August 24, 2013
A sunny Hudson Valley day provided a beautiful backdrop for new
students moving into Mount Saint Mary College on Saturday, August
Activities as they began their academic journey included moving
in, signing onto the campus wide wireless internet, and dropping by
the campus store. Students attended a welcome mass before they bade
their families farewell. The opening mass of the semester for the
Mount community was scheduled for Sunday, August 25 at 6 pm.
More than 450 new freshmen are entering bachelor’s degree
programs at the Mount, which is ranked a Top-Tier Regional
University by U.S. News & World Report.
Total enrollment is around 2,500 men and women working towards
bachelor’s and master’s degrees. They hail from 15 states
(primarily New York) and 18 countries. College president Fr. Kevin
E. Mackin, OFM, is currently in Brazil, focusing on international
recruitment. Some 125 Latin American students will be living and
learning at the Mount in January.
Fall classes begin Monday, August 26. The college anticipates
another strong year, crafting careful growth in programs both
curricular and extracurricular.
Taylor Miller of Miller Place, NY, a freshman nursing student
at the Mount, gets a careful hand from Joseph Valenti, VP for
New fields and courses
More than 37 percent of incoming freshmen are aiming for a
career in health professions. The college is developing a high
quality physician assistant program (pending accreditation -
provisional), launching a fully online RN to BS program in August,
and offering a new transcultural health care course.
In addition to pre-med, pre-dental and pre-veterinary tracks,
and physical therapy, the Mount’s renowned nursing programs,
accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, boast
an NCLEX-RN pass rate that consistently outperforms the state
average. The college provides the only four-year nursing program in
Around 13 percent of Mount freshmen are majoring in business,
including accounting, finance, management, administration, and
marketing. The programs, newly accredited by the International
Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, gain relevance through
the college’s Business Advisory Council and with connection to
organizations such as The Solar Energy Consortium.
Business students develop critical thinking and communication
skills with a complex liberal arts core. Technology, international
vision, and modern organizational science combine to prepare
students for careers in a global economy.
The college’s sports management concentration is building well.
Among courses offered for the first time this academic year are
introduction to sports management, sports facility management,
financial and economic analysis in sports, and applied marketing
management in sports.
There will also be new courses on writing for the professional,
and introduction to historical studies.
Teacher education has long been a Mount mainstay. This fall, 13
percent of the freshmen begin preparation in their major fields for
certification in childhood or adolescent education.
The college also offers comprehensive areas of study in
psychology, English, math, sociology, history and more. College
president Fr. Mackin teaches a course on the history of
The rigorous honors program, open to all majors, challenges
students to maximize their learning and leadership skills. One of
the key benefits is expanded lab time.
Mary Hinton, VP for academic affairs (right), helps nursing
major Delilah Tejada from the Bronx, NY move into her new residence
hall at the Mount.
Involvement in the community
In addition to nursing clinical experiences and student
teaching, excellent internships successfully open doors for Mount
students in all fields.
The Career Center connects students to varied professional
opportunities in the Hudson Valley, New York City, the Capital
Region, New Jersey, Connecticut, and beyond. Business major
Antoinette Mirdita recently landed an internship with Deloitte,
LLP, one of the “big four” international audit firms, with the
possibility of being hired full-time.
And students across disciplines volunteer at many sites in the
region, including the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, lending their
skills to reading programs for children, English as a second
language courses, and more.
Knights in the Community, a service effort by the Mount’s sports
teams, involves more than 300 student athletes each year.
Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., director of campus ministry, has
initiated MSMC Serves, dedicated to aiding the local community
through active volunteerism in a service learning mode. Students
discern opportunities for service and placements, and also engage
in reflection seminars, a written journal, and a final paper about
the experience. MSMC Serves collaborates with academic departments
on campus, including nursing students for the recent health
Students also serve through clubs and organizations including
Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Aging United, and
the American Chemical Society.
Mary Hinton, vice president for academic affairs, explained that
the college has a long and significant history of making
contributions to the local community.
“This reflects not only our desire to support Newburgh and
beyond, but it also provides important learning opportunities for
our students,” said Hinton. “Mount students develop leadership
skills, garner first-hand knowledge of the importance of being
active in one’s local community, and recognize that learning
happens both within and outside of the classroom.”
Tamryn Mistretta of Paramus, NJ and her mother take advantage
of the large bins on move-in day at the Mount. Mistretta will be
Mount Saint Mary College provides a 24/7 staff of caring,
professional personnel. Student development is their mission.
Student leadership is honed in academic enrichments,
recreational activities and other interests, as well as exciting,
frequent and co-curricular events.
Making the most of cutting edge wireless service and a great
living/learning environment, Mount students can use the college’s
research databases day and night, and receive instant notification
when their laundry is done.
This summer, many improvements have been made on campus. The
main entrance now has a welcome booth for information and security.
The campus store was renovated and enlarged. There’s a newly
equipped cardiovascular and weight room in the Kaplan Recreation
Center, and the modern residence halls are home to exercise rooms
and multipurpose lounges for family-style gatherings.
