Alumni Spotlights

The spotlights appearing on this page are taken as they appeared in Reflections magazine, and are referenced accordingly.


Reflections Winter 2007
Helen McCarthy Padgham
celebrated her 104th birthday on September 21 with a luncheon at the Mohawk Valley Country Club given in her honor by Bill Dayton and her many friends at Forge Hill Estates.  Other guests included Helen’s nephew, Albert, and his wife, Patty.  Helen started her teaching career in Middleville and then moved on to South School, later known as Tuger School, where she taught for 43 years before retiring in 1969.  Helen belongs to the Herkimer County Teachers Association, the Herkimer County Historical Society, the American Legion Auxiliary, Herkimer County Human Society, and AARP.  She was a long-time member of the Herkimer Garden Club.  Helen lives alone with minimal assistance.  She has a regal and commanding presence, but at the same time possesses an admirable humility and is an unusually kind and generous person.  Helen has an excellent memory and is a wonderful conversationalist.  She has her hair done once a week, often goes out to lunch, and loves to shop.  She makes it a point to keep up with current events. 


Reflections Summer 2007
Dora Seward Fowler
was recently acknowledged for being the oldest teacher in the state and the second-longest-tenured district employee in state history.  She began her career at Roxbury Central School in 1950 and announced that she has no intention of retiring yet.  She has already signed her contract for the next school year.  During the ceremony to honor Dora, she received plaques and certificates from the state Board of Regents, NYS United Teachers, the School Administration Association and congressman and senators, including a nephew, state Senator James Seward.  She was also presented with a plaque from the College, and the PTA presented her with a sign to designate her own special parking place.  The Roxbury supervisor presented her with a pastel drawing with her in the foreground and the school in the background.  Dora briefly considered retiring in 1977, after she had taught fifth grade for 20 years, but asked if she could move up to high school English. Her career began again.  Dora said, “I wasn’t sure that I wanted to make the change, but I went to church and the sermon was about teaching an old dog new tricks, so I took it as a sign.”  Dora has gained a reputation of being a bit of a thrill-seeker during her time at Roxbury.  In 1998, a professional acting group came to the school to do a production of Peter Pan.  When she saw the apparatus to make Peter fly, she said she wanted to try it, and she did.  When the first deep snow falls each winter, Dora gets out her sled and heads for the street she lives on and always rides down four times.  For her 80th birthday, she went up in a hot-air balloon.  She hasn’t decided what she will do for her 90th, but she is being realistic and will check with the doctor first.


Reflections Summer 2008
Alvin Wescott
is an emeritus professor from SUNY-Oswego, having taught there from 1959 until 1996.  Prior to Oswego, Alvin taught in Mount Kisco and Scarsdale.  Professor Westcott is the author of 12 books and many magazine and journal articles.  He currently writes articles for the Oswego Palladium Times and the Oswegonian, the SUNY-Oswego student newspaper.  His art works are regularly displayed in local exhibits, and he also builds unusual constructions, such as a plywood castle in Sterling.  His latest work is a novel titled Gila, which is set in Arizona in the 1870s.  He fondly remembers his student years at Oneonta, particularly the men’s chorus directed by Esther (Ma) Hubbard.  What an unforgettable view it was from the porch of Old Main over the valley.  His Sig Tau fraternity brother and brother-in-law, Keith Preston '52, and his sister still reside in Oneonta.


Reflections Fall 2007
Bernie Cleveland ’61G
and his wife, Kathleen, have spent much of their professional life offering face-to-face graduate classes for the professional and recertification needs of thousands of K-12 teachers with a company that Bernie founded in 1983, The Connecting Link. Realizing that there is an even greater need for high-quality, cutting-edge, practical graduate courses for K-12 teachers, the Clevelands focused their expertise on delivering these courses online at combines the power of an instructor-led virtual classroom with the flexibility of self-paced learning. Bernie earned his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1973, with concentrations in Social Studies Education, Curriculum, and American Social and Intellectual History.  Kathleen earned her Ed.D. from Nova Southern University in 1998, with concentrations in Adult Education and Curriculum.  They reside in Big Canoe, GA.


