Library, Valentino and Sara Silverstein, clinical coordinator of the Radiation Therapy Technology program, got to work tapping its potential to ready radiation therapy students for the rigors of their chosen field. “[The VERT] allows us to do things differently than we could in real practice,” Valentino says. “We’re able to show students things they wouldn’t be able to see on a real patient. They can see what the radiation inside the body actually looks like … We can plan for more complicated cases and pick them apart into details.” However, they also wanted students to make a greater connection between the 3D slides on the VERT screen and the patients they represented, like the people they’ll meet through clinical internships at Manhattan’s 15 affiliate medical centers. “When it came down to the actual testing part, students knew what they were doing, but were taking their time,” Valentino says. “We wanted to emphasize that they should [use the VERT] as though it was real life and remember that there’s a patient lying on the table in a very uncomfortable position. You have to be efficient.” Enter the avatars, which Bu Shell had been deploying in the service of various academic programs, from marriage and family therapy to education. A series of classroom sessions was planned in which
radiation therapy students would interact with a patient avatar on a webcam prior to completing a VERT exercise. Before the studentavatar sessions, Silverstein prepped the actor with a fact sheet about head and neck cancer, how a patient would feel physically, and a list of questions and concerns that a real patient might have. “It’s good for students because they can get practice and feedback and learn to communicate, especially with the most challenging questions, in an environment where you’re not going to say the wrong thing and make someone upset by accident,” Silverstein explains. “That’s not your intent, but when you’re new and dealing with a cancer patient who’s coping with some really difficult life events, as a student, you could be too nervous to talk. It helps them build confidence.” “It was awesome that we were able to sit down on a consult,” radiation therapy major Leslie Carchi ’20 says. “In the real world, patients don’t see the doctor or nurse every day, but they see us every day. [The avatar’s] body language was very scared and concerned. I needed to reassure and comfort her.” The exercise, Carchi says, was an important one for students entering a line of work that requires medical and technical acumen, as well as human connection. “We have so many patients and not all of them are in an OK mood. Everyone has things going on in their lives.” After meeting with the avatar and discussing its treatment plan, students then ran through a set-up procedure on the VERT. Their timing improved, and, Valentino notes, so did their levels of confidence and compassion. It was a marked enough difference that she and Silverstein have submitted a paper to the American Society of Radiologic Technology. They also presented their findings to the VERT manufacturer, which is investigating whether to incorporate avatars into future designs. Bu Shell and Valentino hope to work together on more projects that merge instructional design and delivery with radiation therapy coursework. In the meantime, the VERT system continues to prove its value as a classroom resource. “Every day we’re learning something we can do with it,” Valentino says. “The surface isn’t even scratched yet.” Having completed several clinical rotations at Montefiore Medical Center, Carchi has gained the confidence that comes with experience. However, when on campus, she still appreciates the supplemental training that she receives with the VERT. “It’s the best way to learn in our field,” she says. “Everything needs to be hands-on. [Valentino] gives us as much time with it as possible.” Bu Shell sees this implementation of technology to heighten human connection as yet another aspect of Manhattan’s Lasallian mission. “We utilize technology at a level that’s effective and meaningful, and we’re able to ask ethical questions because of who we are,” she says. “So the graduate you hire from Manhattan College is someone who’s well-rounded as a person, not just academically.”
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$2.1 Million and a Scholarship Received at De La Salle Dinner
JOHN MCAVOY ’80, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC., issued a surprise announcement while accepting this year’s De La Salle Medal. In receiving Manhattan College’s highest honor for corporate excellence, McAvoy revealed Con Ed’s plans to create an endowed scholarship for a student in a STEM field, who will also gain access to mentors with industry knowledge. The news was shared at this year’s De La Salle Dinner, which raised a record-breaking $2.1 million in essential, unrestricted income, the most critical form of funding for the College. The award from Con Ed is newly established but it has been a long time in the works. During remarks he delivered that evening to more than 800 guests at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, McAvoy recounted his high school years. Back then, he was exploring an interest in machinery by repairing cars alongside mechanics in his Bronx neighborhood — a job that he performed on occasion in the parking lot of a nearby Con Ed facility. One day, he received a piece of advice that inspired his eventual future in engineering. “Someone at the shop told me, ‘You know, you can fix the car or you could design the car,’” McAvoy remembered. “I turned my sights to Manhattan College. I couldn’t shake the idea that I was supposed to follow the [engineering] path.” On campus, McAvoy finessed his technical skills as a mechanical engineering major, laying the bedrock for his many successes. Prior to serving as chairman of Con Ed, in which he oversees all company operations, McAvoy was president of Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Con Ed’s senior vice president of central operations. Previously, he served in numerous operations and engineering positions during his 38 years with the company. “My Manhattan College roots put me on a path that in part led to me standing before you tonight,” McAvoy noted. “Having the opportunity to lead one of the largest energy companies in the world and power the lives of 10 million people is a great responsibility and a
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tremendous honor. It’s not a stretch to say that much of it started at Manhattan College.” McAvoy has also been fortunate to have had the resource of a knowledgeable mentor — Gene McGrath ’63, retired chairman and CEO of Con Ed. Given their 30-year working relationship, McGrath helped present McAvoy with the De La Salle Medal. McGrath highlighted the ways in which McAvoy’s management style has illuminated the core principles of a Lasallian Catholic education. “John is deeply committed to the women and men of Con Edison,” McGrath said. “He is passionate about inclusion and diversity, and believes that the more they unite, respect each other and give voice to who they are as individuals, the more powerful they will be as a team, and the more successful Con Edison will be as a company.” President Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., then formally presented the De La Salle Medal to this year’s accomplished honoree. “It is especially satisfying to be here tonight to honor John McAvoy, who embodies in his life and work the best of Con Ed and the best of the Lasallian tradition,” O’Donnell said. Meanwhile, the student speaker, Kerry Cavanagh ’20, is continuing the Lasallian tradition on campus. Cavanagh, whose mother, Susan Rice ’84, also attended Manhattan, is a role model for her peers. The chemical engineering major holds leadership positions in the Society of Women Engineers and Student Government. She has volunteered off campus and participated in a Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) trip to the Dominican Republic. Cavanagh also works as an orientation leader and is a resident assistant in the Arches Learning and Living program. “I am grateful to be a part of this much larger Jasper community, and I know that no matter where I’ll be, I will always be rooted in the Lasallian values that I have witnessed in my time at Manhattan College,” said Cavanagh, who interned at Air Products last summer. The 2019 De La Salle Dinner was co-chaired by McGrath, Thomas D. O’Malley ’63, retired executive chairman of PBF Energy, and Frederic V. Salerno ’65, chairman of the board for Akamai Technologies, and retired vice chairman and CFO of Verizon. President Brennan O’Donnell joins Gene McGrath ’63, Frederic Salerno ’65 and Kenneth Rathgeber ’70, chair of the College’s board of trustees, in presenting John McAvoy ’80, chairman and CEO of Con Edison, with the De La Salle Medal. Kerry Cavanagh ’20 serves as the student speaker for the De La Salle Dinner in January.
