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Hermano Victor Capellan Named Central Falls Schools Superintendent

Central Falls, Rhode Island — April 2015

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — The Central Falls Board of Trustees has named Victor Capellan as the new superintendent, pending final approval by state Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist.
Capellan will replace Supt. Frances Gallo, who is retiring in June.

Capellan had served as deputy superintendent for transformation at Central Falls High School for four years and recently left the district to work for the nonprofit Mass Insight Education, a national education consulting firm.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Victor back to lead our school district,” said board Chairwoman Anna Cano-Morales. “Victor played a critical role in transforming Central Falls High School and his deep connections with our staff, teachers, students, parents and wider community make him the ideal candidate to continue moving our school district forward.”
“Having worked next to Victor for years and seeing his dedication to improving our schools, I know that he will be an excellent superintendent,” Gallo said. “Victor was instrumental in implementing several successful transformation programs and community partnerships, and under his leadership as superintendent I know he will continue to improve results for all of our students.”
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next Superintendent of the Central Falls School District,” Capellan said in a prepared statement. “Following in the footsteps of Dr. Gallo and all that she has achieved for our students will be no easy task. But I learned from the best and I know that by working with our entire school community, we will continue the transformation of our schools so that all of our students receive the education they deserve and graduate ready for college and career success.”
If approved by Gist, Capellan will begin work as superintendent on June 29, and he’ll work closely with Gallo in the transition.
Mayor James A. Diossa said he has seen “Victor’s dedication to our students firsthand and I know that our community will welcome his leadership as the next superintendent of the Central Falls School District.”
“While I was a student at Central Falls High School, Victor played a big part in my success,” said David Hernandez, Central Falls High School valedictorian in 2012 who attends Brown University. “He believed in me and believed that our entire school could improve. I know that same dedicating and caring will make Victor a great superintendent and inspire Central Falls students to success.”

– Dan McGowan & Linda Borg

This article originally appeared on and

Lambda Upsilon Lambda Announces 2015 Medical Mission

Dajabón, DR — March 2015


It is with great pleasure that we present to you the 2015 LUL Medical Mission to Dajabón, Dominican Republic on June 6 – 14, 2015.  This year, La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.  has partnered up with Waves of Health on this intitivative to address the medical needs of the people in the Dajabón Province.

The Dajabón Province is in the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic. About 90,000 people live within the province, and over 60,000 live in the municipalities of Dajabón and Loma de Cabrera. The local economy primarily depends on agriculture and trade with neighboring Haiti. Unfortunately, the people of Dajabón have little economic development and poor access to healthcare. Volunteers will fly into the Puerto Plata and drive to Dajabón and Loma de Cabrera. Meals, housing and transportation in the Dominican Republic will be provided. At the conclusion of the mission, volunteers will spend two relaxing days at the Barcelo Puerto Plata, an all-inclusive resort that is included.

The mission‘s overall budget is much greater than what we ask in terms of contributions.  Each participant will be asked to contribute $400 to go towards the costs of food, housing, medications, transportation, and hotel stay.  Airfare is not included. For those traveling out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, there will be a discounted group rate that has been prepared by Waves of Health. The deadline to qualify for the group rate out of Newark is quickly approaching so please contact us quickly if you are interested in applying for this.

In order to better serve the community of the Dajabón Province, we are actively seeking the support and participation of more medical doctor’s and nurses. If you are an MD or an RN, please consider applying for our 2015 mission as your expertise will be sorely needed to more adequately educate and help the people living in this province of the Dominican Republic. If you do not speak Spanish, do not let this deter you as translators will be plentiful.

Please visit the official 2015 Medical Mission page for more information. You will be able to apply via that page and find out more about the 2015 LUL Medical Mission and Waves of Health.

