May 14, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Christina Mistretta of Brooklyn, N.Y., a Mount Saint Mary College senior who will graduate on May 18, recently accepted a positon as a biology teacher and assistant campus minister at her alma mater, Saint Joseph Hill Academy on Staten Island. She is seen here being named an Aquinas Scholar by Sr. Patricia Sullivan, OP, a Mount alumna (1964) and professor emerita of Mathematics, on April 30.
Since beginning at Mount Saint Mary College, Christina Mistretta of Brooklyn, N.Y. has focused on serving her community – so it’s only fitting that she continue to follow that passion though her new positon as a biology teacher and assistant campus minister at her alma mater, Saint Joseph Hill Academy on Staten Island.
“This was the original dream I came into college with,” Mistretta explained. “The teaching experience will be fantastic.”
Mistretta was offered the job weeks before graduating at the Mount’s 56th Annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18.
In addition to her admirable academic performance, Mistretta was motivated to serve her community through her faith. She founded the college’s chapter of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in 2016, and under her leadership as president, Mount CRS Student Ambassadors volunteer their time and effort once a month at St. Mary’s Church food and clothing drive. Through this ongoing program, items are distributed to those in need in the City of Newburgh. The students sort boxes of donated food and serve those who come to the church to get necessities.
In addition, CRS Student Ambassadors volunteer regularly at the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley by sorting donated food, and they deliver additional donations to the Newburgh Ministry charitable organization twice a month. Mistretta also spearhead several trips to New York City to distribute food, clothing, and toiletries to those in need in Manhattan.
Serving the community “gives us the opportunity to see what life is like outside the gates of our campus and inspire us to help those that are in the utmost need,” she explained.
Just days before commencement, Mistretta was recognized for her outstanding service to the community with the Father Michael J. Gilleece Memorial Award, which is given to a senior who has a great academic average; is a person of high moral character who exemplifies Judeo-Christian values in their everyday life; and who has worked unselfishly for the development of the human potential of their fellow Mount students.
In addition, Mistretta was named an Aquinas Scholar, an honor that requires a minimum grade point average of at least 3.60. The award is named after St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students and Catholic colleges and universities.
Also during her time at the Mount, Mistretta was an active member of the college’s Habitat for Humanity club, a chair member on the Student Honors Council, served as a senior resident assistant to freshman women in the college’s Sakac Hall, and was very active in the Mount’s Campus Ministry.
There were many people on campus who helped her to become successful, Mistretta noted: “I cannot thank the Mount enough for all of the opportunities it has given me to excel and develop into the person I am,” she said.
In addition to the aid of her professors, she credits Roger May, resident director for Guzman Hall and former Campus Ministry assistant director at the Mount, with helping her to explore and enhance her faith.
Her family deserves much of the credit too, Mistretta said. In particular, she thanked her late grandmother for instilling the beliefs that have encouraged her to give back to her community whenever she can.
“Thank you for inspiring my heart for service and to always give what you can to others,” she said.