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Student Life
January 15, 2015

SFC Celebrates Winter Graduates

Winter Commencement Sends New Students on to the Future

Hundreds of parents, families, and friends came to St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights to celebrate Winter Commencement with the newest graduates from the Class of 2015 on Wednesday January 14. (Watch Winter Commencement)

The valedictorian for the January class was Tan Cheung, a Hong Kong native who graduates with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting. Tan transferred to St. Francis from Seattle after learning about the College’s small size and window to the New York job market. “Because of the small classrooms, you can get closer to the students and professors,” said Tan. “I could ask them about anything, not just course work. They helped me a lot with questions about jobs and internships too.”

tan april cheung

kathleen nolan kathy

Tan earned the National Grid Scholarship and Internship, working for a year and half in their Capital Markets division. She was also a member of the Accounting Society and Asian Culture Club. She is now studying to take the CPA exam and looking for a job in the accounting field.

Kathleen Nolan, Chair of the Biology, Health Promotion, and Health Care Management Department offered the Winter Commencement Address, in part describing why St. Francis students are a lot like a lobster (with help from a live lobster to better illustrate her points). Dr. Nolan has taught at St. Francis for almost 20 years. Her research focuses on fisheries biology and biology laboratory education. You can often find her with her students seining in New York waterways, like off Brooklyn Bridge Park or in Jamaica Bay. She has also taken students on multiple marine biology trips to Belize, Honduras, and the Virgin Islands.

Bro. William Boslet, OSF ’70, the Superior General, Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn offered the opening Invocation while Bro. Geoffrey Clement, OSF, a History Professor at the College delivered the closing Benediction.

Before Commencement, Father Brian Jordan, Director of the St. Francis College Campus Ministry celebrated Baccalaureate Mass.

Among the students graduating in January are:

Abraham Oxilas, a Biology major with hopes of becoming a Physician’s Assistant or Doctor of Osteopathy. He is already a certified EMT and is studying for his MCATs and GREs as he weighs his options on where to apply for medical school. A graduate of St. Francis Preparatory Academy in Queens, Abraham co-founded My Brother’s Keeper Service Organization at St. Francis College in 2009. The group has now spread to other area campuses, including LIU. Abraham also has worked for several years in the College’s Office of Development.

“There is a family vibe here. Everybody knows everyone,” said Abraham. “If I have a problem, I can go to anyone. At a bigger university, I may have missed on some opportunities that I have here.”

Rosalia Badalamenti graduates with a degree in Childhood Education. She currently works as a Teacher Assistant in the after school program at Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn, an institution which focuses on children with disabilities. She hopes to begin working as a substitute teacher for New York City Public Schools. Rosalia was President of the Education Society and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She also worked for the Education Department where she developed strong bonds with several Education professors.

“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. I remember tutoring all the kids in my neighborhood,” said Rosalia. “At St. Francis, when I learned about Early Childhood Education, I knew this is where I wanted to be. It’s not about the money. It’s about being happy and helping young children.”

Rosalia is now applying to graduate school to earn a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education.

Attached Photos: (Valedictorian Tan Cheung)
(Professor Kathleen Nolan and lobster)

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

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