<![CDATA[ St. Francis College ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 11:26:10 -0500 60 <![CDATA[ Yousouffi Selected By NYCFC in Third Round of Major League Soccer SuperDraft ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/yousouffi-selected-by-nycfc-in-third-round-of-major-league-soccer-superdraft https://www.sfc.edu/news/yousouffi-selected-by-nycfc-in-third-round-of-major-league-soccer-superdraft Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:16:00 -0500 St. Francis Brooklyn forward El Mahdi Youssoufi became the first Terrier selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Tuesday night when the reigning champion New York City Football Club picked him in the third round.

The selection caps off a banner year for Youssoufi, who was named 2021 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and placed on the United Soccer Coaches All-Northeast First Team.

He finished the regular season with 25 points (12 goals, 1 assist), scoring in all but two games he played in this fall and has scored 20 goals over his three seasons on Remsen Street. He helped lead the Terriers to a second consecutive NEC Tournament championship appearance in October and was an integral part of the 2020-21 team that earned the program's first NCAA Tournament victory.

"We are so excited for Mahdi on being the first St. Francis Brooklyn player to be drafted right out of school," said St. Francis Brooklyn head coach Tom Giovatto. "He has worked so hard and deserves this honor. We are so happy that he will be staying local and playing with the MLS champs NYCFC. We cannot wait to see him at the next level."

"I am beyond thrilled for our very own El Mahdi Youssoufi! He is a shining example what can happen when you combine hard work with a relentless pursuit of success," said St. Francis Brooklyn athletic director Irma Garcia. "Congratulations to a true gentleman with exceptional speed on the field, who exemplifies the true meaning of Brooklyn Tough. This is truly a historical SFC moment."

"Mahdi has represented St. Francis Brooklyn with class for the past three years and helped the Terriers achieve some of their greatest success in program history. We look forward to him competing close to home with the reigning MLS Cup Champions NYCFC and continuing to make us proud at the next level," said Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, president of St. Francis College.

Youssoufi is the third Terrier to be affiliated with an MLS club in the league's 26-year history. Mersim Beskovic was selected by the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2001 MLS SuperDraft after graduating in 2000, and would go on to appear for the NY/NJ MetroStars (later New York Red Bulls). Vincente Bezecourt signed a contract with United Soccer League's New York Red Bulls II, later earning an MLS contract with the Red Bulls.

<![CDATA[ SFC Receives $150K NEH Grant to Enhance Digital Humanities Courses ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-receives-150k-neh-grant-to-enhance-digital-humanities-courses https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-receives-150k-neh-grant-to-enhance-digital-humanities-courses Wed, 12 Jan 2022 12:34:00 -0500 St. Francis College (SFC) today announces that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded the college a $150,000 grant to fund a project that expands support for the digital humanities. The project, “Digital Humanities Across the Curriculum (DHAC),” will redesign eight General Education courses across English, History, Communication and Interdisciplinary Studies to enhance the digital humanities in introductory writing courses, as well as offer comprehensive development opportunities to all faculty interested in incorporating digital humanities into their courses.

NEH Grants

Throughout the 24-month grant period, a group of faculty members will redesign their courses and participate in an intensive faculty development workshop designed to provide a foundation for digital humanities and the tools they need to develop curriculum materials related to the courses.

“The world needs the humanities and interdisciplinary thinking more than ever to better understand, process, and contribute to civic discourse about topics including global health, climate change, and racial justice which align with SFC’s Franciscan roots,” said Dr. Jennifer Wingate, associate professor of Fine Arts and chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dr. Wingate and Dr. Athena Devlin, associate professor of English at SFC and chair of the Department of Literature, Writing and Publishing, authored the grant proposal. The college started its integration of digital humanities into the curriculum five years ago in the Literature, Writing, and Publishing Department. Through the new Interdisciplinary Studies Department, (SFC) aims to expand digital integration across all disciplines. “By bringing technology closer to the humanities, St. Francis is helping students acquire the skills they need both academically and technically to succeed,” said Devlin. “This project will allow us to show more students how integrated critical and analytical thinking can be and really needs to be integrated for a constructive and meaningful digital world.”

The goal is for students to have greater access to new visualization and mapping tools, such as text mining, gaming, augmented reality, data scraping and digital archiving to develop online projects that demonstrate and underscore the connection between the humanities and other disciplines.

“These skills are particularly important and empowering for SFC students, many of whom are from historically excluded communities who are coming to SFC in the hopes of achieving economic mobility,” Wingate said.

Working with Drs. Wingate and Devlin to implement the project are Dr. Molly Mann, director of the Center for Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) and Dr. Emily Edwards, assistant professor of Digital Humanities and Educational Technologist.

“Incorporating Digital Humanities approaches ensures students hone the digital skills necessary to make them competitive and successful in their career path,” said Edwards. “Through the building of collaborative, interactive, and interdisciplinary digital projects students not only become more technically skilled, they become knowledge creators.”

Students will learn to harness the digital and the power of data and visualization to identify new opportunities for inquiry across the humanities. Mapping in conjunction with digital timelines, for example, is one way to draw correlations between public art and socio-economic demographics, real estate speculation, and urban history.

For more information on the DHAC project at SFC, email Dr. Jennifer Wingate at jwingate@sfc.edu or Dr. Athena Devlin at adevlin@sfc.edu.

<![CDATA[ Important COVID-19 Updates: Looking Ahead to Spring 2022 ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/important-covid-19-updates-looking-ahead-to-spring-2022 https://www.sfc.edu/news/important-covid-19-updates-looking-ahead-to-spring-2022 Fri, 07 Jan 2022 19:30:00 -0500 Dear SFC Community,

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the steps you continue to take to protect your health and the health of those around you.

We want to provide some important reminders and updates for when we return from Winter Break. We continue to monitor the public health guidance and anticipate proceeding in the Spring 2022 semester as we did in the Fall, with the continuation of in-person instruction and the resumption of our full campus life which adds to the richness of our community.


The College requires that all students, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and upload proof as a condition of accessing College buildings (including the residence hall) during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Except for those with approved medical and/or religious exemptions, all other individuals intending to access campus in Spring 2022 must upload proof of full vaccination as a condition of being on campus.


The College continues to strongly encourage all SFC eligible students, faculty, and staff to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in Spring 2022 and upload proof by January 18, 2022.

Students, faculty and staff who are not eligible by January 18, 2022 are strongly encouraged to get a booster dose and upload proof as soon as they become eligible (within 7 days) as soon as they become eligible (within 7 days).


St. Francis College is offering free walk-up COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and testing for SFC students and employees in the days leading up to the start of classes:

  • Sunday, 1/16, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | 97 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY
  • Wednesday, 1/19, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | 180 Remsen St., Brooklyn NY
  • Thursday, 1/20, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | 180 Remsen St., Brooklyn NY

Walk-up appointments only, no pre-registration. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Booster shots are free and widely available in NYC or NY State. These shots boost your immunity from an initial COVID-19 vaccination series.

  • Visit the Am I ELIGIBLE tool to schedule an appointment at an NYS-operated vaccination site. Walk-in appointments are accepted at NYS sites for all eligible individuals.
  • Find a vaccination site by visiting https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ and choose your preferred brand from the “Any vaccine” drop-down.
  • For pop-up and mobile sites, head to NYC’s Vaccine Command Center.
  • Call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) for help finding a city-run vaccination site.
  • To schedule a free in-home vaccination, visit https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/home or call 1-877-829-4692.
  • Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center about booster shots. Check your local pharmacy’s website (e.g., Walgreens).
  • To find a nearby provider, search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our most important priority has always been the health and safety of our community and to ensure that the academic enterprise is maintained throughout the process.

We will be back in touch with you to provide updates in the days ahead. Until then, we wish you, your families, and friends the very best in the New Year. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact backtobk@sfc.edu.


Back to Brooklyn Task Force

Stanley Bazile, Ph.D., Chief Student Affairs Officer and Dean of Students 

Andrew Cornicello, Head Athletic Trainer    

Hayley Dryer, Vice President and General Counsel 

Edward Evans, Director of Security 

Richard Grasso, Executive Director of Human Resources  

Matt Hogan, Executive Director of IT Operations and Client Services   

Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., VP of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean 

David Loutfi, Director of Event Management, Facility Rentals and Campus Security 

Monica Michalski, AVP of Student Support & Academic Operations 

Alison Minotti, Director of Financial Affairs 

Kevin O'Rourke, VP of Facilities Management and Capital Projects

Tearanny Street, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, and Special Events

Linda Werbel, VP of Government and Community Relations

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Announces Partnership with St. George's University Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-announces-partnership-with-st-georges-university https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-announces-partnership-with-st-georges-university Thu, 06 Jan 2022 08:18:00 -0500 St. Francis College announced today two new programs that will allow qualified pre-medicine or pre-veterinary students to gain streamlined admission to St. George University’s Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

“We look forward to a very productive partnership with St. George’s University. Offering our students a direct pathway into advanced programs in medicine and veterinary science strengthens our commitment to support our students to reach their personal and career goals,” said Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, president of St. Francis College.

Students in the "4+4" program will complete their four-year undergraduate degree at St. Francis
in a pre-medicine or pre-veterinary medicine program and proceed directly to medical school at St. George’s in Grenada. Those pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree, the final two years of this combined program consist of clinical rotations at SGU’s affiliated hospitals in the United States and/or the United Kingdom. The final year of the combined Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program consists of clinical rotations at SGU’s affiliated veterinary schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and/or Ireland.

Exceptional pre-medicine students can qualify for the "3+4" program, under which they complete their degrees in three years and then move onto medical school at St. George’s before spending the final two (2) years in clinical rotations at hospitals affiliated with SGU.

Students who wish to participate in one of the direct admissions partnerships must indicate their interest upon applying to St. Francis. Qualified students will be prioritized for interviews and admissions decisions, provided they meet the admissions criteria for both schools.

In order to proceed to St. George’s, applicants must maintain a 3.4 grade point average at St. Francis and obtain a competitive score on the MCAT. A 3.2 grade point average and competitive score on the GRE are required for entry into the St. George’s veterinary program.

Students accepted into the medical program will receive a $10,000 scholarship upon matriculating at St. George’s.

"We are excited to establish our first pathway program in New York City," said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George's University. "As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, New York faces a shortage of physicians. We look forward to welcoming aspiring doctors from St. Francis and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to serve their communities."

About St. George's University

St. George's University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from 140 countries to the island of Grenada, in the West Indies, to its programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, science, and business. St. George's is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University's over 20,000 graduates include physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities. For more information, visit www.sgu.edu.

About St. Francis College

St. Francis College, for more than 160 years, has provided a diverse student body, from Brooklyn and around the world, an affordable private college education rooted in Franciscan values of inclusivity and respect of all people. Located in the heart of Brooklyn -- minutes from Wall Street, world-class cultural institutions and leading entrepreneurial hubs -- St. Francis College offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and four master’s degree programs that inspire lifelong learning and prepare students for fulfilling careers in the 21st-century global economy.

Media Contact

Tearanny Street

(929) 487-7249


<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Joins AGB Council for Student Success ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-joins-agb-council-for-student-success https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-joins-agb-council-for-student-success Thu, 16 Dec 2021 11:55:00 -0500 St. Francis College (SFC) today announced that President Miguel Martinez-Saenz has been appointed to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council for Student Success. The council, established in 2021, leverages the experience, perspectives, and insights of its members with active leadership roles for the development of AGB expertise designed to strengthen strategic board governance across higher education.

President Martinez-Saenz accepted the opportunity to serve on the Council for Student Success because of his commitment to the principles of justice, diversity equity and inclusion; his thought leadership on higher education’s role in advancing social mobility; his commitment to serving underrepresented populations, and his dedication to student achievement.

The AGB Council for Student Success regularly convenes to discuss the strategic priorities across higher education and includes representatives from a range of institutional types, including public and private, large and small, single-institution and multi-campus system, two- and four-year, religious and secular, and domestic and international. This diversity affords the group a broad pool of experiences that help inform AGB about the obstacles and macro-level trends that governing boards face. In turn, AGB leverages its advisory groups to create tools and resources that benefit over 2,000 institutions and 40,000 members.

“I welcome the opportunity to serve on this Council to collectively tackle the challenges faced by higher education. The prohibitive cost of a college education, high school students opting out of college, a shrinking applicant pool, and lack of diversity are issues that each of us face in varying degrees and are obstacles to student success,” states President Martinez-Saenz. “I am pleased to part of this distinguished group to discuss and strategize innovative solutions to address the issues facing our sector.”

The Council for Student Success is one of seven councils that enhance AGB’s thought leadership. The other six councils similarly represent key leadership roles and priority areas: Board Chairs, Board Professionals, Finance Committee Chairs, Foundation Leaders, Presidents, and Senior Fellows.

“Our council members generously agree to lend their time and talent to advancing strategic governance across higher education,” said Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO. “Alongside the AGB Board of Directors, AGB consultants, and other board governance experts, the AGB Council for Student Success ensures that boards across the country are receiving leading and practical guidance on salient topics throughout the year. These council members help to ensure that we are aware of not only what’s going on at that moment but also what they need to know from AGB to lead with confidence and knowledge in the boardroom. It’s a crucial partnership, and I appreciate their hard work.”

About AGB
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership. 

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College and LEADership, Education and Development Announce Partnership to Host Global Summer Learning Institute ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-and-leadership-education-and-development-announce-partnership-to-host-global-summer-learning-institute https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-and-leadership-education-and-development-announce-partnership-to-host-global-summer-learning-institute Mon, 13 Dec 2021 12:19:00 -0500 St. Francis College (SFC) announced today a new partnership with LEADership, Education and Development (LEAD) to serve as a host institution for the Global Summer Learning Institute in summer 2022.

The Global Summer Learning Institute (GSLI) at SFC will feature a dynamic three-week program with one week of online learning and two weeks of a college residential experience. As a LEAD host institution, SFC will establish a curriculum to guide high-achieving high school students through the foundational practices of accounting, entrepreneurship, technology and leadership.

“We are thrilled to become the only LEAD program host school in New York City,” said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, St. Francis College President. “Having our faculty, staff and corporate partners engage with a cohort of dynamic future leaders aligns with our mission to invest in the development of inquisitive scholars looking to learn more about business, industry, entrepreneurship and innovation. Introducing this LEAD cohort to the St. Francis community will be a valuable experience for all involved.”

For more than 40 years, LEAD has developed over 20,000 high-achieving leaders who have all graduated from college and have all gone on to be exceptional representations in their fields. Through the LEADing for Life GSLI program, high school scholars will be immersed in the college experience while being engaged in sessions and site visits with college professors, corporate executives and practitioners. Scholars then apply their knowledge and collaborate in teams to create a business enterprise with a social purpose as their capstone project.

