(from right to left) Cicely (Ying) Nie, Matthew Pucciarelli, and Christina Quartararo visit the University of Sanya, a partner institution in Hainan, China

St. John’s Global Initiatives Newsletter

Vol 1 | Issue 1

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the St. John’s Global Initiatives Newsletter!

Before I discuss the spirit connecting the remarkable work of colleagues institution-wide, I want to take a moment to recognize the challenges facing many of our partners, colleagues, and friends, particularly in China. More information on the University’s response to the Novel Coronavirus, along with additional resources and guidance, can be found here.  

This publication, coordinated by the Office of Global Programs, aims to serve as a hub for resources, information, and opinions about the international efforts of the University. In this first issue, I would like to consider the common framework that defines the work of colleagues throughout the University. 

In looking at our internationalization efforts, I first take stock of our good fortune. The “global” part of our institutional mission is firmly rooted in the impressive, enduring engagement with the world fundamental to our Vincentian identity and, by extension, infused throughout our University’s metaphorical DNA. 

Our heritage animates the St. John’s approach to international collaboration because it exhorts us to consider the centrality of human dignity as we, members of a community of educators and learners, seek solutions to the challenges of global poverty. Indeed, we might “field test” our ideas for alignment with our mission by asking ourselves the “Vincentian question”: What must be done?

In Vincent’s time, his patron’s inquiry led him to reconsider the role of the church in alleviating human suffering. Within our modern context of Vincentian internationalization, we should consider this question to be our ethical lodestar. Without it, our efforts are not unified or coherent, and we lack the tools needed to make informed decisions. After all, most universities welcome international students, benefit from an internationally minded faculty, and provide students with study abroad opportunities. At St. John’s, however, Vincentian internationalization implores us to do things differently, with greater intention and with deeper thought devoted to both expected and unintended outcomes. A mission-founded compassion, guided by spirituality, must guide our efforts. 

Through the stories in this newsletter, you find colleagues actively seeking answers to the Vincentian question on five continents. Despite the apparent differences in their methods, recurring themes emerge: that we provide study and service opportunities abroad centered on questions of poverty and access, many of which also prepare students for future careers; that we conduct research to seek out solutions to impoverished conditions; and that we work directly with communities to find out what they need, careful not to presume that we know the answer in advance.

To close, I will note the obvious: St. John’s is large and this newsletter is short. We are only able to share a few stories among many. We therefore encourage you to offer submissions for future editions. Most importantly, we welcome you to consider, with us, what Vincentian internationalization—that is, global engagement that asks what we must do to improve the world at our doorstep and beyond—would mean in our classrooms, research, departments, student organizations, and administrative units.


Matthew Pucciarelli, Ph.D. 
Associate Provost for Global Programs


L to R: Cicely (Ying) Nie, China and Asia Recruitment Manager, Office of Undergraduate Admission; Matthew G. Pucciarelli, Ph.D., Associate Provost; and Christina Quartararo, Executive Director, Inbound Programs, Office of International Education, visit the University of Sanya, a partner institution in Hainan, China.

In This Issue

Ozanam Scholars in Puerto Rico

Ozanam Scholars Program Helps Students Examine Global Role

Undergraduate students who receive an Ozanam Scholarship participate in one of the University’s most mission-centered programs.

Man and woman posing for picture

A Story Grows in Rural Uganda

Valeda F. Dent, Ph.D., Dean, University Librarian and Professor, University Libraries reflects on ten years of research in rural Uganda.

SOE people pose for a picture in a classroom

St. John’s University Education Majors “Storm” Rome

Since 2015, Em Maslak, Ph.D., Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in The School of Education (SOE), has served as the on-site professor and faculty lead for the school’s unique Rome semester program, an experiential education-based program centered on teaching in classrooms through the “Eternal City.”

Audiology student and Peruvian child

Audiology Students Offer a Helping Hand to Peruvian Ears

In January, 15 students and two clinical faculty members of the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium—a collaborative terminal degree program offered jointly by Adelphi, Hofstra, and St. John’s Universities—joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF) as part of their global-based hearing health care initiative, So the World May Hear.

CPHS students working in Jamaica

Global Experiences within the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

For Russell J. DiGate, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, international experience is central to a health sciences education.

Simon Møller talking to Fulbright Scholars

St. John’s First Stop for US Fulbright Grantees

Once again St. John’s and the Fulbright US Student Program collaborated to promote world peace and gain a deeper understanding and tolerance for others by preparing the 2019 US Fulbright grantees for their journeys to Western Hemisphere countries in a predeparture orientation.

International student in front of a TV monitor with St. John's statistics

12,498 Miles and Counting for International Graduate Student

Yisikandaier Aireti grew up in a remote town in the Uyghur region of China, where those who sought a good education had no other choice but to leave home.

Map with St. John's Logo over our campus location

Online Global Exchange Program Broadens Student Options

St. John’s University has launched a new initiative to expand global learning opportunities for students who may not have the interest and/or means to travel abroad.

Donna Reale (fifth from left) with Knitters

The Office of International Education Ties Creativity to Service in Appalachia

How Donna M. Reale's three-pronged approach of community service, creativity, and education helps her to realize the University mission in a small way.

GLOBE Student Fellows in Guatemala

GLOBE Expansion Marks 10th Anniversary

The Tobin College of Business is proud to announce that Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs (GLOBE), an academic microlending program, enters its second decade this year with an expansion into a seventh partner country.

International Spotlights – Fall 2019

International Spotlights – Fall 2019

Meet the students, faculty, and alumni who are making a difference around the world.

Soweto Kliptown Youth Foundation and St. John's flag

AS-L Projects Support the Soweto Kliptown Youth Foundation

S. Joshua Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy on his work with SKY, the Soweto Kliptown Youth Foundation, a small but remarkable grassroots community organization in the heart of the township.


This newsletter is the result of the hard work and diligent writing of contributors and editors from throughout the University, including Jane Barry, Associate Director, Vincentian Institute for Social Action; Carline Bennett, Director, Ozanam Scholars Program; Valeda F. Dent, Ph.D., Dean and University Librarian, University Libraries, and Professor, Division of Library and Information Science; Russell J. DiGate, Ph.D., Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Sr. Patricia Evanick, D.C., Campus Minister for Faith Formation and Leadership; Paulette Gonzalez, Executive Director, University Career Services; Rev. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M., Executive Director, Vincentian Center for Church and Society; Luca Iandoli, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Global Programs and Research, and Professor, Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Science; Ashleigh Kashimawo, Director of Public Interest Programming, St. John’s School of Law; Em (Mary Ann) Maslak, Ph.D., Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, The School of Education; Suzanne Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Diana J. Patino, Assistant Director, Administration and Student Activities, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Lucy A. Pesce, Executive Director for Mission and the Vincentian Institute for Social Action, Office of University Ministry; Zoe Petropoulou, Ph.D., Associate Professor of French, Department of Languages and Literature, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Donna M. Reale, Language Educator, Office of International Education; Linda M. Sama, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Joseph F. Adams Professor of Management, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business; Syd Steinhardt, Director of Communications and Marketing, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business; S. Joshua Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Bernadette A. Zacharuk, Secretary III, The School of Education. And special thanks to the “global” team—Susan D. Peterson, Associate Director, Inbound Programs, and Eyenit Santana, Executive Secretary, in particular—for collating, editing, wrangling, and just generally keeping us on track.