News and Announcements

President's Notes III.18

May 15, 2014


What a wonderful couple of weeks we have had at Regis! We graduated over 700 students across all degree programs from associate of science to the baccalaureate, the master’s degree, and the doctorate of nursing practice. From Graduate Hooding on May 6 to the tuba fanfare at Commencement on May 10, I would like to share many photographs with you, beginning with the great march of the long line of graduate students down Katsura Drive and into the Commencement Tent on the Great Lawn in front of the College.

Hooding March

Above are Associate Dean Claudia Pouravelis, EdD, Dean Penelope Glynn, PhD, and Vice President, Academic Affairs and Dean Malcolm Asadoorian, PhD, with Director of our EdD program, Ray McCarthy, EdD. Claudia is the marshal. Below is another shot of that long line of Regis graduate students receiving various degrees – over 230 of them, more than one third of all our graduates!

Masters Candidates

President Hays and Cindy BashawAfter the hooding ceremony, on the left, Assistant Professor Cindy Bashaw, RN, MS, DNP, and I marked her reception of the DNP in front of the Fine Arts Building. Congratulations to you, Cindy!

I am very pleased to see Regis’ role in graduate education becoming better known in greater Boston. Not only our Nursing programs like the DNP, a first in this region in 2007, but our Master’s programs in Biomedical Science, Health Administration, Organizational and Professional Communication, Regulatory and Clinical Research Management, the Master’s of Arts in Teaching, Heritage Studies and others are contributing to the bond between academe and industry in our region. As you go forward with your honest and good achievement, I told the graduate students, remember the words of the great mountain climber, Sir Edmund Hillary, as you encounter future challenges.

Hillary said, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

That is what I wish for each of you as you prepare to leave Regis: Self-knowledge and direction so refined that, as the Sisters of St. Joseph like to say, you have become the bearers of excellence with gentleness.

Margarita Patricia Barrios, Claudia Pourvelis & President HaysOn the right, Margarita Patricia Barrios, who just received her Master’s degree in Health Administration, celebrates with Associate Dean, Graduate Affairs, Claudia Pouravelis, EdD, and me in the Carney Gallery with the portrait of Regis foundress Mother Domitilla, CSJ, smiling at us over my left shoulder.

Father Kilroy

On Friday, May 9, of course, we celebrated Baccalaureate. Above is our chaplain Father Paul Kilroy. Afterwards I gave a Baccalaureate Address speaking with all our bachelor’s about “Globalization & You –or How Regis College Shaped the Peace Corps and Your Lives, Too.” What many people do not realize is that Regis College had a model “peace corps” up and operating since 1949, twelve years before President John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps. In fact he consulted Sister John Sullivan, CSJ, about what Regis called the “lay apostolate,” the “pioneer” movement of Catholic laity in this country for post-graduate volunteerism as he formed the Peace Corps.


Valedictorian Rachel Abarbanel ’14, who received her BSN, spoke to the class about embarking on a path of lifelong learning. “Regis put forth the effort to reach out to me, offering me to come find my own path,” Abarbanel said. “And, that is exactly what I found, a path to knowledge, confidence, and success,” she continued, personally addressing her classmates. “This path is not all about the final destination, but the journey…. A trail to always lead you to new destination and revelations. We are all lifelong learners.” Here is Rachel below on the left.

Brad Moore and VP Kara KolomitzOn the right Vice President Kara Kolomitz, Student Affairs, presents a baccalaureate award to IT staff member Brad Moore, who received his BA in political science.

Finally, the big day of May 10 came. There was a huge downpour around 8 a.m., but after that the weather cleared, and we were ready to march! Here is Graduate Program Director and professor Leona McCaughey-Oreszak leading everyone down Katsura Drive with College Hall in the background. After many years of service at Regis, Leona is retiring and she deserved this honor. Congratulations, Leona, and thank you!

Leona McCaughey-Oreszak leading everyone down Katsura Drive

Once again, I had the opportunity to speak, this time to all the graduates and their families and, referring to the rock star French econo-mist Thomas Piketty, whose controversial new 700-page book entitled Capital in the Twenty-First Century is already sold out, I spoke to them about being risk takers and change agents in the world. Piketty explains the growing inequality in the world and why that is so. I said, “The faculty, staff, trustees, and administration of Regis College have wanted you to grow your capacity to think, to take risks, to provide resources for your lives and those of your families, to belong to a profession and to give to others in the world. This is our recipe for fighting off inequality: education, leadership, and service.

Marshall SloaneFor our honorary degree recipient, banking industry giant, Marshall Sloane, we had requested a tuba fanfare, and we received a wonderful one adapted from Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” except that we made it clear that for his building of the greater Boston community Mr. Sloane is a most uncommon man, a rare human being, a mensch. Below is Assistant Professor of Music and Regis alum Elizabeth Smith, MDiv, MSM, conducting the New England Conservatory Brass Quintet, with Elizabeth McDonald on the tuba and the Regis College Chamber Singers in the rear. Marshall had played the tuba as a boy.

