The Quad 10 is similar to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, except on a Manhattan College-scale. The ten following members of the graduating class of 2018 were chosen by the executive board of The Quadrangle as some of the best and brightest seniors MC has to offer.
Interviews compiled by Rose Brennan, Taylor Brethauer, Jack Melanson & Stephen Zubrycky.
Kirsten Battocchio had an unorthodox beginning to her college career. Instead of going straight from high school to college, she served in the U.S Marines, from 2009 to 2015.
Following the end of her military career, Battocchio chose to attend Manhattan College as an international studies and government major.
Then, student veterans were a part of an organization known as the Veterans Academic Learning Opportunities Realized (VALOR). VALOR has since evolved into the all-encompassing organization known as the Student Veterans’ Organization (SVO), of which Battocchio served as the president this year.
It was under Battocchio’s leadership that the college was opened the Veterans’ Success Center last fall.
“Everybody really believed in our cause and believed in us enough to support us and it’s been a really good space for us to not only host meetings at some times, but to become closer with each other. It’s been good for morale,” Battocchio said.
In Battocchio’s time with SVO, the student population has grown from around 40 to over 100 students.
“She is fabulous. She is, without a doubt, one of finest people I’ve ever worked with. We built upon what we had been doing and then expanded under her leadership,” said Stephen Kaplan, Ph.D., director for veterans success at MC.
Battocchio’s influence is also on the national level. She was a finalist for Student Veteran of the Year and was involved in a national art project revolving around telling the story of veterans through portraits. Battoccio’s portrait will be displayed in an upcoming gallery at MC this fall.
Battocchio plans to attend graduate school for two years in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service’s security studies program. She hopes to remain in public service.
When Angela Benevenia arrived on campus in 2014, she had only two improv classes under her belt.
Improvisational comedy was something that Benevenia thought she could excel in. That her campus have an improvisational comedy troupe was a prerequisite, and it was Manhattan College’s Scatterbomb troupe that acted as a primary driver in her decision to become a Jasper.
Benevenia auditioned for Scatterbomb her freshman year, and got the part. Since then, she has become a fixture and leading woman of the comedy troupe.
Benevenia credits her quick wit and comedic skill to her family..
“My family’s hilarious, my brothers are so funny,” Benevenia said. “I’m really, like, not the funniest person in my family.
“Probably more than anyone at Manhattan College, Angela is like a huge influence on me,” junior Kevin Donald, a fellow member of Scatterbomb, said. “Just seeing how deeply she cares about the things that she’s involved in has really motivated me to get that involved in campus.”
In addition to Scatterbomb, Benevenia has also brought the funny at Coffeehouse, where has performed stand-up comedy routines. She also contributes to Manhattan Magazine, works as a writing consultant and is the secretary of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta.
Benevenia was involved in the Lasallian Summer Research Scholarship program, where she did research on author Junot Diaz, who penned her favorite book, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” She presented her research at a conference at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn.
After graduation, Benevenia plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a master of fine arts and doctoral degree, in the hopes of ultimately becoming a professor.
Micaela Bishop did not expect to spend four years at Manhattan College.
Bishop had had an unconventional high school experience, which included a year of private tutoring as part of the Miss Teen New York International program.
When she arrived in 2014, she planned to get in and get out in three years with a degree in government.
During her freshman year, Bishop started to become involved in student government, becoming an active member of the social life committee.
One year later, she’d be the Sophomore Class Representative. After another, Vice President for Commuter Affairs. And then, Student Body President.
“I feel most honored and privileged to have actually been given that experience,” Bishop said of her career in student government.
Bishop’s administration has notched several accomplishments this year, including raising the campus minimum wage to that of New York State, turning “Quadstock” into “Quadchella” and fundraising for disaster relief in Texas and Puerto Rico.
“She’s been a great asset to the college for this past school year, in terms of her being proactive on different initiatives that student government started this year,” Assistant Director of Student Engagement Michael Steele said. “It was amazing working with someone like her.”
Bishop also played in a part in the reincarnation of the Government and Politics Club in 2015 alongside senior Ryan Quattromani. She has acted as its Vice President ever since.
Bishop ultimately decided to stick around and finish in four, taking on a second major in economics.
“I’m really happy that I stayed and I think it’s kind of given me the ability to have another year to become a better student,” Bishop said.
Bishop will work at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office after graduation, and plans to attend law school in hopes of becoming a criminal defense attorney.
Alannah Boyle sums up her experience at MC in one perfect word: snowball.
“I think [my involvement on campus] just kind of snowballed like it does on a small campus, with the more people you know, the more things you find out about and the more you get involved,” said Boyle.
Boyle was a member on the women’s lacrosse team when she was a freshman at MC, but left the team a few months into the school year. Getting involved, in her words, was “by accident.”