Reflections Fall 2007
Ian MacMillan
has written his twelfth book, a novel entitled The Bone Hook, which is due out in 2008.  His novel entitled Village of a Million Spirits won the 2000 P.E.N. – USA West Award for fiction.  His recent novels, both set in Hawaii, are The Braid and The Seven Orchids.  Ian’s many honors for his writing include the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories Award, Pushcart Prize, Associated Writing Program Award for Short Fiction, and the Hawaii Award for Literature.  Ian, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, has made more than 100 appearances in literary and commercial magazines and has taught creative writing at the University of Hawaii—Manoa since 1966.  Ian received the University of Hawaii—Manoa Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award in 2006.  The nomination letter from faculty, alumni, and students stated that “his students feel privileged to study with a prolific, award-winning author who liberally shares his time and expertise. He actively helps each student fulfill his potential as a writer by devoting countless hours to reading manuscripts, offering insightful advice, writing letters of recommendation and encouraging students toward publication.”  Ian moved from full-time to part-time teaching earlier this year.  Ian has been married to Susan Bates ’64 since 1963.  They have two children, Julia and Laura, and one grandchild.  


Reflections Spring 2006
Bryan Lambe
was recently appointed Special Assistant to the General Manager of the New York Mets.  Bryan joined the Mets organization last year as the Coordinator of Professional Scouting. Prior to joining the Mets, he was the Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2000-2005.  He was with the Texas Rangers as a national cross-checker and major league scout from 1985-2000.  From 1980-1985, he was an area scout and regional supervisor with the Major League Scouting Bureau.  Bryan played in the Detroit Tigers farm system from 1970-1976 and coached in Detroit’s minor league system in 1977-1978.  Bryan was inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction ceremony in October 1999.


Reflections Summer 2007
William Jankowiak
is Professor of Anthropology at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  He is author/editor, with Dan Bradburd, of Drugs, Labor, and Colonial Expansion; Well Being, Family Affections, and Ethical Nationalism in Urban China, a special joint issue of the Journal of Urban Anthropology; Romantic Passion: The Universal Experience?; and Sex, Death and Hierarchy in a Chinese City.  Bill received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has had many articles and book chapters published.


Reflections Summer 2007
Bob Arnold
was honored with two awards at the NY Association of Local Government Records Officers president’s reception held at Canandaigua Lake in June.  Jefferson County Clerk Jo Ann Wilder presented Bob with an award from the NYS Association of County Clerks for his service.  NYALGRO recognized Bob with the first-ever Robert W. Arnold III Distinguished Service Award.  Bob is a career public historian.  He was chief of government records service at the New York State Archives for 17 years, directing a regionally based program of technical assistance and grants for local governments and providing services to state agencies.  Bob was Albany County Historian for a number of years and directed numerous archaeological excavations in the Capital District.  He also directed the historic structures inventory of hundreds of Albany’s buildings.  On July 11, Bob was one of four historians chosen by the History Channel to provide on-camera commentary for a short documentary on the history of New York State.  The TV segment will air on the History Channel as one of a series of vignettes on the 50 states, with New York being the lead-off episode.  Bob spoke about skyscrapers, the Erie Canal, and the Dutch colonization of New York. He is the longest-serving adjunct instructor at the College at St. Rose, and he has taught colonial and nineteenth century American, New York State, industrial revolution, pre-industrial New York, Civil War, and a number of local and regional history courses since he began teaching in 1983.  Bob is a longtime Commissioner of Historic Resources for the City of Albany.  He was founding President of the New York Association of Local Government Records Officers, is a recipient of its Guy D. Paquin Award for leadership, and is an honorary life member of that Association and of the Association of Public Historians of New York State.  He is active in Scottish-American organizations and was Seanacaidh of the Clan Mackay by appointment of the 27th Chief of Mackay.  He has three grown children and a grandson who also wears the kilt in Mackay tartan. 

Reflections Fall 2008 
Willard Lewis '71G
received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from SUNY-Cortland during their Alumni Reunion Weekend luncheon on July 19 for his career accomplishments and outstanding service to his community and his alma mater. Willard retired after serving 21 years as the president of Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC. Isothermal marked the occasion of Willard’s retirement by naming its partly constructed lecture hall, distance-learning, and administrative office facility the Willard L. Lewis II Life Long Learning Center. After graduating from Cortland, Willard obtained a Master of Science in Guidance Counseling from the College at Oneonta. He went on to earn his Doctor of Education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Willard and his wife, Mary, live in Forest City, NC. They have one grown son.


