Saint Joseph College Parents' Update Newsletter

Office of Marketing and Communications  

Spring 2012 

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President's Message 

President Reid with students at a scholarship reception.
President Reid with students at a scholarship reception.

Dear Parents,

Spring is an exciting time on campus -

students buckle down for finals, make summer vacation plans, and apply for internships or professional experiences. Adding to the excitement are the discussions surrounding our transition from College to University. Finally, everyone celebrates the success of our seniors as they prepare for this historic Commencement ceremony, our final one as SJC.


We have assured students that the University of Saint Joseph will retain all that is great about Saint Joseph College - our academic rigor, the reputation for excellence, the close relationship with faculty, and the wealth of opportunities. All of these strengths will be enhanced by the recognition of our complexity (graduate, as well as undergraduate standings) and the global status that only a university can hold.


As your daughter completes this academic year, I urge you to check on her progress in completing the required writing portfolio; also, you might encourage her to visit the Career Development Center for support in seeking internships or employment. I invite you to stay in touch with us through our web page over the summer and make the most of all that our campus offers!


Best regards,

Pamela Trotman Reid, President  

Announcing the University of Saint Joseph

As of June 8, 2012, Saint Joseph College will officially become the University of Saint Joseph. This marks the culmination of an extensive planning and preparation process. The change to university also exemplifies the institution's growth over the past several years. The first doctoral program was launched in 2011 with the School of Pharmacy. A doctor in Nursing Practice program will begin in January 2013, and planning is underway for a doctor of Psychology degree.


With change, of course, comes adjustment. Students and alumnae/i may wonder about the significance of the name change when it comes to building a resume or interviewing for a job. These concerns and others are addressed on the University Status web page.


Imagine ...The Sky's the Limit

Feel like a glamorous night out? Attend the Saint Joseph College "Imagine the Sky's the Limit" Gala on June 7, 2012. This special event celebrates the College's strong tradition of supporting women in the sciences and its transition to the University of Saint Joseph. It also honors Trustee E. Clayton "Skip" Gengras, Jr.


The black tie event will take place at the Hartford Marriott Downtown and will feature the music of Broadway performer Brian Stokes Mitchell. A cocktail reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by dinner and an auction emceed by Colin McEnroe and Peter Shapiro. For tickets and more information, contact or 860.231.5291.


Allison Sprafke '14 (right) and Marie DiPinto '15 (left) at Habitat for Humanity the build site in Virginia.
Mercy Values in Action
A group of 11 students spent their spring break building a home in Exmore, Virginia as part of a Habitat for Humanity mission. Working under the guidance of the site supervisor, they framed and boarded a single-story house, developing skills in carpentry and construction.

Sophomore Nursing student Alison Sprafke participated based on the recommendation of friends who had gone previously. To her, the best part was "the way we came together as a group. Some people were experienced and some were not," she said, "so we learned from each other. It was amazing what we were able to build within five days."


DahliaFaculty Spotlight
Dalia Giedrimiene, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Biology &
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Growing up in Lithuania, Dr. Dalia Giedrimiene remembers that teachers were her role models: "I was fortunate to have good teachers when I was young and I strive to return that favor now."  To that end, Dr. Dalia (as she is known) makes students her priority. "I make sure they get involved in all the classroom discussions. As long as they do that and keep up to date in their subject matter, they will do well. Teaching online added a new flavor to my teaching experiences. I like to incorporate technology into the classroom, and feel very satisfied when my students succeed in their professional lives."


Dr. Giedrimiene is an expert in the field of cardiology, both in the U.S. and Lithuania. She is experienced as an intensive cardiac care physician and a developer of an Arrhythmias Center for patients. She holds three medical patents, has participated in medical conferences around the world, and has published an impressive array of groundbreaking medical articles in leading journals.

Watch Dr. Dalia's story as a "Doctor, Scientist, Mother, and Mentor." 


A Historic Commencement

The Class of 2012 will hold a special place in USJ history as the final class to receive the Saint Joseph College degree at the 77th commencement ceremony. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy will serve as Commencement speaker and earn an honorary degree, along with Mary Ellen Murphy, RSM, '50, Ph.D., a former NASA scientist and beloved professor of Chemistry.

Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. under the tent. Tickets are not required and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please use the following guidelines as you begin to plan. Information is also available at and includes details regarding parking, academic attire, rehearsal, and more. Some preliminary information is listed below:
  • Baccalaureate Mass: Saturday, May 12 at 4:00 p.m. in The Connor Chapel of Our Lady. The tradition of Baccalaureate Mass dates back to the first graduating class of Saint Joseph College. The Mass unites the community in worship one final time to bless the undergraduate students who will receive degrees the next day. Family and friends are invited to attend. Please note that academic attire is required for graduating students - a cap, white collar, and gown (no hood).
  • Commencement Timeline: Sunday, May 13 
    8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. A complimentary continental breakfast is available for graduating students and their families in McGovern Dining Hall.
    9:00 a.m. Students line up for the Commencement procession - Women's College and Weekend Program students assemble in The Connor Chapel of Our Lady; graduate students assemble in The Bruyette Athenaeum's Hoffman Auditorium. Please note that academic attire is required - a cap and gown with hood.
    9:50 a.m. The Commencement procession begins
    10:00 a
    Commencement 2011
    Students celebrate Commencement 2011.
    .m. - 12:00 p.m. The Commencement ceremony takes place. All graduating students will have the opportunity to purchase a professional photo (taken as they receive their degree) from Commencement Photo Inc.
Parking Information: On the day of Commencement, guests of the graduates will be directed to parking areas on and off campus by Campus Safety personnel. For specific information, visit      

Student Scholarship on Display

Students prepare their research posters for presentation at last year's Symposium Day.
On April 18, the College will host its annual Symposium Day, a celebration of students' scholarship. Family and friends are invited to attend the presentations, which will be ongoing throughout the morning. Watch the SJC web site for a full schedule:   


Finding Her Major, Finding Herself

MeranciaMerancia Fils '13 enrolled in SJC as a Nursing major, but quickly changed her mind. "Right when I got to Orientation I realized that I didn't want to be a nurse," she reflected. "The problem was, I didn't know what I wanted!"

Merancia met regularly with her academic advisor and enrolled in courses that sparked her interest. She soon realized that Social Work was the perfect fit. "At first I didn't understand all the things you could do with a Social Work degree, but in getting to know the faculty, I saw all these options," she said. Today, she is completing an internship at the Attorney General's office and developing skills towards a career in political advocacy. 

Watch Merancia's story.   


Sophomore Focus

Sophomore Focus (or SOFO) is a special learning and living environment designed for second-year students. SOFO teams live in designated residence halls and are guided by a student peer mentor. They attend regular meetings and events that focus on a variety of topics including career development, study skills, faculty dinners, and more. A new addition next fall is SOAR, the Sophomore Outdoor Adventure Residents program, which will unite students interested in outdoor adventure experiences. To learn more about SOFO, contact the office of residential life at

Get a glimpse of "SOFO at SJC." 


A View on Campus Life

Curious about campus life? See it "Through the Lens" of first-year student Nicole Battistone, who is chronicling her experience at An avid photographer and enthusiastic SJC student, Nicole offers a unique look at life as a college student! 

Go Blue Jays!

Stay up-to-date with all athletics news at

Spring Sports Awards
Come celebrate our student athletes at the Springs Sports Awards. The ceremony takes place on Monday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m. at The O'Connell Athletic Center - all are welcome to attend.  


From the Student Financial Services Center

FAFSA Renewal
It's time to renew your 2012-2013 FAFSA form. New to the process is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which is only available two weeks after taxes have been electronically submitted to the IRS. This tool allows students to post the information from their parent's tax return directly into the FAFSA renewal form.

If a student's file was selected for a review process called verification by the Department of Education, certain documents need to be submitted to the Student Financial Services Office. Students will be notified via their SJC e-mail about what documents are needed. Students can also find this information by logging into MySJC, choosing the Financial Aid tab, clicking View Financial Aid Document Tracking, and selecting Award Year 2012-2013.

