Studying history helps students become informed citizens

Oral History Project

The St. Francis College Oral History Project collects, preserves, and disseminates the recollections of faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

Students in Topics in Public History undergo training in oral history methods, conduct interviews, and participate in the construction of this site. By doing so, they develop skills in the collection, preservation, and dissemination of oral history.

They also contribute to the institutional history of their college by making community members' memories available to current students, faculty and staff, prospective students, and alumni.

Each participant whose interview is available on this site has signed a release form. As a class project, the SFC Oral History Project operates with limited resources and will be developed each semester the course is offered. We hope you enjoy our efforts!

Who We Are

Project Director

Dr. Sara Rzeszutek
Associate Professor of History


History 3314: Topics in Public History


We will continue to collect oral histories each time Topics in Public History is offered. If you are an alumnus from any year or a long-serving faculty or staff member, we'd love to hear your stories!

If you are interested in being interviewed for the St. Francis College Oral History Project, please contact Sara

Rzeszutek at

Click here to contribute to St. Francis College.

Oral Histories

Dr. James Corrigan '60

April 10, 2014

Interviewed by Toniann Cospito, Matthew Delfino, and Taylor Watson

As an interviewer you must have the ability to think quickly on your feet, and be incredibly resilient. Luckily, with Dr. James Corrigan we ran out of time before discussion topics, and he never sugarcoated anything.

Beginning with the first clip (1:12-1:55) we immediately gain background information on Dr. Corrigan’s family, who have been involved with St. Francis College since 1880. These family members consisted of the 13 males and the two females (one who worked for a telephone company, and the other who became a Josephite nun), who attended after the college became co-ed in 1968.

Then in the clip from (2:18-5:18) we focused on Dr. Corrigan’s favorite pastimes and involvement within the college as a student when he lived in what he described as a “very different world.” Dr. Corrigan was a member of a fraternity, and was the manager for St. Francis’ basketball team. After learning this, as you may find in oral history interviews, we trailed off into a comical anecdote on a particular incident during the beginning of a game in his senior year. Dr. Corrigan discussed how prior to the St. John’s game, various members of his fraternity “liberated” St. John’s flag and door mat, which was quickly soiled by our fox terrier mascot; then we were quickly informed how strictly the Brothers regarded proper conduct from the students, as many were forced to attend a “closed retreat for misbehavior,” as a punishment. There appeared to be a strong nostalgic bond for Dr. Corrigan when discussing the basketball games, as he seemed to make many connections with his past. He then transitioned back to how many social meetings with women from St. Joseph’s were at the basketball games to make for a “lively social environment.” During Dr. Corrigan’s time as a student, they had “rabid” fans, as they had to make up for the fact that there were only 400 students in the school, yet today there are certainly no “rabid” fans at the games. This particular clip was enjoyable as it introduces us to Corrigan’s entertaining personality, and offers our first comparison of St. Francis from the past and today.

The next clip, from (5:51-8:45) was essential to understanding the religious transition here at St. Francis; simply put, we went from hard-core Roman Catholic to “where we are now,” or to somewhat observing a more contemporary form of Catholicism. Next, Dr. Corrigan mentioned how they used to go on “a religious retreat” to the church on Court Street for Easter services, which is nearly unimaginable today (with the commuter student body at least). Another key aspect of the religious transition was the academic transition from having to take one Theology course per semester to just one during your career (depending on your major). In addition to these many drastic changes, at one time there were 150 brothers, many of whom left in the early-mid 1970’s, in comparison to the handful we have today.

Next, in the clip (10:28-14:20,) we covered more culture of Dr. Corrigan’s time at St. Francis. We began with the discussion on his involvement in the army, where he offers us the exact date that he entered the army, June 9, 1963. Expanding on his tenure in the army, Dr. Corrigan talked about the “world [he] lived in,” and how Vietnam at one point was “someplace else,” but he quickly became all too familiar with this once distant place. Following this discussion we transitioned into the JFK assassination; and immediately you could see a shift in Dr. Corrigan’s expressions, becoming somewhat emotional, even from the mere mentioning of the event. Quickly we found that he “still can’t accept it,” especially when he told us how he trained snipers and that he believes there was no way Lee Harvey Oswald would have been able to assassinate Kennedy. Then continuing the theme with significant historical events during Dr. Corrigan’s time here, we began discussing 9/11 and how he was standing on the roof of St. Francis as he watched the second plane enter the towers; this visual became much more devastating when he informed us that he was part of counterterrorism in New York City from 1996 to that day, “the worst day of [his] life.”

Dr. Corrigan also addressed his best time here in the next clip (17:12-17:58). In these highlighted moments he speaks on the many Brothers and nurturing St. Francis men who were good mentors to him, and contrasted that there aren’t as many Brothers at the college today. Dr. Corrigan then describes this time where there were more alumni and more “tightly aligned” employees that, in his opinion, better understood the students. Dr. Corrigan lamented his feeling that there is still “a glue missing.”

In the next segment from (19:57-20:57) we focused the conversation on the change in technology, in teaching, and general communication in society. We jumped into the conversation of technology in the classroom, and how classes were once mainly dialogue rather than the present-day PowerPoint presentations, and this quickly brought us into the overall change in the atmosphere and physical structure of St. Francis College. We then learned that there once was a roof garden where students could sit and talk with faculty where the Genovesi Center now is. With this mentioned we then heard again about the loss of “this connectedness” or “the glue” of St. Francis.

Next from (23:10-25:20) Dr. Corrigan informed us about the change of St. Francis from the old Butler Street location (which they left in 1965-66,) that the alumni “adore[d]” since there was a “deep caring” between everyone. Continuing his theme of “the glue,” where today he only sees amongst the athletes and student government, we learn that this was amongst everyone at the Butler Street location.