Teams from each institute will have the opportunity to participate in the Global LEADing for Life Challenge (LFLC), which is a competition for seed capital and support to launch their world-changing business enterprise. LEAD is committed to making sure their dreams and ideas become a reality.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome St. Francis College to the LEAD community,” said Dr. Lawrence Drake, LEAD President & CEO. “This 160+-year-old institution that has and continues to be "driven by dreams—powered by big ideas, bold ambitions, and courage”, is a great fit for LEAD's three strategic 21st curriculum foundations which are LEADership, Entrepreneurship, and Technology."

Through this partnership, SFC and LEAD will engage SFC faculty and industry partners to deliver learning experiences that focus on LEAD's three curriculum foundations.

“SFC and LEAD are a perfect match,” said Dr. Jennifer Lancaster, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SFC. “We have a proud heritage of preparing students to take their places as leaders in their fields, becoming confident alumni well prepared for meaningful, fulfilling careers, and for collaborative, service-oriented leadership.”

Dale Favors, special advisor in SFC’s External Affairs Division and 1986 LEAD alumni, secured the partnership with LEAD. The External Affairs Division is charged with connecting SFC to corporate and non-profit organizations to develop student pipeline programs.

“As a LEAD alum and former LEAD parent, I can attest to the impact that the program can have on aspiring high school students,” said Favors. “Having the chance to work with the leadership teams at St. Francis College and the LEAD Program has truly been exhilarating. Being a part of bringing this incredible experience to young people and exposing them to the fundamentals of business and the critical thinking skills used by successful professionals, is just priceless.”

About St. Francis College

For the past 160+ years, St. Francis College has provided an affordable, quality education to students of all backgrounds. We are one of the most diverse private institutions in the nation and one of the most affordable colleges in New York. At our roots, the Franciscan Tradition of the College ensures a welcoming environment that supports students and helps develop the whole person. We challenge our students to expand their learning experience beyond the classroom and become an integral part of the community.

<![CDATA[ MFA Creative Writing Director Theo Gangi Lands Development Deal for Kingston... Series ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/mfa-creative-writing-director-theo-gangi-lands-development-deal-for-kingston-series https://www.sfc.edu/news/mfa-creative-writing-director-theo-gangi-lands-development-deal-for-kingston-series Tue, 30 Nov 2021 09:29:00 -0500 With the return of in-person classes and the launch of two new genre tracks – nonfiction writing and graphic writing—now is a thrilling time to be a student in the low-residency Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at St. Francis College (SFC). This exciting program reflects the realities of life as a working writer and allows students to take four online workshops and attend five ten-day residencies to earn their MFA degree.

It's also an amazing time to be Theo Black Gangi, writing professor and director of the MFA program, and co-author of the fantasy novel for young readers "Kingston and the Magician's Lost and Found," an epic and imaginative coming-of-age tale about loss, lineage, and the importance of finding your own voice.

Across his illustrious career, Gangi has written several acclaimed novels and short stories, as well as worked on shows for Netflix. He writes, "far-out adventures that happen right next door," which in his case, often means writing books like Kingston... and its sequel, "Kingston and the Echoes of Magic," that take place in Brooklyn—Gangi's home borough. Along with heading SFC's exciting MFA program that reflects the realities of life as a working writer in New York City, it was announced this November that Gangi and his co-writers have signed a development deal to bring Kingston's story to life in a feature film, optioned by streaming powerhouse Disney+.

In a conversation with the Gangi, he speaks about the unique benefits of pursuing a low-residency MFA at SFC–which includes fiction, poetry, screenwriting, nonfiction and writing for comics–and precisely how Brooklyn is a borough, magical like no other.

How did the new Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing program at St. Francis come about?

The Low-Res Program kind of came together because there was a real need for it. Part of it was an effort to keep up with the old Brooklyn vs. the new Brooklyn—there's been such an influx of literary talent and interest in the borough. St. Francis College started partnering with the Brooklyn Book Festival and, with that, I think we saw an opening because there weren't really any low-residency programs there or in New York City. There were a lot of MFA programs that were very reputable, the list goes on, but there were no low-res programs, and New York is such a unique place for a literary scene in that it's right in the heart of the publishing industry! We felt very connected to the literary scene here in Brooklyn.

What type of student would be well-suited for the Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program at St. Francis?

We take a very professionally minded, practical approach in the program in terms of getting students what they ultimately want out of the experience. In a low-res environment, you're meeting in short, intensive sessions, and you're not there year-round, so you can have a job and a personal life while you write, which is really the reality for all struggling writers, but especially in NYC. As you're pursuing your own work and honing your craft, you will need a day job—becoming a writer is learning that. My personal experience was kind of learning that the hard way. So, we incorporate that into everything we teach. We introduce writers to the realities of the writing world.

Is that how the story for Kingston and the Magician's Lost and Found came about?

Yeah, so the idea for Kingston... originated with my co-writers Rucker Moses [the pen name of writing team Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr.] who had both worked in television and had originally tried selling it as a series. I think it was with Amazon for a while, and then it fell through. Meanwhile, I was working on writing a middle-grade fantasy. Those projects were sort of concurrent with launching the MFA program. So, my editor at Penguin/Putnam, Stacey Barney, linked Rucker Moses and me up. She saw something in the book idea paired with my approach to storytelling and thought it would be a good fit, and now—we have a great partnership.

Now that the book has had so much success, what's next?

We're working on a movie based on the first book, potentially incorporating some aspects of the second book, "Kingston and the Echoes of Magic."

Very exciting! What's that process been like? Can you tell us anything?

It's been interesting! Right now, it's all about putting together a team and matching the right talent with the story. Writing it was so much of a team effort, which is kind of unusual for an author. But honestly, writing a book is always more of a team effort than you would think, right? There's you, there's your editor, there's a whole process. A lot of people have to buy-in for a book to ever see the world. You learn that the writer does a lot of the work, obviously, but they're not quite as on their own as you might think. But a film? That gets made with a bunch of people, a lot of talented, creative people, sharing a vision and building something that just cannot be done by one person. So, you know, going through the process as a producer is really about putting that team together.

We'll keep an eye out for the show! What's your favorite part about being director of the Creative Writing Program at SFC?

Well, the students—they're just so passionate about writing. We have some very promising, talented folks in the program. One really exciting thing for me, especially as someone who loves genre fiction, is how the upcoming generation of writers is embracing genre, switching genres, and seeing the value in learning from all the incredible forms that are out there. St. Francis has drawn a lot of writers who are eager to mix it up and put their stamp on things. It's very rewarding.

What kind of writing are these students exploring in terms of genre? Fantasy? Medieval stories? Werewolves?!

There aren't quite any Werewolf stories, but I do have a student who wrote a story that had a "werelion" in it.

Oh, wow!

Well, the term "werelion" is never actually used, but he's a man, and he turns into a lion, so...Yeah, there's, a transformation. But we have a lot of really solid, interesting fantasy writers here. One alumnus is working on a satirical fantasy about New York City, a dystopic Brooklyn kind of deal, which is a lot of fun. We're getting some great sci-fi stuff.

Is your book, A New Day in America, fantasy-themed as well?

Yes. I mean, A New Day... is an adult thriller, and it's a post-apocalyptic survival story about the relationship between a father and daughter. They're traveling across America, and he's trying to keep his little girl alive. So, it's darker but still very much an adventure with some dystopian elements.

Speaking of fathers, does the disappearance of Kingston's father's in ...Magician's Lost and Found stand as a metaphor for anything going on in the world?

I always saw Kingston's story as a coming of age, a sort of psychological representation of our own independence. It's what it feels like to be in the world and realize your parents can't make you who you are anymore. It's the psychological experience of losing your father or authority figure. You suddenly have to author your identity and find yourself. So, you've got the tools from your parents, but now it's all about you—about you being, you. I think that's why you see that so much, especially in kids' stories, the parents are always gone, because it's about becoming your own person, and in some ways, when your parents are there, you can't quite do that. So yes, the father quest always feels like the quest for your own voice, your own identity.

And what about the role Brooklyn plays in the Kingston series—is Brooklyn magical?

Brooklyn is magic!

How so?

Well, it's what draws people here! Brooklyn has a unique mix and a unique style. There's a kind of harmony between the way this borough was built and the nature it's built on that you don't see in other boroughs in the city. I don't know how else to describe it but as "magic." Trees are allowed to grow in Brooklyn. They get huge and burst through the sidewalks. They make you trip sometimes because the cracks are so huge, you know? There's harmony, balance. Brooklyn lets you be who you are and what you are. And that's magic.

What would you say to a prospective student who might be considering a Low-Res MFA at St. Francis?

We have really diverse personnel in the Creative Writing Program, not just in terms of our faculty background, but also faculty interest and expertise. If you're pursuing fiction writing, or you're specifically into adventure and fantasy stories, screenwriting, or any overlap, then SFC might be great for you. If you want to write novels that inspire films–which is a huge industry these days–I'm personally here to help. We also have Hannah Asad, who writes beautiful, soul-searching kind of novels. And renowned faculty member Chloe Cooper Jones who writes nonfiction, is nominated for a Pulitzer, does some incredible reporting, but is also an experienced screenwriter. Then we've got, visiting talks and lectures by writers like Marlon James, who is a Man Booker Prize and National Book Award winner.

In addition to being the only low-res program in New York, SFC now has one of the first MFAs in comic book writing globally! This new program is launching this winter, and writer/faculty member Jason Starr will be leading this program for students interested in comic book writing. But we also have some incredible poets, like Felice Belle, Annie Finch, and Jive Poetic, who are stylistically diverse teachers. So, if you're a writer, we probably have a great slot for you.

It sounds like a great time to be back in Brooklyn.

It is a great time to be back in Brooklyn! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Learn more about on our Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA.

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College and Cerberus Launch New Partnership to Expand Student Opportunities ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-and-cerberus-launch-new-partnership-to-expand-student-opportunities https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-and-cerberus-launch-new-partnership-to-expand-student-opportunities Mon, 01 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0400 St. Francis College and Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. ("Cerberus") today announced a new partnership that provides personal development and professional opportunities for students.

For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has played a vital role in helping young adults find their places as leaders and impactful members in their fields and communities. Based in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, St. Francis College offers affordable, quality education to individuals from all backgrounds, with more than 60% of its students from underrepresented populations.

The Cerberus and St. Francis College partnership will empower students by providing broader access to information, skills, and opportunities. Cerberus is establishing and funding St. Francis College's new Transformative Technology Lab, which will offer important skills training in software and technology applications. In addition, Cerberus team members are participating in mentorship opportunities, curriculum development, as well as college and career education through the partnership's various programs, such as:

  • High School Bridge Program: Provides critical skill-building and mentorship in pursuing a college education, as well as begins career exploration for high school students.
  • Career Readiness Program: Helps students to obtain the skills and resources they need to be successful on their journey to establishing their careers.
  • Scholarship and Internship Program: Creates opportunities to introduce students to careers in the fintech and finance industry.

"St. Francis College has a long and proud tradition of supporting students in finding their calling and successfully pursuing their academic and professional goals, and this partnership with Cerberus helps us further that commitment," said St. Francis College President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D. "The Transformative Technology Lab and the mentorship opportunities that this important collaboration will bring ensures our students can continue to be at the cutting-edge of emerging and in-demand fields while getting the support they need to succeed."

Kristen Shanley, Cerberus Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, commented, "This partnership is focused on ensuring students have the best tools and access to information when determining their futures. Beyond our financial support, we are providing our firm's most valuable resources – our people and expertise. St. Francis College is an incredible organization, and we are honored to learn from their team and students. We look forward to this great partnership and contributing to their mission in guiding all students on their path to meaningful careers and personal success."

Learn more about the partnership and the impact it is making on students.

About St. Francis College

For the past 160 years, St. Francis College has provided an affordable, quality education to students of all backgrounds. We are one of the most diverse private institutions in the nation and one of the most affordable colleges in New York. At our roots, the Franciscan Tradition of the College ensures a welcoming environment that supports students and helps develop the whole person. We challenge our students to expand their learning experience beyond the classroom and become an integral part of the community.

About Cerberus

Founded in 1992, Cerberus is a global leader in alternative investing with over $55 billion in assets across complementary credit, private equity, and real estate strategies. We invest across the capital structure where our integrated investment platforms and proprietary operating capabilities create an edge to improve performance and drive long-term value. Our tenured teams have experience working collaboratively across asset classes, sectors, and geographies to seek strong risk-adjusted returns for our investors. For more information about our people and platforms, visit us at www.cerberus.com.

<![CDATA[ We Are the World Exhibition Opens at St. Francis College, Featuring Work of 23 International Artists ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/we-are-the-world-exhibition-opens-at-st-francis-college-featuring-work-of-23-international-artists https://www.sfc.edu/news/we-are-the-world-exhibition-opens-at-st-francis-college-featuring-work-of-23-international-artists Fri, 29 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0400 November 5, 2021 – January 5, 2022

Opening reception: Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / RSVP required

St. Francis College presents We Are the World, a group exhibition featuring works by 23 international artists. On view November 5, 2021 – January 5, 2022, at the Callahan Center, the exhibition spans disparate geographies, generations, genders and regions bringing together paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and installations in celebration of St. Francis College's internationalism and cultural diversity.

Shaken This Has Left Me

Peter Pacheco (Denmark), 'Shaken This Has Left Me', 2009, Oil on canvas, 62 x 94 1/2 inches

A photography project featuring portraits of students taken by their peers accompanies the exhibition.

"The theme for this show, We Are The World came to me when I was informed that Miguel Martinez-Saenz, President of St. Francis College, expressed a wish that this exhibition touch on the internationality of the college," explains art collector, donor and co-curator Lise Curry. "This request was such a source of inspiration that I immediately visualized integrating the students into an active artistic contribution to the show."

"I was delighted to contribute to this theme by inviting a group of artists who came to New York from different parts of the world," adds Francine Rogers, art presenter and co-curator. "They each have their own voice yet each artwork, no matter its style and media, captures the essence of that what is universal and how we relate to one another."

The works in the exhibition are united in their concern with universal themes: separation and unity, dialogue and conflict, personal and political identity, connection, love and heartbreak.

Among the exhibition highlights are Tea in the Garden with Sweets, a welded iron table by Bruna D'Allesandro (Italy), which welcomes students and members of the St. Francis community to have a seat and to talk and share a moment of rest or conversation.

Haksul Lee's (Korea) stainless steel sculpture Breathe in Time with One Another explores a sense of being by examining time as both an absolute value and a relative value, underscoring the difference of our relative perceptions of it.

Natsuki Takauji (Japan), 'Symbols', 2021
Natsuki Takauji (Japan)
Symbols, 2021
Steel, Stainless Steel, Brass,
and Bronze
37" x 44" x 4"

Natsuki Takauji's (Japan) Symbols (pictured above) takes inspiration from symbols across cultures and fundamental subjects to create a uniform symbol, where people can find their own meanings to identify. An LED light panel artwork creates a reinterpretation of our world by visually connecting the immense data which we are generating and consuming on a daily basis in order to have a better understanding of the world.

