My Iona



Phone: (914) 633-2632

Coordinator, Mission Education Programs

Phone: (914) 633-2045


  • MS, Educational Technology, Iona University
  • BBA, Information and Decision Technology Management, Iona University

Tameka has been a member of the staff at Iona University since 2004. As the Coordinator for Mission Education Programs, Tameka is responsible for working closely with the Director of Mission & Ministry on various programs and activities. She collaborates with the Director to strategically design and implement new initiatives that promote the mission of Iona University. She coordinates events, including Friends of Edmund, Heritage Week, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition symposium, Celebration of Welcome for new hires, and the annual service award dinner for employees.

Positions Held

  • Coordinator for Mission Integration, Iona University
  • Graduate Assistant for School of Arts & Science, Iona University


Phone: (914) 633-2630


  • Master of Divinity, Seton Hall University (also attended Maryknoll School of Theology)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Manhattan College

Fr. Gerard joined the Office of Mission & Ministry as Chaplain in August 2017. He presides at the liturgy on Sunday evenings at Holy Family Church and at the daily liturgies Monday - Thursday in the Blessed Edmund Rice Chapel. Fr. Gerard coordinates the RCIA program as well as with the liturgy committee. He also serves as the spiritual adviser to the Kairos retreat team.

Fr. Gerard is a native of the Bronx and attended Cardinal Spellman High School, as well as Manhattan College. He entered the Capuchin Franciscans in 1983 and professed his vows in 1984. Fr. Gerard was ordained as a priest in 1991. Most of his ministry has been in parishes run by the Capuchin in the New York area and in Middletown, Conn. He also worked in the formation program for the Capuchins as co-director of the Postulant Program.

You can contact Fr. Gerard for an appointment, Sacrament of Reconciliation, or just to chat.

Positions Held

  • Parochial Vicar: Our lady of Sorrows, New York City
  • Parochial Vicar: St. John the Baptist, NYC
  • Pastor: Our Lady, Queen of Angels, NYC
  • Pastor: St. Pius X, Middletown Connecticut
  • Administrator: Holy Cross Church, NYC
  • Chairman: Provincial JPE Commission
  • Spiritual Assistant to Secular Franciscans
  • Co-Director of Formation for Postulants, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Part-time Associate: St. Michael/St. Malachy Parish, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Associate Director of Mission & Ministry and Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Phone: (914) 637-2771


  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Kean University
  • Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Certificate of Spiritual Direction, Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development

Laura (she/her) joined staff at Iona University in August of 2021. A New Jerseyan with a faith background in Christianity from a Baptist (NBC) and Quaker perspective, she brings with her previous experience working as a campus minister and creating spiritually formative spaces for college students. After discovering a passion for the care of souls, she pursued training and education at Princeton Theological Seminary with a focus on pastoral care. While attending seminary, she enrolled in a two-year training program for spiritual direction and guidance.

After graduating and completing her certificate in spiritual direction, Laura served as a hospital chaplain at Penn Medicine Princeton Health. Her role involved journeying with those experiencing illness, grief, and loss related to physical and behavioral health changes. In addition to spiritual direction and chaplaincy, Laura is a psalmist who ministers through song. She is delighted to bring her gifts and skills to the Iona community through her role providing supervision for student retreats and spirit-centered programming.

Feel free to contact her if you are interested in a faith-sharing group, retreat, or spiritual guidance.

Positions Held

  • Spiritual Director, Fairchild Ministries, N.J.
  • Chaplain Resident, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, N.J.
  • Campus Minister, Rutgers University, N.J.

Montgomery House Resident Minister



  • Bachelor of Arts, Social Work, Iona University

Beginning in August 2019, Justin Pellegrino joined the Office of Mission & Ministry as the part-time Montgomery House Resident Minister while serving in a full-time capacity as a campus minister at Iona Prep.

Having walked across the stage of Madison Square Garden at Iona’s commencement ceremony in May of 2019, Justin is a proud Gael. While a student, Justin was involved with OMM by serving as a Student Campus Minister. He also was able to travel on immersion trips with Iona In Mission to West Virginia, Peru and took a study abroad class in South Africa. In his current roles, Justin lives in an inter-faith community comprised of 6 Student Ministers. Justin attends Fordham University where he is pursuing his Master of Social Work degree.

Director of Music Ministry



  • Bachelor of Music (Concentration in Music Education), Manhattanville College
  • Master of Arts and Teaching, Manhattanville College

Dana Celestino has been honored to serve as the director of the Music Ministry at Iona University since October of 2015.

A native of Westchester County, Dana has been singing in churches for as long as she can feasibly remember. She decided during her freshman year at Manhattanville College that she wanted to spend her life spreading the joy of music to others. She is skilled in voice, piano, guitar, ukulele, and creating her own arrangements of songs.

As the Director of the Music Ministry, Dana is responsible for leading the music at Iona's Sunday student worship services, selecting appropriate hymns and repertoire, and running rehearsals. Dana plans a mix of contemporary music and favorite hymns to create a well-balanced musical worship experience. When she's not leading the Music Ministry on Sundays, you can find her during the week as an elementary school general music and chorus teacher in the Byram Hills Central School District. Dana also enjoys making music outside of school in jazz groups, a cappella groups, and traditional choirs.

Contact Us

Office of Mission & Ministry

Robert V. LaPenta Student Union

(914) 637-2772 (914) 637-2772