SJNY Magazine Winter 2023

SJNY Magazine Logo
Spring/Summer 2023
Securing Our Future
St. Joseph’s University, New York fortifying digital defenses through cybersecurity education
students in their caps and gowns, celebrating with the Long Island campus Eagle mascot and the Brooklyn campus Bear mascot

Commencement 2023

St. Joseph’s University, New York awarded more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate degrees at its 104th annual commencement on Thursday, May 25. Held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the ceremony recognized graduates from all three campuses for the second-straight year.


SJCNY Cover Story
News from across St. Joseph’s University.
Featuring students Albina Haque ’24, Dana Liuzzo ’23, and John Raschi ’24.
Featuring political science professor David Siegel and chemistry professor Andrea Stadler.
Highlighting the accomplishments of St. Joseph’s professors and instructors.
Catching up with Charles Rainone ’23, Sean Salomons ’19, and centenarian Frances Ianora ’42.
Throughout the year, St. Joseph’s hosts events that bring the alumni community together.
Highlighting the Brooklyn Campus softball team and the baseball and men’s volleyball teams at the Long Island Campus.
SJCNY Commencement 2023
Portrait of Heather Barry
Gold award
Cover Story
SJNY fortifying digital defenses through quality cybersecurity education.
The University’s 104th annual commencement was held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Longtime St. Joseph’s educator Heather Barry charts promising path for continued academic excellence.
St. Joseph’s University’s students, staff, faculty and alumni continue to have a positive influence on their communites and beyond.
Donald R. Boomgaarden headshot

A message from


President of St. Joseph’s University, new york
Data breaches, malware, phishing and identity theft.

The cybercrime dangers of our time could not have possibly been imagined by the founders of St. Joseph’s University, New York over a century ago. But it is the resiliency of the Sisters of St. Joseph and their desire to help transform the world for the better that drives our institution’s collaborative efforts to be vigilant against cyberattacks and to successfully educate future cybercrime fighters.

This past year, our University secured $754,000 in federal community project funds for the construction of a cybersecurity lab and the enhancement of STEM equipment at our Brooklyn Campus. These resources will amplify the robust cybersecurity education already in place at the University, which includes an M.S. in Cyber Security advanced degree program.

Getting to Know a Trustee

Dr. Latoya
O’Gere ’11, M.S. ’18

By Andrew Capitelli
Headshot of Dr Latoya
A veteran board-certified nurse executive and director at Optum Advisory Services, Latoya O’Gere, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FACHE, earned a B.S. in Nursing and an M.S. in Nursing Education from St. Joseph’s University in 2011 and 2018, respectively. In her role at Optum, Dr. O’Gere leverages clinical and strategic expertise to influence healthcare systems in the United States. She became a member of the University’s Board of Trustees in April 2023 and lives in Beacon, New York, with her husband and children.

Most rewarding part of her job
“The ability to make an impact in the lives of patients, and also helping clinical teams deliver the best patient care possible.”

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jefferies speaking at a podium
U.S. Rep.
Hakeem Jefferies
data sheet with bargraphs

the University’s Future

Investments in cybersecurity programs and security measures are fortifying the future of St. Joseph’s
As tech trends evolve, so too must St. Joseph’s University.

Whether through educating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals or protecting network systems and private data on campus, the University aims to be at the forefront of digital security.

And now, with a $754,000 grant from the federal government in hand, the institution can further enhance its status in the world of cybersecurity.

At a special event on the Brooklyn Campus in May, U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jefferies, the House Democratic leader, and U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez presented St. Joseph’s President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., with a ceremonious check to fund renovations of a computing lab and enhance STEM equipment at the campus in Clinton Hill.

Honoring Their Strength & Perseverance

Honoring Their Strength & Perseverance
female student with cap and gown smiling
St. Joseph’s celebrates 1,241 graduates during its 104th annual commencement ceremony
By Brian Harmon, Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13 and Andrew Capitelli
St. Joseph’s University, New York celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Class of 2023 during its 104th annual commencement ceremony May 25 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

More than 1,240 degrees were conferred by the University, with a significant number of graduates having started their college journey amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The momentous occasion marked the second consecutive combined commencement ceremony for the Brooklyn, Long Island and Online campuses, as well as the institution’s second as a university.

The ceremony drew over 5,000 attendees, including graduates and their guests, University faculty, staff, and alumni. Among the graduates, 870 studied at the Long Island Campus and 277 attended the Brooklyn Campus. The Online program counted 94 degree earners.


Ready. Set. Open.