Again during (26:21-28:15) we learn more about the culture and change during Dr. Corrigan’s time. There once was hardly any technology at all (no television, or radio in the building,) and there was a much more physically active community, essentially an entirely different way of living. Next, Dr. Corrigan talks about how in his fraternity it was mandatory to pledge in costumes, and how also he had to “clean the yellow line” with a toothbrush on Fulton Street with his fraternity; he then mentions that this would never happen today, but he lived in “a very different world” compared to today. Immediately after this we hear once again about the theme of the missing “glue,” since at St. Francis before there were people who picked up roles that were typically not included in their job description, but would do so just to better the school and environment.

To conclude the interview at (35:17-35:36) Dr. Corrigan offers suggestions for change at St. Francis College. Mainly he says to “bring back more dedicated alumni,” and others who address the college who can make it a “Franciscan operation” again.

After conducting our first oral history interview, it became quite apparent how indispensable this form of history is. It was interesting being able to videotape the interview rather than just record and transcribe it; since we were able see Dr. Corrigan’s physical gestures and facial expressions, and the pauses were better understood. We were very fortunate as a group to have Dr. James Corrigan as our interviewee; he held nothing back about his 54 years of dedication to St. Francis College. Even with his charismatic personality, entertaining expressions, and great humor, his passion and love for this college is obviously unwavering, especially with his stress on reforming the “glue” throughout the college. Thank you Dr. Corrigan for your contribution to the St. Francis oral history project archive, and your commitment to St. Francis College!

Robert Oliva '04

April 22, 2014

Interviewed by Carolina Gil and Ileisa Lambert

The Man Behind the Desk: Robert Oliva

Robert Oliva is a former Saint Francis student and now Alumni; class of 2004. He now works asthe Director of Community Partnership and Special Events in Saint Francis. He’s a native Brooklyn boy who grew up in the Dyker heights section of Brooklyn and now resides in the Bensonhurst of Brooklyn. He attended Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and that is where he met Mr. John McCullough. John McCullough worked in Xaverian High School and also worked in Saint Francis College as the director of general admissions. He had informed Mr. Oliva that there were great things going on in Saint Francis and it was a school that would be a perfect fit for him. With that said Robert went to the guidance office of Xaverian where his guidance counselor called Brother George Larkin to set up an appointment for Robert to visit the school and meet with Brother George.

This day marked a life changing experience for Oliva as he was handed a sheet of paper, which to his amazement included a full Presidential Scholarship. At this point Olivia knew that there was no other place to go to school other than St. Francis College. He spoke with such pleasure as he described the special feeling that he felt as he entered the freshman class in September of 2000. This feeling is something that he still feels today as a faculty member at, what he describes as, the best college. As a student Olivia was like many of us, he did not really know what he wanted to do as a major. Oliva was taken under his wing be a fellow St. Francis student who showed him the ropes around, and played a big part in Oliva choosing political science as his major. His growth at St. Francis college did not stop there, he not only became a member of the honor society, but as a sophomore he had become a mentor to freshman students. It seemed like Olivia was unstoppable as he was later inducted into the Political Science Honor Society and the History Honor Society, as well as being elected as president of the student government. It seemed like Oliva couldn't get any better, but he kept on thriving as a student through being appointed as president of the Duns Scotus Honor Society. He along with others apart of student government made a great difference to the student life at St. Francis College.

The excitement suddenly faded away however as the mood shifted as I brought up, a day that will forever go down in history; September 11, 2001. Realizing the day through a St. Francis alumni, Robert Olivia literally brought chills to me, as I listened on the edge of my seat. He spoke with such sincerity and vividness, as he described every aspect leading up to the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. 'The day was beautiful", he said. However, this beautiful day turned into chaos, despair, and now remembrance. He painted the picture of terror as he heard whispers around school of the unimaginable event. It was not until he went to the top floor with a fellow professor, and peered toward the Manhattan skyline, that he started to fully become aware of what had happened. He describes "two gaping holes" in the towers, which by his tone of voice I could tell that he, along with so many, will never forget this day. On such a tragic day, however, the St. Francis College community showed resilience in standing together when it was so easy to fall apart. This solemn day took the lives of 12 St. Francis Alumni. Olivia, truly touched me when he spoke about going home on this heartbreaking day, and hugging his dad after such a tragic event, this gesture could have spoken a thousand words. He explained that he was truly happy to see his dad because he knew that there were some many people that could not come home and see their loved one. But in tragedy came triumph as the student government at St. Francis raised money that was matched by a large cooperation.

It was no surprise that when again faced with the recent tragedy of the after math of Superstorm Sandy, that the St. Francis community came together once again, not only were meals provided to all students, but a hurricane relief fund was established to help raise money for families affected. The "Franciscan Spirit" ,as Olivia put it, was shown flawlessly.

I've come to believe that this "Small School of Big Dreams" is also the school that triumphs in the face of adversity. I must say that I am proud to go to such a great school that has continually used education as the backdrop to prosperity and the escape in tragedies.

Robert Olivia's ending his interview with advice to students at St. Francis College, really showed how truly amazing our faculty are in inspiring us as student not by establishing the path for us, but by guiding us to the path to allow us to lead ourselves. When asked about advice for students who are looking to succeed at St. Francis College Olivia stated important tips that I believe that everyone should stick by One being not to forget where you come from, another tip is remembering the past because it brought us where we are today, and the steps that we took to get to St. Francis College were taken for a reason. In a short note he wanted us to remember the past, embrace the present, and prepare for the future. He ended with a valuable lesson that I believe has been seen continually at St. Francis College. He stated that we must all pay it forward to the people who have helped you get to where you are today. If you always think of where you want to be and you don't settle, then you'll get to where you want to be, being positive and surrounding yourself with good people. And one of the most important things in achieving these goals is experiencing St. Francis College.

