What’s in a Name?
TAGS: Faculty & StaffOn Campus


For Vice President for Student Affairs Brian O’Shaughnessy, MEd, it was the dedication of the Dorothy A. Guarnera, RN, Testing Laboratory in honor of his mother, who would have been 81 years old on January 15, 2019. She died six years prior as the result of a blood disorder called myelofibrosis, an uncommon type of chronic leukemia that effects the blood-forming tissues in the body.


(From left) The Honorable John M. Payne ’75, AIC Criminal Justice Professor Jill McCarthy Payne, JD, MEd, with AIC President Vince Maniaci at the dedication of the “No Payne, No Gain” study/conversation space connecting DAR and Amaron Halls.


During the dedication, O’Shaughnessy reflected on his mother and her chosen avocation, weaving Guarnera’s life mission with that of AIC. O’Shaughnessy purposefully chose his mother’s maiden name of Guarnera as the namesake of the testing laboratory to recognize her legacy as a first generation Italian American.

In trying to determine which space to name in her honor, O’Shaughnessy wanted to recognize his family’s long history of healthcare professionals including his mother who graduated from St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in Worcester, making the state-of-the-art Colaccino Center for Health Sciences a consideration. Describing his mother as a modest, simple, and introverted person, O’Shaughnessy shared, “When trying to determine what to name in her honor, I thought about places on campus that would have more public exposure and more prominence, and that I would be able to see every day. But when I saw the purpose of this simple but significant lab, modestly tucked in the back corner of this showcase building, I knew this testing lab was most appropriate. It suits her in personality. It suits her life’s work, and it suits her in acknowledging the blood disorder that eventually got the best of her.”

Similarly, family history inspired a dedicated space for Criminal Justice Professor Jill McCarthy Payne, JD, MEd, and The Honorable John M. Payne ’75. The “No Payne, No Gain” study/conversation space at the top of the third floor landing connecting DAR and Amaron Halls was unveiled in March. During the dedication ceremony, Professor Payne shared that the College has been an important institution for other members of her family. In addition to AIC being Judge Payne’s alma mater, the College provided an education for Professor Payne’s grateful father and uncle who attended on the GI Bill after World War II.

From all of us at American International College—a heartfelt thank you to Vice President O’Shaughnessy, Professor Payne and her husband Judge Payne for their dedication and commitment to AIC and its students.

To learn more about how you can support AIC and its mission, visit aic.edu/give or call 413.205.3520.