CusackBasketball program wins prestigious sportsmanship award

Men's basketball head coach Rob Sanicola '99 accepted the 2009-10 Collegiate Basketball Officials Association (CBOA) Schoenfeld Award presented to the college or university, which in the judgment of the CBOA membership, best exemplifies "the highest degree of sportsmanship, character, and ethics among their players, coaches and spectators." The award is the highest honor that CBOA annually bestows on any collegiate institution, and Saint Joseph's was one of only 11 area winners out of 330 Division III schools nationwide. The award for the New England East Region was given to the college at a ceremony held in Portland in October.

"It was a nice surprise," says Sanicola. "We spend a lot of time talking about character and doing things the right way. It's good that someone noticed, and it reinforces us as coaches to keep on talking about these topics."

Sanicola typically presents his team with a "thought for the day" to reflect on and talk about - and these can be quotes from Aristotle, Eleanor Roosevelt or Martin Luther King, Jr., on a wide range of topics including adversity, responsibility, dealing with failure, dealing with success and work ethic. These are topics related to basketball and life, Sanicola says, adding that when a player remembers something from the reflections and lets him know it resonated, it means a lot.

Field hockey team takes charge

The Saint Joseph’s College field hockey team, led by sixth-year head coach Rupert Lewis, cruised to the North Atlantic Conference championship game, but came up just shy of making the program’s first-ever NCAA National Tournament appearance this fall. The Monks, 13-6 overall and 7-0 in North Atlantic Conference play during the regular season, earned the top seed in the NAC Tournament for the second consecutive season, but fell to Husson University in the championship meeting by a 2-1 score.

St. Joe's had played particularly well in conference contests, as the Royal Blue hadn't suffered a NAC setback in over two seasons with a 19-1 record in league play since entering the conference in 2008.

Much of the team's success should be attributed to senior leadership, as the squad features a trio of fourth-year standouts. Tri-captain Alyssa Dunn is the backbone of a Monks' defense that leads the NAC in fewest goals allowed, while top scorers Courtney Rague and Kayla Nowell have combined to net 64 total points (24 goals, 16 assists) during their final campaign.

Monks' junior goalkeeper Meaghan Johnson played her finest season and has earned a pair of NAC Player of the Week honors, as well as an ECAC DIII New England Defensive Player of the Week nod, this fall.

Two energy grants received

The college has been awarded two grants in the past year to increase its energy efficiency. The funds were offered to businesses and nonprofits statewide from the Public Utilities Commission in Maine using federal stimulus money, and Saint Joseph's scored high on the competitive list of 64 organizations to receive them.

The first award for $46,540 allowed the college to install more efficient air handlers in the college's largest space, the Alfond Center gym. Both the office area and gym units are now modulated by the dynamic ventilation needs of the spaces, using sensors that detect carbon dioxide levels based on the occupancy levels in the spaces and respond to the ventilation needed.

The second grant of $22,325 will provide similar energy improvements in the Mercy Hall kitchen/cafeteria and Alfond Hall with carbon dioxide controls for the cafeteria air handler and improvements to kitchen hoods, along with carbon dioxide controls for three air handlers in Alfond Hall.

When combined with college matching funds, the funds approach $180,000 of energy efficiency improvements that will reduce the college's carbon footprint and provide extremely favorable financial payback.

Theology professor ordained as deacon

Dr. Daniel Sheridan, professor of theology and director of online theology degree programs, was ordained as a Catholic deacon in September by Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Portland. Sheridan says his commitment to his faith has taken him to a deeper level. "I want to be available to the Catholic community and to the Diocese in a way I've not been," he states.

"Deacon Sheridan is unique in our deacon community because his focus is academia," says Monsignor Charles Murphy, director of the diaconate for the Diocese. "He will have a unique presence both as a professor and as part of the ministry to students at the college as a deacon."

New runner takes conference crown

Sophomore Danielle Cusack of Portland, Maine, won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship with a 20:53 time in the 5K cross country meet held at St. Joe’s in her first season as a solo sport athlete. With the individual effort, Cusack, a first-year runner, earned dual conference honors as the GNAC Runner of the Year and Rookie of the Year. She is just the fifth individual in GNAC women’s cross country history to collect both awards.

Cross country coach Bruce Bickford says she has no weaknesses for someone who hasn’t really run before. “It’s amazing. You don’t see that.”

Bickford is also in his first year at St. Joe’s, after three years at Cheverus High School, four years at University of Southern Maine and Brandeis University for seven seasons. Bickford earned four NCAA Division I All- America honors at Northeastern University. He qualified for the Olympic trials for the 1980 Moscow games, which was boycotted by the United States, and served as an alternate runner on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team.

New admissions director brings experience in collegiate recruitment

Nikolas Ray of Windham has been promoted to the position of Director of Admissions at Saint Joseph's College. Ray previously worked in admissions at Thomas College and joined the admissions office at Saint Joseph's two years ago. He earned his bachelor's degree in management and his master's degree in business administration from Thomas College.