This then sparked her role in Campus Ministry and Social Action.
“My RA at the time during my freshman year sort of sensed the direction she saw me going in and so she nominated me to be a CRS ambassador,” said Boyle.
In her junior year, she also began to balance being a resident assistant the past two years in Jasper Hall.
She credits her RA position for allowing her to enter situations in a different way. However, she believes she has benefitted the most from her residents.
“I have learned a lot from my residents in different, various ways in how they approach their problems. I really enjoy being around my residents and that is really exciting for me,” said Boyle.
Boyle has been the point student for the creation of the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center, which is expected to begin on campus next semester after she graduates.
The idea came when Boyle, Tori James ‘17 and Olivia Smith ‘17 had the idea of creating a women and gender club. But Jordan Pascoe, assistant professor of philosophy, told them that what they were thinking was a resource center.
“Long story short, the three of us and Dr. Pascoe formed a committee comprised of administrators, faculty and students to sort of tackle some of our concerns and our goals,” said Boyle.
Much like the upperclassman did for her, she is also passing along the leadership position. In the coming years, Reilly Rebhan, Gabriella Ramirez and Noor Azeem will be stepping into the roles of Boyle, James and Smith.
“Cam’s Corner” was only intended to be seen for Cameron Cullen’s COMM 350: Field and Post Production course.
“It started as a homework assignment and I had enough momentum […] and a running show that I translated it to my senior year and it allowed me to restart MCTV through that,” said Cullen.
Cullen, who has been attending MCTV general interest meetings since his freshman year, understood that the club needed some reviving. He believes “Cam’s Corner” was a big influence of that.
“I think the best part of MCTV right now is that we have a big number of freshmen and sophomores that are not only communication majors, I think we have engineering majors too,” said Cullen.
He is also thrilled that the club is now holding elections for an executive-board for this club, in order to fill those positions being left behind by graduating students.
The club has plans of releasing their new show, “Waking Up”, during the upcoming finals week.
Cullen has also had a big impact in Greek life on campus.
“I was chapter president of Alpha Phi Delta fraternity in 2017 […] Being involved with a fraternity, not only are you worried about the pledge process and getting a good group of guys together who can bring this past their college days, you’re also concerned with getting involved on campus like good fundraisers [for philanthropies],” said Cullen.
But overall, he balances his on-campus responsibilities with his expectations as a resident assistant in for Arches students in Lee Hall.
As for the future, Cullen is in the process of planning what will come next.
“I think I’m going to be pursuing a Master’s probably in 2019. Right now I’m looking at schools in the city with a Master in Fine Arts..being a video production guy. I think I can put a dent in the TV industry, if I could say so myself,” said Cullen.
Patrick Estanbouli’s resume is a mile long, but for all the right reasons.
One of his biggest roles thus far has been his position on the student government executive board as the vice president of residential affairs.
“I’ve focused on listening and trying my best to fix major and minor issues in the residence halls as well as help SGA in creating events and programs that all students, residents and commuters, could enjoy together,” said Estanbouli.
His position has him focusing on aspects that impact the lives of resident students such as exam week relaxation programs, Horan elevator repairs and implementing printing kiosks in the residence halls.
Estanbouli is also an RA in Jasper Hall.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have such an amazing group and family of residents in Jasper that have really helped me foster a home environment in which all of us are there for each other. Furthermore, I’ve really fallen in love with the family that is established amongst the RA’s who are an increasingly diverse group of leaders and involved students who really care about each other and the MC community,” said Estanbouli.
Another key aspect of his leadership roles and personality is his position for the new art club, Sanctus Artem.
“You can’t describe Pat without talking about his art, because the man is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Not only is his work astounding, but it [matches] his character,” said Tara Magee, co-president of Sanctus Artem.
Estanbouli is proud of the work the club has shown to the MC community.
“We’ve been able to pull of an extremely successful first annual SA Art Show in the fall which involved students, alumni, and faculty/administration,” said Estanbouli.
Estanbouli will be moving to Houston to help design a STEM center. He hopes to return to academics for a Master’s in Fine Arts or Communication Design.
Kayla Grimme will be a name the athletic department won’t soon forget. Grimme, a member of the women’s basketball team at Manhattan College, has been a strong and key team player for the team throughout her career.
Grimme’s recent major achievement was reaching 1,000 points since she’s been on the team, a title not many Jaspers achieve. She then went on to finished the season as one of just two Manhattan women’s basketball players to reach the 1,300-point and 900-rebound thresholds in their careers.
Her focus helped her reach that amount, along with the teammates she has been with since the beginning.
“I think it’s really exciting when we can really get a two-man game going and I can get those good passes back out to her,” Grimme told the media about teammate Imani Tatum after the MAAC tournament opener against Iona. The team won 55-39 on March 1 and moved onto the next round to face Marist.
