Congratulations to the Class of 2023

Photos by Leah LaRiccia

Saint Anselm College’s 130th Commencement was held on Saturday, May 20, celebrating 470 students who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The class of 2023 was conferred their diplomas during the ceremony, along with the college’s two graduate degrees, a 4+1 Master’s in Criminal Justice program with 15 students and the first-ever 4+1 Master’s in Education with licensure in special education with two students.

Students of the class of 2023 sitting at Commencement

Four distinguished educators and humanitarians received honorary degrees during the ceremonies, including commencement speaker Kenneth R. Feinberg, Esq., who was the administrator of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. A former chief of staff to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Feinberg specializes in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Other honorary degree recipients included Lawrence and Patricia Pascal, both members of the class of 1964 and longtime supporters of the college. 

During his time on the Hilltop, Larry Pascal studied history, played on the basketball team, and was a member of the Red Key Society. Later earning his J.D. from George Washington University, he is widely regarded as an authority on workers’ compensation laws. Patricia Pascal graduated from the nursing program and worked in the surgical intensive care unit at North Shore Hospital before later working as a public health nurse in Washington, D.C. The Pascals were bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. 

Sr. Jane Gerety, R.S.M., Ph.D., also received an honorary degree. Sr. Jane, whose career in health care and education embodies the values of her Catholic order, the Sisters of Mercy, was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

The student speaker was Meghan Contraro ’23, a nursing major and member of the women’s lacrosse team. During her remarks, she held a copy of The Rule of Saint Benedict as she reminded her classmates how they were just figuring out college life when Covid-19 forced colleges and universities across the country to transition to remote instruction. The challenges posed by the pandemic strengthened the class, she said.

Megan Cotraro '23 delivering the her address at Commencement
Student speaker Meghan Contraro ’23

Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., ’71, the Chancellor of Saint Anselm College, presented Finance Major Kevin Jordan and Alicia Kelley, a Natural Sciences Major, with Chancellor’s Awards for the highest grade-point average of 4.0.

During the ceremonies, the college’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) presented the 2023 Distinguished Faculty Award to Dr. Peter Josephson of the Politics Department, citing his positive relations with colleagues and students, and concern for humanity.

On the day prior to Commencement, the Senior Honors Convocation recognized the academic achievement of individual members of the undergraduate graduating class. The awards ceremony was followed by the Baccalaureate Mass, with Abbot Mark and the Benedictine monks celebrating the graduation of the class of 2023.

Following Commencement, a military commissioning ceremony was held for four members of the Class of 2023. Cameron Barbone, Kate Macaluso, Liam Reeve and Joseph Walker were commissioned 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Also recognized was Zachery Martin ’23, who will be commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force at a later date.

To read the full remarks of the commencement speakers, view more photos and the simulcast of the event, visit

College Welcomes Inaugural Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Diane Uzarski was appointed the inaugural dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She began her new role on July 24.

A highly regarded healthcare leader at Duke University, Dr. Uzarski brings diverse nursing career and experiences in research and academic healthcare leadership to this important role as the college launches a School of Nursing and Health Sciences and begins construction on a $35 million facility.

“We were fortunate to have many high-caliber candidates interested in this position,” said Saint Anselm College President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D. “With a dynamic career in nursing, public health and research at a top-tier university, Dr. Uzarski brings the skill and experience we were seeking to help grow our exceptional nursing program.”

Dr. Diane Uzarski

Saint Anselm nursing has a strong reputation in New England, with students consistently outpacing the national average on the NCLEX licensure exam and finding placements in some of the top hospitals in the country. The new School of Nursing and Health Sciences, which launched July 1, will position the department for growth in graduate programs, community collaborations and more. Saint Anselm’s new public health and health sciences majors also will be housed at the new school.  

Dr. Uzarski serves as the Senior Staff Director of Strategy and Planning for the Duke University School of Medicine’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, in addition to holding a clinical associate faculty appointment at the Duke University School of Nursing. She earned her B.S. in Healthcare Administration from Iona College; a M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley; and a D.N.P. from Duke University. Her healthcare career spans more than 35 years.

During her five-year tenure serving as chief of staff in the Dean’s Office at Duke University School of Nursing, she led the implementation of the school’s five-year strategic plan and the leadership of multiple mission-driven strategic initiatives. 

