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So far SFC has created 62 blog entries.
15 09, 2020

Brendan J. Dugan ’68 Memorial Meadow Brook Golf Club Outing

Brendan J. Dugan ’68 Memorial Meadow Brook Golf Club Outing (2020) In September 2020, SFC held a virtual program to remember Brendan, celebrated our incredible Pace e Bene Award recipients, Ralph Bumbaca and Philip Stenger (posthumously) and held a socially-distanced golf outing. Thank you to our 2020 sponsors! 2020 Pace e Bene Award Recipients Philip Stenger’s + children, Karen, Ken, and Nancy, accepting their father’s Pace e Bene award. Philip F. Stenger, was a business and civic leader in Downtown Brooklyn for more than half a century. Having served as chairman and active board member of a dozen key Brooklyn institutions, Stenger brought the common sense of a conservative banker to all organizations he served, from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to the Brooklyn Industrial Home for the Blind (now called Helen Keller Services). Stenger served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Campaign, retiring with an honorable discharge. He built a 60-year career in banking, with 45 of those years in Brooklyn, where he was known as the unofficial mayor. Starting his banking career at Bankers Trust in 1954, Stenger retired from TD Bank in 2013. The Brooklyn Chamber released a statement praising former board chair Stenger, as “a tireless champion for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the borough's business community, and honored as such, as a 'Celebrating Legends of Brooklyn' recipient at the Chamber's 2013 Winter Gala. He served on the Chamber's Centennial Committee, contributing to a celebration that began February 2018.” Stenger gave his time over the years supporting many organizations. He was chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Brooklyn Association; president of the Brooklyn Club and the Municipal Club of Brooklyn. He was also treasurer of the Brooklyn Borough Hall Restoration Project. Stenger served on the [Read More…]

14 09, 2020

SFC Takes Top Spots in U.S. News & World Report’s Latest College Rankings

St. Francis College Takes Top Spots in U.S. News & World Report’s Latest College Rankings St. Francis College once again earned top spots on U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings, a testament to its academic excellence and affordability. St. Francis College ranked 13th out of 57 institutions in its category of Northern Regional Colleges, and placed in the top 10 in its category on the following lists: Top Performers on Social Mobility (#3): Demonstrating SFC’s success in enrolling and graduating large proportions of economically disadvantaged students. Best Colleges for Veterans (#5): Indicating SFC’s effective participation in federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees. Best Value Schools (#8): Reflecting SFC’s strong academics coupled with its modest average net cost per student. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Additionally, confirming SFC’s commitment to nurturing a student body from a range of backgrounds, U.S. News calculated that SFC has the second highest Campus Ethnic Diversity Index (tied) in its category, a score based on the likelihood that two randomly chosen students from one institution are of different races or ethnicgroups. “We’re thrilled to once again have the hard work of our administration, faculty and staff—and the passion and ambitions of our incredible student body—recognized by U.S. News in this prestigious study,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. “The rankings confirm what our students, alumni and their families know: our personalized educational environment welcomes students from every background and promotes a rigorous academic curriculum that allows them all to achieve their dreams.” St. Francis College has a long history of providing an affordable private education, with 96 percent of its student body receiving institutional aid averaging more than $10,000 per student.(Data from 2018–19 [Read More…]

10 09, 2020

New Trustees Join St. Francis College Board

New Trustees Join St. Francis College Board St. Francis College added two new members to its Board of Trustees this fall: accomplished entrepreneur Arkell Cox and retired NBA stand-out and business executive Charles D. Smith, Jr. “Arkell and Charles embody the values and ethics we work to instill in our students, which makes them such welcome additions to our distinguished Board of Trustees,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. “We're proud that the majority of our student body is women and men of color, and it's critically important that our Board reflect diversity and inclusion. Arkell and Charles bring important and necessary perspective to our leadership. Their perseverance, tenacity and astute business acumen set an example for our students and provide invaluable insight to shape St. Francis College's future.” Arkell Cox Cox’s professional achievements include owning three Brooklyn IHOP restaurants, one of which is among the nation's most successful. She is an IHOP Franchise Developer in Brooklyn. Cox is also the co-founder and Vice President of HerStoryLifeStyles, which empowers women in need and survivors of abuse. She serves as Vice President of Operations at production company One Africa Global, and is preparing to debut her own clothing line. “The diversity of St. Francis College is something I celebrate, and I'm thrilled by the opportunity to contribute to an environment that allows each and every student to pursue his or her dreams,” said Cox, whose personal mantra is “Love Today Like There's No Tomorrow…”. “I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Trustees and College leadership to continue to ensure St. Francis College is one of New York City's premiere higher education institutions.” Charles D. Smith, Jr. After retiring in 1997 from a ten-year professional basketball career that included turns at the Los Angeles [Read More…]

