- Vitale '09 fights New York's toughest COVID-19 cases
- A Day in the Life in Yale's ER with McNeely '11
- Moore '14 leaves lasting impact at UConn
- Cuevas '02 finds success in higher ed
- Five alumni return to 'The Hill'
- Coach Iovene's ('14) strides continue off the ice
- Stathis '07 takes on software design project with Boston Dynamics
- ND's Peer Counseling program turns into life-long passion for Lennon '95
- Summer Serendipity: summer job leads to successful career path for Mayer ‘07
- Stankevitch '16 has a call to serve
- One Knight’s path to priesthood: Anthony Federico '02
- Vogel ‘13 finds success in music
- Tim Boyce '72 returns to ND on Yom HaShoah
- Gregory Antollino, Esq. ’82 will attend Supreme Court hearing as Counsel of Record
- Spring into this season's trends with Enzo Valentino '91 (2019)
- Deacon Martin O'Connor, JD '64 Receives Papal Honor
- Richetelli's ('85) hard work began at Notre Dame
- Motyl's ('97) leadership brings ND values to Texas
- Dichele ‘09 discovers passion for digital media
- From Green Knight Nation to center stage: Troy Quinn ‘01
- DePalma ‘89 named Executive VP of MNI Targeted Media
- Young Alumni in the Military - Fall 2018
- Donaruma’s (‘85) Notre Dame roots run deep
- Schierholz '83, Yale 87
- Dave DeCaprio '90; MIT '93
Vincent Vitale '09 fights New York's toughest COVID-19 cases
When Vincent Vitale PA-C ‘09 was at Notre Dame, he tended the goal and served as a captain for the Varsity hockey team. Today, Vitale is tending to COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care units within New York’s Northwell Hospital system.
Prior to the pandemic, Vitale’s schedule typically consisted of 12-hour shifts 14-16 times per month. However, over the course of the last two months, he has been working over 20 12-hour shifts each month.
The large majority of the day in the ICU is triaging care. “COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU are very unstable and rapid deterioration occurs. Most of the day is spent just keeping people alive,” Vitale explained, candidly.
Vitale has seen a wide age range of patients come through the ICU, some as young as 30. In his experience, a large majority, roughly 80%, do not survive if intubated. With 30+ patients in his unit’s service, and even over one hundred vented patients in some hospitals, the workflow has caused ICUs to become strictly vented patients.
With strict isolation rules in place, visitors are not allowed in the hospital.
“Days consist of calls to families to give them updates, and when possible, FaceTime calls. This is perhaps the most important part of the day, as nobody is allowed to see their loved ones, and this sadly includes those that are dying.”
Continuing to practice social distancing is the key to emerging on the other side of this pandemic. People feel well, but do not realize they could be carrying the virus and spreading it further. While many people don’t become critically ill, those that do become extremely sick.
“Please continue to practice isolation and take every precaution to avoid unnecessary contact. Anything you can do to keep yourself and others safe and out of the hospital is crucial for us to get through this. I know it’s hard, but our best shot at saving lives is to continue isolation,” said Vitale.
Despite the uncertainty and long shifts, Vitale finds comfort in being able to do the little things for his patients and their families.
“My main motivation for becoming a PA was always saving lives and helping families through some of their darkest times," Vitale reflected. "Even the smallest gesture can make a lasting impact on someone whose loved one is critically ill. This is why we do what we do. Helping our patients and their families is at the core of medicine.”
We wish Vincent the best of luck as he continues his first year as a critical care PA!
A Day in the Life in Yale's ER with Thomas McNeely '11
Thomas McNeely '11 is an ER Technician at the York Street campus of Yale New Haven Hospital, fighting against COVID-19. At ND, Tom was a National Honor Society inductee, a Team ND ambassador, and a member of the track and cross country teams. We wish him the best of luck as he prepares to apply to PA school!
"At work, my typical “day” starts at night. I put on my clean blue scrubs, gather my things, and walk out the door. During “normal times”, my 15-minute drive to work allows for only a minute or two thinking of what I may see during the shift ahead…(night time in the Emergency Department of a Level 1 trauma center can go from calm to “Code Blue” with the pull of a trigger or the crash of a car)... the rest of the drive I’ll listen to the radio. But in “COVID times”, the only tune playing during this drive is sweet silence, paired with thoughts of how many “new COVIDs” we’ll treat, or if tonight might be the night that I become one of them. At this time of the year, my drive is accompanied by the last precious minutes of sunshine. I’m grateful now more than ever to see and feel it, knowing that tonight, some may no longer be so fortunate.
I park and walk towards the hospital to start my shift, passing the “day-shifters” who have just ended theirs: techs, food service workers, nurses, maintenance and sanitation workers, doctors, and many more. These people serve as the first indicator of what to expect walking in- even the quickest glance at a pair of tired eyes north of a surgical mask can tell a surprising amount about the quality of the day gone by. This also reminds me to put on my own mask as I walk into the building."
"I clock in at 6:53, then time for “the huddle” at 7:00. The huddle is the pre-shift briefing for the oncoming staff, lead by the charge nurse from the previous shift, and the goings-on from that day: how many patients in the department, who are sickest patients/“ICU players” are, and lately, the state of our PPE supply. Normally this is done in a staff break room full of nurses and techs sitting together around a large table or shoulder to shoulder on the window ledge in the back of the room. But during the pandemic, we conduct the huddle in the much larger ER waiting room (which is empty of patients due to visitor and infection-control restrictions) to allow for a socially distanced update.
After the huddle, I look at the schedule to see my assignment and walk out to the floor to relieve the day-time technician and take their report about the patients in my assignment and the supply stock of their rooms. After this hand-off, I walk over to a metal-grid storage cage and look for my “COVID bag” amongst a sea of other similar brown-paper bags meant to hold the singular N95 respirator, face shield, and other PPE equipment issued at the start of the shift. I feel lucky to now be able to grab a new (or cleaned/recycled) mask for each shift— other hospitals around the country struggling with supplies are still using the same pieces of equipment indefinitely.
From then on, I tend to my duties as an ER technician, assisting the nursing and physician staff in treating and tending to sick patients— everything from stocking rooms and making beds to splinting broken arms to performing CPR or other life-support procedures on people who are engaged in the fight of (for) their lives. When I get the chance, I eat lunch (dinner for most) in the break room sometime during the night; this is one of the few times I can take off the surgical mask that I must wear throughout the whole shift.
Although we still treat all different illnesses and traumatic injuries, the overwhelming number of patients we see nowadays are COVID-19 positive or rule-out patients. They occupy nearly all of our rooms and require any person who enters the room to be fully “gowned up”: N95 respirator, the surgical mask covering it, face shield over both, yellow gown covering the rest of the body, surgical hat. Shoe covers optional but always a good idea. A lot of these patients also require intubation due to respiratory distress, which calls for a small team of doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, and ER tech members who spring into action to sedate, intubate, stabilize, and mechanically breathe for someone who cannot effectively do so on their own. This task is choreographed, controlled chaos in which every participant knows their role and executes in the best way that a small negative-pressure exam room will allow. Sometimes I am in the room, sometimes my job is just outside the door acting as the “clean tech”, un-gowned and ready to grab any and all items needed by the team inside the room.