“I’m truly honored to have this unique opportunity to build upon the rich history and reputation of Saint Anselm nursing, and bring the public health and health sciences programs into the fold to create the college’s first school,” she said. “Together with the exceptional team of the nursing and health sciences faculty and staff, we will provide all nursing and health sciences students with diverse interprofessional, community-based experiences to prepare them to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities, and address our most pressing healthcare and societal challenges.”

Dr. Uzarski will work collaboratively with the undergraduate nursing program, the Continuing Nursing Education program, and the leadership of the public health and health sciences programs, developing and implementing the vision, mission and strategic plan of the new School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Additionally, she will work closely with senior leadership on marketing, fundraising, and publicly representing the new school. 

“I look forward to Dr. Uzarski joining the academic leadership at Saint Anselm,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheila Liotta, Ph.D. “She is well-prepared to support our distinguished nursing program and our dynamic new programs in public health and health sciences through existing and new initiatives, both on campus and in the community. This is an exciting moment for the college.”

Saint Anselm Receives $2.8 Million in Federal Support

Saint Anselm College was awarded funds as part of the congressionally directed spending in the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill signed December 29, 2022 by President Biden. The college is slated to receive:

  • $600,000: For the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, Campus Ministry, and Saint Raphael Parish to coordinate and deliver programs that connect refugee and immigrant families with services like childcare, health care, mental health services, job training and financial assistance. Funds also could be used to renovate an existing community center to include a computer lab, classroom space, outdoor community space and an updated kitchen and food pantry.
  • $2.2 million: Toward the construction of a state-of-the-art nursing and health sciences facility to support the college’s new School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Saint Anselm College President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D., thanked New Hampshire’s congressional delegation for supporting these community-centric proposals.

“This funding will help advance two areas of strength and distinction for Saint Anselm, and clearly align with our ‘Vision 2025’ strategic initiatives,” he said. “My thanks to (New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director) Neil Levesque for working closely with our congressional delegation to include our requests. It is a wonderful way to end 2022 and begin 2023.”

President Favazza had announced plans last year to establish a School of Nursing and Health Sciences for the college’s nationally acclaimed nursing program. The new learning facility is estimated to cost between $25 and $30 million and would include nursing simulation labs, high-fidelity patient simulators, classrooms, and student collaboration spaces. 

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas made the nursing building request on behalf of the college. “I am proud to have worked closely with community leaders across the First District to deliver targeted funding for these important priorities, and I will continue to advocate for the needs of our state in my work in Washington,” Rep. Pappas said.

Monk watches as a worker in Davision prepares food.
Photo by Jason Kolnos

The Meelia Center works closely with the greater Manchester community on a wide variety of initiatives, from an annual holiday fair, this year attended by 327 families, to Access Academy, which this fall provided an opportunity for 119 Manchester School District students to participate in college-level classes taught by Saint Anselm students and faculty. The Office of Campus Ministry is at the heart of the college’s spiritual life and operates many off-campus service and solidarity missions. Saint Raphael was founded by the Benedictine monks of Saint Anselm Abbey in 1888 to serve German and Irish immigrants and continues as a parish in the West End of Manchester sponsored by the Benedictines to this day.

The coordinated effort to connect refugee and immigrant families with important community services is a significant part of the mission of the Meelia Center, Campus Ministry and Saint Raphael. The funds will be used to support staff and renovations to Saint Raphael’s community center. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, championed the college’s immigration and refugee funding.

New Hampshire Zoning Atlas Unveiled

Max Latona unveiling the NHZA
Photo by Kim Casey

The Center for Ethics in Society at Saint Anselm College, in a combined effort with New Hampshire Housing and the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs, recently launched the New Hampshire Zoning Atlas. Inspired by the work of Sara Bronin and the National Zoning Atlas project, Max Latona, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Ethics in Society, spearheaded the project.

“Ever since we started the Housing We Need initiative at the Center for Ethics, we have been aware that exclusionary zoning is one of the primary culprits in the affordable housing crisis—causing hardship for individuals, families, and employers across the state,” said Latona. “We hope the atlas can help move the needle at the state and local level to ease the shortage of affordable homes.”

A team of nearly 20 people, including the leadership team, contracted specialists, and student interns, worked together to organize, digitize, and share New Hampshire’s zoning regulations. After 16 months of research and combing through 23,000 pages of data, the New Hampshire Zoning Atlas officially launched on May 9. The atlas was unveiled to stakeholders at a special event, in which the leadership team demonstrated the online tool, explained the methodology, and showcased key findings. Currently, New Hampshire is the third state in the nation to have a complete online repository of housing-related zoning regulations.