For more information, you may reach out to the National Officer of Community Affairs, Glenn Garcia at

Hermano Erik Paulino Speaks On Bout With Testicular Cancer

New York, NY — November 2014

Testicular Cancer - MovemberBeginning November 2014, after seeing the initiative from Hermano Quedwin Medina (SPR ’08, H), La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. made the decision to nationally join the Movember movement in order to begin raising awareness on issues of men’s health including mental health, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. “The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men’s health programs.” Utilizing the hashtag #MoLambdas, Hermanos from across the country began to join, growing moustaches and raising money for the Movember Foundation. According to its website, “the Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health.” Having “raised $559 million to date and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries”, the national leadership saw this as an opportunity for Hermanos all over the world to get involved in raising awareness about health issues affecting men everywhere. If you wish to learn more about #Movember, or are interested in supporting Hermanos currently participating, please visit our national network here:

As we begin to reach the end of Movember, we would like to share the story of Hermano Erik Paulino (SPR ’90, ∆), a two-time testicular cancer survivor who, in light of the recent Movember initiative, has decided to share his journey and story of survival in his own words:

My name is Erik Paulino, and I am 43 years old. I’m an Hermano of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., and pledged at the University of Pennsylvania (Delta Chapter) in the Spring of 1990. I’m married, and have been with my wife Aida for over 10 years. We have beautiful 2-year-old twin daughters.

I am also a two-time testicular cancer survivor; six years in remission.

I was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in one testis when I was 35 years old, which is peculiar Testicular Cancer - Movemberbeing that 35 is normally considered the end of the age range for men to be at high risk for the disease. As you can imagine, the first time being told that you have cancer even though you never felt anything out of the ordinary, or even felt pain, was unbelievable. The questions were overflowing and constant throughout that time. Most significantly I wanted to know – Why? What caused it? Why there? Can only the bad cells just be surgically removed, leaving the testis? How will this change my sex life? Will I be able to have kids?

When one thinks of cancer, images of the effects of chemo – people losing all of their hair – come to mind. Death comes to mind. Lifelong infertility comes to mind. With these images swirling in my mind, I decided I wanted to have the best treatment available, and went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in the Upper East Side where I had me diagnosis confirmed, and the doctors decided that the best course of action would need to be an orchiectomy, a month of radiation, and ongoing surveillance. Before we could move forward, I was strongly urged to bank sperm. Because, even though I would still have one testis, it’s never known what the overall effects the radiation may have.

Banking sperm, especially when your state of mind is disturbed with the sense that your time is limited as the surgery needs to happen as soon as possible, is not pleasant, but I was able to bank some vials and have them cryopreserved. This will eventually prove to be one of my greatest decisions and lead to sun shines later in life.

On June 2, 2006, I had the surgery, which was successful, and before I fully recovered, I had to start radiation, which entailed daily doses on the inguinal lymphatic region that left me extremely fatigued, but still able to report to work.

After radiation, that was it. I was done with the hard part. Now I just needed to report for regular monthly x-rays and annual CT-scans, in addition to medical exams to make sure the cancer stayed in remission. I was told the radiation should’ve done its job of “killing” any lingering cancer cells and  that it would decrease my chances for a recurrence from 16 percent to a mere 4 percent. The remaining testis would produce enough testosterone and sperm for my body’s needs. You only really need one, I was constantly told.

I continued with my life, with a greater appreciation for life as the experience made me more grateful for what I had, and for those that loved me. I was now a cancer survivor.

Two years later, at 37 years of age, I reported for a regular medical appointment at the hospital, and was told news that no testicular cancer survivor wants to hear, my remaining testis had cancer cells. In essence, the cancer was back. With this cancer resurgence, the normal medical response would be radiation, chemotherapy, and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, along with the necessary orchiectomy.

Now I was really scared. Surgery would be more invasive, permanently affecting my immune system with the removal of critical lymph nodes. At this point, I’ve heard more horror stories about chemo, in addition to fear of the unknown. What if I go through all this, and it comes back again? The risk was already just 4 percent, and it came back! Maybe this is worse than they originally thought. Depression started setting in. But I had to keep strong. I had to trust in God and rely on the support of my loved ones.

I was told that an orchiectomy and aggressive surveillance would be the best course of action. The second orchiectomy was a success, but now my body had no way of producing sperm or testosterone. My initial cryopreserved sperm was it…for the rest of my life.

