Professor Earns KappA Delta Pi Honors, Co-Writes Mercy’s History

Mercy College is proud to have one of its own honored by Kappa Delta Pi as a teacher of honor: third year professor,  Dr. Eric Martone.

Martone is an assistant profesor of social studies education. The award recipients are select educators who demostrate “leadership, classroom integrity and commintment to professional development” while making contributions to the profession of education.

The president of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society of education, stated, “Great teachers change lives by inspiring students to recognize their gifts and to learn how to use them to pursue a worthy dream. Dr. Martone is one such teacher.”

The School of Education Dean, Dr. Alfred Posamentier, echoed the sentiment by saying Martone “exemplifies what a master teacher should be.”

Martone stated that teaching has always been his number one priority, and that it is “extremely gratifying to receive such recognition from my professional peers.”

In only his third academic year at Mercy College,  Martone has helped draft Mercy’s honored history in a new book by the History Press.

The co-written book “Mercy College: Now and Then” by  Martone and journalism assistant professor Michael Perrota, is a general interest book about the history of Mercy College.

“I was interested in knowing more about Mercy’s history because my background is in history and it’s almost like a compulsion,” said Martone. “I look up the history of everything.”

He explained his experience of attending other colleges as a student and knowing everything about them as a habit.

“A lot of other colleges have books about their school, but I was surprised that I couldn’t find a book about Mercy,” explained Martone. “All the schools I went to as a student had either a book or multiple books on the school’s history.”

The publishing of the book was only half the struggle, Martone and Perrota worked together for about a year to get it done.

“The two largest publishers that we looked into were Arcadia and History Press. History Press gave us better terms while the other publishers were looking mostly for photos.”

Martone and Perrota have known each other for nearly 15 years and had nothing but nice things to say about the experience they had with each other.

“Eric is one of the finest historians I have ever known. It was a pleasure working with him on the book, and I’m extremely happy for him in regard to his Kappa Delta Pi honor. He certainly deserves it.”

“We worked nicely together (Perrota) because of his profession, journalism, and my profession, history,” Martone said. “We intended to make it not a scholarly study, but more of a general interest book with a lot of photos.”

The book has tons of pictures that catch the eyes of the readers as well as give the audience a vision of what Mercy College used to be.

“I did research that summer at the Rockefeller archives in Sleepy Hallow because, believe it or not, they have more information about our history than we do,” Martone explained. “In the earlier years, the college was founded by Sisters of Mercy at a site in Tarrytown. Rockefeller was right next door to them, and they had a very complex relationship, so many of the documents obtaining to the early years of the college are actually there, which would be the history around the 1950s through the 60s.”

Rockefeller used to live next door to the sisters who owned the property and after years and years of asking the sisters of Mercy College to give up the property, they gave in and gave it to Rockefeller. The next day Rockefeller knocked down the building due to the long years of waiting for it. Unfortunately, the original campus of Mercy College no longer exists, but in the book there are numerous pictures of the campus along with pictures of the sisters and the original ground.

“I eventually found out that one of the founding members of the academy, Sister Mary Agnes Perel, had written an early history, but it was never properly published.”

He added, “We have been working on making an archive in our library, but it is still in its early stages and we are still working on it. It would really only go from the late 70’s and on.”

Even though Martone said he enjoyed writing the book and it was interesting for him, this isn’t usually his forte.

He has wrote a couple of books including: The Black Musketeer and Royalists, Radicals and Les Miserables. “Usually I write about European history. I went on a bit of a tangent writing about Mercy history.”

The book is only $20 at the Mercy College bookstore or online at Barnes and Nobles.