STAC Stories

Joe smiling outside wearing red white and blue plaid shirt with trees and romano building in background
Dr. Joseph Charleman
Associate Professor of Healthcare Management

Dr. Charleman spearheaded and oversees STAC’s Healthcare Management & Informatics MBA Program. In January 2023, the program received accreditation as a Digital Health Leader (DHL)—the only accredited DHL master’s certificate program in the country.


Mariellen wearing black long sleeve shirt, smiling outside with building and trees in background
Mariellen Murphy-Holahan
Associate Professor of Accounting

“The most rewarding part about teaching is seeing the growth in students from when they come to STAC as freshmen to when they are ready for their first professional job,” Associate Professor Murphy-Holahan notes. READ MORE

Heath smiling wearing glasses and blue dress shirt with Romano Center in background and green trees
Dr. Heath Bowen
Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences & Associate Professor of History

Dr. Bowen has valued STAC's unique community and the diverse backgrounds and perspectives students bring to campus. He believes that the interrelationships between students, faculty, and administration foster one-of-a-kind learning experiences.  READ MORE

Stephanie smiling outside of Borelli Hall on campus
Dr. Stephanie Lauer
Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Stephanie Lauer’s research seeks to answer fundamental questions about the inner workings of DNA, information that can be used to create synthetic versions of organisms and to study human disease. Since joining STAC in 2022, she has made it her mission to create a dynamic learning environment for her students in classes she teaches. READ MORE

Caleb smiling outside with green trees and grass in background
Dr. Caleb McWhorter
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Caleb McWhorter is fascinated by elliptic curves, a topic in Arithmetic Geometry, which is a subfield of Number Theory and the backbone of modern-day encryption. Before he decided to pursue a career in education, Dr. McWhorter was on track to become a professional violinist; however, the rewards of teaching drew Dr. McWhorter from the stage to the classroom.


Kathleen smiling outside of Borelli Hall wearing sweater and collared shirt with green grass and tree in background
Kathleen Ryan Rodenbach
Adjunct Professor of Education

With more than 40 years of experience in special education teaching and administration, Kathleen Ryan Rodenbach has much to share with future educators at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Kathleen is inspired by her students who she says are enthusiastic and motivated to learn and make a difference in the community.


Bob smiling wearing blue button up shirt with computer screen and hard drive in background
Dr. Robert Vermilyer
Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Robert Vermilyer’s passion for Computer Science extends beyond just his love for computers; he also values the problem solving skills necessary for the field. Throughout his 17 years teaching at STAC, Dr. Vermilyer has taught a wide variety of courses, some of which include Animation, 3D Modeling, Gaming, and Robotics. READ MORE

Dr. Collucci smiling in office seated at desk with computer and artwork in background
Dr. Melissa Collucci
Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, Director of Graduate Education

Dr. Melissa Collucci’s desire to teach in higher education came from her own experience as an early education teacher. Since joining the STAC facility in 2017, Dr. Collucci has taught 12 courses in the School of Education, as well as serving as an advisor for the Kappa Delta Pi honor society. READ MORE

Stacy smiling outside with hedges in background
Dr. Stacy Kinlock Sewell
Professor of History and Assistant Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences

Some people may think the study of history involves retelling the same old stories over again, but Dr. Stacy Kinlock Sewell, believes that learning history is the key to understanding our present time. READ MORE

Brett smiling wearing blue and white button down shirt with books on bookshelves in office to the left
Brett Karopczyc
Lecturer of Professional Practice in Computer Science

Karopczyc’s fascination with computer science started at the age of five. According to Lecturer Brett Karopczyc, machines will have a significant impact on how scientific discoveries are made in the not-too-distant future.  READ MORE

Professor Erica Soto smiling wearing black long sleeve shirt with brown background wall
Erica Soto
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts

Apple News, Snapchat, Facebook, NPR, NBC, E! Entertainment, MTV, Telemundo—these are among the many digital and broadcast platforms Professor Soto has served as a bilingual multimedia journalist and producer. She believes experiential learning is key to students’ success in entering the media industry.


Maria smiling with brick archway and pink flowers in background
Dr. Maria Ann Roglieri
Professor of Global Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

For over two decades, Dr. Roglieri has shared her passion for lifelong learning with STAC students and alumni, bringing cultures, literatures, and languages to life as she teaches in the classroom and beyond.  READ MORE

Heather Rave smiling outside of Borelli Hall wearing flower blazer
Heather Rave, Ed.D. '98
Associate Professor of Physics

Considering the big question, “What is the universe and what is our place in it?” is what drew Dr. Heather Rave to the fascinating study of astrophysics. Asked about the best aspects of her career, Dr. Rave says it’s the interaction with students and seeing them bloom.


Carolyn Fraker smiling with multicolored quilt in background
Carolyn Fraker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Pop culture, music videos, Super Bowl ads, and trending news stories kick off lively conversations in Dr. Carolyn Fraker’s sociology classes. After all, what better way is there to study concepts than to look at what’s happening in the world right now?


Dr. Oscar González-Barreto

Dr. Oscar González-Barreto began making short documentary films at 16 while growing up in Caracas, Venezuela. His early passion for the arts led him to pursue a career in humanities.  READ MORE

Barbara smiling
Barbara Vano
Assistant Professor of Sport Management Studies

Athletes all over the world are celebrated for their skills, strength, and endurance and, after studying sports for years, Assistant Professor Barbara Vano appreciates how they bring people together.


