<![CDATA[ St. Francis College ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/ Mon, 23 May 2022 08:30:57 -0400 60 <![CDATA[ Watch the Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremony ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/watch-the-spring-2022-commencement-live https://www.sfc.edu/news/watch-the-spring-2022-commencement-live Fri, 20 May 2022 11:50:00 -0400 SFC honored students who are candidates for associate’s, bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate and master’s degrees at the Coney Island Amphitheater. Relive the magic of Spring 2022 Commencement by watching the full-length video.

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<![CDATA[ In the Spotlight: Ayah Badawy ’22, B.S., Biology ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-ayah-badawy-22-b-s-biology https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-ayah-badawy-22-b-s-biology Mon, 16 May 2022 10:02:00 -0400 Ayah Badawy

Ayah Badawy’s career goal is to become a doctor and work with underserved communities.

How does it feel to have been asked to offer the welcome at Commencement alongside your classmate Jenna Slevin?
It is an honor, above all, to be able to welcome fellow graduates and their families and guests at Commencement. Honestly, it feels a bit surreal. I hope to encapsulate some of the emotions we went through the past four years with Jenna, my peer and dear lab partner of the past four years.

What professor, classroom experience or extracurricular activity at SFC had the greatest impact on your success here?
The experience that impacted me the most is the summer of 2018, just before classes started, at Biology Bootcamp. In truth, I was horrified and intimidated by college. Thanks to my brother, Dr. Karim Badawy, an SFC alumnus who always excelled at what he did and set a seemingly impossible high bar for me, I was now going to St. Francis College, too, and had no idea if I could reach any sort of bar. Anxiety and fear shook 18-year-old me, and when I went to Biology Bootcamp after deciding I wanted to be a biology major, I came home every day crying because I thought I couldn’t do it. The material was scary, and I felt I wouldn’t be able to succeed.

But I had loving and caring professors. One of these was Dr. Alison Dell, who would go on to be my professor for several biology classes. On the last day of bootcamp, I remember being so worried about how I would tell her that I was scared to death about starting college. Would she laugh at me? Would she think less of me? No and no. Dr. Dell embraced me with warmth and assured me it would all be okay, and there was proof to show that in my performance in the bootcamp assessments. After I heard those words, it really felt like things would be better. While I was still very nervous, I went to school two days later and, what do you know, it wasn’t so bad.

Did you participate in an internship during college?
Yes! In the summer of 2019, I got accepted into the REU Summer Research Program in the psychology department at Boston College. It was such a humbling and enriching experience for me to be involved with an advanced lab, which further piqued my interest in biology and medicine. I was introduced to the best mentor and principal investigator, Dr. John Christianson, who taught me a lot and filled in the gaps I had for the research project.

What does it mean to you to have attended college in New York City?
I live in Queens, and to travel 40 minutes each way, every day, for the past four years on the N and 4/5 train was quite the experience. Prior to attending SFC, I barely visited Brooklyn and had no idea what kind of place it was. After experiencing the SFC campus in Brooklyn Heights, I can say there’s magic to the borough. When I first discovered the promenade and DUMBO area, I was amazed by the beauty of it all. I will definitely miss commuting to Brooklyn. It has some of the most amazing architecture, in my opinion, and great food spots.

What’s next for you?
I plan on attending medical school in the United States, with the intention of pursuing a meaningful career that can impact lives and help underserved communities gain better control of their health.

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<![CDATA[ In the Spotlight: Jenna Slevin ’22, B.S., Biology ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-jenna-slevin-22-b-s-biology https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-jenna-slevin-22-b-s-biology Mon, 16 May 2022 09:09:00 -0400 Jenna Slevin

Growing up, Jenna Slevin planned to pursue a career in the arts. While she still draws and paints, her career goal now is to become a veterinarian. Slevin’s main hobby these days is crocheting items for friends and family. She also enjoys exploring different fitness realms and workouts as well as trying out vegetarian recipes.

How does it feel to have been asked to offer the welcome at Commencement alongside your classmate Ayah Badawy?
It is truly an amazing honor, and I am grateful for the opportunity. As a shy individual, public speaking can be nerve-racking; however, I have grown so much over my four years at St. Francis College and had such an exceptional experience that I want to offer a special message to my classmates, the faculty and my family. It’s a wonderful way to conclude my SFC journey.

Why did you pursue a B.S. in biology at St. Francis College?
My goal is to become a veterinarian. In my freshman year, I started working at an animal hospital after volunteering there for four years. Balancing work and school was interesting, but it was an important experience in developing skills for my academic, professional and personal life.

What professor, classroom experience or extracurricular activity at SFC had the greatest impact on your success here?
The SFC community has been extremely influential in helping me develop into the person I am today. I have acquired an inner strength to face challenges and embrace change. Majoring in biology can be challenging, but I am grateful for the enhanced problem-solving and time-management skills I obtained through my courses. As my first class at SFC, General Biology with Dr. Dell was impactful in setting the baseline for my academic career of the past four years. Microbiology with Dr. Ruiz was wonderful as well. Despite the complexities, I very much enjoyed the material. Ultimately, this class boosted my confidence in my academic abilities.

What was the topic of your honors thesis?
“The Price of a Priceless Companion: A Case for Preventative Veterinary Care,” in which I addressed the high cost of veterinary health care and proposed solutions to combat it. I proposed the idea of a 12-month subscription package that allows veterinarians to customize the needs of a pet (wellness exams, vaccines and lab work, food, treats, toys) regarding its health care regimen. My thesis is truly a passion project. Although I finished writing it, this topic is something to which I will continue to dedicate my career.

What does it mean to you to have attended college in New York City?
I live in Brooklyn and have always attended schools here; however, this was my first time attending a school outside of my neighborhood and commuting. It was an important experience, as commuting led to a greater appreciation for Brooklyn and New York overall. I have many memories of my journeys to and from school, whether they were on the R and N trains or the South Brooklyn ferry.

