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2017 RCC Foundation Leadership Awards Luncheon

Celebrating Educational Excellence

2017 Foundation Luncheon invite - Friday, March 31, noon-2 pm at Hilton Pearl River


Reservations: please contact the Foundation at 845-574-4576


Alumni Honoree

Michael J. Gill

Michael J. Gill, EdD, '92, Principal, North Rockland High School, previously served as principal of West Haverstraw Elementary School, assistant principal at Farley Middle School and Special Education coordinator at North Rockland.

A graduate of RCC’s Honors Program, Dr. Gill lauded the faculty support he received, especially from his mentor, Professor Samuel Draper. Now, Dr. Gill collaborates with RCC, offering college courses in North Rockland through RCC’s High School Program.

Dr. Gill also serves as an adjunct at Manhattanville College and The College of Mount St. Vincent. He earned an AA in Liberal Arts from RCC; a BA in Law & Society at SUNY Binghamton; an MS in Special Education at City College, CUNY; and a Doctor of Education at Fordham University.

Faculty Honorees

Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett, PhD, Assistant Professor/Chair, Criminal Justice, who served in the Englewood Police Department for 32 years, brings his own and others’ experience as law enforcement professionals to the classroom.

Outstanding among his campus activities is Dr. Barrett’s co-chairing of the Middle States Re-Accreditation Self Study in advance of the Middle States team’s visit in March 2017.

Dr. Barrett holds a BA in Political Science from Montclair State College, and an MA, a Master of Philosophy and a PhD in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. He is a certified instructor at the New Jersey Police Training Commission.


Debra Tietze

Debra Courtney Tietze, Professor of Education, has been an educator for more than 40 years, including the past three decades at RCC. She began her career in a small farming community in Illinois. While on a child-rearing leave, she took courses at RCC toward state certification as an Art teacher and was recruited to teach Early Childhood Development.

Tietze is now completing her last year as full professor and former chair of Teacher Education. One of her career highlights was leading the effort to procure a million-dollar grant to construct the Theresa Morahan Simmons Center for Children and Families, which houses the current Campus Fun & Learn Child Development Center.

Tietze earned a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Teaching in 2000. She holds a BS in Sociology and Teacher Education from Illinois State University and an MS Ed in Early Childhood Development from SUNY New Paltz.

Community Honorees

Helen Hayes Hospital logo

One of the nation’s leading specialty physical rehabilitation hospitals, Helen Hayes Hospital has helped hundreds of thousands of patients rebuild their lives following catastrophic accidents, traumatic injuries and disabling illnesses and surgeries through intensive rehabilitation.

A key component in these recoveries is the hospital’s dedicated Nursing Department, a cohesive team that includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses, many of whom hold specialty certifications, such as in rehabilitation nursing and wound care.

The HHH Nursing Department has forged strong bonds with RCC’s Nursing program. Several members of the hospital’s administrative nursing staff teach at RCC, and the hospital offers clinical placements to RCC Nursing students, furthering their professional education.


Susan GordonThe CEJJES Institute
and the Susan & Edmund Gordon Family

Edmund Gordon

Founded in 2001 by the children of Susan and Edmund Gordon, The CEJJES INSTITUTE in Pomona honors and continues the work of their parents in promoting social justice, health, education, and supporting the well-being of marginalized communities, particularly children. The accomplishments of the late Dr. Susan Gordon and her husband Dr. Edmund W. Gordon are legendary, with contributions across the fields of education, healthcare, social and community action;  in 2006, they were inducted into the Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

CEJJES programs includes the Susan G. Gordon Nature Trail, the Charles White Gallery, the High School Graduate Awards Celebration and Annual Educational Summit, The Amistad Project and Kwanzaa Celebration (2006), Voices of the African Diaspora Film Festival (2007), the College and Career Mentoring Program, and the Coretta Scott King Book Club W.E.B. Du Bois Literary Collective (2007-2012).

Those who share the Gordon Family's goals find the path   illuminated by the example. Each of their children has continued the family's tradition of service, choosing careers that makes a significant difference in improving life for others through education, and medical care. The cumulative effect of their many contributions continues to grow in expanding circles of influence as succeeding generations are enlightened, informed, and inspired.