College Celebrates Founders Week

Reverend Claudio Carvalhaes, Ph.D., wore wings and played a guitar during his Keynote Presentation in the Hennessy Center.

The annual celebration of Founders Week got underway on Monday, September 25, 2017,  with an impassioned, animated keynote address delivered by Rev. Claudio Carvalhaes, Ph.D., in the Hennessy Center.

This year, Founders Week focuses on the life and work of Antonio de Montesinos, O.P., a 16th century Dominican Preacher in Hispaniola who spoke out against the exploitation of the indigenous people under Spanish Conquest. Rev. Carvalhaes compared that struggle to the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the fight against global warming, and the struggle to protect Native Americans’ land in the U.S.

Rev. Carvalhaes used props and videos as he shared the story of his childhood in Brazil in which his mother and the community gave him “wings” to fly. He even put on a pair of wings in the middle of his address and played the video of the song “Glory” from the movie Selma.  Rev.  Carvalhaes said that Montesinos had used his wings and sang a song of glory to help the indigenous people, and Martin Luther King had used his wings and song of glory during the Civil Rights movement.

Then Rev. Carvalhaes challenged the students, faculty and administrators in attendance, “Now it is to you and to me. Where are your wings?  What are our songs of glory? “  he asked. 

Rev. Carvalhaes is a theologian, liturgist, and artist, who is an Associate Professor and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 2017, he spoke at the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers in Rome, Italy. 

For a complete list of Founders Week activities, please click here:


College Places Students in Record Number of Internships

Dominican College students were placed in more internships during the 2016-2017 school year than ever before. Evelyn Fiskaa, Director of Career Development, said students were placed in 103 paid and unpaid internships. 

Fiskaa said students benefit from internships in a number of ways. “It gives them an opportunity to try out a field to see if they really like that field or not.  It’s an opportunity for them to build some skills in their area of interest,” she said. “It’s a resume builder, an opportunity to have a mentor, and also to develop professional contacts and networking for the future.” 

In addition, Fiskaa said many large companies are looking to hire student interns full time after they graduate.

Dominican College students intern in a variety of locations throughout the tristate area. A number of new organizations were added to the list this past year, including the MSG Garden of Dreams Foundation, Columbia University, and the Hackensack University Medical Center.  

Fiskaa attributes the increase in internships to the addition of an internship coordinator/career counselor in her office who assists in meeting with students and doing classroom presentations. In addition, the College has cultivated more relationships with employers. She said there is an increased awareness among faculty about the benefits of internships as well.


College Welcomes Class of 2021

Freshmen moved into Hertel Residence Hall on Thursday, August 24.

The 2017-2018 school year has begun with the arrival of the Class of 2021.  Freshmen moved into Hertel Residence Hall on Thursday, August 24, 2017, with the help of Orientation Leaders and athletes. From Thursday evening through Saturday, all freshmen participate in Orientation activities which help them become familiar with the College and make new friends.   

“New Student Orientation is an exciting and important time.  Our Charger family grows and our student leaders show the best of Dominican College. As we welcome new students, we endeavor to teach them Dominican values and principles, and share the spirit of our founders, which will serve them in the pursuit of a fulfilling career and life, “  said Christine Dilts, Assistant Dean for Student Development.

The Fall Semester gets underway on Monday, August 28.  Most freshmen (35.6 percent) plan to study Nursing. Other popular majors include Athletic Training, Biology, and Criminal Justice. 


College Partners with Rockland Center for the Arts

Executive Director of RoCA Daly Flanagan in the outdoor Sculpture Park at RoCA in West Nyack.

Dominican College and the Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) have teamed up to offer art courses this fall at the center in West Nyack.  RoCA Executive Director Daly Flanagan stressed that students who take classes at RoCA will be exposed to the art exhibits on display at the center. 

