Longtime Professor of Manhattan College Communication Students Dies at 80

Sister Patricia McGowan, S.C., was a key member of the faculty to many communication students at Manhattan during the cooperative program with CMSV.

Sr.-Patricia-Mc-Gowan.jpgSister Patricia McGowan, S.C., professor emeritus of communication at the College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV), where she taught journalism for nearly 40 years, died on April 19, 2020. She was 80.

She was a key member of the faculty to many communication students at Manhattan during the cooperative program with CMSV. Sr. Patricia was known for helping many students secure internships in the communication field and creating a network of communication alumni from both Manhattan College and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, as well as her attention to detail, especially when it came to the Associated Press Style Guide.

“Sr. Pat was an amazing storyteller, a natural born communicator,” says Robert Coleman, coordinator of media and technology for the communication department and member of the Manhattan College faculty, who also worked with Sr. Patricia for years at the Mount. “Each and every one of [her students] is a better person for having her as part of their lives.”

With a bachelor’s degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Sr. Patricia also earned a master’s in education from Hunter College, a master’s in journalism from New York University, and a doctorate in higher and adult education from Teachers College of Columbia University.

She began her teaching ministry on the elementary level at St. Brigid in Manhattan, teaching fourth grade. She also taught at Our Lady of Mercy School, Port Chester; Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Manhattan; and Our Lady of Angels School, Bronx over the first 20 years of her ministry.

She began teaching journalism at CMSV in 1981, serving as chair of the department from 1987-1996. She taught full time until 2009 and part time for another decade before retiring in 2019. She served on the advisory board of Vision, the Sisters of Charity’s quarterly publication for many years and also contributed to an upcoming book on the history of the Congregation.

In 1991, Sr. Patricia was awarded the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award by CMSV. Off campus, she served as a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers and a safe house for women recently released from the net of human trafficking. Always the educator, Sr. Patricia helped a number of the residents earn their GED. She also served as a sponsor to a number of CMSV staff and former students in the Associate Program of the Sisters of Charity. Sr. Patricia entered the Sisters of Charity in 1956.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews. Services were private due to the pandemic. A prayer service and memorial Mass will be held at a later date.

Patrice Athanasidy