The Long Island Campus will debut its brand-new Student Center this September
By Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13
St. Joseph’s University announced its plans in November 2020. In June 2021, it broke ground. And in September 2023, it’ll officially open the doors to its brand-new 32,000-square-foot Student Center on the Long Island Campus.
construction worker working on glass
Photo courtesy of J. Petrocelli Contracting, Inc.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Oct. 20 will celebrate the official opening of the $17 million two-story building.

The facility will benefit students, alumni, faculty, staff and the local community alike, housing a dining area, art gallery, new chapel and office for campus ministry, veterans lounge, spirit gift shop, and computer and lounge spaces. It will also feature conference areas and meeting rooms and offices for faculty, staff and student clubs, and space for the campus’ esports team. The 900-square-foot chapel space, with an honorary title of Sisters of St. Joseph’s Chapel, will serve as a tribute to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who have guided the spiritual and educational vision of the institution since its founding.

Celebrating Black History

Brooklyn Council for the Arts hosts ‘Ancestral Articulations’ exhibition
By Andrew Capitelli
Ancestral Articulations book cover
Ancestral Articulations, a group art show hosted by the Brooklyn Campus Council of the Arts and curated by its director Ramona Candy, was open Jan. 26 until March 10 in the Alumni Room Gallery of Tuohy Hall.

Featuring art that articulates various nuances of promise, perseverance, joy and the survival of generations of Black people, the exhibition showcased the work of nine artists in photography, painting, mixed media and other areas.

On Feb. 8, Ms. Candy hosted five of the show’s artists for a conversation with SJNY community members and the public.

Natalie Alleyne, an artist who spoke at the event, said, “I create my work as a way to link my perception of people and the world through the lens of creativity.”

Celebrating the Chapel Renovations With Friends

the elderly attending a church mass
Donors and alumni gathered in the Brooklyn Campus’ Kennedy Chapel April 25 to celebrate its renovation.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rory Shaffer-Walsh provided opening remarks and thanked donors for their support of the Chapels Fund project, which has raised close to $300,000 since early 2021. Campus Ministries assistant S. Marie Mackey ’84 presented the renovations.

“It went from vestments to pews for the chapel, and as the donations began to come in, it was no longer just about chairs. We could dream of other possibilities,” she said.

The Chapels Fund has received contributions from hundreds of donors.

Growing With the Times

St. Joseph’s University, New York continuously adds new programs that help students prepare to enter an ever-changing workforce.

Among the University’s new programs are two standouts in the field of education, an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis to its Online Campus, and nine new dual degrees.

“We are successful because we adapt to the changing landscape,” said SJNY Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Heather Barry, Ph.D. “New programs breathe new life into the institution.”

St. Joseph’s University, New York President Donald R. Boomgaarden (wearing a grey colored business suit jacket, dark navy blue button-up dress shirt, and glancing downward at the piano keys)

President Boomgaarden Brings the Music of Franz Schubert to Both Campuses

St. Joseph’s University, New York President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., a classically trained pianist, performed music of the great Austrian composer Franz Schubert at the Long Island Campus on Thursday, April 20, and at the Brooklyn Campus on Tuesday, April 25. Titled “Waltzes and Songs from the City of Dreams: Franz Schubert’s Vienna,” the Long Island recital featured two guest soloists, student Gabriel Ross ’26 and Anna Malzone, director of the Council for the Arts and a senior lecturer of music. At Dr. Boomgaarden’s Brooklyn performance, Veronica Kaninska, an assistant teaching professor of recreation and leisure studies, performed as a guest soloist.

Spring Fling Week: ‘Something for Everyone’

Two St. Joseph's University, New York students are smiling and posing for a picture together outside on campus at the Spring Fling Week event as one of the students is wearing sunglasses on top of their head, a blue/yellow Hawaiian style lei around her neck, and a pink t-shirt as she carries an orange flavored Jarritos fruit soda brand while the other student is wearing a dark forest green St. Joseph's University, New York t-shirt with a blue/yellow Hawaiian style lei around her neck and has white sunglasses on/covering her eyes while she carries a orange flavored Jarritos fruit soda brand bottle and wearing a watch on her arm
St. Joseph’s students across the University’s Long Island and Brooklyn campuses students enjoyed an eventful Spring Fling Week in April, celebrating the change in seasons while soaking up the sun and embracing the warmer weather.

“It was exciting to see the SJNY community come to life to celebrate the beautiful weather this week,” said Sindy Liu, assistant for student involvement. “The Campus Activities Board did an amazing job helping plan these events; it felt like there was something for everyone.”

Held April 10-13, the festive events included live music, carnival games, a doughnut wall, a 360-degree photo booth and a barbecue buffet at Spring Fest at Brooklyn and carnival attractions, free food and music during Spring Fling at Long Island.