“It’s like full immersion,” she said. “You are not just going to a classroom in your college, but you will be passing artists and art every time that you come here. “

Flanagan said students will also get free studio time, which will allow them to develop as an artist independently. Dominican College will offer two classes at RoCA in fall, Introduction to Art and Ceramics. 




Hennessy Center Expansion Completed

The new Hennessy Center Fitness Room include 30 pieces of cardio equipment.

There’s a major addition to the Dominican College Campus. Construction of the $5 million expansion of the Hennessy Center has been completed. The expansion includes a new lower level with a state-of-the-art fitness center. The general public can sign up to use the fitness center, and alumni can join for a deeply discounted rate. The annual fee for alumni to join is $150.  The annual fee for the general public is $300.

The new fitness center is about four times larger than the former fitness room and has 30 pieces of cardio equipment as compared to six in the old room. There is also an aerobics room with bikes for spin classes. 

V.P. of Student Development John Burke said, “I think our teams are going to be fitter and in better shape. For coaches who are recruiting, the new fitness center is a huge advantage.”

The expansion includes a new, regulation-size NCAA gym on the same level as the current gym, which will allow for more intramural sports and “open gym” time for the general student population. There are also new coaches’ offices, a new recruiting room/conference area and an athletic training area with two whirlpools.

Fundraising for the expansion continues and there are naming opportunities available for the new rooms. If you are interested in donating, or would like to learn more about the Hennessy Center project, please contact V.P. of Institutional Advancement Dorothy Filoramo at

To find out more about joining the fitness center, visit




Dominican College Adopts Test-Optional Policy

First-time freshmen applicants for the Fall 2018 semester will not be required to submit a standardized test score for admission to the College. Dominican College is the first college in Rockland County to adopt a test-optional policy, which is a growing trend nationwide.  According to FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than 950 colleges and universities nationwide have announced test-optional policies.

 “We have found that a student’s overall high school academic record is the best indicator of a student’s success in college and the research backs that up,”  said College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D.  “We’ve also been particularly concerned that studies indicate performance on standardized tests is closely linked to family income and education level, and may be biased against certain minority students.”

Sr. Mary Eileen added that this new policy aligns with the mission of Dominican College, which is focused on maintaining “a student-centered climate” that “serves a diverse community of students.” She said, “It’s hoped that this new policy will re-focus both students and parents on what really matters — day-to-day performance in the classroom and the personal characteristics of the student. “ 

 All test-optional applicants will be expected to complete a minimum of 16 units of college-preparatory coursework:

  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of mathematics (including Algebra and Geometry)
  • 2 units of a laboratory science
  • 2 units of social sciences
  • 5 additional units in any of the above subject areas (and/or in a foreign language).

Certain students will continue to be required to submit SAT or ACT scores, including those who have been homeschooled, have completed a General Education Diploma (G.E.D.), do not meet the above 16-unit requirement, and international students. In addition, international students whose native language is not English are required to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L.) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination scores.

Applicants must indicate on the Dominican College admission application or the Common Application whether they want the standardized test scores to be considered for admission.  If a student has previously sent scores to the College and later indicates on the application that the scores should not be considered, the scores will be deleted from the college admission system. Students who change their minds about whether test scores should be considered, after submitting an application, must send an email to

For more information about the new policy, please email or call 845-848-7901.

Professor Teaches Summer Engineering Course in Rome

Dr. Kathleen Hinge is standing in front of the Pantheon, her favorite structure in Rome, Italy.

Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics Kathleen Conlon Hinge, Ph.D. ,  is teaching an engineering course at John Cabot University in Rome this summer.

Dr. Hinge said the experience is deeply gratifying.  “To be in a city that has seen so much history is overwhelming.  My favorite is the Pantheon because of the engineering behind it.  It’s just a marvel of architecture and engineering, as well as history, “ she said. 

This is Dr. Hinge’s second summer teaching at John Cabot University.  She and her husband are embracing the Italian culture and taking Italian classes this year. 