What’s next for you?
I am applying to veterinary graduate schools. Over the next year, as I prepare for and choose a school, I will be working full-time and venturing into volunteer projects. The animal hospital where I work is a general practice for small animals (cats and dogs, primarily, plus bunnies and guinea pigs, and exotics, such as birds), and I would like to acquire experience with large animals, such as horses, and explore varying fields and specialties. Finalizing my time at SFC has been a wonderfully bittersweet experience. I look back on these four years with great pride in what I accomplished, with gratitude for what I gained and with excitement for how I will continue to grow. Although I will miss SFC greatly, I will always be immensely thankful for the opportunity to attend and the terrific memories I made along the way.

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<![CDATA[ Commencement Ceremony, Keynote Speaker Announced ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/commencement-ceremony-keynote-speaker-announced https://www.sfc.edu/news/commencement-ceremony-keynote-speaker-announced Sun, 15 May 2022 11:52:00 -0400 Commencement

On Thursday, May 19, St. Francis College (SFC) will hold commencement exercises for approximately 500 students. These members of the class of 2022 represent the last cohort of students who will have completed the entirety of their studies at the 180 Remsen Street campus in Brooklyn Heights, where the College has been based since 1963. Over the summer, it will move to a custom-built, state-of-the-art facility in Downtown Brooklyn.

The midday ceremony — during which SFC will honor students who are candidates for associate’s, bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate or master’s degrees — will take place at the Coney Island Amphitheater and be livestreamed for remote viewing. President Miguel Martinez-Saenz will be among the SFC leaders addressing students, faculty, family members and other invitees. Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, will read aloud candidates’ names and present awards. Formally welcoming guests to the Coney Island Amphitheater will be students Ayah Badawy and Jenna Slevin.

Dr. Hakim Williams will deliver the keynote address. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Williams is the inaugural Daria L. and Eric J. Wallach Professor and Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Gettysburg College, where he is an associate professor in the department of Africana studies. He holds a B.A. in psychology, with honors, from St. Francis College, as well as an M.A., M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. His research centers on structural violence in schools, educational inequities, youth and community empowerment, and cross-national solidarity building.

“At St. Francis College, we commit to educating students who go on to make a positive impact in the world and lead lives of service to others. Hakim’s example should serve as inspiration for every student and graduate who wants to find a way to make society more equitable and just,” said President Martinez-Saenz. “We are honored to have him speak at this year’s Commencement.”

Antonina Horzov
, a candidate for a B.S./M.S. in accounting, will deliver the valedictory address. “Antonina’s résumé and scholastic achievements are impressive. This and her record of service to the SFC community and beyond set her apart from her peers and earned her the honor of being named valedictorian,” noted Dr. Lancaster. Born and raised in Ukraine, Horzov acknowledged, “It is the honor of a lifetime to be named valedictorian and, in light of all that is going on in my homeland, it will be doubly meaningful.”

Among the candidates receiving degrees will be the first one to obtain a B.S. in exercise and movement science, the College’s first fully online degree program. In addition, nine students will be the first to have completed the one-year post-baccalaureate certificate in childhood education (grades 1-6), also in a fully remote format. “Both programs were developed as part of SFC’s strategic plan to introduce distance-education offerings and are tailored to individuals — those with a job or family commitment — whose life situation may make in-person college untenable,” related Gale Gibson-Gayle, Ph.D., Assistant Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate and Online Programs.

Spring 2022 commencement exercises will follow strict health and safety protocols, including requiring those in attendance to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or show either a negative PCR test result within 72 hours or a negative antigen test within 24 hours. Attendees should be prepared to show a government-issued I.D. upon entry. Mask-wearing will be optional.

Spring 2022 Commencement at a Glance

What
: Honoring approximately 500 students who are candidates for associate’s, bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate or master’s degrees

When: Thursday, May 19, 2022
12 p.m. EDT

Where: Coney Island Amphitheater
3052 West 21st Street
Brooklyn, NY

Livestream: Available on YouTube.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Hakim Williams ’02

Valedictorian: Antonina Horzov

Student Speakers: Ayah Badawy and Jenna Slevin

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

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<![CDATA[ In the Spotlight: Spring 2022 Valedictorian Antonina Horzov, B.S./M.S., Accounting ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-spring-2022-valedictorian-antonina-horzov-b-s-m-a-accounting https://www.sfc.edu/news/in-the-spotlight-spring-2022-valedictorian-antonina-horzov-b-s-m-a-accounting Fri, 13 May 2022 05:57:00 -0400 Antonina Horzov

Antonina Horzov, who hails from Ukraine, came to the United States on her own almost seven years ago as an international student. On the eve of Commencement, she reflected on being named the spring 2022 valedictorian and her time at St. Francis College (SFC). Horzov’s entire family remains back home in Ukraine and will not be present when she delivers her valedictory address.

How does it feel to be named valedictorian at this spring’s commencement?
It was completely unexpected, as I never strived to be valedictorian. My goal at St. Francis College was to do my best, get good grades and cover all the bases to obtain my degree. To be honest, the honor hasn’t fully sunk in yet. With all that is going on in my homeland, I can’t fully appreciate it right now, but I will. I know it’s a big deal here to be named valedictorian.

Why did you choose to pursue a B.S./M.S. in accounting at St. Francis College?
I have a bachelor’s degree in English language from a Ukrainian university. When I moved to New York, I began studying office administration at ASA College but quickly changed my major to business and obtained my associate’s degree. I had friends who attended St. Francis College and learned about scholarship opportunities for international students, so I transferred here to get my bachelor’s in accounting. The fact that SFC offers a combined B.S./M.S. I found convenient and appealing.

What professor, classroom experience or extracurricular activity at SFC had the greatest impact on your success here?
The entire accounting department — Professor Kathleen Mills, Dr. Carmine Nogara, Dr. Louis D’Elia, Professor John Lombardo — bring years of experience in the field to the table. They share real-life examples and give practical advice. I would add that the overall environment at St. Francis College is great. It’s a tight-knit community. You feel supported. As an international student, I faced the prospect of deportation in the early part of the pandemic, but the College really fought for me to stay. It had my back.

What personal qualities allowed you to achieve at SFC?
I have a rule I always go by: When you do something, put your whole heart and mind into it. I work and go to school full-time. Some people call me an over-achiever, but if I place high expectations on myself, it’s only because I sincerely believe I can achieve them.