St. Joseph's University New York logo
Long Island Campus Presents

Golden Eagles Spirit Fest

Golden Eagles Spirit Fest
Save the Date
October 14, 2023
#Flywithus for a SJNY spirit filled lineup of events at Golden Eagles Spirit Fest this fall.

For more information,

Fifth Annual Giving Day Supports Students University-Wide

By Andrew Capitelli
St. Joseph’s University, New York’s fifth annual Giving Day event on March 29 raised over $60,000 to benefit 21 student and faculty crowdfunding initiatives.

More than 600 gifts were made by donors during the 24-hour fundraising campaign that provided financial support for projects at SJNY’s Brooklyn and Long Island campuses, as well as the University at large.

“The success of Giving Day is a testament to the generosity of SJNY’s community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends,” said Rory Shaffer-Walsh, vice president for institutional advancement.

2023 Giving Day

Thank You
Nearly 700 donors.
Over $60,000 raised.
Benefits 21 student and faculty campaigns.
Your generosity ensures our students excel and succeed.
2023 Giving Day logo

Student Leaders Meet for University-Wide Leadership Retreat

By Andrew Capitelli
Student leaders from the Brooklyn and Long Island campuses came together over President’s Day weekend for a multi-day leadership retreat led by St. Joseph’s University, New York administrators, staff and faculty.

Prominent members of SJNY clubs and student organizations enjoyed a wide array of activities and seminars aimed at developing leadership skills and promoting self-reflection.

“I feel I’m now a better communicator and leader,” said Armando Escobar ’24, a Long Island computer information technology major who attended the event. “I know the importance of considering cultural differences when interacting with my team, allowing everyone to feel included and respected. I learned techniques to keep a team motivated and focused on a specific goal.”

Virtual Book Club

Virtual Book Club
Join the SJNY community as we read a wide range of books, engage in conversation and enhance our appreciation of literature. 

There is no cost to participate — you just need to get a copy of the book to enjoy.

St. Joseph’s Welcomes New Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Heather Barry, Ph.D., charts promising path for continued academic excellence
By Brian Harmon
Heather Barry speaking at podium during ceremony
St. Joseph’s University, New York announced the appointment of Heather Barry, Ph.D., this spring as the institution’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs (VPAA), following a national search to fill the position.

Dr. Barry officially assumes the role on July 1, after serving as interim provost for the past year.

As the chief academic officer, she will be tasked with enhancing the quality and coherence of academic programs across all three campuses, collaborating with key academic units, and leading the University’s strategic planning efforts. She will also serve as the institutional liaison for licensure and accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

St. Joseph’s President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., noted that Dr. Barry brings over two decades of experience and an impressive background in higher education leadership to her new position.

“Leading up to this and throughout her more than two-decade tenure at St. Joseph’s, Dr. Barry has held several impressive leadership positions, including associate provost from 2021 to 2022 and assistant provost for strategic planning and assessment from 2017-2021,” he said.


Your generosity helps to keep our students on the path to graduation.
Help turn students’ dreams into reality. Make your contribution at
SJNY Fund logo

Venturing Away With Purpose

Dana Liuzzo ’23 embarks on a year of service in Minnesota
By Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13
Dana Liuzzo
Dana Liuzzo ’23 knew little about the St. Joseph Worker Program when she decided to attend an informational session about it on the Long Island Campus.

Less than six months later, she had applied and was accepted into the program’s year of service.

“I instantly felt drawn to the four pillars that the program consists of: spirituality, social justice, community and leadership,” Ms. Liuzzo, 24, said.

Ms. Liuzzo, who graduated from St. Joseph’s University in May with a degree in recreational therapy, is set to start her year of service in Minnesota this August.

Following in Her Brother’s Footsteps

Albina Haque ’24 accepted into prestigious research program her sibling completed in 2019
By Valerie Esposito-Saadat
Albina Haque
Albina Haque ’24, a Brooklyn double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, has been accepted into the prestigious Microsoft Research New York City’s Data Science Summer School (DS3).

The four-week program only accepts 12 undergraduate students from the New York City area annually and awards them each a $3,000 stipend, as well as a laptop for their participation in the program.

Ms. Haque’s brother Adnan completed the same program in 2019. And since 2014, St. Joseph’s has had eight students take part in the DS3 program.

With a letter of recommendation from David Seppala-Holtzman, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science, Ms. Haque applied in March and started the DS3 program at the end of May.

