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January 2012 Achievements


The photographs of Collette Fournier, adjunct faculty, Art, and Educational Support Specialist, Campus Communications, are being featured by Aaduna, an online literary and visual arts publication. “Legacies…African Character, Spirit, and Determination” is a three-part exhibition of photographs chronicling Fournier’s travels to Ghana and other parts of Africa, and include themes of captivity and history, celebrating traditions, and living life. (See from Feb. 28 – May 30).

Fournier’s work is also included in the exhibit, "Kamoinge: Revealing the Face of Katrina," at The College of New Rochelle in the Gordon Parks Gallery and Cultural Arts Gallery (opening: Sat., March 3, from 3 – 5 pm). Fournier is a member of Kamoinge, the New York-based collective of African American photographers. Several of the group traveled to Louisiana to document the devastation to communities ravaged by Katrina, and the far-reaching effects on the area's economic, social, and racial fabric.


Christopher Plummer, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, was selected as one of only eight invited Associate Instructors to teach at the annual Society of American Fight Directors - Winter Wonderland Workshop (Jan. 6-8, Chicago, Illinois). Close to 200 participants enrolled in the workshop. Plummer was also accepted to the first annual Advanced Combatant Intensive - a very selective advanced training workshop conducted by renown Fight Master, Richard Ryan, and Fight Director, Nick Sandys (Jan 3-5, Chicago).


Phyllis Sheldon, RN, CNS-BC, CUCNS, adjunct faculty, Nursing, has been awarded a scholarship by the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA) to attend their annual symposium (March 2012, San Francisco, CA). She is on a committee that developed the Scope and Standards of Urologic Nursing Practice, and is on an advisory board to develop a Core Curriculum for Urologic Nursing.


Maire Liberace, Professor of Philosophy and Speech, has been invited to sing with her group, the New York Archdiocesan Festival Chorale, at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Liberace has been singing with the Chorale at the St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers since its inception in 1986. Her group has been invited to join the Choir of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, to sing in Rome on the occasion of the elevation of Archbishop Dolan of New York and Archbishop O'Brien to the Office of Cardinal. They will perform at special liturgies in five churches (Feb. 14-20), including at least one at Saint Peter’s Basilica, and will attend a reception at the Vatican. Following their return to the U.S., they will sing at an invitation-only event at St. Patrick's Cathedral (Feb. 25, New York City).

Angelo Parra, adjunct faculty, Performing Arts, has been invited to present his Off-Broadway play, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith (currently at St. Luke’s Theatre), at the 2012 Montreal Jazz Festival (June 28 to July 7). In addition, Parra, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Rockland, Penguin Rep Theatre, and Rockland Center for the Arts, gave two public readings of his work-in-progress, Passing in the Night, a play based on the letters of the renowned composer Kurt Weill and his wife, stage and screen performer, Lotte Lenya (Dec., West Nyack, and Jan., Stony Point)


Martin J. Lecker, Ed.D., Professor, Business published the article, “When Corporate Leaders Behave Badly” in the Polish Human Resources Management Journal (Zarzadzanie Zasobami Ludzkimi) published by the Institute of Labour and Social Affairs (Warsaw, Poland).

Eileen MacAvery-Kane, adjunct faculty, Graphic Design and Computer Graphics, published a book, Ethics: A Graphic Designer's Field Guide (2010), to explore three major topics:
1) Legalities--the rules that govern the profession including copyright law, piracy, plagiarism, fair use, and photo manipulation
2) Integrity--principles of right conduct including spec work, crowd  sourcing, and responsibility to clients and contracts; and
3) Morality--the moral choices to be made including sustainability, social responsibility, and cultural influence. She continues to write on the subject on her blog.


Jannelle Santiago '04, Academic Support Services,received her MBA degree on Dec. 30, 2011, from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh.


The short play, "Nothing," written by Joelle Almodovar of Pomona, a returning adult student majoring in Performing and Communication Media Arts, is being produced by the Haverstraw Youth Theater (March 29, 30, and 31). These performances will be part of a festival celebrating Women’s History Month. The playwright, Almodovar, has also been cast to play the leading role of Janelle. The play’s title refers to how people often answer the query, “What’s wrong”… even when there may be substantive issues they are dealing with. The story’s focus is a family challenged by several issues including the mother’s petit mal seizures and a child with autism.


Mark Svensson ’10, Georgetown University, and Marvin Mathew ’11, University of Maryland were selected to serve as Commitment Mentors to the Clinton Global Initiative University for 2012. The Clinton Foundation selects only 30 mentors nationally to serve in this role. Svensson was assigned to focus on the issue of Human Trafficking, as a result of his work at RCC combating modern day slavery. Mathew was assigned to work on Dialogue and Conflict Resolution, as a result of his work in community solutions while at RCC. Svensson and Mathew are also members of ReEnvision Team, and were invited to participate in briefings on global topical issues at the United Nations (March 6, New York City). Since August, the 11 student members of the ReEnvision Team have done several projects including:

  • Providing clean water to more than 100 families in Haiti
  • Mentoring 150 high school girls in Kenya
  • Teaching English to more than 300 children in China
  • Training 175 foster families in northern California on the dangers of sex trafficking

The recent Children’s Book Drive to promote literacy in Rockland County, led and initiated by Svensson and Mathew, collected over 4,000 books that were donated to five Rockland agencies for children. Student leaders at RCC, led by student trustee Angel Torres, SGA President Christopher Barker and Phi Theta Kappa officers Alex Ojeda, Monica Powell, Marwan Zaid and Rene Midouin also participated in the book drive. The project is featured on Opportunity Nation’s website.

Mathew was also recently accepted into the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate McNair Scholars Program for his academic achievement and commitment to pursing a PhD degree.