2020 Frassati Award Recipients

Siobhan and Dan McVay

Siobhan McVay feels blessed to be a mom of three exceptionally hilarious, thoughtful, athletic, intelligent and hardworking girls and the wife of Dan. Siobhan grew up surrounded with strong examples of women who embodied the pillars of Dominican life. Caldwell Dominican Sisters ran her early religious education program and she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, on the campus of Caldwell College. After graduating high school, Siobhan attended Michigan State University, where she majored in Animal Science and then stayed on for two more years to complete coursework necessary for secondary teaching certification in chemistry and biology. She later earned a master’s in education in teaching learning and curriculum from University of Pennsylvania.

Siobhan began her teaching career as an Apostolic Volunteer (1996-1997) at Visitation Catholic School. At Vis, both during her AV year and then again the following year, Siobhan taught 8th grade and middle school science. As an AV she lived at the St. Martin de Porres Community in Chicago with another AV, an Akron Dominican and five Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters.  

Siobhan just finished her seventh year teaching chemistry and physical science at Delran High School, where she teaches 100+ students each year who challenge her to be her best self as she finds innovative ways to engage their minds in actively doing the work of scientists while cooperatively engaging in learning together as a community. Prior to Delran, she taught at Sterling High School, Rahway High School and worked with the Merck Institute for Science Education, where she provided professional development opportunities for science teachers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 15 years.

In her free time, Siobhan enjoys reading, walking/hiking, family game nights (anything but Qwirkle), baking new cakes and treats, helping her kids rescue sick/hurt/abandoned animals, and spending afternoons braiding hair while binge watching Netflix – which provides good mother-daughter bonding time.

Dan McVay is always looking to take on a new adventure or project and trying to grow in his professional life, built on a foundation of service. Dan earned his bachelor’s at St. Anselm College and a master of social work at Temple University.

As a volunteer with the AV program, Dan lived at the House of Connections in Chicago with Sinsinawa Dominicans Toni Harris and Marilyn Derr, four former AVs and two current AVs. For his ministry he taught politics and college prep at Hales Franciscan high school and helped coach football and basketball.

Dan currently serves as a supervisor with the Department of Human Services for the City of Philadelphia. He works in investigations, where he supports front-line workers following up on suspected abuse and neglect cases. Prior to this role, Dan was an investigator for the Department of Human Services, a middle school social worker at an alternative school program for students classified with emotional disturbance and he worked at Covenant House Pennsylvania, a homeless shelter for youth 18-21, as the education coordinator and transitional living coordinator. Dan has also served as a social worker at Temple Hospital, a program director at Center for Family Service, a theology teacher at Don Bosco Prep and a youth minister at St. Virgil’s Church. At Don Bosco Prep, Dan started an Urban Immersion program, where he took seniors to Chicago to stay at the House of Connections, volunteer at Visitation Catholic School, visit Hales Franciscan High School and expose the students to some amazing programs and people in Chicago.

For the past three and a half years, Dan has worked with their church to start a program to help resettle refugees in Philadelphia. Called REST in Philly (Refugee Empowerment Support Team), they have helped resettle 11 people from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. They help the refugees with housing, education, employment and health care. They have welcomed them into the St. Raymond Community.  

In his free time, Dan continues to support the work of Covenant House and the young people he had the privilege of meeting while there. He participated in the Covenant House Executive Sleep Out last fall and raised more than $5,000 to assist the program. Dan loves sports –watching basketball and soccer – and he enjoys projects at home, including some basic woodwork; he recently made an Adirondack chair and a raised bed garden.

Siobhan and Dan met during their Apostolic Volunteer year in Chicago. They married in August 1998, after moving from Chicago to New Jersey. Dan and Siobhan began to serve as foster parents in 2004. They now have three amazing daughters (ages 17, 16, and 12) and their oldest will start college this fall.  The McVays are active members of St. Raymond of Penafort Catholic Church in Philadelphia. St. Raymond’s is a Roman Catholic Church Family that intentionally honors the many cultures of its members, especially the cultures of the African-American, African and Caribbean Families that call St. Raymond their Church Home.
They are active supporters of DVUSA and are a great example of living the beatitudes.