Testosterone replacement was handled with daily doses of Androgel, and I once again continued with my life, now riddled with more regular x-rays, blood tests, ct-scans, and medical appointments.

Amidst all this, later that year, I got engaged, and married the following September 2009. A year later, my wife and I decided to look into the feasibility of birthing a child, and met with fertility doctors at Cornell Weill Medical Center.  We had no way of knowing if the cryopreserved sperm would be useable once it was thawed, let alone the high possibility of the procedure not working. I had no idea how many of the vials of sperm would be used, or if all would be consumed in one attempt.

To make a long story short, my twin daughters, Camila Belen and Valentina Chloe were born on TwinsDecember 2011, after a successful in-vitro fertilization in April 2011.

My life has been blessed. Without this story, these girls would not be sleeping in their beds as I type these words. Now, with six years in remission, my ct-scans are back to being annual, and x-rays/medical exams are semi-annual. Testosterone replacement is currently done with a dozen pellets surgically inserted into my flanks every three months as Androgel is no longer an option because of the danger of exposure to my young children. All-in-all these are small prices to pay in order to live the blessed life I have been given.

We, as men, don’t care enough about ourselves. Too many of us have lost fathers, uncles, brothers, and grandfathers to illnesses that are preventable. We can stop smoking. We can drink moderately. We can eat well. We can exercise. We can go for regular medical check-ups. We can protect ourselves. We cannot ignore signs of ailment. We have a responsibility to ourselves, and our loved ones to keep ourselves well to the best of our ability. It’s time to ensure that we, as men, raise awareness about the issues that plague our gender.

Hermano Dr. Pedro J. Santana Profiled For Hispanic Heritage Month

Galloway, NJ — October 2014

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the South Jersey Times is profiling members of the local Hispanic community who have made a difference in the lives of others.

Dr. Pedro J. Santana has dedicated his life to educating others and guiding them to their success.

Dr. Pedro J. Santana has dedicated his life to educating others and guiding them to their success.

With a firm belief that education is the key to a better tomorrow, to a tomorrow full of success, change, and fulfilled dreams, it’s no wonder that Dr. Pedro J. Santana has dedicated his life to educating others and guiding them to their success.

And it is through those successes that Santana finds his.

“I’m very fortunate that by what I’ve done and what I’ve been able to do has gotten me to my dreams,” said Santana.

“But I’m even more fortunate because by living my dreams I can make a difference and challenge others, like I’ve been challenged, to work hard and start living their dreams, too.”

His aspirations of educating and guiding have pushed him to work hard and because of this and his drive to help others Santana is one of four South Jersey residents being presented with the Puerto Rican Action Committee of Southern New Jersey’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 24.

“I’m so humbled to have won this and I will accept this knowing it is a great responsibility,” said Santana.

“There were people supporting me every step of the way and they created the spark that drove me to deserve this. I’ve done this through my education and education is really a magical thing.”

Santana currently serves as the Dean of Students at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey making him responsible for the leadership of programs that provide support and services to a student body composed of 8,500, both graduate and undergraduate.

Santana’s drive to help others succeed and driving force behind getting so heavily involved with education was an experience during his college career.

“I had this wonderful educational opportunity counselor who guided me, provided unconditional support and challenged me, all while mentoring me in the right direction,” said Santana. “At the end of my college experience I said to myself ‘That’s what I’m going to do.'”

Santana did his research and found out what he needed to do to make it a reality.

“From that point, it was all I wanted to do — work with people and help them to achieve their goals and reach their dreams,” said Santana.

While at Stockton College he has dedicated much time to providing oversight in the expansion of the college’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program.

The EOF program is designed to serve students from economically and academically challenged areas. The program has grown and flourished in such a way that it is nationally recognized and serves as a model for schools of New Jersey.

“Education is a true equalizer and it allows individuals to transform not only themselves but their communities and the future as well,” said Santana. “The EOF program gives more students the ability to do that and work to achieve their dreams.”

