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October 2018 Achievements


Paul Farry, adjunct instructor of Speech, received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast from the Radio Television Digital News Association in an October 22 ceremony in New York. He won the award for his production of an August 28, 2017, broadcast for CBS World News Roundup on the flooding in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey. The show was anchored by Norah O'Donnell and Steve Kathan.

Vittoria Rubino, writing specialist, Reading & Writing Center, successfully defended her dissertation to receive a Ph.D from St. John's University in English with a focus on Writing Studies.


Maire Liberace, distinguished professor of Philosophy and Speech, published and launched in Ireland a second book of poetry, "Lament in a Minor Key," in August.

Dr. Katie Lynch, associate professor of English and chair of the Sam Draper Honors Program, posted an essay on October 22 for “Another Word,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center's award-winning blog. Her essay describes her attraction to community college work because of its "open" ethos, and how she has become invested in the theory and practice of open pedagogy since her arrival at RCC in 2010. She referenced RCC's Open Enrollment Resources (OER) efforts multiple times in the piece:

Dr. Jeffrey McLean, assistant professor of Biology, co-authored a paper in the October 2018 edition of the Journal of Emerging Diseases and Virology. The paper expands upon the authors' earlier findings about the flavivirus gene NJ4A. Flaviviridae is a group of viruses including Dengue (the world's most common and deadly mosquito-borne disease), Zika, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever. Many of these infections have no specific medicine for treatment. The paper shows that all four serotypes of Dengue virus share the NS4A functionality and point toward NS4A as a commonly held “weak spot in the armor” of Dengue virus during infection. The authors hope their findings provide a roadmap for development of new anti-Dengue and possibly broad spectrum anti-flavivirus medicines.


Peter Arvanites, professor of Mathematics, gave a presentation titled, "A Formula for Mathematical Success" on October 10 at the Mount Vernon Extension Center of Westchester Community College. He discussed ways to overcome math anxiety and be successful in mathematics courses with about 35 students and faculty members.

Katherine Copp Brown, instructor, Green Building Technology; Talia Lipton, instructor, Speech Communication Studies; Eileen MacAvery Kane, instructor and chair, Art; and Catherine Roche, professor of Business and COIL coordinator, collaborated on a panel presentation, "High Tech but Personal Touch: Cross-Cultural Connections Empowered by Technology," at the fifth annual SUNY Applied Learning Conference on November 2 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Roche also made a separate presentation at the conference, “The Best of Both Worlds – Embedding Blackboard into Student Internship Experiences.”

Maire Liberace, distinguished professor of Philosophy and Speech, gave the opening presentation for an Ethics lecture series, “Utilizing Effective Communication Across the Spectrum of Ethics and Healthcare,” at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y., on October 25.

Dr. Shamika Mitchell, assistant professor of English, made presentations at NY Comic Con 2018, on October 5 and 6 at the Javits Center in New York City: "Animated Short Films and Cartoons" and "Salaam Nerds and Geeks! Islam, Fandom, Comics, and Pop Culture."

Josephine Tarsia, associate professor of Foreign Languages, gave two presentations for Italian Heritage Month. The first, on October 18, was on Giuseppe Verdi, one of the preeminent opera composers in history. Participants heard a synopsis of Verdi's life and listened to arias from four of his greatest works: Rigoletto, Aida, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata. The second, on October 25, was a book discussion of Amarcord, a memoir by Marcella Hazan, who is known as the godmother of authentic Italian cuisine. Hazan's cookbook, Essentials of Italian Cuisine, was also discussed.


Maire Liberace, distinguished professor of Philosophy and Speech, performed in a Unity Concert, combining choirs from Rockland County and St. Patrick's Cathedral, on October 14 at St Catharine Church in Blauvelt, N.Y.


Stacy Casden, coordinator of CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling) and Psychology faculty member, announced that the CASAC certification program was launched successfully during the fall 2018 semester. The course began on October 16 and meets twice a week. Since enrollment is on a rolling basis, new students may join the program starting on January 29, 2019. Casden, Robert Schultz, interim associate vice president of Academic Affairs, and Burton Louis-Charles, Evening & Weekend coordinator, worked for more than a year to bring the program to fruition.

Lisa Jacobson, Advisement/Student Development, and Janine Paredes, Bursar's Office, coordinated a Pocketbook Bingo event on October 4 that drew 100 people and raised $3,000 for RCC student veterans. The event was held at Lynch's Restaurant in Stony Point, N.Y., and sponsored by a Leo Laders American Legion Post of Thiells, N.Y. The check was presented on October 31 by a Leo Laders Post representative to Jonathan Barnwell, coordinator of Veterans Affairs, in a brief ceremony in the RCC veterans lounge.

Lisa Schachter, department chair of Nursing, reported that her department received confirmation from the New York State Department of Education that RCC Nursing students posted a passing rate of 94.45 percent for the third quarter of 2018, and an overall passing rate of 98.11 percent for 2018.

Freia Titland, adjunct professor of Performing Arts, wrote, directed and starred in a short film, “Ophelia,” that is a finalist for the Changing Face International Film Festival and has been selected to be screened at CKF International Film Festival, the Women’s Only Entertainment Film Festival and Redwood Film Festival. “A Mermaid's Desire,” an experimental film she wrote and directed, was accepted into the Colorado Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Festival this month. She is also festival director and founder of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Midnight Film Festival, screenings for which take place in January 2019. Lastly, she has been accepted into Regent University’s MFA program in Film and Television with a focus in Screenwriting, and will begin working on the master's degree, her second, in January 2019.

Students & Alumni

Congratulations to all of our students who were inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) on October 2. The NSCS is an honors organization that recognizes high-achieving students who exemplify scholarship, leadership, and commitment to service. The 32 RCC students who earned induction are as follows:

Sana Ahmed
Christopher Bermeo
Aleena Chacko
Amanda Clark
Wichly Coby
Hannah Druss
Hannah Elizabeth
John Givens
Imani Goulding
Jeffrey Jaboy
Sherlo Joseph
Simon Kahan
Candace Kavountizis
Dominique Louis
Sherlin Mathew
Tha Zin New Htoo
Savka Nonashka
Uzochukwu Nwigwe
Abosede Omotosho
Francesca Pesce
Christina Rivera
Gianna Robinson
Paola Rodriguez
Oswaldo Ruballos
Ashley Sanchez
Tyler Sanchez
Shelby Silva
Deanndrea Singleton
Tryshan Sullivan
Jenipher Tamay
Raveena Varghese
Joshua Weinfeld