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February - March 2009 Achievements


Jonathan Barnwell, Records, has completed the requirements for the Master of Arts from Teacher's College, Columbia University.


Dan Masterson, Professor, English was appointed Rockland County's first Poet Laureate in a ceremony hosted by County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and County Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell (Feb 24). For the past 45 years, Masterson has been teaching English at the College, and has run numerous poetry courses and workshops. The world-renowned poet has given more than one thousand poetry readings, lectures and seminars on the national poetry circuit. In honor of the College's 50th Anniversary, Masterson will host the poetry event, "Rockland's Poet Laureate Presents," on November 12, 7 p.m.


SCENE, the College's quarterly newsletter, received a Judge's Citation from the SUNY CUAD Awards of Excellence. The award went to Zipora Reitman, Director, Campus Communications; Lisa Saunders, Writer, Collette Fournier, Photographer and Ginny Apostolides, Graphics.

Community Service

Jeanne Linhart, Professor, Nursing, was presented a plaque for being top walker at the 2008 Annual March of Dimes Walk (Pearl River, March 6). Her students also received a plaque for largest team participation (65 students participated). The 2009 Annual March of Dimes Walk will take place in Pearl River on May 3.

Liz Settle and Domingo "Sonny" Reyes of the Bursar's Office coordinated the Daffodil Sale for the American Cancer Society. A total of $1,512 was collected.

The Campus Players and Stage Crew clubs collected 205 pairs of underwear and socks for "Midnight Run," which serves the homeless in New York City. Patty Maloney-Titland, Professor, Performing Arts, coordinated the effort.

The Office of Student Involvement raised $110 selling red and gold hearts for the American Heart Association. John Marra, Coordinator of Student Activities and Volunteer Services, organized the effort.

The College received a letter from Frank Viggiano of the United States Marine Corps thanking RCC for participating in the program "Packages For Our Troops in Harm's Way." RCC provided 20 packages of products for soldiers in battle zones. Saeed Safaie, Professor, Science, and Joseph Famellette, Professor, Physical Education, co-coordinated the project.

Dr. Eugene Henderson, Vice President of Student Development, and Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President, participated in the "Real Men Read" program at Lime Kiln Elementary School (March 6). Student, Renso Reyes, who is an alumnus of the Lime Kiln Elementary School, performed at the assembly.

Approximately 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators, and board of trustee members supported the 5th Annual American Cancer Society College Relay for Life. Rockland Community College, Dominican College, St. Thomas Aquinas College, and Nyack College raised approximately $31,000.00 Next year's event will be at Rockland Community College on February 2010. Diana Carey, Athletic Trainer and Instructor, Physical Education, is the advisor and co-chair of the project.

The College raised $410 dollars selling Red Dresses for the American Heart Association's "Wear Red Day." Doreen Zarcone, Events Coordinator, Saeed Safaie, Professor, Science, and Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President, coordinated the effort.

The Hillel Club, under the direction of Rabbi Dov and Shevy Oliver, packed 100 Purim baskets that were sent to American soldiers serving overseas.


Stephen Churchill, Instructor, Computer Assisted Design, is exhibiting his work in the show, "Mind+Matter: Aspects of the Scholar's Garden," at the Lockhart Gallery at SUNY Geneseo (March 27 - April 11).

Dr. Haim Elisha, Professor, Performing Arts, is currently showing work in a group exhibition, "The French Connection," presented by The New York Optimist and Aima at the Reference Gallery, Soho, NY. (Opening reception was on March 26).

Work by Eugenio Espinosa, Assistant Professor, Art, is included in the exhibit, "Responding to Cuba," at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ, March 16 - April 25.

Collette Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Specialist, will be exhibiting a photograph in the Pen & Brush Gallery group exhibition, "In Your Dreams" (Reception: April 4, 3 – 5 p.m., Manhattan). Fournier also has work in the "59x59" photographic exhibition at GAGA - Garnerville Arts Center (Reception: May 9, 6-10 p.m.). Exhibit dates: May 2 - June 6.