Carl Quigley '75

April 22, 2014

Interview by Natalia Rak and Liam Veazey

Segments of interest:

6:08-7:25: Decision; 7:30-9:00: Student Years; 9:30-14:50: Life at SFC; 15:20-18:50: Swimmer to Water Polo player; 18:55 -21:05: Becomes Coach; 27:45- 31:55: Transformation of Program

Carl Quigley has been a part of the Saint Francis College community since 1970. He occupies a small, cluttered office hidden in the forgotten staircase behind the Genovesi Athletic center. His office, where the oral history interview was conducted, resembles an archival storage room for the Saint Francis aquatics program. It enshrines his passion, his legacy, and his story at the college- the aquatics program. Carl has been involved with the college for over 40 years as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator. The true significance of Carl to the college is measured in the countless lives that he has directly influenced in a positive manner. Carl, like many other great individuals that have played such integral roles in the college’s development, understands the Franciscan experience of the college from the perspective as a student, athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator.

Carl Quigley’s story of how his relationship with the college began is a common Saint Francis College narrative. Carl was a child of Irish immigrant parents who instilled patriotic and working-class ideals in him. Mr. Quigley’s family came over from Ireland in the early 1950’s, to provide a better life for their children. Carl was born in 1953 in Astoria, Queens. His father joined the United States Army toward the end of the Korean War. After serving two years in the army Mr. Quigley’s father later joined the carpenters union. After the birth of his two sisters the family moved to Brooklyn. Coach Quigley’s younger sister, Mary, was born developmentally disabled and played an important role in his decision to attend St. Francis. All three kids went to private schools in Brooklyn and graduated. The financial restraints of blue-collar immigrant parents and the local proximity of the college to his Brooklyn home made Saint Francis College the right place for Carl in 1970. He remembers his father teaching him to never buy what you cannot pay for out of pocket. This was the value of Saint Francis College. It served as a quality educational opportunity for the strong working-class families of Brooklyn.

Carl’s legacy started as a commuter student but did not end there as he found his place in the school as a part of the aquatics family and never looked back. Carl is a man of the water. He arrived at Saint Francis as an accomplished Catholic high school swimmer. Staying close to home Mr. Quigley was able to pursue his aquatic passion while also assisting his family. St. Francis offered a scholarship and the tuition was reasonably priced. The College gave him a chance to both challenge himself academically and athletically. Carl states that he was a swimmer all his life, in high school he made the finals in the metropolitan championships and later became a lifeguard. Though he loved swimming he also had other athletic interests in baseball and basketball. During his time as a lifeguard he befriended a student from SFC who happened to be on the water polo team. He was lured to Saint Francis, in part, by the large contingency of New York City lifeguards that he worked with and attended the college. The building of the new pool tantalized and agonized Carl as it was literally “a hole in the ground” with no water in it during his freshman year. While the pool was under construction, the team traveled to Williamsburg to use the Metropolitan pool. This pool was less than ideal for practice as it was a narrow, shallow, four-lane pool. He later learned and fell in love with the game of water polo. It was at Williamsburg where Carl was introduced to water polo. At first, he hated the physical sport that seemed to shock the system of the lane swimmer. Eventually, a fellow student named Joe Vous encouraged him to join the team his sophomore year. The rest is history as Carl fell in love with the game. By playing with the New York Athletic Club in the summer and spring, Carl developed into a strong player in the matter of a few years. He became the de-facto team representative as he recalls walking through the cafeteria recruiting students with athletic builds to the team.

Carl reflected on his days competing for the college. He remembers being part of a very strong swim team with many great divers and swimmers. The members of the team came from across the city as many of them had competed against each other in Catholic High School swimming. In 1970 the swim team won the Metropolitan Swim Conference Division 2 championships. The team was full of highly committed, like-minded individuals.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the water polo team in the 1970s was not in the same place as the swim team. It struggled to survive as many local high school water polo programs died at the beginning of the 1970s. Bishop Loughlin and Saint Francis Prep had great programs that fueled the championship teams of the 1960s with local talent. These programs folded, and the talent reserve for the water polo team at Saint Francis dried up. Carl struggled just to keep the team eligible for competition with 7 or 8 guys on the roster playing against the likes of Yale or Army. Most of the players were swimmers who used the fall water polo season as preseason training for the upcoming swim season. The program needed a savior, and that was Carl Quigley.

Academically, Carl remembers going to a similar Saint Francis College that we see today; many of the classrooms are the same with a similar demographic representation in the student body. The identity of the College, according to Carl, has remained largely the same. However, the circumstances were slightly different as Carl remembers the tension that existed in the early ‘70s fueled by the Vietnam War draft. It was a divided nation, city, and college as individuals aligned themselves as hawks or doves, straight or hippy, black or white. All of these social, political, and racial tensions were catalyzed by the war. Carl was deemed ineligible for the draft as he had a high-blood pressure issue. This allowed his relationship with the college to continue rather than end prematurely. Carl was lucky to be able to continue his fight here in the pool with a ball rather than in the jungles of Vietnam with a gun.

Upon graduation, he became the coach of the water polo team. At the time of graduation, Carl felt like a bit of a lost soul. When he was offered the part time coaching job with a beginning salary of $500, he decided to give it a try for a few years. Little did he know that he would remain the coach until the year 2009. Initially, Carl struggled as a coach. It was difficult for the team to view him as a superior. The team lacked discipline as they viewed Carl as their friend. During the interview, Carl was pretty adamant in saying that he would never have made it as a coach if the drinking age had stayed at 18. The trips for tournaments were less about the serious business of competition and more about having fun away from the confines of home. Over the years, Carl grew as a coach through experience and self-education. In subsequent years, Carl with the help of Brother George Larkin in the admissions department created a vision to raise the level of academic and athletic success at the schools. The idea was to recruit highly motivated, intelligent, athletically gifted individuals from other states and other countries. With the advent of the internet, the door opened for Carl to turn the water polo team into an academic and athletic powerhouse. The rest is for history and those who decide to view the video. This interview with Mr. Carl Quigley will discuss many topics from Carl’s story including his experience as a student-athlete in the 1970s, his time as the water polo coach, what drove him to stay on for over 30 years, and how the school and water polo team have changed through the years. This is another unedited, unscripted example of the immense impact one man has had on Saint Francis College.

