Academic Excellence on Full Display at Iona University

Iona Scholars Day pushes students to “Learn Outside the Lines” of the classroom

Academics News, Performing Arts News, Iona Students Learn Outside The Lines

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Over 200 students from a broad array of academic majors came together to present their original research during the 14th annual Iona Scholars Day on April 20. With over 70 poster presentations set up in the Hynes Athletics Center, the event gave students and their faculty mentors a chance to showcase their academic and creative interests. Iona Scholars Day also included a display of self portraits made by visual arts students and a student concert on the Murphy Green.

“All our scholars should feel incredibly proud of their accomplishments,” said President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “The academic excellence on display was a testament to their hard work, curiosity and commitment to expanding their horizons. Also, thank you to all the faculty mentors who guided and motivated our students to achieve at such a high level. Their commitment to supporting student success both inside and outside the classroom is what makes Iona such a special place.”  

This year’s Iona Scholars Day reimagined the keynote speech, as the community observed a Q&A session with Iona alumnus Tony Goncalves ’94 and journalism major Niomi Nunez ’24. Goncalves shared insights and advice into college and professional success, highlighting the importance of networking, optimizing your time and making the most out of the opportunities presented to you.   

Throughout the day, students enjoyed the opportunity to share their work with their peers and others across campus.

The Facebook Whistleblower poster at Iona Scholars Day 2023.

Teodora Mitov ’23

Computer science majors Catherine DiProperzio ’23, Justin Hamilton ’23 and Anaya Potter ’23 designed and coded an entire mobile app dedicated to food, with a concept similar to Instagram. “We all have gotten to know each other really well and build a very cool app. We’re happy to present it here today.” 

Teodora Mitov ’23, a double major in political science and media and strategic communications with a concentration in digital media and production, analyzed the political risk that Facebook faced because of the whistleblower situation in 2021 when Frances Haugen released internal documents. “Student research is an amazing thing we have at Iona and it’s great that we get to see what other people are working on. Iona Scholars Day allows us to see everyone’s research and also present our own, which is very fun.” 

Christele Romulus ‘23, a psychology major and dance minor, did an examination of the self, incorporating different dancing groups, styles and music that portrays her Afro-Caribbean and Haitian heritage. “It was a long process. I felt like I went back and forth in my head because I have a perfectionist side as a dancer. This project definitely made me challenge myself.” 

Iona Scholars Day was made possible by the organizing committee led by Sunghee Lee, Ph.D., along with professors Benjamin Gaines, Ph.D.; Adam Rosado, Ph.D.; Thomas Ruggio, MFA; Bret Sanner, Ph.D.; and Catherine Smith, Ph.D. 

“I am extremely proud of the work these students have done,” said Sunghee Lee, Ph.D., Board of Trustees endowed chemistry professor. “Iona Scholars Day not only allows them to showcase their hard work, but also their passions, creativity and leadership skills. This experience will serve them well throughout the course of their lives. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next year.”

The String quartet at Iona Scholars Day.
The 2023 ISD presenters.
Tony Goncalves keynote speaker at the 2023 ISD.
InnerPeas, an instagram-like app for recipes.
The self-portrait drawings at Iona Scholars Day.
A presentation on the 'sofa problem' at Iona scholars Day.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 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 students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.