With the Help of a Scholarship, Computer Engineering Student Makes Every Minute Count
N ACCOMPLISHED PIANIST WITH 15 YEARS OF PRACTICE AND COMPETITIONS under his belt, Jonathan Alania ’20 has gleaned wisdom for life from his music studies. The key to building fundamentals, he observes, is to master the classical pieces that might seem formidable to newcomers. “If you learn the harder material first, everything else is easier,” he says. That dauntless outlook has served the computer engineering major well during his time at Manhattan College, which he chose to attend for its proximity to his home in Hawthorne, New York, and its strong reputation in engineering. In high school, he had discovered an aptitude for computers and, when it came time to choose a course of study, he decided to pursue the route of several uncles who were engineers in his parents’ home country of Peru. Alania soon found that he enjoyed the challenges he encountered in his coursework. He credits his academic success to the College’s smaller class sizes and the quality of teaching by professors like Romeo Pascone, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering; George Giakos, Ph.D., chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Ahmed Hussein, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, all of whom he describes with enthusiastic superlatives. Recently, he became intrigued by the field of data science, which is geared toward providing meaningful decision-making information based on large amounts of complex data. To develop his knowledge of the field, he assists Yi Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, with data science and cybersecurity research. “Data science requires a high level of knowledge in software languages and mathematics,” he explains. “Dr. Wang is teaching me the fundamentals in order to do the research. I’m learning the software language Python and how to use an open-source data science library, TensorFlow.” Alania also has an on-campus job in the IT department, though he has had to cut back on his hours while he pursues a concentration in applied mathematics. Last summer, he put his classroom learning to practice at an internship at STV, an engineering, architecture and construction management firm. He enjoyed his work as part of a large team designing a new terminal at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey. “I worked on setting up electrical panels, wiring and conduits,” he says. “It was the first time I had what felt like a regular job. It was tiring, but I felt good at the end of it.” Prior to his junior year, Alania received the Corr-Schmidt Scholarship for Engineering. Founded in 2007 by Mary Corr in memory of her husband, Francis Corr ’54, Ph.D., and her father, John Schmidt ’29, the scholarship provides tuition assistance to upper-level engineering students who are first-generation college
students. Alania says the scholarship lightens his family’s financial burden and gives him more freedom to focus on his studies. “Seeing a lower figure on the monthly tuition bill takes the weight off,” he says. “It shows that Manhattan College will actually take action to help students that are struggling financially. I’m unbelievably grateful for the donor’s support and wish I could say that in person.” In addition to his studies, Alania is an active member of the campus community, serving as secretary of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and risk manager for the Phi Mu chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity. He’s intent on building opportunities for members of both organizations. Community service, he says, is an integral part of membership in DKE, whether it’s helping at a soup kitchen or doing a Sunday morning cleanup around the local neighborhood streets near the College’s campus. As he looks to the future, Alania is optimistic about the potential for his chosen field and his place in it, noting that companies ranging from media, tech, business and law need data scientists. In the meantime, he knows he’s at a college that will help him to reach his goals. “I wouldn’t have met the friends I have or had the experiences I’ve had at a bigger school. The quality of the education at Manhattan is great,” he says. “I know what I want to do now, and I know what I have to do to get it.”
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Hall of Fame Inducts New All-Stars
EVEN INDIVIDUALS JOINED THE LEGENDARY RANKS of Manhattan College’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the 40th annual induction event in November, and the 2002 MAAC champion men’s lacrosse team received special recognition. Stefani Allen ’03 won a school record 17 MAAC titles during her illustrious track and field career in Riverdale. A standout sprinter, she captured the 200-meter dash at the MAAC outdoor meet all four years, and three times during indoor seasons, along with three 100-meter championships and two 55-meter titles. In 2001, she was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the MAAC Outdoor Championships after winning the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 100-hurdles, before repeating in all three a year later. Robert Annunziata ’81 was a three-time club football All-American quarterback, while throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 30 touchdowns through the air and six on the ground. He would later earn tryouts with the New York Giants and the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes before taking the reins as the head coach of the Manhattan College club football program. Conroy Daley ’96 participated in the 1995 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump and finished 14th after qualifying at the IC4A Championships. One of the top jumpers in College history, he still holds the indoor record in the long jump. Daley also captured Penn Relays, IC4A and Metropolitan titles in the long and triple jump. John Fitzpatrick ’06 is the only four-time All-MAAC first team selection in the baseball program’s history. A key contributor to Manhattan’s 2006 MAAC championship squad that defeated Nebraska and San Francisco in the NCAA Tournament, he earned All-American honors in 2006 after crushing a school-record 18 home runs with 14 doubles and 66 RBIs. Fitzpatrick graduated as the program’s career leader in hits, doubles, home runs and RBIs before signing a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. 42 N spring 2019
Justin Otto ’06 is one of two players in lacrosse program history to earn All-MAAC honors all four years. Otto also garnered MAAC all-tournament team honors in each of his final two seasons. He continues to hold the program record with 129 goals, while ranking second with 172 points. Of Manhattan’s top-10 singleseason goal marks, Otto accounts for four of them, including a careerhigh 34 as a senior in 2005. As a freshman in 2002, he helped to lead the Jaspers to their lone MAAC championship, including a perfect 9-0 record during league play. Matt Rizzotti ’13 is one of the top offensive threats in program history on the diamond. A three-time All-MAAC selection before being drafted to the professional ranks, Rizzotti hit .367 with 205 hits, 29 home runs, 151 runs and 143 RBIs in just three years. He burst onto the scene as a freshman by winning MAAC Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors in 2005, after setting school records with a .416 average, 72 hits, 21 doubles and 57 RBIs to go along with nine home runs. He would then lead the Jaspers to their first MAAC title in 2006, along with wins over Nebraska and San Francisco in NCAA regional play. Following his final season in 2007, Rizzotti was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball Draft and reached the Triple-A ranks. Chris Williams ’93 manned the point guard position during his four years at Manhattan and helped to lay the foundation for the culture that has resulted in five MAAC championships. He guided the Jaspers to their first-ever title, as well as back-to-back regular season championships. A clutch performer, he hit the game-winning free throw in Manhattan’s 1993 MAAC-title win over Niagara after canning the game-winning layup in the Jaspers’ NIT victory over Rutgers in 1992. During his career, Williams scored 792 points with 271 assists while making good on 38.2 percent from deep and leading the program to 72 wins. He continues to be involved with Manhattan College, and serves as the voice of the men’s and women’s basketball programs on the Jasper Sports Network. The 2002 Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team was recognized as the team that captured the first MAAC championship in program history before dropping a hard-fought decision to nationally ranked Georgetown in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2002 men’s lacrosse team, along with seven former Jasper all-stars, were inducted into the College’s annual Athletic Hall of Fame in November.
FROM THE COLLEGE’S ARCHIVES
Whatever Happened to … the College Yearbook?
LOOK AT THE 1910 Manhattanite yearbook provides a unique glimpse into the needs and interests of Manhattan College students in the early 20th century. In the survey of preferred smoking tobacco, Bull Durham handily won out over Chesterfield. For favorite dance trend, the more traditional waltz triumphed over the foxtrot. Members of the class of 1910 also rated their peers using such classic superlatives as most popular, handsomest, baldest, greatest grouch and class epicure. The yearbook served as a prospective nexus, connecting former students to alma mater. Yearbooks fill an important role in documenting campus life and the experience of students and for creating permanence. So why did the Manhattanite disappear from campus? Class albums became popular on American college campuses in the late 19th century, and Manhattan College soon joined the trend. The seniors of 1903 published a “Class Book,” a small, softcover handbook dedicated to beloved Brother Chrysostom. The book did not include images of the students but did contain traditional hallmarks like class roll, class poll, jottings, poetry and the class prophecy. This booklet served as the forerunner to Manhattan’s first hardcover-bound published yearbook, the 1910 Manhattanite. From then on, for about 100 years, Manhattan College students captured their shared memories in print. The time period certainly influenced the book. Yearbooks from the early 1900s catered to the entire student body, as well as the alumni, and provided a comprehensive profile of the College. It was a showcase for literary works and art, a journalistic exercise in writing and a setting for serious formal student photographs. Manhattanites from the 1930s began to devote considerable space to athletic teams and student clubs and organizations. Editions from the 1940s and 1950s recall challenging wartime circumstances and provide elegiac heroic tributes. Subsequently, the larger classes from the 1950s and 1960s produced huge tomes, matching the prosperity of the postwar era. They offer a perspective on the lives of the student body that is far more detailed and ordered than anything published after 1969. Books from the late 1960s and early 1970s reflect the conflicting tensions surrounding the Vietnam War. Throughout the 1970s until the 2000s, photographs dominate the pages. Manhattanites from the 1980s to the 2000s provide a case study in socializing. But, like most student-run projects, the yearbook’s success depended on available resources and interest. From its beginnings in 1910, the Manhattanite enjoyed a consistent run until World War I intervened. The publication was halted in 1918 and not taken up again until 1926. The classes of 1927 and 1928 lacked the organization to produce a yearbook and were consequently shamed through articles in The Quadrangle. During World War II, the publication ceased again.