Brass band at Commencement

Donna Page SytekRegis alumna and former Speaker of the House in the New Hampshire Legislature, Donna Page Sytek, ’66, gave the Commencement Address, urging students to civic engagement and service. “Merely having ability is not enough, without translating that into action,” she told Regis College graduates at its eighty-fourth commencement Saturday morning. “I urge all of you to engage in the civic life of your community,” she said. Jane Tedder applauds as President Hays hoods Donna Page Sytek“If you don’t like the status quo, step in, do something, and work to change it.” Sytek’s own odyssey illustrates the underlying theme of engagement and commitment. As a young woman, she overcame timidity and an attitude of “I couldn’t possibly do that” to run for state representative as a Republican, winning by a scant 17 votes, and, despite her shaky beginning, serving with distinction for 23 years. She went from being tremulous and light-headed before having to make a speech to the leadership of several major legislative committees and eventually became the first female Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. On the right, Regis classmate and Trustee Jane Tedder ’66 applauds as Donna receives her doctoral hood from me.

The media took a funny route to our Commencement coverage by focusing on a fascination with traffic.


In other news, on May 8, Valerie J. Hunt PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Director of the Nursing Leadership Program, was the keynote speaker for Nurses' Week at the Brigham & Women's Faulkner Hospital. The title of her presentation was "Nurse of the Future Agenda: Focus on Leadership." Also, Valerie’s daughter, Claudia Ballway, and Lawrence Memorial/Regis College nursing faculty Jessica Ochs, RN, MSN were named in The Boston Globe’s “Salute to Nurses.”

Nicoletta Pellegrino of the History, World Languages and Cultural Heritage Department has had an article on Humanist Flavio Biondo published by Oxford Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation.

In the last issue of the “President’s Notes” when I acknowledged the retirements of several professors, I inadvertently omitted Joel Feinblatt, Director of the Regulatory and Clinical Research Management Graduate Program at Regis, who is retiring on June 1. My apologies, Joel, and my gratitude for your directorship and best wishes as you retire.

Associate Professor Joni Beshansky came on board early this month, which allowed some overlap with Joel as he transferred responsibility for the program to her. Joni has served many years at Tufts Medical Center, most recently as the Associate Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Health Services Research in the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and as Associate Professor of Medicine. She is known nationally as an accomplished scientist and clinical trials operations leader with extensive experience developing, designing and executing complex strategies resulting in successful completion of major research initiatives.

Regis Faculty in general have been very busy during these weeks, not only concluding the semester and reading papers and exams but also wrapping up – or at least giving a status report on – faculty work in various committees. I heard a number of reports on the profile of first-year students, the work load, shared governance, and the definition of scholarship at the last Faculty Meeting before summer, and the faculty themselves conducted elections for various standing committees.

As we move the Regis digital pedagogy initiative forward, faculty attended a half day workshop yesterday with Dr. Scott Cohen, English professor from Stonehill College and Apple Distinguished Educator, who discussed incorporating digital pedagogy in the humanities.

Students & Staff

I heard yesterday morning that our Erat Scholars had arrived safely and jubilantly in Hong Kong with Dean Glynn, Associate Professor Kate Edney, and Ms. Kathryn Erat. After a day or two they will begin their travel experience in mainland China.

Earlier this spring, Vice President Paul Vaccaro shared this photograph of Graciela Molinari (right), Regis College Class of 2018, from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Graciela received the prestigious Presidential Catholic Scholarship after being nominated by Assistant Principal of Academics/Curriculum Dr. Gail S. Breton (left), a 1974 graduate of Regis!

On May 6 Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, on whose Board I serve, held a special gala at Stonehill. Since I was scheduled to be at our Graduate Hooding, I could not go, but Vice President, Institutional Advancement Miriam Sherman and Director of Campus Ministry Sister Betsy Conway, CSJ, attended. My ears were buzzing, however, because Regis came in for a lot of praise for our programs at Trinity and for our collaboration with Stonehill. We have, for example, extended our graduate degree program participation to recent Stonehill graduates who will be teaching at Trinity. Cardinal Sean was at the event and sent his appreciation to all of us.

Back To Graduation

After the Baccalaureate on May 9, graduates of the School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions who received their BSN very happily participated in “pinning.” I am very proud of all our new BSNs! The photo below gives you some sense of the formal dignity they experience in becoming members of the profession of nursing, too. Note Associate Dean Diane Welsh and Sister Betsy Conway on the right appreciating that.


Perhaps my favorite photograph, though, is the one below as Angel Aguilar, in the foreground, embraces his grandmother and Stacy Burns, on the left, receives congratulations. We are so privileged as educators to be involved in the shaping of lives and helping people accomplish goals and achievements.

Thank you, all of you, especially Mary Connolly in my office, who spearheaded Commencement 2014 planning and made it such a wonderful event.

The next issue of the “President’s Notes” should be out on May 29.

Graduate and his Parent

Congratulations Grad balloon

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