Saint Rose Celebrates Graduates at 95th Commencement

The College celebrated its 95th annual Commencement on May 12 at the Times Union Center in Albany. A total of 1,476 bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates of advanced study were awarded to a diverse group of students from 14 states and 20 countries.

The Commencement speaker was award-winning journalist Parisa Khosravi, who served as senior vice president for international news gathering, national news gathering, and global relations for CNN Worldwide, directing coverage of countless historic news stories, including the Rwandan genocide, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Arab Spring. Khosravi, who is a member of the College’s International Programs Leadership Council, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Read more about the ceremony here or watch a video on this year’s graduating class here.

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Class Notes for June 2018


Jonathan Munroe ’16 was promoted from Member Specialist to Member Solutions Specialist at SEFCU. He now works for the member solutions center at SEFCU, with the duties of processing loan payments and answering questions for members regarding their accounts. “We donate a lot to charity, and the work environment and benefits are awesome!” says Jonathan.

Julianna Maria Palomba ’16, who is currently teaching at Eagle Elementary School in the Bethlehem District, was awarded the NYS Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award.

Rachel Salasky ’16 is working as Youth Volleyball Director and Marketing Director at SportsLink in Charlotte, N.C. Her goal was to move to Charlotte and work for a grassroots organization, and SportsLink, the area’s largest organizer of adult sports leagues, met that objective perfectly. Her current project is kicking off the organization’s youth leagues. “I am so happy I made the move to Charlotte, and I am having a blast with my job working events and being on the courts almost every day.”

Adama Barry ’14, who was choosing between Columbia University and New York University for her master’s degree in social work, has decided to attend Columbia University this coming fall.

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards ’14, who is pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, became a program assistant at Cornell University Graduate School. She will be working specifically with the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE). She has served as president of the Cornell Black Graduate and Professional Student Association since 2017. She expects to complete her MPA in 2019.

Kali Bradford ’12 moved to New Orleans immediately after graduating from Saint Rose, where she was the Music and Talent Coordinator at the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. She has since relocated to London, where she is pursuing her MBA in international business from London Metropolitan University, with an expected graduation year of 2019. She also completed an MA in Music Industry Management and Enterprise with Distinction from London Metropolitan University in 2016 and an LLM in Entertainment Law from the University of Westminster in 2017. In 2017, she served as a panelist for the Off the Record New Music and Conference Showcase. She manages alt-rock band “The Green Bottle Kiss” and works at Distiller Records in London, where she was recently promoted to label manager. She encourages Saint Rose students to consider internships with her in London.

Dan Barner ’11 announces that the company he founded, Prolific Marketing, will be moving to a new location this summer. The company is staying in Ballston Spa and moving to a larger space at 27 Kent Street, just a few minutes from the current location. Look for an announcement of their grand opening.

Connor Clark ’11 is celebrating three years working for tech startup TickPick, a ticket marketplace similar to StubHub “only without the service fees for buyers.” He started off primarily in customer support, as most do at his company, but has transitioned into more of a content manager/editor role, in which he writes relevant blogs that help the site’s SEO rank, and he reviews and edits outside-authored content, using his writing background. “In a way, you could say I’m handling a Quality Assurance role for the site, as well,” he adds.

Patrick Cullen G’10 is currently the Head of Engineering at a San Francisco healthcare startup called Carrot, which lets employers offer customized fertility benefits for their employees, from basic testing to in-vitro fertilization (IVF).


Natelege Turner-Hassell ’02, G’03, G’08 was honored at the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s annual awards ceremony. The award highlights “individuals and businesses that are transforming their communities through advocacy, empowerment, investment, and compassion for those living in poverty. All proceeds from the event support organizational programs and services that reach more than 12,000 children and families each year.” Turner-Hassell is principal of School 2 in the Troy City School District.


Jim Eaton ’97 saw one of his beers take top honors in the Hudson Valley Hops Beer Festival in Albany in May. Placing first in the competition, Little Mo Session IPA is a session beer created by Fort Orange Brewery, which Eaton cofounded. Another Fort Orange creation, Stress Away DIPA, finished second by one vote for the People’s Choice Award.