Dr. Gerald Galgan

April 15, 2014

Interview by Ethan Lanza, Andrea Tagliavia, and Michael Collis

Segments of particular interest: 2:52-4:28, 13:45-16:50, 23:40-27:51

Our group conducted an interview with Professor Galgan of the Philosophy Department. Going into the interview we had composed a number of questions that related to the history of Brooklyn Heights and SFC in particular. It was a pleasant surprise when we sat down with Professor Galgan and not only got direct answers to the questions we came in with, but also received a general history lesson with stories that will last a lifetime. Professor Galgan has been a professor at St. Francis College for nearly 49 years and it all started in the most unlikely of ways. Mr. Galgan originally applied for a job at another college, Iona, but they weren’t in need of a philosophy professor. The man he interviewed with told him to try applying to a small college in Brooklyn Heights, St. Francis College. Professor Galgan simply walked into the school, met with the head of the philosophy department who had originally mistaken him for a student, and was hired.

Professor Galgan was a great source of firsthand knowledge not only about SFC, but about major historical events in general. He openly talked about how he was a part of the Kennedy presidential campaign. He said that the assassination of JFK had a great influence on his life and how he views the world. He also was a part of the historical March on Washington during the Civil Rights Movement. He said he was tentative about attending the event at first because of fear of violence from anti-black groups, but he went through with the trip and spoke fondly of it. He was very insightful about how the Vietnam War had an influence on American society during his early years of teaching. He told us about the anti-war Pace students clashing with the pro-government workers and he told us a humorous story about a construction worker disrupting his class during the expansion of SFC.

Professor emphasized his love for the diversity at our college. He said that while the major ethnic groups attending the college have changed during his time at SFC, diversity has been a permanent fixture during his tenure. I really appreciated him talking about the diversity at SFC because I do believe that it makes us very unique and we’re extremely fortunate to have so many different backgrounds come together in unity to form our school. I also enjoyed how he was able to delve into his personal life in order to give us a better understanding of the society he was living in throughout his tenure.

This interview was very valuable because it afforded us the opportunity to get direct firsthand knowledge from an incredible individual. Anybody can read about JFK, the March on Washington, etc. but to hear an individual’s experience during these events and how it shaped their lives is priceless. We also gained good historical information about our school and surrounding area of Brooklyn Heights.

Professor Galgan had a lot of information to share that could not have been learned anywhere else. Professor Galgan had so much information and experience to share with us. Being that his time at Saint Francis goes back all the way to the 1960s is what helped make this interview so much more interesting. He was able to share knowledge and experience about the school that not too many people or professors can share. From his experience, to his ways of teaching, to his opinions on a variety of different topics, Professor Galgan had much to share for us.

Dr. Arnold Sparr

April 29, 2014

Interview by Alexander Rodriguez, Julijana Stefanovic, Erica Lakata

Segments of particular interest:0:00-1:13; 3:00-4:00;4:00-4:40; 5:00-5:40;5:40-6:33;9:50-10:40;13:40-14:40;17:38-18:55;12:40-14:00;15:58-17:33;17:45-19:03;19:11-20:04;21:56-23:3

For our Oral History project, we interviewed Dr. Sparr, an emeritus history professor at St. Francis College. Professor Sparr was very cooperative and had a great sense of humor, so the interview naturally flowed. We overcame many difficulties such as camera issues, an overhead light breaking while filming, and other common issues in oral history. However, these challenges added to the whole journey and certainly heightened our respect for oral historians. Interviewing Dr. Sparr was an absolute delight as he shared with us some of his fondest memories at St. Francis, his passion for teaching and New York City, and personal occurrences that were extremely moving. By the fifteen minute mark Dr. Sparr was including specific, unique details that truly placed us in the particular moment he was describing. Specifically, his account of 9/11 was remarkable. He explained the setting he was surrounded in: he taught students using the phones in the lobby to contact loved ones, and his thought process as the events unfolded. His words were compelling, sentimental, and it was in those seconds that we realized just how powerful oral history could be. It is an approach that stands outside of the narrow realm of the academy, presenting lessons that cannot be taught but only experienced.

While speaking to Dr. Sparr we were brought back in time. With his first person accounts of the Civil Rights Movement, it really made us feel as if we were there as a group. Oral history gives the hands on perspective instead of the textbook perspective. Talking to Dr. Sparr we were able to hear things we have read in textbooks at school. However, to hear it from a person that experienced all of this was the most exciting thing we have ever experienced. To hear what he saw, and how it had an impact on him really helped us feel as if we were there. Anyone can read and envision himself or herself there; however to hear it from someone that experienced it is very different.

Interviewing people can be very nerve racking; however, it’s an experience that can never be forgotten. Dr. Sparr was a great person to interview and am so thankful for his useful information to complete this project. Hopefully everyone that will be watching this video is impacted by some of Dr. Sparr’s words. We were able to interview someone who not only can speak on history, but also elaborate and give stories behind every moment. With this oral history project, we saw things that were hidden from textbooks and truly experienced the greatness of history.

Bro. Owen Sadlier, OSF '69

April 30, 2016

Interview by Calvin Brice, James DeLisi, and Vinod Maharaj

Brother Owen Sadlier has over the years served as both student and professor at St. Francis College. Being a member of the class of 1969, and then serving as a Professor of Philosophy since 1996, Brother Owen has had a first person perspective on the changes of St. Francis College directly, seeing the development of our college community change into what we see today. Ranging from the technology students use, to the the curriculum from which the students learn from, St. Francis College has changed greatly with the times, and will continue to change in order to accommodate the needs of students from now on towards the future.

