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Nyack News

Thursday, October 23--Velocity! Debuts at Nyack Rockland School of Music

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Tuesday October 21, 2014

Nyack College Rockland campus School of Music announces the debut of a new faculty music ensemble--Velocity! in a concert on Thursday, October 23 at 8:00 pm in Pardington Hall, 45 South Boulevard in Nyack.

The woodwind quartet features four Rockland professors--(l-r) Donna McGowan, bassoon; Jennifer Graham, oboe; Dennis Dougherty, clarinet; and Marie Herseth Kenote flute.

The program will feature works of Haydn, Rutter, Arnold, Skolnik, and Goepfart.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

For more information, contact the School of Music office at 845.675.4688 or visit the Schcool of Music Facebook page.

Unearthing Magdala--Nyack College Conference for Interfaith Scholars

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Monday October 20, 2014



Contact:    Constance Diggs





Interfaith Scholars Gather for Inaugural U.S. Conference

New York, NY --- On October 20, 2014, Nyack College in partnership with the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, will host a diverse gathering of scholars and dignitaries in an afternoon conference focused on the discoveries unearthed in the excavations of Magdala.  The conference will be held from 4:00–7:30 pm at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian with livestreaming.

Hidden for centuries on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee, the unexpected archaeological discovery of Magdala, presumed to be the city of Mary Magdalene, includes the ruins of a first-century synagogue (one of seven known to exist and the only one situated in Galilee), ritual immersion baths, evidence of a fishing industry, and other artifacts.  The archaeological site is one of the most important historical and interfaith finds of the century, and is a location where experts say Jesus likely traveled and taught.   

The importance of the site was underscored on May 28, 2014 when Pope Francis, while in Jerusalem, blessed the tabernacle for the beautiful new chapel at the Duc in Altum Center in Magdala, the first consecrated holy site in the Holy Land in the new millennium.  His blessing followed upon that of Pope Benedict five years earlier, when he blessed the cornerstone for the project.

“The ruins of Magdala are a significant find for further understanding the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history,” said Dr. Michael Scales, president of Nyack College.  “Although this archaeological discovery has received attention in the press, Nyack College is privileged that this will be the first conference in the U.S. to give central profile to this important site. We are proud to partner with the Center for Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins to facilitate this important scholarly gathering.”  On special exhibit during the event will be a full­‐scale facsimile of the incised stone object found in the synagogue – considered one of the most important incised works of stone art ever found in Israel.

“Perhaps the most significant discovery at Magdala is its synagogue,” describes Dr. R. Steven Notley, director of Nyack’s recently launched graduate program in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins. “Within the walls of the synagogue at Magdala was found a stone artifact, engraved with distinct images – some recognizable but others in question – that gives students of Judaism, early Christianity, and ancient art a tangible piece of religious history from the late Hellenistic and Roman periods.  The discoveries are also an opportunity to pause and reflect on Magdala’s most iconic citizen – Mary Magdalene – and her place in varied Christian traditions.”

The conference speakers represent a rich array of ecumenical and faith traditions. R. Steven Notley (Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Nyack College) will present an overview of the historical and geographical setting of Magdala during the late Hellenistic and Roman periods. Steven Fine (Dr. Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University) will speak to the importance of Magdala’s synagogue, one of only seven first-­century synagogues known in Israel. As a cultural historian, Fine’s presentation will join the scholarly discussion regarding the meaning and significance of the stone’s imagery within first-century Judaism. John McGuckin (Nielsen Professor of Early Church History, Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies, Columbia University) will introduce the Galilean city’s most famous resident, Mary of Magdala, and the traditions that surround her in Eastern Orthodoxy. Roberta Ervine (Professor of Armenian Studies, St. Nersess Theological Seminary) will discuss the Magdalene in Armenian Orthodox tradition. Sarah Wilkins (Visiting Professor of Art History, Pratt Institute) will provide a visual journey of the Magdalene liturgical cycle in Late Medieval art. Father Eamon Kelly (Order of the Legionaries of Christ, Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame of Jerusalem) will conclude the conference by highlighting the importance of Magdala in Christian pilgrimage, Mary Magdalene and the modern site’s emphasis on interfaith understanding and the dignity of women.

About Nyack College

Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson and currently serves more than 3,100 students in its undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. In addition to its suburban campus in Nyack, NY and a city campus in Manhattan’s historic Battery Park, an extension site is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

About the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins

The Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins was established to foster greater understanding of the cultural, linguistic and physical settings for nascent Christianity, and their influence on the socio-religious message of the New Testament. Because of its commitment to making current research available to students, clergy, and wider public audiences, CS-AJCO hosts regular events and forums in partnership with Nyack College’s graduate programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins

RELEASE: Official Nyack Statement on Ebola

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Monday October 20, 2014

Ebola Virus Disease Information - Week of Monday, October 20, 2014:

In consultation with the World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nyack College is monitoring the Ebola virus that began in Guinea, West Africa in March 2014.

