On September 13, 2022, Suffolk Community College will present Sister Mary Ann Borrello with the award of Professor Emerita at their Professional Development Day. This honor recognizes her 49 years of dedicated service to students both inside and outside the classroom. The following testimony from Mary Feder, Director of Publications and College Relations at Suffolk Community College, says it well:
Here at SUNY Suffolk, she served as an exemplary Anthropology and Sociology Professor. Equally impressive, has been her persistence and involvement with the campus community throughout the length of her career. Sister Mary Ann’s dedication as a member of our faculty and her role as a liaison to Campus Activities, placed her in a unique position to understand our students and their needs. During her tenure on the Michael J. Grant Campus, Sister Mary Ann introduced countless programs. In 1974, she started the first known and longest running campus-based food pantry in New York State. A few of her other notable initiatives included the March of Dimes campaigns, numerous campus blood drives, and the establishment of an evening common hour program. In addition, she has been actively involved with connecting students and raising support for the local community through the annual Mother Cabrini Festival; serving as liaison to PRONTO (a local community relief service); and ensuring support through Long Island Cares for the campus food pantry. Sister Mary Ann also spearheaded countless fundraising efforts to raise disaster relief funds following the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haitian earthquakes, just to name a few. Following her retirement, the Suffolk Community College Foundation created the Sister Mary Ann Helping Hand Fund as a vehicle to ensure that her work would continue into the future. Since retiring, she remains an active presence in the campus food pantry, even writing a successful grant to fund a new refrigerator/freezer in 2020. We applaud Sister Mary Ann’s profound commitment to the development and education of students along with her continuous efforts to improve all areas of SUNY Suffolk and we believe she has earned the honor of Professor Emerita recognition.
We are delighted that Sister Mary Ann is receiving this well- deserved honor. Among other achievements, Sister’s pioneering work in alleviating food insecurity for college students inspired others to follow her lead. Food insecurity on college campuses is known as an “invisible epidemic” and affects approximately 30% of college students. She is indeed a woman making a difference.