Dr. Emanuel smiling in lab on campus with microscope on desk in front of her
Dr. K. Emma Emanuel
Visiting Professor of Biology

Helping people live in good health has been the constant focus of Dr. K. Emma Emanuel’s life. Dr. Emanuel has been sharing her background and knowledge from her career as a medical practitioner and educator with students at STAC since 2018, when she joined the faculty as an adjunct professor. READ MORE

Carol smiling with window drapes and window in background
Carol Greiff Lagstein
Director of Art Therapy

Carol is dedicated to defining the skills undergraduate art therapy students need in order to achieve the best results in their field. In the 25 years she’s served as St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Director of Art Therapy, Carol has taught every art therapy course, and also advises the Art Therapy Club, which hosts bi-annual conferences and plans creative projects for the college community.  READ MORE

Cassandra Lo smiling wearing flowered shirt
Cassandra Lo, Ed.D
Assistant Professor of Education

In her classes with future middle and high school teachers, Assistant Professor Cassandra Lo emphasizes the importance of looking at lessons from a student’s perspective. “My students are brilliant in so many ways and their contributions to our classes are so impressive,” she says. “I absolutely love working with future teachers, because I know they are going off into the world to make it a better place.” READ MORE

Susan smiling wearing pink shirt and black sweater; willow trees in background
Susan Marell, Ph.D., LMSW
Professor of Psychology

Dr. Susan K. Marell unlocked a passion for education that chartered the course of her career. She has devoted over three decades to teaching psychology as a professor at STAC, and says that the most rewarding aspect of teaching is “helping students build the confidence in themselves to pursue their goals and dreams.” READ MORE

Francesca smiling, wearing glasses and black shirt with necklace
Dr. Francesca Ciotoli
Assistant Professor of Education

Performing before crowds and teaching students in the classroom have much in common, according to Assistant Professor Francesca Ciotoli who, as an undergraduate college student, trained as an opera singer at the Manhattan School of Music. Today, Dr. Ciotoli draws lessons from the stage and her 20-year career in education to prepare the next generation of teachers at St. Thomas Aquinas College.


Paul Dent smiling wearing suit and periodic table of elements themed bowtie
Dr. Paul Dent
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Exploding pumpkins with hydrogen gas and setting gummy bears ablaze sound like unconventional tasks in any job, but for Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Paul Dent, these are exciting ways to teach the students of St. Thomas Aquinas College about basic chemistry. Dr. Dent’s primary area of expertise is in biomedical technology, which combines engineering and technology to diagnose and treat various diseases.  READ MORE

Evan Matthews
Evan Matthews Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Music

Dr. Evan Matthews loves working at STAC for many reasons. One being the opportunity to get to know his students well and also work with students and faculty across disciplines. READ MORE

Craig outside of Borelli Hall smiling
Dr. Craig Martin
Professor of Religious Studies

One of the many reasons Dr. Martin thrives at STAC is because of the connection he has with his students. His favorite way to end class is have his students leave the classroom thinking with a new perspective about the discussion held. READ MORE

Tracy smiling outside with green and yellow leaves on bushes in background
Dr. Tracy Tully
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Dr. Tully looks forward to her teaching every day because STAC is truly student-focused. It’s rare for a college to have the family-like feel that STAC has. “What I value most, is working with colleagues who are kind and thoughtful on top of being experts in their fields.” READ MORE

Dr. Finnegan smiling wearing coat and scarf outside with Costello Hall building in background. Snow on the ground.
Dr. Elizabeth Finnegan
Professor of Education & Director of Graduate Education

There are countless reasons Dr. Finnegan loves her job at STAC, a few being the ability to influence and effect change that positively affects children with disabilities through preparing teachers, advocating for funding, or promoting best practices through research. 


Nina smiling wearing gray jacket, trees in background
Nina Bellisio
Associate Professor of Visual Communications

Nina leaves an immense impact on her students by inspiring and motivating them to dream big. “Professor Bellisio is the kind of advisor I hope everyone has when they are in college. Having her in my corner these past few years, especially during a pandemic, has helped me feel prepared and stay focused on my goals” says STAC student, Jadealexis Westhoven.


Neerja smiling outside of Borelli Hall on campus. Green grass in background
Dr. Neerja Chaturvedi
Professor of History

“Immigrants in America” is one of Neerja Chaturvedi’s favorite courses to teach at St. Thomas Aquinas College because it offers students from different ethnic and racial backgrounds the chance to discover themselves, learn about their family history, and better understand one another.


Angela McDonnell black and white photo, smiling, horizontal striped shirt
Professor Angela McDonnell
Coordinator, Hospitality Management and Instructor, School of Business

Angela McDonnell’s keen sense of adventure took her from a dairy farm on Ireland’s countryside to destinations around the globe where she worked in the hospitality industry alongside celebrities like Michelin-star chefs, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.


Meghan smiling, headshot photo. Trees and white picket fence in background
Dr. Meghan DeWitt
Associate Professor of Mathematics

Science of Superheroes is Meghan DeWitt’s favorite class to teach: “We study quantum mechanics with Kitty Pryde, genetic modification with Wolverine, gravity with Superman, convection and heat flow with Storm, and electromagnetism with Magneto."