In 1971, the yearbook was never published after administrators and class officers clashed with the editor over content. Finally, by the late-1990s, yearbooks just became too expensive to produce. With the emergence of the internet, the proliferation of digital technology, and students documenting their college years on social media, Manhattan elected to stop printing a yearbook. The last hard copy was published in 2012. The tradition has come to an end, but perhaps, as in previous generations, the Manhattanite will find its way back yet again.
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Richard Dreher was presented with the Emeritus Award for Meritorious Service by SCORE Charlotte, a nonprofit group that provides free mentoring services to small business owners across the country. Dreher was honored for 23 years of volunteer service and dedication to the organization. Lt. Col. Harold Evans has been keeping busy, especially after returning from a cruise to Japan, Taiwan, China and the Philippines.
John Sie was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in January, in recognition of his countless achievements throughout his career as founder and former chairman of Starz Entertainment Group.
Especially notable are his philanthropic gifts to the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first global institute to encompass research and clinical care specifically for people with Down syndrome, as well as his commitment to fostering mutual understanding, dialogue and respect between the U.S. and China.
Richard Modafferi, at the age of 80, holds eight patents in the field of high-fidelity audio and is currently working on patent number nine.
Thomas Philbin was honored at the Massachusetts State House with a Public Sector Individual Award at the 12th annual
Leading by Example awards for his work promoting clean energy and sustainability initiatives as the energy manager of Westwood, Massachusetts. He was also awarded congratulatory citations by the Massachusetts Senate and Legislature.
Joseph Moore and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Gary Foley won the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors those who have demonstrated leadership, excellence and longevity within their respective industries and professions. He was recognized for his work within the field of engineering for the past 50 years,
As Teens Make the World Better, A Jasper Guides Them WHEN THE JASPER SPIRIT RUNS IN THE FAMILY, amazing things can come of it. Laura (Wescott) Kraytem ’83 has a lot on her plate: She is a mother, wife and teacher of world language at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey. She also leads students on mission trips through her partnership with Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a nonprofit medical service organization that helps children born with cleft conditions, whether that be a cleft lip or cleft palate. People in Kraytem’s position serve as chaperones for student trips that take high schoolers all over the world to spend time with and support these children. She has accompanied students to Vietnam, Mexico, the Philippines and India. Being able to watch students interact with children benefiting from Operation Smile in loving and helpful ways has been the most gratifying thing for her throughout her years of volunteering for the program. “What’s rewarding is that I am helping young adults to make a change in the world ... [Through the trip] hopefully they’ve gotten skills that will help them change the world for the better. It’s a remarkable thing to watch that happen to them,” she says. To a recent graduate, these service trips might sound similar to those run by Campus Ministry and Social Action, which pride themselves on following the five core principles of the Lasallian tradition. For Kraytem, she remembers the inclusive community and the helpful spirit her fellow classmates had for all Jaspers. She especially remembers meeting her husband, Awsaf Kraytem ’82, who came from Lebanon during a time when many international students were coming from countries with conflict and seeking safe places to live and learn. 44 N spring 2019
“I think if I look at the Lasallian values … what I’m so grateful to the school about, was their inclusivity,” she says. She remembers the same welcoming atmosphere greeted her brothers-inlaw and cousin when they became Jaspers a few years later. Her daughter, Lina Kraytem ’13, Laura (Wescott) Kraytem ’83 (center) chaperones students on an Operation Smile trip to Malawi, Africa. The world received her Master languages teacher and longtime volunteer has accompaof Science here, too. nied students around the world in support of Operation Now as a high Smile’s mission. school teacher, she finds herself encouraging her own students to check out Manhattan College as they begin their college searches, as a simple way to give back to the place that helped her so much. “After I left, I’ve always spoken very highly of it to my students when they’re [applying for college] ... I am very grateful for what they did for me, my brothers-in-law, my husband and my daughter,” Kraytem says.
including research for the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Franklin Ciofalo writes, “Enjoying my retirement with my two grandkids, Gianna and Ava.” Charles DeMaria is enjoying retirement with his wife of 52 years. They are relaxing at The Villas at Jumping Brook on the Jersey Shore. Arthur McFadden is now a proud grandfather to a baby girl. He joins in this celebration with his son Frank and his daughter-in-law Amanda. John Sullivan celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Hawaii with his wife, Mary Jane. He is enjoying retirement after 35 years with the New York State Division of Parole. But he still makes time to travel down to the Bronx for Jasper basketball games.
John Lewkiewicz is proud of his daughter Stephanie, who recently completed her doctorate in math at UCLA.
John Loase recently retired as professor and chair of mathematics at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. He taught for 49 years from junior high through graduate and doctoral levels at New York University.
Michael Pravetz is director of hyperbaric medicine at JDC Diving School in Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating with a degree in sociology from Manhattan in 1971, he went on to become a professor of sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, then completed medical and law school, both in South Africa.
Bob Mittelstadt has retired from his social studies teaching position at North Salem High School after 42 years. He also served as varsity softball coach for 31 years, accumulating 400 wins. Tim Ostrye was honored as the National Coach of the Year at the National Prep School Championships after his work with the successful wrestling program at Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut.
JASPER BOOKSHELF Don Bracken ’58, who runs History Publishing Company out of his Palisades, New York, home, may soon see one of his projects on the big screen. Unabomber: How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski (History Publishing Company, 2014) has been optioned by the independent studio IM Global, with producer and director Rob Lorenz (American Sniper, Trouble with the Curve) on board to direct. The authors, Jim Freeman, who was the FBI special agent in charge of the Unabomber task force; Terry Turchie, Freeman’s assistant; and Donald Max Noel, supervisory special agent, were put in contact with Bracken (publisher) through a mutual acquaintance. Thomas Patton ’00 wrote his book, The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Protection and Healing in Burmese Buddhism (Columbia University Press, 2018), through the lens of a historically informed ethnographic study that explores the supernatural landscape of Buddhism in Myanmar. He explains the world of wizards, spells and supernatural powers in terms of both the broader social, political and religious context. He is an assistant professor of Buddhist and Southeast Asian studies at the City University of Hong Kong. David Wilson ’80 argues in his book, The Electoral College and Proportionality: United States — Electing the President and Vice President (BookBaby, 2018), that the electoral college works more efficiently than the popular vote. Using mathematics, he investigates the current system of checks and balances that was created to ensure that a fair, legal process is followed when election season comes around. A retired mathematics professor with electrical engineering training, Wilson now works as a statistical consultant, family history researcher, author and self-publisher. He is also the founder and CEO of Wilson Consulting Services LLC.
Thomas Zugibe, after serving as the Rockland County district attorney for 11 years, has been elected a New York State Supreme Court judge in the ninth judicial district.
