November 22, 2013
As Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines,
Mount Saint Mary College nursing professor Priscilla Sagar knew she
had to aid the people of her home country.
Sagar, whose brothers and extended family live in the
Philippines, said the news of the natural disaster was “very
shocking. I couldn’t believe the destruction, and it devastated me
just looking at it.”
The professor is a longtime member of the Philippine Nurses
Association of New York, a chapter of the Philippine Nurses
Association of America, Inc.
Sagar partnered with the organization – comprised of
Filipino-American nurses from across the country – to help with
“Many, many people need help,” she said. “Not just now – when
current efforts are done, they will still need so much.”
Donations will be given to the PNA chapter in the Philippines,
to be used for food, medical supplies, water, and other
To donate, make checks payable to Philippine Nurses Association
of America and send to:
20 Woodcliff Road
Holbrook, MA 02343
“I’m really very thankful to the Mount community for helping
out,” said Sagar.
Sagar is an expert in transcultural nursing.
Her second book, Transcultural Nursing Education Strategies,
will be released in December 2013. Book contributors include six
Mount faculty members, a former faculty member, and two May 2013
Faculty, staff, and students at Mount Saint Mary College have a
long history of quickly responding to local and national
When Colorado was slammed by massive flooding early this
semester, Mount students gathered more than $300 for food and water
donations in less than a week.
Last semester, about two dozen Mount students made a
humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic. The group gave away
more than 600 “health packs,” which contained soap, a tooth brush,
toothpaste, and adhesive bandages.
In January 2014, students will return to the Dominican Republic
to give another round of aid.
They welcome donations of vitamins, toothbrushes, toothpaste,
soap, and gift cards to local merchants, which can be dropped off
at the nursing office, Aquinas Hall, second floor, 330 Powell
Avenue, Newburgh, NY between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, through
December 15, 2013.
Mount students actively serve the local area through club
participation in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity,
the MSMC Serves initiative, Knights in the Community, and more.
The Mount’s International Education Week took place only days
after the typhoon, and Emily Marmo, director of international
studies, used the opportunity to focus students on relief
International Education Week celebrates the benefits of
education and idea exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the
U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education
promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global
This is the third year Mount Saint Mary College has participated
in the event, which included a discussion of international health
issues and introductions to Irish and Spanish dance.
Amanda Alexander, a nursing major, had never played the African
drums before Mount Saint Mary College’s recent International
Education Week introduced her to the instrument.
As her hands swept over the skin of the African drum,
Alexander’s song was a rhythmic heartbeat, pumping sound and soul
through the crowd.
The Filipino people can recover, said Sagar, with a little heart
from local donors, and some soul of their own.
Amanda Alexander, a nursing major from Queens, NY (left), and
Nkenge Simms, a biology major from Brooklyn, NY (right), play
African drums during the Mount’s International Education Week.