First Hudson Link/Nyack College Graduation at Taconic Correctional Facility
Nyack College alumnus Sean Pica (’01) executive director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison was joined by Nyack College President Michael Scales, Nyack Provost Dr. David Turk, and Nyack faculty, Prof. Cynthia Dorsey and Prof. Jamila Wright for a historic moment at the Taconic Correctional Facility: it was Graduation Day! Since 2008, college level courses at the medium security women’s prison in Bedford Hills, NY have been offered through collaboration between Hudson Link and Nyack. On Wednesday, January 24, the associate of arts degree was awarded to six students. Four women earned a Nyack College degree and two earned a Marymount Manhattan College degree. Thirty-nine other students, professors and staff cheered on the graduates. During the ceremony, students who are completing college level courses were awarded certificates of achievement.
Executive Director Pica commented, “Since the beginning of the program, the students have proven to be remarkable in so many ways.” Celebrating with the graduates, their children and other relatives were facility staff and officers as well as the current and former Commissioner of Corrections and their entire executive team.
During his remarks, President Scales called relatives from the audience to join the graduates at the podium. He paid particular attention to the children and encouraged them by applauding the mothers, remarking “They did it and you can do it, too!” He was equally gracious in recognizing the two Marymount graduates.
Not only did Dr. Scales emphasize the importance of each person who journeyed with the graduates over the course of the program, but he extended another ingratiating gesture. The Nyack grads were invited to walk across the stage with the Class of 2018 at the Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary commencement ceremony in May at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.
Photo credit: Babita Patel
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