National Science Foundation Awards University $1.5 Million Grant for Stem Scholarships

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dominican University New York a $1.5 million, six-year grant to launch a new program that supports high-achieving, low-income STEM students. 

The majority of the NSF grant funds will be used to provide 4-year scholarships of up to $10,000 per year to 26 biology students.  The first scholarships will be awarded to incoming freshman in fall 2023 as part of the BLAST (Biology for Low-income Aspiring Scholars in Training) Program.   

AnnMarie DelliPizzi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, said that BLAST Program aims to increase student retention and success by linking scholarships with co-curricular activities, including academic support, mentoring, and undergraduate research.  The BLAST students will meet with visiting scholars from other universities or industry to be exposed to different career paths.

 “Low-income students often have to work multiple jobs to pay for school, and this frequently interferes with successfully completing their degrees,” said Regina Alvarez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology. “The scholarships provided by the grant will help to alleviate this burden, allowing students more time to focus on academics.” 

Elena Guevara, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, said, “In addition to the scholarships that the students receive, other support includes things such as travel to a scientific conference during freshman year, funds for their senior capstone projects, trips to visit faculty at research-intensive universities, and more.” 

Dominican University New York has been designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution and the BLAST program has the potential to increase the diversity of the STEM workforce.   The goal of the grant is for students to remain in school, graduate, and either secure employment in a STEM field or enter graduate school. 

The NSF grant received is a Track 2 S-STEM grant (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant), award #2221106.  In 2015, Dominican received a $590,000 Track 1 grant from the NSF to provide scholarships and support to students. This new grant builds on the success of that initial grant, submitted by Bernadette Connors, Ph.D., Professor of Biology. Institutions of higher education must have received a Track 1 grant in order to be eligible to apply for a Track 2 grant. 

Dominican University New York biology faculty worked together to prepare and submit the NSF grant application and stress that their teamwork was critical to the success of the application. 

Dominican University Offers New Concentrations to Students

Beginning this fall, Dominican University will offer new concentrations in Digital Marketing, Public Health and Neuroscience.

Dominican University New York is offering new concentrations in Digital Marketing, Public Health, and Neuroscience, beginning this fall.  The concentrations will be offered through the Lower Cost Model Consortium (LCMC).  The LCMC is a coalition of about 150 small and mid-sized colleges and universities that have committed to making college more accessible.

Thomas Nowak, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, said that under the program, students take almost all classes on campus and take three to five classes online through the LCMC for a concentration in specialized, high-demand fields.  “We still give you the small school attention, but we are giving you programs that would normally be offered at large universities.  It’s the best of both worlds, “ he said. 

All three concentrations were recently approved by the New York State Department of Education. 

New Environmental Studies Major Offered

Beginning in fall 2022, Dominican University will offer a new Environmental Studies major.  Environmental studies is a growing field with many job opportunities.

Regina Alvarez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, said that students can opt for one of two tracks – a science track or a general track.  “Students who do the science track can go to graduate school, can do research, or they can get technical jobs in the environmental field,” she said.  Students who take the general track would be more interested in working with government policies, or being an environmental consultant, an activist, a lobbyist, or an educator. 

Students in both tracks will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies degree.  For more information about the Environmental Studies program, click here.

Honors Lyceum Features Author of Children’s Book About Dementia

Dr. Linda Ganzenmuller spoke about her book “Everyday is Funday with Grandma Stella” at the 2022 Honors Lyceum.

At the 2022 Honors Lyceum, students heard from a psychologist who wrote a book to teach children how to interact with family members with dementia. Psychologist and children’s book author Dr. Linda Ganzenmuller was the guest speaker at the March 28, 2022, event.

Ganzenmuller is the author of “Everyday is Funday with Grandma Stella.”  AnnMarie Dellipizzi, Ph.D., Honors Program Director, said Ganzenmuller has a lot of experience working with seniors and wanted to find a way to talk to children about dementia.  “It’s really a therapy book.  Of course, the goal was directed toward children and showing them how to have fun or how to enjoy a loved one who has dementia by just focusing on the fun and doing things with them that make everybody happy,” said Dellipizzi.

