Mount Saint Mary College Welcomes the Class of 2017 - Daily Hudson Valley News

Mount Saint Mary College Welcomes the Class of 2017

Aug 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article

A sunny Hudson Valley day provided a beautiful backdrop for new students moving into Mount Saint Mary College on Saturday, August 24.

Activities as they began their academic journey included moving in, signing onto the campus wide wireless internet, and dropping by the campus store. Student attended a welcome mass before they bade their families farewell, and the opening mass of the semester for the Mount community was scheduled for Sunday, August 25 at 6 p.m.

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 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 began Monday, August 26. The college anticipates another strong year, crafting careful growth in programs both curricular and extracurricular.

Olivia Bogle of Pine Bush, N.Y., 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 be Lee Ferris.

Olivia Bogle of Pine Bush, N.Y., 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 be Lee Ferris.

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 the region.

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 sport management, sports facility management, financial and economic analysis in sport, and applied marketing management in sport.

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 Christianity.

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.

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 recent health fair.

Students also serve through clubs and organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Aging United, 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.”

Campus life

Mount Saint Mary College provides a 24/7 staff of caring, professional personnel. Student development is their mission.

Students 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 SMARTclassrooms 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 musicians.

New hires

Cultivating all of Mount Saint Mary College’s innovative programs, several new faculty will be sharing their expertise with students.

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 religious studies.

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; admissions counselor; 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.

MSMC College Class of 2017

Mary Hinton, vice president for academic affairs (right) helps nursing major Delilah Tejada from the Bronx, N.Y. move into her residence hall at Mount Saint Mary College.

The value of education

College education remains a priority focus, including 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 N.Y., 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.

Public events

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 p.m. 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 p.m.

The college’s Catholic and Dominican Institute is planning various activities, 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 p.m. Fr. George V. Coyne, S.J., 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 p.m.

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.

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