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- Students get inside access to U.S. Intelligence Community - 3D-printed arm brings joy, international acclaim - A heart-rending account of the path to citizenship

Peace and every good. The imprisoned John the Baptist sent a messenger to Jesus

Our world is filled with conflicts and tensions, power

to ask: “Are you the one or should we look for another?” In

struggles, and stories about who is included, excluded, or

reply, Jesus sent the messenger back to John to report what he

outright marginalized. The challenges of jobs, living wages, and

had heard and seen of the miracles worked by Christ: the blind

access to healthcare are everywhere for those who are open to

recover sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear,

seeing the truth. So many of our neighbors - our brothers and

and the poor have good news preached to them. Christ revealed

sisters - have unmet basic human needs that cry out for a more

to humankind that humble love is a power that transforms,

humane, just and peaceful response.

builds up, reaches out, struggles to do some good. In 1223, St. Francis wanted to recall the story of the birth of

What if each of us were inspired by the stories of our students in this issue of Siena News to take the advice of

the Christ Child. With the assistance of a friend, he created a

Francis to heart and consider how, “in whatever way we are

manger so that all might, “as much as possible,” experience

best able to do so” we might make a difference by choosing the

in some way “through their bodily eyes,” the humility of the

way of humility, service, and love? They took what they learned


at Siena and went into the world, and in a spirit of openness

Whether the message is on the lips of Christ or St. Francis, it is important to realize that both sought to tell people of good will, regardless of their beliefs, religious commitments,

and giving, made connections with others who are journeying through this life on different paths. I invite the entire Siena community to consider the message

or cultural backgrounds, that all women and men are called to

of Christ and the invitation of Francis to make this season a

love, as St. Francis put it, “in whatever way [you] are best able

Season of Love.

to do so” [ER, XXII, 26]. Sincerely, Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D. President


EDUCATION WITHOUT BORDERS Siena News – Winter 2017 Published by: Siena College
 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211-1462 518-782-8300 •
 • Publisher: Jason Rich ’98 • Editor: Julia Hess ’15
 • Contributing Editors: Alumni Relations, Breanne Beard ’17, Brad Bodmer ’82, F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., Mike Demos, Naomi Esteves ’20, Aidan Glynn ’17, Beth Hazelton ’16, Julia Hess ’15, Ned Jones, Maggie Liguori ’17, Melissa Manzer ’08, Fr. Sean O’Brien, O.F.M., Jason Rich ’98, Ruth Richards, Bill Richmond, Sydney Sericolo ’17, and Lisa Witkowski • Art Director and Design: Sergio Sericolo
 • Class Notes and ‘In Memory’ Design: Jean Higgs • Alumni Class Notes Editors: Mary Beth Finnerty ’85, Nicole Heck ’14 and Kathleen Palumbo • Photography: Athletics Office, Matt Bellis, Ph.D., Eric Brower ’17, Pamela Camargo ’18, Development Office, First Year Seminar, Julia Hess ’15, Peter Howard, Camilla Leonard ’17, Siena Mentoring Program, Nicole Mundackal ’17, NBC, Tony Purificato, Jason Rich ’98, Sandy Spicer ’19, SE Children’s Café, Siena College Archives, Siena Athletics, Sergio Sericolo, Pete Souza, Samantha Tighe ’17 • Video Production: Dave Etzler


2016-2017 Board of Trustees Thomas L. Amell ’89 Thomas J. Baldwin, Jr. ’81 Ronald E. Bjorklund ’85 J. David Brown Thomas J. Burke Daniel “Din” Cahill ’75 Judy Capano Michaelson ’87 Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D. Susan Law Dake Virginia Darrow ’83 Howard S. Foote ’74 Jason Gottlieb ’92 Sr. Violet T. Grennan, M.F.I.C., D. Min. Rev. Kenneth R. Himes ’71, O.F.M., Ph.D. Kristian Mariaca ’96









Mallory R. Massry ’07 Robert J. McCormick ’87 Burgandy-Leigh McCurty ’10 John A. McMahon ’71 Rev. Kevin J. Mullen ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D. John F. Murray ’79 John J. Nigro H’13 Kenneth M. Raymond, Jr. Mark S. Rose ’65 Scot Salvador ’88 Rev. James P. Scullion ’75, O.F.M., Ph.D. David M. Stack ’73 Lewis Steverson ’87, Esq. Dr. Nimmi M. Trapasso ’98, M.D. Br. Basil J. Valente ’83, O.F.M. Dennis L. Winger ’69








1. International Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service

nurses interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The first schol-

Religious leaders from many denominations gathered at

nursing program in January 2017.

arship will be awarded to a student or students who will begin the

Siena’s Peace Pole for an interfaith prayer service to observe the 35th annual International Day of Peace.

4. Stack Center Funding the Future

Prayers were offered by Capital Region clerics in the

Antonio Civitella ‘91, founder and president of the New York

traditions of Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Catholicism,

BizLab business accelerator, is providing Affiliated Company

Islam and Buddhism, in the original languages of those

scholarships to four startup companies led by Siena students


through the David ’73 and Christine Spicer ’75 Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Saints have an opportunity

2. Siena Serves: Community Service Day

to work with professionals, service providers and their peers in a

More than 200 Siena students joined in Siena Serves Day

growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at the New York BizLab. Siena

of Service 2016 to make an impact on the community.

is also one of three local colleges introducing a new entrepreneur-

This year’s event featured 27 different choices of activities

ship program funded by a National Science Foundation grant. The

at a variety of service sites. All 24 member schools of

$300,000 grant will help Siena, RPI and Skidmore College take

the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities

student ideas and develop them into business ventures.

provided service and outreach to their communities in October to honor the life and work of St. Francis of Assisi.

5. First Year Seminar Janet Shideler, Ph.D., and the students in her First Year Seminar

3. Siena College and The Eddy Announce New Full-Tuition Scholarship for Nurses

course “Relationships” participated in a Siena Family Photo

Siena College and The Eddy have established a new joint

and administrators to pose with strangers, people who are all

program offering full-tuition scholarships to registered

part of the Siena family, but do not know each other.

Project. This assignment brings together staff, students, faculty,





Enabling a miracle This winter has been a little cooler for Karissa Mitchell: she can finally build a snowman! “Awesome!” the nine-year old from Stillwater, N.Y. said after receiving a Frozen-themed prosthetic arm just hours after completing third grade. “It feels like I have a real hand.”



Mitchell was born missing her right hand and most of her wrist, but a group of Siena College students used

the classroom to designing, printing and

Enabling the Future’s website – a global

assembling Karissa’s new arm.

volunteer network committed to making

“When we met Karissa and her family,

free prosthetic hands and arms for those

a 3D printer on campus to make her

they were so nice and it was a great fit,”

in need – to print the perfectly-sized

life a little easier.

Gleason said. “Karissa’s face lit up when

pieces of Karissa’s prosthetic.