SJNY Connect

SJNY Connect Logo is an online community exclusively for St. Joseph’s University, New York students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Gain access to:

  • Directory: Reach out to alumni, students, faculty and staff.
  • Events: Including webinars, book talks, receptions and more.
  • Resources: Yearbooks, photo albums, videos, magazines and news.
  • Job board: Apply for opportunities or post to recruit.
  • Mentor Program: Find a mentor or be a mentor.
  • Networking opportunities: And much more.
Are you ready to connect? Join today at

Aiming Even Higher

SJNY Online student John Raschi ’24 pursuing a dual degree to supplement his successful career
By Brian Harmon
John Raschi
When St. Joseph’s University Online student John Raschi first entered the real world three decades ago, he set his sights on a culinary arts career.

But the idea took a sharp turn when he began to dwell on the unorthodox work schedule of people employed in the restaurant industry.

“It was going to mean working nights, holidays and weekends,” said Mr. Raschi, 51, who is enrolled in a dual degree program that has him set to earn a bachelor’s degree in organizational management in 2024 and a master’s in management the following year.

After putting aside his dreams of working in restaurants, Mr. Raschi started work in the distribution industry, accepting a warehouse position. He quickly climbed up the ranks, earning seven promotions in his first 10 years on the job.

Opportunity Scholarship Helps Build a Career

Adrian Santiago ’23 gains vital experience at marketing internship
By Valerie Esposito-Saadat
Adrian Santiago
Adrian Santiago ’23 in 2021 became the first recipient of the Opportunity Scholarship in Marketing/Communications/New Media presented by Hauppauge-based marketing agency Austin Williams.

The mission of the scholarship is to provide assistance to minorities and students of color who are pursuing a career in advertising and marketing.

She received a $2,500 scholarship per year and interned with Austin Williams during her junior and senior years, an experience she said shaped her future career plans.

“I was able to visit the agency’s different departments and shadow the specialists there while I honed in on my skills,” she said. “I had such a great experience and it definitely made an impact on what career I would like to pursue.”


Making Chemistry Classes Work for SJNY Online

Dr. Andrea Stadler developed a way to make lab courses accessible to online learners

By Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13
Dr. Andrea Stadler and student in lab
Inspirational educators led Andrea Stadler, Ph.D., to where she is today: serving as an associate professor and associate chair of chemistry at St. Joseph’s University, New York.

Now, she’s having the same positive impact on her students.

“Teachers absolutely inspired me every step of the way for me getting here,” said Dr. Stadler, who changed tracks from doctor to research chemist to professor after formative experiences with her own college professors. “And that’s what I try to do with my students. I love hearing from them after they graduate and learning about all their successes.

“Those are the things that really stand out — to see them succeed, and to hear from them, to know I made a difference,” added Dr. Stadler, director of undergraduate research at the Long Island Campus. “I love that.”

A Motivator for Independent Thought

David Siegel, Ph.D., encourages critical thinking inside and outside the classroom

By Brian Harmon
David Siegel, Ph.D in dark blue sweater
In Clinton Hill and Patchogue, David Siegel works in the best of two worlds.

The political science professor enjoys splitting his time in front of the classroom between St Joseph’s Brooklyn and Long Island campuses, particularly because of the diverse student populations and dynamics each location presents.

“It brings variety and it definitely keeps things fresh,” said Dr. Siegel, who earned a Ph.D. in political science from the CUNY Graduate Center and has taught at St. Joseph’s since 2021. “Each campus has its distinct characteristics, and the student bodies are different as well.

“It makes things more interesting because you get to have very different kinds of discussions,” he continued. “Certain approaches may not work the same way on both campuses.”


Jeonghee Kang, Ph.D. with a student in lab
Jeonghee Kang, Ph.D.
Jeonghee Kang, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at the Brooklyn Campus, published a research paper in Results in Chemistry titled “Revisiting the basis of the excited states for solvated fluorinated benzenes and pentafluorophenylalanine.” The article examines the chemistry aspect of research to understand and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Yvonne Borkowski, Ed.D., assistant professor of child study on the Long Island Campus, was a guest speaker for SPAN Parent Advocacy Network in September, leading a talk on how to provide better outreach to Native American families. She also presented, “My Family is My Strength: Fostering Relationships with Latinx Families,” at the Long Island Regional Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) for Pre-K and Early Education Expanding Opportunities for Early Learners in Pre-K & K Conference.

