A veteran nurse, a dedicated ambulance volunteer and the leader of a homeless outreach center were the honorees last month at the seventh annual St. Joseph’s College Alumni Achievement Awards in Health Care & Human Services.
Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College attended the event inside the McGann Conference Center, where Kevin Dahill, president and CEO of the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State (SHANYS) served as the featured speaker.
Irene J. Cassata ’18, a registered nurse for 34 years, accepted her achievement award from Carlene Williams ’10, M.S.N. ’13, an instructor in SJC Long Island’s Department of Nursing.
“I really went back to school with a chip on my shoulder, thinking ‘What could school teach me after 30 years of being a nurse?” Cassata said. “And I have to say, I really do eat my words. I am very humbled to have received this award.
“I have learned so much. This is such a healthy environment and culture to be a part of,” she continued. “The faculty here — they want you to do well. And they inspire you. They make me want to do better, to grow, and to just evolve my professional self.”
Frank Nunez ’18 was presented his award by Jennifer Piscitelli ’15, E.M.B.A. ’17, a project manager at Long Island Community Hospital and an adjunct professor in SJC Long Island’s Department of Health Administration.
“It really is a great experience to be at St. Joseph’s College,” said Nunez, who earned a bachelor’s in health administration at SJC Long Island and is now applying to medical schools.
“I was still undecided about what I wanted to do with my career … I decided to seek out the people who would have the answers to my questions,” he continued. “And the SJCmentor program was probably one of the best things happen in my life.”
Daniel O’Shea, M.S. ’12, accepted his award from Jo Anne Durovich, Ph.D., chair of SJC Long Island’s Department of Human Services.
“It was so important and such a privilege to be honored and recognized, not just by the College, but also the community and the people we serve,” said O’Shea, executive director for Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach, which provides support services and emergency housing to people on the East End of Long Island. “I’m honored to be part of this College.”