The dramatic decline in non-COVID patients has led to extended periods of eerily quiet downtime in our Emergency Department which sometimes lasts most of the shift, although we still get the occasional surge of patients (par for the course in any ER). In periods of downtime when we are not running around doing intubation or tending to sick patients, we wait. I keep busy by stocking. I check and then re-check life-saving equipment to make sure it’s functioning properly. I also use this time to talk and reflect with my fellow techs, nurses, doctors, cleaning, and transport staff. These periods of time provide an escape from our current reality, and a crucial outlet to decompress.
When the shift is over and the day-shifters come to relieve us in the morning, I give my handoff report to the oncoming tech. My used N-95 mask and face shield goes back into my bag, which I return to the cage, to be found for the next shift. Still on the floor, I use sanitizing alcohol wipes to “disinfect” most of my belongings and the equipment that I carry on me (cellphone, stethoscope, trauma shears, badge) before making my way to the locker room to change. I put my used blue tech scrubs carefully into a sealed plastic bag, and put on a clean pair of green scrubs to go home in--COVID stays at the hospital!"
"After clocking out at 7:23 am, I walk outside, take off my mask, and breathe a breath of fresh air as I walk to the car. Once I get home, I strip down to underwear at the front door, throw everything in the laundry machine, and take a hot shower before I go to sleep."
Moore '14 leaves lasting impact at UConn
In April of 2018, just weeks before William Corey Moore ‘14 delivered the commencement address to his fellow classmates at UConn, he held a powerful TED Talk entitled, Black Boys: Passing the Blueprint. In this informative and inspiring talk, Moore raised awareness of alarming statistics within the African American male community. In January, Moore returned to Notre Dame to address ND’s Black Student Union and challenge them to seek answers to their questions and to give back what they have received from their mentors.
This TED Talk is just one of the many ways Moore is leaving his mark at UConn, giving back to those who have given to him, and inspiring others. As he enters the penultimate weeks of his graduate coursework in education at UConn, Moore can be proud of not only his academic achievements but also the lasting impacts he has made throughout the 4,400-acre campus.
Moore organized and planned one of the first black male leadership conferences at UConn, Dear Young Brother, and worked to facilitate important conversations. As the President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and a member of the leadership team for ScHOLA2RS House Learning Community, Moore serves as a dedicated mentor and advocate for the success of black males at UConn.
Moore explained that his TED Talk was his way of saying “thank you” to those who have helped him along his journey -- a thank you to his ‘village’. It was a cumulative act of gratitude for those who have impacted his life, opened doors, and paved ways.
“I want to encourage others, particularly African American males, black boys, to seek to have their questions answered and go beyond their circumstances. Get information. Recognize that someone who opened doors for them continues to open doors for others.”
At ND, Moore served as a Peer Counselor, was a member of the basketball team, and a National Honors Society and Spanish Honors Society inductee. He wants to challenge today’s ND students to keep opening doors for others.
“Continue the ND tradition of giving back to your community and to your school. ND does a great job of giving students these opportunities. ‘To whom much is given, much will be required’ [(Luke 12:48)], which was a message emphasized throughout my time at ND and in my life.”
Moore will earn his M.A. in Education from UConn in May 2020. In the spring of 2018, he graduated within UConn’s honors program with his B.S. in Finance. Following his 2020 commencement, Moore will begin his professional career within United Technology’s Financial Leadership Program.
Cuevas '02 finds success in higher ed
When Alexander Cuevas ‘02 was a junior at Notre Dame, he elected to take his first business course. Little did he know at the time, taking this class would spark his interest in the field and eventually lead to a successful and rewarding career.
After Notre Dame, Cuevas spent four years at Bryant University in Rhode Island where he earned his B.A. in Business Management and minored in Political Science. Having a passion for education, he found his way into higher-ed when he accepted his first position as an Admissions Representative working first with Stone Academy and eventually with Albertus Magnus College.
The day-to-day responsibilities of working with incoming students were extremely rewarding to Cuevas. “I was inspired by the students I met with. The population I worked with faced many challenges and they were able to prevail. Their stories and success compelled me to go back to school and earn my MBA at Albertus Magnus College,” he said.
Upon the completion of this MBA, Cuevas returned to Stone Academy as Community Outreach Coordinator at Stone Academy and eventually was promoted to Campus Director. Upon the acquisition of Paier College of Art in 2018, Cuevas was asked to oversee recruitment and enrollment for the Art School. Today, Cuevas is the Director of Admissions and Director of Enrollment at Paier College of Art and Stone Academy, respectively.
Cuevas found that earning his Master’s degree opened the doors for his professional growth. From 2016 to 2019, he served as the President of the West Haven Chamber of Commerce. Working closely with the Department of Motor Vehicles and Mayor Rossi, he assisted in coordinating the opening of the DMV Express located in City Hall.
“One of the best parts of my job is just seeing the growth and development of the students while they’re in school. Often times they’re a completely different person when they walk across the stage at graduation,” explained Cuevas.
When Cuevas walked the halls of One Notre Dame Way, he ran Cross Country, was a Spanish Honors Society member, and had a devastating serve with the Ping Pong club. When reminiscing about his high school days, he offered heartfelt advice to today’s Notre Dame students:
“Have faith in yourself and have faith in the process of what it’s like to be a student at Notre Dame. For me, those were very formative years. I was born in New Haven but became the man I am today on the ‘Hill’. There may be times where you doubt yourself or where you’re going, but put faith in the institution, your teachers, family, and friends, and you’ll do great things.”
Five alumni return to 'The Hill'
Over the past few months, we welcomed five alumni (in person and via video conference) to address our students about their careers!
(Left to Right) Lt. Col. (US Army Retired) Friedrich Wherli ’78 addressed students from our Technology/Engineering/Design Program and our Robotics Club about his work with the U.S. Army on the development of autonomous vehicles and drones.
George Costanzo ’74 met with students in the Sports Medicine Program and some of our athletes about his 30-year career as a chiropractor and his new career as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Costanzo spent considerable time addressing the opioid crisis.
Denis Garvey ’65 and Bill Bruno ’82 were guest speakers in Joe DeCaprio’s Entrepreneurship class. Garvey, who has started several enterprises, spoke about the qualities needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Bruno, Senior VP Portfolio Manager at Peoples United Bank, spoke about the financing of a new business.
A few weeks after video calling with faculty and students during the week of the Super Bowl, San Francisco 49er Vice President Rob Alberino ’88 visited the Entrepreneurship class and toured ND.