Robert Rupnick, D.C., was awarded the Bishop John McGann Award in October for 30 years of teaching religious education in the diocese of Rockville Centre.
Jesse Aversano serves as senior vice president of marketing and sales and general manager at IndoorMedia, an advertising agency that specializes in shopping cart and receipt advertisements. He also is a mentor in the College’s Mentor program.
George Wall has been named president of supply and trading at the Chevron Corporation. He is responsible for Chevron’s global trading activities, along with overseeing additional trading hubs in London, Singapore and other offices worldwide.
Pasquale Bartolini has transitioned to senior staff engineer at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Site in Oswego, New York. He writes, “Glad that the engineering principles of 1981 still hold true today! Best wishes to all from the engineering department of 1980 and 1981!”
Charles Deierlein is retired from Con Ed’s Bronx-Westchester Engineering Group after 52 years of service. He remains in the industry through professional memberships in the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, among many others. He now enjoys the company of his family, including seven grandchildren, and spends his time volunteering with his local Scout Council and assists with merit badges, such as railroading.
Robert Massimi has built a portfolio featuring his many reviews of movies, Broadway plays and musicals on the website geeks.media. His theater expertise comes from the 12 Broadway and off-Broadway MANHATTAN.EDU N 45
ALUMNI shows he has produced, along with the nearly 700 productions he has seen.
Sciences at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.
Gerald Griffin was appointed executive vice president of local and regional sales of Screenvision Media, a cinema advertising company. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience in local sales and marketing. Michele McGrath spoke at the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as part of its Women in Science and Engineering forum. She was invited as a distinguished female leader in STEM for her work as director for global engineering and manufacturing at Air Products, a company that sells chemicals and gases for industrial uses.
Michael Trabold has joined HNTB Corporation as a senior project manager and vice president in the New York transit/ rail practice. He brings with him 28 years of experience in transit design and construction management. Louis Uffer had a very busy 2018 as his daughter Katherine wrapped up high school and the family began, as he writes, “the college shopping thing.”
Michael LaRocca has been appointed as head property and specialty lines North America at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in their New York City office. He is responsible for managing the strategy, development and performance of the company’s property and specialty lines portfolio, and will supervise multiple teams based in the U.S. and Canada.
Michael Cain is now working as a professional engineer in New York City. He lives in Thornwood, New York, with his wife Kristen ’92 and their two children.
Aldo Criscuolo was recently featured in Darien News of Darien, Connecticut, for his popular pizza shop Heights Pizza. He talks about his family lineage in the restaurant business and the entrepreneurial spirit passed down to him from his father and uncle. After a blind taste test, the newspaper named his pizza the best in town.
Mary Cain, Ph.D., is now a professor in the department of Psychological 46 N spring 2019
Marisol Alcantara spoke in a conversation series, Diálogos: Women of Color in the Arts, at Ballet Hispánico in January. A longtime labor organizer and community activist who has advocated for the empowerment of lowincome communities, women, workers and immigrant New Yorkers, Alcantara served as a state senator from 2017-18 in Albany.
John Donahue has been appointed chief of strategic initiatives for the New York City Police Department by Police Commissioner James O’Neill. In his new position, Donahue develops and drives enterprise-wide change with the mission to keep the NYPD the most efficient and effective law enforcement organization in the United States and New York City the safest large city in America.
Christopher Trivino was recently promoted to supervisory customs and border protection officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Providence, Rhode Island.
Peter Devlin was admitted as a capital markets partner to the global law firm Jones Day.
Alberto Mato was appointed deputy superintendent of schools of Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut in January 2018. Daryl Palmieri was sworn in as a trustee of the Union County College board of trustees in Cranford, New Jersey, in January. He also works for the New Jersey Department of Education as interim executive superintendent of Union County Schools. Prior to that, he worked as a physical education teacher and head basketball coach at Westfield High School for 17 years.
Jason Thorpe, with more than 11 years of experience in the geotechnical engineering field, has been named associate at John P. Stopen Engineering LLP in Syracuse, New York. Chisel Valdez has been appointed principal at Stripling Elementary School in Norcross, Georgia. She has been working in the field of education for more than 15 years.
Mark Blenner received tenure and promotion to associate professor of chemical engineering at Clemson University in South Carolina. In concert with this promotion, he also received the McQueenQuattlebaum Endowed Professorship. John Kruk was recognized as a top young professional of 2019 by Engineering NewsRecord. He has taken on various roles, including project manager, resident engineer and technical principal in major New York City projects, such as interior renovations in Grand Central Terminal, as well as the rebuilding and fundraising efforts for those affected by regional storms.
Chris Gorman recently worked on the New York Public Library’s “free books” Black Friday ad campaign, which earned praise in several media outlets including Forbes.com and PR Week, among others. The campaign, including a full page ad in The New York Times, resulted in a significant boost in web traffic and social engagement, and most importantly, a 32 percent increase in library card applications.
Lisa Martusciello received the honor of top young professional of 2019 awarded by Engineering News-Record. She has worked for clients such as New York City’s departments of transportation, design and construction, and Economic Development Corp, along with supporting the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Women’s Transportation Seminar and the ACE Mentor program. Connie Zambianchi has been named a top young professional of 2019 by Engineering News-Record. Her accomplishments include founding Amaracon Testing & Inspections, contributing to the ACE Mentor program and Professional Women in Construction, and mentoring Manhattan College engineering students.
Mike Martello was recognized by Engineering News-Record as a top young professional of 2019. He has served as an in-house technical leader contributing to large-scale projects such as the new Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge. He manages 45 engineers on a team he has helped to stock with experts in building information modeling, geotechnical and wind analysis. In
Henry Hits Her Stride (and the Stage) KATIE HENRY ’14 IS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO CAN LOOK BACK at what she wanted to be as a kid and realize she’s on the right course to accomplish her dreams. In Henry’s case, her childhood love of music — she learned to play the piano while in elementary school and continued to hone her guitar and vocal skills along the way — is panning out nicely. In addition to her work as a high school English teacher at the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, she has written 10 original songs on her new album, High Road, which reached No. 8 on Roots Music Report’s Contemporary Blues Albums and stayed on the chart for several weeks. Henry majored in education and English while at the College but continued to pursue her talent outside of the classroom. She recalls receiving strong encouragement from the faculty. “The support that Manhattan College had for my music was amazing, especially from [the late] Brother Ray Meagher,” she says. “The education and English departments were always supportive of me.” While at the College, Henry performed at local hot spots like An Beal Bocht Cafe, where she played her music to the local Riverdale crowds on weekends. She was a member of the Manhattan College Jazz Band for three years and performed on the Quad during Senior Week. After graduation, she began teaching an English class at Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy while refining her songwriting. “Once my songs started getting great reception at bigger festivals, I knew I was on the right path,” she says. Since then, Henry has had consistent success and will be touring the East Coast throughout August and September. To follow Henry’s tour, visit katiehenrymusic.com. addition, he works as a graduate structural engineering professor at Manhattan College.
Jaclyn Munson graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in May 2018 and passed the bar exam in July. She was sworn in as an attorney in November and now lives in the Boston area.
Sam Leitermann and his wife Peta-Ann are enjoying their first year of marriage and were expecting a new addition to their family in March. He now teaches mathematics at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and lives in Rockville, Maryland.
Joe Jacques was featured on the Pittsburgh Pirates blog Pirates Prospects, which covers his journey from a baseball team walk-on to his selection in the 2018 draft. The article follows his pitching career from his time at Manhattan College to his 91-mph two-seam fastball leading up to 2019 spring training (see story on page 19).
Jordan McGinnis joined the staff of the Winston-Salem Dash minor league baseball team in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as its new ticket sales and services representative.
