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October 2009 Achievements


Sr. Marie Buckley, Professor and Division Chair, Math, Natural and Health Science, was appointed to the Board of Directors of Home Aides of Rockland, Inc., a not-for-profit home care agency.

Tanya Drake, Professor of Nursing, has been elected by the New York State Nurses Association to represent their chapter at the American Nurses Association House of Delegates in Philadelphia in June 2010.

Mary Lou Dillon, Board of Trustee; Dr. Elaine S. Padilla, Professor of Social Sciences, and Debra Bouabidi, Director of Financial Aid, represented RCC at SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s first Phase II meeting of the SUNY-wide strategic plan (Hudson Valley Community College, Oct. 21). Phase II will guide SUNY for the next five years and advise SUNY in its development for the next decade. The first of seven statewide conversations was held with a group of 200 delegates, broadly representing various SUNY constituencies.

Dr. D. Penny Jennings, College Board of Trustees member, is a delegate to this year's Education Project, which addresses the future of education around the world and takes place in Bahrain. She is also a presenter, joining a discussion on "Empowering Students, Parents and the Community."

Richard Syrek, Dean, Center for Personal & Professional Development, was appointed Secretary of the Rockland County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) on Oct. 6. He was also nominated to serve a third term as Secretary of the Rockland Business Association. Election to this office will take place at the November 19 General membership Luncheon.


Murray Wiener, Mailroom, and Joann Cucinello, Library, received the Longevity Award from the Rockland County Personnel Department. It is awarded to employees who have been with the County for 35 years.


Each year, the Rockland Economic Development Corporation honors 40 professionals, working or living in Rockland, who make significant contributions to their communities and to their professions. Three RCC faculty and staff were honored as "Rising Stars": Cathlene Cruz, Director, Liberty Partnership; Elyse Fuller, Assistant Professor, Science, and Kevin Hanlon, Assistant to the Director of Athletics and Arena Management.

The Penguin Repertory Company honored Angelo Parra, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts and President of the Penguin Board, Patti Maloney-Titland, Professor, Performing Arts and Penguin Trustee, and former student Matt Hill (Haverstraw, Nov. 1).

Academic Excellence

Dr. Kris Baker, Instructor, Science, and Dr. Susan Golz, Professor, Science, were selected by the Faculty Resource Network of New York University to attend Network Winter 2010 at the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They will be participating in the seminar, "Energy and the Environment" (Jan 11- 15).

Forty-two graduates of the May 2009 Nursing Program took the NCLEX licensing exam and all 42 passed. These graduates are now Registered Nurses (RNs). This 100% pass rate is extraordinary. The year-to-date pass rate of RCC graduates is 96% and the overall pass rate for the last quarter is 98%, significantly higher than the New York State average.

An article on entrepreneurs appeared in the Business Section of USA Today (Oct. 19), featuring Myoko Yamakawa, owner of a small beverage distribution center who has been very successful due to assistance from the Rockland Small Business Development Center, under the direction of Tom Morley.

Kim Weston, Assistant Professor, Librarian, coordinated a lecture by Nobel Prize winning author, Toni Morrison (Nyack Library).


A sculpture of Stephen Churchill, Instructor, Computer Assisted Design, is being exhibited at the GAGA Arts Center in "Garnerworld," an exhibit of historical artifacts and art (Oct 23-Nov 15, Garnerville).

Collette Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Specialist, will perform with Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture, Inc., in conjunction with the Rockland Camerata at the College on Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m., Cultural Arts Theater. She also has her photographic work exhibited at the GAGA Arts Center in "Garnerworld," an exhibit of historical artifacts and art (Oct 23-Nov 15, Garnerville).


Bobby Deitch, adjunct faculty, Music, performed with his band, Whitley and the Hard Times Band, at Jazz at Lincoln Center (Oct. 13). The event was hosted by entertainer Jessica Simpson as a benefit to aid Breast Cancer Research.

Mary Lynn Nicolas-Brewster, adjunct faculty, Paralegal Studies, argued a same-sex marriage case before the NY State Court of Appeals, New York's highest appellate level court (Oct. 13). Nicolas-Brewster argued that a same-sex marriage lawfully entered into in another state should be recognized and respected in the State of New York in the same manner that an opposite-sex marriage lawfully entered into in another state is recognized and respected.

State Comptroller DiNapoli invited Catherine M. Roche, Department Chair, Business, Economics, and Office Technologies, to speak at a news conference about her piloting the use of the free online textbook, "Exploring Business" in all eight sections of BUS 101 – Introduction to Business. The online book saves money for students as well as for the State of New York (Nyack, Oct. 20). Roche also presented "Engaging Generation Y in the Classroom and Beyond," at the 34th Annual Conference of the Business Teachers Association of New York State (Rochester, Oct. 16) and "Using New Technologies to Engage the Millennial Student" at the Successful Teaching Conference sponsored by Institute for Community College Development (Corning, Oct. 23).

Lisa Saunders, Writer, Campus Communications, performed her reader's theater, "Ever True: A Civil War Love Story," at the old Peekskill depot to raise funds for the opening of the Lincoln Depot Museum (Peekskill, Sept 12). She also gave her talk, “How to Get Published,” at the New City Library (Sept. 22) and will be giving it again at the Tappan Library on Nov. 7.


Ivan Lebron, Maintenance Department and a lifeguard for Family Recreation, completed the New York Marathon.


The following College students were honored at the Hispanic Heritage Student Achievement Awards Ceremony (Oct. 19):

Academic Achievement – David Mateo of Haverstraw

Artistic Talent - Gianna Accattato of West Haverstraw

Athletic Achievement - Kimberly García of Spring Valley

Leadership Activities - Paola García Cardenas of Suffern

Personal Accomplishments - Christian Alvarado of Pomona

Personal Accomplishments - Christian Salcedo of New City

Honored recipients receive a $200 scholarship. Josephine Tarsia, Associate Professor, Foreign Languages, served as Chair of the Hispanic Heritage Student Achievement Awards Committee.