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The CNR Alumni Newsletter is published to keep the alumni community informed of the latest news and events. 
CNR Alumni at Mercy College
MArch 22, 2022 update your contact info

Welcome to the CNR Alumni Newsletter!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, written 163 years ago about a period of time more than 230 years ago, is profoundly relevant to current times. As we prepare this Lenten season for the redemptive spirit of Easter, may we all experience the season of Light and the spring of Hope.

We hope you enjoy receiving and reading this issue of the CNR Alumni Legacy Newsletter. Based on the excellent feedback we have received from you we are continuing with our most popular columns, CNR Diary and Alumni Spotlight. This issue’s spotlight features Tiffani Blake, SAS ‘03.

In this issue we are also featuring something new… our CNR alumni authors. When we sent out the email “Calling all CNR authors”, we had no idea how much interest it would engender. To say we were pleased with the response is an understatement. And so, in this issue we present a list of CNR authors, who submitted a brief description of their books. This list features fiction and nonfiction prose of general reading interest to adults.

 We are also pleased to feature an original poem by alumna Ingrid Hazeldene Baptiste, GS ‘08, “Wisdom for Life”, which encapsulates beautifully our CNR Legacy. And finally in memory of Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, we close with her favorite prayer that she always carried with her.

  • Annalinda Pandolfi Ragazzo SAS ’74
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee


Spotlight Interview – Tiffani Blake, SAS '03


T.Blake FinalFrom her first visit to The College of New Rochelle, Tiffani Blake knew that CNR was for her.

She said: “I was immediately drawn in and attracted to the campus, to CNR as a Catholic institution, to its ‘family- oriented feel,’ and to academics.”  Once enrolled, Ms. Blake helped to build up the college community with her energetic, faith-driven leadership, fulfilling her varied roles with excellence. As student (SAS; GS); in Residence Life; as Director of Special Projects, and as Dean of Students, she embodied the hallmark of Ursuline education: “Serviam”, “I will serve.”

It was from her family that Tiffani first learned about what was important in life: faith in God, service to the community, respect for human dignity, and the importance of education. A first-generation college student, she flourished at CNR. Tiffani soon became an outstanding member of the college whose guiding principles confirmed hers. By her generous service, her concern for the dignity of all persons, her dedication to the empowerment of women, and her help in providing access and student success in higher education, Ms. Blake embodied the founding vision of The College of New Rochelle.  

She brought the best of CNR’s legacy with her when the college closed in 2019 and she joined the administration of the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) as interim Dean of Students. In her current position as Assistant Provost, Student Engagement and Development, her mandate reflects principles that informed all that she accomplished at The College of New Rochelle. These include: the importance of reaching out to persons in need, of respecting the dignity of women and men, of empowering marginalized populations, and of making higher education attainable. Ms. Blake confirmed the connection: “I found ways to weave CNR values into my work at NYIT.”

As she made the transition from CNR, Ms. Blake demonstrated that “Catholic Social teaching is transferrable to NYIT" through service learning (NYIT’s Experiential Education Office), in community service, and through the college’s Community Engagement Day.

The 40-year-old New York City native said in an interview that she is “thoughtful” in deciding how she gets involved in the wider community.  She chooses to invest her energies in missions “that align with the mission of CNR”. For example, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ursuline School, New Rochelle, Ms. Blake welcomes the opportunity to stay connected to the Ursuline charism. As a 20-year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., International, Tiffani is part of a group of women dedicated to “sisterhood, scholarship, and service”.

Ms. Blake affirms her life’s mission: “I try to be a change agent. I want to give back to the world what has been given to me.”

Tiffani Blake expressed the hope of each one of us who has been a part of the community of The College of New Rochelle: “All of us—alum, staff, and faculty—still carry the spirit of CNR and will continue to tell the story of CNR, not just verbally, but with how we live our lives.”

  • Susan Conte, O.S.U. ‘73
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee


"Wisdom for Life"

As I walked the stony paths to Hemlock Place
Stately willows guarded dogwood dressed in pink and white lace
Flowering in the seasons of summer and spring
When birds and butterflies eagerly come a calling.
Tree branches hang low sometimes kissing the grass
Creating shady places to study the arts,
The sciences, the healing of body and mind
Tranquil spaces to leave the cares of life behind.
Autumn's red and gold leaves lie thick on the ground
Until wind-tossed or scattered by feet hurrying along
Or by frolicking squirrels as they dart from tree to tree
Fallen leaves rising up like waves in a churning angry sea.
When winter arrived to spread blankets of fallen snow
From Mother Irene Gill library to classrooms we go
Bundled up to brave the sting of icy cold winds,
To gain wisdom our mission, so we dared not to flinch.
We gazed at Leland castle with its parapets and Gothic arch,
It’s turrets and latticed glass windows evoked a majestic past,
Of medieval times, the glory days of art, history, and literature,
While classroom learning sought to bridge past and present culture.
This was my training ground and of others who will
Carry the Nightingale lamp to the top of the hill,
Here budding nurses came with the greatest of expectations,
And Practiced nurses added degrees to RN qualifications.
Here scholarship and intellectual rigor took up residence,
This was the place for free thinkers and expected excellence.
‘Wisdom for life’ our Motto, a promise made and kept
At dear Collegium Novae Rupellae, a place we can never forget.