Despite the team’s hard times, Grimme has been appreciative of her time on the team, which has brought her great successes. Those include being named to the All-MAAC Second Team this past year and All-Metropolitan and All-MAAC Third Team the previous year.
“I think it’s very gratifying to, now that I’m in my fifth year, seeing a lot my hard work paying off […] at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be in this position at all without any of my teammates,” said Grimme after a game this season to The Quadrangle. “Either getting me the ball or pushing me harder in practice everyday.”
While the women’s basketball team gets better every year, Grimme will be a tough member to replace.
Ally Hutzler is no stranger to The Quadrangle. The newspaper’s former Editor-in-Chief for the year of 2016, Hutzler has been an important member of the newspaper staff since starting on the staff her freshman year as part of the Quadrangle scholarship program.
“I am so proud of the work we’ve done to keep the campus informed and keep record of the awesome accomplishments of our students and staff. I also have been involved in athletics since day one, watching the progression of the swim team and was named captain for this past season,” said Hutzler.
Breaking records left and right, Hutzler has had a breakout season on the swim team, breaking her own school records in 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke: swimming 57.85 seconds and 1:06.08 respectively at the most recent MAAC championships.
During her time with The Quadrangle, balancing being her student-athlete and a full-time reporter, Hutzler has produced many stories for the paper. Her most notable column, “The Freshman Files” gave Hutzler a Quaddie Award nomination her freshman year.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in a few different things on campus and being able to meet the most amazing people,” said Hutzler.
But overall, her time as editor-in-chief solidified her nomination for the first-ever Quad 10 list.
“Getting this Quad 10 nomination, alongside so many greatly deserving candidates, is the perfect way to end my four years here. These accomplishments never would have been possible without Manhattan’s supportive community and I’m so thankful for the people who helped me along the way,” said Hutzler.
A recognizable face on campus, Ryan Quattromani has his hands full with his many leadership roles on campus.
“Since enrollment, I made it my mission to make Manhattan College better than when I first stepped foot on campus, and I feel I was successful in my mission. Serving our community was difficult times and required commitment and sacrifice which is why I particularly appreciate this recognition. That being said, there are many other students deserving of recognition. We should have a Quad 1000,” said Quattromani.
A people-person on campus, Quattromani is most often seen in Horan Hall, where he is a resident assistant. But he is also a strong proponent within student government, where he has served on both executive board and as an assembly member.
“I gave it my full attention and treated it as a job at times. It is also worth noting that my participation in Student Government adversely affected my academic performance at times. Obviously, spending nearly twenty hours per week working on Student Government tasks/issues was difficult on my academics at times. This is something I learned to manage over time, but was not a deal-breaker for me as a student leader,” said Quattromani.
Balancing his responsibilities benefited him in the long-run, allowing him to work alongside student body president Micaela Bishop to bring about the biggest change on campus students have seen in years: the minimum-wage resolution.
“This year I heard concerns from many students regarding the on-campus student employment wage. In an effort to truly serve the community, I worked tirelessly for nearly five months to ask college administrators to increase the student employment minimum wage from $9/hr. to that of New York minimum wage. This required multiple meetings with college leaders, passing a proposal through Student Government, the Senate, and eventually approval by President O’Donnell and the Board of Trustees. I am really proud that I was successful in my endeavor. I know it made a significant difference in the lives of students.”
Rich Williams has overcome major limitations in order to finish up his basketball career. A member of the men’s basketball team since 2013, Williams spent the year of 2016-2017 as a medical redshirt, meaning he would not step foot on the court until he was cleared the following year.
The 39th member of the Jaspers’ 1,000-point club, Williams has always played a key integral role on the men’s team, regardless of the game.
“He came to me a week ago and said, ‘Coach, I think we’re a little flat when we go to the bench. What do you think about me coming off the bench and trying to get some life and spark to us,’” Head coach Stephen Masiello said in an interview with The Quadrangle back in 2015. “I think that says a lot about his character that he wants to do what’s best for the team. So, it was his idea and I think you’ve seen our bench production go way up now with him coming off the bench.”
Most recently, Williams’ energy was playing in the inaugural 3-on-3 tournament alongside teammate Zane Waterman and two other players from MAAC schools.
One of Williams’ favorite parts of his basketball career was the Sixth Borough.
“To end in that way…was phenomenal,” Williams said after senior night win against the Quinnipiac Bobcats. “And to have it here with the great fans was icing on the cake.”
Williams’ last appearance with the full Jaspers was seen during the MAAC Tournament in Albany, N.Y. at the beginning of March. The team lost in the quarterfinal against the Iona Gaels.
“It’s been an unbelievable time. If I could go back, I’d do it all again,” said Williams to media at the time.