What did it mean to you to attend college in New York City?
Prior to coming to New York, I spent two summers in small towns in Virginia and Massachusetts, respectively, thanks to a work and travel program. The first time I took a walk in Manhattan, it felt very different. I was impressed by the tall buildings, the people rushing everywhere, the energy. I knew I wanted to be here. The concrete jungle really appeals to me!

What’s next for you?
I will be working as the office manager of a dental clinic in Brooklyn while I study to pass the CPA Exam. My father is a dentist, and growing up, I knew I did not want to study medicine or dentistry. The irony that I now work at a dental clinic is not lost on me. Once I get my CPA license, though, I will dive headlong into my accounting career.

Editor's note: Watch Horzov's May 18 interview on PIX11 News.

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<![CDATA[ SFC Professor’s Book on Veganism Set to Be Published ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-professors-book-on-veganism-set-to-be-published https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-professors-book-on-veganism-set-to-be-published Tue, 10 May 2022 06:01:00 -0400 The Vegan Evolution
Detail from the book's cover

In June, British publisher Routledge will release The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture, by St. Francis College (SFC) professor of literature, writing and publishing Gregory F. Tague.

Drawing from the latest research in food ecology and evolutionary studies, Tague’s book makes the case for shifting the human diet away from farmed meat and dairy products while calling on legislative leaders, policymakers and educators to inform the public about the advantages of a vegan culture. As he notes in the book’s abstract, “The bottom line is that we have to start thinking collectively about smarter ways of growing and processing plant foods and not farming animals as food to generate good consequences for health, the environment and animals.”

Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his non-fiction writing, Tague is the author of several works, including, most recently, An Ape Ethic and the Question of Personhood (Lexington Books, 2020). He founded and edits the ASEBL Journal and Literary Veganism. At SFC, Tague is the founder and senior developer of the Evolutionary Studies Collaborative.

For more about The Vegan Evolution, visit Tague’s Google site.

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<![CDATA[ Charter Day Marks a Moment in History ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/charter-day-marks-a-moment-in-history https://www.sfc.edu/news/charter-day-marks-a-moment-in-history Mon, 09 May 2022 08:42:00 -0400 Charter Day 2022
Pictured, left to right, are President Miguel Martinez-Saenz; SFC Board of Trustees member Arkell Cox, recipient of the Entrepreneurship Award; Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship; and Monique Moore Pryor, Esq., the chief engagement and external affairs officer of SFC.

On April 29, the St. Francis College (SFC) community gathered to celebrate the 138th anniversary of the College’s charter.

It all began in 1858, when a group of Franciscan Brothers opened St. Francis Academy, the first boys’ Catholic school in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Then, on May 8, 1884, the New York State Legislature granted a charter to the trustees of St. Francis Academy to “establish a literary college in the City of Brooklyn under the title of St. Francis College, with the same powers to confer diploma and literary honors possessed by universities and colleges of New York State.” The first Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred in 1885, and the first Bachelor of Science degree followed in 1892.

Each year, Charter Day convocation marks a time to commemorate the past, celebrate the present and look to the future. This year’s Charter Day provided a moment to reflect, as it was the final such day at the 180 Remsen Street address, to which the College moved in 1963. In addition to in-person attendees at Founders Hall auditorium, the event was streamed live.

“In the 21st century, St. Francis College has its largest enrollment and is the most diverse it has ever been while still maintaining our most important mission, handed down to us from the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn at the beginning: a values-driven education that produces service-oriented leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Jennifer Lancaster, Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. “Today, we continue our journey as we celebrate our final Charter Day here at 180 Remsen.”

President Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Ph.D., described it as an emotional day. “As we celebrate achievement, as we wonder about the changes before us, we come to really think prayerfully about the gifts that we have,” he said.

Among the honorees on Charter Day were the new and honorary inductees to the Duns Scotus Honor Society, installed in 1935 at the College’s Butler Street campus. From 1963 to the present day, only about 850 members of the SFC community have been inducted.

Other honorees on Charter Day included recipients of the Pax et Bonum medal for 15 years of dedicated service as a faculty member, the Pax et Bonum medal for 25 years of decided service as a faculty member, the President’s Award for 15 years of dedicated service as an administrator or staff member, and the President’s Award for 25 years of dedicated service as an administrator or staff member.

The featured speaker was SFC Board of Trustees member Arkell Cox, owner of three IHOP restaurants — with one (on Livingston Street) being among the most successful in the country — and IHOP franchise developer. The Brooklyn resident is also co-founder and vice-president of HERStory Lifestyles, which empowers women in need and survivors of abuse.

“We have gifts, talents and abilities,” noted Cox, who said sometimes those gifts are buried because people don’t know what to do with them. “Manifestation is such an important part of our daily walk.”

The first time Cox attended an event at St. Francis College, she was moved by how she was greeted by the students. While she was no stranger to SFC, having had family members attend, walking into the building and being met with such positive attitudes moved her. She felt a connection to the College and wanted to share her story and help students build their legacies.

“Our gifts start within us if we start to learn the manifestations,” Cox said. “I knew this was a place I wanted to give my service. We need to take time to think about when there’s something inside of you pulling at you. Don’t ignore it; that is your gift.”

The Department of Management and Information Technology and the Center for Entrepreneurship honored Cox with the Entrepreneurship Award.

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<![CDATA[ Update on the Future Home of SFC Athletics ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/update-on-the-future-home-of-sfc-athletics https://www.sfc.edu/news/update-on-the-future-home-of-sfc-athletics Sat, 07 May 2022 10:25:00 -0400 SFC Athletics

With the spring semester drawing to a close, Irma Garcia, Director of Athletics at St. Francis College (SFC), offered the following update on the Terriers' future home.

"SFC senior staff, coaches, stakeholders and community partners have been hard at work to chart a course for the next chapter of the Athletics Department, as the College moves its operations to the Wheeler Building (179 Livingston Street) in the fall.

"At the College's town hall meeting on April 11, I shared the exciting news that Athletics will have one last semester on Remsen Street! I want to address this move directly with our supporters so that all are aware of the transition plan.

"Our women's volleyball and men's water polo teams will conduct their full seasons during the fall semester in the Genovesi Center and Aquatics Center, respectively. Men's and women's soccer will continue to practice and play their games on Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park and use their spaces on Remsen Street throughout the season. Likewise, cross-country will continue practicing as it has and access the Remsen Street campus as usual. Our sports that compete in the fall and spring semesters, such as swimming and diving, basketball and indoor track and field, will have an opportunity to begin their season on Remsen Street. More details on those fronts will be available soon.