27 08, 2020

SFC and CORE Provide Free COVID-19 Tests to Students and Community

St. Francis College and CORE Provide Free COVID-19 Tests to Students and Community Dozens of St. Francis College students and employees—along with members of the broader Brooklyn Heights community—received free COVID-19 tests in summer 2020, thanks to a collaboration between the College and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), a national non-profit whose work includes increasing access to such tests in New York City. SFC 2020-COVID-Terrier Testing Day-August 2020 Health professionals from CORE administered nasal-swab tests in an outdoor tent set up on the sidewalk in front of campus, from noon to 4 pm on August 25th, 2020. The tests cost participants nothing and were available to anyone, no matter their affiliation with the College. While individuals could reserve testing time slots in advance, walk-ins were welcomed as well. “I think the biggest reason that it is important to [be at St. Francis College] is that people who are affected by COVID [at] the highest rate right now…are from ages 20 to 29,” said Michael Ogundare, CORE Resource Manager. “A lot of people at a young age...don’t realize COVID is really real and affecting a lot of us.” In summer 2020, St. Francis College unveiled its plans for a phased re-opening of its Brooklyn Heights campus for the fall semester, called Back to Brooklyn. Starting in September, the College held some in-person classes on campus, in addition to providing students remote instruction. Anyone entering SFC buildings were required to adhere to new rules to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including completing a health-screening questionnaire before entry and wearing masks and social distancing once inside. “St. Francis College takes very seriously our role as stewards for the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and that responsibility extends to the broader community of which we’re part,” [Read More…]

26 08, 2020

SFC and Wall Street Bound Partner to Prep Underrepresented Students for Careers on Wall Street 

St. Francis College and Wall Street Bound Partner to Prep Underrepresented Students for Careers on Wall Street More than a dozen St. Francis College students completed an innovative online boot camp this summer that aims to prepare young people from underrepresented populations for careers on Wall Street. With IHS Markit as the sponsor, SFC partnered with Wall Street Bound, Inc., a non-profit that delivered a three-week curriculum of workshops and guest speakers focused on building students’ professional skills and providing them mentorship. “Our students are extraordinarily talented, but many do not have the exposure to Wall Street that makes it easy to imagine a career for themselves there,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, St. Francis College President. “Wall Street Bound introduces students of color to successful women and men—including many who are Black and Brown—and equips them with knowledge that can set the stage for lucrative and fulfilling lives in investing fields.” Troy Prince, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Wall Street Bound is the brainchild of former Wall Street institutional equity trader and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Troy Prince, who founded the organization in 2019 after a successful career as one of a small number of Black professionals working globally in the capital markets. The organization aims to open Wall Street’s doors to college students of color, by teaching them necessary technical skills and connecting them with internships. “From the time I was first approached by St. Francis College at the behest of President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, it was highly apparent that the President and the College were giving serious and creative thought around how best to leverage their history and proximity to the wealth engine that is Wall Street on behalf of their largely minority and commuter student body,” said Prince. “The President, the College and the student population they serve [Read More…]

16 07, 2020

Men’s Basketball Earns NABC Team Academic Excellence Award; Chauncey Hawkins Selected to NABC Honors Court

Terrier Spotlight Men’s Basketball Earns NABC Team Academic Excellence Award; Chauncey Hawkins Selected to NABC Honors Court St. Francis College men’s basketball program earned the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Team Academic Excellence Award, as announced by the organization on July 15, 2020. Additionally, senior guard Chauncey Hawkins was a recipient of NABC individual academic honors as he was selected to the Honors Court. “Earning the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award is a testament to all the hard work that our guys put into their studies. We are pleased to see our team’s continued academic success and are proud of them for persevering given the difficult circumstances this past semester,” said Terriers’ Head Coach Glenn Braica. As a team, the Terriers posted a cumulative 3.02 GPA in 2019-20 and registered a 3.34 GPA in the Spring semester. It marks the first time in program history that the Terriers claimed the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, and they were just one of two NEC teams to capture the honor (Bryant also won the award). The NABC Team Academic Excellence Awards recognize outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2019-20 season. Hawkins was one of over 1,350 men’s basketball student-athletes from across NCAA Division I, II, III, and NAIA Division I or II selected to the NABC Honors Court for academic excellence. To be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. Student-athletes must academically be a junior or senior and a varsity player, record a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher after the 2019-20 academic year, and matriculated at least one year at their current institution. “We are extremely proud of Chauncey for being recognized by the NABC and congratulate him on his [Read More…]

10 07, 2020

SFC Hosts Summer Science Academy

St. Francis College Hosts Summer Science Academy Crime scene analysis, investigations of water quality, and geodesic paper dome folding were just three of the dozens of scientific-learning sessions that engaged nearly 50 high school students in July 2020, as part of the Summer Science Academy hosted by St. Francis College. For the twentieth year, SFC organized a two-week curriculum that allowed students who have completed at least one year of high school to gain hands-on experience with a range of scientific topics. Under the instruction of College faculty, this year’s online curriculum covered the biodiversity of coral reefs, the physics of sound, and viruses’ effects on the human body, among many other topics. Kathleen Nolan, Ph.D., Chair of the SFC Biology and Health Promotion Department “Summer Science Academy is a flagship event for St. Francis College, and I am proud to be part of the team that initiated it two decades ago,” said Kathleen Nolan, Ph.D., Chair of the SFC Biology and Health Promotion Department. “Our goal is to fuel passion for scientific learning that can open doors for further education and potential careers. We emphasize hands-on experiments that show students how science factors into so much of what they encounter in this world. It’s all about seeing science through a new lens and having fun with it.” Daily one- to two-hour sessions each covered a different topic, during which students engaged in games, virtual displays, discussions and experiments that they conducted together and independently. This year also included a virtual field trip to the Clearwater Sloop on the Hudson River. The final day culminated with student groups sharing presentations they developed over two weeks, featuring proposed three-day eating plans that meet the United States Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines and cost about $100. Allen Burdowski, Ph.D., [Read More…]