Anna Egbert, Ph.D. headshot
Anna Egbert, Ph.D.
Anna Egbert, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the Brooklyn Campus, received a summer grant from the University for research that seeks to shutter stigma and discrimination in marginalized populations, such as people of color, members of LGBTQ+ communities, the gender-diverse population and individuals living with HIV. Research associated with her grant will create training opportunities for students interested in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program at the University. Her past research led to her joining the Aging, Mobility and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, as a post-doctoral fellow.
Jason Ostrowe, Ph.D. headshot
Jason Ostrowe, Ph.D.
Jason Ostrowe, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice at the Long Island Campus, published a chapter, “Intervention and Reform: Addressing Misconduct in American Police,” in the book “Exploring Contemporary Police Challenges: A Global Perspective.”

Long Island Campus Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Kim Poppitti, Ph.D., edited “Equestrian Drama: An Anthology of Plays,”published by Routledge, and presented “Equestrian Drama” at the Northeast Popular Culture Association’s annual virtual conference.

Professor of Psychology Peter Lin, Ph.D., has produced a monthly webinar, CAFE229, since the start of the pandemic, educating and inspiring participants to be more insightful and altruistic. Guests — including Dr. Nancy McWilliams, one of the world’s most respected clinical psychologists and psychoanalysts, and Shaolin warrior monk Shi Yan Ming, the founder of the USA Shaolin Temple — deliver ideas and concepts that can transform the audience’s wellbeing.

Konstantine Rountos, Ph.D., associate professor of biology based on the Long Island Campus and coordinator of the environmental studies minor at the University, together with Kestrel Perez, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at the Brooklyn Campus, are among a group of collaborating educators who received a three-year, $1 million NOAA grant. Joined by colleagues and students from both campuses, they are examining the effects of ocean acidification and harmful algal blooms on marine fish.

Michael Burke, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at the Brooklyn Campus, published “Phantom Persecution: Haunted by the Other: Levinas, Derrida & the Persecutory Phantom,” in the journal Philosophy-Film, examining the link between moral obligation and spectral haunting in recent horror cinema. He is developing a manuscript, “Spectral Ethics: Philosophy and Horror,” for Lexington Press, exploring how postmodern philosophical views on ethical responsibility and moral obligation have been exemplified and articulated in recent horror fiction.

University Honored For Patchogue Revitalization Efforts

University Honored For
Patchogue Revitalization Efforts
By Andrew Capitelli and Valerie Esposito-Saadat
SJNY President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D. holds the the 2023 Long Island Smart Growth Award for Community Leadership while standing with St. Joseph’s administrators (from left) Heather Barry, Ph.D.; Rory Shaffer-Walsh; Christine Murphy; Gail Lamberta ’82, Ph.D.; Jessica McAleer Decatur; and Michelle Papajohn ’08, MBA ’10, M.S. ’23
Photo courtesy of Vision Long Island

SJNY President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., accepts the 2023 Long Island Smart Growth Award for Community Leadership with St. Joseph’s administrators (from left) Heather Barry, Ph.D.; Rory Shaffer-Walsh; Christine Murphy; Gail Lamberta ’82, Ph.D.; Jessica McAleer Decatur; and Michelle Papajohn ’08, MBA ’10, M.S. ’23.

Vision Long Island presented St. Joseph’s University, New York with the 2023 Long Island Smart Growth Award for Community Leadership this June at the annual Smart Growth Awards.

The group honors projects that advance infrastructure growth in communities on Long Island. The University was recognized at a reception held at Crest Hollow Country Club for its long history of community involvement and contributions to the revitalization of Patchogue Village.

“It’s an honor to receive the Community Leadership Award,” SJNY President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., said. “This recognition is a testament to our longstanding partnerships in the communities we serve.”

University Ready

St. Joseph's University New York logo
University Ready typography
With campuses in Patchogue, Brooklyn and Online, St. Joseph’s University, New York delivers an affordable, values oriented education so you’re ready for an exciting career and an authentic life.


St. Joseph’s University undergraduate students smile for a group photo at the spring Student Research Symposium

Igniting Innovation

St. Joseph’s University undergraduate students presented their research at annual Student Research Symposiums this spring, with the Long Island Campus’ event taking place April 29 and the Brooklyn Campus’ on May 4. The events provided the students a platform to present their findings and engage in intellectual discussions.

portrait of alumna Sandra Lindsay with her arms crossed and dressed in an embroidered lab coat

Photo courtesy of Northwell Health

Sandra Lindsay Day

To honor SJNY alumna Sandra Lindsay — the Northwell Health nurse who was first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S. — Nassau and Suffolk County executives declared July 18 will be Sandra Lindsay Day on Long Island. Dr. Lindsay, DHSc, MS, MBA, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC, earned a B.S. in nursing at the Brooklyn Campus in 1999.

outstretched hand icon

One Community, One Mission: Faculty and Staff Giving

More than half of St. Joseph’s faculty and staff made donations to the University in the last year.