Dr. Suzanne Phillips, Dean of Student Personnel Services, was honored during Women's History Month by the 369th Historical Society with the award for Outstanding Civic Service. The mission of the 369th Historical Society is to preserve the history and legacy of the all black 369th National Veterans' Association that first received recognition in World War I as the Harlem Hellfighters.


Angelo Parra, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, was nominated for a 2009 Arts Council of Rockland Award in the category of "Literary Artist." Parra won this category in 2002.

The Performing Arts Department and the Rockland Shakespeare Company have both been nominated for the 2009 Arts Council of Rockland Awards. The Performing Arts Department was nominated in the category of "Arts Education" and the Rockland Shakespeare Company was nominated for the category, "Arts Organization." This is the second nomination for the Performing Arts Department and the fourth nomination for the Rockland Shakespeare Company. The Performing Arts Department is coordinated by Patty Maloney-Titland, Professor. Maloney-Titland and Christopher Plummer '95, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, are Co-Artistic Directors for the Rockland Shakespeare Company.


Collette Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Specialist, and Deborah Vinecour, Esq., Coordinator , Paralegal program, served on the "Meet Me at the Forum" panel at the Rockland County Guidance Center to speak about their careers (March 18, Nyack).

The entire Hawks Men's Basketball team was featured on "Live from Town Hall" with Town of Ramapo Supervisor, Christopher P. St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence also interviewed Kevin Hanlon ‘98, Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director; Bill Kurisko, Head Coach; Lenny Kurisko, Assistant Coach and John Yannaco '06, Assistant Coach, about the team's stunning victory that advanced them to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament at SUNY Delhi that began March 12. It was the first trip to the national basketball tournament in RCC's history.

Patty Maloney-Titland, Coordinator/Professor, Performing Arts Department, and Christopher Plummer, Co-Artistic Director of the College Rockland Shakespeare Company, spoke on WRCR about the spring musical, "Grease," and the performance that raised funds for Juvenile Diabetes and Carter's Club.

Dr. Susan Golz, Professor, Science, gave a joint presentation with Dr. Daniel L. Miller, Bureau Head, Water Supply, Division of Environmental Health, Rockland County Department of Health, on "Bottled Water vs. Tap Water: Which is better, healthier, safer to drink," to the Rockland County League of Women Voters (March 25, Suffern).

Publications and Papers Presented

Peter Arvanites, Professor, Mathematics, gave a presentation on math anxiety to thirty-five middle school and high school teachers at the 34th Annual Ten County Mathematics Education Association Conference, "It's As Easy As Pi." (March 14, Middletown, New York).

David Beisel, Ph.D., Professor, Social Sciences presented the following papers:

  • "Paris, 1940: A Traumatized City and Postwar Political Reliving." Annual Convention of the International Society of Political Psychology (Paris, July ‘08).
  • "London, 1940: A Traumatized City and Postwar Political Reliving" and "Comment On Eli Sagan." Annual Convention of the International Psychohistorical Association (Fordham University Law School, June ‘08).
  • "Presidential Messianic Fantasies: Carter, Perot, Clinton, Obama." Annual Meeting of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (Rutgers University, October ‘08).

Recent publications of David Beisel, Ph.D., Professor, Social Sciences include:

  • "Der Deutsche Suizid, 1945," Jahrbuch für Psychohistorische Forschung, 2008.
  • "The German Suicide, 1945," The Journal of Psychohistory, Vol. 34, no. 4 (Spring 2007), 302-313.
  • Presidential Savior Fantasies and the Election of Barack Obama," Clio's Psyche, Vol. 15, no. 4 (March 2009), 263-270.
  • Our Own Worst Enemy and the 2008 Financial Crisis," Clio's Psyche, Vol. 15, no. 3, December 2009), 162, 168-170.
  • "Comments on Sagan," [Eli Sagan, "Do We Need an Evolutionary Theory of Society?" printed in Clio's Psyche, same issue], Clio's Psyche, Vol. 15, no. 4 (March, 2009), 255-261.