Rob Dapice, executive director of New Hampshire Housing offered welcoming remarks and stated that “the creation of the New Hampshire Zoning Atlas is a turning point” in New Hampshire’s housing history. Communities, policymakers, and researchers now can quickly navigate through the complicated maze of zoning regulations.


The information provided by the NH Zoning Atlas offers the first comprehensive look at zoning across the state, so communities can have conversations about creating meaningful solutions to the housing crisis. The atlas is policy-neutral tool to be used for analysis and as a catalyst for engagement by citizens.

The project included 10 student interns from colleges around the country, whose hometowns are in New Hampshire. It also included Saint Anselm students Thomas Donovan ’24, Carolyn Hill ’22, Donald Jepsen ’22, and Jacob Akey ’24.

Zoning was initially created to protect public health, safety, and welfare. After the housing booms in the 1970s and 1980s however, zoning evolved to prevent growth, and to exclude all housing except single family homes on large lots. In communities across New Hampshire, layers of regulations have made it difficult to build smaller affordable housing units such as apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and starter homes on small lots. During a panel discussion at the launch event, industry experts explored reasons for these changes and how the “not in my back yard” (NIMBY) mentality impacts communities.

The project was made possible by many generous grants. Major sponsors included: New Hampshire Realtors, Evernorth, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and the Charles Koch Foundation. At present, the plan is to update the atlas annually and to preserve previous data sets to provide critical information on the formal legal treatment of housing development in the Granite State. Visit the New Hampshire Zoning Atlas:

NHIOP Bookmark Series Hosted CNN Political Analyst John Avlon

CNN Political Analyst John Avlon visited campus this spring as part of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Bookmark Series. He participated in a moderated discussion with history professor Hugh Dubrulle on his most recent book, Lincoln and the Fight for Peace (Simon & Schuster, 2022).

During the evening, Avlon explored President Lincoln’s vision for peace and the fundamental importance of character when leading the nation. “Lincoln is one of the only historical figures that doesn’t disappoint upon closer inspection. And I think that’s because his greatness is directly tied to his goodness,” said Avlon. “He is genuinely a kind man. And that’s a quality we don’t celebrate enough.”

Hugh Dubrulle and John Avalon at the NHIOP
Photo by Gil Talbot

The most serious question for statesmen to contemplate, according to Avlon, is how to prevent conflicts reigniting from the ashes of the past. “If you don’t win the peace, you don’t really win the war,” he explained. 

Professor Dubrulle directed the conversation with several questions about the book and moderated a lively Q & A session with the audience. The correlation between the Civil War and current events was a captivating comparison. Both Professor Dubrulle and Avlon underscored the theory that studying the past can enable the country not to duplicate previous mistakes.

“Avlon’s main point is that in our hyper-partisan times, we would do well to refer back to Lincoln’s plans for Reconstruction after the Civil War which stressed winning the peace through reconciliation,” said Dubrulle. “That reconciliation was to be attained through moderation and magnanimity—but a moderation that was unyielding and a magnanimity that was issued from a position of strength.”

Avlon also pointed out to the audience that much of what Lincoln is revered for today, he was also respected for during his lifetime. “The nickname ‘Honest Abe’ was not something given to him after he died—he was known as Honest Abe in his own time because he had a reputation for profound honesty and credibility,” he said. “He had enormous powers of empathy.” 

The event included several Kevin B. Harrington Ambassadors who volunteered in a variety of roles, including communication and history double major Jillian Dorazio ’24, who gave opening remarks. 

“I really enjoyed doing the introduction for this event and being able to attend, especially considering the historical dimensions of the topic and it’s connection to modern day politics,” said Dorazio. “Avlon stated that our revered historical figures are much more interesting when taken off of the pedestal we so often place them upon; we gain a lot more insight if we understand that Lincoln and others are flawed, multifaceted individuals.”

The Reverend Father Titus (Michael) Phelan, O.S.B. ’12 Ordained to the Priesthood

The Reverend Father Titus (Michael) Phelan, O.S.B. ’12, a member of the Saint Anselm monastic community, was ordained to the priesthood by The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in the Saint Anselm Abbey Church. The culmination of years of monastic formation and seminary studies, Father Titus now takes his place in the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

The Reverend Fr. Titus (Michael) Phelan, O.S.B. ’12, left, with The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, and The Right Reverend Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. ’71. Photo by Kevin Harkins
The Reverend Fr. Titus (Michael) Phelan, O.S.B. ’12, left, with The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, and The Right Reverend Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. ’71. | Photo by Kevin Harkins

Father Titus was presented for ordination by The Right Reverend Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. ’71, Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey.

During the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Libasci offered words of instruction and encouragement: “My son, you are now to be advanced to the order of the presbyterate. You must apply your energies to the duty of teaching in the name of Christ, the chief Teacher. Share with all mankind the word of God you have received with joy. Meditate on the law of God, believe what you read, teach what you believer, and put into practice what you teach.”

Following the Litany of the Saints, the Laying on of Hands, and the Prayer of Ordination, Father Titus was invested with the priestly stole and chasuble by Abbot Mark.

Father Titus completed his seminary studies by earning a master’s in theological studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Brighton, Mass.

Reflecting on his ordination, Father Titus noted, “I am deeply grateful for the many prayers and words of encouragement from my family, friends, and monastic community. I am looking forward to serving the College community and the wider Church in a new way.”

On Sunday, April 16, 2023, Divine Mercy Sunday, Father Titus celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving in the Saint Anselm Abbey Church. The Very Reverend Father Arthur Proulx, V.F., a priest of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, served as homilist. Fr. Proulx was the pastor of the parish in Florida at which Fr. Titus worked before joining the monastery.

Father Titus is a native of Swampscott, Mass. He graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2012 with a degree in Politics and with minors in Catholic Studies and Spanish. He completed the Echo program, receiving a master’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. Before entering the monastery, he served as a college campus minister and high school theology teacher. Father Titus currently serves as the coordinator for Academic Support and Student Programming at Saint Anselm College. This fall he will begin a Master’s in Spanish at Bowling Green State University.

Brother Amadeus Cundiff, O.S.B’s Transfer of Stability Accepted

Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71 and Br. Amadeus Cundiff, O.S.B. Photo by Father Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10
Photo by Fr. Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10

On Tuesday, December 20, 2022, Brother Amadeus Daniel Cundiff, O.S.B.’s petition to transfer his vow of stability to Saint Anselm Abbey was accepted by the monastic chapter. Brother Amadeus comes to us from Mary, Help of Christians Abbey in Belmont, N.C. He began a period of probation before transferring his stability in 2020. The transfer of the vow of stability is provided for in Chapter 61 of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Brother Amadeus is a native of Denton, Tx. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Dallas in 2015. He took vows as a Benedictine monk in 2014. He currently serves Saint Anselm College as an adjunct professor in the philosophy department and as an assistant in the Geisel Library.

Father Anthony Andreassi, C.O. Received as a Postulant

Fr. Anthony Andreassi and Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B.
Photo by Fr. Francis McCarty, O.S.B. ’10

On January 7, 2023, Father Anthony Andreassi, C.O. was received into our community as a postulant by Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71. Father Anthony comes to our community from Brooklyn, N.Y. where he is a member of the Brooklyn Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. Father Anthony was ordained to the priesthood in 2007 and earned a doctorate in history from Georgetown University. He previously served on the faculty at Regis High School in Manhattan including four years as Principal. 

Keith Dickson Achieves Historic 700th Win

With a thrilling 65-64 victory over New Haven on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, legendary Head Coach Keith Dickson of the Saint Anselm men’s basketball program reached 700 career victories in a career that dates back 37 years.

Keith Dickson speaking to the Saint Anselm Men's Basketball team during a game against Saint Mike's

Dickson is currently the longest-tenured men’s basketball head coach in the college’s history, mentoring hundreds of student-athletes since coming to the Hilltop as an assistant men's basketball coach and the head women's soccer coach in May 1985.

The winningest men’s basketball coach in Northeast-10 Conference history, Dickson has maintained a constant presence on the Hawks sideline since his promotion in May 1986. The five-time NE10 Coach of the Year was named one of the league’s “Top 40 Outstanding Individuals in 2020,” recognizing his role in making the conference the basketball power it is today.

When viewing his career on a national level, Dickson has few peers. 

  • Fifth among active NCAA Division II head coaches in victories (700)
  • 16th among active NCAA head coaches (any division) in victories (700)
  • One of five active NCAA head coaches (any division) with 700 victories at one institution (Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Steve Ridder, Embry-Riddle; Tom Klusman, Rollins; Brian Baptiste, UMass Dartmouth)

There’s a statistic for most every accomplishment in the sport of basketball, but it is impossible to measure the impact Dickson has made on the lives of those touched by his friendship, leadership, and mentorship.