Coach Iovene's ('14) strides continue off the ice
When Head JV Hockey Coach Anthony Iovene ‘14 isn’t on the ice, you can find him in the research lab across the street at the University of New Haven (UNH).
Iovene is currently in pursuit of an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from UNH. He is continuing the biomedical engineering coursework he began during his undergrad years at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.
Specifically, Iovene is interested in the engineering side of the biomaterials field. “I enjoy working with blood-contacting devices and seeing what kinds of things you can do to the polymers so blood doesn’t stick. For example, figuring out a solution so blood doesn’t stick to catheters and cause blockages,” said Iovene.
In addition to his demanding coursework, Iovene is also a research assistant with Dr. Kagya Amoako, Graduate Coordinator for Biomedical Engineering and Director of Biomaterials and Medical Device Innovation Laboratory at UNH.
“I was pretty excited when he asked me to join the research team. He primarily works with artificial lungs and blood-contacting devices like stents and vascular grafts,” he explained.
Upon graduation in 2021, Iovene plans to pursue a career in research and development with a large medical device company, excited for the discovery and innovation that lies ahead.
While at Notre Dame, Iovene learned a lot about what means to be a man of character and compassion. He explains he still keeps those lessons with him today.
“Everything about Notre Dame helps you be a better person. Following the Code and just doing the right things. Being that person helps you build friendships and relationships in work and in life.”
Iovene's father, Michael Iovene, is a member of the Class of 1976. Be sure to check GoGreenKnights.com for full athletic schedules and results.
Stathis '07 takes on software design project with Boston Dynamics
With a master's degree in engineering and a minor in music, you might expect to see Chris Stathis' name connected with a pyrotechnic halftime spectacular. His work is spectacular, but it's not on a stage, at least not a stadium performance stage. While Stathis is a talented clarinetist, his most recent works can be found walking around on four legs. In November, Stathis video conferenced with Notre Dame's Robotics Club to share his latest endeavors with Boston Dynamics' robot, Spot.
Chris Stathis '07 earned his B.S. in Physics and minor in music from Ithaca College, and went on to attend Columbia University to complete his M.S. in Electrical Engineering. Following graduation, Stathis landed a job with Sikorsky Aircraft as an Autonomy and Electric Flight Controls Engineer, where he was the lead perception software engineer for their autonomous helicopter.
When Stathis joined Boston Dynamics as a Roboticist in 2015, he joined a team of 75 people. Over the course of the past four years, he has been able to see the company grow in staffing and in public recognition.
“Boston Dynamics makes the coolest robots in the world,” Stathis enthused. “But what is cool is that I get to work at the intersection of hardware and software design. I get to see the effect of that software in the real world,” he explained.
Stathis specifically works with Boston Dynamics’ robots named Spot and SpotMini, which are dog-like robots that can climb stairs and navigate diverse terrain.
“I deal with different types of vision sensors that go on the robot and all of the software the sensors utilize.” Stathis’ software allows the robot to map the environment, avoid obstacles, and plan the robot’s footsteps.
Robotics is still an industry that is in its infancy. “One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to make a robot useful to somebody.” Stathis’ position at Boston Dynamics affords him the opportunity to discover, innovate, and create, but also presents the opportunity to make a lasting impact on software design.
Construction companies, in particular, can benefit from Boston Dynamics. Robots like Spot can enter the hazardous work zones so humans don’t have to. The companies go through a lot of trouble to take photos of the build and renovation processes, putting themselves in harm’s way while collecting data. With Boston Dynamics robots, construction workers do not have to face the extra hazards.
“We can make it easier and better for construction companies if we put a laser scanner or fancy camera on the robot and have it walk around the site collecting data,” Stathis explained.
Stathis’ advice to current Notre Dame students is simple: be persistent and persevere. “Don’t let yourself believe you aren’t smart enough or don’t have the background to figure it out. If someone tasks you with something, there is a natural reaction to say ‘well I don’t know if I took enough classes to know how to do that or have the right experience.’ The right answer is to just go and figure it out.”
See Spot in action here
ND's Peer Counseling program turns into life-long passion for Lennon '95
Craig Lennon ‘95 - Dean of Students (University of Bridgeport)
B.A. in Communication; Secondary Education (Stonehill College)
M.S. in Education Leadership (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
While at Notre Dame, Craig Lennon ‘95 discovered a passion for being a mentor. Today, Lennon is the Dean of Students at the University of Bridgeport, where he leads a division of student affairs including housing and residential life, counseling services, and the new Department for Multicultural Affairs.
“The one thing I knew when I was a student at ND, was that I wanted to help people,” Lennon reminisced. During his days as a Green Knight, he served as a Peer Counselor, was a member of the soccer team and chorus, and was elected as the class president.
“What I really enjoy about working at UB and in the Student Affairs Office, is that everything I love to do and all of my previous experiences come together.”
Prior to his role at the University of Bridgeport, Lennon worked with high school dropouts at Grafton Job Corps and as a youth treatment specialist in a group home.
While earning his graduate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he worked with Student Leadership Development and Diversity Initiatives.
“I liked the possibility of working on a college campus, and I knew I wanted to work with students. By then, I really felt like there was no looking back for me,” laughed Lennon.
Lennon advises both his students and current ND students to work hard and focus in the classroom, but highlights that learning experiences extend far beyond school grounds.
“Be open to opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and in the world,” he explained. “Many people miss these everyday opportunities, but they will help you grow as a person. You never know what you might learn just by talking to the person sitting next to you on the plane.”
Former Principal, Mr. Patrick Clifford '75, had a remarkable impact on Lennon. Clifford's guidance changed Lennon's attitude on education and helped set him down the right path. “Mr. Clifford saved my life. He helped instill a belief in me to get more involved.” he continued. "Every student I help, Mr. Clifford has helped too.”
Lennon remembers learning and living the Notre Dame Code, and recalls the way the faculty personified those values. “As a teacher, you never really know the true impact you have on your students. For folks like that, I really wish I could thank them.”
Summer serendipity: summer job leads to successful career path for Mayer ‘07
Andrew Mayer '07 - Associate Director for Leadership Development at UNH
B.S. Hospitality Event Management (Lasell University)
M.Ed. Higher Education Administration (University of Vermont)
Serving as an orientation leader and coordinator was Andrew Mayer’s first taste of working in higher education. While studying hospitality event management at Lasell University, he began searching for a summer job that was a transition into something very similar to his previous experience as a camp counselor.
After his freshman year, Mayer applied to be an orientation leader for Lasell’s freshman orientation program. “I had a blast,” said Mayer. “The following year I applied to be an orientation coordinator, where I was involved in the hiring and training of the orientation leaders.”
From there, he dove right into life at Lasell, becoming a member of the Campus Activities Board, Nicaragua and Ecuador Shoulder to Shoulder service trips, America Reads, and Residential Life team.
Mayer’s involvement during his undergraduate years foreshadowed his current role as the Associate Director for Leadership Development in the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation at the University of New Haven.