Mother's Abacus by Ingrid Butterer (Estonia) uses clay beads to create a powerful piece that reflects on the challenges of motherhood, making visible a struggle that is often invisible yet known to many and echoing, visually and metaphorically, women's power and their capacity to endure and persist.

Yen Ji Yoo's (Korea) Installation of doll-sized houses crafted from paper deals with environmental distress and ideas of immigration and home, trying to make sense of personal fears and finding resonance with the world outside, creating hope for connection.

Jephri Sivad (Nevis, Caribbean)
The Kings Mugging, 2020
Acrylic on Canvas
22" x 28"

Jephri Sivad's (Nevins) mix media painting, The Pendulum (pictured right), shows inspiration flowing in great streams to a direction pointing the way to move forward.

The exhibition also includes a special virtual presentation of The Globe by Ray Bartkus (Lithuania). Consisting of 3 concentric spheres, made of metal, wood and light, the monumental sculpture is able to contain seemingly paradoxical and separate elements – such as serious problems facing the human race and the beauty of life itself – remaining the integral whole.

Participating artists:

Ray Bartkus, Ingrid Butterer, Rosa Chang, Beatrice Coron, Bruna D'Alessandro, Ryoko Endo, Tadasuke Jinno, Serge Jolimeau, Jenny Keith, Timothy LaSalle, Haksul Lee, Shantel Rose Miller, Stephanie Mulvihill, Peter Pacheco, Joyce Pommer, Giorgia Rojas Monaco, Jephri Sivad, Daniel Sperber, Natsuki Takauji, Mark Tanabe, Kati Vilim, Yeon Ji Yoo, Jason Yung.

We Are The World is free and open to the public from November 4, 2021 to February 25, 2022. Visit the Events page for viewing dates.

All visitors must be fully vaccinated and upload proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test by completing the Visitor Pass.

Contact the College at 718.489.5322 or events@sfc.edu for more information.

Media contact: Tearanny Street, tstreet@sfce.edu

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Creates a Stem Success Collaborative to Support Hispanic Student Success in STEM Fields ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-creates-a-stem-success-collaborative-to-support-hispanic-student-success-in-stem-fields https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-creates-a-stem-success-collaborative-to-support-hispanic-student-success-in-stem-fields Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0400 St. Francis College announced today it will launch a new STEM Success Collaborative (SSC), a five-year initiative funded by the United States Department of Education (DOE) to boost enrollment and graduation rates of Hispanic and low-income students in SFC's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The DOE recognized SFC as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) for the first time earlier this year, signaling that more than 25% of its students now self-identify as Hispanic and making the College eligible for certain federal grants earmarked to support Hispanic student success.

In fall 2020, Hispanic students made up 28% all SFC students, the single largest self-identified racial or ethnic group among the College's student body.* SFC's Hispanic student population has grown consistently since at least 2011, when it stood at 16%.

Under SSC, SFC will set up pipelines through which Hispanic and low-income students who earn STEM degrees at Hispanic-serving 2-year colleges can seamlessly transfer into SFC to complete 4-year degrees in those fields. It will also introduce new facilities and technologies into classrooms, revamp elements of SFC's curriculum, expand research and professional development for students and provide additional faculty training, all to support Hispanic student achievement.

The DOE awarded SFC $3.7 million for SSC as part of its HSI STEM and Articulation Program, a grant-making program to help increase the number of Hispanic and other low-income students attaining STEM degrees and to move more Hispanic STEM students from 2-year into 4-year institutions in STEM fields.

"It's such a thrill to introduce STEM Success Collaborative during Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when we reflect upon the enormous contributions of people of Hispanic descent to all areas of American life," said Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. "At SFC, our Hispanic self-identified students are central to the culture and community of this institution every day of the year."

In New York City, the median wage for jobs in STEM fields is $90,000, 66% higher than NYC's overall median wage. Yet while the Hispanic population makes up 17% of the workforce overall, they account for only 8% of the STEM workforce. Twenty-one percent of this country's 18-24-year-olds are Hispanic, but they earn only 12% of all bachelor's degrees awarded and only 10% of bachelor's degrees awarded in STEM fields nationwide.

SFC's STEM majors include nursing and biology – two of its most popular degree programs – as well as chemistry, physics, exercise science, health care management, health promotions, information technology, math and radiologic sciences.

"Ensuring that Hispanic women and men are fully represented in STEM fields – and reap the rewards that careers in those fields provide – speaks to the very foundation of SFC's mission to remove all barriers to education and career opportunity and ensure we nurture that the unique talents and potential of every individual in our community," said Monica Michalski, SFC Assistant Vice President Student Support and Academic Operations.

SFC will receive its first of its five annual SSC fund packages from the DOE on October 1, 2021 and will begin putting together the program after that.

LatinX Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. Among SFC events planned that help commemorate the Month include the Young Filmmakers Conference held on September 29, 2021, hosted with HITN (Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc.), the largest Spanish-language public broadcasting network in the United States.

SFC's Latin American Society, a student-run club, is also planning an Alumni Panel Event on October 7 featuring three Hispanic alumni and former LAS members- Danny Plaza '05, Athalie Arrington '05 and Elizabeth Peralta-Foxwell '15.

Follow @SFCNY on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for highlights from Hispanic Heritage Month events.

*Fall 2020 SFC Enrolled Student Ethnicity (Self-Identified)

  • Hispanic: 28%
  • White (non-Hispanic): 26%
  • Black (non-Hispanic): 24%
  • Non U.S citizen: 9%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Unknown: 4%
  • Multiracial: 3%
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native: 1%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
<![CDATA[ Second Cohort of SFC Fellows Contribute to Signature Human Rights Program ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/second-cohort-of-sfc-fellows-contribute-to-signature-human-rights-program https://www.sfc.edu/news/second-cohort-of-sfc-fellows-contribute-to-signature-human-rights-program Tue, 05 Oct 2021 00:00:00 -0400

The Fellows Program will bring three new outstanding professionals with expertise in human rights, DEI, sustainability and human trafficking into the St. Francis community this fall, contributing to the development of a signature Human Rights Program. The inaugural cohort of four Fellows was announced in April 2021.

"I am thrilled to welcome this second cohort of exceptional scholars to St. Francis. Their partnership in centering human rights in the education of our students is tremendously important," said Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz, President of St. Francis College.

The Fellows will work with faculty in various departments to develop and teach courses, contributing their insights and ideas as they engage with faculty in the Institute for Global engagement at SFC International. They will also render other services such as presenting in the SFC Human Rights Lecture Series, guest-lecturing in classes, mentoring students, working with the Amnesty International Chapter at SFC, and contributing to the comprehensive internationalization of the College.

"The Fellows we invite into the SFC family bring professional experiences and points of view that complement our faculty experts. They provide new perspectives and opportunities to learn, building ties between the College and people and organizations around the world," said Dr. Jennifer Lancaster, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"Our globally interconnected world requires a new paradigm of enriched and engaged education to develop knowledge, skills and capacities in our students to thrive as responsible global citizens and professionals. Our Human Rights Fellows will greatly contribute toward the realization of that kind of unique education that our students deserve," said Dr. Reza Fakhari, Vice President for Internationalization and recent Chair of Amnesty International USA.

The second cohort of the Fellows include:

  • Aniket Shah, Ph.D., Managing Director and Global Head of ESG and Sustainability at Jefferies Group LLC; Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment; and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sustainable Finance and International Development, School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University
Aniket Shah
Dr. Shah brings extensive expertise and deep experience from the corporate world and non-profit sectors to develop and teach the "Human Rights, Sustainability and Global Finance" course in collaboration with faculty in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department. Before joining Jeffries Group, he worked at UBS, Oppenheimer Funds, and Investec Asset Management. He was also Program Manager and Special Assistant to the Director of Earth Institute, Jeffrey Sachs, at Columbia University.

Dr. Shah was elected as a Board member and then Chair of the Board of Amnesty International USA and currently serves as the International Treasurer of Amnesty International. He has taught at Columbia, published articles in his area of expertise, and has spoken in key forums. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.

  • Natalie Jesionka, M.A., researcher, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and former faculty at Rutgers University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Natalie Jesionka

Natalie Jesionka has spent the last decade teaching, researching, and speaking about global human trafficking, gender and conflict, human rights, and social good. She has served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA and has written for the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Toronto Star, National Post, and The Canadian Press focusing on best practices in international development and social impact.

Natalie has been a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand researching stateless Hill Tribe communities and examining the origins of human trafficking which later turned into the feature-length documentary by the Oscar-Award-winning production team from Shine Global called "The Wrong Light." She was the founder/director of PRIZM, an organization focused on human rights education for Women. She holds a Master of Science in Global Affairs and a B.A. in Journalism from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

  • Hakim M. A. Williams, Ed.D., Daria L. and Eric J. Wallach Professor of Peace and Justice Studies, Gettysburg College

Dr. Hakim Williams teaches on human rights; postcolonialism, race, gender and identity; education for social change; Caribbean studies; and globalization. He also adjuncts in the conflict resolution/mediation program at the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University.

He has also taught at Drexel University, the European Peace University, and the University of San Francisco. His research centers on school/structural violence, educational inequities, youth and community empowerment, and cross-national solidarity building. He has given 40 presentations at academic conferences and over 30 talks and served for two years as co-chair of the Peace Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES).

Dr. Williams is the recipient of a Fulbright Global Scholar Award. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, & Complexity (Earth Institute), and is currently on the editorial board of several journals. He is also the founder of the Consortium of North American Peace Programs and has launched a national peace and justice leadership development program for undergraduate students (conappgburg.com). He completed his Bachelor's in Psychology with honors at St. Francis College, and his Master of Arts, Master of Education, and Doctor of Education in Comparative and International Education/International Development, with a focus in philosophy of education and peace education at Columbia University.

The courses that Dr. Shah, Prof. Jesionka, and Dr. Williams develop in collaboration with SFC's full-time faculty will be among those that fulfill the requirements of a new minor in Human Rights that SFC is establishing. Dr. Shah's course, "Human Rights, Sustainability and Global Finance" and Dr. Williams' course, "Human Rights Activism, Advocacy and Change," will be anchored in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department. Prof. Jesionka's course, "Human Trafficking, Gender and Social Impact," will be anchored in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department.

<![CDATA[ Support #Doublepell Campaign ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/support-doublepell-campaign https://www.sfc.edu/news/support-doublepell-campaign Tue, 28 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

Dear Members of our St. Francis College Community:

Please support St. Francis students and students across America by letting Congress know that it is time to double Pell by participating in our e-advocacy campaign!!

Double the Pell

Doubling the Pell Grant is the single most important thing Congress can do to address college access and affordability. Forty years ago, Pell Grants covered about three-quarters of the cost of college. Today, the maximum grant covers less than 30 percent. With low-income students struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the urgency of this much-needed action is apparent. Doubling the maximum Pell Grant will help more students earn a degree and secure a brighter future.

Nearly 47% of St. Francis College students would benefit from this increase to the Pell program. Annually, Pell Grants help nearly 7 million American students attend and complete college. That is 40% of undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities.

Participation is simple and will only take a few minutes:

  • Click here to visit our e-advocacy campaign page
  • Input your address.
  • Personalize the pre-written email by identifying yourself as a student, faculty, staff, alumni, parent, trustee, or other supporter of St. Francis College who cares about student aid.
  • Fill in the short form.
  • Click submit.

Once you hit submit, your email will be automatically sent to your federally elected officials to make your voice heard.

Thank you for supporting student aid at St. Francis College!

In Peace & Friendship,

Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D.

President, St. Francis College

Denis Salamone '75

Chair, St. Francis College Board of Trustees

<![CDATA[ Academic Year Kicks Off With Convocation and Block Party ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/academic-year-kicks-off-with-convocation-and-block-party https://www.sfc.edu/news/academic-year-kicks-off-with-convocation-and-block-party Tue, 14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

Terrier TuesdaySt. Francis College kicked off the start of the fall 2021 semester with a convocation ceremony and block party celebration on September 7 that welcomed back students, faculty and staff to its largely re-opened Remsen Street campus.

The morning's hour-long convocation was the first such event at St. Francis College, and the first in-person SFC community gathering since March 2020. It featured addresses from SFC leaders and an awards ceremony recognizing achievements and outstanding service of student clubs, administrative offices and individual faculty and staff members over the past year.

"I do think it's a distinct pleasure to be back," said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College in

Miguel Martinez-Saenz

his address before an audience of about 130 gathered in SFC's Founders Hall and nearly 100 more watching online. "Sometimes we forget what we miss until we encounter it again."

SFC had taught classes and operated its administrative functions nearly entirely remotely since March 2020. SFC faculty members are teaching most fall 2021 classes -- which started on September 8 -- in traditional classroom settings, and on-campus activities and events have resumed as well. SFC requires students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be on campus this fall.

President Martinez-Saenz encouraged the audience to consider if returning "back to normal" is a worthy goal as they contemplate the end of pandemic restrictions. "Do we [instead] want to live in a future...that allows us to live differently, maybe more compassionately, maybe more mercifully? That's what I want you to begin to think about."

Amanda Alexandre

Amanda Alexandre '22, the Student Government Association president for the 2021-22 academic year, commended her peers for their resiliency this past year and encouraged them to forge ahead with enthusiasm. "I am here to help you navigate and execute the Student Government Association's new 2021 to 2022 motto: let's get back to moving forward."

"I'd like to label us all wunderkind students," Alexandre said in her address. "A wunderkind is someone who achieved great success at a relatively young age...the point is you – no, we - made it happen...We beat all odds that were formed against us and we continue to move SFC forward."

Convocation concluded with attendees signing poster boards to commemorate the "last first day" of a new school year at SFC's Remsen Street campus, before the institution moves to its new home in Downtown Brooklyn in September 2022.

That afternoon featured the traditional Terrier Tuesday Block Party, an annual outdoor event on Remsen Street on the day prior to the first day of fall semester classes, with food, games and music held in honor of SFC's new students each year. More than 400 students, faculty and staff attended. SFC hosted last year's Terrier Tuesday celebration online, in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.