Physics majors Alyx Gleason ’17 and Miranda Marnes ’17 lead Siena’s e-NABLE chapter, a group of students who devoted dozens of hours outside

we showed her a test hand. She is a very deserving girl.” The Siena team utilized the computeraided design (CAD) files accessible on

“Everything is 3D printed – the palm, the fingers, the hand – and then we have our team go in and assemble it,” Marnes said. “Snap the pins in, and after the different parts are put together, we’re able to put strings in that allow the fingers to close when the elbow bends.” It took 30 hours to print the prosthetic and just two hours to assemble, but the bulk of the six-month project was a grueling trial and error process. The prosthetic is designed to make everyday things other people take for granted easier for Karissa. While function came first, the Siena e-NABLE team also incorporated fashion and flair into the design, modeling the ice blue arm after Karissa’s favorite movie, and even including a removable Olaf light. “Karissa really identifies with Elsa because she knows what it’s like to be different from everyone else,” Karissa’s mother Maria Mitchell said. “She doesn’t want to be seen as different, which has made her extremely determined to do things as well as, if not better than others.” And while the arm looks magical enough for Elsa, what’s important is that it’s practical enough for Karissa. Normally, it would have cost the Mitchells thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to get Karissa a prosthetic, but the Siena eNABLE team did the work free of charge. “When Alyx and the students brought the prototype to our house, she had it on for measurements, so she picked up an orange and her facial expression was just priceless,” Karissa’s father Michael Mitchell said. Karissa’s reaction to the prosthetic didn’t just have an impact on her


The students develop engineering,

parents. The story went viral after she

Pittsburgh Steelers themed arm for a boy

passionately reacted to receiving her new

in Clifton Park and an arm for a young

physics and problem solving skills

arm during a press event on campus. ABC

girl in Uganda.

through their cutting edge work with

Nightly News featured it during their

“The work the e-NABLE team did for

Siena e-NABLE, but the real reward was easily identifiable on Karissa’s face.

closing “America Strong” triggering an

Karissa embodies everything the Siena

avalanche of national and international

College experience represents, and we

coverage. The story was told across

were extremely proud to see our students

experience, but you also leave here

media outlets from the Today Show to

receive national exposure for their

with something much more than you

the China Times.

selflessness and ingenuity,” President

can learn in a classroom,” Marnes said.

Br. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D.

“Knowing I used skills that I learned here

Iron Man-themed prosthetic hand that

said. “This project is just one example

at Siena to put together an arm that’s

they created for five-year old Jack Carder

of the high-impact opportunities

making a difference in someone’s life –

in Ohio. Maria learned of that story

for engagement and discovery Siena

that’s what it’s all about.”

through the media and reached out to see

students enjoy with our faculty daily in

if the Siena team could help her daughter

a community committed to building a

as well. They are currently working on a

more just, peaceful, and humane world.”

Siena eNABLE’s first project was an

“Learning the 3D printing was a great




SIENA TO HOST NYS SUMMER SPECIAL OLYMPICS Siena College will host the 2017 and 2018 New York Summer Games for Special Olympics New York. Athletes and coaches will travel to Siena from around the

for several of our World Games teams. This is a great community with strong ties to our athletes.” Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports

state for competition on June 16-17 2017. All events, including

training and competition in 22 Olympic-style sports events to

the opening and closing ceremonies, are free and open to the

children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to


the athletes, their families or caregivers.

This will mark the first time in a decade that the State

Some events will be held at Hudson Valley Community

Summer Games will be held in the Capital Region. Athletes

College, The Sage Colleges, World Class Gymnastics and Spare

must qualify at a local level to compete in the state games.

Time Bowling Alley.

“We are excited to be back in the Capital Region for our

“We look forward to welcoming these athletes to our campus

State Summer Games,” said Neal J. Johnson, president and

and to the Capital Region and to supporting their endeavors as

CEO of Special Olympics New York. “Siena has a long and

they strive to achieve their best,” said Br. F. Edward Coughlin,

valued relationship with Special Olympics athletes, having

O.F.M., Ph.D., president of Siena.

hosted many local events and provided training opportunities

For more information and to register online to volunteer, please visit



FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF A SAINT Michael Yodice, Nicole Mundackal, Megan Hodson, Kevin

Nicole Mundackal ’17 worked with the women of Prem

Flatley, Priyanka Kolli, Esha Jain and Demiana Azmy spent

Dan, a house for sick, disabled and dying elderly. Even

their summers in the footsteps of Saint Teresa of Kolkata. The

though the women were often left abandoned and without

seven Saints traveled to Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta),

a place to go, they were filled with joy.

India to volunteer with Missionaries of Charity, founded by

“After spending seven weeks with the same people,

Saint Teresa, as part of Siena’s Albany Medical College

you really get to know who you’re caring for: their

Program (AMC).

personalities, their likes and dislikes, and most importantly

The AMC program provides students the opportunity to use

their background story and what life was like for them

their knowledge and give back to the less fortunate in the local

before coming to the Missionary of Charity homes,” said

community and abroad. Students travel throughout the world

Mundackal. “The hardest part of this trip for me was

- from Central America to Africa - to live and work among the

leaving these wonderful people.”

poor and marginalized. Each student worked six days a week at various Missionaries

These seven Saints brought the knowledge and experience they gained through their summer service

of Charity volunteer locations, getting a look into the lives of

back to the classroom and to the communities they

the people of Kolkata.

continue to serve during the academic year.



Siena political science faculty, students and pollsters were busy during this election season, actively following – and commenting on – the contentious 2016 election.


Student Democrats and Republicans hosted watch parties

series Campus Conversations: Presidential Election 2016.

for each of the nationally-televised presidential and vice-

Pacitti spoke on the economy, Vera Eccarius-Kelly, Ph.D.,

presidential debates. The gatherings were a chance for Siena

professor of political science, on immigration and refugees;

students – many of whom were voting in their first election

NPR critic and “Race Baiter” author Eric Deggans on the

– to discuss key issues and campaign styles. Local media came

media’s coverage of race and culture; and Madden on gender

to campus to cover the debate watching and gather student

and leadership style.

comments. Their professors were also frequently sought after by the

The C-SPAN campaign bus came to campus in September. Students were able to climb aboard and enjoy interactive

media this fall – Leonard Cutler, Ph.D., professor of political

exhibits about America’s history and be interviewed by C-SPAN

science; Jack Collens, Ph.D., assistant professor of political

reporters for the network’s archives.

science; Aaron Pacitti, Ph.D., Douglas T. Hickey Chair in

The Siena Research Institute’s results had constant media

Business and associate professor of economics, and Margaret

presence as reporters tracked every fluctuation in poll results

Madden, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs all made

across the country. Siena’s name appeared in a wide range of

numerous appearances in TV, radio and print to offer insight

outlets including The New York Times, Fox News and the BBC.

and commentary about the political process.

Once the dust settled following Election Day, poll-trackers

The Student Life Elections Committee hosted the four-part

scored SRI extremely well in predicting with accuracy the outcomes of national, state and local races.


BULLYING BY THE NUMBERS As middle and high school students spend more time online, a survey of teenagers and their parents finds that cyberbullying is a prevalent issue that touches a majority of area teens. Twenty-six percent of teens across upstate New York and 22 percent in the Capital Region have been cyberbullied, according to the results of a new survey released by the Siena College Research Institute, AT&T, and the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “In the Capital Region, one of every eight parents says that their child has been bullied online,” said Don Levy, Ph.D., SRI’s director. “Virtually all parents and nearly 90 percent of teens both across upstate and locally agree that cyberbullying is a serious problem and needs to be addressed before it gets worse.” The survey also showed that slightly more than half of teens and parents in the area have witnessed cyberbullying, including insulting or threatening comments and pictures meant to embarrass posted online, revealing videos shared online, and posted rumors or allegations about sexual activity. The Clementi family created the Tyler Clementi Foundation in honor of their son’s memory. Tyler committed suicide after his college roommate cyberbullied him about his sexuality. “These survey statistics speak to the staggering problem of cyberbullying” said Jane Clementi. “It’s outrageous and simply unacceptable to allow this to continue. Aggressive behavior in the electronic world can cause great pain and destruction to one’s spirit. We must instill in our youth the knowledge that technology is only as good as the people who use it.”

