Richard Sinatra, Ph.D. Feels Good About Helping Others

September 23, 2012

Richard Sinatra, Ph.D., is a man of many talents. In addition to serving as Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in St. John's The School of Education, he is the Director of The Reading and Writing Education Center, Chairperson of the Faculty Research Consortium and Project Director of After-School All-Stars, the enrichment program where children come onto the St. John's campus every summer from New York City housing development sites for academic and athletic enrichment.

Richard has been a part of the University family since 1976, and his enthusiasm is as strong today as when he first came to campus nearly four decades ago.

Vincentian Values
Richard particularly enjoys his role as Director of the Reading and Writing Education Center, an initiative that he created in 1980. The program utilizes graduate students from The School of Education to provide one-to-one training to help elementary, intermediate and high school students from the external community improve their reading and writing skills. Even though the cost involved is relatively nominal, Richard quickly became aware that financially burdened families were having difficulty taking advantage of the services their children desperately needed.

Seeing an opportunity to put his Vincentian values into action, Richard decided to do something about it.

"My wife Camille ('93PD) and I made a gift to St. John's to establish The Richard and Camille Sinatra Endowed Fund for The Reading and Writing Education Center," he says. "The principal doesn't get touched, and the University uses the interest that's generated every year to provide scholarships to children from families who want to be a part of this program but can't afford it. That way, we're able to help support children who come from a poverty background while leaving the principal intact to generate interest that we can use for scholarships every year."

And the feedback that he receives from these families is a welcome reminder that he's bringing the St. John's commitment to service into the community in a very real way.   

"Those letters are so heartwarming," he says, "and really make me feel good about what my wife and I did to help these students and their families get the skills they need to succeed."

Make a Gift
Richard is one of a number of St. John's professors who have established a scholarship at the University. If you would like to know whether one of your professors is among that group, please call Susan Damiani, Director, Office of Gift Planning at (718) 990-7562. She can also provide information about how you can make a gift to support one or more of these scholarships.