Seton Hall colleges and schools honor alumni at Many Are One Gala

Photo Courtesy of Seton Hall University
From left are Steven Karl, John Shahdanian, Kenyani Henderson, Colin Hart, Barbara Kiernan, Thomas Lloyd Smith, Rosemary Mercedes and Lisa Donoghue, with Glenn Schuck on stage.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The sold-out 2018 Many Are One alumni awards gala took place June 8 in Seton Hall University’s recently dedicated Bethany Hall. Many Are One is an annual celebration of Seton Hall alumni who have positively influenced the world and exemplify the university’s mission of servant leadership.

Proceeds raised through gala ticket sales, sponsorships and other donations support the Many Are One Alumni Scholarship Fund, which provides children, grandchildren and siblings of alumni to attend Seton Hall with four-year scholarships. Seton Hall boasts more than 100,000 alumni and many who, even after leaving campus to pursue their careers, continue to maintain a lifelong relationship the university.

Each of Seton Hall’s nine colleges and schools chose one distinguished alumnus for their dedication to their profession and their service to their community and Seton Hall.

Lisa Donoghue, ’95/MBA ’96, of Saddle Brook, was awarded the 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Many Are One Service Award for her contributions to the banking industry and continued commitment to serving her alma mater. Donoghue has worked for Bank of America and its earlier incarnations since 1996. She joined their health care and institutions group in 2001 and is currently the group’s senior relationship manager. In this role, Donoghue manages client relationships for health care providers, education clients and nonprofits, helping them to remain competitive in a challenging marketplace.

Donoghue is an active member of the Seton Hall University President’s Advisory Group and is a part of the Bayley Society and True Blue program. She also volunteers her time to the Overlook Foundation and is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association of New Jersey and holds Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses.

Colin Hart, ’10, was awarded the 2018 School of Diplomacy and International Relations Many Are One Service Award for his work in fostering diplomatic relationships and developing strategies for governments and organizations around the world. Hart specializes in international affairs, public diplomacy and crisis communications, with a focus on relations between the United States and China. His international work includes developing governmental and organizational strategies for public affairs and media outreach campaigns internationally. Hart previously worked with the former head of the United Nations climate negotiations at the Paris climate accords in 2015. Hart is currently the vice president of issues and crisis management at FleishmanHillard, a public relations and communications agency based in Missouri.

Kenyani Henderson, ’10/M.S. ’13, of Linden, was awarded the 2018 School of Health and Medical Sciences Many Are One Service Award for her contributions to the medical field and her dedication to improving children’s health and development. Upon graduating Seton Hall, Henderson began a career as an occupational therapist at Genesis Healthcare in Westfield. In 2015, Henderson transitioned into pediatrics at Ardor Healthcare Solutions, where she works with students in multiple New Jersey school districts on a day-to-day-basis. Henderson founded SoulXpressiion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating typical-developing children and adults, as well as those with behavioral and learning disabilities and autism, in fine and performing arts, stage management and stage production management. For her work through SoulXpressiion, Henderson was named Best in Education by New Jersey Black Businesses and was recognized by New Jersey Family as one of NJ’s Favorite Kids’ Docs.

Henderson is also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall, where she teaches a dance fundamentals class available through the College of Education and Human Services. During her free time, Henderson supports autism awareness and fundraising events and serves on the university’s occupational therapy advisory board.

Steven Karl, ’83, of Montclair, Karl was awarded the 2018 Stillman School of Business Many Are One Service Award for his accomplishments as a leader in business and his commitment to improving bank services. Karl is the head of business process transformation at TD Bank. In this role, he is responsible for leading the buildout of the digitization and automation capabilities that will drive large-scale change across the bank. Karl founded Performance Ridge Consulting LLC, a company that delivers information technology transformation and business process re-engineering solutions.

Karl remains involved in the Seton Hall community, serving as a member of the president’s advisory group for the Stillman School of Business and the Bayley Society, as well as a season ticket holder for the men’s basketball team.