Don Levy, Ph.D., Director of the Siena Research Institute and Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, speak at the survey release press conference in November.


MENTORING TOMORROW’S LEADERS TODAY Fr. Sean O’Brien, O.F.M., Mentoring Program Director Let’s admit it, millennials often get a bad rap. They have been called lazy, entitled, tech-obsessed, and materialistic. They have been described as the “Me, Me, Me” generation. The students in Siena College’s Mentoring



Program are a different breed. I’ve found them to be selfless, hardworking, compassionate and willing to sacrifice for a greater good beyond their own interests. The Mentoring Program began over 50 years ago and continues to enjoy a rich, colorful legacy at Siena. It was founded by Jim Snyder, a beloved Siena community member and pioneer, during a time of much civil and racial unrest. Jim and his college buddies courageously moved beyond the treelined campus of Siena to the city streets of Albany. They befriended city youth who longed for connection and guidance, and a hope for something better. With the help of God’s grace, the Mentoring Program was born. Today the spirit of Jim Snyder’s legacy lives on. Every Saturday afternoon two busloads of highly energized,

mentors exemplify the best qualities of our students.

excited kids from the city of Albany come to campus. They

They make the Franciscan values we teach very real and

are greeted, not by self-absorbed millennials, but by Siena

alive. They affirm the unique worth and value of all the

Mentors, who volunteer every Saturday afternoon to offer

“littles” in their care, and show optimism and hope in

their friendship, guidance, and memories that will last a

the most challenging times.

lifetime. The friendships and memories continue during the

Siena mentors are not afraid to go the extra mile to show their “littles” they are cared for and loved. In their

summer months. For six weeks the Siena campus provides

free time, some mentors visit their littles at school,

the beautiful setting for the summer camp. The days of our

attend sporting activities or birthday parties, or pick

volunteer summer mentors are long and full. They wear many

them up to get ice cream.

hats and play in a variety of roles, serving as coaches, tutors,

Siena Mentors remind us about what distinguishes

lifeguards or EMT’s, other times as counselors who lend a

Siena from other colleges. They reveal the best of the

listening ear or offer a shoulder to cry on.

Franciscan values we seek to convery and express our

Whether reading “The Outsiders,” playing Marco Polo in the pool or sweating through a game of capture the flag, Siena

commitment to building a world that is more just, peaceful and humane.


SIENA ANNOUNCES NEW 3+1 ACCOUNTING PROGRAM Motivated accounting students at Siena will now be able to receive two college degrees in four years in a new accelerated accounting program. Siena has developed an intensive “3+1” accounting program that will enable students to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.) in four years. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. “The courses taken will be exactly the same as those in a traditional five-year program,” said Charles Seifert, Ph.D., dean of Siena’s School of Business. “It’s compressed into a shorter period of time for students who are especially motivated and want to begin their careers a year earlier.” Students are being recruited for the fall of 2017, but those interested may enroll earlier. Upon completion of the M.S.A. during their fourth year of study, graduates will meet the educational requirements necessary to sit for the New York State Certified Public Accountant exam. The College also offers a traditional Master of Science in Accounting. “Our M.S.A.

Professor Elaine M. Phelan, MS, CPA

alumni have a 100 percent job placement rate after graduation,” said Seifert.

SIENA AND ALBANY MED HAVE YOUR BAAC Siena College is a key part of a new collaborative effort with Albany Medical Center that will help physicians turn their

professors, researchers, attorneys and CEOs. Funding and

ideas for patient care into marketable products.

services will be available to participants after graduation

The Biomedical Acceleration and Commercialization Center (BACC) was launched to train physicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the skills needed to move their biotech innovations from the lab to the market. Several other area colleges and businesses, such as


in the Capital Region and beyond. Courses will be taught by

to help build biotech business and continue product development. The BACC Academy will have about 20 students in its first year, who will study business skills, leadership and management, and issues specific to the biomedical field

General Electric and IBM, are involved in the effort, which

such as managing intellectual property, regulations and

will ultimately create new jobs and grow new companies


Money Magazine Education To Best College Career Top 100 Princeton Review Best Value College Money Magazine Best College Best College Education To Princeton Review Career Top 100 Best Value College Best College Money Magazine Education To Career Top 100 Best College Princeton Review Best Value College

SIENA NAMED ONE OF NATION’S BEST Siena College is one of the nation’s best institutions for

improving their college-to-career outcomes. Siena was one of

undergraduate education according to The Princeton Review,

just two schools in New York that earned Best Value distinction

Educate to Career (ETC) College Rankings Index, and Money’s

from ETC.

Top Colleges Lists. The Princeton Review’s profile on Siena College highlights

Money’s Top Colleges value rankings evaluate colleges on educational quality, affordability and career earnings to help

student testimonials that were surveyed for the publication.

families find great schools that are truly worth the investment.

One student said the professors are among Siena’s “greatest

Out of about 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities considered,

strengths… They push so hard to make us successful.” With

Siena was 72.

small class sizes- there are fewer than 3,100 students at Siena-

“According to a new survey by Money and Barnes & Noble

“You feel like your professors really know who you are and care

College, families care most that schools help students develop

about you and how you do.”

the critical-thinking skills needed to succeed in a complex

ETC, which ranked Siena as a 2017 Top-100 Best Value College, is a nonprofit organization that focuses on students

world and prep graduates for fulfilling careers, not simply jobs with a high salary,” said Money Editor Diane Harris.



THE GHOSTS OF WAR SPEAK TO US ALL Middle schoolers and college students

his experiences in Iraq while serving with

really learning to read and write in an

came together this fall to explore issues

the Army Reserves. Smithson visited

academic sense. It’s about learning to

of leaving home and writing as therapy

both schools in October to speak about

work with a text.”

in the young adult memoir Ghosts

his experiences and how he learned to

of War.

deal with them through writing.

Students in Siena’s First Year Seminar

associate professor of education, created

sixth through eighth graders from St.

the theme of leaving home around

Gregory’s School in Loudonville, not as

Smithson’s memoir.

mentors, but as fellow scholars on the

“The theme was inspired by St.

impressed with her First Year Seminar experience and Smithson’s book. “I absolutely adore this seminar,” she said. “We get to state and defend our thoughts and opinions in a way we

road to learning more about engaging

Francis, who couldn’t truly accept God’s

have not been challenged to do before.

with a text and writing clearly and

plan for him until he left the boundaries

It’s also a good opportunity to study


of the town of Assisi,” Fr. Ken said.

something of historical importance that

“First Year Seminar at Siena is about

happened in our lifetimes.”

Ghosts of War was written in 2009 by Ryan Smithson, to help him heal from

Ryan Smithson speaks to the Siena community and students from St. Gregory’s School at a joint lecture on Siena’s campus.


Fr. Ken Paulli ’82, O.F.M., Ed.D.,

class, “Leaving Home,” worked with

Justine Guinaw ’20 an ROTC cadet from Kings Park, New York is thoroughly


Rody-Wright with one of her Siena First Year Seminar “Incarceration” classes. This full-year course explores the incarcerative experience from historical, sociological, psychological, economic, political and legal perspectives.

LEARNING LOCKED UP Aidan Glynn ’17 Before coming to Siena, First Year Seminar (FYS) professor

and circumstances with an open mind. This lead to an

Annie Rody-Wright, J.D., was the Legal Director of the Center

impact that even Professor Rody-Wright could not have

for Law & Justice, a non-profit organization, for 17 years.