Jesse Tossetti accepted a position as the director of outreach and admissions for the Warrior-Scholar Project, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that hosts academic boot camps at partner institutions across the United States. Correction: Joseph Maguire ’74 was incorrectly reported as a deputy director in the fall 2018 issue. He is the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
Sabrica (Concepcion) Bailey and Timothy Bailey, 10/6/18
Sam Leitermann and Peta-Ann Long, 2/19/17 Maria Treglia and Joseph Parziale Jr., 9/23/18
Ryan Johnston and Lisa Johnston, son, Mason, 1/3/18
Irene Mulcahy and Declan Mulcahy ’05, daughter, Ellie Margaret, 6/10/18
John Grillo and Megan Solin, son, Luke Thomas, 8/7/17
Karl Vamos and Stephanie Constantinou ’10, son, Luka, 11/18
Brian Kilgannon received his master’s degree in liberal studies from SUNY Old Westbury in January.
Alberto Mato is pursuing a doctor of philosophy in second language research from La Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.
Maria Treglia graduated in May 2018 with a juris doctor degree from Touro Law Center in Central Islip, New York. Joseph Parziale Jr. earned his juris doctor degree in May 2018 from Touro Law Center in Central Islip, New York, in May 2018.
Alexa Lampaona earned a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pharmacology from Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and is currently studying the pathogenic mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Jesse Tossetti earned his Master of Science in human resources from the University of Southern California.
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Alumna Looks Back at Long-Running Career at The New York Times
“I THINK IT’S ADAPTING TO CHANGE, change in the marketplace, change in your professional career,” says Lydia Roman Reynolds ’81, in discussing the challenges she has faced throughout her career. “In today’s age, you can’t stand still. You constantly need to invest in your skills and your network and look to grow because the marketplace changes so quickly. You have to stay relevant.” It’s good advice, to which any modern-day professional can relate, but it’s especially meaningful given Reynolds’ 30-year career at The New York Times. “Your career is not always vertical,” she says, in retrospect. “You’re not always going straight up the ladder. Sometimes you have to zigzag a little bit.” Reynolds started her career at The Times as a sales reporting manager in 1990, after stints at John Blair & Company and MMT Sales Inc., and earning an MBA in finance and marketing from Fordham. She moved up the ranks to sales promotion manager and eventually landed at vice president for strategic planning, where she oversaw a 12-person team that conceptualized and delivered growth and cost containment plans. “I was ultimately responsible for leading our national expansion initiative, putting the 48 N spring 2019
plan in place to change the newspaper from a New York City local newspaper to more of a nationally distributed publication, and it involved not only changing what the newsroom produced in terms of content but also how we printed and distributed it, as well as how we sold advertising,” she explains. “It was really a tremendous project and a big pivotal moment for the company.” In 2007, she became executive director of strategy and business development, and currently serves as director of business development. Reynolds collaborates with the newsroom, product, ad sales, marketing, technology and legal groups to negotiate and execute deals that support The Times’ digital business. For example, she negotiated the first-ever New York Times tablet app pre-install deal with Samsung that included a special subscription offer and incremental advertising buy. The deal generated a 1,600 percent increase in monthly active users. “What often happens is big technology partners want to do bigger, more groundbreaking things, whether it is Google or Apple ...,” she explains. “And, more often than not, they like to use The New York Times as the big brand name in the news space, as they value the content. It’s varied, but it’s all
about negotiating partnerships that benefit The Times ultimately and extend the brand.” Back to that ever-important adaptability that she mentioned — and exemplifies. Reynolds migrated from a print world to a more digital world and had to build up those skills and that expertise, as well as the relationships in what is essentially a different business. It was definitely a challenge. The news business is already a fast-paced environment, and there is a tremendous amount of continuous change in the digital space. “We’re trying to be innovative and create the best user experiences out there, so that we’re offering products and services that consumers are willing to pay for. It’s definitely a constant push for excellence,” she says. Reynolds has spent her career at The Times because she values the career growth she’s experienced, as well as the company’s mission. “I’ve been at The Times for as long as I’ve been because I’ve been given a lot of opportunity,” she says. “I also really do believe in the mission and the values that the company upholds. It’s part calling and part a good professional career.” It’s the sentiment of opportunity that she also equates with her Manhattan experience. “Manhattan College was a great starting point. I was really very fortunate to have gone there,” she says. “I majored both in accounting and marketing, which gave me more options in terms of my career path.” Although she followed her big brother, John Roman ’79, to the College, Reynolds carved out her own path, taking advantage of every opportunity afforded to her. She played tennis, volleyball and softball, and is credited with being Manhattan’s first female class president as a freshman. Now, as she looks forward, Reynolds is more focused on how she can give back. “What I would like to do is in some way give back to others because I’ve been very fortunate in a lot of ways,” she says. “I think about working with the next generation and trying to help kids achieve their goals.”
Unearthing the Facts:
The small rock at the center of a big controversy. Pierre Stromberg ’86 holds the Coso Artifact at long last.
A Skeptical Jasper Has the Last Word
Photo courtesy of Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times
HE TRUTH WAS OUT THERE; Pierre Stromberg ’86 just had to find it. Rumors about the fantastical origins of a rather ordinary-looking hunk of rock have abounded in certain circles since the 1960s. Named the Coso Artifact after its discovery in California’s Coso Mountain Range, the rock was classified by paranormal enthusiasts as an “out-of-place artifact,” or “OOPArt,” because a spark plug-like device was discovered in its center. This was considered by many as proof of either sophisticated alien visitors to Earth — or time travel. The mystery had fascinated Stromberg since learning of it on an episode of the television series In Search of… as a kid growing up in the Bronx. None of the existing explanations for how a technologically advanced device came to be embedded in a 500,000-year-old geode satisfied him. Years later, he would again be drawn to the Coso Artifact, and to rooting out the truth. First, though, came more typical milestones. Stromberg’s childhood home was two blocks from Leo Hall (then known as the Leo Engineering Building), but it was Manhattan College’s excellent reputation that spurred him to attend. A computer science major, he enjoyed the rigorous coursework and the intellectual challenges presented by his liberal arts professors. After graduating in 1986, he moved to Washington State. Serendipity led him to a software builder position at Microsoft. “I worked primarily on operating systems when they were still very young,” he says. “It was a rare time in the industry. I saw a society that didn’t use computers at all on a day-to-day basis to where everybody’s got one running on their phone now. It was a transformative time.” As a newcomer in Washington, Stromberg noted with alarm that faith-based groups were attempting to influence science curricula in local schools. He began to investigate popular claims that contradicted established science and founded the Pacific Northwest
Skeptics, a group that met mainly online to research and challenge questionable speculations. His efforts revealed flaws in the arguments of those who sought to discredit the work of anthropologists who discovered the skeleton of “Lucy,” a hominid species. “It got to the point where we’d confront them at their lectures and say, ‘Not only do you know this is not true, but we also corrected you in your last lecture, so we’re tracking you now,’” he recalls. “It was incredibly embarrassing for them, and eventually they were forced to abandon the claim.” In the late 1990s, while attending a lecture by a dubious scientific authority, Stromberg was reminded of his youthful interest in the Coso Artifact. “[The lecturer] was saying that its existence completely overturns what we know about history and evolution,” he says. “And I thought, ‘That is quite a remarkable claim to make.’” He was officially on the case, the only problem being that the original artifact hadn’t been seen for decades. Undeterred, Stromberg examined X-ray images dating from the artifact’s discovery in 1961. In September 1999, Stromberg contacted members of the Spark Plug Collectors of America, who verified that the embedded object was indeed a spark plug manufactured by Champion in the early 20th century. How, then, did a man-made item end up in the center of an ancient geode? Turns out it wasn’t so ancient. Stromberg’s research uncovered that the Coso Range site was home to a mining operation in the 1920s. A spark plug from mining machinery had been coated in a thick buildup of sedimentary matter through a process known as concretion, which can occur in the span of a few years, rather than millennia. Mystery solved. His explanation widely accepted, Stromberg stepped away from sleuthing to spend more time with his wife, Justine, and sons Joshua and Caleb. After 15 years with Microsoft, he went on to hold positions across a wide variety of industries, from advertising
to automobiles to healthcare. Today, he is setting up the quality assurance program for Logicworks, a cloud computing company based in New York, and recently returned to the city for his first visit after 30 years. Last spring, the family that had retained possession of the Coso Artifact for all these years wrote Stromberg to ask if he wanted to see it in person. “There was no way I could say no!” he says. His examination of the artifact confirmed what he’d proven 18 years before: This particular OOPArt had a very rational explanation. Renewed interest in the Coso Artifact led to its inclusion in the What Is Reality? exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, and an article in The Seattle Times revisited Stromberg’s part in solving the mystery. It’s a proud legacy for this lifelong skeptic. “[The Coso Artifact] gave birth to the modern ‘out-of-place artifacts’ movement,” he says. “It was treated as the crown jewel of that genre. Now when I see people bringing up out-of-place artifacts on the internet, people say, ‘How do you know it’s not another Coso Artifact? What kind of due diligence did you do?’ People didn’t really ask these questions before. It’s possible that in the future we’ll dig up something that is truly amazing, but hopefully people will conduct due diligence before jumping to conclusions.”