SFC presented the following awards during the September 7, 2021 convocation:

Academic Club of the Year: International Cultural Studies Club

Cultural Club of the Year: Black Student Union

Greek Organization of the Year: Kappa Theta Nu Sorority

Special Interest Club of the Year: Photography Club

Overall Club of the Year: Accounting Society

Convocation Service Awards:

Andrew Cornicello, Director Athletics Wellness & Performance, Athletic Department

Bora Dimitrov, Director of Engagement and Alumni Affairs, Advancement Office

Dionne Dodson, Assistant Director of Athletics, Athletic Department

Natasha Edwards, Assistant Dean, Department of Health Promotions & Wellness

Ed Evans, Assistant Director of Security, Campus Security

Brian Guidera, Director of Aquatics, Head Swimming & Diving Coach Athletic Department

James Hoffman, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance, Athletic Department

Chase Licata, Deputy, Director of Athletics, Athletic Department

David Loutfi, Director of Event Management, Facility Rentals and Campus Security

Maggie Martini-Minieri, Associate Athletic Director/SWA, Athletic Department

Anilsa Nunez, Assistant Dean of Residence Life & Student Conduct Student Affairs

Yuki Miyazawa, Director of Strength, Conditioning and Wellness Athletic Department

Romello Rogers, Admissions Counselor, Admissions Office

Department of Athletics

Office of the Registrar

SFC IT Department

Teaching Awards:

Rita Baron-Faust, MPH, CHES Adjunct Professor Department of Biology & Health Promotion

Yakov Bass Senior Adjunct Lecturer Department of Chemistry and Physics

Kristy L. Biolsi, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Department of Psychology

Frank D'Esposito Senior Adjunct Lecturer Management and Information Technology

Patricia Facquet, Ph.D.(c), MSPH, MEdN Department Chair, Assistant Professor Department of Nursing

Jenny Labendz, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Virginia Newman, BSN, MSN, DNP Assistant Professor Department of Nursing

Vladimir Pashkevich, Ph.D. Associate Professor Management and Information Technology

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Launches Online Workforce Programs to Equip Corporate Executives to Lead Amidst Economic Change ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-launches-online-workforce-programs-to-equip-corporate-executives-to-lead-amidst-economic-change https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-launches-online-workforce-programs-to-equip-corporate-executives-to-lead-amidst-economic-change Tue, 14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

St. Francis College has launched two online workforce development programs that provide up-to-the-minute training on critical business operations to ensure corporate professionals can lead successfully amidst rapidly-changing business environments.

The new programs - Supply Chain Excellence and Leading Through Turbulent Times - were designed by Industry subject matter experts and published authors, including Shawn Achor, Dr. Hal Movius, and Nobels Colloquia Prize Winner Dave Ulrich.

Business leaders can register for the programs at https://workforce.sfc.edu which are powered by CorpU, a Udemy Company, and cohort-based workforce development organization and pioneer in the online learning space.

"Organizations globally are experiencing unprecedented changes to their operations and their workforces, that in many cases the pandemic accelerated," said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., president of St. Francis College. "We're thrilled to collaborate with some of the leading business professionals and professors to design courses that will help corporate leaders increase their company's bottom line, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage, as well as give them the tools and confidence to navigate the evolving business environment."

The five-week Supply Chain Excellence program will teach end-to-end perspectives on operations and how supply chain logistics affect many areas throughout hundreds of industry verticals. Enrolled professionals will learn to streamline a supply chain's effectiveness and the impact of new technology on supply chains. Program courses include Competitive Implications of Demand Planning, and Improving Procurement Practices and will be taught by Industry thought leaders including Dr. Christopher D. Norek, senior partner with Chain Connectors, Inc.

The eight-week Leading Through Turbulent Times program will be taught by industry experts and will include courses such as Practicing Positive Leadership and Conducting Interest-Based Negotiations. These courses explore the various impacts on a recovering economy and how to navigate shifting expectations and needs of corporate operations.

The non-credit workforce development programs are fully online for maximum flexibility. Each week offers a different module built to enhance the participant's knowledge and skills, which includes two-to-three hours of self-directed learning and a one-hour synchronous engagement.

Participants are taught through a guided cohort model and can ask questions, participate in discussions, and receive feedback on their work. All participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program.

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Takes Top Spots in U.S. News & World Report's Latest College Rankings ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-takes-top-spots-in-u-s-news-world-reports-latest-college-rankings https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-takes-top-spots-in-u-s-news-world-reports-latest-college-rankings Mon, 13 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

St. Francis College has earned top spots on U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings, a testament to its persistent academic excellence and deep commitment to diversity.

U.S. News Ranking

In its study released today, U.S. News ranked SFC 15th out of 57 institutions in the category of Northern Regional Colleges, based on its performance on 17 indicators of academic quality as compared to other colleges in its geographic area with similar academic missions.

The College also placed number four on U.S. News' list of Top Performers on Social Mobility among northern regional colleges, demonstrating its success in enrolling and graduating large proportions of economically disadvantaged students.

"This latest ranking once again proves that SFC delivers on its promise to remove boundaries to higher education so every student can reach her or his full potential, no matter the background they come from," said Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College. "I commend our current students and recent graduates who have flourished under challenging circumstances this past year. I also salute our faculty, who continue to demonstrate unwavering dedication to each student who enters their classroom."

Illustrating SFC's prioritization of nurturing a student body from a range of backgrounds, U.S. News calculated that SFC has the second-highest Campus Ethnic Diversity Index in its category, a score based on the likelihood that an institution's students will encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own. With 9% of its student body coming from countries outside the United States, SFC tied for second in its category as having the most international students.

"Celebrating and championing the talents and potential of all people is at the heart of St. Francis College, consistent with our Franciscan values," said Jeanne Arnold, Ed.D., who joined St. Francis College as the institution's first permanent Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer in July 2021. Dr. Arnold also serves as the College's Chief of Staff. "That our student body grows increasingly diverse each year is a point of pride and a signal of our institutional excellence."

Twenty-eight percent of SFC's fall 2020 student body self-identified as Hispanic -- up from 26% the prior fall -- and 24% as Black, up from 22%. The rest include those who self-identify as White (26%), Asian (4%) and Multi-Racial (3%).

St. Francis College has a long history of providing an affordable private education, with 98 percent of its student body receiving institutional aid averaging nearly $13,000 per student.*

The College has accelerated its multi-year effort to increase the amount of flexible, online learning available to students. Last month, it announced that five more of its degree programs and a post-baccalaureate certificate in childhood education can now be completed entirely online. That announcement came on the heels of SFC launching its first fully online degree program – a B.S. in Exercise and Movement Science – last summer.


U.S. News assessed 1,466 U.S. bachelor's degree-granting institutions in this year's study. U.S. News gathers data from and about each school in 17 areas related to academic excellence. Each indicator is assigned a weight (expressed as a percentage) based on U.S. News' researched judgments about which measures of quality matters most.

The study groups schools into 10 different categories based on their academic missions and, in some cases geography. Regional Colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. Some regional colleges award two-year associate degrees as well as bachelor's degrees. U.S. News ranks them in four geographical groups: North, South, Midwest and West.

For more about the study categories and methodology, visit U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges.

Social mobility Ranking:

This indicator measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. Students receiving these grants typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, with most money going to students with total family incomes below $20,000. For the third consecutive year, U.S. News published a distinct social mobility ranking for all ranked schools. The social mobility ranking was computed by aggregating the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students.

Pell Grant graduation rates incorporate six-year graduation rates of Pell Grant students, adjusted to give much more credit to schools with larger Pell student proportions. This is computed as a two-year rolling average.

Pell Grant graduation rate performance compares each school's six-year graduation rate among Pell recipients with its six-year graduation rate among non-Pell recipients by dividing the former into the latter, then adjusting to give much more credit to schools with larger Pell student proportions. The higher a school's Pell graduation rate relative to its non-Pell graduation rate up to the rates being equal, the better it scores. This, too, is computed as a two-year rolling average.

Ethnic Diversity Index

To identify colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own, U.S. News factors in the total proportion of minority students, leaving out international students, and the overall mix of groups. The data is drawn from each institution's fall 2020 total undergraduate student body. The ethnic categories used in the calculations are non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, Asian, non-Hispanic white and multiracial (two or more races). Students who did not identify themselves as members of any of those demographic groups were classified as non-Hispanic whites for the purpose of these calculations. The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0 to 1. The closer a school's number is to 1, the more diverse the student population.

*Data from 2019-20 academic year

<![CDATA[ Historian and Author Jill Lepore, Ph.D., to Deliver St. Francis College's 2021 Dr. Frank Greene Lecture ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/historian-and-author-jill-lepore-ph-d-to-deliver-st-francis-colleges-2021-dr-frank-greene-lecture https://www.sfc.edu/news/historian-and-author-jill-lepore-ph-d-to-deliver-st-francis-colleges-2021-dr-frank-greene-lecture Mon, 13 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

Who: Jill Lepore, Ph.D., Professor of American History at Harvard University, staff writer at The New Yorker, host of the podcast The Last Archive, and award-winning author.

What: Dr. Frank Greene Lecture


St. Francis College

Founders Hall

180 Remsen St.

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Livestreamed via Zoom


Friday, September 17, 2021

12:20 – 1:20 p.m.

Advance registration required to attend in person or to join the livestream: sfcfrankgreene21.eventbrite.com

Members of the media: Email news@sfc.edu to arrange coverage or to request interviews, images or video.

All attendees must adhere to St. Francis College's COVID-19 vaccination policy. See more here.

Jill Lepore, Ph.D., award-winning Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker, will deliver this year's Dr. Frank Greene Lecture, an annual event that is part St. Francis College's Honors Program.

This year's lecture also commemorates Constitution Day, which recognizes the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Dr. Lepore will join Freshman Honors Seminar students to discuss this year's Honors theme, "Seeking Truth in the Public Square." The focus will be Lepore's podcast, The Last Archive, which deals with how people understand truth and the history of doubt in American life.

"It's a privilege to welcome Dr. Lepore to SFC as this year's Frank Greene lecturer, as her voice is vital in any conversation about American politics and the arc of history that brings us to our present state," said Sara Rzeszutek, Ph.D., SFC Associate Professor of History and Director of the SFC Honors Program. "Her nuanced understanding of the sometimes contradictory 'progress' of our country since the 16th century will undoubtedly provide unique food for thought for all of us, particularly as we reflect on how ideas about truth and doubt have been shaped and reshaped in various political climates."

Among Dr. Lepore's many professional accomplishments include winning the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought in 2021 and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best non-fiction book on race in 2006. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award; the National Magazine Award; and, twice, for the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Lepore has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2005, writing about American history, law, literature, and politics. She joined the Harvard History Department in 2003.

Founded in 2012, the Dr. Frank Greene Lecture honors Dr. Greene, an art historian who established and led the SFC Honors program for many years. Each year's lecture follows the theme of the first-year honors seminar with a noted guest lecturer on the topic.

<![CDATA[ Professor John J. McCabe's Provocative Think-Tank Piece Focused on Altering US Demographics, Middle Class Contraction, Faltering Public Schooling and Budding Economic Impediments ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/professor-john-j-mccabes-provocative-think-tank-piece-focused-on-altering-us-demographics-middle-class-contraction-faltering-public-schooling-and-budding-economic-impediments https://www.sfc.edu/news/professor-john-j-mccabes-provocative-think-tank-piece-focused-on-altering-us-demographics-middle-class-contraction-faltering-public-schooling-and-budding-economic-impediments Tue, 07 Sep 2021 08:00:00 -0400 A Message From Denis A. Salamone '75, Chair, St. Francis College Board of Trustees

Professor John McCabe has inspired thousands of students at St. Francis College for more than 50 years. His combination of academic credentials, teaching ability and business leadership in the Financial Services industry marries the theoretical and practical into a wonderful learning experience which I have witnessed for almost all of those 50 plus years.

In this article, Professor McCabe delivers a sobering analysis of the decline of the middle class and our economic momentum in America due largely to failing public education and changing demographics. His insights are supported by credible research and are constructed to provoke much-needed discussion on the future of the United States as a global economic and military leader.

I strongly encourage you to read this thoughtful piece as it is a wake-up call to American society and our leaders. I hope we can smell the coffee!

- Board Member, M&T Bank Corp. (2015-present)

- Chairman and CEO, Hudson City Bancorp (2001-2015)

- Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (1975-2001)

Demographic Shifts, Middle-Class Compression and Teetering Public Schools Diluting US Labor Pool and Economic Momentum

By Professor John J. McCabe '65

September 7, 2021

The ever-changing demographic and economic profiles of the United States a half-century ago were quite different than today. There were for example,120 million fewer citizens in 1971 than at present. Immigrants comprised just 4% of the entire population. The Black population totaled around 11% and the White population approximately 85%. Moreover, close to 90% of all children under eighteen years of age lived in two-parent households.

The military draft was still in effect. All physically and mentally fit young males between the ages of 18 and 25 were required to serve two full years in the armed forces. Just three television networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—were transmitting America’s daily dosage of national and international news. Sixty-one percent of all households were classified as middle income. Family formations were robust and an enormous number of consumers were putting after-tax income aside to purchase their first color television. A 21inch color console cost around $500 or approximately $3,300 in today’s dollars.

The male dominated US economy in the seventies was beginning to flash signs of cracking. Fortunately, the woman’s liberation movement was picking up a healthy head of steam. Numerous highly regarded all-male colleges and universities such as Duke, Princeton and Harvard University and a bundle of lesser known institutions of higher learning were opening their doors to women. Simultaneously, a growing phalanx of economic pundits were forecasting that the US could not corral the growing inflation menace resulting from President Lyndon Johnson’s massive Great Society government spending program. According to some soothsayers, the harsh impact this costly “guns and butter” program would implant on consumer savings and living costs was so overwhelmingly prohibitive that the United States would forfeit its crown to Japan as the globe’s preeminent industrial democracy.

One of the brightest jewels in the US treasure trove fifty years ago was the nation’s superb public school systems. They were the envy of the industrialized world and where almost ninety percent of America’s youth received their primary and secondary schooling. Around the globe, it was universally but perhaps incorrectly perceived, that US industry would forever be bolstered by a continuous and growing flow of highly productive and talented workers.

Whenever experts gathered to debate and analyze Uncle Sam’s enviable economic dynamics and muscularity, their conclusions invariably centered on three findings. One was and still holds true today, is that the US has been blessed with an abundance of wealth bolstering resources such as land, labor, financial capital, technological innovation and management depth. The second was that these assets have been continuously well nurtured. The third finding, also still accurate, is that the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and inventiveness exhibited by the country’s hard-charging capitalists is without peer.

Choppy Economic Weather Ahead

Unfortunately, the current economic and demographic radar screens are flashing warning signals that a bevy of turbulent storm clouds are lurking on the not too distant horizon. It is clear that the US consumer dominated economy with a median age of 38.2 years, is hitting the “demographic wall.” Births per female of child bearing age are down to 1.6. Demographers espouse that 2.1 births are needed to avoid population erosion. The birth rate for college educated women is also below replacement and is traditionally less than the national average.

It is no mystery why the center of global economic activity is shifting away from North America and Europe toward the population drenched continent of Asia. The US is not the only well-heeled nation bumping up against population pitfalls. The Group of Seven industrialized democracies account for about 45% of the world’s eighty trillion dollar GDP and yet, not one enjoys a positive replacement ratio. Japan, the third largest global economy with a median age of 48.4 years and a birth rate of just 1.4, is in the most challenging demographic position. Caregivers, police officers, firefighters, military personnel and other critical human resources could soon be in short supply.