Get involved at St. Joe’s


at St. Joe’s

A Call for Applications for Alumni Association Leaders

We are seeking dedicated alumni with a passion for helping to join the Alumni Boards. The Brooklyn Alumni Board and Long Island Alumni Board represent the diverse interests and needs of the St. Joseph’s alumni community. Applications are currently being accepted. For more information, contact us at

A Message from the Alumni Board Presidents

Greetings fellow alumni and friends,

As proud recipients of St. Joseph’s degrees, we are excited to serve as your new presidents of the Brooklyn and Long Island Alumni Boards. We look forward to working with the University to create an even more meaningful alumni experience for the more than 45,000 of us who make up the Alumni Association.


A Former Student-Athlete in the Real World

Sean Salomons ’19 recalls ‘some of the best years of my life’
By Andrew Capitelli
A headshot picture of Sean Salomons

Sean Salomons ’19 has fond memories of his time as a two-sport athlete at the Brooklyn Campus and is thankful for the unique perspective that being a student-athlete gave him.

“As a member of the men’s basketball and volleyball teams, I began to see other people’s perspectives and understand how they think,” he said. “When you branch out into professional life, it’s about the bigger picture and what’s best for the group.”

Post-graduation, Mr. Salomons leveraged his experience to forge a career in coaching, serving as head coach of the Brooklyn Campus men’s volleyball team and director of player development at Supreme Basketball NYC – an AAU program for boys in grades 4-12.

An Advocate for Internships

Charles Rainone ’22 helps college students test drive their careers

By Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13

A headshot of Charles Rainone
The freedom and flexibility of working in the field of business always appealed to Charles Rainone ’22.

That’s why as a student at St. Joseph’s University’s Long Island Campus, declaring his major was simple.

“Creating and being a part of something that shares your values and allows you to have an impact in the world is super important to me,” Mr. Rainone said.

“I chose my business administration major with a concentration in finance because I knew I wanted to enter the finance space and have an impact on people’s lives, but I also wanted to be entrepreneurial and have the freedom of creating my own business and calendar, and choose with whom I wish to work,” he added.

102-Year-Old’s Inspiring Connection to SJNY

Frances Ianora ’40 vividly remembers why she chose to attend St. Joseph’s

By Paulina Melin

Francis Ianora graduating in the 40's in St Josephs
At 102 years young, St. Joseph’s alumna Frances Ianora vividly and fondly recalls the passion that her high school history teacher Mary Camper McGinnis ’25, an early St. Joseph’s alumna herself, had for the institution.

It was that ardor that led Ms. Ianora ’40 and two classmates to enroll at St. Joseph’s.

“Sometimes, it takes just one person to transform a life, and that person came as my history teacher in high school,” she said.

A fast learner, Ms. Ianora was 15 when she graduated from high school and became the first woman in her family to attend college.


Ready. Set. Success

SJNY alumni continue to make a positive impact on their communities and beyond.
  • 1981

    Deacon John Flannery, a retired teacher and Brooklyn Campus graduate, at the age of 90 continues to serve and minister to his community at Holy Family-St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Park Slope.

  • 1988

    Sheila (Judge) Connors, a Brooklyn Campus alumna, was named deputy grand marshal in the 48th Annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

  • 1996

    David Negron, a human resources management graduate of the Long Island Campus, recently was promoted to senior vice president for human resources at Canela Media.

  • 2006

    Long Island Campus alumna Alyson Terwilliger, a CPA, was named partner at Sheehan & Company, a certified public accounting firm on Long Island.

  • 2007

    Edward Flood, who earned a degree in social sciences from the Long Island Campus, was elected to represent Assembly District 4 in the New York State Assembly.

  • Long Island Campus accounting alumna Erica (Crowell) Murphy is a 2023 school board candidate for the Riverhead School District.
  • 2008

    John Hermus, a CPA, was promoted to partner at Sheehan & Company, a certified public accounting firm on Long Island. He is an alumnus of the Long Island Campus.

  • 2009

    Adam Arabian, who earned an organizational management degree from the Long Island Campus, received a Community College of Rhode Island Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of his personal achievements, community service and volunteerism.

  • 2009/

    Brooklyn Campus alumnae Madeline (Hogan) Romano ’10 and Mary (D’Acierno) Vitale’09 in January 2023 launched Beyond Play NYC, where the pediatric speech language pathologists help kids with speech development in a fun “parent and me” class setting.

  • 2012

    Michael Verni, who received his MBA from the Long Island Campus, has started in the role of vice president, platform solutions, at Jellyfish.

