August 27, 2011
Despite the threat of Hurricane Irene, Mount Saint Mary College
welcomed its largest resident population of more than 1,000
students on Saturday, August 27. A total enrollment of some 2,700
men and woman – including 455 freshmen, 160 new transfers, and
graduate and continuing students – begins classes this week at the
Mount, where the student to faculty ratio of 15:1 yields plenty of
opportunity for one to one academic attention.
New for fall
Thermodynamics and Newton’s laws of motion and light will be
illustrated through food and cooking in a new course, taught by
Margaret Larrousse, assistant professor of mathematics, science and
2-Design Fundamentals, taught by Michael Garland, blends
traditional art technique and digital software to teach students
the principles of two-dimension design for the new digital age.
New faculty hail from around the globe: Thuy Linh Nguyen,
assistant professor of history; Bojan Lazarevic, assistant
professor of information technology; Ying Xiao, assistant professor
of finance/economics; Eric Langstedt, assistant professor of
communications; Jodie Wasacz, assistant professor of chemistry; and
Marilyn Lashlee and Nancy Spear Owen, who will join the nursing
Three key executive level administrator posts were filled this
summer: Art Criss of Walden, N.Y., is vice president for enrollment
management; Mary Hinton of Milford, Pa., vice president for
planning and assessment; and Alice Walters of Wappingers Falls,
N.Y., associate dean for academic affairs.
Other new administrators are: Courtney McDermott, graduate
recruiter in the office of graduate admissions; Caitlin Houlihan,
assistant director of student activities; Kristy O’Brien, academic
coach in the Center for Student Success; Dina Sedore, nurse
practitioner; Stephen Sosler, men’s baseball coach; and information
technology staff Wisdom Atsunyo, Robert Monte, Michael Rojas, and
Room to grow
When students returned to the popular East Coast school,
significant changes greeted them.
The college recently purchased the Dominican Center, adding 13.1
acres to a campus that boasts breathtaking Hudson River views.
Plans for the center, which houses the Dominican Sisters of Hope
Chapel, include a library/learning commons, student residences and
dining, green space and parking.
With resident numbers on the rise, Mount Saint Mary College
renovated the Garden Apartments near the college entrance,
Residence halls, many with river views and suite-style living,
also have exercise rooms, movie lounges and environmental
sustainability features such as photovoltaic panels.
Mount Saint Mary College provides a 24/7 residence staff with
expertly trained personnel ready to meet the needs of students at
Still, for freshmen and their parents, lessons in leaving and
letting go are part of the plan.
Vibrant campus life includes activities and clubs, recreational
facilities such as an indoor pool with a view of the Hudson River,
six tennis courts and an all-weather turf field. The Mount offers
17 intercollegiate varsity teams.
Mount Saint Mary College provides students with academic field
experiences, club activities and Knights in the Community
--teammates and coaches volunteering their time and talents in
The college also hosts various cultural events for the community
such as the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Programs launched or expanding
The Mount has established a vital pilot program, the Center for
Student Success, designed to increase student achievement and
foster success. Drawing from practices that have demonstrated
success and building on the resources of academic advising and
developmental instruction, the center offers advising, tutorial
services, time-management, and study skills, among others.
Mount Saint Mary College also recently arranged a joint degree
program with Fordham University in social work. Students completing
this program will receive a BA degree in human services from the
Mount and an MSW from Fordham.
To further facilitate the transfer of credits, Mount Saint Mary
College has special agreements with community colleges in Orange,
Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties, as
well as other graduate schools.
The new station, KnightRadio, features hi-tech equipment in the
control room, studio and server room. The Mount’s rigorous and
expanding media studies production program also features a video
studio with the latest non-linear editing equipment.
Mount Saint Mary College is accredited by the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools, plus specialized accrediting
Mount Saint Mary College offers 47 undergraduate programs
preparing students for careers in health professions, business,
education, social services, communication/media, and more.
The Mount offers the only four year nursing degree program in
New York’s mid Hudson Valley. Twenty six percent of Mount freshmen
plan to major in nursing.
Mount Saint Mary College boasts a NCLEX-RN passage rate in the
high 90s to 100. Recent nursing graduates are working in hospitals
locally, e.g. St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, and Vassar
Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; in the tri-state
region, and elsewhere in the Northeast and around the country.