In memoriam

Anthony “Jay” Longe II ’94 passed away unexpectedly on May 8, 2018, at the age of 49. A graduate of Burnt Hills High School and Hudson Valley Community College, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration at Saint Rose. His wife of 23 years, Regina Longe ’94, graduated from the same Saint Rose class. An employee of the NYS Thruway Authority, Jay was a humorous, outgoing soul, and a kindhearted father and husband who coached his children’s teams and was proud to attend all their events. A hunter, fisher, and boater, he belonged to the Pine Hills Beagle Club in Altamont, was handy around the house, and loved working on projects. To leave a special message for the family online please visit

Michael Zegarelli G’93 passed away at the age of 63 on April 27, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. A native of Minster, Ohio, Michael grew up in Utica and graduated from Utica Free Academy, then attended the University of Findlay College in Ohio. He earned a master’s degree in special education at Saint Rose, then worked as a special-education teacher in the Utica City School District for over 25 years, until retiring in 2012. He also worked in the Utica City School District for over 20 years as a coach for wrestling, baseball, softball, and football. He joined the Utica College Football staff in 2002 and coached for 13 years, until retiring in 2015. Online tributes at

Paul Douglas Whitbeck ’75 passed away on April 24, 2018, at the age of 73, at his home in Delmar. Born in Mechanicville on New Year’s Eve 1944, Paul grew up watching his father teach English in Mechanicville. He graduated from Mechanicville High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music, and earned his masters at Saint Rose. He worked in New York City as a studio musician before touring the country with his band. He was a devout Jehovah’s Witness. He later settled in Delmar and devoted himself to teaching music for the City School District of Albany, where he enjoyed introducing young people to band. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice in Paul’s name.

Sr. James Miriam Koeppe ’65, G’74, passed away on May 4, 2018, at age 89, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. A Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 69 years, she was a native of Albany and graduated from Catholic Central High School in Troy. She received a B.S. and M.S. in elementary education at Saint Rose, then taught in elementary schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses for 49 years. Upon retiring, she volunteered to drive Sisters to various appointments and served on the business office staff in St. Joseph’s Provincial House. An outspoken, honest individual with a great sense of humor, Sister James Miriam was a delight to live with. Her love of angels showed in the angel pin she always wore. She enjoyed shopping and working on her computer, which she used to make greeting cards for those close to her. Contributions in Sister James Miriam’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.

Sr. Ann Therese Flynn ’63, CSJ, passed away on May 14, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, at the age of 98. The Albany native graduated from St. Ann’s Academy and worked for 10 years for Harmanus Bleecker Library, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the New York State Department of Corrections. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows in 1953; she was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 70 years. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Saint Rose, she taught in Albany and Syracuse Diocese schools for nearly 50 years. She was also a home visitor in St. Lucy’s Parish (Syracuse) and served as coordinator of transportation at St. Joseph’s Provincial House. She sought to provide her students with thorough knowledge in an environment of self-discipline, hard work, and mutual respect, and taught with her mind and heart, praying that her students would be equipped to face life’s challenges with integrity and a sound work ethic. In her later years, she visited the infirmed Sisters at the Provincial House daily. Contributions in Sister Ann Therese’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110. Please visit

RoseMarie Schillaci Manory ’56, G’59, Saint Rose Professor Emeritus of History and an icon in the College’s history, passed away at age 84, on May 9, 2018. A recipient of the Alumni Association’s Carondelet Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, she is perhaps best known for her detailed recollection of past Saint Rose stories, and for authoring “Of Glory and Praise,” still considered the definitive history of the College. RoseMarie began as a full-time faculty member at Saint Rose in 1969 after teaching at Hudson Valley Community College, Troy High School, and the Fonda-Fultonville Central Schools.  She rose to the rank of an associate professor, teaching European and New York State History, and mentoring many future social studies teachers. She studied abroad at the American University in Rome and participated in a seminar study program in Moscow. She served on the Board of Trustees of Historic Cherry Hill from 1991-1995 after serving on the Advisory Board from 1988-91, and retired in 1996. RoseMarie earned her Bachelor of Arts in social studies with a minor in English from Saint Rose in 1956, and her Master of Arts in History/Political Science in 1959. As an alumna, she was a Capital Campaign and Phonathon volunteer, a Reunion committee member, and served on the Alumni Board from 2000-2004. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, RoseMarie drew great joy from her sons and grandsons, and her 43 years with her beloved late husband, Tony.

Dr. Roberta Toma ’54, G’57, passed away on May 11, 2018, at age 85. A native of Cohoes, she graduated from Cohoes High School, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Elementary Education, preK-6, from Saint Rose. After teaching elementary school in Cohoes, she completed her Ph.D in educational research and psychology from Fordham University on a full scholarship. She was a professor of elementary education at SUNY Oneonta until retiring 1996. After retirement, she regularly traveled with her sisters and nephew, John, and hosted a macaroni dinner every Sunday for the next 13 years. Her sister, Karen T. White ’61, G’68, is also an alumna of Saint Rose.