Caregivers reading the book to young children can also benefit from the book’s message. Dellipizzi said the information could also be helpful to the nursing students who were among those who attended the the Honors Lyceum.    

Criminal Justice Day Includes K-9 Unit Demonstration

During Criminal Justice Day, there was a K-9 demonstration showing how a patrol dog can help apprehend suspects.

Criminal Justice Day on March, 24, 2022 included a demonstration of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Patrol K-9 Unit.  Two patrol dogs came to the Fury Lecture Hall in the Prusmack Center with their handlers, Sgt. Kevin Golden and Officer Joe Mercurio, to show students how they aid the Sheriff’s Patrol. 

Chief of Patrol Bill Barbera,  who is also a professor at Dominican College, and said the idea is to let students know about different career paths. “I’ve been teaching here for quite some time and I’ve always been talking about all the different types of jobs in law enforcement.  We have seven different dogs from five different disciplines.  These are just some examples of what students can find themselves doing for a career down the road,” he said. 

The K-9 unit demonstration was one of three presentations during Criminal Justice Day.  Chief Barbara also spoke about crime scene investigations.  In addition, there was a presentation by Christian Claudio, Chief at the National Center for Gang Training.

College Launches New Public Health Informatics & Technology (PHIT) Programs

PHIT Program Manager Carrie Boericke

Beginning in fall 2022, Dominican College students will be able to study the interesting and expanding field of Public Health Informatics and Technology (PHIT).  PHIT is a multi-disciplinary field applying data science skills to solve complex health care issues and to improve public health outcomes.  The College will offer a PHIT concentration in both the Health Sciences major and the Information Technology major, a PHIT minor, and a post-baccalaureate certificate program for adults.

The College’s Health Sciences program and the IT program in the Business Administration Division have teamed up to lead the PHIT Force. “This is a terrific opportunity to expand career options for Dominican College graduates,” said PHIT Program Manager Carrie Boericke.  “Becoming a public health informaticist will open up paths that are literally just coming into view on the horizon – both in private and public sector institutions.  Data skills will be key to success and social mobility for today’s students.”

The PHIT program at Dominican College is funded through a $1.9 million PHIT Workforce Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Dominican College was one of only 10 higher education institutions nationwide to receive this funding.  The grant aims to strengthen U.S. public health information technology efforts, improve COVID-19 data collection, and increase the diversity of the public health IT workforce.

Dominican College’s PHIT courses will begin with an introduction to PHIT, including a discussion of career options and case studies of how it can be used to address health disparities in communities.  Students will then hone data and project skills in an emergency response role-play exercise, simulating a public health emergency. All PHIT Force students will have a paid internship to cap off their studies, recognizing that employers are looking for real-world experience in job applicants. 

A consortium has been developed to help administer the program. The consortium, which may expand, now includes Bon Secours Charity Health System, CorEvitas, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Mount Sinai Health System, EmpiRx Health, and the New York State Department of Health. Consortium members will provide internship opportunities and feedback to keep the curriculum relevant for evolving employer requirements. 

Prospective students interested in learning more about the PHIT Force program at Dominican College should email Assistant Professor Carrie Boericke at carrie.boericke@duny.edu

Penn State Researcher Discusses Crisis Informatics at Dominican College

AnnMarie DelliPizzi-Citardi, Blair Hoplight, Andrea Tapia, and Chris Libertini prior to Tapia’s presentation about crisis informatics.

Students heard a fascinating description of how social media is changing emergency response from Penn State University researcher Andrea Tapia, Ph.D., on November 8, 2021.  Tapia is an Associate Dean for Research at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology.  She is also a Fulbright scholar, has worked with the United Nations and NASA, and is the sister of Dominican College Psychology Professor Blair Hoplight, Ph.D.

Tapia described how as a scholar of crisis informatics she and her team are working to build a system to help emergency responders gather information from social media.  “We are not trying to get rid of the 9-1-1 operators,” she explained.  “We are trying to make sure that they have the best information possible at any moment.”