Dr. Chayet smiling, hair in braids; outside greenery in background
Dr. Ellen Chayet
Professor of Criminal Justice

“Teaching criminal justice at the college level has always been my dream career,” says Ellen, who has since been sharing her years of research and field experience in criminal justice along with her education in sociology and social policy with students. At STAC, she values her colleagues with whom she collaborates not only academically on course and program development, but also to ensure the best overall college experience for students. READ MORE

Jessica smiling; green trees in background
Dr. Jessica Berrios
Assistant Professor in Exercise Science & Biology

Coming from a background of teaching at larger universities, Jessica truly enjoys the supportive environment and the sense of community that STAC provides. Being able to get to know her students and their stories truly enriches her teaching experience. READ MORE

bianca smiling
Bianca Wentzell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Wentzell teaches courses such as General Biology, Plant Biology, and Literature Research in the Biological Sciences. She says that her work at the College has been rewarding. “Not only do I get to be a lifelong student as I continue my quest for knowledge about wetlands, but I also get to teach students about how life works and help answer their questions as they investigate the world around them."


Rossen Trendafilov
Dr. Rossen Trendafilov
Assistant Professor of Finance

Finance and Economics are both fields of study that require a great amount of analysis, attention to detail, and overall understanding of the world around us. “I try to establish a personal relationship with my students in order to better understand their current needs and their future goals. Further, I strive to help the students develop critical and independent thinking skills...


Monica Wendel outside, smiling; grass and field in background
Monica Wendel
Associate Professor of Composition and Creative Writing

Monica joined the faculty at St. Thomas Aquinas College as an adjunct in 2010 and has been teaching English, creative writing, and poetry ever since. Now, as an associate professor, she values the College’s community and the close bonds students have with their professors and students’ commitment to service.


Dr. Engels smiling; cream colored wall in background
Deirdre-Noel Engels, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing

“In my classes, I encourage students to develop practical skills that will enable them to hit the ground running at their first job. There are so many budding young entrepreneurs on campus; I hope that my classes will inspire them and provide them with the tools necessary to bring their ideas to life."


Linda Levine-Madori head shot photo; smiling yellow and pink solid background
Linda Levine-Madori, PhD
Professor of Therapeutic Recreation

For the past 30 years, Linda has devoted her career to research, practice, education, and the the benefits this therapy offers people with cognitive disabilities. Her research on Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive functioning, and psycho-social well-being was the basis for the TTAP Method...


Meghan Mihal portrait photo outside on campus
Meghan Mihal, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics

One of the most rewarding things about teaching economics is showing students that they really can do it, especially when they think they can’t ... READ MORE

Christine Cahill
Christine Cahill, JD
Assistant Dean and Professor of Business Administration

Before she joined the Business School faculty at St. Thomas Aquinas College... READ MORE

Ryan Wynne in biology lab
Ryan D. Wynne, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Honors Program Director

Dr. Ryan Wynne says that after having a horrible chemistry teacher in 11th grade, he vowed that he’d never take another chemistry class in his lifetime...


Staci Shultz with bookcase in the background
Staci Shultz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English, Writing Program Director

Literature rooted in pop culture such as fan fiction is a genre that scholars like Dr. Staci Shultz find intriguing partly because, in the past, it has been dismissed as frivolous, Staci says. Today, “acafans” or academics who study fan practices... READ MORE

Ben Wagner
Ben Wagner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Why do some people seek out and enjoy taking personality surveys more than others? This is the subject of a yearlong research project Dr. Benjamin Wagner, assistant professor of psychology at St. Thomas Aquinas College, is working on with honors student Melissa Etter ’22... READ MORE

Kaley smiling wearing STAC softball tshirt
Kaley Pederson ’23
Business Management Major and Marketing Minor

Kaley traveled across the country from her hometown in Southern California to study and play Division 2 Softball at the College. Kaley has valued the personal guidance of her professors, especially Dr. Deirdre Engels, who helped Kaley choose her career path. 


Gianna smiling wearing glasses and gray long sleeve shirt
Gianna Landrum '23
Criminal Justice Major; Forensic Psychology Minor

When Gianna Landrum – a senior who will attend law school this coming Fall – first started her journey at St. Thomas Aquinas College, she instantly felt the connection to her peers and professors. READ MORE

Bruk smiling wearing black sweater with Borelli Hall building and green trees in backgorund
Bruktawit Abebe ’25
Computer Science Major, Biology Minor

As an international student, Bruk was drawn to STAC’s tight-knit community. “There is never a shortage of events and fun activities to take part in. The many resources, as well as the international student culture, have assured me I have a place here,”  Bruk says.


Tyler smiling wearing glasses and track and field uniform
Tyler Robinson ’24
Exercise Science Major

Experiential learning opportunities like internships offer students important lessons outside of the classroom and gave Tyler Robinson a preview of his future career as a physical therapist. Tyler decided to declare an exercise science major after realizing he wanted to pursue a field in which he could help people one-on-one.


Karla smiling outside of Borelli Hall with green grass and trees in background
Karla Zamora ’24
Criminal Justice Major, Human Rights & Social Justice Minor

Karla has always had big ambitions, and with the guidance of her advisors at STAC, she decided to make the leap from an education major to follow her passion for the criminal justice field. She has her sights set on law and is studying to become an immigration attorney with a specialization in deportations.