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From LGA to GWB, Manhattan Engineer Keeps NY Moving
N HER 18 YEARS WITH THE PORT AUTHORITY of New York & New Jersey, Amanda Rogers ’01, P.E., has practically seen it all. But her latest project has her spanning — and scaling — the world’s busiest bridge. Rogers is the senior engineer of construction for the George Washington Bridge (GWB) and Bus Station. The bridge, which first opened in 1931, connects New York City with one of its most densely populated suburbs, and carries more than a quarter million vehicles across the Hudson River every day. She oversees all construction programs and initiatives, including capital construction contracts and state of good repair contracts, and manages somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 construction contracts, ranging from $100,000 to more than $500 million. Rogers is also leading the ambitious $2 billion Restore the George project. The capital program consists of 11 construction contracts over nine years and will rehabilitate and replace many critical parts of the GWB, including the suspender ropes, the Palisades Interstate Parkway helix, and 178th & 179th Streets. “The bridge is approaching 90 years old,” she says. “Certain parts of it are getting toward the end of their life spans, and they need to be replaced. We’re pretty much replacing entirely what’s here with new.” Rogers, a LEED accredited and certified construction manager, began her career with the Port Authority at the AirTrain Terminal at Jamaica Station shortly after graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. There, she coordinated with the Long Island Rail Road, general field inspection and contract administration. To say she’s seen a lot since then would be an understatement. “I’ve seen everything from flatwork, to building work, to demolition, to airports, to trains, to tunnels, to bridges, to large transit hubs, to world trade centers,” Rogers says. Most recently at LaGuardia Airport as an engineer of construction, Rogers had a vital role in completing the infrastructure projects to prepare for the selection and award of the Public Private Partnership Redevelopment Program. Prior to LaGuardia Airport, she served as the resident engineer at John F. Kennedy Airport. What’s kept her at the Port Authority for almost two decades is the magnitude and diversity of work. “I love that I learn something new every day,” she says. “I have a lot of great engineers in this office that teach me something every single day because they’ve seen it before, and I haven’t. I think as an engineer, you can’t ask for anything better in the world.” 50 N spring 2019
When it comes to bridges, the biggest difficulties come from working within their constraints. A lot of the work is done at night and on weekends. And not to mention all those lane closures. “It’s a lot of coordination, a lot of planning,” Rogers says. “You have to try and plan out how to be productive to the best of your ability.” One of the most challenging projects she’s ever worked on was extending the runway decks at LaGuardia. A federal mandate required that EMAS (Engineered Material Arresting System) beds be installed at the ends of every runway in the country. Because LaGuardia is confined by water, the runways had to be extended over the bays. “I was working off of barges, which I’ve never done before,” she explains, adding marine construction to her experience and laughing at her quick introduction to the effects of supermoons and tides. When Rogers became involved, they were about a year and a half behind schedule. She got up to speed on the project in two weeks, and told the general manager and major airlines that it could be done and on time — they thought she was crazy. “I love when someone doubts me. That’s a challenge to me,” she says. “I think I had nine months to get it back on track and deliver it. It wasn’t easy, it was a lot of work. But it got done because no matter what kind of barrier you get put in front of you, you’ve got to find a way around it or through it.” Rogers thinks about her Manhattan engineering courses every now and then, especially the one on the structural nature of bridges. “You’ll be out there and start talking about the stresses and plates, and you’ll think, ‘I learned this back in my sophomore year at college, I didn’t think I’d still be talking about it,’” she quips. Rogers chose the College because the faculty encouraged her to follow her interest in engineering but also supported her as a student-athlete. The former shortstop played softball for all four years. “I absolutely love what I do, and I feel lucky that Manhattan has delivered that for me in a very interesting way,” she says. She was recently selected to the Professional Women in Construction’s list of 20 Under 40 Outstanding Women in Construction. “That meant a lot to me as a female, especially in construction, but I don’t think of myself as one of the only females. I’m just one of the engineers here,” Rogers says. With such recognition received before her 40th birthday, how will Rogers top that? For her, it’s a matter of staying in the field she loves. “I love construction, and I love the engineering department, so there’s plenty of mobility in the Port Authority,” she says. “I’ll go wherever the Port Authority thinks I’m needed most.”
Alum Opens a Parisian Eatery (And Goes Mokonuts)
N MENUS PRINTED DAILY at the cozy Parisian restaurant co-owned by Omar Koreitem ’99, you might find cookies baked with miso and sesame, mole and goji berries, or good old-fashioned chocolate chips. Breakfast at Mokonuts could be a large round pastry stuffed with hazelnuts and kumquats (known as a galette), and lunch may present a full rack of lamb. But don’t expect to order the same thing twice — all dishes feature seasonal fruits and vegetables, and are driven by the constantly changing culinary inspirations of the alumnus and his wife, Moko Hirayama. Together, they opened Mokonuts in 2015. But the restaurant, located in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, does have staple items that patrons request time and time again. One is the waffle sandwich and another is labneh, a Middle Eastern soft cream cheese made from strained yogurt that can be paired with olive oil or eaten as a dip. This is a nod to Koreitem’s heritage; he was born in Lebanon and raised in Paris. (He remembers being one of the few Lebanese-French students on campus). The eclectic menu at Mokonuts reads as an embodiment of the couple. They met shortly after Koreitem graduated from Manhattan as an international studies major and was working for the New York City Parks and Recreation department. There, Hirayama was a labor negotiator. “The Mokonuts story is the story of my life and what we’ve done here. Things have always evolved for me,” Koreitem says. At Manhattan, he fondly remembers courses he completed in peace and justice, religious studies and English, which offered the freedom to explore different areas of interest. He took this a step further in his years following graduation. In considering his longterm career goals, Koreitem felt undecided but knew for certain that he loved cooking.