2 07, 2020

SFC Faculty Earn Online Teaching Certification

St. Francis College Faculty Earn Online Teaching Certification St. Francis College continues to train its faculty on advanced skills to educate students online, thanks to an innovative certification program the College launched last year. The Online Faculty Training Certification Institute provides SFC faculty a rigorous five-week curriculum of workshops and one-on-one guidance. It ensures they master best practices to develop engaging online course content and facilitate student and instructor interaction, by leveraging all the technological resources available to them. “St. Francis College created the Institute to make certain we provide our students a top-notch education whether they complete their courses in a traditional classroom, online or some combination of the two,” said Dr. Gale Gibson Gayle, SFC Assistant Vice President for Online Learning and Program Development. “This commitment started long before the COVID pandemic. We’re proud to say that, for years, St. Francis College has prioritized developing our faculty to be 21st century educators, prepared to instruct students in a variety of settings. Our students and their families can feel confident that our faculty is ready to lead them on a stellar educational journey.” St. Francis College requires all its faculty complete the certification program or demonstrate they already have equivalent skills before they can instruct any online course. The first cohort of 20 faculty members completed training and received their online teaching certification last summer. An additional 29 became certified in fall 2019. Approximately 200 more faculty have gone through training—including those who complete certification—or demonstrated equivalent skills by fall 2020 semester. St. Francis College’s Online Learning Task Force recommended online certification for faculty as a best practice for distance learning in 2017. As a result, under the leadership of Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, Dr. Gale Gibson Gayle and Corinne Smolizza, [Read More…]

1 07, 2020

New York State DOE Selects St. Francis College for CSTEP

New York State Department of Education Selects St. Francis College for CSTEP The New York State Department of Education (NYS DOE) selected St. Francis College to launch and run a Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) that will prepare students from under-represented populations for careers in medicine, health and other fields that require professional licenses. The program will serve up to 167 students overall each year, and the inaugural CSTEP cohort for the 2020-21 academic year enrolled in summer 2020. To be eligible, students must be African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaskan native, or be economically disadvantaged, among other criteria. “We’re thrilled that New York State chose St. Francis College for CSTEP,” said Kathleen Gray, Ph.D., SFC Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Curriculum & Student Support. “The program aims to create more racial and economic equity in professions that offer good jobs, but whose workforces have not been diverse traditionally. CSTEP helps us boost academic success, so we open doors of opportunity to our students who will thrive in professions they may not have entered otherwise.” Beginning in the 2021–22 academic year, St. Francis will onboard about 42 new incoming freshmen annually, and transfer students in all years are also eligible to join. Students in CSTEP can major in any field as long as they plan to enter a career with professional licensure requirements, which can include medicine, nursing, social work, psychology or accounting. Once enrolled, students remain in CSTEP until they graduate, if they continue meeting program requirements. CSTEP participants have access to support services, summer programming, financial assistance, and career and research opportunities to ensure they successfully complete their undergraduate degrees and are ready for jobs or graduate school. Among the benefits provided are a $250 book voucher each semester; travel funds [Read More…]

30 06, 2020

In the Spotlight: Veronica Wiltshire, MD (SFC ’02)

In the Spotlight: Veronica Wiltshire, MD (SFC ’02); Chief Medical Officer, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center June 30, 2020 As Dr. Veronica Wiltshire ’02 will tell you, her journey was anything but a straight line from Canarsie High School valedictorian to Chief Medical Officer of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, overseeing dozens of doctors in a six-location outpatient medical center serving thousands throughout the New York City. Dr. Wiltshire’s relentless focus on becoming a physician allowed her to overcome obstacles—including roadblocks she faced as an undocumented immigrant from Guyana—that would have caused some to rethink their ambitions. She remained steadfast not only in her goals, but in her affection and gratitude towards her undergraduate alma mater, St. Francis College. Those St. Francis ties were on full display when Thomas Flood, SFC Vice President for Advancement, reached out to Dr. Wiltshire in his role on the advisory board of Food for the Fearless (FFTF), a non-profit founded during the COVID pandemic to provide meals to frontline healthcare workers and first responders. In May 2020, FFTF delivered 50 meals to Dr. Wiltshire’s team, the “everyday heroes” serving New York City. Dr. Wiltshire spoke with St. Francis College students, faculty and staff as the June 25, 2020 guest in the College's Career Spotlight discussion series. Below are excerpts from that event. How did you choose to attend St. Francis College? Veronica Wiltshire, MD (SFC ’02) My sister and I, we didn’t really know of anyone who went to college. We were trying to navigate the waters [of applying for college] by ourselves. We didn’t even know about studying for SATs or anything. We were just going with the flow. I knew of [someone] who wanted to be a doctor and she went to Columbia. So I said, well, I want to [Read More…]

19 06, 2020

SFC Class of 2020 Spring Commencement

2020 Spring Commencement St. Francis College Graduates Nearly 400 Students This Spring June 19, 2020 St. Francis College awarded 392 students undergraduate and graduate degrees in spring 2020, capping off an unprecedented academic year that started with an exceptionally large cohort of new students enrolling and ended with a period of remote instruction to help safeguard the College community against the COVID-19 pandemic. “I could not be prouder of our class of 2020. They persevered with grace and flexibility through circumstances no college class has ever endured,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. “Our graduates may not have wrapped up their final semester with the usual pomp and circumstance, but they’re completing with every bit of camaraderie and sense of accomplishment that any class experiences. It’s an honor and privilege to grant this class their hard-earned degrees.” In fall 2019, St. Francis College welcomed 613 students into its freshman class and another 209 as transfer students, a record for the College. This group represented the largest number of new students joining in any semester in at least six years. This spring, St. Francis College conferred degrees across 25 disciplines, including four master’s degree fields: accounting, psychology, and management and a MFA in Creative Writing. The College’s two most popular majors—awarding 66 degrees each—are management and nursing. Included in those numbers are two MS in Management degrees awarded. Thirty-five students earned degrees in psychology (including 12 earning combined BA/MA degrees and one earning an MA). The College conferred 28 degrees in communication arts and biology each, rounding out the top five. “I thought St. Francis College had a great accounting program,” said Nick Nemergut, who earned an MS in Accounting and accepted a full-time position with accounting firm Alter Domas in Connecticut beginning in July. [Read More…]