Tristan smiling outside of Borelli Hall with trees and grass in background
Tristan Greenidge '25
Marketing Major

When Tristan Greenidge was growing up in Ontario, Canada, he had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. Although his vision for his future has changed a bit since then, his love of soccer led him to the states to study and play on the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team at St. Thomas Aquinas College.


Yesica smiling long brown hair wearing green blouse with Borelli Hall and trees and grass in background
Yesica Umana-Monzon '23
Criminal Justice Major, Psychology Minor

Yesica wants to make a difference in the lives of others by pursuing a career in social justice, and values classroom discussions about important issues such as racial injustice, poverty, and challenges in the criminal justice system. She is continually inspired by her professors, and is now considering a career in law.


Nicole smiling wearing black STAC Athletics sweatshirt with Borelli Hall in background and green grass and pine tree
Nicole Gysin '24
Double Major in Math and Exercise Science

Nicole's passion for both mathematics and athletics inspired her to combine her studies at STAC in a double major. Through her courses, she’s been exploring how she can parlay these interests into a future career. As a student-athlete on campus, Nicole is also a part of STAC’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams.


Jamal smiling wearing STAC basketball jersey
Jamal Barnes '24
Marketing Major, Psychology minor

When Jamal arrived at STAC, he planned on pursuing a degree in psychology. However, in high school, he explored another interest which, combined with his love of sports, resurfaced in college and became the focus of his studies: digital media. READ MORE

Tchasky smiling wearing black suit and red bowtie with watch on and river and mountains in background
Tchasky Mentor '25
Accounting Major

Tchasky was already interested in accounting when he enrolled at STAC, however, participating in the Business Club and attending lectures delivered by professionals working in the field throughout his first year of college affirmed his career choice. READ MORE

Colleen wearing glasses and STAC maroon sweater with Romano Center and trees in background on sunny blue sky day
Colleen Stevens
Biology Major

Colleen Stevens is a student athlete and honors program student who is passionate about her future career in environmental conservationism. She is an impressive biology major, who completed an internship with the Rockland Conservation and Service Corps (RCSC) last summer. READ MORE

Godson at Hall of Fam event singing into microphone and smiling wearing suit and bow tie with American flag in background
Godson Nartey ‘22
Biology Major; Performing Arts Minor

Fueled by a childhood dream of helping others, Godson wants to be a medical doctor, specializing in the orthopedic field. He is also driven by another passion: “Many people don’t know that I am also passionate about singing opera...”


Demetre action shot playing dribbling basketball in STAC gym
Demetre Roberts ’22
Sport Management

STAC’s Men’s Basketball player Demetre Roberts was recently named “Most Outstanding Player” of the East Coast Conference Tournament, one of numerous honors and awards this dedicated athlete has earned over the last four years.


Chanel smiling with sunset and nyc skyline and empire state building in background
Chanel Brodeur-Muir '22
Psychology, Biology Concentration

Chanel Brodeur-Muir ventured 9,000 miles from her home on the North Island of New Zealand to begin her college journey at St. Thomas Aquinas College where she looked forward to studying biology and playing power forward on STAC’s Women’s Basketball Team.


DeAndre Smith

When DeAndre Smith transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas College in his sophomore year, he knew it was the right decision.

“I fit right in as soon as I stepped foot on campus,” he says. “I made friends right away, and it felt like home.”


Tami smiling
Tamana “Tami” Sarwari ’25
Psychology Major

Tamana “Tami” Sarwari began working as a senior barista at the Noble Cafe in Sparkill, NY, last year, serving up artfully designed lattes and other coffee crafts to St. Thomas Aquinas College professors and students.


Payton, long blonde hair, outside smiling
Payton Horan '22
Hospitality Management Major

Event coordinating has genuinely become second nature for Hospitality Management senior Payton Horan, as she couples interests with her academic studies each day. As an excited transfer student, Payton sought a school to better her studies with a community that would be a great fit for who she is. READ MORE

Angelique smiling wearing white shirt with sunglasses on head
Angelique Julien '23
Childhood Education Major, English Concentration

As a Childhood Education major, Angelique looks forward to a future educating the youth of tomorrow. Reflecting on the years she has spent preparing for her career, she says that St. Thomas Aquinas College is “a blessing” for which she “couldn’t be any more thankful. The people I have met on campus have been very welcoming since the beginning.”


Kathryn Cambrea smiling outside with tree in background
Kathryn Cambrea '21
Communication Arts Major, Creative Writing Minor

As Kathryn prepares to make a difference in her own career as a journalist, the Communication Arts major at St. Thomas Aquinas College has pursued many opportunities to build her portfolio and resume. In addition to publishing her editorial work, Kathryn enjoys writing creatively and co-edits STAC’s literary magazine, The Voyager. READ MORE

Sloane smiling wearing blue dress and white jacket; hotel scene in background
Sloane Carucci Peterson '22
Hospitality Management Major

Sloane appreciates how her day-to-day work connects directly with what she’s learned as a student in the Hospitality Management program at STAC, as well as special opportunities that working in the industry makes possible to give back to the community. “I will embrace every opportunity I am given, and I know I will be prepared thanks to my education at STAC.” READ MORE

Mark smiling; indoor restaurant seating in background
Mark Keegan '22
Communication Arts Major