In addition to teaching Physics and Mathematics at Dominican College, Dr. Hinge is the Science Department Coordinator.



Two Biology Students Awarded Highly-Competitive Research Fellowships

Students Christina Joseph and Kimberly Acevedo (left to right) have been awarded paid fellowships to conduct research on the Sparkill Creek this summer.

Two Dominican College Biology students have been awarded highly-competitive paid research fellowships to fund their summer research work on the Sparkill Creek. Kimberly Acevedo and Christina Joseph will be working a minimum of 10 weeks this summer on their projects and will be using a Dominican College research laboratory in the Prusmack Center.

Biology Professor Dr. Bernadette Connors said, “Students involved in these fellowship programs are afforded opportunities to contribute to the general body of scientific knowledge in the field of environmental microbiology. The work done by these research fellows will further grow the Environmental Sciences program at Dominican College, making the institution a regional center for work of this sort.” 

Acevedo received an American Society of Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which entitles her to a $4,000 stipend, plus an invitation to present her work at the 2018 meeting in Atlanta, GA. Her research focuses on understanding and analyzing the biodiversity of microbial and viral life in the Sparkill Creek and the Piermont Marsh. Just 24 of these fellowships were awarded nationwide. 

Christina Joseph received a Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship through the Hudson River Foundation. She will receive a $3,800 stipend, along with $1,000 for supplies.  The focus of her work is to compare the Sparkill Creek in Rockland County and NJ to the Pocantico River in Westchester County.  Only eight Polgar Fellowships were awarded. 



College Honored For Blood Donations

Sr. Barbara McEneany and Sr. Bernadette Burke accepted a certificate from County Executive Ed Day and the New York Blood Center at the Rockland County Blood Donor Appreciation Breakfast.

Dominican College was honored on June 14, 2017, at the Rockland County Blood Donor Appreciation Breakfast for being the top college in blood donations in the County for 2016. For the past 28 years, Sr. Barbara McEneany has organized two blood drives a year at the College. 

“This is an important mission for me because I have known people who would have died unless they received blood at critical times in their lives,” said Sr. Barbara. “ I believe that students are more and more seeing the need to donate blood as a necessary part of their schedule.  When sign-up time comes around to recruit pledges for the fall and spring blood drives, students are for the most part eager to give the gift of life. “

Sr. Barbara and Sr. Bernadette Burke accepted the certificate from County Executive Ed Day and the New York Blood Center during the ceremony at the Fire Training Center in Pomona. Sr.  Bernadette is a “gallon donor” — regularly donating blood four times a year. 


Nursing Program Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

Division of Nursing administrators and faculty toasted each other to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Program.

The Dominican College Nursing Program celebrated its 40th Anniversary on Thursday, June 8, with a gathering of alumni, students, Nursing faculty, and College administrators at the Granito Center.  During the reception, everyone raised their champagne glasses as Dr. Nancy DiDona, Director of the Division of Nursing, gave the toast.  In part, she said, “May we continue to nurture, heal, and enlighten the mind, body, and spirit of those we meet.  As nurses, may we keep in mind that it does not matter that no one remembers our names or our faces, but that they remember how we made them feel.”

The Honorary Speaker at the reception was Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, O.P., Chancellor of External Affairs. Sr. Kathleen spoke about how the nursing program was developed by visionary and creative women in response to local needs.  “It is my great pleasure at this significant moment in the history of the program and in the history of the College to acknowledge their magnificent, generous, and inspirational work – work that has helped to define the Dominican Difference not only for our nursing students, but for the community that we serve,”  she said. 

Sr. Kathleen continued, “The graduates of the Dominican College Nursing Program have attained a reputation of excellence within their profession and within the institutions in which they serve and have brought the stature of the College as a responsive institution achieving its commitment to Excellence, Leadership, and Service, to new levels of recognition in our community and among our peers. “

The Celebration Reception was hosted by the Department of Alumni Relations.




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