19 06, 2020

Nicole Taliercio ’20, BS Nursing; Spring 2020 Co-Valedictorian

Senior Spotlight: Spring 2020 Co-Valedictorians Nicole Taliercio ’20, BS Nursing Spring 2020 Co-Valedictorian Nicole Taliercio planned to become a nurse since she was a student at St. Joseph by the Sea High School in Staten Island, and now that she is graduating, she is one step closer to that dream. Nicole has been a stand-out in her department for her four-year career. She served as co-president of the Nursing Club, spearheading charitable initiatives including a recent medical-mask donation to a local nursing home and police precinct, and a Christmastime distribution of supply-filled stockings to U.S. military members. Nicole’s stellar academic record—she maintained a 4.0 grade point average at St. Francis College—along with her co-curricular and public service record have earned her recognition in the College. She was inducted into the Duns Scotus Honor Society and was awarded the prestigious Duns Scotus Scholarship last year. To cap off her St. Francis College career, Nicole was selected as the Co-Valedictorian of the Spring 2020 graduates, sharing the honor with Alexa Rutkowska ’20, who is earning her master’s degree in psychology. Nicole reflected on her years at St. Francis College and what’s next for her. How did it feel to find out you’re Co-Valedictorian of the spring 2020 graduating class? It is a true honor and privilege to be chosen as the Co-Valedictorian of St. Francis College. This has been a dream of mine since I sat at my brother’s SFC graduation in 2016 and it feels so surreal. All the hard work and sleepless nights paid off for a moment like this. I can’t thank my family and friends enough for always encouraging me and supporting me towards being the best version of myself. Having a strong faith and praying to God in the chapel before every exam has [Read More…]

19 06, 2020

Alexa Rutkowska ’20, BA/MA Psychology; Spring 2020 Co-Valedictorian

Senior Spotlight: Alexa Rutkowska ’20, BA/MA Psychology Spring 2020 Co-Valedictorian Alexa Rutkowska is a testament to letting nothing get in the way your dreams. A dedicated single mom to a six-year-old daughter, Alexa is completing her St. Francis College journey with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, earning a master’s degree in psychology. During her tenure at the College, Alexa pursued her passion for research, serving as a research assistant in the Psychology Department for two projects, and also assisting a practicing clinical psychologist in Brooklyn Heights. She worked as a teaching assistant and academic tutor at St. Francis, too, helping her peers succeed at their educations while doing the same for herself. All this, while holding down a full-time job outside of college. In recognition of her many achievements in and out of the classroom, St. Francis College selected Alexa as the spring 2020 Co-Valedictorian, sharing the honor with Nursing major Nicole Taliercio ’20. A Brooklyn native and 2015 graduate of the Secondary School for Journalism in Park Slope, Alexa reflected on her St. Francis College journey and what is next. How does it feel to be Co-Valedictorian of the Class of 2020 spring graduates? Overwhelming and exciting to say the least. It’s an honor to be nominated for my hard work. It’s a great acknowledgement. You have a young daughter. How did you manage parenting and attending college full-time? It was demanding. I was also working full-time as a barista—so not related to psychology—while enrolled full-time as an undergraduate and graduate student. In addition to that, I had other jobs for academic purposes during college. My day was packed. I was working [at my job] at 6:30 in the morning and then I had school at 11—different classes—and extracurricular gigs after that. Then I had [Read More…]

19 06, 2020

21 Day Racial Equity Challenge

Spotlight on Social Justice 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge Inspired by the work of the YWCA and other organizations, SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Brother Gabriel O’Brien, OSF, Superior General of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn along with colleagues created the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge to raise awareness about racism and injustice. Beginning on June 19th—Juneteenth—members of the SFC community were invited to commit three weeks to deepening their understanding of racial inequity and listening to voices that are often unfamiliar. President Martinez-Saenz and Brother Gabriel provided a list of recommended books, articles, films, podcasts, and other materials, and encouraged participants to spend time each day over three weeks with the materials, learning and reflecting on past and recent racial injustices, and enriching their knowledge about the significant sacrifices and contributions of African Americans. The Challenge concluded on July 9th with a live online event featuring reflections inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.” The Challenge is one of the many actions St. Francis College is taking to enact a diverse learning environment that promotes dialogues about things that matter and that ensures that all members of the community feel like they belong even as the community grapples, together, with appreciating difference. “St. Francis College is continuing to increase access and equity for historically underserved students, faculty and staff, to improve campus climate for all members of the campus community and to infuse inclusive excellence initiatives into the curriculum and co-curriculum. Students will be an important part of the process,” said President Martinez-Saenz. Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., and Debby Irving created the original 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge. 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge Presentation