Today, she melds her love of law with her passion for teaching

The prisoners were sure that there would be a

through her FYS course, “Incarceration,” where she gives

gap between their thoughts and those of some more

Saints a unique look into the lives of those imprisoned.

privileged college students, but during the essay

But, once a week Rody-Wright’s student demographic is a

exchange process, Rody-Wright witnessed the inmates

bit different. She packs up her teaching materials and travels

come to tears as they related to the sentiments and

to Greene Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison

outlooks of the Siena students who were living a world

in Catskill, New York. At Greene, her class is full of 20 eager

away from them.

to learn inmates who range in age anywhere from 18 to 60

The fusion of both classes went so well that next

years of age. She issues the same assignments to both her

semester, Professor Rody-Wright will merge both classes

students learning about incarceration and her students living

and have them meet at the Greene Correctional Facility

in prison.

where with security and all of the proper precautions,

This academic parallel allows for an ongoing peer review

her students will be able to learn together and further

amongst the two groups. By taking the students names off the

understand each other’s lives during an unorthodox field

papers, they are able to learn from each other’s life experience

trip which both groups of students will never forget.



Samantha Tighe ’17 and Camilla Leonard ’17 journeyed to Dilley, Texas to assist lawyers and law students in gathering background information on families applying for asylum in the United States.

Dilley, Texas. Population 3,674. Not a place you would think would provide a life-changing experience for two college students. But it did.


Deep in our hearts Y in TEXAs Camilla Leonard ’17 and Samantha Tighe ’17 journeyed to the flat, dusty town last summer to assist lawyers and law students in gathering background information on families applying for asylum in the United States. Dilley is home to a prison, and also the South Texas Family Residential Center, the largest immigrant detention center in the country, and not much else. Located about 100 miles north of the Rio Grande, the center doesn’t offer much more freedom than the prison. Most who live in Dilley work at one of the two facilities, which are both operated by the same for-profit agency.



patrols, getting separated from family,

Leonard. “This is what so many people

delegation from Fordham University

or not having enough food or water or

are dealing with on a daily basis.”

School of Law and the Dilley-based

money for the trip. One woman said she

CARA Family Detention Pro Bono

started taking birth control before she

life seen human beings so destroyed by

Representation and Advocacy Project.

left home because she knew from other

their experiences.”

They went as Siena Summer Legal

women’s experiences she was going to be

Fellows, where students interested

raped at some point on the journey.

Leonard and Tighe were part of a

They met and interviewed a young woman who had two children with her.

Leonard and Tighe said that once the

She was 20 years old, the same age as

law school students with research

women and children made it across the

Leonard and Tighe. Her two children,

and legal work. They helped take

border, for many their struggle and hard-

which she risked her life to bring to

down testimony from asylum seekers

ship only continued. Many feared being

America, were both the result of gang

– who come without documenta-

sent back to the home countries, which


tion because they were fleeing from

they had fled in terror to get away from

danger and persecution – and log it

gangs, extortion, and violence, much of

experience she requested and received

into databases so they could officially

it drug-related. Many spend weeks and

funding from Siena to take 10 students

apply to enter the U.S.

months in the center while being pro-

back to Dilley in January to continue the

cessed, dealing with horrifying memories

work of taking immigrant testimony.

harrowing stories about Mexican and

only partly tempered by the relief of hav-

Leonard said she found her experience

Central American women and their

ing made it out of their countries alive.

too traumatic to return.

children trying to flee from danger

They shared the story of one woman

in careers in law assist attorneys and

They knew they would hear some

Tighe was so moved by her

Leonard knows firsthand about the

and hardship in their home countries

who escaped from Honduras. A gang

immigrant experience – her family

and make it safely across the border,

with government connections ordered

came to America from Guyana when she

but nothing prepared them for the

her son and a neighbor’s son to join their

was a child.

onslaught of moving and emotionally

gang. They both refused. The neighbor’s

wrenching testimony they recorded.

son declined first, so to convince the

through the front door instead of the

other family their order was meant to be

back door,” she said. “But some simply

two stories that would really stand

accepted, the gang killed the neighbor’s

don’t have that option to use the front

out from all the testimony we took,”

son, decapitated him, and hung his head

door. They are running for their lives.”

said Leonard. “But every single story

from a street lamp outside their house.

was so awful. And the fact that they

The family fled that night.

“I thought there might be one or

all involved mothers and young children made it even worse.” So awful, in fact that coordina-

Another mother ran a shop in El Salvador. She was approached by gang members who extorted $100 per month

“We did it legally, we came in

Tighe said she didn’t have much knowledge about the asylee/refugee experience before taking on this project as a Summer Legal Fellow. “Of course I had heard about these

tors of the work encouraged the

from her for “protection” from other

issues, but to be so closely involved,

two students to partake in podcast

gangs - a considerable sum given her

and to hear the stories directly from

counseling to cope with what is

modest means. She made the payments

those who lived the experience was very

called “second-hand post-traumat-

for almost a year but one month she just


ic stress,” which often impacts aid

couldn’t pay up. The gang members came

workers of asylees.

at night in a car with tinted windows.

immigration being a hot-button topic

They stepped out brandishing semi-au-

during the presidential campaign.

Some women tried to make it

She reflected back to the issue of

“There was talk that all these asylum

from their homelands to the U.S. on

tomatic weapons, and demanded back

their own devices, while others paid

payments. To enforce their demands,

seekers are rapists and drug dealers.

“coyotes,” or smugglers, to get them

they punched her teeth out. When the

No. That’s exactly what these mothers

across for sometimes exorbitant fees,

woman reported the incident to a police

and their children were trying to get

some of which was paid through

officer, the man pushed up the sleeve of

away from.”

sexual assault.

his uniform to reveal a tattoo indicating

There was always the danger of being captured by police or border


Tighe added, “I have never in my

he was a member of the same gang. “I had a major wake-up call,” said

Both students presented a talk about their summer legal work to the College’s Board of Trustees at their

September meeting. They received a

those seeking asylum. They also shared

standing ovation for their research, their

their experiences as part of the Center

completely different person,” she said.

presentation and their courage.

for Undergraduate Research and Creative

“We take so much for granted living

Activity (CURCA) student presentations

where we do.”

“You could have heard a pin drop, they were listening so hard. We saw tears in their eyes,” Leonard Cutler,

last fall. Leonard and Tighe each came away

“I came back from that experience a

Leonard, a sociology major from Schenectady, said she had always

Ph.D., professor of political science and

with a changed view of the world and a

planned to go to law school after

pre-law advisor, said.

resolve to dedicate their lives to doing

graduating from Siena, and that goal has

something about it.

now been reinforced.

Camilla kept a journal and Tighe maintained blog posts during their time

Tighe, a social work major from

in Dilley. The entries they made have

Ossining and Queens, is still planning to

been shared with the American Civil

pursue a master’s degree in social work

Liberties Union and other organizations

but has added law school to her list

dedicated to protecting the rights of

of goals.

“I want to be a spokesperson for these people,” she said emphatically.

(Left) A drawing of Camilla Leonard holding a small child at the South Texas Family Residential Center. (Below) Leonard and Tighe with their group at the Dilley city line.





Marcela GarcĂŠs, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish, discusses film with her class.