Born in Brooklyn in 1944, Brother Owen Sadlier first attended the St. Rose of Lima School, graduating in 1958, and after that, St. Francis Prep until his graduation in 1962. From 1963, Brother Owen would take his first steps in becoming a Franciscan Brother by entering the Novitiate of the Franciscan Brothers, in which he took his First Vows in 1965, and eventually settling with the Scholasticate of the Franciscan Brothers in Brooklyn Heights. Brother Owen would then attend St. Francis College, graduating in 1969 with a B.A in English, and further pursued other accolades in his academic career with an English M.A from the University of Notre Dame, as well as an M.A in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America. Brother Owen would teach at several institutions throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s before returning to St. Francis College, including that of St. Bartholomew School, St. Francis Prep, St. Anthony’s High School, and St. Joseph’s High School. (2:00)

Being a member of the St. Francis community, Brother Owen has seen some major changes at St. Francis College, such as the difference in the curriculum used in teaching students in their various majors and fields of study, and also in the technology, as laptops and tablets have become commonplace in the stead of notebooks. Other important elements and changes to St. Francis College include the diversity within the campus itself, which has changed greatly over the years. Brother Owen also remarked how serious students as St. Francis College are with their education, and respects those that balance both school and their jobs in order to receive their respective degrees. (15:30) Brother Owen remarked that his interaction with the students has become an “adventure of ideas”, and he is greatly blessed from the impact his students have had on him.

Listening to Brother Owen speaking about his life and time at Saint Francis College, there were many things that stood out to us. The first thing that stood out to us was when he recalled the various individuals who had a profound impact on his life and how he tries in his own life to model their character and behaviors after. These individuals were Saint Francis of Assisi, Doctor Frank J. Macchiarola, Mary Macchiarola, Doctor Gerald Galgan, Professor Nino Lajewely, Professor Joseph Carbeino, and Professor Francis Slade. (19:00) The second thing that stood out to us was when he was talking about the roles and principles of the faith; how you have to go out practice those principles, not just entertain those ideas. What I found interesting in this conversation was taking place was when he mentioned what his father said about religion, saying that you never argue with someone over religious differences, you always try to find common ground, and you never use your faith as a whip over someone. (11:48) The third thing that stood out to us being that was when he was talking about the teaching profession, that it was not just about teaching a lesson but it was about doing the service to families, and that there is always a family in need (14:20). Brother Owen was once asked “Don’t you get tired of teaching and reading the same text?” He responded by saying he has “never had a bad day teaching”, and new students bring fresh minds to his work, renewing the material every time. He mentions that there is give and takes in the teacher profession and that he has been blessed by his students even more than what he has given them. He embraces and accepts the diversity of the student body, and as he gets to know his students, he has been exposed to different parts of the world, different languages, and has learned from them. What he finds most rewarding about the teaching profession is engaging and developing students’ minds through reading and studies, and also the idea of sharing beliefs and insights, as there is no experience like it.

In all, Brother Owen Sadlier has contributed much to the academic, religious, and college community in his efforts as both as Franciscan Brother, and also as a professor in Philosophy. His devotion to academic pursuits, as well as the positive influences continues to greatly benefit all he has taught. He truly follows the teachings of St Francis through his devotion to teaching all students who come into St Francis college not only by teaching subjects in but also by teaching us valuable lessons about life in general. His door is always open to anyone who comes to his office. He has shown us, through his experience, the richness of not only his personal experience but the richness of great amount of teachers we have to influence a great teacher and, more importantly, a great person. We truly are blessed as community. He was such a compelling individual that we had to ask him what he thought about the current state of the world today. While Brother Owen worries of the future in a “world of confusion, principles, and integrity”, he is confident in the students of St. Francis College in changing the world in a positive light, and as long as students at the College continue to take their education seriously and beyond, he is absolutely sure the future is in good hands with our generation, and many other generations to come.

Dr. Paddy Quick

April 25, 2016

Interviewed by Jacqueline Izzo, Matthew Masone, and Frederick Pennacchio

Dr. Paddy Quick has been involved with Saint Francis College since 1985, for 31 years. She was born in England and went to Oxford University to receive her undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She received her MA and her PHD in Economics at Harvard University.

(1:25-3:15) Dr. Paddy Quick addressed how she arrived at Saint Francis College. As seen in the clip, she elaborates on how she moved from England to the United States for school. She explains how she was 5 months pregnant, strapped on a tight girdle, and interviewed for the position at Saint Francis College. She then began teaching when her child was 3 months old. Her husband was a professor at another college, and together they taught on alternate schedules to be able to raise their family on Long Island. She raises the point that this was when she became the Department Chair of Economics.

(4:06-5:30) In this clip, Dr. Quick was asked what her goals were in teaching. She states that she was one of the first female students in Harvard to receive a fellowship. At Harvard all of her expenses were paid and she graduated with no debt. She comically adds, “which is unheard of today”.

(6:00-6:29) Dr. Paddy Quick was told to discuss women’s involvement at the school, since she was involved immensely in the women’s civil rights movement. Saint Francis was founded as an all boys school with very little involvement of women. When she began at St. Francis College there was little involvement of women. Thus, she founded the Women’s Caucus at Saint Francis College. The women involved in the Caucus would meet up and discuss school politics, poetry, and have group meetings. She ends this point, proudly stating that women’s involvement at the college has improved.

(7:45-8:33) Maternity leave is a topic that Dr. Paddy Quick is very passionate about. She says that maternity leave should not be a favor by the college, but rather a given right. It is a fight that the college has failed at and she wishes that the college would grant paid maternity leave to the faculty before the state passes the law.

(8:55-14:05) In this clip we were curious to know what her vision of where Saint Francis College is heading; including academics, faculty, and the building as a whole. She begins how there is a disagreement on where the curriculum is heading on regards of avoiding job training. She spoke about how it is vital to remain a liberal arts school in order have a broader education. This is not only a problem at Saint Francis, but all over the United States and the world. There is a tight divide with the faculty at SFC on whether to change the curriculum. She also adds, that Saint Francis College is very financially stable and secure, and students and faculty don’t have to worry about the future of SFC.

