Siena College News

HNP Communications Around the Province

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — An appearance in Midtown Manhattan, receipt of a substantial grant and participation in service trips are some recent highlights of Siena College news.

Representatives from Siena College here joined TrustCo Bank in ringing the opening bell of the NASDAQ on Feb. 2 at Times Square in New York City. Siena administrators, friars, trustees, professors and finance students joined the president and executive vice president of TrustCo, who are college alumni and serve on the board of trustees.

Ronald Bjorklund, Siena class of ‘85 and Siena trustee; Jerome Massimino, OFM, Siena trustee; Kenneth Paulli, OFM, Siena chief of staff; Dr. James Nolan, dean, school of business; Dr. Eric Girard, professor of finance; and several Siena finance students traveled to Manhattan for the 9:30 a.m. opening of the stock market.

There, they joined Robert McCormick, TrustCo Bank president and CEO class of ‘87 and Siena trustee; and Robert Cushing, executive vice president and CFO, class of ‘77, and chairman of the Siena Board of Trustees.

The opening bell was carried live on TV on CNBC.

Large Science Grant
Siena’s school of science has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant worth more than $2 million. It was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and allows Siena to lead a collaborative research project known as Polar Experiment Network for Geospace Upper-atmosphere Investigations, or PENGUIN.

New York Congressman Paul Tonko joined Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, and physics professor and associate dean of the school of science Allan Weatherwax at a Feb. 15 news conference announcing the largest federal grant in school history.

“The Recovery Act made an unprecedented investment in research and development to help foster the innovations of the future,” said Tonko.

During the project, Weatherwax will lead Siena students and a consortium of scientists to collect data from autonomous observatories in Antarctica. Weatherwax said the observatories will provide year-round space-weather data from the Earth’s harshest environment. It will be used in conjunction with NASA satellites to reveal information about the sun and Earth’s upper atmosphere. This research could lead to advances in astronaut and aircraft safety and developments in “green” power. 

“Recently, data from these observatories were used in conjunction NASA satellites to reveal new information about the sudden release of energy that causes auroral displays. Related advances in extreme environment engineering will have major benefits for other research disciplines including the development of novel solar and wind energy systems,” Weatherwax said. 

Siena will be leading science and engineering teams from major universities and colleges across the globe, including Dartmouth, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of New Hampshire and Augsburg College in Minnesota.

“The fact that our college has been chosen as a leader for this project is a comment on the rigorous academic programs we provide,” said Kevin. “This grant is well-deserved recognition for our school of science and its top-notch faculty, research, technology and academics. I am particularly excited about the opportunities our undergraduate students will have to work alongside renowned scientists on cutting edge research that could improve our quality of life.”

Service Trips
This spring, students are participating in service trips to the St. Francis House in Boston, the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, and to four Habitat for Humanity sites in North and South Carolina.

siena-rThe students’ experiences will be documented by members of the media relations department. 

“It’s a wonderful thing to go and serve others on a spring break trip, so that’s what we’re most excited about,” said assistant director of residential life Michael Fogarty. He led a group of students to work with Habitat for Humanity volunteers in North Carolina. 

Other student volunteers went to Philadelphia to work at the Province’s St. Francis Inn. 

“We’re going to be working with different people, who have suffered all kinds of different traumas in their life. Just being able to help them is really going to make me appreciate what I have in my life,” said Hannah Blasting, class of 2012.

“I hope it helps them (students) to understand themselves a little better. I hope it makes them a little more grateful for what they have,” added Dennis Tamburello, OFM.

 Compiled by Wendy Healy