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Andrew C. Ciofalo, founder of Loyola University Maryland journalism program, dies in Russia

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Andrew C. Ciofalo, founder of Loyola University Maryland journalism program, dies in Russia


Andrew C. Ciofalo, a veteran newspaperman who established the journalism program at Loyola University Maryland and also directed an American study-abroad education company, died March 7 of undetermined causes at Moscow City Hospital No. 67. He was 89.

The former Towson resident had lived in Russia for the last five years with his wife of many years, Dr. Olga Timofeeva, a neuroscientist.

“Professor Ciofalo helped to inspire my passion for journalism. He encouraged me to take on leadership roles in our college newspaper and he taught me the importance of an independent press that holds people and institutions in power to account,” wrote Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Sun, in an email.

Kevin M. Atticks, Maryland secretary of agriculture, had also been a student of Professor Ciofalo.

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“He was a rare combination of practitioner and visionary,” Mr. Atticks wrote in an email. “His friendship, humor and mentorship was omnipresent, and his lifelong commitment to experimental education ran deep.”

Andrew Carmine Ciofalo, son of Andrew C. Ciofalo Sr., a tile mason and artisan, and his wife, Frances, a retail manager, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and was a graduate of Salesian High School on Staten Island.

Professor Ciafalo earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

He began his newspaper career in 1955 as an editorial assistant for the New York Daily News, and after graduating from Columbia, was named managing editor of Manhattan East, a New York city weekly community newspaper. He had been a contributor to the old Brooklyn Eagle.

From 1962 to 1969, he had been an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia Journalism; an editorial consultant to Circus Magazine; a senior writer for Custom Book Publishers; a managing editor of Clyde Magazine, a general men’s magazine; and a radio news writer for the old New York Herald Tribune.

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Professor Ciafalo was a lecturer in journalism at Brooklyn College from 1962 to 1972 and director of development at the New York Institute of Technology.

From 1970 to 1976, he was director of college relations and development at Bronx Community College. While there, he established a university housing initiative, the University Heights Development Corp., that renovated off-campus dormitories as senior citizen housing.

In 1981, he served as an editor and writer for McGraw Hill, where he wrote a newsletter, “This Month In Telecommunications.”

Professor Ciofalo was hired in 1983 by Loyola where he established what is now its Communication Department.

“Andy Ciofalo was an energetic and innovative member of the Communication Department faculty at Loyola, where he founded the journalism and editing track,” wrote John E. McIntyre, former copy desk chief and assistant managing editor at The Sun, in an email.

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“He was intimately involved in the creation of the book editing track and establishment of the student-run publisher Apprentice House Press,” wrote Mr. McIntyre, who was an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at Loyola where he taught editing. “I was invited twice to participate in his summer program in Cagli in Italy’s Marche. Over four weeks undergraduates did interviews, wrote stories, took photographs and created online content. He was a huge encourager of students and faculty.”

Professor Ciofalo had a knack for recruiting students.

“Andy single-handedly altered the trajectory of my life and career,” Mr. Atticks wrote. “Toward the end of my freshman year, I was leaving a music class contemplating a music major when the elevator door opened and there was Andy.

“After a quick two-flight conversation, Andy had convinced me to give journalism and publishing a try. It worked. Now 30 years later, I’m leading the very publishing house Andy envisioned, Apprentice House Press, that would provide book industry experience for our students, and have built a career founded on communication.”

Professor Andrew C. Ciofalo had a knack for recruiting students to the journalism program at Loyola Maryland University.

“He leaves a legacy of teaching so many aspiring journalists over the years and I feel fortunate that our paths crossed,” Mr. Alatzas wrote.

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In 2002, he founded the Cagli Program in International Reporting, and since 2005, Professor Ciofalo had been president of the Institute for Education in International Media — ieiMedia LLC — which operates the Cagli Program as an independent entity, and includes partnerships with Marquette University, Temple University and Gonzaga University.

The institute also includes experimental projects in Italy, Northern Ireland, China, Spain, Israel and Turkey, in partnership with San Francisco State University, Iowa State University, James Madison University, University of Jamestown, Cal State University Fullerton, Guangxi Normal University and Hebrew University.

After 30 years at Loyola, he retired in 2013, and moved to Venice, Florida.

Reflecting on his tenure in a Sun op-ed piece in 2023, Professor Ciofalo wrote:

“Would I do anything different today? Of course I would. I would work with students to engage intellectually with the issues facing journalism now. Never has the threat been so terminal,” he wrote.

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“But also there never have been more platforms to which we must adapt without losing the meaning of journalism for our society. We are living in a selfie world where ego supersedes the truth of objectivity. Even more challenging, a mind-altered society cannot distinguish between the real world and fantasy. If there is an audience out there, we have to find it — and nurture it.”

When he wasn’t writing, teaching or lecturing, Professor Ciofalo enjoyed traveling. He was also a frequent contributor to The Sun and other newspapers.

“He loved Italy and cooking and eating, and was also a great cook himself,” said his daughter, Terri Ciofalo, of Champaign, Illinois. “He was also a baritone tenor and enjoyed singing.”

Last month, in a blog post, Professor Ciofalo contemplated the lede, or opening paragraph, of his obituary, and had written several suggested entries.

His headline was “Old and Productive — Gone today,” and he had written:

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“Prof. Emeritus Andrew Ciofalo, who actively ran his American study-abroad education company well into his 90’s, died today at age 98 while living obscurely on financial fumes in Moscow, Russia.”

Under a second headline, “He Coulda Been Somebody,” he had written: “The prideful young man who was once called ‘the best writer’ in his Columbia graduate journalism class by the revered Prof. Larry Pinkham, died today at age 98 in Moscow, Russia — never having lived up to those expectations. But Prof. Andrew Ciofalo did pivot into an innovative career in journalism education where he helped others fulfill his faded dream.”

