SFC Celebrates Spring 2014 Graduates
“Turn your ambitions into reality,” urges Valedictorian
Valedictorian Matthew Delfino ’14 delivered a spirited and emotional address to nearly 400 of his classmates during the St. Francis College Spring Commencement held May 13 at Brooklyn Academy of Music.
“Embrace your own futures. Define your own success and turn your ambitions into reality,” said Delfino, who also urged them to be present in the moment and live a life with passion and purpose.
Retiring professor Dr. Francis J. Greene, who spent the last 46 years teaching at St. Francis, offered the Commencement speech to the graduates. Dr. Greene stressed the value of a liberal arts education, saying that it, “has the potential to set us free from all that conspires to reduce our humanity.”
The 2014 Commencement was also the beginning of a promising new chapter in the history of the College. St. Francis awarded its first Master of Arts Degrees in Applied Psychology for students who completes the five-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s program.
The graduate degree in Psychology joins the already successful Master’s Degree programs in Accounting.
In addition, honorary degrees were awarded to two Brooklyn leaders who have greatly enhanced the lives and well-being of thousands of Brooklynites; Pamela Brier (President, Maimonides Medical Center) and Regina Myer (President, Brooklyn Bridge Park).
The Commencement celebration began a day earlier with Baccalaureate Mass on Monday, May 12 at St. Charles Borromeo Church. Student Government President Anne Edouard ’14 and President of the Alumni Board of Directors Joseph Hemway ’84 both spoke at the Mass.
Other students graduating this year:
Lorianna Colon ’14
Lorianna Colon ’14 is the first graduate from the College’s new BA/MA in Applied Psychology. She has been accepted to and will next work toward her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Albany, SUNY. She is a member of the College’s Honors Program as well as the Psi Chi Chapter of the International Honor Society in Psychology. “St Francis College has become a second home to me over the past five years,” said Colon. “The encouragement and support I received from faculty and friends at the college were instrumental in my decision to pursue further graduate study.”
Michael Garay ‘14
Michael Garay ’14 is a Communication Arts Major with aspirations of becoming a TV reporter. He has reported, written and edited more than a dozen stories for SFCTV, which produces online news for the College, worked as a sideline reporter for the Terrier Sports Network covering St. Francis athletics, and written SFCToday, the student newspaper. In addition, Michael interned for CBS Sports and WCBS. He is also a member of the College’s Honors Program. “The encouragement of the Communication Arts staff provided me with the courage, character, and commitment I needed to realize my goals and dreams as an aspiring broadcast journalist,” said Garay. (Watch Michael’s story on Professor Augusta Palmer)
Kristen Harney ‘14
Kristen Harney ‘14 completed the two-year Master’s in Accounting Program at the College and will now begin working at O’Connor Davies while she studies for her CPA exam. Kristen decided to pursue her Master’s after being hired as a temp in her company’s accounting department. For her high grades Kristen earned the Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy Award Catholics Accountants Guild. “My time at St. Francis was wonderful. The accounting professors are very hands on and I felt I learned a great deal in the two years I studied at St. Francis,” said Harney.
Matthew Delfino ‘14
Matthew Delfino ’14 is a Political Science major with a Minor in Philosophy and a 4.0 GPA. Early in his career at St. Francis, Matthew participated in the Ladders to Leaders program run by the Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD). He earned an internship with Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory company, and upon graduation will begin working full time for the company as a consultant with their state and local government practice. During his time at St. Francis, Matthew also went to London to assist the Surrey Heath Youth council organize events leading up to the Olympics. He interned for two summers at UBS financial services and participated in two Model United Nations Conferences with other St. Francis students. Matthew also was a member of the track and field team for two years.
Francis J. Greene, Ph.D.
Professor Francis J. Greene, Ph.D. began teaching at St. Francis College 46 years ago. He served as Chair of the Department of Foreign Language, Fine Arts and International Cultural Studies for 31 years. In addition Dr. Greene helped found the College’s Honors Program and served as moderator for the Duns Scotus Honor Society for more than 30 years.
Professor Greene also spent the past five years as co-Director of the Study Abroad program, with Fine Arts Professor Jennifer Wingate, helping to greatly expand the number of studies studying in foreign countries.
Dr. Greene’s research originally focused on 19th century architecture and has developed into a growing love of gothic work. He has conducted extensive research into the origins of stained glass windows throughout the cathedrals of Brooklyn.
Professor Greene will now become Professor Emeritus at St. Francis and plans to teach a culturally based Honors Symposium in the Fall.
As President of Brooklyn Bridge Park since 2007, Regina Myer has presided over the creation and construction of the jewel on the Brooklyn waterfront. She oversees all aspects of the 85-acre Park, including design, construction, maintenance and operation. Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the most significant public investments on the waterfront outside of Manhattan in the 21st century. Under her leadership, the Park has been the recipient of numerous awards from such organizations as the Municipal Art Society and the American Institute of Architects.
Prior to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Ms. Myer was the senior vice president for planning and design at the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Planning Department, where she directed the comprehensive redevelopment for two miles of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn for high density office and apartments and numerous neighborhood rezoning efforts. She received her BA and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and resides in Park Slope with her husband and two children.
Pamela S. Brier
Pamela Brier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Maimonides Medical Center since 2003, serving the hospital first for 8 years as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.
At Maimonides, a 700-bed major teaching hospital, Ms. Brier has been a staunch advocate for the highest standards of safe, compassionate, and patient-focused care. Maimonides has earned a national reputation for developing an innovative care management model program for patients with serious mental illnesses and other chronic diseases. Maimonides has also gained a widespread reputation for medical excellence and IT innovation, having been recognized repeatedly by the American Hospital Association as one of the nation’s top 100 “Most Wired and Wireless” hospitals.
Ms. Brier currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), a statewide public/private partnership organization devoted to health IT promulgation and adoption. She has also held senior positions in the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and as Chief Executive Officer of Jacobi Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center.
Her commitment to public health and community service is reflected in her service on New York City’s Board of Health, the City’s Board of Correction, and on the Board for the Fund for Public Health in New York City. Ms. Brier previously served on the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council and the City’s Community Service Board.
Ms. Brier also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Housing Works, Inc. and on the Board of the UNITE HERE/Union Health Center. She was recognized three times by Crain’s New York Business as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York.”
Ms. Brier holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Health Administration from UCLA.
St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201