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June 2015 Achievements


RCC’s National Wildlife Foundation Campus Habitat is recognized in a forthcoming guide, The Campus Wild, to be released in July by the National Wildlife Federation. Susan Golz, PhD, Professor of Science, and Collette Fournier, Campus Photographer, Communications Assistant, are cited in the book’s acknowledgements section. The guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces.

Emily Harvey, retiring Professor/Chair of Art, and Dermot Harvey received the NAMI Rockland Florence Gould Gross Award at “Caring Starts With Us,” the 2015 awards celebration of NAMI Rockland, which provides services to individuals with mental illness. The Harveys were 12-year board members and co-facilitators of NAMI’s family support group.

Angelo Parra, adjunct, Performing Arts/English, is to be honored at the Penguin Rep Theatre 38th-Year Gala on July 13 at the Stony Point Conference Center’s Sloane Mansion, for his contributions to the theater and his 10 years as president of the Board of Trustees.


Nancy Rodriguez-Valdes, a Paralegal Studies student, earned a $500 scholarship from the National AAfPE (American Association for Paralegal Education) LEX Honor Society for her essay on how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the same-sex marriage issue. Patricia Szobonya, Assistant Professor and Chair, Paralegal Studies, incorporated the essay question into her Advanced Legal Research class and helped Valdez submit the essay, which will be published in the next official National AAfPE publication. Valdez has been invited to the next AAfPE conference, October 21-25 in Milwaukee, WI.


Lynn Aaron, Professor of Computer Studies and CETL Co-director, and Catherine Roche, Professor of Business and Division Chair of Business and Professional/Public Service, presented "The Meaning of Academic Freedom in the 21st Century Classroom" at the SUNY 2015 Conference on Instruction and Technology on May 27 at SUNY Geneseo. Roche also served as one of four panelists for a May 29 session, “An International 21st Century Learning Environment: Building Global Online Bridges between COIL’s Nodal and Global Partner Networks.”

Janet Thompson, adjunct, English, delivered a presentation, "Leveraging Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning through International Faculty and Student Collaborations” at the Teaching Professor Conference in Atlanta, GA, on May 30.


Bobby Deitch, adjunct, Performing Arts, performed as drummer/musical director with Ray Charles tribute band “Forever Ray” at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover, DE, on May 16. He also recorded a new CD as drummer with the funk/jazz band “33 1/3” with guitarist Richie Hart. Their CD was originally released May 19 at Webster Hall in NYC.


Richard Connolly, Assistant Professor, Communication Arts, produced a CD, “House Hour: PoemJazz II,” to be released in Manhattan in June. The CD is the second collaboration between poet Robert Plinsky and pianist/composer Laurence Hobgood.

Student Achievements

Doung Do received the inaugural Student Worker of the Year Award for the 2014-2015 academic year, conferred by Career Services. Doung has worked in Information Services and at the RCC Library.  

Jeremy Rosen was named Best Overall Presenter at this year's Beacon Conference, held June 5 at RCC. Rosen presented his paper "The Literature of Exhaustion" in the World Literature category; he was mentored by Katherine Lynch, PhD, Instructor of English. He will be awarded a $100 cash prize and have his paper published later this year. Five of the 50 students at Beacon were from RCC. The additional four RCC students and their mentors were:

Aaminah Aleem / mentor: Thomas Butler, PhD, Professor of Math/Science
Asha Azhakath
/ mentor: David Lucander, PhD, Asst. Professor of Pluralism and Diversity
Leah Israel / mentor: Wilma Frank, Professor of Speech
Ellen Mutter / mentor: Katherine Lynch, PhD, Instructor of English

Gene Steinberg, an MTS student, was named 2015 Leader of Tomorrow by NAMI Rockland for his work in raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness. He leads RCC’s Active Minds club, which focuses on mental health awareness.

Alumni Achievements

Jamie Berndt, ’14, a Nursing graduate, spent a month in western Nepal volunteering with a relief team through NYCMedics, a global disaster relief non-profit. Berndt, an emergency room nurse at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, responded when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people.
Mendel Taub, ’14, received the Top Trainee Award on June 14 from the Ramapo Valley Ambulance Corps.