More Than 400 to Line Up for Spring Commencement
St. Francis College is proud to announce that more than 400 students will again graduate at Spring Commencement, keeping up the record setting growth from a year ago. Joining this class at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Tuesday, May 14 will be two-time Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants and Founder of Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy, Justin Tuck, who will deliver the Keynote Address.
Marilyn Gelber, President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation will receive one honorary degree, while another intended for Dominick P. DePaola, DDS, Ph.D. '64, a leader in the fields of dentistry and nutrition, will be awarded posthumously after his recent, sudden death.
The valedictorian for the May graduation ceremony will be Josephine Pagliughi ‘13, who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA as a candidate in the Five Year Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Program in Accounting. She is President of the Accounting society and a member of the Accounting Honors society. Pagliughi was also the recipient of a National Grid Scholarship and Internship. "It was such a surprise to be named this year’s valedictorian but it is also such a great honor,” said Pagliughi. “I am now looking forward to graduation more than ever." After graduation, Pagliughi will sit for her CPA exam and has accepted a position with O'Connor Davies LLP which will begin in the fall.
The Commencement celebration begins a day earlier with a Baccalaureate Mass on Monday, May 13 at St. Charles Borromeo Church at 21 Sydney Place at 6:00pm. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Brian Jordan, OFM, Director of Campus Ministry. He will be joined by concelebrant Fr. Matthew A. Pravetz ‘69, OFM.
Other students graduating this year:
Rajko Kisdobranski ’13, a double major in Information Technology and Mathematics has been accepted into the prestigious Computer Science MSc program at ETH Zurich. Kisdobranski, whose brother Filip ’10 graduated from St. Francis and now works at Deutsche Bank in London, will be combining both majors seamlessly as he focuses his graduate work on Information Security which is very math-intensive.
Nicole Terzulli ’13, who will receive a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting, also majored in Management with a concentration in Finance, and held a Minor in Economics. Upon graduation she will begin working at a large global investment bank. Outside of the classroom, Nicole was a member of the Duns Scotus Honor Society, the International Economics Honor Society and the Economics Club. "Being involved in extracurricular activities helped build my leadership capabilities; it also taught me how to be a team player," said Terzulli. "The challenges I faced helped prepare me for my internship and job interviews."
Zara Mahmud ’13, a Communication Arts Major with a concentration in Advertising, will be attending Emerson College next year in an accelerated program to pursue a Master’s Degree in Global Marketing, Communications and Advertising. She is President of the Duns Scotus Honor Society as well as the St. Francis College Honors Program and the Film Appreciation Society. She is also an active member of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communications Honors Society.
Playing defensive end for the New York Giants, Justin Tuck has emerged as the leader and face of a defense that consistently finishes among the league’s best. Captain of the Giants’ defense, Tuck has helped propel the Giants to two Super Bowls victories and is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. A graduate of Notre Dame University, Tuck has been named to the Pro-Bowl squad two times and was recently named as one of the Top 100 Players in the NFL.
Outside of football, Tuck’s philanthropic passion is helping children overcome illiteracy. He and his wife Lauran have developed Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy for the children in his hometown community in Alabama, as well as children in New York and New Jersey. Tuck’s program donates money and thousands of new books to underserved children to help instill the ideals of reading at an early age. Tuck is also a member of Ronnie Lott’s All Stars Helping Kids. In furthering his passion for literacy, Tuck penned his first children’s book, “Home-Field Advantage” in 2011.
Marilyn Gelber is the President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the first and only community foundation focused exclusively on Brooklyn. With the motto “Do Good Right Here” the Brooklyn Community Foundation provides a unique philanthropic vehicle for giving back to Brooklyn. Before creating the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Ms. Gelber was the first Executive Director of Independence Community Foundation, which made more than $70 million in grants before its conversion to the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
Prior to entering the field of philanthropy, Ms. Gelber was a partner in her own planning and environmental consulting firm. This followed 28 years in the public sector as an urban planner, environmental strategist and administrator. Ms. Gelber was the first woman Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff to the Borough President of Brooklyn, and Director of Neighborhood Strategy Planning for the New York City Department of City Planning.
In 2001-2002, Ms. Gelber served as the Brooklyn member of the New York City Planning Commission, and was the New York City Comptroller’s appointee to the New York City Procurement Policy Board. She was a Mayoral appointee to the New York City Water Board, and was the founding chair of the Committee on Foundations of the Community Bankers Association of New York State, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York where she chaired the City Connect Committee.
A life-long resident of New York City, Marilyn Gelber and her family are residents of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Dominick P. DePaola, DDS, Ph.D. '64
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Dominick P. DePaola received a B.S. degree from St. Francis College in 1964 and a D.D.S. degree from New York University in 1969. Following dental school, Dr. DePaola completed a general dentistry internship at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City. Subsequently, Dr. DePaola earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1983, Dr. DePaola was appointed dean of the Dental School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, before being appointed Dean of the New Jersey Dental School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. During his tenure in San Antonio, Dr. DePaola also served as the Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. DePaola held the position of President and Dean of the Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas for six years at which time the College merged with The Texas A&M University System. Dr. DePaola is Past President of The Texas A&M University System Baylor College of Dentistry.
Dr. DePaola was also President Emeritus of The Forsyth Institute in Boston, where he served for ten years as President and CEO. Most recently, he was Professor of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Professor and Academic Dean at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale.
Dr. DePaola passed away on April 16.