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December 2012 Achievements


Roger W. Davis, EdD, Dean of Academic Services, was appointed by the Rockland County Legislature to the Human Rights Commission for Rockland County. Davis was also recently appointed to the Board of the Mental Health Association of Rockland County.

Lorinda Hill, Assistant to the Director of Plant Facilities, was elected Vice President of the NYSAR3 (New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling). The two-year term begins January 2013. She is Chair of the College Council Committee of NYSAR3, which guides the activities of the Council and works with the College Council Coordinator.

Gerri Zabusky, Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), was selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service to serve on a 10-person national team to provide feedback on the training and technical assistance needs of Senior Corps grantees regarding data collection efforts for the evaluation of Senior Corps programs. Zabusky was nominated by the National Senior Corps Association based on her programmatic perspectives that will help researchers implement the evaluation studies in a way that is user friendly and feasible for Senior Corps grantees.


Lisa Schachter, DNP, FNP, Associate Professor, Nursing, earned her Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree (DNP) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in December 2012.


Jonathan Barnwell ‘77, Coordinator of Judicial and Veterans' Affairs, and Cliff L. Wood, EdD, College President, were awarded for outstanding dedication and service by the Korean War Veterans of America, Eagle Chapter. The award was presented at the monthly Veterans Advisory Board meeting.

Arlene Clinkscale, LHD, Chair, Board of Trustees, received the Social Justice Award from Nyack College at its annual Social Justice Day Luncheon (January 18, Nyack).

Joseph G. Polvere, adjunct faculty, English, was awarded 2012 Teacher of the Year at Ralph S. Maugham School in Tenafly, NJ, where he works as a 4th grade teacher.


Doreen Zarcone, Enrollment Management, served as Co-Chair of the Leadership Rockland Education and Developing Human Capital Day. This year's theme was Career and College Readiness for Students in Rockland County Amidst the Fiscal Crisis.  Zarcone facilitated the session, “Interactive Discussion of Tax Cap and Mandate Relief Impact on Rockland Education Initiatives During The Fiscal Crisis” (Dec. 13, 2012).

The Quality of Life Committee organized a Thanksgiving Food Drive that collected $843 and 186 food items for RCC's Food Cupboard. Saeed Safaie, Professor, Science, is Chair of the Quality of Life Committee.

Empty Bowls raised $1,400 for the Feeding Ministries at Christ Church of Ramapo in Suffern. The Art Club organized the event, students made and donated bowls, and the students of Wendy Gordon, adjunct faculty, Hospitality, made the soup. Brooke Evans, adjunct faculty, Art, is Art Club advisor.


Manonce Celestine, Library Support Tech, is exhibiting two paintings, Theater of Africa, at the Technology Center Rotunda for African American History Month. The show will run through the end of February.


Douglas W. Schmidt, Director, Plant Facilities, was issued Patent #7,805,952 for another "Method and Apparatus for Measuring and Improving Efficiency in Refrigeration Systems.” He was listed as a co-inventor at his previous place of employment.


Collette Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Campus Communications Assistant, performed with Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture, Inc., on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 21, Spring Valley High School).

Robert Gulack, adjunct faculty, English, had his new play, A LACK OF WILL, presented by the Mad and Merry Theatre Company at the Gene Frankel Theatre as part of an evening of short plays inspired by Shakespeare (Dec. 4 and 5, Greenwich Village).

Kaoru Miyauchi '07, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, will be performing with another alumna, Yuki Nitta ’08, at Carnegie Hall (February 24, New York, New York). Miyauchi will play a solo on the piano and accompany soprano

Angelo Parra, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts/English opens his play, The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, at the prestigious Cleveland Play House for a four-week run beginning February 15.


Saeed Safaie, Professor, Science, and Cheryl Ferguson, Instructor, English, presented “New Faces, New Expectations” at the national symposium hosted by the Faculty Resource Network of New York University (Nov. 17, New Orleans, LA).


Hans Tokke, adjunct faculty, Social and Behavioral Science, is the author of the chapter, “Disneyfication and Religion in Times Square,” in the book, Ecologies of Faith in New York City: The Evolution of Religious Institutions, edited by Richard Cimino, Nadia A. Mian, and Weishan Huang. Published by Indiana University Press in 2012.

Student Excellence

The following RCC students won the $1,000 prize in the Entrepreneurial Business Plan Competition for their business idea, "Fully Fabulous," Jonelle Jerome, Jenna Boyle and Chelsea Cooke. Martin Lecker, EdD, Professor, Business, coordinated the competition, which is sponsored by New York State Society of CPAs.

RCC’s Speech and Debate Team won the impromptu division in debate competition (Nov.18) with Yeshiva University, Baruch College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, SUNY Albany, and Passaic Community College. Max Van Campen-Cramer and Brocha Fischman won first place; Jordan Zuber-Banks and Esoshani Barton won third place; and Brocha Fischman won the first place speaker award. The team was coached by alumnus Zamir Ben-Dan ’09.

Tommie Starkes, sophomore, was named NJCAA Division III Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 3-8, 2012. Coming through for the Hawks with double-doubles, Starkes led Rockland to victory in both of their games last week. Starkes totaled 12 rebounds, five assists and a game-high 26 points as Rockland defeated SUNY Orange County Community College, 92-79. In a 90-75 win over Queensborough Community College, Starkes had a complete performance with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Three RCC students who participated in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program and spent five summer weeks doing research at Purchase, were invited to present their research findings at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (November 7-10, 2012) in San Jose, CA. Sarafina Alexandre and Presnel Dalmeus presented their work on Antimicrobial Peptides. Frank Guillen and co-researcher, Maria Janvier of Sullivan CC received certificates of achievement for both The Evolution of Music: Evidence for Sexual Selection, and Executive Functions and the Bilingual Advantage in Young Adults. The Evolution of Music: Evidence for Sexual Selection was selected as the most outstanding poster at the Conference in the category of social science.

The following art students were selected to exhibit their work at the recent SUNY Fall show presented at the SUNY Art Gallery, Albany, NY: Kristie Spindler, Gino Martin Valencia, Tova Lisa Lazarus, Michael Santiago and Charles Caster-Dudzick. Santiago and Caster-Dudzick have transferred to San Francisco Art Institute and Brooklyn College, to continue their studies in photography and film, respectively. Students selected for the upcoming SUNY Spring show are Cindy Tran, Annie Filippone, Duong Do, Ally Crum, and Jinette Lopez. Lena Hyun, adjunct faculty, Art History, curates the SUNY-wide shows in collaboration with the RCC Art faculty.


A sonnet, "Love and Hate," written by Bud Koenemund '05, has been published in the anthology, Men in the Company of Women, by Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House.

Marvin Mathew ’11, currently attending the University of Maryland, represented Opportunity Nation when he spoke at the M Central Inauguration Weekend Event (Jan. 18-21, Washington, D.C.). M CENTRAL is a venue for forward-thinking artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and public servants to convene and connect and is a partnership between The Millennial Trains Project, No Kings Collective, and the New America Foundation. Mathew focused on Igniting Entrepreneurship-Millennial Solutions to Old Problems.

Mark Svensson ’10, Georgetown University '12, is one of the 30 people selected worldwide to serve as commitment mentors to the Clinton Global Initiative University for 2013. He and his wife Ismini recently co-founded StayUNITED ( to improve the quality of life in local communities. The couple kicked-off the organization with their personal commitment; to perform charitable acts in each state across America in 2013.