Although there are 193 member countries in the United Nations, China and India’s combined citizenship of over 2.8 billion totals a hefty forty percent of world population. India, the most populous democracy on the planet, with its 1.4 billion inhabitants posts a median age of about 25 years. It harbors a tiny but growing sixty million plus middle class. The Indian population should exceed China’s within the next five years.

China, the globe’s second largest economy, generates around eighteen percent of global economic output. It’s fast growing middle class already tops 400 million and dwarfs the entire 331 million US population. However, due to its “One Child Per Family” mandate abolished in 2015, the country is also grappling with managing a rapidly aging population. China’s birth rate is a low 1.5 and its median age is already 35 years. It has been estimated that fewer infants were born last year in China than in any year since 1961, a year the nation endured wide spread starvation.

The inability to reverse the thirty year plus slide in American public school education is dangerously impeding our economy’s ability to reach its maximum economic potential. Without a doubt, this failing coupled with the sad fact that that our most highly educated citizens are becoming a smaller percentage of the overall population could translate into a staggering competitive advantage for China and our other trading partners. India and China already house large numbers of English speaking, technology oriented, education-hungry citizens and are well stacked to fill the void.

As previously noted, throughout the economically difficult 1970’s, many academics and corporate chieftains incorrectly surmised that inflation could not be tamed. Some were predicting that by the turn of the century, Japan and if not Japan, Germany would topple the US and become the world’s foremost industrialized powerhouse. No one forecast a half century ago that by 2030, China would have a fair shot at capturing the number one global economy title.

The rallying cry heard often in the late nineteen seventies was “innovate, automate, emigrate or evaporate.” No question, many labor-intensive jobs migrated abroad, but most highly skilled work and key research and development activities remained stateside. Over the last twenty years however, numerous skilled and unskilled work along with various research and development activities have headed overseas.

In today’s globalized economy, where time and distance have been reduced to the push of an on-button, it is neither illogical nor incorrect for corporate managers to argue that since their businesses operate on a 24/7 schedule, hiring activities must “follow the sun” and be ramped up outside the homeland. Given the prolonged inability to reverse the downward slope in American public school education, it is both imprudent and far too irresistible not to transport jobs abroad. The bottom line benefits in terms of productivity, lower wage costs and worker availability must not be passed-up.

Public Schools Floundering in Reverse Gear Far Too Long

With over half our population under forty years of age, an unacceptable number of youthful Americans have already been stigmatized for having attended substandard public grammar and high schools. Inner-city children along with youngsters residing in high poverty and low income neighborhoods, have been particularly shortchanged. Exactly how many public school graduates and dropouts are chronically unprepared for the expanding “knowledge and information based” jobs of the twenty first century remains an open question.

No one would argue that is easy to put a pair of pants on an elephant. The same holds true when it comes to wrapping our arms around the drooping outcomes in primary and secondary public school education. Innumerable and costly attempts have been initiated over the last thirty years or more to reverse the situation with only minimal quantifiable success. In 1989 for example, when the first President Bush was in the White House and his successor, former President Clinton was Governor of Arkansas both sat on the National Education Goals Panel. This high powered assemblage of political, business and educational leaders put forth a frothy set of education objectives that were to be accomplished by the year 2000 or sooner. Included among the goals were that all children will start school ready to learn, the high school graduation rate would be ninety percent, every student would leave grades four, eight and twelve showing competence in core subjects such as mathematics and reading. On top of this, all schools would be free of drugs, violence and weapons. To date, not one of these objectives have been fully met.

A powerful case can be established that because of limited parental involvement, a dramatically more diverse student population [over 100 different languages and dialects for example, are spoken in the nine hundred thousand student New York City Public School System] and less classroom decorum, the teaching profession today is more challenging and somewhat less appealing to newcomers than a half century ago. Moreover, the current gene pool for future classroom teachers is smaller and not as solid as it was two generations ago.

Only nine percent of all women held a bachelor’s degree fifty years ago. Back then, not many career opportunities were available to college educated women outside of teaching, nursing, publishing and government work. As a consequence, legions of the “best and brightest” female college graduates went into teaching. The three primary areas of concentration for earning a sheep skin for women were education, English and literature. Today, few from the top female academic ranks enter the public school classroom. The military draft was also the law of the land two generations ago and as the Vietnam War build-up commenced, a surge in highly talented young males became public school teachers. By so doing, these newly minted educators were exempted from mandatory military service.

Despite the enormous psychic rewards of working with children and the appeal of making a much needed contribution to society, many college trained young adults who would love to enter the teaching profession are blocked because of economic realities. Two generations ago, career oriented public school teachers had the financial where-with-all to raise a family, purchase a home and save to pay college tuition costs for their own children. Today, runaway home prices alone in many sought after residential communities are out of reach for numerous young teaching professionals with growing families. Half of all Americans have less than a thousand dollars in personal savings. Tacking on other household and family expenses only makes it more discouraging to become a public school teacher.

Sociologists concur and history documents that a nation’s most educated citizens are traditionally the best nourished, the best read and healthiest of all citizens. These fortunate individuals also produce the most educated offspring, garner the most discretionary income and enjoy the highest living standards. Thousands of concerned parents in this grouping, along with other education oriented but not so well-off parents, have abandoned their local public grammar and high schools for private, parochial and charter schools. For some, this has produced an immense financial hardship. Examining the galloping home values in those zip code areas encompassing the most sought after school districts proves the point. Despite one teacher’s union official declaring that it is akin to child abuse, home schooling has surfaced as a fast paced alternative to sending children to sub-par public schools. Over four million youngsters nationwide or roughly seven percent of all school aged children are now being home schooled. Approximately 275,000 youngsters were taught at home in 1990 and under 12,000 in 1971. Still however, around 85% of all US youths attend one of the nation’s 25,000 public schools.

Inner-City, Impoverished and Minority Children Continuously Getting Clipped

Low income, minority and inner-city youths are especially at risk. Upward mobility for many of these children is almost non-existent. Education authorities reason that by the third grade approximately forty percent of minority children, many of whom are also low income and inner city children, read below grade level. The chances these young folks will catch up to grade level by senior year in high school are slight. The probability of dropping out of high school especially for young males, is alarmingly higher.

The National Assessment of Education Progress in 2019 administered proficiency exams in various subject areas to public school students in grades four, eight and twelve. Mathematics, reading, writing, science and history were among the subject areas tested. As has been the case with previous NAEP examinations, the results were disturbing. Just 24% of twelfth graders tested were considered at or above proficiency in mathematics. In science, it was only 21%. Only 26% of eighth graders placed at or above proficiency in writing while 32% did so in reading. A glimmer of hope may have been demonstrated with the fourth graders. Approximately 44% were at or above proficiency in mathematics and 37% in science. In the short to intermediate term, it is clear that not many high school graduates will go on to college in preparation for careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Perhaps most discouraging was that not one student group scored above 20% in history.

Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, with over 360,000 pupils is home to the nation’s third largest public school system. It spends heavily on education. The city not unlike other major metropolises including New York, Los Angeles, Saint Louis and Philadelphia, has its share of underperforming public schools. Less than thirty percent of Chicago’s fourth graders are proficient or better in either mathematics or reading. Approximately, three out of ten students do not graduate from high school and just about eight percent of high school grads go on to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of leaving high school. On top of this, the city is in midst of a teacher shortage. According to published reports, one Chicago school district in 2019 spent $10,851 per pupil on instruction alone. Not including instruction, an additional $16,923 per student was spent on operational expenses. From a cost-benefit perspective alone, much work must be done. According to the Chicago Tribune, thirty-nine percent of Chicago public school teachers send their children to non-public schools.

There is no denying that the heavy burden of work, time and financial pressures most single parents carry is huge. Not everything that should be done can possibly get done. Even though it is a good bet for example, that “today’s readers become tomorrow’s leaders,” studies reveal that less than half of all single parents read to their three to five year old's each day. The number of children living with one parent has catapulted skyward over the last half century. About nineteen million children in 2019 were residing in solo parent households up from roughly eight million in 1970. According to Pew Research, the US at almost twenty-five percent, has more children living in solo parent households than any other nation. Approximately, eighty-eight percent of all single parent households are headed by females. Sadly, an insufficient number of all parents not just solo parents, attend public school “parent teacher nights”. One of four solo parents lives below the poverty line.

Females Keep Bringing Home the Bacon

There are over two million more women enrolled in college than men and continues to increase. They outperform males at all levels of education from elementary school to graduate school. Girls are far more likely than boys to earn higher class rankings, receive better grades and win school honors. Their reading and writing scores consistently trump their male counterparts and more females than males take advanced placement tests. Women earn about 57% of all bachelor degrees and outnumber their brothers in medical, veterinary and law schools. Among full time year round workers, women are more likely than men to have earned a bachelor’s degree. Women also carry about two thirds of all student debt outstanding and are more law abiding than their brothers. Females account for just seven percent of the federal prison population and vote in larger numbers. If current trends continue, in thirty years or so, women most likely will comprise the majority of politicians and social leaders in the US.

While women have been hitting the education ball out of the park, their bothers are finding it more difficult to get on base. Boys are more prone to repeat a grade, drop out of high school, get arrested and be placed in “Special Ed” classes. Boys also have a much higher probability than the distaff side of the equation, to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and to be taking behavior modification medication. Considering that it was only in the late1960’s and early 1970’s that many of the nation’s oldest and most renowned colleges and universities among others, began opening their doors to women, the consistent and ever expanding female contributions to labor force enhancement and rising output per hour of work has been exceptional. US living standards could not be where they are today without the surge in female productivity.

Public school teaching is essentially a female dominated profession. About 77% of all classroom teachers and 90% of all primary school teachers are women. Unfortunately, with so many attractive and financially rewarding career opportunities now available to women, enticing females into the teaching profession is a stiff hurdle. Back in the nineteen seventies about thirty percent of college students were education majors. Today, it hovers around ten percent.

There is also no denying that in numerous public school districts, teacher satisfaction has become a human resource nightmare and is in need of a major retooling. Behavioral scientists shout that it is very difficult to satisfy the professional needs of someone without expelling the things that dissatisfy them. There is a growing laundry list of dissatisfaction among teaching professionals at present. Some public school systems have become highly politicized and a growing percentage of classroom teachers counsel their own children not to enter the profession.

There is certainly credibility to the statement that “teaching is the profession that makes all other professions possible.” For some classroom teachers however, teaching has lost some of its luster. Surveys reveal that about twenty percent of all teachers plan to abandon the classroom in three to four years. Over four out of ten exit the profession within the first five years on the job. Moreover, teacher incomes are more a function of length of service than student outcomes. In numerous instances mainly due to union muscle power, underperforming teachers are sent to “rubber rooms” earning full salaries before if and when they are ever dismissed. A growing cadre of classroom teachers also complain that professional advancement is becoming more a function of “who you know not what you know.”

As more females earn undergraduate and advance degrees and embark on intellectually fulfilling and socially rewarding careers, marriage and motherhood get postponed. The typical female marries about age 27. US college educated women however, wait until age 31. Given the biological clock, many college trained women will give birth to only one or two children. If 2.1 births remain the breakeven point and the typical female college grad has under 1.6 children, this enormously productive contingent of the US population is also self-liquidating.

Since the preponderance of the nation’s most highly educated and career oriented females are White, the percentage of the total student population being poor, minority and foreign born will only escalate upward. Educational demographers forecast that within the next decade, sixty percent or more of the country’s twenty-two million college student population will be comprised of immigrants, minorities, children from low income families and products from weak public school systems. By then, if nothing else changes, close to seventy percent of all college students could be female. It is also predictable and supported by the American Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers that college closures, mergers and consolidations are inevitable.

Immigrants Doing Their Part

Between 1982 and this year, US citizens have witnessed the strongest period of wealth creation and capital formation ever recorded. Throughout this elongated time frame, inflation was arrested, monetary and fiscal policy came together and technological innovations roared ahead. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged over 3,800% and by the year 2000 alone, Uncle Sam had already created more jobs than all of Europe produced throughput the entire twentieth century. It is no secret why with under five percent of the world’s population, the US accomplishes 24% of world economic output.

There is not a chance that middle class Americans could possibly enjoy the suburb living standards they do were it not for the heavy influx of both legal and illegal immigrants. At the bottom end of the economic spectrum, unskilled immigrants are willing to take on the less appealing work that most native born Americans and their children spurn. Lawn and garden maintenance, restaurant kitchen staff, office cleaning, hospital and hotel attendants along with light construction are a few of the job categories that unskilled immigrants gravitate to in droves. According to Pew Research, about half of all immigrants above five years of age are proficient in English.

On the top rung of the economic ladder, the US could not possibly be the technological behemoth it is and own the lion’s share of the world’s technology and technology-related patents, if not for the many mathematics, engineering and science oriented immigrants who were educated on our soil or who migrated here after completing their formal education elsewhere. The sturdy link between patents and prosperity would not be as rock solid as it is if not for legal immigrants. Approximately forty-five percent of all immigrants reside in just three states—California, Texas and Florida.

Thankfully, the US is home to more immigrants than any other country on earth and these new entrants continue to be invaluable contributors to the success of many industries and Silicon Valley in particular. Two of the four microprocessor architects that developed the first Intel 4004 silicon chip in 1971 were immigrants. Over fifty percent of all Silicone Valley startups have been founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. More Silicone Valley workers today were born outside the US than within. Measured by stock market capitalization, of the top five US listed public corporations, Alphabet, the parent of Google, Microsoft and Tesla, are headed by immigrants. The combined market capitalizations of these three tech Goliath's exceeds four trillion dollars and tops the gross domestic product of Germany, the European Union’s largest economy.

To the nation’s benefit, while the majority of native born US college and graduate students shun engineering and the physical sciences, foreign students flock to them. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO for example, migrated to the US from South Africa via Canada to study economics and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He now owns about eighteen percent of Tesla’s common stock and since the first quarter of 2020, this tech titan has witnessed the value of his equity holdings jackknife from $30 billion to over $180 billion. On paper, Elon is the second wealthiest individual in the nation. Amazon Corporation’s founder and former CEO, Jeff Bezos, is number one. Moreover, if Musk achieves the objectives laid out in his current compensation package and agreed upon by Tesla’s board of directors, his wealth could increase by another $55 billion within five years.

A half century ago, about five percent of the US on the books workforce was foreign born. By 2019, it had sailed to over seventeen percent or roughly twenty-eight million workers. Taken into consideration the aging of the baby boomers, the low birth rate of college educated women, the availability of improved birth control techniques, almost one of four US workers could be foreign born within the next ten years. As time progresses and the post Covid-19 world economy garners accelerating velocity, the international competition for highly motivated, self-disciplined immigrants on both the top and lower rungs of the economic ladder will dramatically intensify.