"Regardless of the sport, all of our student-athletes will have a dedicated, state-of-the-art, athletic training and strength-and-conditioning facility to continue their growth and recovery, and we look forward to sharing pertinent information with you soon.

"I want to assure you that all of our teams will have a home-away-from-home during this period, with the full support of the Athletics Department and the entire College. With five of our sports teams already operating with off-campus facilities, we are well-prepared for this change at St. Francis College. 

"We are working with our community partners to ensure our student-athletes, coaches and staff have access to the finest quality spaces, equipment and venues to compete at the highest level. Likewise, we continue to work diligently to find a new, permanent home for SFC Athletics.

"Your continued support and patience is appreciated as we navigate this complex process. I will work to bring you more details soon."

Editor's note: For more information, read St. Francis College's Bold New Chapter: SFC Forward.

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<![CDATA[ Nursing Research Days Held at SFC ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/nursing-research-days-held-at-sfc https://www.sfc.edu/news/nursing-research-days-held-at-sfc Tue, 03 May 2022 11:01:00 -0400 Nursing Research Days


On April 25 and 26, the Department of Nursing at St. Francis College (SFC) sponsored its first-ever Nursing Research Days.

Hosted virtually, via Zoom, the two-day event consisted of a series of educational webinars open to SFC students majoring in nursing. The highlight was the Nursing Capstone Research Symposium, led by seniors pursuing a pre-licensure B.S. degree in nursing. Topic areas included disparities in health care, telehealth, maternal and child health, female genital mutilation, hospital-related issues, nurse burn-out and mental health. Assistant professor Mary Kate Kasler, D.N.P., R.N., guided the seniors in selecting their research topic and developing a hypothesis.

“Capstone courses serve as a bridge between the last year of schooling and the beginning of a career in nursing,” explained Patricia Facquet, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor of nursing and chair of SFC’s nursing department. “The focus can be research in clinical practice or developing an investigation using evidence-based practice, allowing students to apply research and experiential evidence toward solving a health care problem.”

According to Facquet, Nursing Research Days proved successful for both organizers and attendees. “We hope it will become an annual event,” she said.


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<![CDATA[ SFC Professor Awarded NEH Grant to Complete Blues Film Project ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/professor-augusta-palmer-awarded-neh-grant-to-complete-blues-film-project https://www.sfc.edu/news/professor-augusta-palmer-awarded-neh-grant-to-complete-blues-film-project Fri, 29 Apr 2022 13:49:00 -0400
Blues master Fred McDowell (left) talks to Bobby Ray Watson at the 1969 Memphis Country Blues Festival. Photo: Ted Bruehl

On April 13, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that associate professor Augusta Palmer, Ph.D., chair of the Communication Arts department at St. Francis College (SFC), had been awarded a grant in the amount of $291,480 to complete her documentary film “The Blues Society.”

Palmer’s film is among 245 humanities projects nationwide that will receive funding — totaling more than $33 million — as part of the NEH’s latest grant cycle. It is worth noting that the NEH funds only 13% of media grant applicants, such as Palmer. Moreover, the NEH awarded her the full amount she requested to complete her feature-length documentary, which explores the legacy of the Memphis Country Blues Festival. Held annually from 1966 through 1970, the festival drew blues masters and beatniks alike, creating a utopian event in segregated Tennessee that rocked the foundations of a conservative world. Palmer will use the NEH grant for post-production of her film and the development of a related website offering teaching resources.

Said Palmer upon receiving the news: “The best part of the NEH process is that it encouraged me to put together a dream team of scholars and writers to give our team feedback on the film and to help me craft educational materials for its website. I have already learned a tremendous amount from this diverse group of scholars and writers: Dr. William Ferris, Robert Gordon, Dr. Charles Hughes, Dr. Charles McKinney, Dr. Cheryl Keyes, Dr. Kimberly Mack, Dr. Tyina Steptoe and Dr. Elijah Wald. I am thrilled that this NEH grant will allow me to work with them further on this exciting project.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Editor’s note
: Palmer’s film also has been awarded a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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<![CDATA[ A Passion for Fashion ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/a-passion-for-fashion https://www.sfc.edu/news/a-passion-for-fashion Mon, 25 Apr 2022 05:51:00 -0400 SFC Student Fashion Show
Gabriella Nascimento de Oliveira '23 (center), president of the SFC Fashion Club, flanked by Raheema Morris '22 and Jacob Meyers '23, who will be showcasing their designs at the upcoming student fashion show.

On Monday, May 2, St. Francis College (SFC) will host its inaugural student fashion show. Conceived and sponsored by the recently formed SFC Fashion Club, under the guidance of the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event will showcase original apparel by SFC student designers. The theme of the show will be “Chrysalis.”

“Reflecting rebirth, change and transformation, we feel the theme is appropriate,” said junior Gabriella Nascimento de Oliveira, president of the Fashion Club and the inaugural fashion show’s director. “Not only is the world beginning to emerge from a years-long pandemic, but St. Francis College is moving to a new campus.”

Originally envisioned as a small-scale production, the show has morphed into a major schoolwide event that will be completely student-run — from the designers, stylists, make-up artists and hair stylists, to the models, to the production crew. Students in the Photography Club will be handling event photography, while SFC Radio will be providing music, including for the runway portion of the show. Members of the Entrepreneurship Club also are taking part as collaborators.

Apparel designed by two SFC students will be the highlight of the show. Raheema Morris, a senior and emerging designer, will showcase her handknit crochet clothing, while junior Jacob Meyers will present streetwear styles from his established brand, SB Studios. In addition, students in the College’s multicultural clubs have created upcycled designs that will be modeled at the show.

In alignment with SFC’s Franciscan values of social responsibility and ecological integrity, sustainability will be a focus of the show. With the goal of keeping clothing and fashion ­­accessories out of landfills, attendees are being asked to bring a clean, gently used garment they no longer wear, or wish to discard, to donate to Catholic Charities. Moreover, a conscious effort has been made to make the show as inclusive as possible. “Our selection of models represents a variety of genders, sizes and abilities,” de Oliveira related. “One of them will be modeling from her wheelchair.”