  • 2014

    Donna (Mole) Cifuni, a graduate of the Long Island Campus, began a new position as physical therapist at The Hamlet Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Nesconset.

  • 2016

    Long Island Campus graduate Samuel Bifulcoa criminal justice major while at St. Joseph’s, earned his law degree from Touro Law School in May.

    Jonathan Haughn, who earned a degree in psychology at the Long Island Campus, has joined the Diocese of Dallas as an archivist.

    Michael Megafu, a men’s basketball player while studying at the Brooklyn Campus, was selected as National Student Doctor of the Year by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

  • 2017

    Michael DeCicco, who earned a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Long Island Campus, has been recognized as Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Class of 2023 Honoree for the “Celebrate Long Island’s Young Professions’ Award.”

  • 2022

    Alma Alegria, who received her graduate degree in management and human services leadership at the Long Island Campus, was recently appointed to the position of executive director at Centro Corazón de María.

St. Joseph's University New York logo


Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1973
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023
Join us for a special day on St. Joseph’s University’s Brooklyn Campus, featuring a mass, cocktail hour, luncheon and walking tours of the campus.

All alumni are welcome.

For more information, contact


Re-connecting and Engaging with One Another and SJNY
SJNY alumni dressed in green gathered on March 5 at the Dyker Beach Golf Course in Brooklyn for a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
SJNY alumni gathered on March 5 at the Dyker Beach Golf Course in Brooklyn for a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
Current members and alumni of Beta Upsilon Delta celebrated the sorority’s 45th anniversary at a reunion event inside Tuohy Hall on April 21
Current members and alumni of Beta Upsilon Delta celebrated the sorority’s 45th anniversary at a reunion event inside Tuohy Hall on April 21.
Student shooting a corner 3 at Alumni Day at the Hill Center on Feb. 4
More than 30 former Brooklyn Campus basketball players attended Alumni Day at the Hill Center on Feb. 4.

Making Winning a Habit

Long Island men’s volleyball collects its fourth conference title in six years
Golden Eagles Long Island logo
By Andrew Capitelli
St. Joseph's mens volleyball team celebrating
For the Long Island Campus men’s volleyball team, winning has been a tradition since day one.

“Not that I’m not humble or grateful, but it’s four out of six full seasons that we’ve won,” said head coach Bill Kropp after another Skyline Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance in April.

“Winning the conference, making the NCAA Tournament, being in the national rankings – it legitimizes our program,” he added. “We’re not just another activity on campus, but a program with the goal of being the best in the country every year.”

The team won its first NCAA Tournament match last season, dismissing No. 6 Southern Virginia in the first round of the bracket. Despite losing to No. 4 Stevens in the second round, the Golden Eagles finished 12th in the final 2022 AVCA national rankings and received votes in the 2023 preseason poll.

St. Joseph's University Bears Logo

Swinging for Softball Greatness

Bears take another giant step toward becoming a powerhouse
By Andrew Capitelli
five members of the St. Joseph's Brooklyn Campus softball team in uniform
Following a landmark 2022 campaign, expectations were high for the Brooklyn Campus softball team’s 2023 season.

“At the beginning of the year, we were excited about all of the new talent in the freshman class and the talent we retained,” said outfielder Emily Burroughs ’23, one of 12 returners on the 2023 squad.

One year removed from a fifth-place regular-season finish, the Bears entered the Skyline Conference Championship as the third seed – their best finish to a regular season ever.

Baseball Captures Back-to-Back Skyline Crowns

By Andrew Capitelli
Golden Eagles Long Island logo
St. Joseph's Long Island Campus baseball team celebrating and holding up a trophy
After posting a 15-5 conference record and collecting a regular-season title, the Long Island Campus baseball team captured its second-straight Skyline Conference championship with a 10-4 victory over SUNY Maritime this May.

As the tournament’s top seed and host, SJNY earned a bye in the first round and went a perfect 3-0 through the double-elimination round.

Outfielder Phil Krpata ’23 – the tournament’s MVP – went 6-for-11 with two doubles, a home run, seven runs, seven stolen bases, and three RBIs.

The Golden Eagles received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, losing to No. 20 SUNY Cortland and defending national champion No. 14 Eastern Connecticut in the double-elimination New York Regional.