At UNH, his primary responsibilities include curriculum development for leadership courses, student programming, and oversight of the orientation program and 160 student clubs. Mayer enjoys the diverse workload his job entails, but he explains he especially looks forward to the parts of his day spent advising and mentoring students.
“Success looks different for every student. Learning about their individual goals and aspirations, and being able to help them come up with different strategies, is extremely rewarding,” said Mayer.
When Mayer reflected on his time spent at Notre Dame, his experience with mentorship was one of his fondest memories. “I was truly fortunate to have so many dedicated teachers and mentors. The faculty cared about me as an individual and helped set me up for success both academically and personally.”
His advice to current ND students is simple: “Find a mentor. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t have educated supporters cheering me on throughout my journey.”
While at ND, Mayer was an editor for both The Shield and The Mind’s Eye. Although a knee injury sidelined Mayer from the cross country team after his freshman season, Mayer shared he recently got back into running during graduate school. Nowadays, he regularly finishes half marathons and enjoys being back in running shoes.
“During my first half marathon, all I could hear in my head was Coach Parkinson screaming in my ear ‘keep going….keep going,” he laughed.
Stankevitch '16 has a call to serve
by Josh LaBella, West Haven Voice Reporter (Published 9/4/19)
Marcin Stankevitch has worked under two West Haven mayors and will now be making the journey to Hartford to work in the office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He said he has learned a lot from his time as an aspiring political operative.
Stankevitch has lived in West Haven since he was three-years-old. He said he attended St. Lawrence School from kindergarten to eighth grade and then went to Notre Dame High School.
“I graduated and then went to the University of New Haven,” said Stankevitch. “[I study] political science. I’m a senior now.”
He said he was in the model United Nations at the university for four semesters; playing the role of a delegate three times and a head delegate once. Stankevitch was also a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission.
“We’d plan events like WestFest or we’d host town hall meetings,” said Stankevitch. “Sometimes we’d do a food shuttle for UNH students around West Haven.”
When Stankevitch first got to UNH he had yet to declare his major but, after an American Government class with Professor Chris Haynes was motivated to become a political science major.
“I find politics very interesting,” he said. “But it’s not that I just like politics. We also do a lot of community things.”
In the fall of 2017, Stankevitch started an internship in the O’Brien administration. He said he was there mostly as overseeing operations with WestFest. But, after Nancy Rossi became mayor, was invited to continue working in City Hall’s third floor.
“It was kind of surprising to me because I had worked for the past administration,” said Stankevitch. “I felt like I had to prove myself a little bit. So, the first thing I really did in that office was a Town Hall meeting in January of 2018.”
The student described work in the Rossi administration as interesting and fun but also challenging. He said working in West Haven gave him a good perspective regarding local government.
Taking his experience studying local and international government, Stankevitch said he wanted to split the difference and find opportunities in national politics. He said it was for that reason he applied to an internship in Senator Blumenthal’s Hartford office.
“They are going to start me off doing a lot of casework,” said Stankevitch. “But I’d like to a little bit of everything because in the mayor’s office I did a little bit of everything.”
Stankevitch said he enjoys that type of work because he likes to help people solve problems while using government in a “way that’s good.” He said he’s learned a lot from his time in politics so far.
“There’re a couple of important things that I learned,” he said. “Like having a good network and being able to network is very important. Being willing to do menial tasks, even if you think you’re above them, is very important.”
The intern said he has developed a good work ethic and has grown as a person every step of the way. He said he envisions himself staying in Connecticut after he graduates in the spring.
One Knight’s path to priesthood: Anthony Federico '02
While at Notre Dame, Father Anthony Federico ‘02 wrote for the school newspaper, The Knight Errant, which sparked his appreciation for journalism and led him down a path to sports media. After completing his undergraduate degree, Federico broke into the sports media world when his talents secured him a job at ESPN.
“I was doing really well. I had an exciting job and a fun career -- writing, traveling and covering sports,” reminisced Federico.
But that was not enough for Federico. “I wasn’t satisfied. I would go home from work at night and stare at the ceiling, wondering what I was doing with my life. I wasn’t helping anyone,” he explained.
In search of a sense of fulfillment, Federico started to volunteer his time with the elderly. Seeing their loneliness awakened something deep inside of him. Through this volunteer experience, Federico soon realized the Lord was calling him to the priesthood.
In February 2012, Federico was suddenly fired from his job at ESPN for inadvertently writing a controversial headline. His seven years at ESPN were followed by a consulting job in Stamford. Federico admitted he continued to ignore the Lord’s call.
During this time of transition and reflection, Federico began attending daily Mass at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford. He describes having a profound experience while observing a single priest patiently ministering to a long line of individuals who had come to the Basilica for the Sacrament of Penance.
“There were so many people in attendance. I thought to myself if only we had more priests, this would be so much easier” Federico remembered.
Shortly after this experience, he realized he could no longer ignore the call. Federico decided to enter the seminary and began his studies for the Priesthood at Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
“The most rewarding part of what I do is the relief that comes over an individual’s face either at confession, at someone’s bedside, or in counseling after they encounter Jesus. Somehow the Lord works through me and my brokenness to help heal people. When you can see that sense of relief in a person, it’s special.”
Federico has fond memories of his time at Notre Dame. A favorite and prideful ND memory was seeing his brother, Mike Federico ‘03, score a goal as the hockey team won the State Championship. Over the course of his four years, Federico was a member of the tennis team, the National Honor Society, and served as a Peer Counselor.
Highlighting one former faculty member, Federico explained former ND President Brother James Branigan, CSC, had a lasting effect on his life. Brother James taught students that being the authority figure does not mean being the harsh taskmaster. “Brother James showed me how to lead with gentleness and firmness. He really embodied, for me, what it means to be a Notre Dame man,” said Federico.
After a period of trials and tribulations, Federico found the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that he was looking for. On June 22, 2019 he was ordained to the Priesthood by Archbishop Leonard Blair at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, Hartford. On Sunday, June 23, surrounded by his family and friends, he celebrated his first Mass at Saint Barnabas Church (Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish) his home parish in North Haven. His first priestly assignment is that of Associate Pastor at Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish, Cheshire.
The Notre Dame Community is looking forward to Father Federico’s return to his alma mater on Thursday, September 12 when he will celebrate the Eucharist with the faculty, staff, and students to bless the new academic year.
If your schedule permits, we invite you to attend the Opening Liturgy in Alumni Hall at 10:15 am on September 12, 2019.
Vogel ‘13 finds success in music
Edward Vogel ’13, University of Notre Dame ’17, Yale School of Music ‘19
At school liturgies, you would always find Edward Vogel ‘13 behind the piano, accompanying the choir. When he wasn’t on the keys, he was a regular member of both the choir and the band, playing the French horn at concerts, pep rallies, and sports games. His talents went beyond music, as he was also a member of the tennis team during his years at ND.
