Sociology, School of Liberal Arts, Computer Science, School of Science



Ukraine Friends is a non-profit organization donating essentials, like ambulances, to the front lines of the war. They've now broadened their mission to include necessities in education.

Siena stepped up as a partner and the media took notice. 

The war has closed schools across Ukraine, but it hasn't stopped an education. Some 800,000 Ukrainian students have been forced into remote learning, and that requires nearly as many laptops. Ukraine Friends is delivering the laptops; Siena is helping to procure them. 

Associate professor of psychology Dmitry Burshteyn, Ph.D., who is a native of Ukraine, is leading the donation effort, along with Jami Cotler, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science. Siena is collecting laptops, no older than four years, and hopes to donate 1,000 to Ukraine Friends. News10 ABC interviewed Dr. Burshteyn for their piece. 

"With this country torn apart by the conflict, there is very little they can do sometimes to connect with their friends. Ukraine Friends puts a sticker on the laptops with all the mental health resources available to children."

NewsChannel 13 (above) also promoted Siena's humanitarian efforts as did the Times Union. Siena's ITS department has already pledged 30 used laptops via a lab replacement. If you'd like to donate, laptops can dropped off with Public Safety at any hour of the day. 


  • News10 ABC and NewsChannel 13 sent news crews to campus to capture the sights and sounds of Move-In Day. John Bond, associate director for admissions, may have captured it best for ABC (left). "It's the best day of the year at Siena." Donavan Dubois '27 felt the love right away. "Honestly, now that I'm here, it's hitting me all at once, but other than that, I feel very welcome."
  • Savannah, the 6-year-old daughter of former men's basketball staff member Derek Brooks, suffered a seizure during a summer basketball camp and some Siena student athletes saw it. How did they respond? By walking with Savannah, some 200 student athletes strong, in the Walk to End Epilepsy. NewsChannel 13 noted in its coverage, "Savannah felt like a superhero at the walk.'
  • In 2020, the state adopted computer science learning standards in all classrooms K through 12th grade. Getting teachers up to speed is a challenge. That's where Siena has stepped in. As CBS6 points out, the Siena CSForAll program provides teachers with curriculum and professional development. Robin Flatland, Ph.D., professor of computer science, was interviewed for the piece.


  • New York's Higher Education Capital Matching Grant has awarded $336 million to fund 275 projects at colleges and universities throughout the state since 2005. This year, as covered by the Daily Gazette, Siena's science complex expansion and renovation was identified as a priority project. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that Siena would receive $750,000 to purchase new equipment.
  • China's unemployment rate for the youngest segment of its workforce rose to a record high of 21.3% in June. In search of work and an escape from the pressure, many Chinese are securing visas and heading abroad. The phenomenon is called a "global nomad lifestyle" and for an expert's take, the Associated Press reached out to Beverly Yuen Thompson, Ph.D., professor of sociology. 
  • Emmanuel Berbari is the 24-year-old voice of Siena men's basketball on the radio. For a weekend series in Pittsburgh last month, he was the radio voice of the New York Yankees. The Yanks longtime radio tandem was unavailable, so the Bronx Bombers turned to Bernari, who has name recognition in NYC for his work on WFAN. The New York Post covered Berbari's big break. 


The 8th grade teacher asked a typical question - What do you want to be when you grow up? - but got an atypical answer... from a girl. Dr. Kendra Zappia '02 wrote down her ambition to be a dentist. When the paper was returned, there was a correction from the teacher. "You mean, dental hygienist." No, she meant exactly what she said. 

Dr. Zappia has pages from her childhood journal framed on the walls of Zappia and Fryer, General Dentistry. For example, there's the journal entry that mentions (along with hand drawn pictures of teeth), "Dear diary, today I had three teeth pulled." Dr. Zappia's passion for dentistry was unflappable, and perhaps even flamed by her 8th grade teacher's comment. So when she grew up, she become a dentist, and then her younger sister did the exact same thing. 

