Joseph Sciame is currently the Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John’s University, the largest Catholic university in America with five campuses: Jamaica, Queens; Staten Island; Eastern Long Island, Oakdale; Manhattan and Rome, Italy. He has been at St. John’s since 1958, initially as a student and, since 1962, as a full time administrator with evolving roles in registration, admissions, financial aid, enrollment management and formally both government and community relations, and now overall responsibility for the latter. In 2010, he was appointed in addition to his University duties as Chair of the University’s Italian Heritage and Cultural Center.
Joe Sciame has been President of the New York State and Eastern Regional Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and served from 1987-88 as first National Chairman for the National Association, NASFAA. A community minded individual, he is involved with his home parish of Notre Dame as a lector, and has served on the recent Steering Committee for the renovation of the Church. He chairs the Board of Ethics for the Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County; is president/chair of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee – NY, Inc.; is chairman of the Board of the newly approved Bed-Stuy New Beginnings Charter School; is a member of the Board of Directors of St. John’s Preparatory High School; and chairs the prestigious academic arm of the New York based Governor’s Committee on Scholastic Achievement. A person of wide and broad interests, he also is: a Board member of the National Cooley’s Anemia Foundation; Providence Rest Foundation of The Bronx; the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce; the American Cancer Society’s Queens Division Advisory Board; the NY Blood Services Community Relations Council; the Queens Symphony Orchestra; the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s Foundation Board; and a member of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. He completed a three-year term as Chairman of the Futures in Education Foundation Advisory Board of the Diocese of Brooklyn, of which he has been a member since 1992, as well as a member of the Diocesan Archives Commission since 1999. He has jus completed a three-year terms as Chair of the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives of QCC/CUNY and is now the Vice-Chair of the Southern Queens Park Association.
Elected as National President of the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) from 2003-05, he has been a local lodge member since 1968 and served as the President of his home lodge, the Cellini Lodge #2206 of New Hyde Park and was the New York State Grand Lodge President from 1993-97. In succeeding year of August 1997, 1999 and 2001, Joe Sciame was elected as National Third, Second and First Vice-President, in roles that led to his national presidency with some 75,000 members and 500,000 family affiliates. Known for his sense of vision, patience and level of creativity, as well as leadership and fund raising skills, he also has been recognized by the Holy Father as a papal Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre; decorated as a Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy; appointed as a Commendatore in the Order of Merit of the House of Savoy by Prince Victor Emmanuel, as well as Cavaliere in the Order of SS. Maurizio and Lazaro.
An invited speaker over the many years and at hundreds of events at high schools, colleges, community and association activities, Joe Sciame is a loyal son of his early religious Catholic school education, taught by Josephite Sisters in Brooklyn, Irish Christian Brothers in Manhattan and a Vincentian education at St. John’s University. He is recognized as a long time professional and friend to all in the field of student financial aid, higher education and a staunch supporter of Catholic education. Most of all, he is a proud Italian American and descendant of rich cultural roots, as well as a consensus builder in his community outreach and activities.