Aspiring filmmaker Mark Keegan has had many opportunities to hone his craft and get hands-on experience in the field during his years at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Throughout his college years, Mark has been supported and challenged by professors, advisors, and administrators, and has even created content for STAC's Campus Communications office for various projects. READ MORE

Dante smiling wearing STAC athletic jacket
Dante Brown '23
Sports Management / Business Administration

As an athlete, Dante Brown knows what it means to be part of a team. When he’s not out on the field, Dante applies his teamwork mindset to different roles on campus. Dante joined STAC’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) as a student mentor. He is also part of the Social Justice & Equity (SJE) Forum where administrators, staff, and students work to bring awareness to STAC’s diverse student body. READ MORE

Paolo Bruzzesi smiling
Paolo Bruzzesi ‘23
Marketing Major, Social Media Minor

Paolo Bruzzesi defines the characteristics of what a Spartan represents. As a rising junior studying Marketing and Social Media at STAC, Paolo already has impressive accomplishments under his belt. READ MORE

Juliana smiling wearing STAC long sleeve shirt
Juliana Mannine '23
Mathematics Major, Concentration in Actuarial Science, Finance Minor

Juliana has several favorite aspects to her experience at STAC. She appreciates the attention that students receive from their professors, and experiences teamwork between classmates in small class sizes.


George smiling; in art studio holding paintbrush up to a canvas; color wheels on wall in background
George Nkrumah Meizah ’21
Art Therapy Major; Communication Arts Minor

George says that he was attracted to STAC for multiple reasons, one of which being the attention that students receive from their professors. He also attributes his decision to being enrolled in STAC’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).


Shaniya smiling, wearing glasses and gold colored blazer, seated.
Shaniya Warren '23
Psychology Major; Education Minor

From the moment she stepped on campus, Shaniya Warren knew STAC was the right place for her. “I chose St. Thomas Aquinas College because I instantly felt welcomed when I visited the campus. The staff and faculty members made it easy for me to adjust to the college environment, and it is a home away from home.”


Anabel smiling, wearing Residence Life maroon t-shirt
Anabel Garcia '21
Psychology Major; Business Minor

After deciding to transfer to STAC, Anabel was not entirely sure what she wanted to study. Learning about STAC’s Psychology and Business programs, she knew the combination of knowledge from these programs would lead her to success. Her advice for incoming students: never lose sight of your goals and the person you are working towards becoming.


Jason smiling, wearing black rimmed glasses and red and blue flannel. Barn, green grass, and trees in background
Jason Enriquez '21
Marketing Major

Jason’s favorite course, digital marketing, has given him the opportunity to take part in a hands-on digital marketing simulation: “We did a project that allowed us to evaluate a brand and suggest improvements. This class was incredibly hands-on, and the material was enjoyable to learn." READ MORE

Taylor Trinidad in a red phone booth in London; smiling
Taylor Trinidad '21
Accounting Major

"I chose St. Thomas Aquinas College because it has a beautiful "homey" feeling to it. The School of Business makes being a business major so exciting, they give you a taste of all flavors of the business industry and the various avenues of where the degree can take us, as long as we work hard at it."


Jisa smiling, headshot photo
Jisa Jose ‘21
Computer Science, Minor: Visual Arts

Jisa's growing interest in computer science inspired her to major in it at St. Thomas Aquinas College. “Computers are an integral part of everything we do,” she says. “The idea of using technology to solve problems always fascinates me.” READ MORE

Sean smiling; sunset with river and trees in background
Sean Leiper ’22
Biology Major

Working in the medical field has been Sean’s dream since he can remember. When he was in sixth grade his dream was to be a surgeon. Sean knew that he needed to find a school with “smaller class sizes, a great biology program, and the ability to gain real world skills and knowledge.” Sean immediately took to STAC's community-like atmosphere on campus and truly enjoyed “being able to develop and build relationships with professors.” 


Walter smiling in front of Sullivan Theatre
Walter Ahlf '22
Computer Science Major, Performing Arts Minor

Now a junior at STAC, Walter says that gaming, and specifically his favorite series “Legends of Zelda: The Wind Waker,” inspired his interests in both computer science and the performing arts. READ MORE

Abagaile smiling, wearing sun hat
Abagaile Kimbrell ’21
Natural Sciences Major (Physics Specialization)

In the fall of her junior year, Abagaile decided she would pursue a degree in education, to teach high school physics. “Seeing my professors like Dr. Emanuel for example, be so passionate about learning was very eye-opening. She makes it fun and that really inspired me to want to provide the same feeling to students of my own one day,” she says.


Isabella smiles outside green trees in background
Isabella Szklany ’21
Communication Arts Major

Before she took the class Content Development for Public Relations, Isabella Szklany ’21 didn’t imagine herself baking cookies and handling PR for a local nonprofit that sends children with life threatening and/or terminal illnesses and their families on an all-expense paid vacation to ALL the theme parks in Orlando, Florida.


Timothy smiling; blue suit jacket and red tie; outside fence and trees blurred in background
Timothy Henion '21
Finance Major

Timothy is an Honors Program student who hopes to work for a bank or financial firm in New York City upon graduation. Timothy shares, “I always take advantage of events going on around campus, from resume workshops to networking events. You never know where something could lead, but you have to show up and put yourself out there.”