It has been a busy year for the fledgling SFC Fashion Club. In addition to mounting the upcoming inaugural fashion show, earlier this spring it published the first issue of Couture, a 40-page, full-color fashion magazine featuring articles on such far-ranging topics as the sexualized dress code in women’s sports — particularly at the Olympic level, adaptive fashion, how the fashion industry contributes to global warming, SFC student style, Palestinian fashion and more. All of the content, including the writing and photography, was generated by students, who also oversaw the layout and design as well as coordinated the printing, distribution and publicity efforts. “As with the fashion show,” de Oliveira explained, “we came up with the magazine as a vehicle to promote entrepreneurship, culture, art and sustainability at SFC.”

Immediately following the SFC Student Fashion Show, the winners of the fifth annual St. Francis College Pitch Contest, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship, will be announced. Contestants can enter the competition — which is open to all current SFC students and Winter 2022 graduates through April 30 — as either the sole founder of a business or two co-founders. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Best Idea for a Business (two winners will receive $250 each to help bring their pitch idea to fruition)
  • Best Revenue-Producing Business (one winner will receive $750 to help grow their start-up’s customer base and revenue)
  • Best Multicultural Upcycled Design (one winner will receive $100)

For more about the pitch contest, email esanchez-persampieri@sfc.edu.

SFC currently offers a minor in fashion retail management, and plans are in the works to offer a bachelor’s degree in the near future. “St. Francis is a small college and not necessarily fashion-focused,” noted Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, director of the SFC Center for Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor to the Fashion Club. “Yet there is a lot of interest in this area among our student population, not to mention incredible talent. The fashion show will give us an opportunity to showcase that talent.”

The inaugural SFC Student Fashion Show will take place on Monday, May 2, at 12:30 pm in Founders Hall, while the winners of the SFC Pitch Contest will be announced at 2:30 pm in the Callahan Center. Both events are free and open to the public with advance registration. For the latest on the SFC Fashion Club, visit its Instagram page at @sfc.fashionclub.

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<![CDATA[ SFC Radio Prepares to Sign Off from Remsen ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-radio-prepares-to-sign-off-from-remsen https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-radio-prepares-to-sign-off-from-remsen Wed, 20 Apr 2022 14:53:00 -0400 Digital Mixer

On Thursday, April 28, from 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. in the McArdle Student Center, SFC Radio will air its final broadcast from 180 Remsen Street in the form of an end-of-semester listening party highlighting music from throughout the six decades that St. Francis College (SFC)'s Brooklyn Heights campus has been in existence. The selections to be played are being crowdsourced from students, faculty, staff and alumni — who can submit to radio@sfc.edu the names of songs they associate with the College — and the final playlist is expected to include tunes from the early 1960s through today. Anthony Cerulli ’24, the Radio Club’s vice-president, is coordinating the event.

In 2016, SFC Radio, the College's first completely student-run radio station, was established by a small group of committed freshmen under the leadership of Dr. Brian Gregory, an SFC Communication Arts professor, and Brother Gregory Cellini, O.S.F., Executive Director of Mission, Ministry and Interfaith Dialogue. What began as a boutique operation, managed by a handful of Communication Arts students in a tiny room on the seventh floor at 180 Remsen Street, has evolved into a self-sustaining audio media outlet and official Student Government Association (SGA) club featuring a variety of student- and faculty-produced music and talk-based programs and events. Interested members of the SFC community are always welcome and encouraged to host a show.

Among the highlights of SFC Radio’s time at Remsen are the annual Christmas show and student talent hours, in addition to “The Rock Show” — the station’s longest-running program, airing more than 100 episodes in four years. “The club has come a long way in six years,” noted Gregory, “and we are excited to keep the momentum going in our new studio at the Wheeler Building, where we’ll have a customized radio booth, state-of-the-art equipment and space to accommodate hosts and guests for live shows and podcasts.”

Editor’s note: This Saturday, April 23, SFC Radio will be participating in Vinylthon, an annual event sponsored by the College Radio Foundation in which radio stations around the world play vinyl records exclusively for the duration of the day. “SFC Radio will be participating in a big way, with a 12-hour broadcast planned, beginning at 9 a.m. EDT,” said Laik Green ’22, president of the SFC Radio Club. “We hope to receive the Golden Slipmat Award, given to those stations who participate for at least 12 hours.” The SFC community can tune in to Vinylthon on the SFC Radio website or via the TuneIn app or Radio FX app, the official app of College Radio.

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<![CDATA[ Proven Model for First-Generation Student Success Expands to 10 Additional Four-Year Institutions Nationwide with a Five-Year, $10 Million Investment ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/kessler-scholars-collaborative https://www.sfc.edu/news/kessler-scholars-collaborative Wed, 13 Apr 2022 15:50:00 -0400 16 diverse colleges and universities now form the Kessler Scholars Collaborative, a national network united in its comprehensive, cohort-based support of first-generation students.


St. Francis College is pleased to announce the expansion of the Kessler Scholars Collaborative, which includes 10 new campuses nationwide: Bates College, Brown University, Centre College, Saint Mary’s College (IN), The Ohio State University, University of California-Riverside, University of Dayton, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, and Washington University in St. Louis. St. Francis College joined the program in 2019 along with Johns Hopkins University, Queens College, and Syracuse University.

Founded in 2008 at the University of Michigan, the Kessler Scholars Program provides a roadmap for first-generation, limited-income students to excel, offering access to critical resources and opportunities across campus, including individualized support and programming designed to foster academic, professional, and personal growth. Students benefit from high-touch, personalized advising from staff and peer mentors and cohort-based activities throughout their college experience, reinforcing their sense of belonging and elevating their unique strengths.

This expansion comes at a time when thousands of first-generation students nationwide have struggled to pursue their higher education aspirations during the pandemic, more likely to experience severe financial hardship, navigate mental health challenges, and confront the digital divide. Re-engaging these students will be vital to the bachelor’s degree attainment needed for a national recovery.