This simple fact led him to the Institute of Culinary Education, through which he completed externships at highbrow establishments like Daniel in New York City. Meanwhile, Moko was an attorney by day who whisked her baking skills in the evenings and on weekends. The couple would soon get married and move to London and then to Paris, where Koreitem finessed his culinary training at various French kitchens. Before long, they opened the restaurant that would become Mokonuts, named for the reaction Hirayama received upon telling her law firm that she’d be swapping her legal pad for piping bags and pastry cream. “They said, ‘You’re nuts! You’re Mokonuts!’” Koreitem remembers with a laugh. The couple’s journey, like that of their restaurant, continues to yield all kinds of exciting adventures. Two of those adventures are their daughters, Mia, 7, and Aly, 5, who already seem to have inherited their parents’ resolve about what tastes good — and what doesn’t. Currently, a go-to meal in the Koreitem-Hirayama household is Japanese natto, a breakfast dish made from fermented soybeans that often pulls its flavor from soy sauce, mustard and onion. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are best left off the table. Since its opening three years ago, Mokonuts has been praised in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Saveur and other top publications. But no matter how popular the restaurant gets, the couple’s time spent with Mia and Aly will remain sacred. That’s why the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch but is closed for dinner, aside from the occasional pre-planned seating. Koreitem and Hirayama are usually tying up loose ends at the restaurant each day until after 5 p.m., but they prioritize arriving home at a decent hour. Their commitment to their second family — their customers — also remains firm. Patrons will continue to walk through the robin’segg blue doors to Mokonuts and feel at home. The look and feel of Mokonuts are always subject to change, however. This can be partially attributed to Koreitem’s enthusiasm and constantly evolving creativity. Dialing back to his college years, this is the same trait that prompted him to switch his academic major more than once. Before international studies, he was studying communication and prior to that, religious studies. “I’m not sure what the future will bring because I get bored with things very easily and move on to new challenges,” he says. With the arrival of spring in France, Koreitem and Hirayama have set their sights on a more immediate goal, which involves discovering new and delicious ways to serve the country’s best seasonal vegetables, like fava beans and artichokes. Whatever ends up on the plate will, similar to the couple’s homestyle business approach, just come naturally.
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Manhattan College records with sorrow the deaths of the following alumni: 1943
James S. Gillen, 10/28/18
Martin F. Duane, 11/16/18 Alfred G. Werben, 2/27/19 Jack G. Zurlini, 12/25/18
Joseph P. Averill Jr., 9/25/18 Robert F. Bigwood, 12/22/18 George P. Miller, 3/17/18
Francis A. Finnerty, 1/3/19 Robert M. Homko, 12/28/18 Theodore M. Pasca, 11/25/18 Edward J. Schutta, 12/21/18 Robert J. Wertis, 11/30/18
John K. McGuirk, 10/18/18
Arthur F. O’Leary, 12/4/18
James G. Houlihan, 3/2/19 Joseph W. Layer, 3/1/18
William P. Matthews, 12/21/18 Andrew Paretti, 11/6/18
Louis M. Bianchi, 10/18/18 Richard S. Covino, 1/7/19 Frank W. Heffernan, 1/25/19 Stanley A. Mills, 10/17/18
John J. Conheeney, 10/8/18 John F. DeSanto, 2/12/19 Vincent A. Iannucci, 1/1/19 John P. O’Keefe, 11/12/18 Ernest A. Zappile, 11/27/18
Edward J. Curzon, 12/15/18 Albert P. Horcher, 10/11/18 Martin J. Mealey, 2/1/19 John D. O’Fallon, 11/14/18 Thomas P. Racek, 2/22/19
William T. Behrends, 1/9/19 Robert J. Field, 11/29/18 Joseph L. Grandon, 11/25/18 Robert W. Hoebee, 3/5/19 Robert W. Hoeffner, 1/9/19 Richard W. Lussier, 12/24/18 John J. Lyons, 11/11/18 Thomas J. Murtagh, 12/7/18 Gustave P. Pellegrino, 11/5/18 Michael E. Shalhoub, 10/26/18 William B. Van Riper, 10/13/18
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John P. Joyce, 10/31/18
Thomas B. Canavan, 7/13/18 Nicholas Fiermonte, 3/8/18
John P. Deluca, 7/25/18 Thomas E. Filgate, 10/28/18
Donald J. Ball, 11/21/18 James D. Dwyer, 2/11/19 John J. Flynn, 1/5/19 Robert E. La Blanc, 1/5/19 Charles E. Serra, 1/11/19
Michael J. Bergmann, 9/25/18 Edward K. Cassidy, 12/9/18
Joseph F. McKeefry, 11/18/18 Gerard J. Nutting, 1/21/19 Vincent F. Salerno, 11/12/18 Kenneth S. Thyne, 11/18/18 Donald A. Werle, 1/17/19
Marie A. Bittermann, 3/7/19 James A. Drohan, 10/19/18 Thomas J. Kello, 1/22/19 John T. Kelly, 11/6/18 John J. Mickell, 12/28/18
John M. Knowles, 1/23/19 Vincent J. Petti, 1/5/19
Br. Jeffery L. Calligan, FSC, 2/15/19 Fr. Gerald Grace, 8/10/18 Kevin J. Stapleton, 2/25/19 Paul A. Truszkowski, 5/10/18
Francis P. Coughlin, 11/27/18 James J. Corless, 11/19/18
Thomas F. Frawley, 1/13/19 Donald P. Hanrahan, 2/27/19 Joseph J. O’Kobrick, 12/27/18
Daniel J. Carmody, 1/16/19 Patrick J. Carson, 11/22/18 John J. Coyne, 2/22/18 John A. Gorman, 9/20/18 John R. Iurato, 10/9/18
Valerio T. Caro, 10/16/18 Richard A. Conde, 1/28/19 Lawrence B. Ferolie, 12/15/18 Robert J. Randall, 12/29/18 Joseph F. Rimkunas, 1/29/19
Regina M. Avard, 11/2/18 James V. Yedowitz, 1/2/19
Carl J. D’Ambrosio, 11/23/18 Anthony J. Musto, 1/3/18
Charles C. McCarthy, 1/21/19
Andrew C. Coates, 1/29/19 John J. Hirsch, 2/3/19 Carlos Justiniano, 12/6/18 Edward F. Ledermann, 3/7/19 George E. Long, 12/31/18
1974 Richard E. Cross, 10/17/18 John A. Heckle, 12/22/18 Sr. Marilyn J. Kennedy, CSJ, 11/16/18
Eugene F. Burke, 1/28/19
Gerard G. Dooley, 3/2/19
Thelma F. Hayes, 12/1/18 Kevin E. Herron, 11/29/18 Sr. Regina R. Ruth, OSF, 1/16/19
John J. Allen, 1/28/19 Burton J. Cann, 3/9/19 William M. Wheeler, 10/27/18
Vincent A. Apuzzo, 1/12/19 Beth A. Bove, 1/25/19 Bernard Feinerman, 2/27/19 Robert W. Sore, 2/25/19 Michael J. Zink, 10/9/18
Daniel J. Duprey, 12/18/18
Michael A. Madden, 10/10/18
Paul J. Pagnozzi, M.D., 11/24/18
Robert F. Moloney, 2/23/19
Maryann L. Carotenuto, 12/8/18
William W. Krawec, 10/14/18
Joseph N. Hankin (Hon. Deg.), 1/16/19
Correction: William U. Cooley ’80 was incorrectly listed as deceased in the fall 2018 issue. His father, James W. Cooley ’49, passed away on 6/29/16.