Demographers further surmise that Immigrants and their descendants will account for a whopping eighty-five percent or more of overall US population growth through 2065. Roughly, one million immigrants arrive in the US annually and approximately thirty-seven percent emigrate from only three countries— Mexico, China and India. Demographers further glean that if current trends stay in place, Asians will surpass Hispanics as the largest ethnic group in the US by 2055.

Asian immigrants are a startling twelve times as likely to have graduated college as their non-immigrant counterparts. Fifty-one percent of Chinese immigrants in the US possess a college degree compared to less than ten percent of all adults in China. Children of Chinese immigrants and Vietnamese refugees who have less than a high a school education graduate college at nearly the same rate as their middle class peers. To the benefit of the nation’s economic future, science, healthcare, engineering and entrepreneurship are major career destinations focused on by Asians. In 2019, the American Community Survey revealed that of all ethnic groupings, Indian Americans at $135,705 posted the highest household income. Taiwanese Americans held the second slot at $102,405.

Teacher Union Roadblocks Stifling Competition

Rapid paced, high risk-high reward democratic capitalism as practiced in the US is akin to playing hard serving professional tennis. Other than defaulting, there are essentially just two avenues to defeat. One is to be matched against a more potent and better skilled competitor. The other is a self-inflicted demise. Too many “unforced errors” can deliver victory to the competition. Since there is no more proficient nor potent economic gladiator on this planet than Uncle Sam, the only way the nation can relinquish its superpower status is by inflicting unnecessary harm on itself. Therefore, several questions must be asked, why is neither the private sector nor the public sector putting a full court press on attempting to resuscitate, reform and rejuvenate our underperforming public schools? Why react to a tragedy when it can be anticipated? For how long can the United States remain home to the world’s most renowned and sought after colleges and universities if a galaxy of public feeder schools remain perched on a decline curve?

Jump starting the majority of American citizens to seriously ponder the horrendous social and economic fallout associated with faltering public schools and the dire impact it will have on the country’s human capital has clearly not fully taken hold. Reasons for this shortfall abound. The country’s most privileged, powerful and well-heeled taxpayers for the most part, do not send their children to public schools nor do their offspring become public school teachers. In the country’s most selective colleges, education ranks in the low twenties as the most popular major field of study. In other institutions, education is typically a top ten selection.

Since 1906 just one President, Jimmy Carter, has sent a child to public school. Starting in 1977, the former President’s daughter Amy, was enrolled in the Washington DC public school system throughout her dad’s four years in office. The DC school system by several measures, has much overhauling to do. Former President Obama was the most recent Chief Executive since former President Carter, to have school age children residing in the White House. The Obama’s elected to send their two daughters to a private school.

The well-positioned and gifted hierarchy in the US also prefer cocooning and gated enclaves to local community involvement. Further compounding the education puzzle is that the overwhelming majority of personal wealth resides in the portfolios of Americans fifty-five years of age or older. The offspring for many in this grouping are post school age and their well-established parents have yet to seriously research the education conundrum. In addition, the shortfall in public school education is not a pressing issue for a majority of voting Americans. Heavily funded headline grabbing “Gray Power” issues including Social Security, health care and prescription drug costs overshadow public education. Moreover, the sad fact remains that too few parents of school age children and especially those in low income and minority communities, are sufficiently organized to win constructive change.

The National Education Association [NEA] founded in1857 followed by the American Federation OF Teachers [AFT] born in 1916 are the two largest teacher unions in the land. Their combined membership tallies over three million educators. The members interact daily with over fifty million grammar and high school students. The NEA is also the largest public sector union in the nation and along with the AFT are deeply connected to the Democrat Party. At the margin, in the nation’s one party monopoly blue cities and states, teacher unions pretty much hold the keys to city hall and the governor’s mansion. Annually in many of these locations, teacher unions unleash the largest battalions of the “get out the vote” foot soldiers.

Including outlays for lobbying, NEA alone spends over forty million dollars per annum on political activities. Given that only about seven percent of school funding dollars come from the federal government, publicly funded union dues are primarily directed at state and local office seekers and issues. Teacher union political clout is enormous. Rahm Emmanuel for example, failed to win the Chicago Teacher’s Union endorsement and his reelection bid failed. Antonia Villareigosa expressing some good feelings toward charter schools, lost the political backing of the California Teachers Union and never became mayor of Los Angeles.

To highlight how interwoven the teacher unions are with the Democrat Party, the nation’s teacher population equates with only one percent of the US citizenry and just two percent of entire US workforce. Yet, at last year’s Democratic National Convention, approximately ten percent of the 4,749 delegates were related to teacher unions. Education Next noted that it was “the single largest organizational bloc of Democrat Party Activists.” It has also been reported that ninety-eight percent of all teacher union political contributions and endorsements in 2020 went to Democrat candidates and causes. The number has been above ninety percent since 1995. To boot, just a few days after the Senate approved Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education in March, he and the First Lady, Jill Biden traveled to the Secretary’s home state of Connecticut to visit public schools. Also on board for the visits was Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers Union.

Were it not for Samuel Gompers and the labor unionization movement that got underway on his watch in the lower east side of Manhattan in1875 with the formation of the Cigar Makers Union, the US middle class would not be the size it is today. In theory, there is no reason for having a union if management is doing its utmost to satisfy the legitimate and proper needs of the workforce. Prior to the Robber Barron Era, the US was essentially an agrarian society with a plethora of small individual family run businesses and farms. Most folks worked either for themselves or on the family farm. As the economy tilted toward evolving into a manufacturing oriented society, workers began migrating to company towns. Once laborers started reporting to hardnosed profit driven capitalists, they quickly discerned that not all bosses and business owners were employee sensitive. Many workers quickly recognized they were being exploited. Gompers knew that “in unity there is strength.” He and his acolytes pushed for better working conditions, less working hours and collective bargaining. They were successful in forming the American Federation of Labor. It later merged with The Congress of Industrial Workers to form the AFL-CIO.

Public school education however, as presently delivered is akin to a government sponsored monopoly. Free market competition does not exist and for the most part, public grammar and high schools have been overtaken by organized labor. Inefficiencies are glaring, innovations are in short supply and student outcomes should be higher. Moreover, politics can override student needs. Teacher unions are particularly powerful in the inner cities where pay is often the highest and student outcomes the lowest. The Reverend Jesse Jackson has questioned the “teachers right to strike for more money when the employer—a tax paying parent—holds the tax receipts in one hand and the test results in the other that proves he is paying more and more for less and less.”

According to the Department of Labor, less than twenty-five percent of teacher union dues are devoted to contract adjustments, grievances and discipline. Over three quarters of revenues however, center on executive and non-executive salaries, overhead, political spending, getting out the vote drives etc. Union big wigs recognize that politicians listen more to them than parents and politicos must be nurtured. Higher salaries, larger education budgets and increased funding are typically front burner issues. More money is currently being spent nationwide on kindergarten through twelfth grade than ever before. Unfortunately, serious challenges promoting competing alternatives to traditional public schooling including vouchers, charter schools, home schooling and direct cash payments to parents have yet to truly be perceived as monopoly crushers. The granite like linkage and interdependence between teacher unions and the Democrat Party coupled with the four-year presidential election cycle implies that little beneficial transformation will soon be forthcoming.

The Golden Era for Public Schooling and Upward Mobility

Almost two and a half centuries ago when the US founding fathers determined that a self-governing constitutional republic was the way this country should be governed, most other nations were run by monarchies, autocrats and despots. Our nation’s early leaders also surmised that public schooling would be a necessary prerequisite for insuring a continuous flow of well-schooled and highly motivated social, political and economic leaders. Public education would also help harvest a highly energized citizenry willing to engage in civic life and protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Little did they know, this infant democracy with one room school houses would morph into the globe’s most productive and dominant world power. One whose per capita gross national product now tops $63,000. By comparison, China’s per capita GDP hovers around $11,000.

Two of the most significant pieces of federal legislation ever passed occurred within just twelve years of one another. The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act also known as the GI Bill of Rights, was signed into law in 1944 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a year before the Japanese surrendered ending World War II. President Dwight D. Eisenhower penned The Federal Highway-Aid Act into law in the summer of 1956. Both legislative actions were enormous human capital propellants resulting in a startling and sustained expansion of the nation’s middle class, a staunch rise in US living standards and a monumental demand for additional learning at all levels. Various historians and economists proclaim it was the halcyon era for public school learning and the “Golden Age of the Middle Class.” United States GDP was two and a half times larger in 1960 than it was in 1945.

World War II was a gargantuan capital and labor intensive conflict that ran on for over four years. Going into the hostility the unemployment rate still reflecting the aftershocks of the Great Depression, totaled about 14%. By 1945, unemployment had plummeted to 2.1%. The annual defense budget slingshotted in 1940 from $1.9 billion to almost $60 billion in1945.A plethora of battle supporting manufacturing facilities were operating around the clock at full capacity. WWII by far, was our nation’s costliest conflagration. The total tab in today’s dollars, comes in around $4.1trillion. If it were not for this confrontation and the Korean War that followed, some economists deduce that it might have taken until the Kennedy Administration before the entire fallout from the Great Depression would have totally dissipated.

FDR was a popular President and had received much credit for the New Deal legislation. He was also up for re-election in 1944 and did not want to be saddled with having over fifteen million soldiers return home from battle without a strategy in place helping to guarantee their financial future. While some troopers would go back to the jobs they held prior to entering the conflict most would not. The GI Bill offered a menu of opportunities that would keep the economy humming including putting the full faith and credit of the country in the form of loan guarantees behind those who wished to purchase a home or start either a business or farm. The legislation also offered comprehensive medical care and panoply of incentives for veterans to improve their skill sets and attain further education.

Human capital received a quantum leap higher with the signing of the G.I. Bill. Over two million veterans galloped to college campuses. By 1947, half of all college students were vets. Between 1940 and1950 bachelor degree holders zoomed up to five hundred thousand from two hundred thousand. Not all college administrators however, were enamored by the demand surge for higher education. The president of the University of Chicago, obviously an elitist, bellowed that “education is not a device for coping with unemployment...colleges and universities will find themselves converted to hobo jungles.”

As a valuable consequence of President Eisenhower’s Federal Highway-Aid Act, the bustling US post war industrial economy along with the accelerating demands for higher education and vocational training gained another turbocharged boost. As consumers became ever more confident in their economic wellbeing, the G.I. Bill launched “baby boom” picked up the pace. More than fifty million infants were born during the Eisenhower Era. New school construction particularly in rapidly developing suburban environments also flipped into high gear. Blue collar worker demand rocketed and in 1954, union membership reached an all-time peak of 34.8%.

Nicknamed Ike, Dwight Eisenhower was a career military professional and retired as a five-star general. He also served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. As Commander in Chief and for a host of reasons, Ike aggressively supported the need for 41,000 thousand miles of interstate highway construction. In the1956 State of the Union Message, he informed Congress that “the country urgently needs a modernized interstate highway system to relieve existing congestions, to provide for expected growth in motor vehicle traffic, to strengthen the nation’s defenses, to reduce the toll of human deaths each year in highway accidents, and promote economic development.”

Same as with the G.I. Bill, growth in productivity, living standards and employment evoked from this monumental public works initiative exceeded almost all expectations. Business and leisure travel became more efficient. Just-in-time inventory management began replacing the costlier just-in-case method. Shopping malls joined the march to suburbia and were marketed as “a downtown away from downtown.” Furthermore, workers were able to reside closer to home and police, fire and other first responders could get to emergencies at a faster clip. The high school graduation rate continued advancing and topped sixty-five percent in 1960. College enrollments also flourished as citizens become more aware of the lifelong monetary and quality of life benefits of a college education.

Inflation Crimps Economic Progress and Upward Mobility

With annual GDP averaging a healthy 4.4%, American prosperity and living standards throughout the 1960s continued on ascending trajectories. Sadly, although high school graduation rates and college enrollments continued to rise, runaway wealth impinging inflation blanketed the nation throughout the1970s into the early 1980s. It was to a large degree, a consequence of the Great Society’s frothy “guns and butter” spending outlays along with hikes in crude oil and refined product prices. It took a major toll on the economy. Consumer purchasing power, consumption, and savings all suffered. Unemployment rose, wealth building slowed as the term “stagflation” entered the economic lexicon. Inflation was no match for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The index could only manage a paltry 1.2% average annual gain for the eighteen years from 1963 to 1981.

Capitalism performs its best magic when inflation is subdued, consumer confidence is high and the economy is operating at optimum capacity. President Carter toward the end of his presidency was grappling with the Iranian Hostage Crisis and double digit inflation. Somewhat flabbergasted and without concrete solutions for either the troubled economy or the boiling international firestorm did not exude voter confidence by announcing that the US was stuck in a “national malaise.”

One superlative economic move former President Carter made in 1979 was the proposing of Paul Volcker to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Volcker was a highly regarded financial and economic executive known to both Democrats and Republicans alike. During the 1980 presidential election, the consumer price index peaked at 14.8% and candidate Ronald Reagan shrewdly let it be known if he was elected, he might want to keep Chairman Volcker on the job.

Soon after the Reagan victory and the announcement that Paul Volcker was staying in place both men met to discuss the horrendous inflationary environment. Given that the Republicans controlled the Senate and the Democrats held the majority in the House of Representatives, Volcker informed Reagan that he had little faith that any fiscal policy legislation passed by the Congress would be sufficient enough to cram the inflation genie back into the bottle. Bold monetary policy initiatives had to be the solution. The President agreed.

Volcker recognized that the quickest and most assured way to flush the excess borrowing and speculation out of the system and also give some modest relief to savers was to immediately invoke an oppressively tight monetary policy. The Fed funds rate was pushed up to 20%. The prime rate of interest skyrocketed to an all-time high of 21.5% as did the fixed thirty-year mortgage rate at 18.63%. On the downside, the economy slumped into an abysmal fifteen-month long recession with the unemployment rate topping out at a debilitating 10.8%. The strategy worked. By 1983, inflation already had fallen back to 3.8% and for the last thirty-eight years the CPI has averaged a non-threatening 2.5%.

Wealth and Income Gaps Are Unacceptably Wide

Ever since the 1983 inflation squashing, the consumer drenched US cyclical economy has been operating in a classic textbook fashion. Despite battling three recessions including the eighteenth month long Great Recession, the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the US economy has delivered the strongest period of wealth appreciation and capital formation ever recorded. GDP zoomed in 2020 for example, to $20.9 trillion from $3.6 trillion while the workforce advanced to over 160 million from approximately 87 million. Median family income rose handsomely from $24,580 to $78,500. Hard assets also perform well in low inflationary environments. According to Zillow.com, median US home values currently hover around $269,000 or over three and a half times greater than in 1983. The ninety percent high school graduation rate is at an all-time peak and higher education demand has been on an uptick. Slightly under eleven million students thirty-four years old or younger were enrolled in college in the Fall of1983. Last Fall, nineteen point seven million students were matriculated.

