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April 2016 Achievements


Tammy Collins Richardson, Director of Student Involvement, recently earned her 2nd master's degree, a Master of Social Work (MSW), from Fordham University.


Jodilynn Greico, Coordinator, English Skills, and Stephanie Siddi, career specialist at RCC Career Services earned certificates for a week-long Educator Workshop with the USMC at MCRD Parris Island in March. Greico, along with Jonathan Barnwell, Coordinator of Veterans Affairs will soon receive certification as ProVETUS mentors after graduation in May from a program at Teacher's College, Columbia University. The program trains liaisons to assist veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Greico also recently graduated from the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Counseling Program (December).

Robert Gulack, adjunct, English, is selected to participate in this summer's Faculty Resource Network at New York University (June 6-10). He will be taking part in a seminar on the philosophy of comedy taught by Robert Gurland, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at NYU.

Mara-Lee Bierman, Professor of Spanish, co-organized the Guatemala: Alma de la tierra gala for the Metropolitan Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (April 16). The guest speaker was Myriam de la Roca, Consul General of Guatemala in New York.


Suzanne Cleary, PhD, Professor of English, has a poem in the current issue of SOUTHERN REVIEW. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Cleary's poetry reading at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center was broadcast on Channel 12 News and on April 29 she read at the HVWC with other poets published in the new anthology, RABBIT EARS: TV POEMS.

Eileen MacAvery Kane, Instructor, Art, had an illustration included in 100 Designs for a Modern World, by Skira Rizzoli for Kravis

Andrea Narciso, Secretary of English, Speech, & Philosophy, had her poem “On Patrol” published in the April 2016 edition of American Police Beat magazine.

Honored & Appointed

Debra Bouabidi, Director, Financial Aid was installed in April as the new President of SUNYFAP (SUNY Financial Aid Professionals) at their annual conference in Corning, NY.

RCC President Cliff L. Wood, EdD, received the Phyllis Helbraun award from Child Care Resources of Rockland at its 2016 Children’s Champion Celebration Dinner on April 20. Helbraun is the agency’s founder. He will also receive the Public Sector award from the Council of Industry during its Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast at the Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY (May 13).


Lynn Aaron, Professor of Computer Studies and CETL Co-Director, Adessa Butler, Instructor of Chemistry, and Matthew Matcovich, Instructor of Mathematics presented "Enhancing Student Engagement in STEM Subjects" at the 2016 STEM C^2 Research Summit at Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ (April 15).

Joe Falco, adjunct, Psychology presented a workshop, This One’s on Me: The (Bumpy) Road to Recovery, at the Common Threads Youth Empowerment Conference, Stony Point, NY, (Jan) and at the NELGBT (Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Conference, Stony Brook, NY, (April). He also facilitated Jitterbugs and Debbie Downers Unite: The Unique Psychopathological Experience of Identifying as LGBTQ and Coping with Anxiety & Depression, at PrideWorks, Purchase, NY, (March), as a Counselor’s Casebook, LIU Hudson, (March), and at the NELGBT Conference, Stony Brook, NY, (April).

Collette Fournier, Campus Communications, adjunct, Art, presented a photography lecture to the Mid-Hudson Photography Club La Grange Town Hall, LaGrangeville, NY (April).

Kathy Hopkins, Ed.D, RN, Chair, STEM and Health Professions: presented her doctoral research at the Sigma Theta Tau conference in Bethesda, MD (April 7-9). Hopkins' research explores the effect of transition support programs on new graduate nurses and their readiness to practice.

Joanna Lackey, PhD, Instructor of English, presented her paper, “Studying the Academic Tribe: Using Rhetorical Analysis to Teach Academic Research Writing,”  at the 2016 SUNY Council on Writing Conference at the University at Albany (March 4).

David Lucander, PhD, Assistant Professor of Multicultural Studies, presented a paper, “The St. Louis Movement in World War II-era St. Louis,” at the Missouri History Conference in Columbia, Missouri (March 11). He was part of a panel on New Directions in Missouri History. Lucander also recently authored an article in Peak Magazine, "Bob Elsinger: 40 Years of Climbing on the Sharp End."

Dana Stilley, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, presented "Multiple Measures Placement Assessment: How it Looks in the Real World" at the League for Innovation 2016 Conference in Chicago (March 21-22).

At the 10th Annual SUNY COIL Conference, COILing Across a Decade: Reflections and New Directions, CUNY Graduate Center, NYC (April 25-26): Eileen MacAvery Kane, Instructor of Art, with Prof. Hendali Steynberg, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, presented “Building Bridges Between Cultures through Graphic Design Advocacy”; Asst Prof. Patricia Szobonya, Paralegal Chair, with Prof. Pablo Ramirez, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, presented “COIL Implementation Experience”; and Catherine Roche, along with other coordinators from SUNY Ulster, SUNY Broome, and Corning Community College presented a panel discussion, “Getting COIL to Stick on Your Campus.”


John Schlesinger, Associate Professor of Art, exhibited “Dear Volunteers,” in collaboration with Tra Bouscaren earlier this year at the Totally Rad Art Gallery in Berkeley, CA, (January) and at a more recent installation, Metal Memory vs. Affect Horizon, at the Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture, San Francisco CA in the Neon Robot Iceberg show (March 26 – April 2).


Jillian Decker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Kristopher Baker, PhD, Division Chair, STEM and Health Professions, mentored Nyack High School student Sam Kim in a three-year science research project, for which he won prizes from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the American Society of Microbiology. Kim’s project qualified him to be eligible to apply for college credits through SUNY Albany.

Student and Alumni Achievements

Matt Fleishman, RCC Paralegal student, earned a $500 award for his winning essay in the National Lex Honor Society Scholarship Competition. His legal essay, based on a complicated breach of union contract issue, will be published in The Paralegal Educator magazine, and he was invited to attend the April conference of the American Association for Paralegal Educators (AAfPE).

RCC Art students Vicky Charles and Lynda Orta have been jury-selected to show their work at the SUNY Best of Show exhibit at the NY State Museum in Albany from June through October 2016. Opening reception June 13.

The RCC Debate Team, led by coach/advisor Prof. Andrew Jacobs, won both the varsity and novice divisions of Dominican College’s Public Forum Debate tournament (Feb 14). Emma Colchamiro and her partner, Ethan Shatkin won the varsity division. Mary Rink and Juliana Mirra won the novice division after going undefeated after three preliminary rounds. Novice debater Jacob Lefcourt was the top speaker in the novice division. Trophies were awarded to Kinsley Alexandre (3rd place) and Emma Colchamiro (4thth place) in the varsity division. In the novice division, Jacob Lefcourt and his partner, Kayla Kiernan took home the 4th place trophy based on their win-loss record, and Mary Rink won 4th place speaker.

Courtney Olsen, Lindsey D'Alisera, Aleena Dar and Johanna Svensson of RCC's Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society (Upsilon Iota club chapter) presented their research project on the effectiveness of garlic as an antibacterial agent at the regional Tri-Beta conference hosted by East Connecticut State University (April 23).

Paige Turilli ’16 was crowned champion in the Ladies 19-20 age category at the Irish Dancing World Championships held March 20-27 in Glasgow, Scotland. A chemical engineering student in RCC’s Honors program, Turilli hopes to become a chemical engineer and Irish dancing teacher.

Kerrin (Kory) Mahaffey ’79, Vice President of Site Operations for Pfizer pharmaceuticals in Pearl River, is to be honored in the Woman in Business category at the Rockland Business Association’s annual Pinnacle Awards banquet on May 5 at the Marriott Hotel in Park Ridge, NJ.