Early results at Michigan indicate that the model can be a potential blueprint for campuses nationwide, with the Kessler Scholars graduating cohort in 2021 attaining a four-year graduation rate of 83%—eight percentage points higher than their first-generation peers (75%) and at pace with their continuing-generation peers (84%).

“As the first in my family to attend college, graduating from the University of Michigan would not have been possible without a tight-knit community of peers, faculty, and staff and robust support,” said Fred Wilpon, a New York-based business executive, real estate developer, former owner of the New York Mets, and founder of the Wilpon Family Foundation. “With today’s expansion of the Kessler Scholars Collaborative, we can now provide hundreds of additional students nationwide with that same level of community and resources they need to achieve their promise.”

Over the next five years, ATI will help amplify this blueprint to its collective of 128 high-graduation-rate colleges and universities. The network will meet regularly to elevate resources, best practices, and strategies that can help advance first-generation student success nationwide.

Read more about the Kessler Scholars Collaborative on their website, or read the write-up in Forbes magazine.

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<![CDATA[ Concerts at Half-Past Twelve Takes Final Bow ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/concerts-at-half-past-twelve-takes-final-bow https://www.sfc.edu/news/concerts-at-half-past-twelve-takes-final-bow Wed, 13 Apr 2022 06:49:00 -0400 Concerts at Half-Past Twelve
Brooklyn Baroque members David Bakamjian and Rebecca Pechefsky, with guest flutist Melanie Williams, perform at the final Concert at Half-Past Twelve.

On April 11, Concerts at Half-Past Twelve, the beloved series that, for years, offered a midday musical respite at St. Francis College (SFC), wrapped up its 21st and final season with a performance in Founders Hall featuring Brooklyn Baroque members David Bakamjian on the cello and Rebecca Pechefsky on the harpsichord, with guest artist Melanie Williams on the flute. “Music at the Court of Frederick the Great” was the theme, and the program included selections by J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Johann Joachim Quantz and Frederick II, King of Prussia, a fervent patron of the arts, especially music.

SFC professor emerita of fine arts Suzanne Forsberg, Ph.D. — the founding and artistic director of Concerts at Half-Past Twelve — debuted the series on May 10, 2000, with a performance by Hungarian pianist Gabor Fuchs. “Initially, the concerts were held in the Nicholas A. Fiorenza Fine Arts Classroom on the seventh floor, where I taught for many years,” she explained, “but we outgrew the space. Subsequent concerts were held in the Maroney Theatre, which was not ideal, as the Steinway had to be rolled in and out whenever we needed a piano.”

The series eventually found a permanent home in the Founders Hall auditorium, with occasional concerts held off-site, such as the November 2019 organ recital given by SFC adjunct professor of music Dr. Michael Kaminski at the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn Heights. Forsberg acknowledged that Timothy Houlihan, former provost and interim president of the College, was indispensable in providing funding for the concerts for many years, while alumnus Jerome Hughes ’86 — son of the late Dr. Arthur Hughes, longtime chair of the SFC history department — was the series’ technician, responsible for tuning the College’s Steinway grand piano and upright.

Though Brooklyn Baroque and classical pianist Jeffrey Swann were the most featured artists in Concerts at Half-Past Twelve during its 22-year existence, the series attracted an astonishing breadth of other world-class musical talent, including the Arianna String Quartet, Biava Quartet, Simon Quartet, Eric Olsen Trio, Trio Cavatina, violinist Julia Sakharova and pianists Andreas Klein, Yelena Grinberg and the late Octavio Brunetti. Concerts were sometimes preceded by lectures given by Forsberg, who provided audiences with context and color.

“Not all the music we featured was classical,” Forsberg related. Other musical genres included jazz, folk, tango, even klezmer bluegrass. The pianist Jimmy Roberts, composer of the Off-Broadway musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” once did an entire program dedicated to pop tunes. Another program — “Four Hands, One Piano,” featuring pianists Zelma Bodzin and Marioara Trifan playing side by side — was “great fun and a hit among students,” Forsberg recalled. Programs such as “The Art of the French Horn” and “The Flute Through the Ages” explored the music of a specific instrument, while entire semesters were devoted to the string (“Spring for Strings”) and brass (“Bring on the Brass”) families. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brooklyn Ballet also gave an annual performance as part of the series, in addition to the three concerts held each year in the fall and the three in the spring.

“Sometimes we tied a concert to a cultural heritage month celebration,” noted Forsberg. “We had bass vocalist Gregory Sheppard and pianist Byron Sean perform for Black History Month, Brazilian guitarist João Kouyoumdjian for Hispanic Heritage Month and vocalist Lillias White for Women’s History Month.” A handful of concerts were dedicated to retiring SFC faculty members, such as former art history professor Dr. Frank Greene, and memorial concerts were held for Dr. Enildo Garcia and, most recently, Brother Edward Wesley, O.S.F., “a great supporter of Concerts at Half-Past Twelve, who helped me lay out and design the programs,” said Forsberg. Another memorial concert was dedicated to Thomas Ashton ’02, a former student of Forsberg’s who died in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

Over the years, Concerts at Half-Past Twelve built a loyal following among the St. Francis College and Brooklyn Heights communities, where it was regarded as a signature lunchtime musical event. According to Forsberg, the typical concert audience consisted of “one-third students, one-third faculty and staff, and one-third senior citizens from surrounding neighborhoods and beyond.” Thanks to a generous grant from the New York City Department for the Aging, the concerts, which were always free for members of the SFC community, were also available free of charge to elderly New York City residents.

“Concerts at Half-Past Twelve was as good as any concert series in New York City,” Forsberg concluded. “I am grateful for the support I have gotten through the years and for the opportunity that allowed audiences to experience exceptional music and learn from top-flight musicians about composition and instruments from various periods. We contributed something worthwhile and full of variety that people from all over, not just within the College community, were able to enjoy.”

Brava, Dr. Forsberg!

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<![CDATA[ Statement from President Miguel Martinez-Saenz on Tragic Subway Incident ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/statement-from-president-miguel-martinez-saenz-on-tragic-subway-incident https://www.sfc.edu/news/statement-from-president-miguel-martinez-saenz-on-tragic-subway-incident Tue, 12 Apr 2022 17:16:00 -0400 Dear SFC Community,

We are shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting that took place earlier today at the 36th Street subway station in Brooklyn. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. Since the incident occurred this morning, we have been monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with the 84th Precinct.