As Vogel began to think about college, he started to weigh his options of which schools to attend and courses to study. He quickly realized that music and service to others were two things he was extremely passionate about.
“David Roach, the band director at the time, really encouraged me to pursue music in college, which was pretty influential in my career choice,” he shared. Vogel also credits his professional values to the lessons learned from Mrs. Gail Bellucci, former moderator for Christian Student Mission Club.
“In music, you have to open yourself up to an audience and reach out and help them, regardless of why they come to a performance. Everyone comes for something. It's a giving experience to be on stage and perform.”
Vogel packed his bags and moved to Indiana in August 2013. A dual major, Vogel studied Marketing and Consumer Psychology, as well as music, at the University of Notre Dame. Although the business studies were practical, he constantly felt called in a different direction.
When his time in South Bend came to an end, Vogel returned to his Connecticut roots and followed this calling to the Elm City. This past May, he earned a Master of Music in Voice from the Yale School of Music and is in the midst of launching a career as a freelance classical music singer.
Vogel is no stranger to the airport and finds his busy travel schedule just one of the rewarding parts of what he does. He works primarily in the New Haven and New York City area (New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Julliard 415), and also finds himself traveling to Washington, DC, California, and Arizona, to name a few locations. For the past two summers, Vogel was a resident vocalist at the Tanglewood Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Many of his performances are domestic, but Vogel’s work also takes him out of the country quite regularly. In June, Vogel returned from a two-week performance in Scandinavia with one of Yale’s ensembles and closed the summer of 2019 performing in the UK. Vogel’s impressive international credits include performances with Theatre of Voices, the Bach Collegium Japan, and the Yale Schola Cantorum.
“I love seeing new places and the thrill of being surrounded by beauty,” he shared. “The beauty is both physical and musical. Being surrounded by that gives you such a sense of fulfillment and happiness.”
Some of Vogel’s fondest ND memories were playing with the band at Friday night football games at Veteran’s Field, feeding off of the excitement from the fans and players.
Vogel advises current ND students to pursue their passions, and the rest will fall into place. “I think there is an expectation, especially for boys, to go to college and major in a field like business, make a lot of money, and that will be it. Take time to think about what really makes you happy, and then talk to people who do those things for a career, and talk to them about how to make it work,” he explains.
“By talking to these people, you’ll find there is a way to do what makes you happy and make a living and a career.”
Tim Boyce '72 returns to ND on Yom HaShoah
On May 2, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Boyce returned to Notre Dame to speak to students and the ND community. He stood at the front of the auditorium, looking out into the student body that he once belonged to. Boyce was “thrilled by the energy and passion of the students. [He was] honored to be here.”
He began his presentation explaining how he stumbled upon the diary of Odd Nansen, a Norwegian imprisoned at Sachsenhausen during the Holocaust. In 2010, Boyce walked into his local book store, when a book entitled, A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy, caught his eye. Written by Thomas Buergenthal, this memoir dove into the horrific details of a devastating childhood, as he told his story of being an incarcerated Jewish boy during the Holocaust.
In Buergenthal’s book, he mentions frequent encounters with a man by the name of Odd Nansen. In the winter of 1942, Nansen was arrested and lived most of his life in Nazi camps in Norway and Germany. Nansen and Buergenthal crossed paths for the first time in the infirmary at Sachsenhausen, as Buergenthal was in the midst of being treated for frostbitten toes. When Nansen learned the young boy received two amputations, he bribed the doctors and nurses with food so they would agree to look after Buergenthal and keep him alive.
Boyce found Buergenthal's story fascinating and decided to do some more research on Odd Nansen. While Buergenthal’s memoir was written long after his childhood, Nansen kept a secret diary (now known as From Day to Day) that was translated to English and published in 1949.
To Boyce’s surprise, the book had been out of print for 60 years. He obtained two copies of the book and learned they were extremely hard to find. Little did Boyce know, these two purchases began a “six-year odyssey that resulted in the re-publication of a deluxe, fully-annotated edition of Nansen’s diary in April 2016 from Vanderbilt University Press. Thomas Buergenthal, now 82, has written a Preface for the new edition, which also contains sketches by Nansen and diary entries never before available in English.”
Boyce led students, alumni, faculty, parents, and friends alike, in an engaging and reflective discussion about humanity, resilience, and compassion. Greatly due to Nansen's compassion, Buergenthal survived his time at Sachsenhausen, and went on to have one of the most successful careers in law, having served as a judge of the International Court of Justice.
To learn more about purchasing a copy of From Day to Day, or to learn more about Tim Boyce, please visit https://timothyjboyce.com/.
During his time at Notre Dame, Tim Boyce ‘72 was a member of the National Honor Society and the Debate Team and served as the president of the Christian Student Mission Club and editor for the Herald.
Gregory Antollino, Esq. ’82 will attend Supreme Court hearing as Counsel of Record
When sky diving instructor Donald Zarda sued his employer Altitude Express, Inc. claiming he was fired after revealing his sexual orientation to a client, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York did not agree and passed summary judgment to the defendants.
Zarda, an extreme sports enthusiast, died in a BASE-jumping accident while in Switzerland on October 3, 2015. His case was continued by his estate which appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. In both instances, ND alumnus Gregory Antollino, Esq, ’82, was the attorney for Zarda and his estate. On February 26, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, delivered a 10-3 landmark decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express. The ruling found that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and that Zarda was unlawfully fired from his job for being gay.
Altitude Express has appealed the appellate court’s decision, and on April 22, 2019 the Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari. While Antollino will not be the attorney arguing before the Supreme Court, he will be present at the one-hour hearing as the counsel of record. He is very pleased that Pam Karlan, Co-Director of the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Clinic and a former clerk for Justice Blackman will be presenting the argument. Antollino was interviewed and is quoted in an extensive article about the case published by NBC News in March 2018 after the Appeals Court decision.
Deacon Martin O'Connor, JD '64 Receives Papal Honor
The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford, recently announced that 14 members of the Archdiocese have received Papal Honors from His Holiness Pope Francis on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary Year of the Archdiocese. Among the recipients of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross is Deacon Martin O’Connor, JD, ’64. The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross, also known as the Cross of Honor, was established in 1888 and is bestowed on Catholic men and women who have shown distinguished service to the Church and to the Papal office.
O’Connor was ordained a deacon in the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1990 and is currently ministering at St. Mary’s Parish in New Haven. He is an associate professor at the University of New Haven in the Fire Science and Professional Studies Department of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. O’Connor joined the UNH faculty in 1998 upon retirement from the New Haven Fire Department where he served as chief.
Richetelli's ('85) hard work began at Notre Dame
Once Dennis Richetelli received his diploma from Notre Dame, he headed north to New Hampshire to attend Keene State College. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Richetelli continued north to the Canadian border to attend Canisius College. At Canisius, he worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for their Division 1 athletic programs.
