An affection for community service runs through the veins of graduates who step into the world with St. Joseph’s College degree in hand.
The unique drive St. Joseph’s students hold to give back to the community was crystal clear to Interim Executive Dean Michael Hanophy, Ph.D., while he sat in the audience at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM) commencement ceremony May 24 to watch three SJC Brooklyn alumni receive doctorates. When Dr. Hanophy, who also teaches biology at the College, thumbed through the program at the ceremony, he was filled with joy as he reveled in the accomplishments of his former students.
Ginette Illuzzi — the Class of 2014 valedictorian at SJC Brooklyn — graduated cum laude from the NYCPM and was a member of its Podiatric Honor Society. During the commencement ceremony, SJC Brooklyn alumnus Raymond Morales ’12 received a Service Award, an honor he was nominated for by his classmates. Additionally, SJC Brooklyn alumnus Joseph Cataldo ’14 received the prestigious Board of Trustees award.
Illuzzi invited Dr. Hanophy to commencement with a card that nodded to a warning he gave her freshman class in Bio135.
“I can still envision this bell curve slide on PowerPoint that he had projected on the board; and on it was the grade statistics of the bio course,” Illuzzi said. “The dominant grade for the course was a C, and Dr. Hanophy said, ‘As you can see, just passing this course alone will not be an easy task. Most of you will not make it onto part two of this course. While I would like to think in eight years, I will be attending 60 plus medical school graduations, I will tell you that this may not be the case.’”
Illuzzi, now doing a three-year surgical residency in reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, said she was proud to invite her mentor, Dr. Hanophy, to commencement and share her achievement with him.
Thrilled to attend commencement exercises for #NYCPM yesterday morning where 3 #SJCNYAlumni became Doctors of Podiatric Medicine. Congrats to Dr. Ginette Illuzzii, Dr. Joe Cataldo, and Dr. Ray Morales!! So proud of my Brooklyn Bio grads! #SJCNY pic.twitter.com/f5GL93NXuh
— Michael Hanophy (@mjhanophy) May 25, 2018
Illuzzi, Morales and Cataldo were all members of NYCPM’s Podiatric Service Society and worked for the Foot Center of New York, a teaching affiliate of NYCPM. The St. Joseph’s alumni helped the clinic give free foot screenings during their time there, said Dr. Hanophy.
Dr. Hanophy lights up when he speaks about the trio of SJC Brooklyn students who went on to become podiatrists.
“I’ve never seen people so delighted about podiatry,” Dr. Hanophy told OnCampus.
In the same graduation season, Dr. Hanophy also boasted proudly about another SJC Brooklyn alumni who received a medical school degree: Adriana Pena ’13. Pena, who earned an undergraduate degree in biology from SJC Brooklyn, graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland with her doctorate in veterinary medicine in the spring.
— Michael Hanophy (@mjhanophy) June 23, 2018
Natural Born Leaders Earning Doctorates
Dr. Hanophy noted that SJC graduates are natural born leaders, pointing to a handful of other success stories: Enid Otoo ’13 is an editor of the student publication at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Stephanie Thermozier ’13 was the 2016 recipient of a minority student summer fellowship for research. She sits on the student board of the alumni association at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Both are expected to graduate next year. Additionally, Dr. Hanophy said St. Joseph’s graduate Gladyne Confident ’13 was the Diversity Programming Chair at New York University Medical School, where she graduated last year. She continued to Yale to do her residency in pediatrics.
Congratulations to Dr. Raymond Morales '12!! In addition to receiving his DPM from @NYCollPodMed last month, Ray also received the Student Service Award, given by the 4th year class to a fellow student who best advanced podiatric medicine. #SJCNY pic.twitter.com/aF7v0MT5dx
— Michael Hanophy (@mjhanophy) June 7, 2018
— Michael Hanophy (@mjhanophy) June 2, 2018