The St. Francis College community hails from all reaches of New York City, including the area of today’s shooting. At unsettling moments such as this one, it may be comforting to meet with another to share feelings. Anyone desiring to speak with someone can contact Brother Gregory Cellini of the Office of Mission, Ministry and Interfaith Dialogue at gcellini@sfc.edu or Natasha Edwards, LMHC, NCC, CASAC-T, Associate Dean, Health Promotions & Wellness, at nedwards2@sfc.edu.

We are grateful that the College community remains safe. Out of an abundance of caution, all classes and administrative offices will operate remotely tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13.

Students: Check Canvas for specific information from your instructor/professor. The campus building will be open for members of the SFC community who wish to visit; however, everyone should remain vigilant. Should plans or operations change, we will inform you via a separate communication. Let’s continue to watch out for and take good care of one another.

In peace and friendship,

Miguel Martinez-Saenz
President, St. Francis College

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<![CDATA[ Alisha Cowan-Vieira To Headline Next Terrier Talk ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/alisha-cowan-vieira-to-headline-next-terrier-talk https://www.sfc.edu/news/alisha-cowan-vieira-to-headline-next-terrier-talk Sun, 03 Apr 2022 18:20:00 -0400 Alisha Cowan-Vieira
Alisha Cowan-Vieira

On April 7, Alisha Cowan-Vieira will be the featured guest in St. Francis College (SFC)’s latest Terrier Talk. As the director of talent development at ABC News, Cowan-Vieira recruits and develops on- and off-air talent while creating programs and content that reflect a diverse and inclusive audience. Before transitioning into talent development, she worked as a producer at NBC, “The Dr. Oz Show” and CNN.

Cowan-Vieira got her start in media at Viacom, working with VH1 and MTV in the area of strategic partnerships and public affairs. She holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from Howard University as well as an M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Passionate about using media as a mechanism to raise greater social awareness, Cowan-Vieira possesses a spectrum of experience not only in television production but in strategic partnerships, talent development and multicultural strategy. She will speak to SFC students about what it is like to be a high-level executive in network television.

Welcoming leaders from a range of professional fields to speak with students, Terrier Talks aim to inspire students to think broadly about their future by exposing them to the unlimited options they can pursue on the road to professional achievement. Terrier Talks are hosted by the President’s Office at SFC and co-sponsored by the Multicultural Affairs Office.

Terrier Talks: A Conversation with Alisha Cowan-Vieira will take place on Thursday, April 7, from 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. in the Maroney Theatre; please register here.


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<![CDATA[ Kevin Richardson Delivers Keynote Address at SFC Justice Conference ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/kevin-richardson-delivers-keynote-address-at-sfc-justice-conference https://www.sfc.edu/news/kevin-richardson-delivers-keynote-address-at-sfc-justice-conference Sat, 02 Apr 2022 13:07:00 -0400 Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson

On March 31 and April 1, St. Francis College (SFC) held its second annual Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference, which saw the participation of academics, public officials and formerly incarcerated individuals.

A highlight of the first day of the conference was the film screening in Founders Hall Auditorium of "The Central Park Five," the Peabody Award–winning documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns that chronicles the story of the five men who were wrongly convicted of the 1989 rape of a female jogger in Central Park. All were ultimately exonerated, in 2002, but not before each had served between 5 and 11 years in prison.

Immediately following the screening, Kevin Richardson — one of the Exonerated Five, as the men have come to be known — delivered the conference’s keynote address. A motivational speaker, Richardson works with the Innocence Project, traveling the country to raise awareness of the imbalances in the justice system and the historical biases that continue to impact people of color.

In his keynote, Richardson touched upon a variety of topics, including policing and police deception, accountability, and resilience. “As men of color, we have to stay relevant and fight for the greater good," he told the audience. "We need to keep pushing forward.” He also took questions from SFC students and faculty members as well as other conference attendees.

Richardson regards programs such as SFC’s Justice Initiative as “extremely beneficial” in helping the formerly incarcerated with the re-entry process and lauds the value of education in general. While in prison, he managed to obtain his associate’s degree.

“Your mind is one thing they can’t take away from you," Richardson concluded. "When I was incarcerated, I was physically incarcerated, never mentally. My mind was always free.”

Kevin Richardson with SFC Faculty
Richardson with Drs. Emily Horowitz and Eric Platt, co-directors of St. Francis College’s Justice Initiative, and Monique Moore Pryor, Esq., the chief engagement and external affairs officer of SFC



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<![CDATA[ Women Changing the Game ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/women-changing-the-game https://www.sfc.edu/news/women-changing-the-game Fri, 25 Mar 2022 14:38:00 -0400 Women's soccer team
Members of SFC's women's soccer team

March is Women’s History Month, and St. Francis College (SFC) is honoring the remarkable women in our community with a special event featuring members of the women’s basketball and soccer teams, as well as those in our new Women's Leadership Network mentoring program.

During the week of March 4, members of SFC’s Cabinet and Board of Trustees — as well as female leaders in the President’s Community Council — began a pilot program mentoring young women at the College, a process that will continue over the next two months. On March 29, all mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to come together for an in-person event open to all SFC female faculty, administrators, students and alumnae; please register here.

A welcome reception will be followed by a panel discussion featuring a group of women who made SFC especially proud this year: the women’s basketball and soccer teams. The evening's program is intended to motivate and inspire SFC young women to leverage the transferable skills that made it possible for our female student-athletes to be successful.

The women’s basketball team had a phenomenal season, securing their highest seed in program history for the Northeast Conference (NEC) Women's Basketball Tournament, where they finished as the number-two seed after winning a program-record 13 games in NEC play. The women’s soccer team secured a total of five wins and eight draws during their season, the best result since the program’s inception, in 2019.

Linda Cimino, head coach of the women’s basketball team, along with Terrier team captains Nevena Dimitrijevic and Khaleah Edwards, will discuss the team’s philosophy and structure, which were key to their winning ways. They will be joined by Justine Lombardi, head coach of the women’s soccer team, soccer team member Lauren Schultz and SFC board member Arkell Cox.