Reflections Fall 2005
Craig Lesser
will be spearheading the new International Public Affairs practice of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP, an international law firm providing a wide range of legal and public policy solutions for business and other clients. “Craig joins the firm with a wealth of experience in the areas of government affairs and economic development and clearly understands the competitive nature of the global society we live in today. Craig will be integral in broadening our global focus and his contribution will allow us to provide an unprecedented level of service to our clients,” says Gordon Giffin, Chairman of the Public Policy and International practice at McKenna, Long and Aldridge. Craig says, “I am delighted to be joining one of the nation’s finest government affairs practices.  I believe that given the strong credentials of professionals within the firm, McKenna Long and Aldridge is positioned to become an international powerhouse.” In his previous position as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Craig was featured on the cover of Georgia magazine’s January issue.  He was promoting the work that Georgia’s Department of Economic Development does to let the world know what a great state Georgia is for business.  Prior to his gubernatorial appointment, Craig’s previous positions included VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Georgia Power Co.; President and CEO of Mirant New York; and Senior VP of External Affairs for Mirant Americas.  He has also been a partner in a boutique public affairs consulting firm. 

Reflections Winter 2008
Robert and Sheila Sheridan Striffler were recognized as honoris causa inductees to the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society at the College in November.  In 2002, Bob and Sheila began serving as co-chairs of the College’s five-year campaign, which had a goal of raising $10 million in support of the College’s scholarships, endowment, Milne Library, and science programs.  Under their leadership, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising $12,035,451 in charitable gifts, grants, and commitments for the College. During the campaign, 63 new scholarships were established, and several other fundraising records for the College were set.  In addition to his recent role as campaign co-chair, Bob has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors as treasurer.  He has been active in planning many NYC alumni events and mentoring many current students and alumni, and he is the recipient of the College at Oneonta Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.  He has enjoyed a successful career in business, receiving his MBA in public accounting from St. John’s University and serving in a variety of positions including President and Chief Operating Officer of Carvill America, Inc., and most recently Executive Vice President of AON Corporation.  Sheila devotes herself to community service, never seeking public recognition for her generous gifts of time and money.  As a result, she is one of the most distinguished and respected graduates of the College.  Sheila is currently serving as the President of the College at Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors.  In addition to our College, a variety of other non-profit organizations benefit from her service, including the Richard D. Frisbee III Foundation, Norwalk Hospital, All Saints School, New Canaan Public Library, Sovereign Order of Malta, Young Women’s League, and St. Aloysius School.

Reflections Summer 2007
Robert Tengeler recently joined the Albany offices of Hiscock and Barclay, LLP. He is a former assistant Medicaid inspector general for the NY State Department of Health and served in senior positions with the NY State Department of Social Services. He brings to the firm a wealth of experience with state healthcare programs. Robert served on the National Medicaid Fraud Control Advisory Group, assisted federal agencies in the implementation of fraud control initiatives, and developed program-integrity safeguards for the new State Medicaid Management Payment System, E-MEDNY. He was the liaison with the State Attorney General’s office in areas of potential Medicaid criminal activity, and he coordinated numerous projects with that agency. Robert was admitted to practice in New York, as well as the US District Court for the Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of New York. Robert graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1975.In his previous position as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Craig was featured on the cover of Georgia magazine’s January issue.  He was promoting the work that Georgia’s Department of Economic Development does to let the world know what a great state Georgia is for business.   


Reflections Winter 2008
Wayne Benjamin
was appointed Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles in March.  Previously, he was Bureau Chief and Deputy Solicitor General in the Division of Appeals and Opinions of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he had worked for nearly 30 years.  During his tenure in the Attorney General’s Office, Wayne handled hundreds of appeals in federal and state courts involving cases against the state and its agencies, including many cases in the NYS Court of Appeals.  He has reviewed over 2000 cases, and his name appears on over 700 decisions.  Wayne has lectured extensively on Article 78 practice and procedure and administrative law.  He has presented for the NYS Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association, Albany Law School, the Unified Court System, the Department of Correctional Services, the Office of Children and Family Services, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Wayne resides in Rensselaer County with his wife, Becky, and his two children, Alyssa and Jared.

Reflections Winter 2007

Robert Dell
of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, was awarded a 2006 Lindbergh Grant for his project entitled “Harvesting and Re-circulating Surplus Heat to Warm the Soil of Small Urban Gardens in New York to Accelerate Plant Growth and Extend the Growing Season.”  In New York City, more than 2,500 buildings use steam generated by Consolidated Edison; however not all of the steam is used, and there is no recirculation system.  The waste-system heat, in the form of steam condensate, is currently mixed with and cooled by the municipal water supply.  This fluid is dumped into the sewer system creating thermal pollution, which wastes both potable water and energy.  Professor Dell, Director of Mechanical Engineering’s Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation, will determine the feasibility and economic viability of recapturing the waste steam to heat the soil of small urban gardens to prolong the growing season and significantly increase crop yield.  He is creating a self-regulating green-system of heat exchangers, expansion tanks, and controls that will heat the soil while replenishing the water using a modified drip-irrigation process.  If the concept proves economically viable, green gardens could be found in New York City year round, enhancing the quality of life while conserving valuable resources.  This technology could then be applied worldwide, wherever there is thermal pollution.

