Exams, term papers and studying. Oh my! College can be pretty overwhelming for even the most diligent of students. This is why it’s so important for students to have mentors on campus to boost their confidence and motivate them to reach their goals.
St. Joseph’s College takes pride in employing faculty and staff members who make themselves available to provide encouragement when students fall and guidance when students are faced with important career decisions.
As part of ISJC Week, present and future St. Joseph’s alumni — responding to a questionnaire conducted by St. Joseph’s Office of Alumni Engagement — shared thoughts about the staff and faculty members who helped them most at SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island.
Made Class “A Blast”
“Every class with Professor Cardoza was a blast!” Brianna Bartol, a junior child study/speech major at SJC Long Island, said of Spanish class lecturer Judy Cardoza. “She made the subject fun and continues to stay in touch and provide references for me to this day.”
Bartol took SPN 202 with Cardoza during the fall 2017 semester.
“She brought so much to the class, making it enjoyable for all,” she said. “She works all day as a teacher in Patchogue-Medford schools. For her to come to my evening college class with such enthusiasm, really inspired me.”
Helped Her Meet Lifelong Friends
One of the professor’s that most inspired 2014 SJC Brooklyn graduate Justina Pierre was SJC Brooklyn Interim Executive Dean Michael Hanophy, a biology professor during Pierre’s time at the College.
“I met Dr. Hanophy while applying for admission to the College,” said Pierre, a medical student who credits Hanophy and SJC for helping her meet lifelong friends who she now considers family.
Paige Napoli Carbone, a 2002 SJC Long Island graduate and now the director of alumni engagement at St. Joseph’s, replied that her ISJC Person is Richard Paganini, a former speech communications professor at SJC Long Island who passed away in 2015.
“Pags was the best!” said Napoli Carbone, who met the professor during a “Meet the Majors” session her freshman year in 1998. “He was an amazing professor that poured his heart into teaching others about communication.”
It was during the speech major’s junior year that she started to work more closely with the speech communications professor.
“He told me one day that he would fly into MacArthur Airport from his home in Chicago on Monday nights, teach at SJC on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then fly home to Chicago Friday mornings,” she said. “I was amazed at his dedication. Pags just opened his mouth and I was instantly inspired. He would give little snippets of life advice during his lectures. And they just had a way of sticking in your mind.
“After Paganini’s death, S. Grace Rowland organized a memorial service on campus for him and I did a reading to honor his life,” Napoli Carbone continued. “I loved him and miss our talks!”
“Opened My Eyes”
Nick Marter ’14, assistant director of admissions and financial aid at Manhattan College and a former employee in SJC Long Island’s admissions department, said his “ISJC Person” is Marian Russo, former director of student life at SJC Long Island.
“She supported every club, organization and student that she came across for 25 years,” said Marter, who met Russo when he applied to become an Orientation Team Leader in 2010. “Her enthusiasm and passion were on display every single day. I knew that I needed to find a job that I could find that very same passion for.
“Essentially, she inspired me to be comfortable with shifting my career focus and opened my eyes to a career in higher education.”