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Seton Hall University

Outstanding Members of Seton Hall Community Honored During Charter Day Convocation  

Group of participants of campus’ Servant Leadership Program with Interim President Mary Meehan and Monsignor C. Anthony Ziccardi.

Group of participants of campus’ Servant Leadership Program with Interim President Mary Meehan and Monsignor C. Anthony Ziccardi.

Seton Hall University celebrates both its founding in 1856 and the granting of its charter by the New Jersey State Legislature in 1861 on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Charter Day. Traditionally a one-day event, this year's Charter Day festivities were extended to be a weeklong celebration, coordinated by the Office of the Provost, and included activities that ranged from historical campus walking tours to daily trivia challenges. The main program, the Charter Day Convocation, was held on Thursday, March 15 in the newly constructed Bethany Hall.

"Charter Day is significant to our history, first as a college and then a university," said Bernadette McVey, director of academic events, initiatives and planning in the Office of the Provost. "Our charter allowed us to begin granting academic degrees and is likened to a birthday celebration. As it is a grand opportunity for the University to gather as one community and celebrate successes, the Executive Cabinet decided to expand the Charter Day Program to a weeklong celebration this past summer."

Statue of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Bethany Hall. Seton Hall was founded by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, who named the college after his aunt, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born Saint. To honor her memory and significance, a statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was erected in the lobby of Bethany Hall. The blessing of the statue occurred on March 13, followed by birthday cake and refreshments in the spirit of celebrating 162 years of Seton Hall.

At the Charter Day Convocation faculty, staff and students were recognized for outstanding service to the University.

Three longtime faculty and staff members were awarded this year's coveted Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service: Mayra I. Colon, Assistant to the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Matthew M. Geibel, Director of Academic Support Services for the Department of Athletics and Recreation, and Nicholas H. Snow, Founding Endowed Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

McQuaid Medalists with Interim President Mary Meehan (from left to right): Matthew M. Geibel, Nicholas H. Snow and Mayra I. Colon.

McQuaid Medalists with Interim President Mary Meehan (from left to right): Matthew M. Geibel, Nicholas H. Snow and Mayra I. Colon.

The Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service, commissioned in 1964 in honor of the first president of Seton Hall, recognizes members of the University's faculty, staff and administration who strive to fulfill Seton Hall's mission every day. The medal expresses high regard and appreciation for members of the community who have selflessly dedicated themselves to serving the University.

Mayra I. Colon has worked at the University for 25 years. Colon has worked in various departments and in various roles, including as a cashier-direct loan assistant in the Bursar's Office and as the assistant to the dean at the College of Education and Human Services, where she has worked for the past 20 years. When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, Colon organized campus relief efforts during University Weekend and before Christmas to give students, staff and alumni opportunities to support the cause.

Matthew M. Geibel has been the director of Academic Support Services for student-athletes since 2004. He is responsible for ensuring Seton Hall's student athletes maintain a balance between their academic and athletic responsibilities. During his time as the director, Seton Hall athletes have received significant academic recognition at the regional and national levels, such as the recent Inside Higher Education article ranking Seton Hall in the "Elite Eight" of academics compared to the rest of the 64 teams that made it to the NCAA tournament this year. The student athlete GPA continues to improve under his leadership, currently at an all-time high of 3.378.

Nicholas H. Snow joined Seton Hall in 1994. He has held numerous positions on campus, including associate chair and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, faculty chair of Middle States Re-accreditation, associate provost for finance and administration, interim director of grants and research services and director of research. During the Ever Forward capital campaign, he was instrumental in raising nearly $5 million for the Science and Technology Center.

Additional information about the winners can be found here.

President's Award for Student Service winners Irene Wang (left) and Arundhati Sanyal (right). Not pictured: Anna Kuchta.

President's Award for Student Service winners Irene Wang (left) and Arundhati Sanyal (right). Not pictured: Anna Kuchta.

The President's Award for Students Service was also presented during the ceremony to: Anna Kuchta, Senior Faculty Associate for the Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures, Arundhati Sanyal, Senior Faculty Associate for the Department of English, and Irene Wang, Manager, Information Technology Computer Lab and Mobile Computing Program in the Department of Information Technology.

The President's Award for Student Service recognizes valued members of the Seton Hall community who try their hardest to connect with students to ensure their academic success. Students were asked in January to nominate standout University employees that are committed to Seton Hall's mission of being responsive to students. This year's winners demonstrated their commitment to that mission by listening and responding to the needs, suggestions and concerns of students in countless ways.

Anna Kuchta is the face of the Russian language department and the founder of the immensely popular Slavic Club, which was started in 1990. Arundhati Sanyal teaches Freshman composition courses in 19th Century British and world literature and is the director of the Writing Center on campus. Irene Wang celebrated 10 years at the University in 2017 and is responsible for sustaining Seton Hall's nationally recognized mobile-computing program.

This is the first year the President's Award for Student Service was presented by the University President during the Charter Day Convocation, rather than at the Employee Appreciation Picnic in May. This change in venue allowed a grander audience to gather and thank these employees for their service and dedication to student success.

Some graduating members of the Servant Leader Scholars Program with Interim President Mary Meehan and Monsignor C. Anthony Ziccardi (from left to right): Angeli Fernandes, Christina Petruzzella, Adeline Laurente, Kathleen Lynch, Jacqueline Murdocca.

Some graduating members of the Servant Leader Scholars Program with Interim President Mary Meehan and Monsignor C. Anthony Ziccardi (from left to right): Angeli Fernandes, Christina Petruzzella, Adeline Laurente, Kathleen Lynch, Jacqueline Murdocca.

The Charter Day Convocation concluded with Monsignor C. Anthony Ziccardi's acknowledgement of 44 Servant Leader Scholars. Of the 44 scholars recognized during the event, 13 are graduating seniors or graduate students: Caitlin Campbell, Angeli Fernandes, Adeline Laurente, Victoria Lieto, Kathleen Lynch, Lindsay McGowan, Joel Menendez, Lauren McGuire, Jacqueline Murdocca, Smital Patel, Christina Petruzzella, Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada, and Isabelle Salvador.

Monsignor Ziccardi offered personal remarks about each of the graduating scholars present at the ceremony. These students will graduate in May and go on to pursue careers in fields ranging from athletic training to education to scientific research to speech pathology. Also recognized were:

  • Ibukunoluwa Akintola
  • Amelia Baijnath
  • Michael Bizzoco
  • Laura Cavanagh
  • Christopher Coppola
  • Taylor Cutcliff
  • Gabrielle Didonato
  • Cristina Fernandez
  • Madison Feser
  • Bianca Forcucci
  • Cristina Hill
  • Luke Keck
  • Ashley R. Martins
  • Matthew Minor
  • Joseph Murante
  • Kellen Murphy
  • Emily Osborn
  • Liem Pham
  • Taylor Ratcliffe
  • Luisa Rinaudo
  • Tristan Ryan
  • Emily Silkowski
  • Abigail Stackhouse
  • Brian Sumereau
  • Jillian Szczepanski
  • Rachel Szeliga
  • Kimberly Szilagyi
  • Karen Thompson
  • Emma Tobin
  • Kaitlyn Vega
  • Karmen Yap

Categories: Campus Life

For more information, please contact:

  • Laurie Pine
  • (732) 378-2638
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