Elaine Toia, Ph.D., Professor, English, and Thomas Butler Ph.D., Professor, Science, presented their paper, "Humanities and Science Honors Courses: Pedagogy and Research," at the Modern Language Association (San Francisco, CA, Dec. ‘08).


The Chancellor for the State University of New York has named three RCC students as recipients of this year's awards for Student Excellence: Sheela George, Joshua Mathew and Ashley Scales.

The New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT), the New York Community College Association of Presidents (NYCCAP), the Faculty Council of Community Colleges (FCCC) and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society annually select an All New York Academic Team from students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa. Two Rockland Community College students have been selected for team membership. The 2009 Award recipients are Chad Agrawal, Second Team, and Robert Chapklin Jr., Third Team. They will honored at a luncheon in Albany on April 7.

Chad Agrawal, a student in the Sam Draper Mentor Talented Student Honors Program and Student Member of the Board of Trustees, has been selected as a 2009 Coca Cola National Finalist. As a finalist, Agrawal will receive $1,000. Selection as a Coca Cola Finalist was based on the scores which he earned in the All-USA Academic Competition sponsored by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. The program is administered by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

The Dance Company was selected to perform in the Northeast Regional ACDJ (American College Dance Festival) Gala Concert, at Penn State University (March 9).  From groups representing 30 schools, RCC was one of eight colleges/universities that were selected to perform. Of a total 47 works adjudicated, 11 were chosen to perform, and RCC was the only community college in the concert. Other schools included Hofstra University, Mercyhurst College, Muhlenberg College, Point Park University, Princeton University, Rutgers University and West Chester University.


The Hawks Men's Basketball Team finished its best season in school history with a 22-13 overall record. The Hawks pulled off one of the most dramatic comebacks in Region XV Basketball Tournament history on March 1. Down by as much as 22 points with just under 10 minutes left, the Hawks stormed back to defeat Sullivan Community College 81-77 in the championship game. The team defeated Suffolk-Selden Community College, 94-82, in the semi-final (Feb. 28). They also sank Suffolk-Grant Community College, 90-75, in the quarterfinals. Angel Gonzalez was named Tournament MVP, and teammate Matt Rose was selected to the All-Tournament team.

After defeating Sullivan Community College in the Region XV Championship, the Hawks traveled to SUNY Delhi for the NJCAA National Tournament on March 12-14. The Hawks took eighth place in the tournament and fell to rival Bergen Community College in the opening round, 78-64. Allegheny Community College (PA) and the College of DuPage (IL) also dealt the Hawks a pair of losses during the tournament. Spring Valley High graduate Matt Rose was selected to the All-Tournament team.

The men's basketball team is led by Head Coach Bill Kurisko. As a Nanuet High graduate, Kurisko held the Rockland County scholastic scoring title for more than 15 years. Kurisko just completed his fifth season as head coach. Assisting Kurisko this season were his father, Lenny Kurisko, and John Yannaco '06.

The Lady Hawks finished third in the Mid-Hudson Conference Tournament. The 2009 edition of tournament was held at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York from February 19-21. Rockland defeated Dutchess Community College, 65-42, in the consolation game on Saturday, February 21. Prior to that game, the third seeded Lady Hawks fell to second seeded Orange Community College, 61-46 in the semi-final on Thursday, February 19. The Mid-Hudson Conference announced the 2009 All Conference Women's Basketball team at the tournament. Freshman Alyssa Guido was named the MVP and Sophomore Liridona Gjonbalaj and Nakiah Zamor were named to the second team. Guido was also named to the All-Tournament team. Rookie Head Coach, Ty Della Monica '05 guided the Lady Hawks.

The Bowling doubles team of Amanda Garcia and Jonna Morgo won the Region XV Women's doubles division title (February 20). They bowled a 1,270 series to capture the crown. Garcia, a North Rockland graduate, and Morgo a Clarkstown North alum, completed in the NJCAA National Tournament (March 6-7).