“Experience to achieve, passion to serve” focus of CSE’s 18th annual scholarship celebration


Morristown, N.J. (April 25, 2019) – The College of Saint Elizabeth held its 18th annual scholarship celebration recognizing those who help make possible the “experience to achieve and passion to serve” at CSE.

The event, held in CSE’s Annunciation Center, honored three alumnae who have devoted their lives to the betterment of others: Mary Beth Casey O’Brien, ’59, humanitarian and advocate for the poor; Frances Weis-Garcia, Ph.D., ’87, biomedical researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University; and, Sister Patricia Codey, SC, Esq., ’77, president of Catholic HealthCare Partnership of New Jersey.

“This evening is about our students – past and present – their successes and our shared commitment to provide a rich, deep and values-based education,” said Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of the College of Saint Elizabeth. “Our graduates have a long history of leading in service to others and tonight we celebrate our continued commitment to this mission.”

Codey, president of Catholic HealthCare Partnership of New Jersey, is a formidable force in the healthcare field. She was instrumental in securing more than 600 clinical rotations to support the College’s developing physician assistant program. In her speech, Codey emphasized the importance of compassion.

“We heal this world not with grand gestures, but with one kind impulse, one generous response, rendered one moment at a time,” said Codey. “When those small kind gestures are strung together, we suddenly have the ability to effectuate change and leave a legacy.”

A strong proponent of Catholic education, O’Brien expanded upon Codey’s theme by stressing the need to serve the poor and to provide people with access to healthcare and nutrition.

“As I reflect on the history of this great college, I believe we really need to be the voices for those who are vulnerable. I got my voice here at Saint E’s,” said O’Brien. “Serving others is my personal philosophy. Together, we can continue to send out new hope from this campus.”

Weis-Garcia, who heads the Bi-Institutional Antibody and Bioresource Core Facility for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University, then spoke about how CSE inspired her passion for science education.

“I fell in love with science, right here at CSE. I was at home in the lab, it was comfortable, it was exciting and it gave me confidence. I became a science nerd and there was no turning back,” said Weis-Garcia. “CSE helped me look into the future, a future I would never been able to imagine.”

For student speaker Simone Robinson, the scholarship she received allowed her to come from Jamaica to CSE where she mentors students in both the Honors and FASTRAK programs. Additionally, she is a student ambassador, works in the College’s Health Services Center and is an Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) Scholar. Her remarks expressed sincere gratitude for the opportunities she’s been provided.

“I want to take this moment to thank the donors, our selfless patrons, who afforded myself and many students at CSE the chance to realize our professional and career goals,” said Robinson. “CSE Eagles are given the opportunity to spread our wings far and wide.”

Entertainment for the evening was provided by the College’s Carpe Motus dance troupe performing to “Freedom” by Beyoncé. CSE’s Elizabeth Singers, under the co-direction of Allie Altieri and Joshua Coyne, performed “All We Ask” by Donnie McClurkin and “Rise Up” by Andra Day.


Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth 

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