Say hello to the new president at St. Francis College, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Saenz. He is the 19th to serve in that capacity in the school’s 160-year history. He will begin this September and takes over from Interim President Timothy J. Houlihan, who served after the death of Brendan Dugan last December.
Prior to coming to St. Francis, Dr. Martinez-Saenz hailed from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, where he was the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
“When we set out to find a new president, we looked for a champion of the Franciscan values of kindness and service; someone who also brings deep academic experience, solid leadership skills, and an accomplished track record,” said Denis Salamone, chairman of the selection committee.
“President Martinez-Saenz is a rising star in the academic world,” added John Tully, chairman of the Board of Trustees.
“Going to college is only meaningful if colleges deliver what they promise,” said Dr. Martinez-Saenz. “Higher education is in the middle of a major transition, being re-imagined and re-conceptualized to meet the demands of a changing globe. I look forward to working with the professors, students, administrators, alumni, and friends of St. Francis College to determine the best way for us to grow, change and lead.”
St. Francis College [180 Remsen St. at Court Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 489–5200].
Three cheers to Jonathan Munez, a senior at Good Shepherd’s South Brooklyn Community High School, who was selected as a 2017 Curtis Scholar by the Global Citizen’s Foundation. He is the only student from New York City and State to receive the honor and has won a trip with Global Citizen to South Africa.
Jonathan struggled his first time around in high school before he dropped out and temporarily relocated due to Superstorm Sandy. He’s getting his second chance at graduation through one of Good Shepherd’s transfer schools, and dreams of making it out of poverty so he can come back and help his community.
Standing O wishes Jonathan good luck and safe travels.
Good Shepherd’s South Brooklyn Community High School [173 Conover St. at Dikeman Street in Red Hook, (718) 422–1900].
Three cheers to the Spellbound Theatre, the only theatre exclusively for young people from birth to age 5, for being honored with the American Alliance for Theater and Education’s Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award.
Spellbound received the honors on Aug. 5 at a conference held in New Orleans, La.
The annual award honors a theatre company serving young audiences that has been in operation for less than five years, has attained a high level of artistic production, and possesses sound management practices while having stimulated community interest in its endeavors. It is named in honor of Winifred Ward, often considered the “mother of creative drama.”
Spellbound joins past prestigious winners including Honolulu Theatre for Youth in Hawaii; Childsplay, Inc. in Arizona; the Dallas Children’s Theatre in Texas; and Metro Theater Company in Missouri.
The Park Slope theater company has created original theatre for young children, and hosts educational family programs that help children and their grown-ups play together. The company performs a public performance season at the Old Stone House and has been chosen as a two-time New Victory Theatre LabWorks Resident Artist Ensemble.
Additionally, the company supports an education and outreach program that includes Free Family Arts Days, which provides creative play classes for hundreds of families in underserved communities and performances and workshops at more than 30 early childhood centers and pre-K sites around the boroughs.
“We learn more, grow more, and discover more about ourselves and our world in the first five years than we do at any other point in our lives,” said, Lauren Jost, artistic director.
She added, “Very young children are more open than we are as adults, more perceptive than we are, more creative, and they do not sit still out of politeness or convention. It is an honor to create work for this most discerning and sophisticated of audiences.”
Spellbound Theater [941 President St. 1R at Eighth Avenue in Park Slope, (347) 464–8542, spell