6 05, 2020

SFC Selected for U.S. DOE’s Second Chance Pell Program

St. Francis College Selected for U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Program St. Francis College is one of 67 higher-education institutions selected by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to take part in the expanded Second Chance Pell Sites Initiative, a program that allows incarcerated women and men to use federal financial aid for college education. Incarcerated individuals at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), a federal facility in South Slope, Brooklyn, will now be eligible for need-based Pell Grants to pay for St. Francis College coursework that will lead to associate degrees in criminal justice. SFC instructors will teach the students remotely and in-person, in accordance with MDC rules. Second Chance Pell will operate as part of SFC’s Post-Prison Program, an initiative that enrolls formerly incarcerated people as full-time undergraduates at the College. The intent is that some Second Chance Pell students will join the Post-Prison Program once their incarceration concludes, to complete additional coursework required to earn bachelor’s degrees. Since its 2014 founding by Emily Horowitz, Ph.D., SFC Professor of Sociology, the Post-Prison Program has enrolled 23 individuals, six of whom have graduated so far. “Franciscan values of generosity and compassion are cornerstone to the St. Francis College tradition, and we live those values by extending educational opportunities to people who have served time and typically face significant obstacles to enrolling in college,” said Dr. Horowitz, who oversees the Post-Prison Program with Eric Platt, Ph.D., SFC Professor of History and Chair of the Economics, History, and Political Science Department. “Second Chance Pell takes that one step further, helping bring higher education to people still incarcerated. We’re thrilled and grateful to be part of it.” SFC collaborated with MDC in its Second Chance Pell application earlier this year. Support from United States Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of [Read More…]

29 04, 2020

Terrier Spotlight: Men’s Water Polo’s William Simpson Volunteers to Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic in Native New Zealand

Terrier Spotlight Men’s Water Polo’s William Simpson Volunteers to Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic in Native New Zealand By Vukasin Petrovic ’20 In the uncertain time that will become tomorrow’s history lesson, we are faced with a challenge seemingly unprecedented in my generation. We are not allowed outside except for the essentials, we are not allowed to leave our home if we’ve traveled abroad, and there is an ominous invisible enemy we are all fighting. While many are sitting at home and going about their business remotely, some are on the frontlines, whose business is to fight and who cannot do their job from home. As the world is finally learning the value of these essential workers—so are its people. That’s why we go out on our balconies and clap. We clap to support the medical workers, and first responders, and in this universal language, stay united all over the globe. William Simpson, SFC Men’s Water Polo I like to believe that we are not clapping only for our own respective countries. We are doing so for medical workers and first responders everywhere. We are doing so for those in America, Serbia, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil… the list goes on, and there are too many countries and too many Terriers from those countries to count. But there is one on the frontline—William Simpson or, as he mostly goes by at 180 Remsen Street—Billy. Billy is a freshman on the men’s water polo team and hails from New Zealand. As an international student from New Zealand, Billy was one of many who returned home once the recommendation to leave the United States was issued. Thankfully, he left early enough to avoid being quarantined. He left soon enough to avoid the fate of thousands of people who ended up [Read More…]

29 04, 2020

Alumni Spotlight: Patricia Darragh ’79, Business Major

Alumni Spotlight Patricia Darragh ’79, Business Major Executive Director (ret.), California Olive Oil Council After graduating from St. Francis College in 1979, Patricia Darragh began what would be the first of two long, successful careers. In her first, with American Airlines, Queens-born, Brooklyn-raised Patricia supervised flight attendants on international routes, working out of JFK Airport in New York City. Following a move to California in the late ’90s, Patricia embarked on career number two: a long turn with the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), eventually as its Executive Director. The COOC is a trade association with the mission of encouraging the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach and communications. During Patricia’s tenure there, the COOC strengthened and codified standards for California-produced olive oil, ensuring consumers know when they are purchasing the best possible product from that state. After 20-plus years with the Council, Patricia retired late last year. Patricia recently reflected on her years at St. Francis College and the unique professional path she took after.   Looking back at your St. Francis College career, what professors or courses were instrumental to your success? Everyone was so nurturing and so supportive. Whether it was an administrator, staff [member] or the professors. But my all-time favorite professor… was Nicholas Fiorenza. He taught French, but also art and music… I took both of those courses with Professor Fiorenza, and he was incredibly supportive, incredibly enthusiastic, and he really opened up my eyes to culture and art and music… areas that I had not been exposed to at all. One day, [Professor Fiorenza] played a piece from the Italian soprano Amelita Galli-Curci. It was absolutely stunning… it was just a wonderful moment of feeling that I was really grasping culture from an angle… that I was really not [Read More…]

14 04, 2020

Women’s Bowling Alumnae Makes Donations to Fellow Terriers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Pandemic

Women’s Bowling Alumnae Makes Donations to Fellow Terriers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Pandemic In true Franciscan spirit, St. Francis College Brooklyn women’s bowling alumnae Meghan Wing ’17 and Jamie Kelly ’17 came together to spearhead a group of fellow bowling alums that collected funds for donations to Terriers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The duo of Wing and Kelly identified several fellow bowling alums who are currently working on the frontlines of this global pandemic as medical professionals and first responders. From there, they began to contact former teammates and other bowling alums to collect funds for donations for the group of bowling alumnae working on the frontlines. “Jamie and I were texting one night, seeing if either one of us had talked to some of the alums who are out there, and then we came up with the idea to donate food to them because, on social media, you see a lot of companies doing it. Coach Dawn has always told us that we will always be a team that everybody is always there for each other. All the alumni are connected. We have a St. Francis bowling group on Facebook, so it was really easy to talk to everyone whose ever been on the team since it first started,” said Wing as she discussed how the initiative started. “It was interesting, because we’re pretty close with the girls that were on our team, and once we started this and reached out to Coach, we just found more people, alumni, that were in the healthcare field that we didn’t know about, we just kept adding more people. It’s just a way to show that we appreciate what they’re doing, with all that’s going on. It’s just a little way to give back to them,” said Kelly [Read More…]