Reflections Summer 2007
Sean Dugan
was elected to the Board of Directors of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in March. 28. Sean is a senior partner and trial attorney at Martin Clearwater & Bell, LLP, where he is engaged in the defense of all aspects of professional liability claims on behalf of physicians and other health care professionals, medical groups, and healthcare institutions. He has been associated with MC&B since 1979 and became a member of the firm in 1983. In 1991, Sean obtained his Master’s in Environmental Law to assist his firm in the defense of complex personal injury exposure claims, such as those involving mold, lead, asbestos, and various medications. He completed Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation and obtained a Mediator Training Certificate from the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. He is admitted to practice law before both the State and Federal Courts in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, and is certified as a civil trail specialist. After graduating from Oneonta, Sean earned his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his LIM, Environmental Law, at Pace University School of Law. Sean and his wife, Martha, have lived in Sleepy Hollow for 20 years, where they have raised their four children. 

Reflections Spring 2008
Neil Mazzella received a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, presented to him by the American Theatre Wing.  He has spent his career behind the scenes of Broadway, setting the stage for the show, in what the industry refers to as the “load-in.”  Hudson Scenic Studio, the set-building company he and a partner started in 1980, has expanded into other technical theater services since moving toYonkers eight years ago.  Neil and his crew have loaded in an estimated 300 Broadway shows.  Neil also serves as technical supervisor for Broadway shows and has shipped his automation equipment to China and other Asian countries for performances of The Lion King and Spring Awakening.  Last year, 21 of 36 shows on Broadway were using Hudson Scenic’s technical services.  In 2004, Neil started Hudson Sound and Lighting LLC to expand his company into theatrical lighting.  Last spring, he started another division, Hudson Theatrical Associates, to support technical supervision of shows.  Away from Broadway, Hudson Scenic does work for Disney theme parks and has done Las Vegas shows. 

Reflections Summer 2007
Brian McGarvey
, Associate Dean/Director of Financial Aid at Schenectady County Community College, received the 2006 SUNY Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in Professional Services.  Brian joined SCCC in 1985 as Director of Financial Aid.  He was named Assistant Dean for Student Access in 1996 and Associate Dean for Student Access in 2001.  He oversees Admissions, Financial Aid, and the College and Career Counseling Center.  He received the 2005 SCCC Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service/Librarianship during their 2005 Commencement. 


Reflections Summer 2007
Cynthia Lindland Taber
, Professor in the Developmental Studies Department at Schenectady County Community College, was presented with the 2006 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Cynthia joined SCCC in 1986 as an adjunct faculty member.  She became assistant professor in 1990, associate professor in 1994, and professor in 1999.  She has been innovative in her approach in the classroom, pioneering the use of ANGEL, the College’s teaching software, in her classes.  She received the 2005 SCCC Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching during their 2005 Commencement. 

Reflections Summer 2006
Hon. Victoria A. Graffeo
, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and William F. Collins ’71, Counsel to the New York State Assembly Majority, received the Distinguished Alumni in Government Award presented at Albany Law School’s 2006 Alumni in Government Reception on March 2 at the Executive Mansion. Vicki received her Juris Doctorate from Albany in 1977.  Following graduation, she worked in private practice until 1982 when she became assistant counsel to the NYS Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, a position she held until 1984.  She then spent 10 years working in the State Legislature, eventually attaining the position of Chief Counsel to Assembly Minority Leader Clarence D. Rappleyea, Jr.  In 1995, she was appointed Solicitor General for the NY State Attorney General Dennis Vacco and served there until she was appointed by Governor Pataki to fill a vacancy in the State Supreme Court, Third Judicial District in 1996.  She was elected to a full term as Justice of the State Supreme Court and in March 1998 was named Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department.  She is the Treasurer of the Oneonta Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of the Albany Law School Board of Trustees, its 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, and its 2003 Commencement speaker. Bill has been Counsel to the New York State Assembly Majority since 1998.  After receiving his juris doctorate from Albany Law School in 1976, he began his extensive career of government service working for the New York State Department of State, Division of Community Affairs, Legal Service Bureau, where he worked until 1979.  He then served as Deputy Counsel to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations until 1983 when he became Deputy Commissioner of Administration of the NYS Department of Labor.  In 1987, he joined the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance as Deputy Commissioner and Counsel, where he served until 1995.  After three years with Bond, Schoeneck & King, LLP, in Albany, he served as Director of the Legislative Tax Study Commission until 1998.  Bill is a member of the Government Law Center’s Advisory Board and an adjunct faculty member at Albany Law School.  