Executive Officers and Board Members


Ayana Kone ’07, MBA ’09

VICE President

Ronna Feit ’80


Rose Marie Borg ’76


Mary Macchiarola ’62


Peter Andrews ’00
Elizabeth Auricchio ’63
Margaret Broda ’04
Mary Jo Burke Chiara ’69
Joan Reardon Dillon ’56
Myrna Kelly ’12
Daniel Mace ’03
Frances Minichiello ’63
Antonia Mohan ’69
Mary Morry ’79
Dianne Piwinski ’72
Kevin Reilly ’76
Mary Teatum ’70
Christina Traverson-Mace ’06


Samuel Bifulco ’16

Vice President

John Diaz ’09, MBA ’16


Liam Kuhn ’01


Kevin Cantwell ’11, MBA ’13

Past President

Melissa Henn Michaud ’01


Lisa DiFiore-Ridolph ’85
Nique’la Durham, MBA ’15
Diane Fox ’08
Cara Giannillo ’89
Joseph Macellaro ’07, MS ’10
Virginia Muller ’94
Teri Sandowski ’15
Robert Sturges ’06
Benedict Tieniber ’06
Jeanette Wolters-Lennon ’92

SJNY Night

SJNY Night typographic title
With the Brooklyn Cyclones and Long Island Ducks
August 12, 2023
Let us take you out to the ballgame in Brooklyn or Long Island!
Brooklyn Cyclones • Maimonides Park in Coney Island
Long Island Ducks • Fairfield Properties Ballpark in Central Islip
Wear your SJNY gear and bring your team spirit, then stay after the game and enjoy the fireworks spectacular. Alumni, students, faculty, staff, family and friends are welcome.
Long Island Ducks logo
Brooklyn Cyclones logo
For ticket information, please visit:

Aquinas Society

Our new partnership with FreeWill means estate planning is now FREE and accessible to St. Joseph’s community members.
Create your legal will and gain peace of mind today.
Including SJNY in your estate plan opens doors to a dynamic educational experience for future students. Join the Aquinas Society and ensure SJNY continues to make a positive impact for generations to come.

If you’ve already included SJNY in your will, please take a moment to send us a message at, so we can thank you for your support.

"Cornflowers" painting by Colomba Furio-Spigner
Cornflowers • 12 x 16, oil on canvas

Colomba Furio-Spigner ’71

Colomba Furio-Spigner ’71 headshot
An artist and photographer based in Plandome Manor, Colomba Furio-Spigner is a 1971 graduate of St. Joseph’s University, New York. She has enjoyed a lifelong passion for art, having been introduced at a young age to painting by her father and having grown up surrounded by beautiful artwork. A classroom teacher for 28 years, Ms. Furio-Spigner also took on an Information Technology career on Wall Street, working as a programmer, systems analyst and project manager. Following her retirement from teaching, she began committing much of her time to painting. She has studied under esteemed teachers and actively participates in various art and photography organizations. As a student at St. Joseph’s she became a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, the National Honor Society.

save the date

St. Joseph’s University, New York’s Third Annual Gala

St. Joseph's University, New York’s Third Annual Gala
Honoring Excellence in Business and Leadership
Friday, Nov. 3, 2023
The Garden City Hotel • Garden City, New York
Join us to toast the best of St. Joseph’s and to raise funds for student scholarships.


  • President
    Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D.
  • Vice President for Marketing and Communications
    Jessica McAleer Decatur
  • Editorial Director
    Brian Harmon
  • Art Director
    Stephanie Kearney
  • Senior Graphic Designers
    Kerri Ball
    Dina Vigorito
  • Feature Writers
    Andrew Capitelli, Valerie Esposito-Saadat and Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13
  • Photography Editor
    Claudia Mirzaali
  • Production Manager
    Robert Gregson
  • Contributing Designer
    Michael McDonnell
  • Contributing Writers
    Andrew Capitelli, Valerie Esposito-Saadat, Cristina Costantino, Melissa Nicefaro and Amanda Bernocco
  • Contributing Photographers
    Robert Amsler, Andrew Capitelli, Sean Colgan, Bill Denison, Brian Harmon, Michael Macioce, Jörg Meyer, Benny Migs, Samantha Cheyenne Miller ’13, Ronny Rios, Alan Schaefer and Austin Williams agency

    Thank you to the students, faculty, staff and alumni who submitted photos for use in this publication.

  • SJNY Magazine is published twice a year by the Office of Marketing and Communications, 1 Terry Street, Suite 1, Patchogue, NY 11772. The print edition of the magazine is mailed to alumni and friends of St. Joseph’s University, New York without charge. Our digital version will be available at
  • Address Changes

    Please send to: Office of Alumni Engagement, 245 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205. Phone: 718.940.5585. Email:

  • Correspondence

    SJNY Magazine welcomes your comments and suggestions. Email us at

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Thanks for reading our Spring/Summer 2023 issue!