The Mathematics, Science and Technology Center on campus
contains nursing labs with state-of-the-art patient simulators.
Seniors in the Mount nursing program are actively serving
through Community Health Nursing courses coordinated by Dr.
They work individually with supervision in county departments of
health, schools, nursing homes and hospices. Recently, 37 students,
along with instructors Sagar, Jill Sussman, Maura Rose and Sharon
Goodson, volunteered for four days during an influenza mass
immunization program at West Point.
Community health students comprise part of the more than 50
percent of Mount students active in service. The college was named
to the national President’s Higher Education Community Service
In addition to offering nursing clinical and student teaching
experiences, excellent internships abound for Mount students in all
fields, opening doors to varied career opportunities in the Hudson
Valley, New York City, the Capital Region and beyond.
Students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)
conducted research supervised by faculty on diverse topics such as
using aquatic plants to produce substrate for electricity
generating microbial fuel cells and the relationships between
common obstetrical interventions and the incidence of autism
spectrum disorders. Mount students will present results of this
summer’s research on September 21.
Strategic Centers of Excellence
As part of its strategic goal to involve students in applied
learning, Mount Saint Mary College offers centers of excellence:
the Center on Aging and Policy, the Center for Adolescent Research
and Development, and the Catholic and Dominican Institute.
A public lecture on October 5, sponsored by the CDI and the
Mount’s natural sciences program, will focus on contemporary
cosmology and evolutionary biology and how they are used to deny
the doctrine of creation.
Dr. William E. Carroll, the Thomas Aquinas Fellow in Theology
and Science at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, England, is the featured
Charles Zola, assistant professor of philosophy, is the director
of the Catholic and Dominican Institute (CDI). The CDI, rooted in
the Catholic intellectual tradition, promotes the college’s
Dominican heritage, advances the charism of learning and service,
provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues, and
enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue.
The Center on Aging and Policy, established with a National
Institute of Health (NIH) grant, promotes an interdisciplinary
perspective and is dedicated to excellence in research and
scholarship in the field of gerontology. Routinely, Mount students
are involved: e.g. through the Aging United student organization,
with Rae Fallon, associate professor of psychology, serving as
Directed by Lawrence Force, professor of psychology, the center
serves as a national resource for the Area Agencies on Aging
(AAA’s) and explores, describes, and measures both formal and
informal aging interventions of care within the public and private
sector. A public forum on caregiving will be held in November.
The Center for Adolescent Research and Development is a
clearinghouse for research initiatives and also assists in
research-based program development for schools, agencies, and
Directed by Frances Spielhagen, associate professor of
education, and Paul Schwartz, professor of psychology, this center
was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Cestone Foundation to
support the 2012 annual conference on emerging adulthood. The
conference is slated for April 28.
A new key initiative at the Mount is the Meyer Business Research
Center. An increasingly important service of the center will be
generating and providing area business-related information and
analysis to the local and regional business community.
The Mount’s MBA capstone course also provided community
outreach: marketing plans to the Orange County Partnership for
attracting and retaining businesses. James Gearity is chair of the
Mount’s business program.
For adult students
Offering the most economical tuition in the Hudson Valley, the
Mount's accelerated adult degree program, provides students 24 and
over with the flexibility of evening/weekend schedules.
Adults can earn degrees in accounting, business, nursing,
history, human services, psychology, social sciences and an
interdisciplinary BA for education, with hybrid online programs in
business and nursing.
The hybrid online programs blend the best of traditional
classroom instruction with the convenience of online learning.
Due to the rigorous nature of the nationally accredited nursing
program at the Mount, nursing courses from other institutions are
Mount Saint Mary College also offers three master’s degrees:
MBA, MS in education and MS in nursing.
Before parents bid their freshmen a bittersweet farewell, Fr.
Kevin Mackin, OFM, college president, celebrated a special mass.
Alumni and Family Weekend will bring back many September 30 to
October 2. Fr. Kevin invites neighbors to bring their pets for a
blessing that Sunday, anticipating the Feast of St. Francis of
Daily and Sunday mass is offered on campus in Founders Chapel in
Guzman Hall. Campus Ministry provides opportunities for students to
serve as lectors, altar servers and musicians, as well as in the
An Open House for next year’s prospective freshmen and their
families will be held September 19. An adult and information
session focused on the RN to BSN program, for registered nurses
seeking a degree, will be held September 7.