Plans for services to be held in the chapel on the Loyola campus are incomplete.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Timofeeva, and daughter, he is survived by a son, David Andrew Ciofalo of Roland Park; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Lynn Tosh of Roland Park; a brother, Thomas Ciofalo of Ramsey, New Jersey; and four grandchildren. Earlier marriages to Linda Stivak and Judith Dobler, ended in divorce.



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Rural Maryland Council Announces FY 2025 Grant Information Sessions – Conduit Street

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Rural Maryland Council Announces FY 2025 Grant Information Sessions – Conduit Street


The Rural Maryland Council is excited to host five Fiscal Year 2025 grant information sessions this spring.

These information sessions are important opportunities for participants to meet RMC staff and learn about the Council’s two grant programs – the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF). See below for upcoming grant information sessions and visit the website for more details

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Northeast Maryland – Register Here
  • Thursday, April 25,2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Southern Maryland – Register Here
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Western Maryland – Register Here
  • Thursday, May 2, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Eastern Maryland – Register Here





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Patuxent River Sailor Commended for Providing Life-Saving Roadside Assistance After Tragic Crash in Hollywood

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Patuxent River Sailor Commended for Providing Life-Saving Roadside Assistance After Tragic Crash in Hollywood


Photo By Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon | PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (April 19, 2024) – Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado of Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River rendered life-saving care to injured motorists following a vehicle collision in Hollywood, Maryland April 7.

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado is no stranger to high-stress scenarios.

As a Navy armament weapons support equipment technician with Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River (NMCLANT DET Pax) his duties include supporting both air- and surface-launched weapons by performing intermediate level maintenance on both peculiar and common ordnance handling and transportation equipment.

Maintaining the equipment that transports explosive ordnance requires a strong nerve, so it is no surprise that he was able to coolly and calmly act when he came across a vehicle collision shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, April 7.

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Driving with his wife, Mercado saw the scene of the collision involving a motorcycle and a compact SUV at Three Notch Road and Tom Hodges Drive in Hollywood, Maryland. Realizing he was the first on scene he went into action without a second thought.

“It was just a natural instinct to stop,” recounted Mercado. “As soon as I saw the accident my first thought was to get there as fast as I could and help out the victims.”

Telling his wife to call 911, he assessed the scene and began to check all parties for injuries. Finding the driver of the SUV responsive and able to talk, she asked Mercado to check on her child in the backseat.

“The child was in the back unconscious from the collision,” said Mercado, going through the scenario play-by-play. “I started to ask if she can hear me or move at all. I checked for a pulse and told the mother her daughter was still alive and with a pulse. My next step was to check on the motorcyclist and I was asking if he could hear me and then I tapped him a couple times and got no response.”

Mercado was then joined on the scene by an off-duty St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy, who began to assist with the injured as well, freeing Mercado to check back on the unconscious child in the SUV.

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“My wife handed me the phone since I had a better understanding being in the car and getting a triage done on those involved,” said Mercado. “I told the 911 operator my guess on the age of the two unconscious people and told them I checked for a pulse on the little girl. The off-duty sheriff asked me to help stabilize the girls’ neck and he took over the call to the dispatcher.”

Joined by a third passerby, Mercado enlisted her with helping the driver out of the SUV.

“I told her she needs to get the mom and take her out the car because I didn’t want her to see her child like this,” said Mercado. “After that the first responders came and asked us if we needed a collar for the child’s neck, then went off to get one and our next focus was to get her out of the car.”

Mercado’s initial assessment of the scene made it clear that the SUV’s door buckled in the collision with enough force to roll the SUV’s frame onto the child’s booster seat, making it difficult to remove her from that side of the vehicle.

“I told them I can just carry her out from the car,” said Mercado. “I unbuckled her and then cradled her and scooted out of the car then carried her to the gurney. They then asked for her name, so I went to the mother and asked her for it. After I got it, I proceeded back to the area where they were tending to her and called her by her name to get a response.”

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Tragically, despite the efforts of Mercado and first responders who began CPR, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman and child were transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital and flown by Maryland State Police to separate hospitals for further care.

For those who know Mercado, his actions that day speak volumes to his character.

“AO2’s ability to jump into a scene and render aide without a moment’s hesitation is exactly why he’s a trusted leader on our team,” said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Paul Nelson, Senior Enlisted Advisor for NMCLANT DET Pax. “I have no doubt his speed, cool head, and competent actions prevented further loss of life in a difficult situation, and I am incredibly proud have him as a member of NMCLANT DET Pax.”

NMCLANT DET Pax is responsible for providing Fleet Ordnance Support (FOS) to local customers as well as designated research and development projects in support of test and evaluation of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. DET Patuxent River functions as the principle point of contact for explosive ordnance facility oversight and sustaining stock points assigned; to provide quality and responsive ordnance material handling, technical, material support to the Fleet and other customers in the areas of retail ammunition management; and to manage and operate explosives ordnance facilities at NAS Patuxent River.

Photo By Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon | PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (April 19, 2024) – Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado of Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River rendered life-saving care to injured motorists following a vehicle collision in Hollywood, Maryland April 7.

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Gallery: Nebraska Baseball Run-Rules Maryland

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Gallery: Nebraska Baseball Run-Rules Maryland


Nebraska matched its season scoring high with a 16-4 rout of Maryland in seven innings Sunday in Lincoln. The Huskers improved to 25-12 on the season and 8-4 in Big Ten play. Despite batting in just six innings in the run-rule shortened game, Nebraska registered 16 hits, including three by Tyler Stone, shown in the photo above. | Full recap



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