Manhattanville College Announces Commencement 2015 Speakers


Manhattanville College Announces Commencement 2015 Speakers

April 17, 2015 • Anonymous
Manhattanville College will welcome its Chairman of the Board of Trustees Don Callahan, class of ’78, head of operations & technology at Citi as the keynote speaker at the 174th Undergraduate Commencement, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Carmen Fariña, as the Graduate Commencement Speaker, and filmmaker Jessica Caldwell, class of ’08 Baccalaureate and Honors Convocation Speaker.
Live video feeds of the Graduate Commencement ceremony starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 14 and the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 16 will be available at

Click here for more information about this year's ceremonies. 

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker
Don Callahan, class of '78, head of operations & technology at Citi.

Don Callahan

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Don Callahan, class of ’78, head of operations & technology at Citi is the keynote speaker at the 174th Undergraduate Commencement at Manhattanville College.

Don Callahan, manages global Operations & Technology at Citi.  He is the Executive Chair of the Chief Information Officer Council, which sets global standards for all technology throughout Citi, and leads the Digital Governance Office that drives digital transformation across Citi’s businesses.  Mr. Callahan is also responsible for developing and implementing Citi’s global information security strategy.
With an extensive track record of transforming organizations through technology, Mr. Callahan sets and oversees Citi’s global technology agenda.  He drives the implementation of common technology platforms to deliver products and services to Citi’s consumer, corporate, and institutional clients in more than 160 countries around the world. He also develops and executes Citi’s strategy for leveraging new and existing technologies, oversees Citi’s Shared Services organization, Citi’s enterprise analytics platform, and manages Citi’s global real estate portfolio, generating increased productivity by consolidating Citi’s footprint and optimizing the workplace environment. 
Prior to joining Citi in 2007, he held executive positions at IBM, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse, where he developed and implemented client-centric technology strategies that drove productivity, enhanced client service, and improved profitability.

A graduate of Manhattanville with a B.A. in history, Mr. Callahan was preceded by his mother Mary J. (O’Connell) Callahan, class of ’45, and followed by his son Peter Callahan, class of 2014.

Graduate Commencement Speaker

Carmen Fariña, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

Carmen Fariña

Carmen Fariña, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education is the keynote speaker for the Graduate Commencement at Manhattanville College.

Carmen Fariña is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the United States, serving 1.1 million students in more than 1,800 schools. Over the past 50 years, she has worked in virtually every capacity, from teacher and principal to district superintendent and deputy chancellor, distinguishing herself as an innovative educator committed to helping students, teachers, and principals excel. As Chancellor—a role she assumed in January 2014—her priorities include meeting the needs of the whole child; engaging parents and families; ensuring collaboration, trust, and accountability within the system; and supporting rigorous Common-Core based standards to raise student achievement.

During her first full year as Chancellor, Ms. Fariña oversaw the historic expansion of pre-kindergarten to more than 53,000 four-year-olds; expanded the Community School model to provide more wrap-around services to students and families; created a stand-alone, cabinet-level department to support English Language Learners; and increased funding for arts education and after-school programs for middle school students. She also developed new leadership models, transforming the role of superintendents to better support principals; launched the Framework for Great Schools, a holistic research-based approach to school improvement; and created Learning Partners and Showcase Schools, demonstration sites of excellence that allow schools and educators to work collaboratively to strengthen their practices.

A Brooklyn native, Ms. Fariña began her career as a classroom teacher specializing in social studies. She spent 22 years at Brooklyn elementary school P.S. 29, where she used reading and writing to boost students’ literacy skills and connect class work to real-world events, key components of what would later become Making Connections, an award-winning program that the then Board of Education replicated citywide.

A daughter of Spanish immigrants, Ms. Fariña was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She holds a Bachelor of Science from New York University and three master’s degrees from Brooklyn College (Bilingual Education), Fordham University (Gifted/Arts Education), and Pace University (Administration and Supervision). Fariña is co-author, with Laura Kotch, of A School Leader’s Guide to Excellence: Collaborating Our Way to Better Schools (Heinemann, 2008). She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Sloan Public Service Award (1989), presented annually to exemplary civil servants.
Baccalaureate and Honors Convocation Speaker
Filmmaker Jessica Caldwell, class of '08.

Jessica Caldwell

Filmmaker Jessica Caldwell, class of ’08, will serve as the keynote speaker for the Baccalaureate and Honors Convocation.

Jessica Caldwell, class of ’08, graduated summa cum laude from Manhattanville College at 19 in just three years. While at Manhattanville, Ms. Caldwell majored in Communication Studies and minored in English/Creative Writing, winning awards from the Creative Writing/English Department for Best Short Narrative Fiction and Best Screenplay. Ms. Caldwell also was a Duchesne Center for Religion and Social Justice Scholar and participant of CAST Kids: Children’s Academy for Student Theater, a program focusing on the arts and drama where student volunteers facilitate theater exercises with children from the Port Chester Carver Center.

After graduating from Columbia University with an MFA in Film, Ms. Caldwell produced the short film, AWOL that was selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the world-renowned event that grew out of the Sundance Institute. Her film AWOL, which deals with a young lesbian soldier at home for Christmas in the U.S., and her mixed feelings between her boot camp experience and being deployed for service in Afghanistan, was one of only 81 films selected from almost 6,500 submissions. Her short film has also premiered at Telluride and Tribeca Film Festivals.

In 2012, Ms. Caldwell co-produced her first feature film Electrick Children, the story of a rambunctious teenager from a fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah, which premiered at the Berlin and SXSW Film Festivals, and was distributed by Phase 4 films in April 2013. Last year she produced Stephen Elliott’s Happy Baby, and participated in the US Works in Progress Lab in Wroclaw, Poland. She is currently in production on Deb Shoval’s AWOL based on her Sundance award winning short. In addition Ms. Caldwell participated in IFP’s No Borders International Co-Production Market, Narrative Film Lab and was selected for the 2014 Rotterdam Producer’s Lab and Cannes Producer's Network. She is currently in development on Joanna Jurewicz's Sweet Home Tennessee, and is assisting in the writer's room of a new Showtime series called "Billions” starring Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis. 

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