After earning his M.S. in Sports Medicine, he immediately began working in an outpatient physical therapy practice in Norwalk. Additionally, Richetelli took on the role of the athletic trainer at Weston High School. Richetelli is currently in the midst of his 29th year with the Weston Trojans, and also serves as a health and physical education teacher.
As an athletic trainer, Richetelli faces new challenges every day. “You may encounter similar injuries between athletes that are diagnosed the same, yet when you take into account each individual's ability levels, pain thresholds, and healing potential, the injuries actually present and are treated quite differently,” said Richetelli. No two days are the same, which keeps things exciting and fresh.
Like most healthcare professions, athletic trainers face constant stress and pressure. “We need to be alert and prepared to make quick decisions that may have an impact on an athlete's health and well-being.”
Richetelli explains that the skills and traits cultivated on "the hill" are still with him today. The discipline and strong work ethic he developed at Notre Dame help him power through the long hours and the demands of the job. “The faculty and staff at ND challenged me in the classroom and beyond, helping me develop as a man grounded in character. Furthermore, as a student, I developed a camaraderie with other Green Knights that is still solid decades beyond graduation.”
Although the days can be long, the infinite rewards of the job keep Richetelli coming back for more. “The most rewarding part of my job has to be the relationships you develop every day. As part of the allied health profession, we collaborate closely with physicians, physical therapists, coaches, athletes, parents, and others. The fact that I am also a teacher enables me to further build on the relationship and trust of the students in the classroom as well.”
Notre Dame’s Signature Program in Sports Medicine is inspiring the next generation of allied health professionals. Richetelli encourages students to work hard, stay organized, and manage their time. “I relied on the values and skills I learned from home, and hopefully, they can too -- set priorities and stick to them, with God, family, and studies at the forefront.”
Motyl's ('97) leadership brings ND values to Texas
At Notre Dame High School, Michael Motyl was an athlete, peer counselor, and Spanish scholar. While athletics were a significant part of his daily life at school, Motyl shared that the relationships cultivated with his classmates, teachers, and coaches were among the most impactful characteristics of his ND education. “I wasn’t prepared for them, but they were a pleasant surprise. The teachers genuinely care and forge strong relationships with students.”
Today, Motyl ‘97 resides at the Mexican border in Brownsville, TX with his wife and new baby. Motyl serves as the President of both St. Joseph Academy and Guadalupe Regional Middle School, a tuition-free school strictly for economically disadvantaged residents of Rio Grande Valley.
Motyl recalled words spoken at this freshman orientation that still resonate with him today. “I remember they told us Notre Dame doesn’t want an eight o’clock to two o’clock student. ND wants you to get involved and give your talents to various sports and clubs,” he explained.
He holds his students to the same Notre Dame standard. “The advice at freshman orientation always rang true to me and at my schools. I want the same from my students. Give back. Be a part of something that is greater than just yourself.”
Motyl encourages his students and current ND students to stay involved and to stretch beyond the eight o’clock to three o’clock time constraints. “Take risks. You can learn things about your talents and your gifts that will help you along as you navigate to college and beyond. Your teachers are going to make sure you are successful.”
After ND, Motyl traveled up to Boston to study education and math at Boston College. He knew he always he wanted to be a teacher, but he discovered something was missing. “At BC, I developed a need for service. I did not just want to punch a clock.”
While exploring service opportunities, Motyl stumbled upon the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. As part of his master’s degree coursework at UND, Motyl was sent to teach in an under-resourced diocese (Diocese of Brownsville) in Edinburg, TX.
In 2015, Boston College awarded Motyl with an honorary Ph.D. in education for his “steadfast commitment to making tuition-free Catholic education available to economically disadvantaged students in the Brownsville community.” After receiving this honor, Motyl was named to Boston College’s “40 Under 40” list in 2017.
In Texas, Motyl supports his students' endeavors and aspirations. “What brought me down here was making sure kids have access to Catholic education,” explained Motyl. “At the end of the day, it is about growing closer to God, realizing our gifts, and figuring out how to use our gifts to make the world and community a better place.”
Dichele ‘09 discovers passion for digital media
From the time he was young, Josh Dichele ‘09 craved opportunities to be creative. He quickly realized that a nine to five desk job under fluorescent lighting was not exactly what he had in mind when it came to his future career.
While Dichele was in college, he spent most of his sophomore year developing web content for friends and family. Dichele’s client list grew from people he knew to local companies, but as websites like Wix and SquareSpace started gaining popularity, Dichele quickly realized that his clients would no longer need to outsource their web design. He switched his focus to marketing, and never looked back.
After receiving his B.S. in International Business from Quinnipiac University, Dichele began his entrepreneurship journey. “As cliche as it is, I was in my mom’s basement trying to grow this into something that was actually a business.”
He started to try to expand his network, emailing over 400 individuals a week in hopes of attracting clients. “I was rejected countless times and took many clients for little to no pay just to help build my resume.”
Eventually, Dichele started to see his hard work pay off. His client list snowballed, and now he has his own internet marketing and brand management business called the Dichele Group. Completely steering clear of the fluorescent office space, Dichele enjoys the flexibility and the independence of running his own business. The world is his office.
Since Dichele was always drawing and seeking out opportunities to be creative, he remembers enjoying photography class at Notre Dame. Former Principal Patrick Clifford’s ‘75 psychology class also was a course that intrigued him. While the lessons inside the classrooms sparked Dichele’s interest, it was what he learned from Mr. Clifford outside of the classroom that stuck with him.
“He came up to me in the hall and we were just chatting. I told him I was intrigued by the class and that I respected his knowledge of the field,” explained Dichele. “We just really started to build this great relationship. He was the first faculty member I really connected with,” said Dichele.
“One of the biggest things I learned at ND was the importance of relationship building.” This lesson is one that Dichele carries with him daily. “By the time I reached senior year I truly felt as if ND was my family--faculty included.”
Service learning also continues to stick with Dichele long after graduation. He is an active board member for Side by Side, a top performing charter school in Norwalk, CT. “The ND culture drives me to really feel like I need to evaluate myself and see what I'm doing here,” explained Dichele. “I always try to find some outlet to give back.”
Dichele stressed the importance of hard work and persistence to current ND students. “The more successful people I meet, the more I learn of the number of failures they’ve had. You can’t look at these moments as you being a failure, but rather, as a learning experience.”
Enthusiasm, motivation, and persistence are in Dichele’s recipe for success, but reading books after graduation is the secret ingredient. “It’s amazing to me that 42% of college graduates never read a book again!” said Dichele. “Read books in your area of expertise, but also outside of it. It’s amazing how your perspective on what you do and how you can contribute will change by learning things outside your industry!”
Dichele’s business leads him to encounter new faces but often finds himself crossing paths with men that also share the Notre Dame brotherhood. He shared that he, his brother, and his friends laugh about how they can spot an ND man within seconds of meeting them. “ND changes how you carry and conduct yourself. Very professional and appropriate - a true gentleman, and that really comes off in their character.”
From Green Knight Nation to Center Stage: Troy Quinn ‘01
Troy Quinn ‘01 took his passion for music and turned it into an exciting, adventurous, and successful career; he is currently in his second season as the Music Director of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky and was recently named the Music Director of the Venice Symphony in Florida.
While Quinn’s home base is Los Angeles, he frequently flies in and out of California for work. The symphony season is similar to the academic year, starting in September and ending in May. One of the aspects Quinn enjoys about his job is the flexibility. “I do not punch a clock, which for me is a wonderful thing, “ he explained. “I can be traveling to Florida one day and in the studio in LA the next.”
Quinn feels as much at home in the recording studio as he does on stage, having performed and recorded with many popular artists including The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Jennifer Hudson, and Jackie Evancho. His recorded works have appeared on television shows including Fox’s Glee, NBC’s The Voice, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in films like Storks and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
While at Notre Dame, Quinn ran track, sang, and was involved in campus ministry. He is thankful when he looks back on his busy high school years. “To juggle all of those things prepared me to juggle and deliver in my professional life. That was great training, not only logistically in terms of what was to come in my professional life, but also personally.”
“The foundation you get at Notre Dame sets the standard for the rest of your life - not only the Holy Cross values, but also the leadership skills and diverse activities that you can partake in,” explained Quinn. While Notre Dame prepared Quinn for his busy lifestyle, the culture of Notre Dame is something he still carries with him. “My job is to interact and collaborate with people. Cultivating those friendships and companionships was taught at Notre Dame.”
After graduation, Quinn continued his Catholic education at Providence College. “A well-kept secret is that I didn’t really read music until I got to college - I did everything by ear,” he confessed. Declaring his major in arts and music during his sophomore year, Quinn specialized in voice and conducting. The nurturing environment at Providence College was similar to that at Notre Dame. The small school served as a great platform for performance opportunities and allowed Quinn to really hone in on developing his craft.
From Providence, Quinn headed to Manhattan to attend Manhattan School of Music (MSM), a private music conservatory in New York City. MSM’s rigorous coursework prepared Quinn for his next big adventure. Following his final performances at MSM, Quinn flew west to pursue his doctorate in conducting at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Quinn is coming up on his tenth year of living on the Pacific coast and attributes both the geographic location and diverse music scene to “opening up the floodgates,” in terms of work and study opportunities that led him to where he is today.
Quinn offered some advice to current Notre Dame students as they begin to look at colleges and consider future careers. “No matter what you want to do in this world, persevering is the most important thing. There are going to be people who tell you can’t do something, and people who laugh in your face. You have to realize that if this is something deep in your heart that you want to do, then nothing will stop you.”
DePalma ‘89 named Executive VP of MNI Targeted Media
If you’ve picked up a magazine in the last eight months, chances are you’ve seen some of Klarn DePalma’s (‘89) work. In March, DePalma was named the Executive Vice President of MNI Targeted Media (MNI), headquartered in Stamford, CT.
Using comprehensive demographic information, MNI assists clients with the strategic placement of their advertisements in both the digital and print media channels. To say that MNI’s reach is impressive is an understatement; with access to over 73% of magazines, their ad impressions per month, tend to reach the billions.
With the constant evolution of digital platforms, the ways in which we consume media are always changing. “People are changing their viewing habits, and moving over to streaming content. Now we can specifically target who is watching, which makes clients’ return on investment more efficient and effective,” said DePalma. “The challenge is that it keeps changing.”
Although DePalma is stationed at the Stamford, CT headquarters, he travels to other MNI offices scattered throughout the country. DePalma acknowledges the benefits of his travel, explaining, “the digital world and media world is moving so fast that every day is different. I have a pulse on what is going on around the country, so you can see what is happening and changing, which helps us learn how to serve different consumers.”
DePalma reminisced about the pep rallies at ND, a tradition that is still alive and well today. He and his classmate were the MC’s during their senior year. “The first one was a success. It was funny, well planned, and we had fun with the freshmen,” DePalma recalled. “We had to outdo the first one.”
DePalma had his entertaining monologue ready to go. He had spent hours writing and planning to make sure it would be a hit, but when he started speaking into the microphone, nothing came out.
They had no audio. Thinking on their feet, DePalma and his classmate decided to yell as loud as they could. “From our perspective, it was great! Because it was Thanksgiving, graduates from previous years stood in the back. I don't think they heard a word.”
Aspects of DePalma’s Notre Dame education are forever infused into his professional life. Having been taught respect, inclusion, and teamwork, he remembers leaving ND as a young man of character. “All of those lessons fall into what you need in today’s society to be a successful person. If I wasn’t taught those things, I would not be as successful as I am today.”
“High school is hard. You’re really trying to figure out who you are and what you are.” Recognizing that high school can be a challenging time full of transition, difficult decisions, and personal growth, DePalma offered some advice to current ND students.
The ability to adapt is essential when facing important decisions and trying times. The character, compassion, and confidence that young men develop at ND provide the foundation for success. “Always have a plan and work that plan. If that plan isn’t working, develop a new plan. The world continues to change and you have to change with it.”
Hassen brothers prepare to set sail
Congratulations to United States Navy Ensign Alexander Hassen ‘14!
On May 25, 2018, Alex was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy during the 168th traditional graduation ceremony of the United States Naval Academy.
We are incredibly proud and humbled by Alex’s success, and look forward to United States Naval Academy Midshipman 4th Class Benjamin Hassen’s ‘18 expected graduation and commissioning in May of 2022.
Have you served in the military? Are you currently serving? We want to know! Please update your alumni record.
Villa '18 returns to Notre Dame
After graduating from Notre Dame, Carlos Villa '18 headed to Norwich University, the Military College of Vermont. Last month, Carlos and fellow Norwich cadet stopped by for a visit while on leave. Carlos plans to enter the Air Force. There is nothing we enjoy more than catching up with alumni - come by and say hello!
ND Launches Video Production Signature Program
Notre Dame recently unveiled the Video Production signature program. Students will gain both classroom and ‘real world’ experience while learning the essential elements of video production in addition to developing strong skills in camera operation, audio mixing, graphics system operation, sound, editing, and overall viewing analysis. Production planning and video editing theory put creative control directly in students’ hands. The program, led by Mr. Brian Footit, incorporates experts in the industry to guide, mentor, and develop the skills of the students in the classroom.
Donaruma’s (‘85) Notre Dame roots run deep
When William Donaruma ‘85 graduated from Notre Dame, he packed his bags and headed straight to Indiana to continue his Holy Cross education at the University of Notre Dame.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Theater, Donaruma traveled south to Florida to work as a production coordinator at Universal Studios. He took on extra freelance jobs as a cameraman and editor for the corporate and sports worlds. His work opened up opportunities for stunt work and “movie magic,” so Donaruma added a few fight scenes, falls, bullet hits, car hits, and explosion to his growing film credentials.