CYNTHIA BOTT, PH.D., assistant professor of social work, and ELISA

Meg Fryling, Ph.D., works with students in a newly

MARTIN, PH.D., had their work “Mrs. Doubtfire mentoring program –

renovated computer science lab. Greg Byrnes, Ph.D.,

Helping children in residential care transition to bedtime,” co-authored

collaborates on pigeon research through the Center for

with Lauren Castellana ’15, published in Residential Treatment for

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

Children and Youth. CHERYL BUFF, PH.D., associate dean of the school of business, co-authored “Undergraduate Research As A Fate Accompli: Innovation and Evolution Of A Student Conference In Business” with RAJ DEVASAGAYAM, PH.D. This paper was published in “Contemporary Issues in Education Research.” GREG BYRNES, PH.D., assistant professor of biology, presented “Investigation of the Mechanics of Squirrel Jumping” at the International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies. JAMES BURNES, PH.D., assistant professor of quantitative business analysis, published “Crisis at a Local Barbershop” in conjunction with RAJ DEVASAGAYAM, PH.D., and GARY CLENDENEN, PH.D., in the Journal of Case Studies. JAMI COTLER, PH.D., assistant professor of computer science, co-authored “Causes of cyberbullying in multi-player online gaming environments: Gamer perceptions” with MEG FRYLING, PH.D., and JACK RIVITUSO, PH.D. This was published in “The Proceedings of CONSAIR.” She worked with DANIEL DITURSI, IRA GOLDSTEIN, PH.D., JEFFREY YATES, and DEBRA DELBELSO on “A mindful approach to teaching emotional intelligence to undergraduate students online and in-person,” which was published in “The Proceedings of the Education Special Interest Group of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP).”


The group also authored “Mindfulness:

“Washing of The Mouth,” was included in

in Semiconductor Device Performance

Gateway to teaching emotional

Context of Scripture I.

Assessment,” published in Quality

intelligence online,” which was presented

Engineering. He also co-authored a book

at the International Symposium for


chapter titled, “Reliability” in Statistical

Contemplative Students in California.

of marketing and director of the Center

Roundtables: Insights and Best Practices.

for Undergraduate Research and Creative NATHALIE DEGROULT, PH.D., associate

Activity (CURCA), had four papers

MARA DROGAN, PH.D., visiting assistant

professor of French, was named

published in the International Journal

professor of history, had her work “The

“Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes

of Academic Research in Business and

Nuclear Imperative: Atoms for Peace

Académiques” by the Ministry of French

Social Sciences: “Antecedents of Hoarding

and the Development of US Policy on

Education. This award is given to “those

Behavior: A Marketing Perspective,”

Exporting Nuclear Power, 1953-1955,”

who have rendered eminent service to

written with Jennifer DeMaria ’16, and

published in the journal Diplomatic

French education and have contributed

Diana King ’16, “A Cross-National


actively to the prestige of French culture…

Empirical Investigation of Music Streaming

this esteemed distinction acknowledges

Behavior,” written with Francisco Javier


their merits, talents, and exemplary

Martinez Calderon ’15 and Nicholas

professor of political science, authored


Alexander Motyl ’15, “Cross-Cultural

a chapter titled “Oportunidades y Retos

Lessons & Implications for Marketing

de la Turquia Moderna” (translates to

MICHAEL DICK, PH.D., professor

Soccer in the USA,” with Eugene Corcione

Opportunities and Challenges in Modern

emeritus of religious studies, had his work

’15, and “Consumer Perception of

Turkey) included in “Un retrato de la

“Critical review of the book: Middlemas,

Corporate Activism: Strategic Implications

Turquìa Contemporànea. Visiòn general

Jill: The Divine Image. Prophetic

for Marketing,” written with Michael

y perspectivas” published by the Escuela

Aniconic Rhetoric and Its Contribution

Corcoran ’16 and Kenneth Newman ’16.

de Relaciones Internacionales and

to the Aniconism Debate” included in

Universidad Anàhuac, Mexico.

Theologische Literaturzeitung. His article


“Tales of Two Cities (in the Second-

professor of accounting and business

MARCELA GARCÉS, PH.D., associate

Century BCE): Jerusalem and Nineveh”

law, received the 2016 Brumbaugh Award

professor of Spanish, published a chapter

was also published in the Journal for the

of the American Society for Quality

titled “Fashioning Transitions and

Study of the Pseudepigrapha. His peer

(ASQ) for his paper “An Application of

Designing Identities in El Calentito”

reviewed publication “The Mesopotamian,

the Linear Errors-in-Variables Model

in Gender in Hispanic Literature and

Visual Arts. She presented “Framing


participated in a panel on “The Future of

and Revisiting the Social Justice Theme

in marketing and management, co-

Transgender Rights.”

in SPAN 025: Film from the Spanish-

authored “Impact of Consumers’ Self-

speaking World” to fellow faculty

Image and Demographics on Preference

DARREN LIM, PH.D., associate professor

about incorporating social justice into

for Healthy Labeled Foods,” with RAJ

of computer science, published an article

Franciscan Core courses, sponsored by the

DEVASAGAYAM, PH.D. This paper was

with Gili Rusak ’15 titled “On The Road

Diversity Action Committee. Along with

published in the “Sage Open” publication.

with Codester: Using An Educational App to Teach Computer Science to


Grade 1-6 Students” in the Transactions

associate professor of biology,

On Techniques in STEM Education

THOMAS GIARLA, PH.D., assistant

collaborated with Domenic Roberto ‘19,

journal. Their paper was chosen as the

professor of biology, co-authored

Esra Dawood ‘17 and TJ Sullivan ‘17 on

Transactions Best Paper Award for the

the publication “Local Endemism

research presented at the University

October-December edition as well as Best

and Within Island Diversification

at Albany Undergraduate Research

Paper Award for 2015.

of Shrews Illustrate the Importance

Symposium hosted by their biology

of Speciation in Building Sundaland

department. Their research was titled,

ARINDAM MANDAL, PH.D., associate

Mammal Diversity,” that was published

“Pheromone-mediated Communication in

professor of economics, had his work

in the journal Molecular Ecology. He also

a Bird Parasites.”

“Rape of the Subaltern: India’s Recent

Siena’s film studies minor.

Sexual Violence in Perspective,”

participated in the American Society of Mammalogists conference this summer

DANIEL LEWIS, PH.D., assistant

coauthored with Dr. Tanni Chaudhuri

with two students, both of whom gave

professor of political science, presented

of Rhode Island College, accepted for

poster presentations. He presented

“The Bathroom Issue: Transgender Rights

publication in spring 2017 issue of the

“Thousands of loci and hundreds of

and Public Opinion,” at the Annual

International Review of Modern Sociology.

species: Phylogenomics of the white-

Meetings of the American Political

He also had his paper “Does Trade

toothed shrews” and “Comparing tree

Science Association along with co-authors

Improves Labor Rights in Developed

building approaches for a phylogenomic

Patrick Miller, Andrew Flores, Donald

Countries? An Empirical Investigation”

dataset with over 200 species.” The poster

Haider-Markel, Barry Tadlock and Jami K.

accepted for presentation in the 5th

presentation was titled “Utility of whole

Taylor. At the same conference, he also

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

mitochondrial genomes for species-level phylogenetics of Maxomys spiny rats.”

conference on Empirical

Issues in International Trade and Finance in

review on “After Occupy: Economic

Kolkata, India.

Democracy for the 21st Century,” by Tom Malleson for the Eastern Economic Journal.

ELISA MARTIN, PH.D., visiting assistant

He also authored three Huffington Post op-

professor of social work, is working with

eds, “Trumps Campaign Illustrates Perfectly

Amelia O’Rourke ‘18, on a community

How Running a Country is Nothing Like

research project with Northern Rivers, a

Running a Business” with Mike Cauvel ’13,

nonprofit organization in the Capital Region

“The Job Market is Improving, But Wages

that provides a range of services to children

Should Be Growing Faster” and “Retirement

and families. She also co-authored “Field

Insecurity Is a Threat to the Economy” with

Manuals: Road Map to Student Learning”

Dina DeCarlo ’16. He was also named the

which was published in the journal Field

Siena College Douglas T. Hickey Chair in


Business for 2016-2018.