The 2012-13 Verification Worksheet can be downloaded and printed on the student's MySJC account: select the Financial Aid Tab and download the appropriate form from the 2012-2013 Forms and Documents box on the right-hand side.
Dependent Verification Form: If a student is required to provide parental information on the FAFSA, they are considered a Dependent Student.

Independent Verification Form: If a student is not required to provide parental information on the FAFSA, they are an Independent Student.  

Financial Aid Award Packages
Returning students' 2012-13 financial aid packages will be reviewed after official spring grades have been posted to the transcript by the Office of the Registrar. An "incomplete" in any class will prevent review of the file until an official grade has been posted to the transcript.

Any financial aid file that remains incomplete after May 1, 2012 will be considered late and institutional funding will not be guaranteed. The family will be responsible for payment of their Saint Joseph College billed charges for the fall, due early August, if their file remains incomplete at that time.

Information about the financial aid process or status can be viewed any time by the student on MySJC. Any correspondence to the student from Student Financial Services will be sent to their SJC e-mail address.

If you have questions, contact the Student Financial Services Center at 860.231.5223, e-mail at, or stop by the office in Mercy Hall, room 219. The office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 


Rent-A-Text Saves Students $

Thanks to a new textbook rental program launched by Follett Higher Education Group, the College Bookstore saved students $103,700 on course materials this academic year. Students who shopped in-store or online using Rent-A-Text saved 50% off the cover price of the nation's most popular textbooks.

"With our new rental option, we helped a record number of students save on the cost of course materials and have rented more than 3,000 textbooks," said Tim Galligan, bookstore manager. "Because we offer so many choices for textbooks and are located right here on campus, we are the most convenient and cost-effective solution for students."

Students also saved by using CaféScribe, Follett's e-textbook and social networking platform, which supports more than 10,000 of the most popular textbooks and those recommended by faculty.

Learn more at and


Summer Happenings

Stay on Course! Summer Classes 2012
The 2012 summer course schedule includes a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, on-campus, and online courses. This is a great opportunity for your daughter to pick up a course and move ahead with her undergraduate degree, as well as to get started on a graduate degree.

Sessions run June-August and include the following academic disciplines: Accounting, Autism and Behavior Analysis, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Education, English, History, Art History, International Studies, Math, Marriage & Family Therapy, Management, Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Education, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Work, Special Education, and more. Students can view the entire course schedule on MySJC. Go to ==> Course Search tab ==> Course Search link ==> Summer 2012.

AIMI Camp: Dance with Jacques d'Amboise  
The annual Arts Integration through Multiple Intelligences (AIMI) Project will run July 5-21 and is open to children ages 9-13. AIMI focuses on dance taught by Jacques d'Amboise and the National Dance Institute staff. Participants attend dance workshops, create costumes and scenery, and join college students in a performance. AIMI also offers professional development opportunities for educators and students (both graduate and undergraduate). For information, contact Jill Mack at or 860.231.5335

ShakespeareOutdoor Shakespeare Festival
The Capital Classics Shakespeare Festival, in partnership with The Carol Autorino Center, will present Twelfth Night, July 26-August 12, 2012. A professional company of players will perform in the sunken garden of the Autorino Center (rain location: the adjacent Hoffman Auditorium). Pre-show entertainment includes: a madrigal quartet, the Elizabethan Consort; stage combat demonstrations; lectures; and more. Tickets ($15 adults, $10 students, SJC students free) are available at the door or via: or 860.231.5555. Bring a picnic, lawn chair, blankets and friends! For more information, visit

Blue Jay Basketball Camp
Enjoy a week-long session of basketball training and fun! The camp runs from June 25-29 and is open to children ages 8-14. Coaches Bill Cardarelli and Debbie Fiske lead a team of area coaches and players who provide quality instruction. Space is limited so apply soon. Contact Debbie Fiske at 860.231.5423 or


Change in E-mail and Web Address

When Saint Joseph College becomes University of Saint Joseph on June 8, 2012, the web site changes to; all e-mail correspondence converts to

The College's Facebook pages will also change. Please search "University of Saint Joseph, CT" on Facebook to join our new pages. 
Contact Info
Laura Sheehan, Manager of Creative Services
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Joseph College
1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117