Using a number of real-life examples, Tapia illustrated how bystanders to an emergency sometimes post videos or photos to social media instead of calling 9-1-1.  The system she is working on will gather that information for emergency responders.  Two hurdles she must overcome – identifying which social media posts come from bystanders and determining which ones are trustworthy.  Her advice to those who want to help in an emergency is  to call 9-1-1 first and  then turn on your geo-locator and use hashtags so your social media posts about the emergency can more easily be tracked.

Tapia’s presentation in the Fury Lecture Hall was part of the Sr. Michelle Nugent Lecture Series and was presented by the Dominican College Division of Social Sciences.

Visiting Scholar Works With Summer Research Students in Biology Lab

visiting scholar with two students working in the biology lab

Biology student Anna Acosta, Professor Li-jun Ma, Ph.D. from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and student Madison Newman (left to right) working in a laboratory in the Forkel Hall.

World-renowned computational biologist Li-jun Ma, Ph.D. visited Dominican College this summer to work with three biology students on research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  This follows the year-long sabbatical of Dominican College Biology Professor Bernadette Connors, Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with Dr. Ma.

During the sabbatical, Connors worked with Ma and her team to learn how to analyze genomic data with different sequencing technologies.  The summer research students are developing a manuscript with Connor’s data to hopefully be published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal.  Ma said the Dominican College students have integrity, intelligence, and are fully committed to the research, “They are so engaging, I would rate them as some of the best students I have ever had. “

The sabbatical and undergraduate research work was funded by a two-year $166,000 NSF grant (award #1950018).  In addition to furthering Connor’s research of microbial communities in the Hudson River Valley freshwater streams, the grant funded new equipment for Dominican College laboratories and provided stipends for the research students.

The biology students taking part in the summer research are Madison Newman ‘22, Anna Acosta ’22, and Darlenys Sanchez ’22.

Students Share Liberal Arts Research Projects Online

Image of Liberal Arts Research 2021 website

Students shared their capstone research projects on a website that showcases the research in communication studies, health sciences, and biology.

Dominican College faculty and students were determined to move ahead with this year’s Liberal Arts Research Day after last year’s in-person event was cancelled due to COVID.  With hard work and ingenuity, students shared their capstone research projects on a website that showcases the research in communication studies, health sciences, and biology.

“While this was something of a learning curve for both faculty and students, our Dominican students really rose to the challenge and created narrated posters, PowerPoint lectures with guided audio, and even digital video projects,”  said Mark Meachem, Ed.D., Director of the Division of Arts & Sciences.

Meachem said the website offered some unexpected benefits.  Students learned how to quickly adapt their work and had a larger audience with more professors, family, and friends able to view the projects.   Because of that, the website may continue to be used even if Liberal Arts Research Day is held in person in spring 2022 as planned.  The event serves as a way for students to share their knowledge and also helps prepare them for graduate-level work and academic conferences.

To view the students’ capstone research projects, visit:  http://courses.dc.edu/liberalartsresearch2021/

 

 

College Introduces New Marketing Major

Dominican College will be offering a new marketing major beginning in fall 2020.  The new undergraduate major will fall under the Business Administration Division, and will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.

“Like all our business majors, our new marketing major promotes our motto of ‘Doing Business Right’ – by which we mean that at Dominican College business students are taught how to be successful while also making the world a better place, “  said Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky, Director of the Business Administration Division. “When it comes to marketing, we believe an ethical approach is especially critical today when new technologies collect so much personal data on consumers. Avoiding unethical practices, however, is just the start. Effective marketing can also be a powerful tool to promote causes ranging from sustainability to justice. We teach our students to be creative and to use marketing as a positive force in business and in our society.”

Some of the marketing courses offered include Digital Media, Social Media Marketing, Global Marketing, Sales, Sports Media and Promotion, Innovation and Product Development, and The Fashion Business.  Three Hospitality courses also focus on restaurants, resorts and hotels, and spas and fitness centers.

For more information about the marketing major, contact the Admissions Department at admissions@duny.edu.