Margaret “Midge” Priddle ’48 passed away at the age of 90 on March 30, 2018, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A graduate of the Academy of Holy Names, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Saint Rose, and went to work as a research assistant at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. There, she became known for her superb research skills, even temperament, and integrity, and was promoted to laboratory supervisor. She moved to the Berkshires after retirement and enjoyed the Thursday Morning Club in Great Barrington. Other activities included skiing, travel, theater, and Scottish country dancing. She had many lifelong friendships. Her gracious, sweet disposition made her dear to many. She was interred in St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, alongside her beloved parents.

Mary O’Connell Holton ’46 passed away peacefully at her Watervliet home on May 20, 2018, at the age of 92. A native of Troy, she lived in Watervliet, graduating from St. Patrick’s School and Catholic Central High School before completing her Bachelor of Science in Business at Saint Rose. She received her master’s degree from The New York State Teachers College (now University at Albany). She taught and served as an administrator in Watervliet. She later purchased and operated an independent insurance agency from 1968 until 1988. After retiring, she and her husband, Thomas, traveled the United States in a motorhome, visiting each state (Alaska twice). A lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Church (Watervliet), she also served as president of the Rosary Society, a eucharistic minister, and charter member of the Craft Guild and the bingo team. She volunteered for many years at the Watervliet Public Library. Memorial contributions may be made to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 2416-7th Avenue, Watervliet, NY, 12189 or to the Watervliet Public Library, 1501 Broadway, Watervliet in memory of Mary T. Holton. Visit to leave a message of sympathy.

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Alumni in the News for June 2018

Saint Rose alumni made news recently for many great reasons, and we’ll name a few: receiving awards for school and community service, presenting grants to schools for nutritional-education programs, running for local office, and breaking ground for new facilities.

Anne-Marie Malcolm G’04, principal of Madiba Prep Middle School in Brooklyn, started the District Science STEM Fair at Madiba Prep years ago. Now, the science fair involves almost every school in District 16, from kindergarten through high school. “Our top winners have investigated treatments for diabetes, developed alternate energy sources, built robots and discovered multiple uses for everyday items,” she told Our Time Press in “Our Schools: Principal Voices – Anne-Marie Malcolm,” which appeared on May 18, 2018. She began her educational career 17 years ago in Brooklyn, and since then has worked at various district schools as a teacher, a trained teachers college literacy coach, and a dean before becoming principal.

Caitlin Fort G’13 received a Golden Apple award from the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators for her work at Lyndon Town School, in a program that serves students with intensive social, behavioral, and physical challenges, and whose families typically lack the economic resources to fully nurture their children’s needs. Director Brian Carroll of the Caledonia North Supervisory Union Student Services, who nominated Fort and was present at the ceremony, recalled his first meeting with her five years ago at a Saint Rose career fair. At the time, she told him, “I’m going to be a great special educator!” That positivity and energy factored heavily into his decision to hire her for Lyndon Town School. The story, “Lyndon Town School Special Educator Given Statewide Award,” appeared on the news site of television station KPVI on May 15, 2018.

Vincent Lentini G’08 was in the news as a first-time candidate for the North Merrick School board. He is a secondary school teacher and chair of the technology, fine art, and family/consumer science department in Lynbrook Public Schools. The article, “North Merrick School Voters’ Guide,” appeared in New York Newsday on May 9, 2018.

Peter Gannon ’02, the newest president and CEO of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, was featured in “Peter Gannon named CEO, president of Albany nonprofit” in the Albany Business Review on May 9, 2018. He has been president of the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership in Watervliet, and will move into a volunteer advisory role with its veteran business outreach center.

Cheryl (Hage) Perez ’82 received the 2018 New York State Senate Woman of Distinction award on May 1, 2018. Perez, who earned her degree in social work at Saint Rose while working full time and raising her two children as a single mother, has served developmentally disabled adults for many years. As executive director of the Mental Health Association of Fulton and Montgomery Counties, she developed many new programs; as executive director of Support Ministries, which provides housing and support to AIDS patients, notably doubling the size of the program. In between those accomplishments, she battled cancer. In her latest position as executive director of the Veterans Community and Housing Coalition, which provides critically needed housing and services to veterans in counties throughout the Capital Region, she has helped raise more than $400,000 to build housing for homeless veterans. Perez, herself the daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, now has grandchildren serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. The story, “Amsterdam resident honored as 2018 NYS Senate Woman of Distinction,” appeared in Recorder News on May 7, 2018.