Dr. Zappia and Dr. Morgan Fryer '11 both attended Siena on their paths to dentistry, and eventually purchased an existing practice. Next, they bought a suite at 1 Pine West Plaza in Albany, and made good on their childhood dreams. Their success story caught the attention of NewsChannel 13 this summer. The piece highlights the sisters' commitment to mentoring other women and supporting their dreams. The sisters also recorded a segment for News10 ABC this summer discussing pregnancy gingivitis (above). 

"Siena College gave us an excellent foundation not only in the biological sciences, but also lessons in humanity and embracing the Franciscan spirit. We both believe that being compassionate and understanding clinicians and giving back to the community is a crucial part of being a healthcare professional. We truly credit our wonderful education and experiences at Siena for our professional and personal success."

Dr. Kendra Zappia '02 and Dr. Morgan Fryer '11


Nick Miller '16 is a former Siena record holder in the 8k and qualified for the ECAC championships as a senior. Seven years later, the one-time Siena cross country standout is taking over the program he helped to build as a runner. WAMC told the story of his promotion.  

Miller has been an assistant to John Kenworthy ever since he graduated, and he planned on returning this year in the same role. But, when Kenworthy left for a job at Brown University, Miller found himself as interim head coach for Siena's cross country and indoor and outdoor track programs. The student athletes, though, didn't need to be worried. 

"As far as like an athlete-coach relationship is, you know, I'm not some scary dude who sits in his office all day."

Track and cross country don't typically hog the sports airwaves, but WAMC covered MIller's ascension to the top spot, primarily through the eyes of his student athletes. What they found is the runners are excited to run for Coach Miller. 

“Our team chemistry is the best it’s ever been. We’re all, I feel closer with everyone. The team’s heading in the right direction. Everyone’s happy, everyone’s putting in the work that we normally put in. Some minor tweaks to some end of the end of the year type of stuff. A little bit more volume within workouts and Siena should be able to show off at the conference and regional level.”

Jayson Chichelli '26


...83% of New Yorkers believe cost of living is a major issue. 

The Siena College Research Institute polled 804 registered voters in New York and found that a plurality believe cost of living should be the top priority for Governor Hochul and the state legislature. The Daily Gazette covered the findings and noted that 57% of New Yorkers say the quality of life in New York is getting worse; 14% say it's getting better. 

...a majority of New York voters believe the influx of migrants into the state is a "serious" problem.

A SCRI poll of 803 registered voters shows that a majority of New Yorkers consider the influx of migrants a "serious problem," though fewer than half of New Yorkers consider the resettling of migrants in New York over the past two decades a "burden" on the state. WKBW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Buffalo, reported on the findings. The poll results were released a day after more than 40 asylum seekers were evicted from the Buffalo State dorms. 

...84% of New Yorkers believe most current migrants want to build a better life.  

The Times Union reported on the results of a SCRI survey and noted that views of registered voters broke along party lines. Over 30 percent are concerned that migrants may be "dangerous, potentially criminal" individuals, with just over half Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats endorsing that view. 


The Siena Heat Map tracks Siena College mentions in the news all across the country. Throughout September, there were nearly 5,000 Siena College mentions coast-to-coast (and worldwide), including...

A BBC report that finds more and more digital nomads are quitting the lifestyle.

Digital nomads work exclusively remotely, often from Instagrammable locations. For those wanting to untether from their office, the pandemic created the chance for millions, and according to one estimate, the digital nomad workforce has grown by 131% by 2019. But, the lifestyle may not be as glamorously carefree as the selfies would suggest.

The BBC discovered the plenty of nomads have grown disenfranchised by their nomadic existence, explaining that it's taken a toll on their mental and physical health. Forgive the BBC for adding an extra "n" to Siena, but they did reach across the pond to interview an expert on digital nomadism. Beverly Thompson, Ph.D., professor Sociology (quoted above in a separate story for the AP) believes the current trend away from the digital nomad phenomenon will continue.

“It’s not going to stop. Younger people will perhaps spend a few years trying to be a digital nomad. But overall, more and more people are seeing the reality of this lifestyle. Meanwhile, employers want employees back in the office. So, the trend will continue to grow, but it might slow down.”

Beverly Thompson, Ph.D., professor of Sociology