All in all, we are losing a valuable member of the SFC community. Don’t fret though! Dr. Paddy Quick shall be moving to the Brooklyn neighborhood and will stay involved in the SFC community. The interview with Dr. Paddy Quick was inspiring and interesting. We were not aware of the involvement and influence she had on the SFC community. We were also not aware of the impact she had on the adjuncts unions, maternity leave, curriculum, and the women's caucus. A special thanks to Dr. Paddy Quick for her dedication to SFC, rock on!

Dr. Geoffrey Horlick

April 25, 2016

Interviewed by Yasmeen Hassan, Erika Lopez, and Ruby Sejour

7:00 - 9:57

Interviewer (Ruby): How has Saint Francis impacted your personal and professional life?

Dr. Horlick: “I think how it affected my personal life is that (pause) I found the right spot for me. I am not a researcher, I’m not really interested in the fine tuning of certain items that affect my discipline. I’m more interested in my involvement with students and, this college allowed me to, because it’s a small college to have relationships with my students in terms of small classes, getting to know them, I still hear from students that I had thirty years ago. You know In fact this Friday, this was not from St. Francis but years before when I taught at Queens College. One of my students who graduated in the 1970’s called me out of the blue and said “Dr. Horlick are you still at St. Francis college?” And I said yes of course he knew I was here and he says “let’s meet for lunch” and I’m meeting him this Friday, I haven’t seen him in thirty years.”

Interviewer (Ruby): How does one get in contact after thirty years?

Dr. Horlick: “Well he knew I was here so he emailed me, I guess he went on the Saint Francis site, I really don’t know my email is available I guess on the website and he knew taught here so he must’ve looked me up, but I mean so the school in terms of what the school offers to me I like being in a small school. I had been to many big universities, I like the small school, I like the fact that I can interact with many other people and other disciplines. Because when you’re at a big school you often find that your only meeting faculty members from your own college, or division, or department. When you’re at a smaller school I’m on committees with people from the philosophy department or the history department, and you know fine arts or whatever so I like that quality.

Interviewer (Ruby): So the diversity of it?

Dr. Horlick: Yeah you meet other people, and also it’s just a nicer atmosphere. And theres a different pressure, again this school and the thing I like about this school is that it focuses on teaching ability, teaching effectiveness. To get promoted, and I was on the promotion attendee committee for many years, but to get promoted you do have to show scholarly work but it’s not the only thing that’s going to be your ‘make or break’ in you career as a professor here. Your teaching effectiveness it the most important thing. And (pause) I guess I’m doing okay for 36 years (laughter)”

Interviewer (Ruby): Yeah for 36 years I figure your doing quite alright (laughter)


Dr. Horlick enjoys the fact St. Francis is offers a small school environment, which has allowed him to interact with faculty members from different departments, not just the accounting field. Furthermore it enabled him to develop valuable relationships with his students over the years, which he feels has helped him to make an impact in their lives.

He taught at big universities before, such as the University of Maryland, Delaware, Queens College, Hofstra, and St John’s, which makes his teaching career rich in terms of experience. He has been involved in the American Accounting Association, which he feels has helped him in his position as chairperson of the accounting department, dealing with issues confronting accounting education. It keeps him updated in the field of accounting as a professional practice, which is something that he thinks is important in any professional field.

Reminiscing on his years as a student, he feels as though his experiences have shaped his teaching style. He mentions having good and bad teachers from which he learned a lot, which is why he tries his best to be fair with his students. He gets frustrated when students don’t put in the same amount of effort that he puts into teaching because he cares about teaching effectively. He feels that those students majoring in accounting should be committed to learning and students in general should take responsibility of their education. He is open to giving opportunities to his students to prove themselves by giving them handouts, class assignments and homework to better understand the material.

He is concerned with the best way to teach content to his students and for them to be able to apply it to accounting. Furthermore he has developed masters programs in accounting to prepare students to pass the CPA exam which is the ultimate goal. He acknowledges that in every field the student has to be determined to learn and put in effort.

Dr. Erez Shochat

April 11, 2018

Interviewed by Shaiful Alam, Annais Cummiskey, and Gabriella Nobrega Grissi Cardoso

Professor Shochat is a graduate of St. Francis College, Class of 1997, and current professor of mathematics. A native of Israel, Shochat decided to attend St. Francis for its Division I athletics and its good academics. He was especially interested in the STEM field, particularly in computer science, physics, and his ultimate major, mathematics. Moving from Israel to the United States was a big change but he made the most of the opportunities to get involved on campus. During his undergraduate years, he was a member of the Duns Scotus Honor society and Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity while a co-captain and goalie of the St. Francis Division I soccer team. After graduation he worked as a tutor at the St. Francis College Academic Enhancement Center for one semester.

Professor Shochat spoke animatedly about his experiences on the soccer team. During his freshman and sophomore years, the St. Francis soccer team missed the playoffs by one game. Even though their training facilities were not ideal, the team continued to work hard and grow, attracting international talent. This resiliency and dedication resulted in two championship titles, which marked the beginning of a four-year winning streak by the St. Francis men’s soccer team. Today, the soccer team is a dynasty, dominating the northeast conference. Professor Shochat and his former teammates helped to create this legacy, laying the foundation for success with their perseverance and hard work. Not only was Shochat dominating on the soccer fields, but he was also a dedicated student. This dedication is reflected through his near perfect marks. Shochat credits his academic success to the personal attention and encouragement of his professors. The friendly professional atmosphere and intimate classroom experience would ultimately persuade him to return as a professor.