Reflections Winter 2007
Robert Constantine
was honored in October with the Sister Patricia Ann Award for Excellence by St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.  The Sister Patricia Ann Award for Excellence is one of the most prestigious awards that St. Joseph’s offers.  Sister Patricia Ann devoted 41 years to St. Joseph’s and was referred to as the “heart and soul” of the hospital.  She was a brilliant and generous person who was honored by everyone. The award recognizes people who represent the ideals she espoused.  Dr. Constantine was nominated in part for his ability to teach as he works.  “He takes the time to explain who, what, when, and why he is doing something,” says Deborah Welch, Director of Mental Health Services and chair of the awards committee.  Bob is an honorary member of the College Foundation Board of Directors and has endowed a scholarship in memory of his parents.  

Reflections Summer 2006
Linda Zuckerman Kellner
, Assistant Principal at Baldwin Senior High School, was named the 2006 New York State Assistant Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State.  The award is given annually by SAANYS to a member who has been an assistant principal for at least three years.  Candidates are administrators who anticipate and resolve problems effectively, actively implement the goals and objectives of their school, and work to improve education programs and student achievement.  This award selection is part of the National Association of Secondary School Principal’s process to select a National Assistant Principal of the Year for 2007.  According to her colleagues who nominated her, Linda is recognized as a motivator and the person who gets the job done, no matter how difficult the task.  She is known as the person to depend on, the one who will always find a way to make even the smallest dream of a teacher or student come true.  She is an instructional leader who serves as a model for new and veteran teachers alike.  She contributes to the culture of the school by working with student activities, and her instructional expertise makes her a driving force for academic achievement.  Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education--Spanish from the College, a master’s in Spanish from Adelphi University, and certification in educational administration from Long Island University at CW Post.  She is a member of several professional and community organizations and has received many honors, including her listing in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Reflections Winter 2008
James McDermet, Senior Vice President of Starbucks, was recognized by North Central College with its Alumni Recognition Award during Homecoming Weekend in October.  The award is presented annually to a recent alumnus who has excelled in his career and demonstrated service to the community and his alma mater.  James, who received his MBA from North Central College in 1992, is the first master’s degree recipient to receive the alumni award.  He earned his MBA while working as a regional vice president for Burger King in the Chicago area.  He worked his way up in management positions until he reached corporate headquarters in Miami, where he eventually left Burger King to open a small chain of coffee shops in the Miami area.  His joint venture, called Java Centrale, ultimately led to a position as regional director at Starbucks in Seattle.  Since joining Starbucks in 2000, he has served as regional vice president in both the Midwest and New York metro areas.  He is now Senior Vice President for US Store Services at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle.  

Reflections Spring 2007
Kevin Murphy
has been named Of Counsel to Graydon Head & Richey LLP’s commercial litigation and dispute resolution client service department. Kevin has experience in many areas including commercial litigation, product liability, patents/trademark/torts, contracts, corporate law, and sports law. He began his legal career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable William O. Bertelsman, United States District Court Judge in Covington, Kentucky, in 1981. Since then, he has been in private practice, counseling clients in a variety of industries including representation of Major League Baseball athletes and umpires. He has been recognized with inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America since 2003. Kevin serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Law Center and is a member of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center Board. He has also served as a member of the Placement Board for Salmon P. Chase College of Law and as President for the Salmon P. Chase American Inns of Court. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center, Inc., and has served as President, officer, and member of the Kenton County Republican Executive Committee. Kevin is admitted to practice in Kentucky and Ohio and in the US District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky; US District Court, Western District of Kentucky; the US District Court, Southern District of Ohio; and the US Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. He is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association, and the Northern Kentucky Bar Association. He earned his law degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where he served as articles editor for the law review.

Reflections Summer 2006
Eileen Welsh Scanlon
joined Windover Development as Director of Sales and Marketing, bringing with her 21 years of experience in new residential development. Prior to joining Windover, Eileen was most recently the sales manager at Great Island by Del Webb at The Pinehills.  In the past, she has been associated with The Green Company, Northland Residential Corporation, and The Collaborative Companies.  Over the years, Eileen has earned national recognition as a multiple Million Dollar Circle Award winner.   She was also named 1987 Rookie of the Year and 1989 Salesperson of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders Sales and Marketing Council.  Eileen is a member of the 50+ New England Housing Council and a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  She resides in Newburyport, MA.