DUANE MATCHA, PH.D., professor of


sociology, completed a paper presentation at

professor of history, recently published her

the American Sociological Assocation annual

book “Charity Movements in Eighteenth-

meeting in Seattle. His presentation was

Century Ireland: Philanthropy and

titled, “The Relationship Between the Baby

Improvement.” She also gave a presentation

Boom Generation, Health Care Reform and

over the summer titled, “Philanthropy and

Medicare: a Print Media Analysis.”

Improvement: Voluntary Societies and Civil Society in Eighteenth-Century Ireland,” at

DONNA MCINTOSH, M.S.W., professor

the International Society for Third Sector

of social work, is continuing Spring 2016

Research in Stockholm, Sweden.

sabbatical work with long time advocates from across the state to record their career


oral histories of their work with and on

professor of social work, released “The

behalf of homeless youth in New York State.

hidden casualties of war: Suicide & military

A video archive has been created for the NYS

families” in The New York State 2016 Suicide

Coalition for Homeless Youth.

Prevention Plan.”

LAURIE NARANCH, PH.D., associate


professor of political science, presented

professor of sociology, presented “Marijuana

her work, “Political Theory and the Aging

Legalization in the United States and Its

Body,” at the American Political Science

Impacts” at the International Sociological

Association Meeting in Philadelphia. She

Association 3rd Forum in Vienna, Austria.

spoke on a panel looking at the concept of

She also presented “Women Covered in Ink”

home for how she investigated theories of

at the Feminisms for the 21st Century: The

the aging body in theory and public policy.

Valerie J. Hoffman 2015-2016 Lecture Series at Union College.

Siena students will continue doing research that could reveal secrets to the universe at its most fundamental level. MATTHEW BELLIS, PH.D., assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded a three-year $213,333 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) allowing for continuing research that engages students in looking for signs of new physics. The renewed grant is extremely unusual for a school Siena’s size. “There had been so much growth in the School of Science that it showed Siena could support those efforts,” Bellis said. “I also proposed a strong outreach program that mirrored our Franciscan tradition of engaging the community and showing respect for the wonders of nature.” Bellis has been a part of the detector experiment with the Compact Muon Solinoid (CMS) on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland since 2012. Siena students work closely with Bellis and physicists at Cornell University and the University at

AARON PACITTI, PH.D., associate professor

Buffalo. They recently traveled to

of economics, authored a refereed book

attend meetings at Cornell and Fermilab, the center of particle physics in the U.S, in Chicago. Experiences such as these have helped prepare many students who have continued



GRANTS JOHN MOUSTAKAS, PH.D., assistant professor

of physics and astronomy, was awarded a new three-year $197,751 grant from the National Science Foundation to support his work to understand the formation and evolution of the most massive galaxies in the universe. The grant supports student involvement in all aspects of the research, from traveling to southern Arizona and Chile to acquire the data, to analyzing and publishing the results, as well as in a concerted effort to engage high school students and teachers and the broader community in cutting-edge astrophysics research. Additionally, Moustakas received $10,834 from NASA through the Space Telescope Science Institute to carry out detailed observations of a sample of distant galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope.

physics research in graduate school. “When I began my education at Siena, I was unsure what direction I wanted to go or what field I wanted to study,” Kelly Nealon ’15, who is finishing her master’s degree in medical physics at Vanderbilt University, said. “I became invested in my department and the mysteries of physics when my research encouraged me to dig deeper into topics that I had previously left unexplored.” As part of the research, students have developed turnkey cloud chambers for use in college and high school classrooms and run workshops for local teachers, showing them how to build their own. “Research has enriched my experience at Siena by

Matthew Bellis, Ph.D., with several Siena students in Geneva, Switzerland at CERN. Bellis and his students were able to see CERN’s Large Hadron

giving me the opportunity to work with brilliant and

Collider: 100 meters underground and 17 miles in circumference, it is the

wonderful people,” Madeline Hagen ’19 said.

largest and most powerful particle collider in the world.




MEN’S AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASONS HEATING UP Siena’s men’s and women’s basketball’s highly anticipated seasons are kicking into full gear with the resumption of conference play as the calendar turns to 2017. Both squads are projected to be serious MAAC Championship contenders, so don’t miss out on the excitement! Purchase single game and individual group tickets to catch all the action by logging on to tickets, by calling the Siena Fan Relations Management Center at (518) 487-2202, or by e-mail at


STUDENT ATHLETES MAKE THE GRADE Siena’s roughly 350 student athletes continue to excel not only on the field but in the classroom, while successfully attaining the ultimate goal, graduation. In the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report, 91% of student athletes who entered Siena as freshmen graduated, which was seven points higher than the Division I average of 84%. Siena has now achieved a GSR of 90% or higher in all 11 NCAA reports since the rate was first released, and the 94% GSR Siena has averaged since the report’s inception ranks among the top-10 percent of all Division I institutions. Additionally, 12 Siena athletic programs posted perfect 100% cohort GSR’s.

ARC/MAC RENOVATION PROJECT WELL UNDERWAY Progress is well underway on the $13.5 million multiphase project to renovate, upgrade and enhance the Alumni Recreation Center and Marcelle Athletic Complex. Phase 1A, which featured the construction of an enclosed 8,360 square foot practice court for the men’s and women’s basketball programs as well as an additional bank of bleachers in the ARC, was completed in September. Phase 1B featured a relocation and enrichment of the indoor baseball and softball hitting cages as well as a facilities storage area, is underway and scheduled for completion early in the new year. Additional phases which include a new ARC event entrance, student athlete strength and conditioning and sports medicine suites, and a student and staff fitness center are set to follow with project completion scheduled for Fall 2018.


EDUCATION WITHOUT BORDERS 13OCT2016 1530 hours Langley, Va. We’ve made it past the most advanced security measures deployed to protect our country’s greatest secrets. The path has taken us from the White House to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where we await new information on a foreign threat against U.S. interests. Outside this room, our advisor is receiving the latest updates from the director of the President’s daily briefing (PDB). We will soon determine if a forceful response is necessary, knowing it could trigger an international conflict. We are a group of eight Siena students and four College representatives completing the first day of a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the U.S. intelligence community (IC). Charles Carillo ’17, an ROTC cadet and physics major, is the 13th member of our team. He enters the room and sets our minds at ease with a detailed report that de-escalates the threat. ‘Tunderland’ won’t be staging an operation in Alaska to undermine the U.S. salmon industry, at least not today. Welcome to the new Siena education – where exclusive, high-impact opportunities like this are transforming the student experience. “It’s part of our revised mission to emphasize experiential learning outside the classroom - to feel what is happening in the real world, rather than just basing your education exclusively on scholarship and textbooks,” political science professor Leonard Cutler, Ph.D says.


Michael Dempsey ‘83 is President Obama’s primary intelligence briefer. In October he invited nine Siena students to Washington for an insider’s look at the White House and CIA.




prepared to provide expertise and insight

direction reveals the majestic Jacqueline

0830 hours

to the most powerful man in the world,

Kennedy Garden. The tour continues

Washington, D.C.

but today he faces a new challenge:

with stops in the iconic Green, Blue and

Siena students are peppering him with

Red rooms. Fr. Mark Reamer, O.F.M. ’83,

questions ranging from the President’s

Dempsey’s roommate at Siena, notices

Dempsey ’83 serves as deputy director

priorities with regard to U.S. interests

the First Dogs – Bo and Sunny – playing

for national intelligence. He will take

overseas to Turkey’s complicated

on the front lawn. Stella Pabis ’17 looks

over as the acting director for national

involvement in Syria and Iraq.

on with wonder as we exit the State Floor

Cutler’s former student Michael

intelligence on January 20. He designed

“Hearing from (Dempsey) was a

onto the North Portico; she hopes to

this once-in-a-lifetime national

really great experience,” Bailey O’Neill

intelligence boot camp for some of the

’17 says. “His insight into what the IC

sharpest Saints.

does to keep our country safe was very



1400 hours

Dempsey greets us in the Secretary of War Room inside the Eisenhower

Dempsey introduces us to Brett

work here someday.