Melissa smiling, green grass, tree, sunshine in background
Melissa Mounier ’20
English and Creative Writing Double Major

“Ever since I was twelve, I have been writing stories." Melissa sees herself working as an editor for a literary magazine or publishing house. “STAC helped me to consider the different career options within my field of study, and really helped me decide what field within the writing industry I wanted to pursue.”


Suzanne Clarke athletics head shot; smiling light green and pink background
Suzanne Clarke ’21
Accounting Major

Suzanne knew when she arrived at St. Thomas Aquinas College that she wanted a career that involved travel. Because of her international experiences and with the guidance of her professors in the School of Business, she decided to complement her Accounting major with a minor in International Business...


Gianna Galu portrait photo, smiling
Gianna Galu '21
Biology Major

During Spring 2019, Gianna Galu ’21 and three other students spent seven days in the Dominican Republic on a medical mission ... READ MORE

Aliza Deen
Aliza Deen ’20
Psychology and English Double Major

Aliza Deen loves anime, so when her English professor suggested making it the focus of a joint project, she jumped right in. ...  READ MORE

Luke Taplin
Luke Taplin
Finance Major, Economics Minor

Luke Taplin ’20 grew up playing tennis in Auckland, New Zealand. In fact, it’s the sport that brought Luke to the states after he was recruited to play it at St. Thomas Aquinas College...


Tyiana Nunez on sport field wearing STAC Triathlon T-Shirt
Tyiana Nunez
Criminal Justice Major; Forensic Psychology Minor

From the time she was in sixth grade, Tyiana Nunez knew she wanted to be an FBI agent. Since then, the Criminal Justice major has had many opportunities to see what her future career is like in real-time. She has investigated... READ MORE

Americo Acevedo
Americo Acevedo
Accounting Major

Americo Acevedo got a taste of what it’s like to work at a Big Four accounting firm courtesy of the Deloitte Pioneer Internship he landed during the summer of his freshmen year. For six weeks, he worked alongside partners and staff in Deloitte’s offices at New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Plaza and... READ MORE

Thomas smiling wearing navy blue shirt with trees in background
Thomas Solimando ’20
New Jersey Police Officer

Thomas Solimando is surrounded by family members who have dedicated their lives as first responders in their careers and as volunteers. Thomas upholds his duty to ensure a New Jersey community’s safety as a member of its police force since 2021.


Bridget smiling in office setting wearing beige long sleeve shirt
Bridget Fenton Clark '04
Public Information Specialist, Rockland BOCES

Since Bridget joined Rockland BOCES in 2017, she has worked in various districts throughout the county, where she has launched and managed social media, rebuilt websites, and worked on other communications.


Jason smiling wearing gray sweater and hair pulled back
Jason Dore ’16
Teaching Assistant at Rockland BOCES

Shortly after entering the special education field, Jason Dore began volunteering with the New York Special Olympics and, for the past several years, he’s been assisting in the floor hockey tournament, medal ceremony, and other festivities.


Joseph smiling outside wearing gray suit and blue shirt and tie
Joseph Selchick ’14
Police Officer & Bomb Technician

As one of only four Bomb Technicians in Rockland County, Joseph Selchick is called upon for his expertise at all hours of the day and night and no day on the job is ever the same. As a student at STAC, Joe interned in Rockland County, splitting his time with the Town of Ramapo Police Department and the Clarkstown Police Department. READ MORE

Eldredge smiling wearing suit and tie at NYSE
Eldredge Blalock ’22
Development Manager at Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison

Eldredge Blalock knows firsthand the power that education has to change one’s life. As Hudson Link’s Development Manager, he oversees the program’s budget and donations, as well as outreach, grant writing, and events, such as an annual spring benefit dinner. READ MORE

Jerron smiling wearing blue suit and jacket with grass in background
Jerron Garrett ’17
Area General Manager for Meads Bay Hotel Group

Throughout his years at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Jerron Garrett had his sights set on pursuing a career in law. But in the last semester of his senior year, one elective in hospitality management got him thinking about his future and what he enjoyed doing most.


Justine smiling, black curly long hair wearing glasses and black shirt with white stitched flowers
Justine Gizzi '20
Mathematics and Special Education Teacher, Grades 7-12

When Justine enrolled at STAC, she planned on pursuing a career in business. It wasn’t until she began working as a tutor in STAC’s Center for Academic Excellence throughout her junior and senior year that she found a passion for helping others both academically and emotionally.


Dennis smiling wearing glasses and black hat with red ribbon around base and lights in evening in background
Dennis Knight '05
Writer and Editor at Pronto Comics

Since his childhood, Dennis has been a devoted comic book fan. Shortly after he graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College, Dennis joined Pronto Comics, a collective of comic book writers and artists who collaborate to create self-published works—and he’s been there ever since.


Laurie smiling outside with green grass and brick building with windows in background
Laurie Child '15
CEO of LO Media

Today, as the CEO of LO Media, a digital marketing agency based in Nyack, New York, Laurie assists clients with brand strategy, website design, marketing campaigns, and content creation. READ MORE

Dr. Catherine Skae smiling, wearing black blazer with dark gray background
Catherine C. Skae, M.D. BS ’85
Senior Vice President & Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Montefiore Medical Center – Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Teaching is important to Dr. Skae who says she “cares deeply about the education of the next generation of caregivers.”