NICHOLAS C. KAFES, PH.D., a retired professor of chemical engineering, died on Oct. 21, 2018. He was 85. Bringing his expertise in ethylene design, Kafes joined Manhattan College as a professor of chemical engineering in 1970. He came to the College after serving in the U.S. Navy and working for the Lummus Industries globally for 10 years. “I had Dr. Kafes in class during junior year, senior year and grad school at Manhattan College,” says Gennaro Maffia, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering. “I found Dr. Kafes to be enthusiastic about chemical engineering and especially so about design and the Lummus Company. He was one of the few ethylene design
experts in the world at the time, and it was such a pleasure learning from him. I started my career at Lummus and discovered immediately what he taught me to be very valuable. Some of my experience in plants and in the home office have worked their way into the curriculum here at Manhattan, in true Kafes style.” A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kafes earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Lehigh University. He was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Kafes published in professional publications, including the prestigious AIChE Journal and Chemical Engineering Education. Born to Greek immigrant parents in New York City, Kafes celebrated his Greek roots throughout his life. He is survived by his wife, Eugenia Kafes; son Nick (Christina); and two grandchildren, Lexington Eleni and Nikos Spiros.
Alfred Del Vecchio ALFRED DEL VECCHIO, retired professor of mechanical engineering who also served as chair of the department, died on Dec. 5, 2018. He was 95. In addition to his contributions to Manhattan, Del Vecchio served as mayor of White Plains, New York, for 18 years. He began teaching at the College in 1946. Under his leadership, Manhattan College was awarded an exclusive research contract from New York State to develop an efficient, practical method to measure auto exhaust in 1970. Del Vecchio authored three engineering books and served as a member of many professional and academic associations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Education. A graduate of New York University, he was a licensed professional engineer. He became the mayor of White Plains in 1975 and remained in office until 1993. Del Vecchio is credited with using his engineering knowledge to transform White Plains into the vital city it is today. He also continued to spearhead environmental projects as mayor. Walter Matystik ’72, a retired provost of Manhattan College and an engineering student during Del Vecchio’s tenure, recalls the former mayor’s impact on the city of White Plains. “My biggest memory of him was when he planned the renewal of White Plains,” Matystik says. “He was known for using his engineering background and his political prowess to see the future and start to make it happen.” He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Claire; seven children; 17 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. One child predeceased him. MANHATTAN.EDU N 53
Brother Malcolm O’Sullivan, FSC BROTHER MALCOLM O’SULLIVAN, FSC, who served at Manhattan College from 1973 to 1994, including as vice president of college relations and development, died on Dec. 17, 2018. He was 94. Br. Malcolm served as vice president for nearly a decade, after joining the development area as officer of special projects. In 1983, he joined the School of Business faculty and taught management courses until 1994. Through his development roles at the College, Br. Malcolm supervised the multimillion-dollar FOCUS (Fitness Opportunities Center for Us) campaign for the construction of Draddy Gymnasium. A tireless fundraiser with business and government officials alike, he was instrumental in the expansion and renovation of the Cardinal Hayes Library, as well as the addition of the top floor of the Leo Engineering Building, now Leo Hall. In addition to those initiatives, Br. Malcolm instituted the De La Salle Medal Dinner, an annual major fundraising event. Throughout the years, the De La Salle Dinner has raised millions of dollars for the College with the support of Fortune 500 leaders. He also created the annual Jasper Open, known for bringing the alumni community together for a day of golf, camaraderie and raising funds for the College. “Br. Malcolm manifested the Lasallian values that have guided Manhattan College for more than 165 years,” says John Paluszek ’55, former trustee. “He gave witness to those values with an infectious optimism that generated significant additions to the Manhattan portfolio. Just one example: His mid-1970s leadership of the capital campaign to build the Draddy Gymnasium. That spirit, in service to Manhattan students and institutions well beyond our campus, is his legacy.” Born in Limerick, Ireland, Br. Malcolm grew up in Brooklyn, where he attended Bishop Loughlin High School. He entered the novitiate in Barrytown, New York, and took the habit in 1941 as Brother Bernadine of Jesus. He professed his final vows in 1949.
“Br. Malcolm manifested the Lasallian values that have guided Manhattan College for more than 165 years.” —JOHN PALUSZEK ’55
54 N spring 2019
Following studies at The Catholic University of America, Br. Malcolm earned his B.A. at Manhattan College in 1948, his M.A. at Fordham University in 1954, and an Ed.D., which was preceded by another M.A., from Columbia University, Teachers College, in 1966. His undergraduate and graduate concentrations were in Latin and Greek. He began his teaching career in the Bronx at St. Raymond’s School, teaching grades five, seven and eight. He also taught at Christian Brothers Academy, Albany; St. Joseph’s Institute, Barrytown; De La Salle Institute, New York; Cardinal Spellman High School, Bronx; and La Salle Academy, New York, where he served as principal, too. In 1965, he was named director of vocation services for the La Salle Provincialate in New York. Br. Malcolm held several other administrative positions, including president of Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tennessee; assistant principal of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, New York; and principal of St. Rose High School in New Jersey. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Robert La Blanc ’56
ROBERT (BOB) E. LA BLANC ’56, a trustee emeritus who served on the board for more than 25 years and an honorary degree recipient, died on Jan. 5, 2019. He was 84. A trustee emeritus since 2010, La Blanc served on the College’s board of trustees from 1982 to 1994 and from 1995 to 2010. During those years, Manhattan established a stable financial footing and built several state-of-the-art facilities while creating a more national enrollment base. “I joined the board in 1990, and Bob, already a board member, immediately became a mentor and a friend,” says John Lawler ’55, Ph.D., former chair. “Our similar Manhattan backgrounds always made it easy for us to communicate on board issues, whether it be strategic planning, building plans, executive committee work, or any of the myriad items that arose during our years as members and subsequently as emeriti.” Lawler notes: “As board chair, I could always depend on Bob for thoughtful consideration on any issue and his kind and
gentle way of offering these thoughts to the various assemblies: full board meetings, executive committee meetings, ad hoc meetings with faculty, and many others. His wisdom, counsel and inherent kindness will be missed.” A tireless contributor to the College, La Blanc and his wife, Elizabeth, established the Jeanne-Marie La Blanc Memorial Scholarship in memory of their daughter, Jeanne-Marie, to provide tuition assistance to graduates of New Jersey high schools who are in need of financial aid to secure their college education. With a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan, La Blanc earned his MBA from New York University in 1962 and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Manhattan College in 1997. A native of Queens, La Blanc was commissioned as a navy second lieutenant after graduating from Manhattan. He spent three years as the communications
officer for a naval base in the Arctic, as well as for 10 remote radar sites in what was then called the DEW Line (Distance Early Warning), which looked for Soviet missiles possibly targeting the United States. La Blanc then had a successful career in the telecommunications industry. He worked at Salomon Brothers for 10 years, where he was a general partner and founder of its telecommunications team, before joining Continental Telecom Inc. (now part of Verizon) as vice chairman. In 1981, he founded Robert E. La Blanc Associates Inc., an information technologies consulting and investment firm, from which he retired in January 2010. In retirement, La Blanc volunteered once a week as a tour guide on the USS Intrepid and sang in the choir at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He is survived by Elizabeth, his wife of 56 years; his four children, Elizabeth, Robert Jr., Paul and Michelle; and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Jeanne-Marie.
MANHATTAN.EDU N 55
PHOTO BY ANNA CALMA ’18
PA R TING SHOT
A strong advocate for social justice issues on campus, Donya Quhshi ’19 serves up samples of Ben & Jerry’s at the fair trade ice cream social in the Kelly Commons and explains how fair trade helps women all across the world play leading roles in their communities. 56 N spring 2019
A LASALLIAN CATHOLIC COLLEGE SINCE 1853 Published by the office of Marketing & Communication Manhattan College 4513 Manhattan College Parkway Riverdale, NY 10471
With a weary winter finally withdrawn, the first signs of spring brighten and adorn the Quad and the surrounding sidewalks on campus.
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID BURL, VT 05401 PERMIT NO. 19
The spring 2019 issue of Manhattan College magazine, M.