1 04, 2020

5th Annual St. Francis College Women’s Film Festival

5th Annual St. Francis College Women’s Film Festival Wraps, Announces Winners By Dr. Augusta Palmer and David Schoen ’20 SFC 2020 Women's Film Festival-POSTER Despite a coronavirus pandemic causing millions of people to stay sheltered indoors, the 5th Annual SFC Women’s Film Festival—and the first SFC Women’s Film Fest to be created by a class of 14 students teleconferencing in in from both coasts—successfully screened 44 films over five days on the web platform Zoom. Karen Palmer, Keynote Speaker The festival began on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, and screened films from 15 different countries followed by Q&As from filmmakers from Estonia, France, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., which were moderated by Festival Director and Associate Professor Augusta Palmer, Ph.D., and a rotating group of student co-hosts, including David Schoen, Antonia D’Amato, Alyssa D’Angelo, and Gabriela Rivera. On Saturday, April 18th, Gabriela Rivera ’21 and Sarah Innamorato ’20 opened the closing ceremony by speaking about the programming process and the difficulty of choosing only 44 out of the 286 films submitted based on their concept, cinematography, editing, story and sound. “Working on the Programming Committee, I learned a lot. These films are very touching, and they raised awareness,” said Innamorato. Palmer and seven student co-presenters then announced eight awards for student and professional filmmakers. 2020 Festival Winners: Best Professional Narrative Short: Killing Hope, dir. Natacha Grangeon and Julia Retali Best Student Narrative Short: The Romantic Movement, dir. Yuhe Lu Best Professional Documentary Short: Sensei Fran Kicks Ass, dir. Simone Fary Best Student Documentary Short: The “S” Word, dir. Mireille Sylvester Best Professional Animated Short: They Call Us Maids, created by Leeds Animation Workshop Best Student Animated Short: My Cat Story, dir. Allison Priest Best Experimental Short: Olympia, dir. Giulia Achenza Best Youth Short: A [Read More…]

19 03, 2020

Terrier Spotlight: Bianca Gonzalez Accepted into U.S. Navy Nurse Candidate Program

Terrier Spotlight Bianca Gonzalez Accepted into U.S. Navy Nurse Candidate Program By Vukasin Petrovic ’20 On occasion, you get to meet people whose ambition is merely awe-inspiring and whose determination exceeds the limits of human capabilities. When one is standing in front of such incarnate perseverance, they can only be astonished and impressed while listening to Bianca Gonzalez’s tale. Bianca Gonzalez I struggled to find the correct words to record her story—her achievement seemed so great that I almost doubted my ability to do it justice. But it helped that I knew Bianca and that she was a friend. This allowed for a quantum of informality through which Bianca could properly inform me about the arduous process that was getting accepted into the U.S. Navy Nurse Candidate Program. “It’s a selective program,” she said. “Selective enough that, if you get in, you might become an officer at the age of 20. It will help me finance the rest of my academic career without having to worry about money.” I inquired as to what was necessary even to apply. And then she began the long explanation of how one applies and what is required. Somewhere in the middle of the explanation, Bianca had to pause, seeing the visible shock on my face. “It’s a long process,” she said. It begins by calling general recruiters and trying to get a hold of medical recruiters, who will later connect you to nurses. Jumping through all of these hoops, Bianca needed to provide the same set of answers each time, responding to questions regarding her GPA, four-year academic plan, physique, motivational statement, and letters of recommendation. “I ended up submitting some 14 letters of recommendation. I had to submit two per every job I’ve ever had,” Bianca said. To be able to [Read More…]

4 02, 2020

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Speaks at SFC

SFC President’s Lecture Series: Reflections on a Life of Public Service Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Speaks at SFC “If you don’t take anything else from me today, take that. It’s not about the destiny. The universe is going to take care of the destiny. It’s the journey.” Encouraging an audience of more than 300 to engage constructively with people they encounter throughout their daily lives—particularly from backgrounds different than their own—Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams spoke about his youth in New York City, choosing a career in law enforcement, his efforts to promote respect among his Brooklyn constituents, and the benefits of nourishing mind and body through a healthy lifestyle. President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Adams was the February 3, 2020 guest in Reflections on a Life of Public Service, a discussion series between SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. and leaders in politics, business and the community. “We’re moving through the borough and the city, [and] we don’t even speak to each other. We don’t interact with each other. We don’t learn from each other. Although we’re diverse, we live and exist in these silos,” said Adams, when explaining the rationale for Breaking Bread, Building Bonds, his new initiative that organizes dinners for disparate groups of Brooklyn residents who may not otherwise know each other. Adams recounted that his commitment to creating bonds of mutual respect began far earlier in his life. He joined the New York City Police Department despite having been physically brutalized by police officers as a teenager, he explained, because he came to understand that positive social change is often best accomplished from within the very structures of power that marginalize and damage the less powerful. “They were astute enough to know that the only way [Read More…]