Alli smiling wearing glasses and maroon shirt  with white background wall
Alli Said Rashid
Cybersecurity Engineer, Moran Shipping Agencies

Since Alli graduated summa cum laude, he has been working at Providence, Rhode Island-based Moran Cyber, a division of Moran Shipping Agencies, which offers information and IT security for shipping and port operations. READ MORE

Nicole smiling wearing red blazer and black shirt in office bulding
Nicole DiGiacomo '16
Managing Attorney, Law Office of Nicole DiGiacomo PLLC

Nicole DiGiacomo recently opened the doors to her own law practice in New City, NY, where she practices family law and domestic relations.


Sabrina smiling wearing black blazer
Sabrina Vargas-Greco ‘93
Confidential Assistant to the Chairman of the Rockland County Legislature

Sabrina Vargas-Greco graduated with a degree in Business Administration, but has spent her twenty-eight year professional career in local government because of a life-changing internship at STAC during her final semester.


Paola smiling with red and white gradient color background
Paola Garcia Cardenas ’12
Cybersecurity Engineer, Bixal

Paola is a Cybersecurity Engineer at Bixal, a digital technology and communications firm that serves government agencies around the world. Her role day to day involves ensuring that the infrastructure of the organization’s systems is securely protected.


Madeline Cohen
Madeline Cohen ’13

When Madeline Cohen first enrolled at St. Thomas Aquinas College, she had hopes of becoming an anchorwoman. But in an early video production course, she discovered she preferred to be behind the camera rather than in front of it.


Mike Mannese in work vehicle in uniform
Michael F. Mannese ’07
Detective, New York City Police Department

While studying at STAC, Michael knew he wanted to work in law enforcement. After majoring in criminal justice and history and earning his bachelor’s at STAC, Michael continued his studies and joined the New York City Police Department in 2008.


Candace wearing black framed glasses wearing black suit smiling
Candace Rivera '12
Executive and Internal Communications Manager at Google

In October, Candace Rivera became a “Noogler,” a new Googler, when she started her job as Google’s executive and internal communications manager, providing communications support for the Core Data team.


Joe Winter posing in official military attire and American flag in background
Lt. Col. Joseph Winter '00
Commander at Maryland Air National Guard & Affiliate Professor at Loyola University Maryland

Before he could drive a car, Lt. Col. Joseph Winter was flying planes. He joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet in high school and remained active while he was a student at STAC. “STAC opened my eyes to the world around us and afforded me an opportunity to practice leading my peers, a skill that has paid dividends for my whole life." READ MORE

Kevan smiling wearing STAC WSTK radio shirt
Kevan Ottochian '07
Social Studies Teacher, Grades 7-12

One of Kevan’s favorite aspects of his job is the element of unpredictability, despite the detailed day-to-day lesson plans he prepares for his classes. He encourages students to share their opinions and insights and, in discussions about current events, he challenges them to think critically, something he learned at his alma mater.


Brittany smiling, long hair, river scene in background
Brittany Barrow '13
Elementary and Special Education Teacher

Sixth-grade special education teacher Brittany Barrow says that one of the greatest rewards of teaching is the valuable lessons she learns from her students every day. Brittany creates lesson plans and teaches every subject at Kakiat STEAM Academy in the East Ramapo Central School District.“ No matter what, always persevere, even when things seem impossible." READ MORE

Doris smiling outside of Borelli Hall
Doris Osei '20
STAC Student Success and HEOP Counselor

The warm and welcoming community is among the reasons Doris chose to study at St. Thomas Aquinas College. While working toward her bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts, she made her own contribution to fostering STAC’s warm family environment. Doris discovered that working with students is a perfect fit for her so she assumed the title and duties of a Student Success and HEOP Counselor at STAC. READ MORE

Matthew Dybus wearing back suit and tie smiling; gray plain background
Matthew Dybus '15
Senior Underwriter for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Matthew studied finance and economics at STAC’s School of Business, a path that set the foundation for his current role as a senior underwriter for Liberty Mutual. He was also active on campus, serving as a Student Ambassador and a Career Ambassador. “STAC has provided a tremendous, treasured opportunity of receiving a college education.” READ MORE

Garvenchy Nicolas sporting one of his clothes collections
Garvenchy Nicolas ‘14
Project Manager, Blue World Incorporated and Executive Director, Synergy Today

Garvenchy began his career as a personal banker and relationship manager for two leading banking institutions, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America...


Jonathan smiling
Jonathan Clark '04
Executive Producer at CBS News Radio

Starting out as a student at STAC, Jonathan was unsure of what career path he wanted to pursue. However, it wasn’t until he took his first communications course he realized that two of the things he loved, news and radio, could be a career. READ MORE

Morghan smiling; wearing white sweater and black shirt
Morghan Sonzogni '18
Elementary Special Education Teacher, Honiss School

“I chose St. Thomas Aquinas College because I fell in love with the Education Program. I enjoyed having the 5 year accelerated Master’s program as an option, and am overjoyed that I was able to take part in it."


Javier smiling, wearing lilac colored shirt, muted painting in background
Javier Muñoz Laguna, BS '17
Chiropractic Clerk, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Javier’s experiences indicate his affinity for helping others. “Being able to rotate through an integrated setting with many healthcare providers while having the honor to treat those who served our country" has been a highlight in Javier's career thus far.


