Distinguished Alumni Return for St. John’s College Homecoming Weekend Reception

July 10, 2019

St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences held an Alumni Award Ceremony and Reception on Friday, May 31, 2019 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery on the Queens Campus. The reception was part of an exciting roster of events for St. John’s University’s Grand Alumni Homecoming Weekend.

Honored guests joined Dean Jeffrey W. Fagen, Ph.D., to recognize the accomplishments of some of our most distinguished alumni. Outstanding artwork by Art and Design students in the 2019 Annual BFA Student Exhibition provided ambiance for the venue. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages were served, and the reception was followed by an after-party in Marillac Terrace. The event, which was well-attended, was free and open to all College alumni.

Joy Tiffani Copeland ‘15C – Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Ms. Copeland received her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Africana Studies. She is the founder and CEO of The Joy of Styling, which she started at age 21. She has completed a master’s degree in non-profit organizational management from the University of Maryland, and also works as an Application Support Specialist for 2U, a digital education company. Ms. Copeland serves on the board of Heart of Tabitha, an organization with the goal of motivating and promoting self-confidence in young women. 

Louis D’Isidori, DDS ‘52C – Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. D’Isidori received an undergraduate degree and his D.D.S. from the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. He also served as a captain in the United States Air Force. Originally planning to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. D’Isidori’s plans changed after meeting St. John’s Biological Sciences Professor Edward Keegan. Dr. D’Isidori recently pledged $1 million to establish The Virginia and Dr. Louis D’Isidori ’52C Partners for Student Success Fund at St. John’s. He also created a fund for a plaque in memory of Dr. Keegan at the entrance to a teaching laboratory in St. Albert Hall on the Queens campus. A first-generation college student, Dr. D’Isidori remains grateful for the scholarship money he received at St. John’s that allowed him to pursue his education. 

John P. McNicholas ‘60UC, ‘79PD – Distinguished Alumni Award

Mr. John McNicholas is a double graduate of St. John’s University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts from University College in Brooklyn and his Professional Diploma from the School of Education. Mr. McNicholas and his late wife Jane have two children: Catherine and the late John P. Jr.

A life-long educator, Mr. McNicholas had a distinguished career as a teacher and administrator in various public schools.  In addition, he was an adjunct professor at St. John’s and taught history classes in St. John’s College and the College of Professional Studies.  A master teacher and administrator, Mr. McNicholas was a gifted mentor to many former students and colleagues.

A loyal and generous alumnus, the McNicholas family established the John P. McNicholas Memorial Scholarship in 2009 to honor his late son.  Following in his father’s footsteps, John P. McNicholas, Jr. was a triple alumnus of St. John’s and earned his B.A., M.A. and J.D. respectively.  The endowed fund provides partial scholarships to St. John’s Law School students with preference given to those who have an interest in bankruptcy law.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the award of his Professional Diploma.

Jeffrey Froh ‘02G, ‘04Psy.D. – Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Froh is a Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University, where he has taught since 2006. He received his M.S. and Psy.D. in School Psychology from St. John’s University and his bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College. Dr. Froh is a New York State certified school psychologist, New York State licensed psychologist, Associate Fellow of the Albert Ellis Institute, past Associate Editor for The Journal of Positive Psychology, and founder and Clinical Director of the Positive Psychology Institute for Emerging Adults at Hofstra. He trains doctoral students in the cutting-edge therapeutic approach of positive clinical psychology. He also owns and operates the corporation Positive Psychological Counseling Services, LLC, where he specializes in psychotherapy for emerging adults. Dr. Froh is the co-editor of the book Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology: A Guide for Instructors (2013, American Psychological Association), which is translated into Japanese, and co-author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character (2014, Templeton Press), which is translated into Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. He received a 3-year $1 million grant from The John Templeton Foundation to study the measurement, development, and enhancement of gratitude in children and adolescents. He has nearly 60 publications on positive psychology, strengths, happiness, and well-being, among other topics, in top-tier journals and scholarly volumes, and he has given over 120 presentations on positive psychology related topics, such as happiness, gratitude, and purpose. His research has appeared in mainstream media such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. 

Joseph M. Scharfenberger, Jr. ‘69C – Distinguished Alumni Award

Mr. Scharfenberger is a former Executive Vice President of JPMorgan Chase & Co. After 30 years of recognized leadership and a proven track record of building and running successful businesses, he retired in January 2006. Mr. Scharfenberger joined The Chase Manhattan Bank in 1975 from the Burroughs Corporation as a product manager in Treasury and Security Services. He was promoted to Second Vice President in 1977, completed the Global Credit Training Program in 1979, and was named a Vice President in 1980. From 1980 to 1988, Scharfenberger served in various management positions (Client Executive, Team Leader, Division Executive) in the Domestic Banking Group. In 1988, he was named Senior Vice President and President of Chase Automotive Finance. In 1995, he was named Chief Operating Officer of Chase BankCard Services. After the merger with Chemical Bank in 1996, Scharfenberger was appointed Executive Vice President and Executive of Small Business Financial Services, the position that he held until his retirement.