1 02, 2020

SFC Retired Men’s Basketball Legend Al Inniss’ Jersey Number

St. Francis College Brooklyn Retired Men’s Basketball Legend Al Inniss’ Jersey Number St. Francis College retired basketball stand-out Al Inniss’ No. 19 during a halftime ceremony on Saturday, February 1, 2020, when the Terriers hosted Sacred Heart University. Inniss became just the second member of the men’s basketball program to have his jersey number retired as he joined fellow legend Dennis McDermott. SFC Athletic Director Irma Garcia, Al Inniss, President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. “We are extremely proud to announce that we will be retiring Al Inniss’ jersey on February 1. Al is a true legend as he achieved a great deal of success as a student-athlete at St. Francis and is most deserving of this prestigious honor. We are looking forward to cementing Al’s legacy at St. Francis and cannot wait to celebrate this special day with him and his family,” said Irma Garcia, SFC Athletic Director, in a statement preceding the event. Inniss is one of the most decorated players to ever suit up for the Terriers and was inducted into the St. Francis Athletics Hall of Fame in 1968. He finished his career as the Terriers’ all-time leading scorer with 1,503 points. Inniss held the all-time scoring record through 1974 and is currently sixth on St. Francis’ scoring list. He was the team’s leading scorer in both the 1956–57 and 1957–58 seasons as he averaged 18.4 points per game in both campaigns. Additionally, he is the Terriers’ all-time leading rebounder with 1,667 career rebounds. “I am too young to have seen Al play, but I have heard many great stories about him. Looking at his statistics and the things he accomplished, we are extremely honored and proud to be able to recognize him, and have his family be a part of retiring his jersey,” said [Read More…]

20 01, 2020

SFC Class of 2020 Winter Commencement

2020 Winter Commencement St. Francis College Holds its Winter 2020 Commencement January 22, 2020 “We believe, as Franciscans, that a life of service is the highest goal… Service, in my opinion, is the highest calling.” In his Winter 2020 Commencement address, President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. urged graduates to consider how they can choose to serve and love others as they embark on their post-collegiate lives. “I want to get you to reflect on the fact that ’to love’ is an active verb… Jesus calls us to love our neighbors and to love our enemies,” said President Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. to an audience of hundreds that filled the pews at St. James Cathedral Basilica in downtown Brooklyn following a Baccalaureate Mass held there. The College graduated 122 students after the close of the fall 2019 semester, and about half took part in the January 21st Commencement exercises. Dr. Marina Gair, Chair of the SFC Education Department, delivered the event’s keynote address. She encouraged graduates to reflect on how their St. Francis experiences—both good and bad—can contribute to choices they make to lead a fulfilling life. “The gift you received here is an education of the heart. And that’s something that… lives in you. It becomes a part of you. And it enlarges your sense of humanity,” said Gair, when highlighting the Franciscan tradition as a unique element of a St. Francis education. Political Science major Nermina Markisic spoke from the podium as the Winter 2020 Valedictorian. A daughter of Bosnian refugees who fled to the United States in the midst of the brutal Bosnian war, Markisic, a first-generation college graduate, addressed the legacy and lessons of her family’s experiences on herself and others. “A crucial aspect of creating success is finding your reason for being. My reason for [Read More…]

13 12, 2019

Nermina Markisic ’20, BS, Political Science; Winter 2020 Valedictorian

Senior Spotlight: Nermina Markisic ’20, BS, Political Science Winter 2020 Valedictorian Nermina Markisic ’20, Winter 2020 Valedictorian Nermina Markisic has always set the bar high for herself, and this January the Political Science major will achieve yet another personal milestone: she will accept her SFC degree as the College’s Winter 2020 Valedictorian. With plans to pursue a graduate degree next year—potentially in law—Nermina is currently working as a part-time paralegal in French & Casey LLP. She will transition to a full-time employee after graduation. Nermina’s parents arrived in the United States in 1995 as refugees of the Bosnian war. They made a home for her, her sister and brother in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where Nermina still lives. She attended Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School. A first-generation college graduate, Nermina was the president of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, and a member of the Political Science honor society and the St. Thomas More Pre-Law Society. She completed her college degree in three and one-half years, making her eligible for Winter Commencement on January 21, 2020. Nermina will join the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Dr. Marina Gair, SFC Professor of Education, in addressing the attendees. Nermina recently reflected on her time at SFC and what being selected Valedictorian means to her. How did you decide to attend St. Francis? I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I had great grades, but I was kind of shooting in the dark and applying everywhere. St. Francis happened to have a rolling admissions process and I thought, “my sister applied here. She really wanted to go, but she didn’t.” I liked the campus. I came to visit with my high school and I got in. I got a great scholarship, a very generous scholarship [The [Read More…]

20 11, 2019

2019 Volpe Lecture: Retired NBA Player Charles D. Smith

2019 Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Retired NBA Player Charles D. Smith Encourages Cross-Cultural Relationship Building “I love meeting people. I love to learn new things about people. You actually find out more about yourself the more you engage and meet with other people from other cultures.” Encouraging the audience to not merely tolerate but accommodate people from cultures other than their own, Charles D. Smith, who retired from a 10-year professional basketball career in 1997, delivered an impassioned speech on November 20, 2019, that extolled the life-changing effects of global travel and meaningful cross-cultural relationships. Charles D. Smith, BT Smith was the featured speaker in last year’s Thomas J. Volpe Lecture, an annual event that brings leaders from government, business, the arts, sports and entertainment to St. Francis College’s Brooklyn Heights campus. At the time, Smith was the Head of Sports & Entertainment at Mediacom, a division of the world’s largest media company WPP/GroupM. He is currently Director of Sports, Business & Entertainment division at MassMutual New Jersey-NYC General Agency. Smith’s lecture attracted a 300-person audience that included dozens of local high school students along with St. Francis College students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. “When you go to another country, a lot of times you’re trying to impose your will and what you do, how you’ve grown up, into another person’s society. And nine times out of 10, you’ll fail,” said Smith, when pointing out that people must be sensitive to the cultural norms and values of those they encounter to engender mutual respect and find common purpose. Smith traveled the globe extensively organizing and promoting basketball games with retired NBA players after serving his role as Executive Director of the NBA Retired Players Association. He addressed his own transformation from a win-at-all-costs, self-centered elite [Read More…]