Finance professors like to shock their students by proclaiming “there are two types of people in this world. Those who work for their money and those who have their money working for them. It’s best for you to get into the second grouping.” Some also stimulate the thought process by expounding that capitalism is a “loser’s game.” A loser’s contest in the sense that if one cuts their loses, the momentum of the competitive free market system can still help guide them to the winner’s circle. Risks and rewards however, are obviously not evenly distributed in a competitive capitalistic society. Some people were born on third base and others have whale of a time just getting into the batter’s box. Eighty percent of the wealth in the country was created by hard working capitalists. Twenty percent has been inherited.

Even though the nation’s drawn out macro-economic performance results have been spellbinding, wealth and income advancement has been progressively concentrated in the hands of a few. The middle class has been losing ground. Adjusted for inflation, hordes of working class and lower income citizens who do not have any money working for them, have not enjoyed a healthy bump up in wages in over twenty years. The middle class compression in large measure, results from the fact that many individuals in the higher income range of this tier have put their investment dollars efficiently to work. Long term investments in common stocks, residential and commercial real estate and other risk assets have handsomely escalated in value. Many wealth enriched citizens in the upper middle income bracket have already marched into the upper income bracket. Simultaneously, upward mobility has slowed and the American Dream has diminished for legions of financially insecure workers in the bottom of the income distribution. Fewer of these breadwinners have climbed into the middle income bracket than those who sailed into the upper income bracket.

According to Pew Research and based on 2020 annual income, fifty-two percent of US households comprise the middle class. Approximately, 42.6% of the128 million US households that encompass the lower income bracket have annual incomes of $49,999 or less. Upper income households account for 10.6% of all households with yearly incomes of at least $200,000. Given the monumental rise in personal income and wealth within the last forty years for the top decile of all households, mathematical averages alone no longer paint a clear picture of household wealth. The top one percent of wage earners for example, amass roughly twenty percent of all take home pay. The peak one percent of households reaps around fifteen times the combined wealth of the bottom fifty percent. Furthermore, according to the Federal Reserve, the top decile of equity investors clinches over eighty-five percent of all common stock. A more vivid example of the bounce in wealth for the top earners is that the average net worth for a citizen in the 55-64 age category amounts to $1,175,900 yet, the median net worth is just $212,500. Two thirds of household wealth is generated from home ownership.

An unacceptable number of workers continue to languish at the lower margins of the economy. Almost thirteen percent of all households currently struggle at or below the poverty line. Another twenty-five million or so, amounting to roughly twenty percent, are considered low income. Despite being the most robust wealth construction and prosperity launching power train on the planet, the bottom fifty percent of all US families possess less than three percent of total household wealth. On top of this, net worth for the bottom quarter of the population is less than seven hundred dollars. By the same token, approximately two thirds of all private industry workers have access to an employer provided retirement savings plan such as a 401k or 403b. Sadly however, only half of all eligible employees participate.

It is foolhardy to surmise that fixing the failures of the nation’s public school apparatus alone is a panacea for healing the debilitating wealth and income gaps. It is no mystery according to historian Rutgers Bergman that poor people “borrow more, save less, smoke more, exercise less, drink more and eat less healthy” than others. Typically, these unfortunate citizens also suffer the most throughout economic downturns and benefit the least during upswings. Some in this framework still have not fully recovered from the Great Recession and have also been molested by the Covid-19 reversal. Spiraling housing, healthcare and education outlays coupled with uncertain job security, have made it ever more challenging for struggling families and the working poor to enter the middle income populace and believe in the American Dream. The Economic Innovation Group reports that the number of high poverty US neighborhoods many of which include a large number of deficient public schools, more than doubled between1980 and 2018. Sixty-nine percent of the neighborhoods dubbed high poverty in 1980 are still identified as such. Moving lower income families into the middle class presents the added benefit of placing their offspring in better performing public schools.

Some Sunlight Ahead!

Winston Churchill is famous for espousing “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. “For the last forty years the clear beneficiaries of capitalism have been older more highly educated Americans with money to invest along with large capitalization public corporations and their equity holders. Since the ending of the Great Recession in 2009, home values have increased almost fifty percent. Even though the harsh downturn’s gingerly paced recovery was the slowest since World War II, the last dozen years have been extraordinarily rewarding for common stock investors. As measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, common equities are up over four hundred and fifty percent since the March 2009 bottom.

For many of the 72 million millennials born between 1981 and 1996, the largest and most diverse component of the US workforce, capitalism has not done the trick. Average hourly wages have hardly budged in the past twenty years. Adjusted for inflation, the bottom sixty percent of college graduates are earning less than the group in 2000. Two in five hourly workers between twenty-six and thirty-two years of age get to know their work schedule less than a week in advance.

This the largest living adult generation might be the unluckiest of all generations. Over the last two decades, certain millennials have incurred meaningful payroll shocks associated not only with the Great Recession but also Covid-19 and the Dot-Com reversal. It is not terribly stunning that a substantial number of millennials believe their living standards will not match those of their parents nor will their job status. A recent Gallop Poll revealed that enthusiasm for socialism is on the rise among younger Americans.

The 1990-1991 Gulf War Recession, the 2000-2001 Dot-Com Recession and the 2007-2009 Great Recession were all high unemployment downturns saddled with hefty consumer retrenchment only to be followed by recoveries burdened with minor improvements in real wages. Given the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pullback and its rapid recovery, time is needed for the National Bureau of Economic Research to define the true boundaries for this unparalleled downturn. By the fourth quarter of this year, the time range surrounding this downturn should be officially documented.

One common definition for an economic recession is “two back to back quarters of negative GDP growth.” In the second quarter of 2020, the economy was shut down by government mandate for non-economic reasons and millions of consumers moved into home lockdown mode. GDP on an annualized basis, weathered an historic and unprecedented single quarter plunge of 32.9%. Only to be followed by a compelling atypical brisk 33.1% recovery in the third quarter. Full year 2020 GDP however, sank by 3.5%.

Assuming Covid-19 deaths continue to fall, vaccinations remain on the upswing and if the virus does not return, economic momentum is strongly positioned to ramp up well into next year and perhaps beyond. Trillions of stimulus dollars have already been pumped into the system and the personal savings rate is far above normal. Rising consumer confidence combined with excessive lockdown spawned pent up demand for products and services point to beefy economic progress. The low cost of debt and equity capital only adds to the positive momentum.

Prior to the pandemic, the slow paced recovery of The Great Recession had been picking up an accelerating tailwind. Durable goods demand was advancing, capital expenditure programs were expanding, consumer confidence was uplifting and the unemployment rate was bouncing around a fifty-year low of three and a half percent. Few signs of overspending, over borrowing and outlandish speculation were flashing. All are signals that typically point to an oncoming recession.

Free market capitalism does not promote equality of opportunity. It does however, allocate resources far better than government planners and stimulates risk taking. In capitalist societies the law of supply and demand is the primary determinant of resource allocation. This competitive mechanism rather consistently leads to growing profitability, new product innovation, private sector efficiency and improved living standards.

Due essentially to globalization and a cluster of technological innovations, the US labor supply has exceeded demand for decades. As a consequence, some employers have incorrectly viewed labor simply as an easy to acquire expense item that appears on the income statement. Labor was not perceived as a fixed asset that had to be nurtured and given room to expand. With only six percent of the private sector workforce unionized, labor has only minimal negotiation wiggle room. Fortunately, signs are now flashing that the bond between employers and employees is bending in favor of the workforce.

One can argue whether or not demography is destiny but one thing is for sure, population growth in 2020 for the first time in US history turned negative for Americans between 20 and 64 years of age. If the assumptions presented above hold true and infrastructure improvement legislation is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, labor could mutate into an expanding and demanding sellers’ market. The aging US workforce from 2000 to last year grew annually by less than one percent. For the rest of this decade, it is projected that the annual growth rate will be less than one half of one percent. During the Golden Era of American Capitalism which ran from 1945 through the early 1970’s, annual GDP growth was averaging around three percent. The workforce was expanding around one percent annually and labor productivity about two percent.

Going forward, as corporations and other business entities formulate their strategic plans and reflect on human resource requirements, it should become ever more noticeable that the employee base is the organization’s most crucial long term asset. A resource that must be nurtured, assuaged and rewarded. The US economy’s momentum is coming close to where it was prior to the onset of the pandemic. As the burgeoning post Covid-19 global goods and services demands put further pressure on the available labor pool, the price tag for replacing productive employees could become excruciatingly higher than current outlays. By the same token, even though higher wages fatten consumer wallets, during mounting labor shortages better take home pay alone may not be sufficient to keep workers on the job.

History confirms that during prolonged periods of economic prosperity, particularly when labor has a firm seat at the table, quality of life issues are negotiated, wealth and income gaps dwindle and middle income household wealth expands. Getting into the middle income category affords many citizens the wherewithal to buy a home, typically their first wealth appreciating asset purchase. The value of human capital also gains ground as workers move into the middle class. Aristotle postulated “the most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control and outnumbers both the other classes.” The middle class is the circle that drives the economy. Its inhabitants strive to improve their lot in life and take on the investment risks required to achieve topmost success. Upper income households have already achieved meaningful investment accomplishments and for the most part, have less motivation in assuming greater risk.

Transferring to the New Normal

Hourly workers account for over half of the US workforce. One glaring outcome emanating from the pandemic is a keen awareness of how undervalued and essential legions of poorly paid workers are to the nation. Especially, those with daily face to face contact with the public. The same is true for those blue collar and skilled workers who keep our homes warm, safe and dry. The US now finds itself with over ten million job openings. A staggering one million alone are concentrated in manufacturing and construction. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, the number of workers quitting their jobs is the highest in two decades. Some have made the best of the lockdown experience and given the favorable returns in the equity and real estate markets over the last decade have chosen to exit the workforce entirely. Others are entering retirement out of fear of catching the virus.

Clearly politics can be messy, inefficient and illogical. The barrage of stimulus money poured into the economy over the last fifteen months has added, at least temporarily, to the worker deficit. Some previously employed nine-to-fivers have been unattached from the labor pool for over fifteen months and are still receiving more in unemployment payments and other pandemic related benefits than if they were working. The Committee to Unleash Prosperity revealed in a recent study that in twenty-one states and the District of Columbia, households can receive the wage equivalent of $25 an hour in benefits with no one working. If two parents are unemployed, in nineteen states the benefits are tantamount to $100,000 a year for a family of four. Median household income in the US totals approximately $78,500.

No one can repeal the law of supply and demand and no one recognizes this fact more than practicing capitalists. Employees are gaining the upper hand and have more leverage in negotiating compensation packages. A recent survey conducted by Morning Consult for the Prudential Insurance Company, disclosed that over twenty-five percent of all workers and thirty-four percent of millennials are planning to search for new jobs as the pandemic subsides.

Workers are manifestly moving into position not just to gain wage and salary hikes but also better control over home life and work life. Although the “all clear” has not been sounded, the economy’s reopening is underway. Employers do not want to lose stride with the recovery and surrender market share to competitors as a result of unfilled job openings.

Assuming no economic implosions nor nasty systemic developments, the rising worker shortage could last for quite some time. Moreover, a swarm of demographers are signaling that a “gray tsunami” is on the way. The seventy-three million baby boomers many of whom are millennial parents, will be almost fully retired by the end of the decade. Although beyond their peak spending years, this aging cluster of citizens born between 1946 and 1964, remains the wealthiest, most active, most driven and most competitive of all generations. Boomers comprise about thirty-three percent of total households and have a solid grip on fifty-seven percent of household net worth. Millennials are the largest, most diverse and most educated of all generations and account for around thirty percent of all households. At only five percent, they report a small sliver of household net worth relative to the boomers. The median net worth for a millennial age 34 or younger is just below $14,000. For millennials between 35 and 44, the number leaps to slightly over $91,000.

An Inverted Population Pyramid

Longer life spans and lower replacement birth rates are the two prerequisites necessary to being labeled an aging population. The United States has been classified as such for quite some time. The situation from a consumer led economy prospective however, is getting closer to the critical stage. In 2010 for example, for every twenty 65 and older Americans, there were one hundred 15 to 64-year-old working age citizens. Last year at twenty-six, the number per hundred working age citizens was thirty percent higher. Demographers now predict that by 2038, there will be more than another thirty percent hike in the number of 65 plus seniors per one hundred working age citizens.

Unless a gigantic spike in the fertility ratio materializes or a huge immigration influx unfolds, it is a given that there will be an insufficient number of workforce replacements to offset the full retirement of the baby boom generation. For the past six consecutive years births were below the prior year. Last year, the replacement birth ratio sunk to a record low of 1.6. Back in the 1950’s, the decade in which the majority of the baby boomers were born, the ratio averaged a robust 3.6 births.

Rising life expectancy bestows an abundance of social and economic advantages on a nation. Deeper family bonds, more volunteering, higher educational attainment, strong emphasis on experience and improved mentorships for younger citizens to list a few. On the downside, pension and health care costs expand, alterations in consumption, savings and investment patterns surface as does possible shortfalls in productivity and economic growth. By 2035, there will be over seventy-eight million Americans aged 65 and older up from fifty-six million currently. By then, the US senior citizen population will outnumber dwellers eighteen years old or younger.

Strides in technology, medical care, diet, pharmaceuticals and healthier life styles constitute key longevity catalysts. The fastest flourishing segment within the senior citizen population are the 85 and older participants. This group should triple in size to nineteen million within the next thirty years. In 2000, fifty thousand centenarians were residing in the US. Over ninety-seven thousand are on board today and should approach four hundred thousand by mid-century.

The pressure on government to provide adequate resources for the elderly in general and Medicare and Social Security in particular, will only magnify. Social Security is a “pay-as-you-go’ entitlement whose viability is dependent on a growing workforce. The system needs 2.8 workers which is where it is presently, contributing to the fund to match the dollar value of benefits currently being paid out to over sixty million recipients. Ten thousand baby boomers turn 65 each day and by 2035 the worker to beneficiary ratio will descend to 2.3. By 2030, the average American will be older than what the average Floridian is today.

The roughly sixty-five million Generation X contingent has been labeled the “sandwich generation” and sometimes the “latch key generation.” Sandwich generation because they are wedged in between the millennial and the baby boom generations. Their arrival on the scene between 1965 and 1984 coincided with women entering the work force and a doubling of the divorce rate. Numerous “latch key” children were left to supervise themselves upon leaving school daily until their parents returned home from work. Many X’s are currently in the middle of their working years and are approaching peak earnings. Just like the millennials they also suffered through the dot-com bust and the Great Recession. Unfortunately, this generation possesses the highest average debt of all generations. Most of the indebtedness centers on mortgage, automobile, credit card and children’s college tuition loans. Sadly, these incumbents are also not as well prepared for their retirement years as the baby boomers were at the same age. Boomers, millennials and X’s comprise over ninety percent of the workforce.