Savannah smiling, wearing glasses and flannel shirt
Savannah Finver, BA ’16
Teacher’s Assistant and Doctoral Student, Ohio State University

Savannah Finver BA ’16 arrived at St. Thomas Aquinas College with a plan to earn her degree in childhood and special education and become an elementary school teacher. But when she discovered a new intellectual curiosity in her English and religious studies classes, her focus shifted to higher education.


Jules smiling, wearing Spartans Men's Basketball jersey. Gray solid background
Jules de Courtenay ‘18
Cloud Data Specialist, Capgemini

“Each unique influence from fellow students and faculty, combined with its small-college compassion makes STAC stand far above other schools. I have found tremendous value in STAC’s ability to both broaden my mind and instill key values that allowed me to be successful and prepared for the workforce.”


Alyssa Hamilton smiling, library bookshelf and doorway in background
Alyssa Hamilton, BA ’16
Adjunct faculty at STAC

It didn’t take long for Alyssa Hamilton to return to the place that felt like home during her undergraduate years. In 2019, she came back to campus, not as a student, but as an adjunct lecturer in STAC’s English Department, teaching courses such as Writing About American Literature and Advanced Fiction Workshop.


Heather smiling, headshot photo
Heather Palmer, BS ’16
Senior Actuarial Manager, Equitable Life

Heather's interest in math evolved from her major in actuarial science—a discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risks in fields like insurance and finance, which led her to a senior management position at Equitable Life.


Bill smiling headshot photo gray shirt, beige wall background
William E. Wrightson 5th, ’16
High School English Teacher

Bill models the examples set by his professors in the classroom and credits the time he spent as an RA at STAC for developing other skills that have proven useful in his career, including an immediate comfort level standing up before a class to teach: “Dr. Shultz, Dr. Rothschild, Professor Golland, Dr. Murray, and Dr. O’Neill had a lasting impact on my love of English. I found their love and knowledge infectious and hope to instill that same spark in my students now.” READ MORE

Angela standing with left arm on hip. Wearing pink dress.
Angela Santoro ’16
Special Education Teacher

“I decided to pursue education because I wanted to teach children that learning can be fun and that they can do anything they set their minds to,” she says. “Once I took the first few education classes at St. Thomas Aquinas College, I knew that this was the right school and the right career for me.” READ MORE

Alumnae, Amanda Iacobellis
Amanda Iacobellis '16
ELA Teacher at St. Leo’s School

Amanda credits her professors in the English Department at STAC for reaffirming her career plans, holding students to a high standard, and for introducing her to new genres and authors. “Some of the most rewarding moments in my career have been when my students become sincerely invested in the piece of literature we are reading in class,” she says. 


Jerone smiling professional photo
Dr. Jerone Dunbar ’09
Senior User Experience Research Lead at Honda

As the lead of future in-car technology UX research for both mainstream and luxury cars, Jerone’s role as the User Experience Research Lead at Honda allows him to spearhead design and conduct evaluative research for future vehicle infotainment systems. READ MORE

Courtney smiling; black long sleeve; bookshelf behind her full of various texts
Courtney Gerver '17
Teaching Assistant and Cognitive Neuroscientist at Penn State University

When it came time for Courtney to pick a school, what drew her to STAC was the smaller class sizes, the ability to get to know the professors, and the Honors Program. During her first semester, Courtney immediately found her passion when she took her Introduction to Psychology class. READ MORE

Kat Baumgartner smiling with green mountain-scape in background
Kathryn Baumgartner '15
Children’s Librarian within the Great Neck Library System

For Kathryn Baumgartner, teaching was always a desired industry, and English was a field that greatly interested her. However, it was not until later on in her professional and academic career that she would realize a career as a Librarian would be the perfect fit.


Caitlin Zungoli smiling; outdoors
Caitlin Zungoli '15
Financial Services Analyst at ConEdison/Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.

While Caitlin wishes she had more time for volunteering, she always has time for her alma mater: “I will give the school as much time and talent as I can so that other students can have the same exceptional experiences I did..."


Melissa Castillo
Melissa Urena Castillo ’17
Recreation Therapist at Helen Hayes Hospital

"The most rewarding thing about my career is seeing the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits Recreation Therapy has for my patients" ... READ MORE

Sarah Jo Montello
Sarah Montello, BA ’16
8th Grade ELA Teacher, Durham Public Schools, Durham, NC

Imagine researching 19th-century literature in one of the oldest libraries in Europe .... READ MORE

Ariana Carpentieri at Macmillan Publishers
Ariana Carpentieri, BA ’18
Assistant to the Associate Publisher/Vice President of Marketing & Publicity for Books, Macmillan Publishers

Watching big ideas transform into manuscripts and ultimately bound volumes that land on bookstore shelves .... READ MORE

Nicki LiTrenta sitting in front of a fountain
Nicki LiTrenta
Accounting Operations Representative at Bloomberg LP '18

Nicki LiTrenta knew she wanted to work at Bloomberg from the moment she visited the organization’s New York City’s headquarters with the STAC Business Club last year. While it took some serious perseverance, she has since made... READ MORE

Alexa Fox
Alexa Fox, BS ’13

Alexa Fox discovered her passion for optometry while shadowing professionals in the field as an honors student at St. Thomas Aquinas College. “I was pretty certain I wanted to pursue a career as an eye care physician and that decision was solidified after shadowing professionals in the field... READ MORE