“We remind our student-athletes often that there is life beyond their college careers,” noted Cimino. “Experiencing the peaks and valleys of Division I basketball and learning how to work as a team with individuals from all walks of life are important on the court and in the workplace. I look forward to sharing the stage with Justine and our student-athletes for a conversation about empowering them for the future.”

Linda Cimino
Terrier women's basketball head coach Linda Cimino

Join us on Tuesday, March 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., for the first-ever Women’s Leadership Network panel discussion. The evening will begin with a reception in the Callahan Center, during which mentors and mentees in the pilot program will have the opportunity to speak with one another and network. The panel discussion — to be moderated by Cheryl Walker-Robertson, Chief Protocol Officer at Protocol International — will immediately follow in Founders Hall.

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<![CDATA[ SFC Professor Edits Book on Left Critique ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-professor-edits-book-on-left-critique https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-professor-edits-book-on-left-critique Fri, 25 Mar 2022 08:32:00 -0400 Domination and Emancipation Book Cover

Related Authors’ Panel and Reception Set for Friday, April 1, at the People's Forum

St. Francis College (SFC) is pleased to announce the recent publication of Domination and Emancipation: Remaking Critique (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021), edited by Daniel Benson, Ph.D., assistant professor of foreign languages and international cultural studies at SFC.

To celebrate the book’s publication, an authors’ panel and reception will be held on Friday, April 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the People’s Forum (320 West 37th Street, in Manhattan). In addition to Benson — whose writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Diacritics, Critical Review of Contemporary French Fixxion and Left History — the following contributors will take part in the panel:

Asad Haider, founding editor of Viewpoint magazine, author of Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump (Verso, 2018) and co-editor of Black Radical Tradition: A Reader (Verso, forthcoming);

Gabriel Rockhill, founding director of the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, professor of philosophy at Villanova University and an anti-capitalist activist;

Rosaura Sánchez, professor emerita of Latin American literature and Chicano literature at the University of California, San Diego; and

Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo, associate professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark.

Haider, Rockhill and Sánchez will discuss their contributions to Benson’s volume and what they consider to be the most urgent issues facing Left critique today. The panel will be moderated by Vázquez-Arroyo and include time for conversation with attendees.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of Domination and Emancipation: Remaking Critique,” said Benson. “In seeking to rebuild the emancipatory potential of critique, this edited volume features recent theoretical work that can contribute to the struggles and aspirations of our moment.”

The authors’ panel and reception on April 1 is free and open to the public; to register, visit the People’s Forum events page. For those who cannot attend in person, the panel portion will be streamed live on the People’s Forum YouTube channel.

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<![CDATA[ SFC To Host Second Annual Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference ]]> https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-to-host-second-annual-criminal-justice-reform-and-re-entry-conference https://www.sfc.edu/news/sfc-to-host-second-annual-criminal-justice-reform-and-re-entry-conference Wed, 23 Mar 2022 12:03:00 -0400 Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardson, one of the "Exonerated Five," will deliver the conference's keynote address.

On Thursday and Friday, March 31 and April 1, St. Francis College (SFC) will host its second annual Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference. The two-day event will bring together academics, activists, public officials and formerly incarcerated individuals to address the realities of punishment-while-incarcerated as well as the challenges of life after prison. Additionally, the conference will offer justice-impacted individuals the possibility to learn about educational and other opportunities.

“St. Francis College established the Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference as a forum to share developments and innovations in the criminal justice arena and to explore alternative approaches in working with justice-impacted individuals,” explained Dr. Emily Horowitz, professor and chair of sociology and criminal justice at SFC and co-director of the College’s Justice Initiative. “Rather than having the approaches be driven by punishment and retribution, we are committed to ones centered on prevention and education.”

The Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference officially kicks off at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, with a film screening of “The Central Park Five” (2012). This Peabody Award–winning documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the story of the five men who were wrongly convicted of the 1989 rape of a female jogger in Central Park. All were ultimately exonerated, in 2002. The film explores the racial politics and carceral culture that led to their wrongful conviction. Immediately following the screening, Kevin Richardson — one of the Exonerated Five, as the men have come to be known — will deliver the conference’s keynote address. A motivational speaker, Richardson works with the Innocence Project, traveling the country to raise awareness of the imbalances in the justice system and the historical biases that continue to impact people of color.

Two panel discussions figure in the conference schedule. The first one, “Education During Re-Entry: The Prison-to-College Pipeline,” will highlight the importance of access to college for justice-involved populations and how academic support helps in the overall re-entry process. Among the panelists will be individuals who provide educational re-entry support and those who have received it, including graduates and current students in SFC’s Post-Prison Program as well as representatives from other re-entry programs. “Innovative Approaches to Reducing Gun and Community Violence,” featuring the founders of Guns for Grants, will address solutions to gun violence, including increasing educational opportunities for justice-involved youths. The moderator of both panels will be Johnny Perez, a 2018 SFC graduate and current SFC Franciscan Service Fellow who directs the U.S. prisons program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Rounding out the programming is "Order My Steps," a live performance and discussion. The play tells the story of an incarcerated woman who reaches out to her daughter after 20 years of silence. It will be followed by a discussion with formerly incarcerated women about mending relationships post-incarceration.

Other components of the conference include a job fair, tabling opportunities with New York–based re-entry organizations, an open mic/performance session featuring individuals directly impacted by the criminal justice system and an interactive, walkthrough exhibition by Project Witness detailing the stories of six individuals who were incarcerated as children.

The inaugural Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference was held at SFC in the fall of 2018. A second conference was originally scheduled for the subsequent academic year, in the spring of 2020, but had to be postponed until now because of COVID-19. “The main emphasis of the Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference is on strengthening partnerships among key players in the justice system,” underscored Eric Platt, associate professor and chair of economics, history and political science at SFC and co-director of the Justice Initiative. “Through panel discussions, special programming, a job fair and more, the conference will offer a broad range of educational and networking experiences for attendees.”

All programming related to the 2022 Criminal Justice Reform and Re-Entry Conference will take place at St. Francis College (180 Remsen Street, in Brooklyn Heights). The event is free and open to the public. For the complete schedule or to register, please visit the event page on the SFC website or Eventbrite. Any other questions may be directed to postprison@sfc.edu.

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