There are no cases of Ebola within our campus community. However, as a precaution, Nyack College is communicating with all students, faculty and staff to convey the CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel to the affected countries as determined by the CDC. Nyack College is not offering any Global Service-Learning (GSL) programs to these countries. The GSL program to Burkina Faso in January 2015 has been canceled.

While some cases have been reported in the United States, there have been no reported cases in Rockland County or New York City. Information about the Ebola virus and the areas affected is available on the CDC website.
What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that has five viral species.  Each species is named after the country or area where it was first discovered.  Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

Fever (greater than 100°F)
Severe headache
Muscle pain
Abdominal (stomach) pain
Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

How do you get Ebola?

Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.  Body fluids include: blood, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, saliva for example. Ebola is not an airborne disease.
Objects contaminated with the virus. For example, eating utensils, needles, medical equipment.
From an infected individual only when they are exhibiting symptoms such as a fever.

What is the treatment for Ebola?

Currently there is no treatment.  Symptom support through good nutrition and intravenous fluids has been the most successful.

Traveling Domestically and Internationally - Current International Students

Between the Rockland Campus and Manhattan Campus, Nyack College has less than a 1% population of students that are African nationals, and many of them have not returned to their home country since starting classes at Nyack College. However, all students attending Nyack College with an F-1 Visa are required to request permission from the designated school officials to return to their home country. Permission to students from West Africa will be weighted carefully given current conditions in their home country and the CDC’s recommendations.

Travel Limitations

Nyack students, faculty, and staff may not travel for study abroad, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting or athletic competitions in the West African nations under CDC travel warnings (the list may change, so see CDC website for countries covered by current travel advisories). The GSL program to Burkina Faso in January 2015 has been canceled.

Travel for personal reasons to countries under CDC travel warnings is strongly discouraged.

Hosting visitors from countries under CDC travel warnings for personal or Nyack-related purposes is strongly discouraged.

Recommendations for Travel Arrangements

Inherent in travel come delays, security checks, and possible contact with other ill passengers.  In the last months, weeks and days there have been new developments and differing messages regarding the spread and severity of Ebola in the US. Most travel itineraries have no or low risk of being exposed to Ebola.  However, here are recommendations that can assist the campus community in traveling safely and staying healthy while traveling.

Health Services recommends that all travelers observe the following general hygiene practices:

Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, including frequent hand washing with soap and water.
Avoid close contact with ill persons and especially with blood and body fluids, including items that may have come in contact with blood or body fluids.

Travel etiquette

Currently numerous domestic and international airports are screening individuals for fever and travel itineraries.  You should be ready for delays. 
Ensure that you have contact information for the people that you may be meeting so as to warn them of your delay.
Ensure that your phone has enough battery for these long delays.
Make sure that you have all of your travel documents in order and up to date so as not to deter your travel plans even more.
If you have a chronic disease, such as diabetes make sure that you have medication and food with you in case of elongated delays.
Ebola is a serious disease.  Authorities take it seriously.  It is extremely inappropriate to make light of the situation while standing in a security line or on the airplane.  You may find your travel plans delayed even further.
If you are ill, especially with a fever of greater than 100oF, it is inappropriate for you to travel.  As much as you may want to get to your final destination, you put not only yourself at risk, but also other passengers with your illness.

Return travel:

Although the risk of transmission during air travel is low, students, faculty and staff who return to campus following international travel should be aware that travelers from countries classified as Category 1 may be detained at the US borders and should check current policies related to their travel by asking their travel agent or referring to the US Department of Travel.

If you return from a domestic or international destination and are experiencing fever, diarrhea, cough, vomiting you must visit your health provider’s office.  If you have traveled to a Category 1 country or have family and friends that have, it is required that you report to one of the below departments.  It is best that you inform us via phone or email before you come to the office so that we serve you promptly and protect other ill students.

Health Services at 845-675-4596 or
Student Development at 845-675-4793 or
Auxiliary Services at 845-675-4500 or

As always, we continue to actively monitor the international health situation via local, state, and federal agencies and will post health-related updates on this page as necessary.

Reliable websites:

Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization


October 17: Nyack's School of Social Work and Community Connections for Youth Release Report

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Sunday October 12, 2014

Mayra Lopez-Humphreys, director of the Nyack College Master in Social Work program and associate professor in the Department of Social Work has facilitated a partnership with Community Connections for Youth (CCFY) and will present the South Bronx Community Connections (SBCC) report, “More Community Re-Investment, Less Youth Incarceration on Friday, October 17 from 8:30-11:00 a.m. in Room 2241 of Nyack College's Manhattan campus at 2 Washington Street, New York, NY.

South Bronx Community Connections (SBCC) is the first independently evaluated juvenile justice intervention built entirely on the strengths of local grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations. The initiative, launched with a 3-year $1.1 million grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) diverts youth who have been arrested from formal court intervention by connecting them to a network of positive adults and activities in their neighborhoods. 