Barbara Kiernan, ’65, of Augusta, Ga., was awarded the 2018 College of Nursing Many Are One Service Award in recognition of her notable career in nursing and education, as well as her years of dedication to the College of Nursing. Her career began as a nurse at a summer camp and later blossomed into an academic, administrative and practice role in higher education. Her practice focused on vulnerable populations from the immigrants in Ironbound Newark, the children of Appalachia in West Virginia and Kentucky, and the pediatric patients and families affected by HIV in Georgia. Kiernan retired from the College of Nursing at Augusta University as a research-active associate professor and chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing in 2012.

A prolific writer, Kiernan has co-authored many refereed journal articles and contributed chapters to several pediatric nursing texts. For several years, Kiernan was the president of the College of Nursing Alumni Association and served as a part-time clinical instructor in pediatrics at Seton Hall. In 2014, she established a scholarship in her parents’ name to help students achieve their goals in nursing. In 2016, she received the College of Nursing Nelson Aquino Humanitarian Award.

Thomas Lloyd Smith, ’96, of San Leandro, Calif., received the 2018 College of Education and Human Services Many Are One Service Award for his passion to improve and positively influence local communities. Smith is a public law attorney for Meyers Nave, a full-service law firm guided by the fundamental principle that everyone can do well by doing good. He is also the assistant city attorney for the city of San Leandro and chairman of the Oakland Police Commission. In this capacity, Smith helps the commission oversee the Oakland Police Department in ensuring that its policies, practices and customs conform to national standards of constitutional policing. Smith also provides legal counsel to public school districts, counties and special districts.

Rosemary Mercedes, ’99/M.A. ’02, of Union City, received the 2018 College of Communication and the Arts Many Are One Service Award in recognition of her groundbreaking career in communications and dedication to supporting the next generation of servant leaders. Mercedes is the chief communications officer for Univision Communications Incorporated. As the first CCO, she defines Univision’s overall communications strategy, including the media relations approach for all corporate and business matters, industry issues and programming and talent publicity efforts.

An accomplished communications leader with nearly 20 years of public relations experience, the Hispanic Public Relations Association recently recognized Mercedes as Pioneer of the Year. She was also named to The Holmes Report’s list of Rising Communications Leaders in North America, the Top Woman in PR list by PR News and a Top 40 Under 40 PR Professional in the U.S. by PR Week Magazine. Mercedes gives back to her alma mater as a mentor through the Communication Honors Associates Mentoring Program.

The recently deceased Msgr. William J. Linder ’59/M.DIV. ’63, of Newark, was the 2018 Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology Many Are One Service Award recipient for the many ways he embodied servant leadership. After being ordained as a priest in 1962, Linder received his first pastoral assignment for the parish Queen of Angels in Newark. After the summer riots of 1967 devastated much of the Central Ward of Newark, Linder founded the nonprofit New Community Corporation, whose mission was to improve the lives of inner-city residents through reflection of individual God-given dignity and personal achievement. NCC ultimately evolved into a community of people sharing and caring for one another. NCC began on two acres of land as has grown to 45 acres encompassing 14 city blocks. The organization continues to offer transitional housing and extended care, among other services, to those in need.

Throughout his life Linder received numerous honors, including Person of the Week from ABC World News Tonight, a MacArthur Foundation Fellows Award, the New Jersey Governor’s Gold Medal, the Rudy Bruner Award for Excellence in the Urban Environment and the Entrepreneurial American Leaders Award. In 2016, Linder released his memoir, “Out of the Ashes Came Hope.”

John Shahdanian, J.D. ’97, of Old Tappan, received the 2018 School of Law’s Many Are One Service Award for his distinguished career in the field of labor and employment law. Shahdanian is a partner at Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo law firm in Secaucus and is chairman of the firm’s employment law department. A recognized expert in employment law, Shahdanian is frequently asked to draft employment policies, conduct anti-discrimination and sensitivity training, and lecture on a variety of employment law topics. Shahdanian has been widely recognized for his achievements, including being named a Top 40 Under 40 in the New Jersey Law Journal. Additionally, Shahdanian has been selected, since 2009, by New Jersey Monthly as a Super Lawyer and named by Best Lawyers in America since 2013. In 2017, Shahdanian was chosen to serve as a trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is the current president of the Seton Hall School of Law’s Alumni Council.