Manhattan College key to Veterans Day


Stephen Kaplan is well-known not only in Manhattan College’s religious studies department, but among its sizable student veteran population as well. And it was his experience with the latter that brought him to the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 10.

Kaplan’s curriculum is most well-known for its first-year religion course. Although it’s a required class for all Manhattan College students, his version of the course is a bit different. His became the basis of the college’s “Veterans at Ease” program, which became the basis of the college’s other programs for veterans — like veteran-to-veteran mentorship programs and the Student Veteran Organization. 

The chamber honored both Kaplan and one of his students, Christopher Norberto. Now a sociology major, Norberto served nine years in the U.S. Navy. During that time, he received four Navy Achievement Medals and one Army Achievement Medal, among other awards. He left active duty in 2019 and is now a member of the college’s Student Veteran Organization.

BedRock gets festive for Halloween

Pumpkin patches promise loads of fun for young children. But at BedRock Preschool, it also promised the gift of saving lives.

To celebrate Halloween, BedRock teacher Valarie Simmons hosted a pumpkin patch for students Oct. 30. They picked their own pumpkins in the preschool’s front waiting room while raising money for the Columbia University Medical Center Babies’ Heart Fund. And no pumpkin patch is complete without a scarecrow — so Simmons dressed as one for the students.

BedRock ultimately raised $340 for the Babies’ Heart Fund.

Kingsbridge native receives scholarship

Kevin Narine was a recent recipient of the Serving the Mental Health Needs of the Underserved Scholarship at William James College in Newton, Massachusetts.

Originally from Kingsbridge, Narine graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Afterward, he worked for the university as a research assistant, studying suicide risk among HIV-positive people, as well as anxiety, physical health and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in underserved communities.

Now pursuing a psychology doctorate at William James, Narine also is the webmaster for a sexual and gender minority special interest group. He’s also a peer support specialist for DeQH, a helpline for South Asian LGBTQ people.

Narine says he hopes to implement culturally sensitive treatments for anxiety and trauma disorders.

Manhattan College, Stephen Kaplan, Veterans at Ease, Christopher Norberto, BedRock Preschool, Valarie Simmons, Columbia University Medical Center Babies' Heart Fund, Kevin Narine, William James College, University of Pennsylvania, Rose Brennan