In keeping with the celebration of 50 Years of Women at Iona College, the Office of Mission and Ministry honored three alumnae at its eighth annual Alumni Homecoming Reception on Friday, October 18.
Chosen because they exemplify the values of faith, service and social justice in their respective fields, Frances Gray ’80, Gina Parziale ’98 and Colette Phipps ’01 “have gone above and beyond to serve the marginalized in creative and sustainable ways,” according to Carl Procario-Foley, Ph.D., director of the Office of Mission and Ministry at Iona.
Gray, a Queens, N.Y. native, earned her BA from Iona in English/Education with a minor in Religious Studies. She taught seventh grade at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School in Jackson Heights, N.Y. for six years before moving to New Rochelle with her husband, Donald ’80, ’83MBA, where they raised their three children.
A parishioner of Holy Family Church, Gray has taught second grade catechism; coordinated the Holy Family Food Bank, which prepares meals for families in crisis situations, since 1999; serves as a lector and extraordinary minister, serving Holy Communion at Mass; and acts as parish secretary.
Parziale earned her BA in Speech Communication. After a long career of involvement at Iona College, which included working in the Success Center, serving as a campus minister and attending several domestic and international mission trips, she devoted her professional life to non-profit work and serving the marginalized.
In 2000, Parziale began her career at the Muscular Dystrophy Association where she combined her love of serving others with the communication skills that she developed at Iona to raise funds and awareness for patients. She has continued this work for nearly 20 years at the American Liver Foundation, Pulmonary Hypertension Association and Alport Syndrome Foundation. She recently created a consulting business to empower patient organizations to maximize their impact.
Phipps earned her BS in Social Work and has spent approximately 35 years working in human services. She currently serves as the program coordinator, Research and Development, for the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services (DSPS) where she conducts research and analyses on trends relating to the senior citizen population in order to develop and coordinate new programs to address the needs of these residents as well as their caregivers. She is executive director of the national award-winning Westchester County Livable Communities: A Vision for All Ages Initiative.
Phipps, an award-winning certified intergenerational program specialist, currently works as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, in addition to being a published author and serving on numerous boards focused on the well-being of older adults.
From left: Colette Phipps '01, Frances Gray '80, and Gina Parziale '98
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 45,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona's LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide.