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May 2009 Achievements

Academic Excellence

Elaine S. Padilla, Ph.D., Professor, Social Sciences, is the first RCC faculty member to be appointed to the rank of Distinguished Service Professorship--one of the highest designations bestowed upon instructional faculty by the State University of New York (SUNY). She is also the only community college professor in New York to receive the Distinguished Service Professorship this year.

SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

Joan Asch, Support Staff, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science, is the College’s first recipient of the new Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Other winners:

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service: Robert A. Axelrod, Professor, Speech

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service: Zipora Reitman, Director of Campus Communications

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities: Patty Maloney-Titland, Professor and Chair, Performing Arts

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Donna Peters, MA, RN, Professor, Nursing

Nilda Aragones, Associate Professor/Councilor, Student Development Center, was a participant in the "Real Women Lead" panel discussion presented to more than 160 elementary school girls at Lime Kiln Elementary School (May 1). The panel also included the Assemblywoman Ellen C. Jaffee and other professional women from around the county.

Dale Crispell, Instructor, Nursing, received the Administrative Excellence in Practice Award at the annual Rockland County Nurses’ Recognition Day (May 7).

Tanya Drake, Professor, Department of Nursing was recently featured in the Member Spotlight column of New York Nurse, the official publication of the New York State Nurses Association. The article recognized Drake's receipt of the RCC Foundation Leadership Award as well as her years in leadership roles in State and local professional nursing organizations, her commitment to the College and involvement in community education and the American Cancer Society.

David Langley, adjunct faculty, English, published his second biographical essay on an aviator on a Web site about aviation history. The first featured the Wright Brothers and the second is aviator-children’s author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who is famous for his novella, The Little Prince (1943). Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s plane was lost at sea during WWII, but his bracelet was recently discovered by a fisherman. See:

Brian Malin, adjunct faculty, Biology, and Director of RCC’s Awesome Science summer camp, earned his M.S. Ed. in Secondary Science Education, Biology, from the Westchester graduate campus of Long Island University (May ’09).


Cliff L. Wood, Ed.D., President of Rockland Community College, has been appointed President of the New York Community College Association of Presidents (NYCCAP), beginning June 2009.

Community Service

The Ballroom Dance Club raised $1,041 for the Kids to Kingdom Care Centers (orphanages) in India and Tanzania. Students Kimberly Lindemann, President, and Rachael Hoffman co-coordinated the effort.

Jessica Dohanyos, a sophomore senator in the Student Government Association, chose helping the victims in Darfur as her student project. Through selling baked goods, pizza, ice-cream, 500 wristbands and organizing a banquet, she raised $1,100, which she donated to Help Darfur Now, a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of and funds for the victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

The American Heart Association's annual walk was held at the College (May 17). The College was one of the major fund raisers, having raised more than $21,000 with some pledges still outstanding. $18,266 of this was raised by the nursing students. Cliff L. Wood, Ed.D., President and Saeed Safaie, Professor of Science, each led a team. Joanne Oventhal, Associate Professor, Nursing, organized the nursing students.


Eighteen full-time and adjunct Art faculty are exhibiting their work at the State University Art Gallery located at the SUNY Plaza in Albany (through July 17). This faculty show includes ceramics, paintings, drawings, prints and photography. In addition, the Best of SUNY student show is on view concurrently in another gallery and includes the artwork of Art student, Naama Hizami. Faculty exhibitors:
Walter Carroll, Professor, Art

Stephen Churchill, Instructor, Computer Assisted Design and adjunct faculty, Art

Clayton Cotterell, adjunct faculty, Art

Eugenio Espinosa, Assistant Professor, Art

Brooke Evans, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Specialist

Collette V. Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Specialist

Andrea Geller, adjunct faculty, Art

Lili Grady, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Associate

Joanne Howard, adjunct faculty, Art

Don Iannucci, Associate Professor, Art

Carl Jablonski, adjunct faculty, Art

Gordon Moore, adjunct faculty, Art

Kaare Rafoss, Professor, Art

Marc Russell, adjunct faculty, Art

Elizabeth Sayles, adjunct faculty, Art

John Schlesinger, Assistant Professor, Art

Page Simon, Professor, Art

Sally Spivack, adjunct faculty, Art


Chad Agrawal, Student Trustee, was inducted into the brotherhood of the Eagle Scouts (May 2). For his Eagle Scout project he installed hedges spelling the letters, “RCC,” in front of the Technology Center. He officially became an Eagle Scout in May ’08.

Rod Amazan ’09 was awarded the $700 Bonnie Glickman Scholarship by the Empire State Association of Two Year College Biologists (ESATYCB). Amazan plans to continue his studies in medical sciences. Nahed Salama, PhD, Professor, Science, is the Chair of the ESATYCB Scholarship Committee.

The Chess Club held a competition in which fourteen students played against the International Grandmaster Gennady Sagalchik. First place winner was former student and Chess Club member Omar Dawson. Second place winner was student Zamir Ben-Dan. Third place was an entrant from an elementary/middle school. Peter Arvanites, Professor, Mathematics, and Janna Liberant, Associate Professor, Mathematics, co-organized the event (April 21).

Allyson Medina ’09 was accepted to attend the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) Delegation on Nursing in South Africa (May 25-June 4). The ISLP provides high-achieving students the opportunity to take part in a learning experience designed to inform and enrich their career. Through a comparative curriculum, students gain a global understanding of how their chosen career field is practiced in the host country. Visit:

Impulse, RCC’s literary magazine, received a Bronze Award from Admissions: the National Newspaper of Admissions Marketing. The 24th Annual Admissions Advertising Award is for the category Publication/Internal. Editors/Presidents: Sheela George and Christina Autiero; Vice President: Patrick Bergquist; Graphic Designer: Saim Ullah; Treasurer: Bruce Butler and Anthony Kwon; Secretary: Ana Nikolic and Rachel Conway. Reamy Jansen, Professor, English, as well as David Pirell, adjunct faculty, Graphic Design, served as advisors to the magazine.

The following students have been selected to participate at this year's Beacon Conference at Montgomery College, Takoma Park, Maryland (June 4-5). Rob Fuentes, Instructor, English, is the Beacon Conference Representative

Advisors with their Panel Participants:

Nancy Hazelton, PhD, Professor of English:

  • Christina Autiero, Shakespeare
  • Maria Cecilia Vila Chave, Shakespeare
  • Maegan R. Nevins, The Arts
  • Samantha Plumlee, Communications
  • Joyia Williams, History


Nancy Leech, PhD, Professor of English

  • Jaclyn Sayegh, Philosophy and Religious Studies


Shamika Mitchell, Instructor, Professor of English

  • Maggie Lewis-Lerman, American Literature


Elaine M. Toia, PhD, Professor of English

  • Patrick John Bergquist, Shakespeare
  • Rachel Hirshfeld, Gender Studies
  • Cody Schlaff, World Literature


Advisors with their Poster Presenters:

Nancy Hazelton, PhD, Professor of English:

  • Saritha Gateau


Elaine M. Toia, PhD, Professor of English

  • Renee Campolongo, Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Gregory Yucht, Shakespeare


The 2nd Annual RCC-TV Video Festival Competition showcased student videos with prizes awarded in 8 categories (April 23). This year five local High Schools competed in the category: “Best Video: Rockland County High School.” Entries this year totaled 34, 25 from RCC students. Winners:

Best RCC Overall: Corey Machado, "Do Not Disturb"
Best Music Video: Darian Van Dunk, "Paper Cut"
Best PSA (Public Service Announcement): Harrison Rego, "Until I Had None"
Best Comedy: Tony Milio, "The Womanizer"
Best News Segment: Daniel Thorn, “Storm King Adventure Tours—Days of Fun on the Hudson”
Best Commercial: Zamir Ben-Dan, "Join The RCC Debate Team"
Best Documentary: Ashish Amin, "Meet the Pharmacy"
Best Animation: Pedro Julio Carpio Bonilla, "Aesthesis: Mysteries of the Mind"
Best Short Film: Corey Machado, "Do Not Disturb"
Best High School Video:
Nyack High School, Short Film: "3:45", Charles Caster Dudzick

The competition was organized by Janice T. Goldstein, Coordinator, Video & Television Productions, along with her staff, including Javonne Johnson, her Production Assistant.

Forty two students were inducted as lifetime members into Alpha Beta Gamma International Business Honor Society (April 30). Martin Lecker, Ed.D., Professor, Business, is the faculty advisor. Initiates include: Ronald Beller, Devon Beuschel, Corissa Bundenthal, Mary Cipriano , James Clark, Agata Czygier, Michael D’Alisera , Rory Damon, Mohammad Dareyan, Jacqueline D’Urso, Matthew Felico, Jodanna Finch, Jean Fonvil, Gloria Hansen, Alanna Heraghty, Gisele Da Silva Junquiera, Roger J. Kelly, Jr., Ashley Kiss, Avraham A. Kolt, Adam Krakowsky, Phillip J. Lombardi, Brian Luke, Jean Marcellus, Claritza V. Martinez, David E. Mateo, Michelle Morrison, Ana Nikolic, Lisbeth Nova-Remigio Martin Palijusevic, Lunedie Pamphile, Toshimia Redd, Sajesh Reyes, Lubna Said, Matthew Scheibner, Patricia Scobey, Jason Scretching, Gregory Sheehan, Ricky Smith, Michael Snyder, Stephen Teller, JeanAnne Tiesler, and Felipe Vilches.

The following students received the Outstanding Student Service Award at a ceremony on campus (May 7): Raza Abdullah, Lenia Abraham, Chad Agrawal, Anthony James Albanos, Polkinson Attimy, Christina Autiero, Beheshta Bassam, Tyler Ben Jacob, Sarah Bloom, Lauren Bonayer, Rose George Boncard, Pedro Julio Carpio Bonilla, Bruce Butler, Paolo M. Garcia Cardenas, Carmen Lissette Castillo, Robert Chapklin, Jr., Veronica Chiarito, Tanya Cirincione, Ashley Cole, Jessica Dawson, Jessica Deyne, Jessica Dohanyos, Aminatou Famby-Mandjo, Joseph Feger, Saritha Gateau, Sheela George, Kenrick Georges, Christopher Giuliano, Samantha Gomberg, Katelyn Gosda, Alan Grunwald, Rachael Hoffman, Marisa Holland, Christopher Humphreys, Alivia Iorio, Daniel Israel, Jason Kaplan, Avreet Kaur, Gurjot Kaur, Matthew Kelly, Do Heon Kim, Avraham Kolt, Sarah Lambro, Guy Alain Laude, Kimberly Lindemann, Mary Liwag, Deny Singuey Lopez, Jeff H Singuey, Shenee Lowers, Pinchas Lunger, Andrew Marcinak, Meredith Maresco, Vincent Marinelli, Matthew Masiello, Claritza Martinez, Joshua Mathew, Melvin Matthew, Aileen McCluskey, Kristy McNulty, Elizabeth Meisenzahl, Anthony Milio, Patricia Monroe, Jerika Morris, Leigha Murray, Andrew Newmark, Katya Ortiz, Jenna Patire, Jeffrey A. Payton, Shawn Rajan, Amanda Ramos, Saj Reyes, Danielle Rinaldo, Mirna Yesenia Rodezno, Deena Rosenblatt, Jared Rosenblum, Nava Rosenrauch, Matthew Ross, Joseph Russo, Loudy Alphonse-Saintil, Milagros Carmen Sanchez, Ashley Scales, Paul Schulman, Travis Smith, Jillian Soderman, Mark Svensson, Tomasz Szeliga, Carrine Taylor, Natasha Tucker, Brian Turk, Saim Ullah, Jakshylyk Urmatbek, Urmi Vaghela, Dimitri Vital-Herne, Avi Levin Waldman, Ahkiem Coreen-Washington, Kellie Whelan, and Michelle Woodside.

Sixteen RCC alumni graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Purchase (May 15) through the Purchase College at Rockland Community College program. The Liberal Studies B.A. Program is designed for graduates of the College and other students who would like to complete much of the required coursework on RCC's campus during the evening. The winner of the President's Award for highest scholarship was Krista Behrends ’05, and Julian Harvey ’05 received a Certificate of Academic Achievement (3.5 GPA). The B.A. degrees offered through the Purchase College at Rockland Community College program are in Liberal Studies (general studies major); Liberal Studies: Communications/Media Studies and Liberal Studies: Legal Studies.