Jayne M. Smith G’06, director of early-childhood education services for the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, spoke to the press about the opening of a new, fourth location of the JCC at 2221 Richmond Avenue, New Springville. Smith said that her organization anticipates opening the new facility in September. A native of the Bronx, Smith said that she first became aware of her special-education calling during her teenage years, when she was a lifeguard working with Down Syndrome children. She joined the JCC in 1993 as a teacher, helped develop the special-needs program, and later was promoted to assistant director and finally director. “JCC preschool program gets ready to expand into New Springville” appeared in the Staten Island Advance on May 6, 2018.

Keith Payet G’05 was in the news presenting a grant for nutrition education to Chattanooga-area schools. Payet, who has been CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee since 2017, awarded the grant on behalf of his organization, which teamed with Whole Kids Foundation to provide a total of $81,000 in grants to area schools to build or expand vegetable gardens, salad bars, or beehives, and provide educational resources about agriculture, caring for the environment, and maintaining healthy lifestyles. The article, “2 area schools receive grant for nutrition information,” appeared in The Chattanoogan on May 3, 2018.

Christine Hayes ’03 was re-elected to the Guilderland School Board. Currently serving as President on the board, she is also associate counsel for Albany Medical Center. She has lived in Guilderland for 25 years and graduated from Guilderland High School. The news item that detailed her position on the issues, “Four run for four Guilderland School Board seats,” was in the Altamont Enterprise on May 3, 2018.

Neill C Alleva G’15 became interim principal at Mamaroneck Avenue School in Long Island. Alleva has taught in the New York City public schools for 25 years, and is working on his doctorate at Northeastern University. The article, “Interim principal picked for Mamaroneck Avenue School,” appeared in on April 26, 2018.

Allison Banhazl G’10 was named principal of Waverly Park Elementary School in East Rockaway. Banhazl has served as assistant principal in the Merrick Union Free School District for six years. Prior to that, she was a teacher in Brooklyn. Her appointment was announced in “Lynbrook School District announces new Waverly Park Principal,” in on April 25, 2018.

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Events for June 2018

The campus is a bit quieter following Commencement, but the activities continue. Don’t miss our special alumni event, Preparing for Your Next Career Move, on June 7. If you’re in Southern California, get together with other alumni and faculty at one of two complementary events – in Los Angeles on June 19 or in San Diego on June 20.

June 7:
Preparing for Your Next Career Move, panel discussion and networking event for alumni, focusing on graduate school and career development, 5 to 7 p.m., free of charge. RSVP through Eventbrite.

June 13:
Community of Excellence luncheon, honoring community members for their service, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s honorees are: (Former Saint Rose Trustee) Charles Touhey, president of Omega Homes/Touhey Associates and Alice Green, founder and executive director, Center for Law and Justice; Denise Gonick, president and CEO, MVP; and Tammis Groft, executive director, Albany Institute of History & Art. Held at Wolferts Roost Country Club. Get tickets here. For more information, contact or 518-454-5114.

June 19:
Los Angeles Alumni Reception, hosted by Michael Vamosy ’93, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Special guests: Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco and Kristine Corso Tolmie ’88, G’97, associate professor of art and chair of the Center for Art & Design. Business casual dress. Stun Creative, 6420 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 450, Los Angeles CA. RSVP by June 14 at 518-454-5105,, or on the web.

June 20:
San Diego Alumni Dinner, 6 to 8 p.m. Special guests: Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco; Kristine Corso Tolmie ’88, G’97, associate professor of art and chair of the Center for Art & Design; and Trustee Tonita Ferradino McKone ’60, G’81. Business casual dress. The University Club atop Symphony Towers, 750B Street, Suite 3400, San Diego, CA. RSVP by June 14 at 518-454-5105,, or on the web.

July 2:
Summer Academy for Youth begins and runs through August 3. These week-long learning programs for young people in grades 6 through 10 offer sessions in art, music, drama, science, writing, computers, and more. Visit here to view class offerings and to register online. Questions? Call 518-454-5144.

July 9:
Pre-College Experience begins, running through July 20. This intensive program for high school students offers classes in visual art, music, cinema and documentary film, and criminal justice and forensics. Click here for tuition and to register. See a video on the Pre-College Experience here.

The 2018 Art & Design Faculty Show: Recent work including drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design, photography, and printmaking by The Center for Art & Design faculty will be on exhibition at the Esther Massry Gallery. Special recognition will be given to retiring Saint Rose professors Paul Mauren and Scott Brodie. The exhibition runs through July 31, and from September 7 through 15. Summer hours are Tuesday through Friday noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed on July 4 and August 1 through September 6. A reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. September 7, with the gallery staying open until 9 p.m. For more information contact: Jeanne Flanagan at

It’s happening in September, but you can register now: The Golden Knights Golf Classic will be held on September 14 at the Capital Hills at Albany golf course, 65 O’Neil Road, Albany. Click here for more information.

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