Although Santana currently holds a high administrative position he remains grounded in the classroom by still holding teaching positions at Stockton College’s School of Business and at the Wilmington University College of Business.

Santana has taught courses in Organizational Behavior and Business Management among others.

In order to achieve his goals of educating others and helping students to achieve their dreams, Santana went through many years of schooling received his doctorate in Business Administration from Wilmington University, a master’s degree in Student Personnel administration from Buffalo State College, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and American Studies from the University at Buffalo and a master of master’s degree in Organizational Management from Eastern Connecticut State University.

In addition to his degrees, Santana has received numerous awards and honors. He has received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators award, New Professional of the Year in the state of Connecticut, 2006 Advisor of the Year, and the Stockton Community Engagement Award.

Santana has also participated in multiple executive leadership development programs including a year-long Leadership New Jersey Fellows program and the Executive Leadership Academy, a year long program sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges.

Santana’s awards and achievements are a testament to the hard work and efforts he puts in to bettering the community and the lives of countless students.

Santana uses a quote by Winston Churchill to explain his efforts and work ethic.

Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

“We all need to view the world as an optimist because that means seeing the world through the eyes of hope and chance and that’s how I want to see things,” said Santana. “Looking at the world as an optimist makes insurmountable goals obtainable.”

Santana will be given the 2014 PRAC Lifetime Achievement Award with Mayra Arroyo, Andres Lopez and Lucy Jimenez at the PRAC of Southern New Jersey 2014 Gala on Oct. 24 at the Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove Township.

“There is always an opportunity to work and to make a difference and that’s what winning this means, it means moving the needle in a positive direction,” said Santana.

“We all have great days and not so great days, but it’s still a day that we’re given. We should all take that day, count our blessings, and work towards making dreams come true.”

– Caitlyn Stulpin, Staff Writer
This article originally appeared on

Kappa Chapter Unites Yale in Response to Hate

New Haven, CT — October 2014

When Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway penned an Oct. 13 email to students about swastikas found chalked onto a campus sidewalk, he implored students to stand together as a community. “There is no room for hate in this house,” Holloway wrote.

Yale senior Javier Cienfuegos and friends took those words to heart and turned the graffiti’s message completely on its head, creating a powerful mural communicating support for Jewish students and diversity in the Ivy League school’s community.

Students work on mural.

Students work on mural.

Though school officials had the swastikas mostly scrubbed from the sidewalk by Oct. 13, some faint outlines remained. So Cienfuegos and fraternity brothers William Genova and Sebastian Medina-Tayac set to work that night outside the freshman residence hall where the graffiti had been drawn, washing away the remaining outlines with dish soap and Lysol.

Word of their effort spread via a Facebook post by Cienfuegos.

Soon, a large group was covering the sidewalk with words of love and support. Hearts, peace signs and Stars of David dotted the pavement. At their center was the blue Yale “Y” and Holloway’s words from the email in big bubble letters: “There’s no room for H8 in this house.”

Yale Swastika Mural

“I think it was my way of telling people that I don’t care if it was an idiotic prank or a hoax, this kind of thing isn’t okay on my campus,” Cienfuegos told The Huffington Post.

“It shows how much Yalies appreciate the diversity that this campus has,” Genova said of the effort. “At the end of the day, Yale really celebrates that, and students really come together. We don’t just respect it, we encourage it, and we thrive off this.”

He says that as the re-chalking of the sidewalk stretched into early morning, as many as 75 students came and added to the mural. According to Cienfuegos, so many people joined in that they had to get more chalk midway through.

“Our community felt a contagious wave of love, and it swept across the entirety of Durfee’s walkway,” wrote Cienfuegos in a Facebook post about the finished mural. “We will turn their hate into love, and we invite all Yalies, whoever you are, to join our crusade.”

Check out more photos of the students’ powerful mural below.

LUL Yale Mural

Student with Yale Mural

Yale Student Mural

Anne Frank Yale Mural

– Cate Matthews
This article originally appeared on