- Ingrid Hazeldene Baptiste, GS ’08  


CNR Diary, Volume 5


Thank you to the alums of all four CNR schools and each decade of graduation year who shared their memories for this issue of CNR Diary. We received a record-high number of entries and have grouped them in decade order. We encourage all e-newsletter readers to click here to open the diary entries to recall a similar experience or learn something new about what made CNR special to another alum.

- Pat Keegan Abels SAS ‘73
  CNR Alumni Communications Committee


CNR Alumni Authors


Celebrating CNR Alumni Authors

When the Communications Committee decided to seek out and celebrate CNR Alumni Authors in this March issue of the CNR Alumni Legacy Newsletter, we really didn’t know what to expect. To say we were overwhelmed by the response is an understatement. Our initial goal was to present authors of fiction and non-fiction books that would be of general readership interest. For that reason, our email requested that collections (poetry/short stories/ plays), textbooks, articles, children’s picture books, comic books, manga, and graphic novels not be included. However, we weren’t prepared for the submissions of books in the fields of education, psychology and sociology geared toward professionals in those fields. And so those materials do not appear in this list. It appears that there will be more lists in the future.

And so, in their own words we present our initial list of CNR Alumni Authors…

Please click here to see the list

  • Annalinda Pandolfi Ragazzo SAS ’74
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee

Survey for 2001-2019 Alumni

Many thanks to those who responded to the survey conducted in December for CNR graduates of the period 2001-2019.  The contact information gathered, along with other details, will help us better engage with you going forward.

Many individuals expressed an interest in knowing more about the CNR Legacy Council, the Alumni E-Newsletter, the Mercy/CNR Book Club, internships, and job opportunities.  Details about these activities were shared with this group in follow-up emails.

Some respondents expressed a willingness to sponsor a networking event or participate on a panel related to a particular area of interest.  As we move ahead, this information will be especially useful to the Legacy Council committees in developing programs for the alumni community.

  • Rosa Puleo Napoleone SAS ‘75
    CNR Alumni Communications Committee

Did you know?

CNR alumni who would like to hire an intern or post open positions at their place of business can visit the online job board, Handshake, to create an account that will enable them to post the related information about these opportunities for both CNR alumni and Mercy students/alumni. 

CNR Alumni can also search for job openings by creating an account on Handshake.

In either situation, please be sure to include “College of New Rochelle” as your school when registering.

Once alumni status is verified and the registration is approved, CNR alumni will have access to these functions on Handshake.

If any issues are experienced, or if there are questions, please contact or call us at 914-888-5254.


Reunion: Save the Date



SAVE THE DATE - Alumni Reunion 2022 - June 3-4 
All classes ending in 2s and 7s - mark your calendar and watch for further announcements! Click the image below for more information.

  CNR 2022 Reunion  



Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, O.S.U. Prayer


Sr. DA Kelly Prayer





Tech Corner  


To Rice Bowl, or Not to Rice Bowl? That is the Wet Cellphone Question

Did you get your cell phone wet and are you thinking about drying it in a bowl of uncooked rice?

You may or may not have heard this urban legend/life hack. What do the experts say? Depends on who you ask.

According to one expert with DE iPhone Repair: “Do not charge it. Do not plug it in to see if it works. If it’s on, electricity will flow, it will touch the water that’s inside and that’s when you fry the (circuit) board.”

Here are some recommendations from tech experts:

Immediately turn it off, remove the phone from the case and take out the SIM card. Leave the SIM card tray open. Remove any excess water from the exterior with a nonwoven, non-paper cloth.

Then your options are:

  • Place Silica Gel Packets under and on top of your cell phone- You find these in every new electronics box, medication and supplement bottles, sneakers, virtually anywhere. But if you are like me, you just throw them out. You can purchase these at a hardware store.
  • Air-dry on a counter (but NOT in your bathroom) for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Use a High-Tech Drying Service such as TekDry or DryBox. They put your phone in a special chamber, then various vacuum and heat technologies remove the water.

Why is the dry rice-filled bowl not suggested? There is a danger that dust or starch from the rice may find its way into the device’s very delicate circuitry.

Note, iPhones 7 and later models and some Android phones are water-resistant, so depending on how long and how badly your cellphone was submerged, it might be fine. But there is a difference between water-resistant, and waterproof. No cell phones are waterproof.

  • Noel Melliza
    Associate Director, CNR Alumni Relations and Special Events
Update Info

CNR Legacy Scholarship Update

In 2019, Mercy College established the CNR Legacy Scholarship with the generous support of CNR alumni and friends to help ease the future student debt burden, allowing students to focus on their education.

By making a gift to this scholarship, you will help deserving students earn a college degree and provide them with the opportunity to give back and serve their communities.

To learn about The CNR Legacy Scholarship Fund and to donate, click below or if you have any questions, please contact Tara Alfano SAS '02, GS '04, Director of Development - CNR at or 914-446-0207.


CNR Legacy Scholarship Fund



Mav Market

Mav Market at Mercy College is an inclusive and confidential environment where Mercy students, faculty, and staff can get wholesome foods and personal items. 

There are many ways you can support this initiative, whether it is through volunteerism, making a direct contribution, donating items or purchasing items off the Amazon and/or Target Wishlist. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Tara Alfano SAS '02, GS '04, Director of Development - CNR at or 914-446-0207.

Click here to learn more about Mav Market or Click here to make a direct contribution to support the Market.

mav market grocery


Mercy College is Hiring

Mercy College is always looking for talented, driven individuals to join as faculty or supporting staff.  

Click here for all open faculty and staff positions.


CNR Alumni Relations
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