The campus also sports high-tech athletic fields, six tennis
courts and an indoor pool with a view of the Hudson River.
In athletics, the Mount’s golf program is teeing off this fall,
for a total of 20 varsity teams.
In addition to upgraded SMART classrooms and a psychology lab,
the Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science and Technology Center
features advanced laboratories for nursing and pre-med studies.
The View dining hall offers home style entrees, freshly baked
pizza, and convenient meal plans, while Jazzman’s Café and Henry’s
Courtside top off the Mount’s tasty cuisine options.
The 13.1 acre Dominican Center will continue to be transformed
this academic year into a state-of-the-art living/learning commons.
The center will house both residential and library facilities, an
innovation that makes academics a way of life. The college
anticipates a winter reopening for the 1927 Tudor-Gothic building,
and its Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary.
Daily and Sunday masses are offered on campus, with
opportunities for students to serve as lectors, altar servers and
Daria Sullivan of Sparta, NJ, a psychology major with a
concentration in counseling, plans to be active in community
service through campus ministry. Sullivan continues a family
legacy: her aunt graduated from the Mount in 1980.
Cultivating all of Mount Saint Mary College’s innovative
programs, several new faculty will be sharing their expertise with
Joining the Mount full-time this fall are: Barbara Erin
Fairweather, assistant professor of economics; Sharon Lennon,
instructor of nursing; Daniel Pena, visiting assistant professor of
biology; Linda Ruta, instructor of nursing; Sonya Abbye Taylor,
instructor of education; Roger Tsai, assistant professor of
information technology; Kathleen Venable, instructor of
mathematics; and Roumen Vragov, assistant professor of information
technology. Robert Miller is now an assistant professor of
New full-time administrators include: Michele Aeberli, nursing
simulation educator; Mary Hinton, elected vice president of
academic affairs this July; Keith Johnson, residence life area
coordinator; Kaymie Johnston, nursing lab coordinator; Dina Leduc,
registered nurse; Tara Scharf, resident director; Kimberly Snyder,
resident director; Amy Weit, coordinator of housing and operations,
and May 2013 Mount graduates Brian Klose and Jennifer Garton,
serving as admissions counselors.
Computers are no problem for Meghan Hartnett and her father,
both of Milford, PA. In between her rigorous studies of English
with a concentration in secondary education, she plans to unwind
with some online gaming with friends.
The value of education
College education remains a priority focus for high school
students and their families.
This summer, nearly 400 high school students from the Northeast
and beyond jumpstarted their college searches at the best attended
admissions barbecues in Mount Saint Mary College history.
Making college affordable for promising students, the Mount
offers a merit scholarship of up to $14,000 per year if a student
does well in high school. Many other scholarship opportunities are
available, including transfer scholarships.
The college enjoys the support of more than 12,000 loyal alumni
who are prominent in many fields. Mount alumni play an active role
in mentoring students and recent graduates. They are also generous
supporters of the college’s annual giving program, capital
campaigns and other fundraising endeavors.
Most Mount alumni are employed within six months of graduation.
Mary McEwan of Pittsford, NY, who graduated in May, was rewarded
for her hard work by being recruited to teach high school
chemistry. Cassandra Pinter recently embarked on a career as an
army nurse. Others are engaged in business.
As the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange,
an open house for prospective 2014 freshmen and their families will
be held Sunday, September 22. Visitors consistently rate highly the
friendliness and knowledge of faculty and staff, the convenient
proximity of Newburgh to New York City, and the “wow” views.
Mount psychology major Margret Bassilopoulos of Rocky Hill, CT,
makes her room like home with photographs of friends and
The Mount hosts many lectures and concerts enjoyed by the
public. The Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra begins its 2013-14
season in the 1,100-seat Aquinas Hall Theatre on Saturday,
September 7 at 7:30 pm. The program will feature “Academic Festival
Overture,” Opus 80 by Johannes Brahms, “Romeo and Juliet
Overture-Fantasy” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 1, Opus
25 “Classical” by Sergei Prokofiev, and “Capriccio Espagnol,
(Spanish Caprice)” Opus 34 by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. A preview of
the event takes place at 6 pm.
The college’s Catholic and Dominican Institute is planning
various activities, and collaborating with various departments.
Fall events include a lecture by Stephen Mansfield on his book
“Lincoln’s Battle With God,” regarding the 16th president’s
struggle with a religious perspective on the Civil War, on Monday,
October 7 at 7 pm. Fr. George V. Coyne, SJ, PhD, an astronomer who
has served at the University of Arizona’s Catalina University, the
Steward Observatory, the Lunar Planetary Laboratory, and as
president of the Vatican Observatory, will visit on Monday, October
14 at 7 pm.
Neighbors enjoy bringing their pets to be blessed by Fr. Kevin
E. Mackin, OFM, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi: this year, on
Sunday, September 29 during Alumni and Family Weekend.
Olivia Bogle of Pine Bush, NY, a history/political science
major, moves into her new residence hall at Mount Saint Mary
College. The peppy freshman couldn’t imagine college life without
her trusty guitar. Photo by Lee Ferris.