After graduation, he pursued a Ph.D. at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research focused on Mathematical Logic, with particular attention on Model Theory. During his graduate years, he worked for four years as an adjunct professor at Medgar Evers College. Originally unsure if he wanted to teach or go into the research field, his teaching experiences at Medgar Evers helped him realize his career path. He loved engaging with his students as well as inspiring a lasting understanding and love for mathematics. While working on his Ph.D., Shochat decided to return to St. Francis, accepting a position in the Mathematics Department in September 2002. He was very happy to return to the community that he considered home.

Shochat has been involved with the college for over 20 years as a student-athlete, alumni, professor, and administrator. With this variety of perspectives, he’s had the unique opportunity to witness the evolution of St. Francis throughout the years. He mentioned how excited he is with the renewed spirit that President Martinez-Saenz has inspired, and with recent athletic expansions, such as the new soccer fields, and with the math department’s plans for collaborating with other schools (in the hopes of creating a master’s degree program) as well as participating in various math conferences.

During his career at St. Francis, Shochat helped develop the math department, introducing several new math courses. Along with Philosophy Professor Sophie Berman, he helped develop the course, “The Infinite,” which examines the philosophical and mathematical notions of the infinite. He also developed a course that uses the mathematica software to demonstrate various calculus concepts. Not content with only juggling the rigorous demands of teaching, Professor Shochat also set out to get involved with the athletic community. Though no longer saving goals for the St. Francis soccer team, Shochat got involved at the administrative level, now serving as the Faculty Athletic Representative. In fact, at this year’s athletic banquet, he was named “Administrator of the Year.” Meanwhile, he also coaches goalies on his son’s club soccer team. To some, this schedule may seem daunting, but Professor Shochat thrives. He is happy to give back to the community that helped shape him and one that he hopes to make even better throughout the years.

Dr. Lynne Jackson

April 11, 2018

Interviewed by Alexander Baum, Dominic Fattorusso, George Prezioso, and Nicholas Williams

After spending the first two and a half minutes discussing her dense background in the communications field, along with the handful of degrees she’s earned, Dr. Lynne Jackson transitioned to explaining her connection with the Brooklyn community. Although she’s had plenty of opportunities to travel the world, she’s always considered Brooklyn to be a sanctuary; which is a testament to what’s kept her here for just over three decades. Furthermore, Dr. Jackson also compliments the sense of community that is provided here at St. Francis College and of course, to the Borough of Brooklyn itself. She explains that the sense of trust, respect, and integrity of the institution from the community is what makes this place so unique and so special. As a result, when asked if she would go back and change anything over the course of her career, she delightfully said she couldn’t have pictured spending her career any other way. Brooklyn is easily among the most demographically diverse places in the world. It also explains why Dr. Jackson referred to it as a sanctuary for so many people; being that people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities can come here and be embraced for who they are and what they stand for. Similarly, it serves as a larger representation of the Franciscan values of love, respect, humility, inclusiveness that are so prevalent throughout our campus. This same sanctuary was witnessed again during life changing events like the Terrorist Attacks of September 11th and Hurricane Sandy. Dr. Jackson reflects on these traumatic experiences and how it impacted the St. Francis community. With many SFC graduates working on Wall Street at the time, she vividly recalls those same alumni walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, returning to St. Francis College, in what is one of the most traumatic experiences in the history of our country. Again, that same sanctuary-type atmosphere was exemplified again during the nightmarish Superstorm Sandy that affected the homes of students across the city. Although Sandy impacted a smaller margin of students compared to the Terrorist Attacks on September 11th, the students, faculty, administrators, and alumni still wanted to be here. It explains the tight knit connection that Dr. Lynne Jackson had with St. Francis College and it’s a testament to the Franciscan education provided at this institution. Despite how far the world takes us after graduation, St. Francis College will always be considered our home. Once a Terrier-always a Terrier!

Madalyn Hanley

April 11, 2018

Interviewed by Priscilla Badalamenti, Kadeem Patrick, and Elizabeth Sullivan

Madalyn Hanley is the Chief Information Officer at St. Francis College. Mrs. Hanley is also a SFC alumni. Mrs. Hanley went to the school from 1976 to 1980. She loved her time at St. Francis College and still loves it today.

When Madalyn Hanley decided to apply to college it was during a time when not many people went away to college. Being from Brooklyn Mrs. Hanley’s father wanted her to go to a college that was in Brooklyn, and that's how she decided to go to SFC. Madalyn Hanley did not come to SFC alone: some of her best friends from high school also came. Mrs. Hanley loved her freshman year so much she convinced that her boyfriend (now husband), who was a student at Brooklyn College, transfer to SFC.

After Madalyn Hanley graduated from SFC she worked right around the corner at a gas company. She got this job from the career center at SFC. While working for this company Mrs. Hanley always had great relations with SFC. When she decided she was ready to retire, SFC asked her if she would consider to work for them as the Chief Information Officer. At first she declined, but SFC convinced her to take the job.

A lot has changed at St. Francis College and Brooklyn Heights since Madalyn Hanley was a student. SFC now has student lounges, whereas before students could only go to the cafeteria. SFC also has a lot more technology equipment. Brooklyn Heights had a lot fewer stores and there use to be a field! Two things that sadly have not changed in Brooklyn Heights is that there is no parking and the rent is still high.

Madalyn Hanley has left a lasting impact of St. Francis College. We are so thankful that we were given the opportunity to hear and document her story. We hope you enjoy hearing her story as well.

Monica Michalski

April 11, 2018

Interviewed by Massimo Ferrigno, Nemanja Pljevancic, and Nicholas Vitrano

Interview Segments of Interest: 0:00-2:31, 2:34-4:42, 4:43-5:22, 5:23-8:57, 8:58-10:50, 14:48-15:15, 16:56-19:26.