20 11, 2019

SFC 2019 Alumni Reception

SFC 2019 Alumni Reception On November 12, 2019, St. Francis College and the Alumni Association Board of Directors recognized the Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) Executive Board at the Water Club in Manhattan. The event also celebrated alumni who graduated in years ending in 0, 4, 5, and 9. 2019 Honorees: Women's Leadership Network (WLN) Executive Board  Josephine Leone ’08 Liz Mindlin ’81 Judy Rice ’79 Dyanne Rosado ’95 Saundra Thomas, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, SFC and Dr. Frank Sorrentino

19 11, 2019

SFC Honors the Legacy of Levi Bough ’50

St. Francis College Honors the Legacy of Levi Bough ’50 The St. Francis College Athletic Department honored the legacy of Levi Bough ’50 at the men’s basketball game against Medgar Evers on November 21, 2019. Bough was a trailblazing Terrier as he broke the color barrier at St. Francis, becoming the first African American to play on the men’s basketball team in 1947. St. Francis held a special pregame ceremony in the memory of the pioneer prior to tip-off against Medgar Evers. Bough’s family was on hand to receive a special plaque presented to them by the St. Francis Athletic Department. “We are proud to honor the legacy of a great Terrier, Levi Bough. He embodied the true Franciscan values as he paved the way for so many student-athletes that came after him. Levi was truly a trailblazer and his legacy will carry on for generations to come at St. Francis,” said Director of Athletics Irma Garcia. Bough attended St. Francis from 1947–50 where he played for the legendary Head Coach Daniel Lynch. Bough graduated from St. Francis in 1950 with degrees in philosophy and psychology. During Bough’s second season with the Terriers in 1948–49, the team posted an impressive 21–12 record and participated in the National Catholic Invitation Postseason Tournament. Bough and the Terriers advanced all the way to the finals, but were edged by Regis to conclude a memorable season. Bough averaged 2.4 points per game in 33 games during the 1948–49 campaign. Prior to his days at St. Francis, Bough attended Virginia Union University in Richmond for his freshman year in 1942. Later that year, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served his country for three years and nine months fighting in Europe. While in the Army, he was assigned to the [Read More…]

19 11, 2019

SFC President’s Lecture Series: Congressman Peter King ’65

SFC President’s Lecture Series: Reflections on a Life of Public Service Congressman Peter King ’65 Extols Bipartisanship in Conversation with SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. “When you come from New York, you realize that, as brilliant as we are, we don’t have all the answers.” Highlighting the unique ability of New York area Congress members to collaborate with each other across party lines, United States Representative and St. Francis College alumni Peter T. King ’65 (R-NY 2nd District) spoke about growing up in New York City and his career in elected politics to a nearly 200-person audience at St. Francis College on November 18, 2019. SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. and Congressman Peter King ’65 Congressman King, who will retire upon completion of his current term, was a guest in Reflections on a Life of Public Service, a new discussion series between SFC President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. and leaders in politics, business and the community. “You read about how we’re all killing each other in Congress and we all hate each other, and to a large extent that’s true,” said Congressman King, who served nearly 28 years in the United States House of Representatives. “But the New York delegation [to Congress], we work so closely on so many issues...including some hot button issues.” “So we do work together, which is unique. I think it’s maybe part of the New York experience.” The Congressman urged young people to stay committed to their principles while also being willing to compromise and accommodate differing points of view. “You have to be absolutely definite in what you believe in, what you think is right,” said Representative King, when asked about working with people across the political spectrum. “Then go into it thinking the other person also thinks he or she is [Read More…]

19 11, 2019

McCabe Lecture Series: Part 2—A Conversation with Jason Calacanis

John J. McCabe ’65 Lecture Series: Part 2 A Conversation with Jason Calacanis On November 19th, 2019, Professor John J. McCabe ’65 sat down with San Fransisco angel investor, technology entrepreneur, and podcast host Jason Calacanis. Calacanis is a host of popular podcasts, including: This Week in Startups, and Angel. As a scout for top Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and later as an angel, Calacanis has invested in 200+ early-stage startups including six “unicorns” (billion-dollar valuations). His book Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups: Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000, was published by Harper Collins in 2017. The Professor John J. McCabe ’65 Lecture Series exposes the St. Francis community to perspectives on financial topics from leaders and innovators in the world of finance and economics. McCabe is one of the country’s foremost experts on corporate governance, shareholder rights and their impact on the country’s wealth creation and capital formation process. The Professor John J. McCabe ’65 Lecture Series at St. Francis College will be an ongoing teaching and networking forum—it will highlight not only the career of John, but his friends from Remsen Street, Wall Street and Washington, D.C. Fundamentally, John hopes to spotlight wealth creation and capital formation, and how an “angel investment” in St. Francis College can truly transform lives through the gift of education. Read more about the Series and read some of Professor McCabe’s articles. > Watch the presentation Make a donation in honor of professor John J. McCabe As we work our way through this time of uncertainty, we look to the people and things that give us strength. Professor John McCabe has been a fundamental partner and collaborator at St. Francis College for over 50 years and is a friend and mentor to many students, [Read More…]

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