Donaruma was working in Florida when he got the call from the University of Notre Dame. They were looking for someone to manage their production area, and they wanted it to be him. While he enjoyed his work in Florida and the offer wasn’t the highest paying career opportunity, he realized his potential was far greater back in Indiana.
In 1998, he returned to his beloved University of Notre Dame, launching a 20+ year career that earned him numerous distinctions including the Paul R. Fenlon Teaching Award and Kaneb Teaching Award for Excellence. Today, Donaruma is a Teaching Professor in Filmmaking and serves as the Director of the Center for Creative Computing.
While Donaruma recalls Notre Dame High School’s academic rigor and high standards, he also remembers learning just as much from his athletic experiences. “A lot of my growth came from my coaches,” he explained. “My athletic experiences were very formative.”
Donaruma’s time spent on the football field and on the track taught him discipline and mental toughness. He acknowledges that his athletic experiences also taught him inclusivity and the importance of teamwork. “The inclusivity at Notre Dame [High School] forged relationships for the rest of my life,” said Donaruma.
He offered advice to current NDHS students to seize for opportunities. “My job at the University of Notre Dame was an opportunity that popped up. As my father had told me: ‘don’t worry about the money. Do what you do, do the best you can, and the rest will come.'
ND Launches Technology, Engineering, & Design (T/E/D)
ND’s new Signature Program in Technology, Engineering, Design (T/E/D) was custom-designed by our faculty alongside Fortune 500 engineers and program managers with over 50+ years of collective experience. The program spans four categories: Engineering Basics, Elective Skills, Specialized Engineering, and Capstone Project. Students learn the fundamentals of Engineering and Design and then study the major engineering disciplines of electrical, mechanical, software, and manufacturing. The Signature T/E/D program culminates with a senior year Capstone Project where student teams develop a new product through the life-cycle of a complete engineering design project. In the process, students manage not only technical customer requirements, but also a material budget and project schedule, emulating real-world engineering development programs. Notre Dame’s T/E/D program aims to position our students to be leaders in a growing professional field.
Adam Schierholz ‘83, Yale ‘87
Sikorsky’s Regional Executive for Latin America, Adam Schierholz ‘83 returned to campus in June to talk about his career, his studies at Yale in engineering, his rise in international business and the many lessons from ND that ring true today.
“For the last 25 years, I’ve worked in international business. I didn’t leave ND aiming to go into international business. I went to Yale and studied engineering. Ultimately, I fell into the business side of the engineering world. You evolve and get to the road you were meant to be on eventually. For some it happens sooner, for others, later. Looking back, ND was the starting block for me. It’s like the block that sprinters lock their feet into at the start of a race. For me, the starting blocks came from my time at ND.
One of the many challenges I see in the workplace today is trying to reach consensus on complex issues and dealing with an amalgam of people with varying ideas on where we need to go and how to get there. This is particularly difficult in global settings where international customers might communicate or operate differently due to culture.
Much of my work is building relationships with people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and parts of the world. I spent time in Spain and loved it. It was the best business and personal time of my life. It opened up my perspective. All of this is consistent with ND values and experience: to open your views of the world, and go after things that are different and rewarding.
When I think about it, there are a number of lasting lessons from my ND experience that still ring true today. I often refer to the words of Brother Francis Feeley, CSC, my Spanish teacher junior year, who reminded us “It’s good to be a great man; it’s great to be a good man.” The work I’ve done to build a strong team at work stems from lessons I learned from Coach Tom Marcucci ‘66 He wasn’t afraid to reprimand forcefully but he also wasn’t afraid to share praise. I have tried to carry that on in what I do. I correct people who work for me when they do something wrong and I have ample praise for them when they get it right. And then there’s a talk Brother George Schmitz, CSC ‘65 gave at our Peer Counseling retreat about shoes. “Polished oxfords, work boots, docksiders...what do shoes say about a person?” He challenged us to look beyond the surface to see the person in the shoes. That’s advice that still holds true today.
ND is a special place. It’s different. They ask more of you than other schools. You’re asked to be a person of higher character. If you accept the challenge, it will serve you well the rest of your life.
I was especially lucky to have attended ND. I’m the youngest of 5. And while we were taught right from wrong at home - and to know the difference between the two - that message was reinforced each school day. There is a lot of that missing out there in the world. It’s pretty simple stuff and ND does it extremely well.”
Dave DeCaprio ‘90, MIT ‘93
Dave DeCaprio ’90 is CTO and Co-founder of ClosedLoop.ai in Austin, TX. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Dave has led several successful startups, and consulted with organizations on technology innovation including the Human Genome Project. In his spare time, Dave wrote the software for tennis players to strategically record their matches and gather statistics to improve their play. Cizr helps tennis players and coaches get better faster. That caught the eye of several NCAA Division 1 tennis teams who are currently using it. This includes Vanderbilt University, one of whose tennis players was recently named the NCAA Most Improved Player.
DeCaprio landed a job creating speech recognition software right out of college. From there, he worked for small and large software companies working technical, hands-on, and management positions. Nowadays, DeCaprio enjoys the fast pace and excitement of startups.
His invitation to work on the Human Genome Project ignited a passion for healthcare software. DeCaprio’s work at ClosedLoop helps make predictions for proactive treatments based on individuals’ medical records and health data. “I’m a math guy and a computer guy, but the ability to have a positive impact on the community and society, that’s what gets me really excited.”
DeCaprio credits his success in college to the academic rigor at Notre Dame. While taking the necessary requirements for high school graduation, he also had the opportunity to enroll in classes at the University of New Haven. “I wasn’t on a traditional track for math, but ND supported me and the things I wanted to do. I learned that you can make your own path. If you want to do something, find the people who will help you and go do it. It’s what you have to do today.”
The ability and the freedom to accelerate his coursework was key to getting him prepared for college. “I went into MIT very well prepared and I saw kids who were not,” he explains. “It was a rude awakening for them particularly as I was able to go in pretty seamlessly from ND.”
One of his fondest memories at ND was orchestrating a surprise 40th birthday party for a faculty member. He managed to assemble the entire school community to pull off the surprise and he admits he had to get the school’s administration to bend a few rules for the unconventional party plan. “That culture of willingness - to accept breaking a few rules for the right reason- is exactly what you need to start a company. Anybody that has done of something of significance had to break rules along the way,” he explains. “You just have to learn how to do that, and how to do that in the right way.”
DeCaprio observed “The world is changing at a much faster rate than when I graduated. A lot of what’s happening now is figuring out how to build something of value in an environment that’s changing.” He offered a few words of wisdom for current students. “At ND I learned to work very hard. Whether it was the newspaper deadline or opening night in the theater, I had to put in the hours and work hard. And when the time came to go to print or to be on stage, I had to be ready. That’s what it takes to be successful today.”