Monica Michalski, Associate Dean at St. Francis College, entered St. Francis in 1996 and graduated in 2001. Monica’s college experience had been marked by periods of lasting success, due to her willingness and desire to utilize the resources of St. Francis College in the form of faculty, professors, and extracurricular opportunities. Our interview with Monica was most interesting not only because she represented an exemplary student at St. Francis College, but additionally, due to her early understanding of the benefits provided by networking and relationship building, subsequently catapulting her to achieving her personal professional interests upon graduating at St. Francis College in 2001. During the initial segment of our interview (0:00-2:31), Monica had discussed being a first generation child in the United States. As a daughter of Polish immigrants, Monica was compelled to navigate the application experience alone, as she was the first child in her family within the U.S. to receive an undergraduate degree (although both of her parents attended university in Poland). Monica had arrived at the decision to attend St. Francis College due to two factors. First, the college had visited her alma mater, St. George Academy, in the East Village in Manhattan. Secondly, Monica strongly considered St. Francis College because of its proximity to her home: she took into account the dynamic between her and her family, although she had been considering other universities upstate. Monica’s collegiate experience had started with her interaction with the prior Dean of Admissions, Brother George, who had made Monica feel welcomed and valued at St. Francis College, and was responsible for assembling her freshman year schedule.

Monica had then chronicled her choice of major and varying professional interests (2:34-4:42). Monica’s major of choice, which was psychology, derived from her interests in human beings and their respective functions and behaviors throughout the course of their lives. As a freshman at St. Francis College, Monica had taken a general psychology course, which she enjoyed, but thought had been too broad to encapsulate or guide her interest in the major.

During Monica’s second semester, she had taken a child development course, which consequently yielded feelings of elation and excitement concerning the stages of human development. At this point in time, Monica had pondered becoming a clinical psychologist, or possibly even a criminal psychologist. Monica’s interests in criminal psychology led her to have a concentration in criminal justice as a psychology major, but over time, her interests in criminal psychology waned. Monica eventually realized she was more enthralled reading about criminals and criminal behaviors rather than working with criminal populations professionally. During this course of time, Monica would consult the St. Francis College Career Center and receive an internship opportunity at Sony Music, and an employment opportunity at the ESRB Company, an organization dedicated to rating video game content. Upon receiving work experience, Monica realized she was intrigued by the integration of psychology and business. Monica then began researching programs for graduate school, one of which was the Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Monica’s accrued experience in the workforce and in school had emboldened an already present interest within her, by assisting individuals within the helping professions.

Our interview had then revisited her interest in people, as we had then asked her if she had always enjoyed interacting with people, to which she said yes. Although Monica had a propensity to be sociable with others, entering St. Francis College as a freshman, Monica was profoundly nervous and shy. Nonetheless, Monica had always been energized by the presence of others. Monica has always had an innate desire to assist people as best as she could. At this portion of the interview (5:23-8:57), the core focus of what we believe the St. Francis College student base should adhere to while undergraduate students, is revealed. We had asked Monica if she had enlisted in any extracurriculars while at St. Francis College; During Monica’s freshman year at St. Francis College, she had abstained from joining any clubs. During Monica’s second year at St. Francis College, Monica joined the Psychology Club. While participating in the Psychology Club, Monica enjoyed forging relationships with her peers, participating in club sanctioned bake sales, and even offered her own analyzes and observations in regards to the club, eventually ascending to the Presidency of the Psychology Club. Monica believes that if a student chooses not to immerse themselves in extracurricular activities, then they are not benefiting entirely as to how St. Francis College could provide for them.

Monica would also eventually become the Vice President of the National History Honors Society at St. Francis College. The catalyst for her ascendency to this rank began with someone she dated who happened to be a history major. Monica then began to take a series of history classes, lastly deciding to minor in history. Monica’s collegiate record also included her becoming the President of the Psychology Honors Society.

We then asked Monica what she had valued most about her undergraduate years at St. Francis College (14:18-15:15). Monica regarded her personal transformation at St. Francis College as being one of the foremost experiences to value. Additionally, Monica valued her collegiate experiences because they allowed her to develop leadership qualities, enhance her résumé, and broaden networking opportunities with various individuals. While at St. Francis College, Monica learned how to be confident, grasp a sense of security in herself, and appreciate the personable nature of the staff and faculty. Monica regarded the former President of St. Francis College and former Chair of the History Department, Dr. Frank Macchiarola, as being one of the most impactful mentors during her undergraduate years.

Monica had recalled one experience in particular, which she had told to St. Francis College freshman of the National Honors Society. When Monica had been a member of the National History Honors Society, she had represented the Society at an event, distributing pamphlets to all those who had entered. The college President had then approached her, who also happened to be a former history major and alumnus of St. Francis College, and asked if she had decided on choosing a graduate school, to which Monica said she was considering Columbia University. Dr. Macchiarola then requested Monica’s presence at his office the following Monday so that he could write Monica a letter of recommendation to Columbia University, Monica was ecstatic. Monica was assured that if she had not motivated herself by socializing and forming relationships, success would not have been possible. Monica believed that without participating in various clubs at St. Francis College, she would have never prospered.

Lastly, we asked Monica what resources she would have liked to utilize while at St. Francis College, that she had not while there for her undergraduate studies (16:56-19:26). While at St. Francis College, Monica was not able participate in the study abroad programs offered by St. Francis College due to financial constraints. Monica then continued by expressing her concerns of what she notices of the students of St. Francis College. Monica hoped that the students at St. Francis College become aware or start utilizing programs such as tutoring or support assistance. Monica also hopes that students begin to consider the possibility of researching alongside professors, as Monica had done in years prior. If students were to research alongside their professors, they would accrue the knowledge needed for conducting studies if need be. Students might also benefit from being published in a journal, or some other academic resource displayed to the public at large. Monica Michalski is the superlative example of a resourceful and successful student, one of the many St. Francis College produces. For incoming students, current students, and outgoing students, if there is anything to extrapolate from this interview, it is to recognize the array of resources around you, and begin connecting them, and in doing so, bolster potential opportunities for yourself, so that you may lead a successful future, one determined by yourself, just as Monica Michalski has done.