Langley, Va.

Executive Office Building just steps

Holmgren, senior director for

from the White House. Siena has 34,734

intelligence programs at the National

There are over 200 museums in our

alumni with amazing jobs all over the

Security Council, and the first of nine

nation’s capital, but chances are you will

world, but it quickly becomes clear

intelligence officers we will meet with

never see this one. After making our way

Dempsey has one of the most important

over the next 30 hours.

across the sprawling CIA compound, a docent leads us on a tour of the private

ones. As President Obama’s primary intelligence briefer, he analyzes and


CIA Museum. One of the models used to

impartially reports out on the most

1030 hours

prepare the Navy SEALs for the raid of

sensitive and critical information

The White House

Osama bin Laden’s compound provides a jarring reminder of what’s at stake

acquired from every corner of the globe. His office is also working to ensure

You can join a public tour of the White

here every day. The clothing, weapons,

the smoothest possible transition to

House if your Member of Congress

insignia and other memorabilia used

President-elect Donald Trump when it

submits a request, but Dempsey has

by agents over the past century is

comes to national intelligence.

arranged for a guided walkthrough of the


Dempsey began his career in CIA in 1990, and his rise to one of the most senior positions in the IC has him well

East Wing.

After a quick stop at the Agency gift

Students are consumed by images

shop, we meet Isabel Patelunas, director

of past Presidents as we enter the East

of the PDB. Petelunas engages students

Colonnade. A quick turn in the other

on the intricacies involved in developing

Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli ‘80 welcomed Siena students to his offices for an engaging discussion over lunch.


the most comprehensive and important

terrorism information is located through

in this town. Michael Botticelli ’80 is

piece of intelligence communication

the door to our right.

finishing up his final days as director of

produced anywhere in the world. Carillo

The set for the hit series 24 was

national drug control policy, and he’s

passes the exam with flying colors,

based on the layout of ‘The Watch.’

decoding and delivering the mock

Intelligence officers work here around

brief regarding our salmon war with

the clock in 12-hour shifts integrating

Siena and I think about who we serve


and analyzing all intelligence pertaining

and what we do here – it’s about social

to terrorism possessed or acquired by our

justice, and how we protect the most


vulnerable people in our community,”


“I never thought I’d get into such

0900 hours Langley, Va. Today we will take a deep dive into the world of counterterrorism. Dempsey introduces National Intelligence Officers Alan Pino and David

invited us to his office for lunch. “I get emotional when I think about

Botticelli says. “How do we make sure

restricted areas, ever,” Pabis says.

we’re treating people with compassion

“Being able to do that as an undergrad

and dignity – not with morale outrage

and being opened up to the possibility

and arrest and incarceration? This work

of doing other things, I think, is

is really bound up in what Siena was


trying to teach me.”

Vail is joined by Cheryl Young, director

Botticelli’s asks if anyone has lost

Tapia who lead a spirited discussion

of intelligence, Andrew Koch, director of

a friend to drugs, and every hand

about the challenges the U.S. faces in the

strategic operational planning, and Alex

goes up. It’s an emotional 90-minute

Middle East and Latin America.

Karls, director of terrorist identities, at

conversation that ends with the same

our final stop at the CIA. We learn about

offer Dempsey made: “let me know how

government works, but to see it firsthand

their roles in counterterrorism, and

I can help.”

is much more impactful – to hear from

the dramatically different paths they

the source how they do things – I have

took to get here. It turns out a liberal

positions, and hear them say ‘get in

definitely learned a lot coming here,”

arts education, coupled with a relevant

touch if you want to pursue something

Courtney Rafis ’18 says.

internship, is a preferred route to a

like this - we’ll help as much as we can.’

career in the IC.

They still care for Siena as much as they

“We talk about the different ways the

Andy Vail is standing at a reception

“To see two Siena alumni with these

did when they were here, and they care

desk with four flat screen televisions behind him. The Deputy Director of


for the students being able to do more

Operations Support at the National

1300 hours

with their lives. I couldn’t see this being

Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) gives a

Washington, D.C.

possible anywhere else,” Rafis says. Saints love opening doors for each

preview of what we are about to see: the U.S. central shared knowledge bank on

Saints have quite a bit of influence

Dempsey greets students in Secretary of War Room.

other, and some lead to amazing places.

The Saints tour the White House.





The Ring of Honor – a circle of engraved benches at the center of campus – was dedicated on September 29 to honor Siena’s most generous benefactors. The 16 granite benches are engraved with the names of 25 donors who have given more than $1 million to the College. The Ring of Honor was given as part of the 2016 senior class gift. “These names already are well known to us and to all those who love Siena,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Howard Foote. “If you look at the list of honorees, you will see the names that currently grace many other campus spaces. Our Ring of Honor is also a ring of dedication, support and commitment to the ideals of Siena.”


The Lucarelli Paddock, so named in honor of its benefactors’ passion for Thoroughbred racing, was dedicated October 5. Named after Don ’75 and Barbara Lucarelli, (pictured below) it opened in fall of 2015 adjacent to the Sarazen Student Union and features a gas fire pit, a barbecue, furniture, decking and landscaping. “We often say the word ‘community’ at Siena, and this Paddock is the essence of that word,” said Andrew Murphy ’17, Siena student senate

The Ring of Honor

president. “Whether we attend the Franks with the Friars event, have a cup of coffee by the fire pit, or eat lunch at the tables with our friends, people are here every day of the week.” Don Lucarelli and his brother owned building and roofing companies, but the family’s true passion is Thoroughbred racing. He and Barbara are principals in Starlight Racing in Lexington, Kentucky. It was only fitting that a space they created through their generosity reflected this abiding interest. Maryellen Gilroy, vice president for student life, said at the dedication ceremony, “One of the hallmarks of a Siena education is the tremendous sense of pride and community that our graduates speak about. The Paddock is an example of how transforming a space can help build community.”

The Lucarelli Paddock



ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT MELISSA MANZER ’08, FORMER SIENA BASKETBALL PLAYER, HAS GONE FROM STARTER ON THE COURT TO TELEVISION STAR. Manzer, now co-owner of CrossFit Round Lake, jumped at the opportunity to be a part of NBC’s “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge.” She and her team competed in the intense physical challenge for the chance at winning $250,000. DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE. The aspect of owning my own business that I love the most is creating my own schedule. Now that I’m my own boss, I create the rules...and I like that! I’m forever learning, which I believe is important if you wish to be good at what you do. I coach one of our classes at 9:30AM, and after that, my business partner and I usually get to work. I’ll take care of administrative tasks either from home or from the gym mid-day, and then I’ll coach our evening classes from 4-8.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO FACE ON “SPARTAN: ULTIMATE TEAM CHALLENGE”? The challenges we faced on the show were unique because they were all unknown. We trained leading up to the filming, however, we didn’t really know what we were training for. Physically speaking, the toughest challenges we faced were the Dunk Walls. We had to submerge ourselves in ice-cold water in order to get under three huge walls, one of which needed to be lifted via a pulley. The temperature of the water


sent our heart rates through the roof, which made it virtually


impossible to hold your breath in order to go under the next wall. Mentally speaking, the toughest challenge we faced was

We ran the race with mics on and everything we said was theirs’ to do with whatever they wanted. When we first arrived in Atlanta, we signed a packet of papers six inches

defeat. My team and I were all former athletes at either

high that basically relieved us of any rights we thought we

the collegiate or professional level, so we entered the race

had. The contract binds us for many years past the filming

with the highest of expectations: to win the $250,000 prize.

of the show. If they ever decide to run a “reunion” show,

When we didn’t make it out of the first round, we were really

we must be able to make ourselves available. Considering

disappointed. I actually arrived home and sent an email to the

the high ratings that the show’s debut received, we’re fully

producer saying that we wanted another shot at it in Season 2!

expecting to see subsequent seasons released for years to come.