Burdened with declining fertility, a shrinking workforce and a ballooning retirement congregation all indicate that the contour of the US population resembles an inverted pyramid. An inversion that portends inevitable alterations in a heavily dominated consumer economy. Unless changes are implemented, fewer births eventually lead to decreased consumption, stalling productivity and minor growth in living standards. Moreover, as older citizens enter the retirement phase of life, one that could last thirty years or more, a portion of their consumption needs must be sustained by younger workforce participants. The National Institute for Retirement Security reported in 2020 for example, that “a plurality of older Americans, 40.2 percent, only receive income from Social Security in retirement.”

Considering the reshaping US population dynamics and the pressures to be placed on the after tax income of working age families, it is becoming more apparent that the private sector whether it be on a solo basis or through public private partnerships, will be playing a more substantial role in delivering health care and retirement fringe benefits. Government outlays in 2019, the last full year before Covid-19 expenses began to mount already totaled a substantial twenty percent of GDP. If the federal government, through higher taxation, increased regulation and additional borrowing, financed the oncoming surge in costs associated with Social Security, Medicare and other government assistance programs, without private sector support, it could rattle the capital markets. Fear of rising budget deficits, higher interest rates and a weaker US dollar would drain investor confidence.

The demand for talent is already heating up. Fortunately, more and more employers are on top of the situation and have begun rethinking their human resource strategies relevant to attracting, motivating, training, compensating, rewarding and maintaining a highly productive low turnover workforce. Although not yet at the “what can you do for me” phase, customizing compensation packages for individual workers not just senior officials, is becoming more commonplace. Unpaid days off, tuition refund programs, flexible scheduling, remote work and health insurance preferences are popular negotiating elements. Some employers are also reviewing whether a four-year college degree is vital or not for various job descriptions. Others are offering employment to individuals with no prior work experience. Furthermore, gig and hourly workers have become talent targets for a variety of corporations while teaching English onsite is an ascending fringe benefit.

The challenges lackadaisical fertility poses for Uncle Sam whose $22 trillion GDP is seventy percent linked to consumer spending are disproportionate and complicated. Trying to compensate for reduced productivity and less workforce participation without hampering living standards is formidable. The urgency placed on further technological innovations, enhancements and transformations to gin up productivity is paramount. GDP growth during the “The Golden Era of Capitalism” was compounding around three percent annually, meaning that living standards could double within a quarter century. If the compound growth of GDP was to falter to one percent, it would take over seventy years to enjoy a doubling in living standards.

Looking forward, the direction of US prosperity is a “Good News, Bad News” narrative. The positive news centers on the bevy of burgeoning middle class consumers now ensconced in various population soaked emerging markets. Total population within the emerging world is estimated at six billion. Moreover, such countries as India, China, Indonesia and Nigeria are far too dependent on the cyclicality and volatility associated with the exportation of commodities and other products. More GDP diversification toward consumer consumption is needed. The flourishing middle class populations in these countries concur and are pressing for higher living standards. These demanding consumers long for many of the products and services produced by the Group of Seven and other industrialized nations. Surveys continue to reveal that when emerging country middle class citizens are polled as to which nation’s way of life they wish to emulate the US is always near or at the top of the list. Net exports account for roughly eleven percent of US GDP. In the near to intermediate term, export growth should be sufficient to balance out any short fall in consumer demand. Obviously, the quicker the emerging world chalks up economic advancement, the better it is for US living standards.

Time for Action!

Political self-interest is perhaps the most daunting impediment swarming around the United States wherewithal to effectively adapt to the realities that accompany an extended fertility drought and simultaneously, maintain its position as the globe’s sole superpower. When a nation runs low on births, it also runs low on consumers. Not to mention the burdens placed on the existing workforce to be more productive. To boot, tensions on the country’s educational apparatus to continually assemble, cultivate and produce top notch human capital becomes ever more compelling.

The culmination of the middle class “golden era” a half century ago, coincided with the upsurge in living costs and the disruption of living standards linked to the 1970’s wealth depleting runaway inflation. Something else began permeating American society around the same time. The long standing intergenerational legacy of bequeathing a value packed public school education from one generation to the next started to tread water. Public school education while still a generational predictor has clearly become much less treasured. With so many students cemented in underperforming public schools, it can no longer be truly recognized as a passport to the middle class.

Self-crippling wounds reeling around academic curriculums are putting the nation at risk. In this highly competitive global economy, China harboring a population almost five times larger than the US, is challenging Uncle Sam for military, economic and technological superiority. Illustrations flourish evidencing a noxious watering down of academic standards. Princeton University for example, is no longer requiring Greek or Latin when majoring in the classics. California has eliminated advanced mathematics courses until the eleventh grade. In Chicago, where the majority of public school students are not proficient in mathematics, questions relating to mathematics on various teacher certification and licensing examinations have been reduced or eliminated. The state of Oregon’s Education Department has deduced that math instruction “places too much emphasis on the right answer.” Mediocrity is not an economic propellant.

Why reduce the rewards of self-discipline, hard work, open debate and the search for truth? A decade from now when most of the baby boom generation will be retired, the inverted US population pyramid could be dangerously top heavy. Also, the caliber of our labor force bench strength ten years down road remains an open question. Human capital is the driving force that boosts innovation, augments productivity and sparks entrepreneurship. It is also the most essential element for attracting the necessary financial capital compulsory to stimulate long term fixed asset investment and expedite economic growth.

Not long ago, a task force sponsored by the Council On Foreign Relations headed by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joel I. Klein, former New York City Chancellor of Education entitled: U.S. Education Reform and National Security, concluded that “The United States failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country’s ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role.” It also surmised that “The large undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy and grow its economy.” The task went on to deem that “human capital will determine power in the current century, and the failure to produce the capital will undermine America’s security.”

The task force did not pull any punches and chastised the country’s political leadership at all levels both past and present, for not issuing an “all hands on deck” order to solve the multi decade long education fiasco. While recognizing the US has a healthy quotient of well performing public grammar and high schools, task force members identified several shortfalls that demanded immediate attention. More than twenty-five percent of high school students and close to forty percent of Hispanic and African American students fail to graduate from high school in four years was one. According to the College Board, just forty-three percent of college bound high school seniors meet college-ready standards was another. Two additional disheartening facts presented by the education group Act were that only twenty-two percent of incoming college students meet college-ready standards in all their core subjects and the second, even though the United States is a country of immigrants only two out of ten Americans speak a second language.

With the public school education monopoly being controlled by the teacher unions with political cover, the assemblers maintain far more control over the finished product than parents and students. Eliminating potential competitors, cajoling their benefactors and reinforcing job security can take precedence over student development. We will never know how many poor and underprivileged graduates and dropouts of underperforming public schools would have been the first one in their family to graduate college or become a licensed plumber, welder or electrician were it not for the luck of the draw of being assigned to a deadbeat public school. The same holds true for some who wound up in the criminal justice system or became wards of the state.

We all can agree that “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Yet, going on for almost a half century, the world’s sole surviving superpower has not been able to find the necessary blueprint to bring quality schooling back to the exhaled status it once held. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” - Benjamin Franklin.

If you would like to be added to the Professor John McCabe Lecture Series mailing list please call or email St. Francis College’s advancement office at (718)489-5361 or advancement@sfc.edu.

<![CDATA[ Welcome to the New Academic Year! ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/welcome-to-the-new-academic-year https://www.sfc.edu/news/welcome-to-the-new-academic-year Fri, 03 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

Hello Terriers!

Welcome to the start of the 2021-22 academic year!

We're delighted to open our campus doors once again to the SFC community, for our final year at Remsen Street before we move to our new Downtown Brooklyn campus next September.

While we largely return to in-person classes, labs, events and activities beginning September 8, I'm proud that we are offering students significantly more options for online learning.

We committed and continue to increase educational access and flexibility, by integrating the best technology and sophisticated teaching techniques into a host of dynamic online learning opportunities.

This fall, students can now complete seven SFC programs entirely or partially online. The know-how we acquired from the last 18 months of remote instruction informs these innovations in our curriculum.

We are also delivering on our promise to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in all we do. This summer, Jeanne Arnold, Ed.D. joined my cabinet as SFC's first permanent Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, in addition to serving as the College's Chief of Staff.

You will hear from Dr. Arnold throughout this year, as she thoughtfully advances SFC's long-standing Franciscan commitment to respect, celebrate and champion the dignity, talents, contributions and potential of all individuals.

Moreover, SFC leaders remain steadfast in our efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of everyone who comes to our campus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and each of us must do our part to help protect ourselves and each other, by submitting the COVID-19 Proof of Vaccine that is required of all students and employees, and by continuing to follow College rules, including mask wearing, while on campus. We ask that students, faculty and staff affirm their commitment by signing the Terrier Pledge.

Please reach out for help when you need it. Faculty and administrators are here if you have questions or need extra support. You can find more information about fall 2021 on the Back to Brooklyn web page, or you can email backtobk@sfc.edu.

I look forward to seeing many of you on September 7 at Convocation and the Terrier Tuesday Block Party, on campus and at athletic competitions throughout the fall.

I wish you all a fulfilling and rewarding semester.

In Peace and Friendship,

Miguel Martinez-Saenz

<![CDATA[ Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for Students ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/covid-19-vaccine-policy-for-students https://www.sfc.edu/news/covid-19-vaccine-policy-for-students Thu, 02 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0400

SFC requires students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination in order to come to campus for the fall 2021 semester, which begins on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Fully Vaccinated Students

If you are fully vaccinated, submit the Proof Vaccination form right now if you have not yet done so. You can submit your form as soon as you've gotten your final shot.

Partially Vaccinated Students

SFC will provide a "grace period" for students who have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter campus between September 8 and October 1.

To qualify for grace-period campus access, please submit the Proof of Vaccination form by September 10 showing that you received at least one vaccine shot. You must then get your second shot no later than October 1.

Students who do not have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption will not be able to enter campus as of September 8.

Additionally, in order to access campus, partially vaccinated students in the grace period – the weeks between the two shots – and those who have an approved exemption need to provide a negative PCR test from within 7 days or a negative rapid test from within 72 hours of their arrival on campus.

Unvaccinated Students

Unvaccinated students must act now to comply with SFC's COVID vaccination policy.

Students can get the first Pfizer vaccine shot at St. Francis College (180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn) on September 7 during Terrier Tuesday Block Party, from 9 am to 6 pm. You can also find vaccine sites throughout the city.

Depending on the vaccine you get, you need to be aware of the following timing:

  • Pfizer two-dose vaccine: You must get your first dose and upload proof no later than September 10, 2021. Getting your first dose on September 10 means you will be able to get your second dose by October 1, 2021. You must upload full proof of vaccination (proof of both shots) by October 1, 2021, to remain enrolled for in-person classes.
  • Moderna two-dose vaccine: You must get your first dose no later than September 3, 2021, and upload proof showing that you received at least one vaccine shot. Getting your first dose on September 3 means you will be able to get your second dose by October 1, 2021. You must upload full proof of vaccination (proof of both shots) no later than October 1, 2021, to remain enrolled for in-person classes.
  • Johnson & Johnson: You must get your COVID-19 vaccine and upload proof no later than September 10, 2021 to remain enrolled for in-person classes.

After October 1, all SFC students must have either submitted proof they have completed vaccine shots or have an approved vaccine exemption to access campus.

If you believe you have a legitimate and documentable medical or religious reason why you cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you have until September 10 to submit an exemption request.

To do so, submit the Proof of Vaccination form right away, if you have not yet done so, and indicate on it that you're making such a request. You will need to take additional steps after that to complete your request. Please note that exemptions are limited and requesting one does not mean you will get one. This deadline is necessary to allow time to review exemption requests and, if they are denied, allow students enough time to be vaccinated before October 1.

Students who do not qualify for an exemption and do not intend to be vaccinated should understand they will be withdrawn from in person classes after October 1.

Vaccines are the best way we can ensure as safe and healthy a campus environment as possible this fall and provide us the confidence to lift campus restrictions. Vaccines are safe, effective, readily available, and free.

Please do your part to protect yourself and those around you. Take action right now regarding your COVID-19 vaccination so you can enjoy all SFC's campus has to offer you this fall.

<![CDATA[ St. Francis College Names Hayley B. Dryer as Vice President and General Counsel ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-names-hayley-b-dryer-as-vice-president-and-general-counsel https://www.sfc.edu/news/st-francis-college-names-hayley-b-dryer-as-vice-president-and-general-counsel Tue, 24 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0400

St. Francis College appointed Hayley B. Dryer as Vice President and General Counsel, effective August 23, 2021. Dryer reports directly to Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., President of St. Francis College, as a member of his cabinet.

In her new position, Dryer provides professional advice on a broad array of critical legal, strategic, and public policy issues and is responsible for the College in all legal proceedings and transactions. She works closely with the College's senior administrators and serves as chief legal advisor on issues related to the College, providing recommendations, advice, and input consistent with best practices, the strategic plan, and the mission of the College. She also oversees the provision of all legal services to the College by outside counsel.

Before joining SFC full-time, Dryer represented the College for several years while a Partner at Cullen and Dykman LLP, where she served as a member of the firm's Higher Education practice group and a partner in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department. As outside counsel, Dryer worked closely on matters related to SFC's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its plans to relocate its campus from Brooklyn Heights to Downtown Brooklyn in 2022.

"Hayley has been instrumental in critical decisions we've made in the past several years, including transitioning to remote learning during the pandemic and bringing back large numbers of students and employees to campus this fall," said President Martinez-Saenz. "Her deep understanding of our institution and its mission will be invaluable as the College continues to evolve significantly in the coming months and years. I'm grateful for her contributions to date and look forward to collaborating with her even more as a member of SFC's leadership team."

While at Cullen and Dykman, Dryer's litigation practice focused on representing employers in discrimination and harassment cases and general contract and business disputes before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and in alternative dispute resolution forums.

Dryer also represented educational institutions, including colleges and universities, on a wide array of legal matters specific to academia. This included all facets of student and employee relations, tenure and promotion, academic and student affairs, internal grievance and disciplinary procedures, policy creation and implementation, workplace investigations, discrimination and accommodations, governance, institutional financial distress, litigation avoidance, risk management, and crisis management. She also worked with higher education institutions to ensure compliance with Title IX and Article 129-B of the NYS Education Law.

"Working with St. Francis College these past several years has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I'm delighted to join the Terrier family full-time," said Dryer. "This is a very exciting moment for the institution, and I'm thrilled to play a part in helping it move forward."

Dryer has been a featured speaker at dozens of industry events, including those hosted by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), the NYS American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations. Her work has been published by the New York Law Journal and the Nassau Lawyer, among other publications.

Dryer received her Bachelor of Arts in history from New York University (NYU). She received her law degree from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.