CCFY has invited a dynamic panel of speakers. The first panel will consist of the individuals involved in the implementation of the project, including Rev. Rubén Austria and Nancy Jacobs, Executive Director Emeritus of the Center for Research & Evaluation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The second panel, moderated by Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Advisor to the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, will include Ana Bermudez, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Probation, Felipe Franco, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Youth and Family Justice at the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS), Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, Elayna Konsta, Chief Executive Officer, Office of Safety and Youth Development for the NYC Department of Education. They will discuss the implications of the evaluation for the field of juvenile justice.

A link will be posted on the Nyack College website on the day of the event to acess the live stream broadcast of the event.

For more information, contact Lydia Sierra, Development Director at or call 718-309-7800. Help spread the word about this exciting event.  Let us and others know you will be attending or watching online. Send a tweet to @CC4Y, visit CCFY on Facebook or online at .

Steinway Piano Dedication With Steinway & Sons President Ron Losby and CD-60 Biographer James Barron

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Thursday October 9, 2014


Contact:          Willa Shalit



Famous Steinway Concert Grand Takes Center Stage at Nyack College

This piano is a game-changing acquisition for Nyack’s School of Music  

with a biography by New York Times reporter James Barron

New York, NY—The Nyack College School of Music will host a program to dedicate its new Steinway concert grand piano on Thursday, October 9 at 6:00 p.m. on the Manhattan campus in Battery Park located at 2 Washington Street.

This piano is no ordinary instrument; it’s well-traveled, and has finally found a permanent home.  The evening will showcase the brilliance of internationally renowned pianist, Maestro Sergei Babayan. An exquisite trio performance of Nyack's artist-in-residence, Margrit Zimmerman; dean of the NYC campus School of Music, Dr. Sue Talley; and Dr. Tammy Lum, Rockland campus music professor will be another program highlight. Also in the spotlight will be Nyack alumna and mezzo-soprano Willana Mack, who performed on the 80th Academy Awards Show and in the Warner Brothers film, August Rush.                                                                

Steinway & Sons-Americas President, Ron Losby will be on hand to share remarks about the recent Nyack College acquisition. Says Losby, “We believe that all Steinway pianos have a unique story to tell, however this piano (the former CD-60) had its story told in an incredible way by New York Times reporter James Barron in his book, Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand. This handcrafted Steinway has a very distinguished provenance, and we are thrilled that it has found a permanent home in New York at such a great institution of higher learning.”

James Barron, who will also be among the celebrants applauding the arrival of “CD-60” to its new home, tells the piano’s captivating story from the dust of its timber frame to its emergence as CD-60.  It is a magnificent member of “the 300 or so grands in the fleet of pianos” loaned by Steinway to venues “for concerts, recitals, recording sessions, and television programs.” This piano was the 565,700th Steinway produced. "I've followed that one piano from the factory in Queens where it was made, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was a 'house' piano for concerts and recitals. Now it will be exciting to see the beginning of the next chapter in its life," shares Barron.

Acquiring CD-60 was the realization of a dream for Nyack College President Dr. Michael G. Scales. It’s an “exquisite instrument,” says Scales, “and it will enable us to communicate in a broad spectrum of genres—all in the universal language of music.”

The spotlight will be on the new Steinway during junior and senior recitals featuring piano performance students and as accompaniment for vocal student and faculty recitals.

Music major Gabriel Charles is also ecstatic about the new grand. He says, “As a piano performance major at Nyack College it is a great honor to be able to play such a wonderful instrument. This Steinway presents such an inspiration for me and motivates me to express myself through music on a higher level. I appreciate the honor and opportunity.”

Born in the Philippines and raised in a Muslim country where the opportunity for musical study was limited, Charmise Veraque moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue her education. She enrolled at Nyack after learning about the college through a friend of her mother’s. Charmise, who will perform her senior recital on the Steinway next spring, was influenced to change her major from music education to piano performance. “My Nyack experience has been amazing. I never saw myself as a performer, but Prof. Zimmerman has been a tremendous mentor who helped me find my way to the right decision.”


Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. A.B. Simpson, a socially-conscious pastor and educator. Nyack currently serves more than 3,100 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. More than 32,000 alumni of the college and its seminary serve in some 80 nations around the world. The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. Known for its diverse community where some 80 different faith traditions are represented and more than 60 different languages are spoken, in Nyack’s School of Music, the musical genres students study is equally diverse: classical, gospel, jazz, and Broadway.


Nyack’s School of Music was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) more than five decades ago and offers degree programs with concentrations in piano and vocal performance, sacred music, composition, and music education. The music faculty boasts national and international acclaim and many are alumni of such prestigious institutions as The Julliard School, The New England Conservatory, The Manhattan School of Music and The Eastman School of Music. These music educators are also performers who have graced concert halls and stages across the nation and abroad in China, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Russia.


Since 1853 Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value. Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world. For more information, visit



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