CREATING YOUR LEGACY AT SIENA COLLEGE How many of us remember purchasing the chewy Now and Later candies when we were younger? We received instant joy from the burst of flavor and due to the nature of the candy, continued to enjoy the benefits long after.

Gifts to Siena College generally can also be considered Now and Later and, like the candy, yield wonderful results. Most people who give to Siena do so by sending the gift Now (checks, credit cards, real estate, appreciated stocks.) Planned gifts can be considered the long-term Later where the donor delays the gift or splits the gift into two parts: income and asset. Siena is grateful to have many alumni and friends who give to Siena through planned gifts. In fact, about 20% of all gifts in Living our Tradition: The Campaign for Siena College were planned gifts. All donors who make a planned gift become members of our St. Francis Society. The most common planned gift is to include Siena College in your will. There is no magic language to this: simply name Siena as a beneficiary of an asset, an expressed dollar amount, or an expressed percentage of your estate. Even though the gift comes at a later date, we ask you to please inform Siena of your intentions so we can enroll you as a member of the St. Francis Society. The second most common planned gift is a beneficiary designation, such as naming Siena College as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement plan. Again, even though the gift comes at a later date, we ask you to please inform Siena of your intentions so we can enroll you as a member in the St. Francis Society. Do you have a desire to create your legacy at Siena but want to delay your gift until you or your spouse do not need the asset anymore?

There are several simple vehicles that allow you to make the intention to give now but delay the transfer of the asset or the income from the asset until a later date. There are even ways to have the asset go to your children or grandchildren while still making a gift to Siena. For example, you can have the income from an asset paid to Siena (you get an income tax deduction) and then later have the asset go to your children (potentially estate tax free). As Siena swiftly heads toward its 80-year anniversary, more alumni than ever are making planned gifts to Siena College. For more information about planned giving, please contact Bradley Bodmer’82, Esq., Director of Development (bbodmer@ or (518) 782-6919) or visit We are here to help you create your legacy within the mission of our great College.

To see the generous members of the St. Francis Society, please visit


FESTA VINO Over 600 guests attended Siena’s 17th annual Festa Vino on October 13 in the Marcelle Athletic Complex. This major fundraiser, netting $42,000, will benefit the Siena Saints Alive! Athletic Fund and other programs at the College. The Callanan Field House was transformed into a Tuscan countryside featuring delicious culinary delights from 20 local food vendors and restaurants. Through a partnership with Craig Allen ’91, owner of All Star Wine & Spirits, more than 100 different wines from around the world were poured. Over 55 friends and business partners of the College helped to underwrite the event through honorary committee membership and sponsorships.

100 YEARS OF GIVING Br. Ed Coughlin, O.F.M., celebrated the McCarthy Charities’ 100


MADDALONE WALL OF SUCCESS On November 15, the newest class of 12 entrepreneurs was

years of giving. The McCarthy Scholarship is endowed at the

inducted into the Siena Maddalone Entrepreneur Wall of

College and awarded annually to students from Rensselaer

Success. The wall is designed to serve as an inspiration to

County who demonstrate high moral and ethical standards.

current Siena students, showing all that is possible to achieve.


For the first time, we are offering the opportunity to target your Annual Fund gift to one of four areas:


ACADEMIC PROGRAMS: Supports our growing list

Allows flexibility to guide where your gift is needed most at Siena.

of high-impact learning opportunities that enable students to reach their personal and


FINANCIAL AID: Assists Saints who are full of academic promise and eager to learn, but who lack the financial resources to

professional goals.

attend college.

Makes it possible to keep our campus beautiful and thriving.

To speak to someone about the Annual Fund, please call (518) 783-2461 or visit





“I encourage you all to get your

“You want to make sure you’re interviewing

“It is important to take ownership of your

own vision. What I did learn in

[the interviewer] as much as they’re

personal data, what is being done with it,

this journey is that you must

interviewing you. And at the end,

and where it is headed.”

always be in growth mode,”

if you want the job, ask for it.”

- Steven Schwartz ’11, the founder of

- Patricia Fusco, Founder, President and

Global Cyber Consultants

- Ryan Hungerschafer ’02, wealth leadership advisor at Northwestern Mutual

CEO of Fusco Personnel, Inc.


VETERANS HALL OF FAME Anthony F. Schmitz, World War II veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor, was honored at the annual Veterans Dinner. Jack Purcell ’48 entertained guests with his piano playing.

CAPTURE THE CUP! Saints, both past and present, know tradition is an important

Each alumni class is constantly working toward increasing the

part of the Siena story. New opportunities bring new traditions for

number of classmates who return for Reunion weekend and the

alumni to support their alma mater and its students. This year we

number of classmates who make a gift to Siena. Classes of 1962,

begin a new tradition to award the Reunion Cup and Green and

1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012 - now is

Gold Cup over Reunion weekend!

your time! Before you return home for your Reunion weekend June 2-4, 2017, please make a gift to ensure your class wins one of the cups!


Awarded to the Reunion Class with the highest percentage of alumni in attendance.


Awarded to the Reunion Class with the highest percentage of class gift donors. Who will be the first to win the Cups from Bernie and have their class forever engraved on the cup to kick-off this new tradition? You hold that power – make the commitment to come home and give back. Any gift you make to Siena from now until your Reunion counts toward your Reunion Class gift. To make your reunion gift, please visit



Junior, double major in history and political science with minors in broadcast journalism, German and a certificate in pre-law. My political tie collection started during my senior year of high school when I started getting them as gifts. While working in New Hampshire with my political science class last winter, I had the opportunity to meet Jeb Bush. Of course I didn’t miss the opportunity to wear one of my ties. Instead of going in for a handshake, he went straight for my tie. This sparked our conversation and he ended up giving me book recommendations and quizzing me on presidential history!




While working in New Hampshire, we had the opportunity to attend many of the candidates’ rallies and work on their campaign teams. I met three Clintons in three months: Chelsea and Bill in New Hampshire and Hillary in Albany (I was able to stand right behind her on the stage at her speech in Albany.)


Service has been a big part of my life ever since I was in high school and attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation program. I will be traveling with Habitat for Humanity this winter with other Siena students to serve on a build site!


Everyone that knows me knows I love food. You can often find me eating chicken tenders while hanging out with friends, sneaking a snack into class or grabbing a slice of cake (my favorite food!) in the Lonnstrom Dining Hall. The College’s dietician would have a heart attack if she knew!

5 Music is one of my biggest passions in life. I discovered my passion for singing in the 3rd grade and picked up the cello for the first time the following year. I’ve participated in musicals, concerts and performances ever since. At Siena, I am a member of the Acapella Club, the Chorus and the Chamber singers. 51

515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, N.Y. 12211-1462



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Siena News, Winter 2017  
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