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September 2014 Achievements


David Lucander, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pluralism and Diversity, published Winning the War for Democracy: The March on Washington Movement, 1941-1946 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2014).

Xi Shi, PhD, Professor of Library Services, co-authored a book titled The Power of Belief, Value of Knowledge, with Jim Sherrier, retired Professor Psychology. The book was published in July.

Christopher Plummer, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, and Director, Cultural Arts Theater, had his thesis - "Nothing Truer Than Truth," published through Regent University. The thesis includes his full-length play under the original Latin title, Vero Nihil Verius. The story centers around Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, considered the leading alternate candidate for authorship of the Shakespearean canon. Plummer was also noted for his fight choreography in a New York Times review for his role as Fight Director for Playing the Assassin at the Penguin Rep Theater in Stony Point, NY.


Dan Masterson, Professor of English and Rockland County Poet Laureate, had his poem about the terrorism and tragedy of 9/11, "Out of the Blue," set to music. The reading is accompanied by an original composition by Grammy award-winning jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood, and produced and directed by Richard Connolly, Assistant Professor of Communication Media Arts at RCC. It is to be released on iTunes, and the mp3 can be downloaded at


Christie Cruse, EdD, Director of Academic Support, made a presentation titled “Not by Accident: Academic Support Services, First-Year Experience, and Student Success” at the SUNY Community College Institute on Aug. 4.

Christie Cruse and Marion Dale, Title III Director of Hourly Support, made a presentation at the PTech Conference on the First-Year Experience and transition to college on Aug. 19.

Bob Deitch, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, has been invited to do a workshop based on his book, The Drummer In You, on Jam Cruise 13 (

Tanya Drake, RN, MSN, Professor, Nursing, presented two workshops at the New York State Nurses Association Biennial Conference in New York City on September 16. The workshops addressed "Recognizing the Warning Signs: Healthcare in Crisis in Our Specialty Practices" and "Qualities of a Nurse Leader." She was also elected to the Gerontological Health Practice Focus Group Executive Committee as Member-at-Large. NYSNA represents 37,000 nurses who advocate for quality practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all.

Joanna Lackey, PhD, presented a paper titled “Spin-Offs, Soap Making, and the Mud on Lizzie Bennet’s Petticoats: Reflecting on the Servant Classes in Austen’s Novels,” at the British Women Writers’ Conference this summer at Binghamton University.

Kristopher Baker, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, presented RCC’s work on Carnegie and MAT 100 (Quantway course) at the NASH CAO (National Association of Systems Heads Chief Academic Officer) session on Aug. 4-5 in Denver, CO. He co-presented this with Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, SUNY. Baker also presented this work at the SUNY Community College Board in Albany on Sept. 9.


Suzanne Cleary, PhD, Professor of English, had her poetry book, Beauty Mark, honored with the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, awarded by the Poetry Center, a nationally recognized literary center based at Passaic County Community College. She was also the featured reader at the Kingston Second Saturday Spoken Word Series, in Kingston, NY on September 13 where she read poems from Beauty Mark, and new poems, also.

John Marra, Coordinator of Student Activities and Volunteer Services, and his wife, Karen May, were elected Chair Couple on the Board of Directors of Couples Coaching Couples (CCC) at the National Convention held recently in Florham Park, NJ (July 17-21). CCC is an organization committed to helping couples have profoundly fulfilling relationships.


Lena Hyun, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Staff, completed the graduate museum studies certificate program, Museum Collections Management and Care, from George Washington University, May 2014.

RCC employees who earned their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certificate from the Rochester Institute of Technology in August 2014 are: Basmy Basher, adjunct, Science; Christie Cruse, EdD, Director of Academic Support; Angel Jimenez-Mora, student worker; George Repic, Instructor, Business; Domingo (Sonny) Reyes, Senior Typist; Catherine Roche, Professor, Office Technology; Maralin Roffino, Asst to the Director, Campus Communications; Kathleen Etherington-Schiano, Receptionist Typist; Maria Virginia Sequeiros, Custodial Services Supervisor.

Film / Theater / Art

Manonce Celeste, Library Support Tech, had his painting, “Surviving Leukemia,”  featured in Art with Heart, a benefit held at the Pera Soho Gallery, (NYC, July 31) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society society. Manonce was also invited to discuss his artwork as the first guest on the Ernee Peppers cable TV show (August, 18th 2014).

Eileen MacAvery Kane, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, screened her first film, LoveSense, June 21-22 at Downing Film Center in Newburgh, NY, and July 10 at Catalyst Gallery in Beacon, NY. Details can be found at She also exhibited at the following shows: New York Transit Museum, “PLATFORM: Creative Musings on Transit,” June 25; Newburgh Illuminated, The Light Bulb Project,” June, Newburgh, NY; and Artists in the Parks, “The Man, His Music, A River: A Tribute to Pete Seeger,” June through September, Bear Mountain Inn, Bear Mountain, NY.

Angelo Parra, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts/ English, will have his play, The Devil’s Music – The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, presented by the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, Canada (December 2 to 20). Parra is also teaching his Playwriting Workshop this year at the Hudson Valley Writers Center in Sleepy Hollow.

John Schlesinger, Associate Professor of Art (Photography), completed a month’s residency this summer at Blue Mountain Center, an artists’ colony in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

Student & Alumni Achievements

Rostislav Persion and John Tirelli had their patent application published for review. The patent is for an electrical and fiber optic connector with magnetic electrical contacts. They are awaiting the US Patent Office for decision on their utility patent granting sole rights for licensure. The patent application, US 20140120746 A1, can be seen at

RCC Art students and alumni who had their work selected for the SUNY Art Gallery, Albany, Fall 2014 show:
Deanna Amoia, (Fine Arts program), "Therapy" 2014
Charcoal and conte crayon on bristol paper.
Miguel A. Gonzalez, ’14 (AA Fine Arts), "Untitled" 2013
Gouache on illustration board.
Jherry Ramirez, (Photography program), "Onoratta" 2014
Gelatin silver print.
Joseph Stella ’14, (AAS Graphic Design), "Now" 2014
Digital print.
Amanda Weber, ’14 (AS Photography), "Uncondemned Wilt” 2013
Digital photography.

Renee Silverberg, ‘99 and ’01 recently authored Understanding Children & Families with Autism Spectrum Disorders, published by Strategic Book Group, LLC July 2014.

Roxanne Watson, ’87 and currently attending RCC’s Culinary Arts program, was selected to be among the 30 finalists of L’Oréal’s 2014 Women of Worth Contest, and she will receive the President’s Gold Service Award from President Obama. Selected from more than 4,320 entries nationally, Watson, a heart transplant recipient, was nominated for the incredible work she does to publicize and promote the life-saving value for people who sign up to be organ donors. Working with New York’s Campaign 4 Life Contest, Watson’s efforts have led Rockland County to earn the top position in number of sign-ups for the last 2 years. This year’s campaign begins October 1 and runs through October 31.