Reflections Summer 2007
Christopher Visco
was named 2006 Suffolk County Science Teacher of the Year.  In addition, Chris was a 2006 New York State Teacher of the Year finalist.  He received his award from Richard Mills, NYS Commissioner of Education.  During his interviews, he credited the College at Oneonta and its Earth Sciences Department for making him the teacher he is today.  Chris has been teaching earth science at Sachem High School for 25 years.  He truly feels he is a part of the College’s past, present, and future.  His daughter is a student at the College majoring in dietetics.  His son is a freshman majoring in meteorology. 


Reflections Summer 2006
Betty Perez
, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, was featured as the cover story in Food Management magazine in June 2002 for working to achieve higher customer satisfaction scores in the food and nutrition department.  She continues to bring vision, ideas, and a seemingly endless source of energy to UMDNJ's food-service operations, which serve over 1.3 million meals per year.  Customer satisfaction is a high priority for the hospital.  Working with the executive director of hospital support services, Betty introduced a new program to increase customer satisfaction and demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to customer service.  Implemented by Betty and her management team, the program includes having a food server visit each new patient and providing a hotline phone extension for food service requests or problems.  A member of the management team makes a follow-up “ambassador” visit to emphasize their commitment to making each patient’s food-service experience as good as it can be.  Betty's son, Kristin, is currently attending Oneonta.  She says that she is very impressed with the continued development of the campus and that she received an excellent education in dietetics from Oneonta.

Reflections Winter 2009
Paul Perlman
(right) represented the College at the September 27 inauguration of Jack Quinn as the tenth President of Erie Community College. Paul and his wife reside in Orchard Park. Paul is an attorney with Hodgson Russ Attorneys in Buffalo.

Reflections Spring 2008
Helena Gillman Williams
was appointed President of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road in June.  She is the first woman to lead the nation’s busiest commuter railroad. Helena’s career is marked by top-level experience in transportation management and public office, with service as President of MTA Long Island Bus and later as Nassau County Deputy County Executive.  In the five years with the bus company, Helena oversaw an array of innovations and improvements to service that included the implementation of Metrocard, transition to a fleet of clean eco-friendly buses, initiation of a new paratransit service and development of an employee-availability program that dramatically cut costs.  Her priorities for the LIRR include customer safety, service reliability, and laying the groundwork for meeting future transportation demand.  Helena’s career began in New York City, working for the Mayor’s Office of Municipal Labor Relations.  After working for a short time in private practice, she began a 13-year career at the MTA in 1985, where she rose from Labor Counsel to Chief of Staff of Long Island Bus before assuming the role of President in 1993.  She most recently worked as Senior Counsel at Cablevision and previously served as Nassau Deputy County Executive, where she was a key member of the team that helped turn around Nassau’s nearly bankrupt finances.  


Reflections Summer 2006
Lucy Pantaleoni Bernier
was welcomed as an honoris causa member of the Oneonta circle of Omicron Delta Kappa.  Lucy graduated from the College with a degree in English.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School in 1980.  She was the note and comment editor of the Albany Law Review.  She served as the Otsego County Assistant District Attorney from 1992-1997 as well as the Oneonta City Prosecutor from 1998 through 2003.  Currently, Lucy is a partner in a law firm that specializes in family law, residential real estate, wills and estates, and appeals.  She also serves as an Oneonta City Court Judge.

Reflections Spring 2006
Nancy Matta
has been named to the 2005 Financial Advisor Hall of Fame by Research magazine, a professional journal in the financial services industry.  Nancy was honored for her work as First Vice President of Investments at Merrill Lynch in New York City.  The December issue of Research includes a feature article of Nancy, who studied psychology as an undergraduate at the College.  Following her graduation, she began working in financial planning while employed at an insurance company.  Nancy joined Merrill Lynch in 1980, and she now manages over $210 million in assets.  She holds certifications as a financial planner and an investment management analyst.  In her work at Merrill Lynch, she manages accounts that average from $2.5 to $3 million.  Nancy also serves as a spokesperson for Merrill Lynch’s Women’s Business Development Initiative and is the national Hispanic representative to the firm’s Diversity Advisory Council to Senior Management.  She supports a number of non-profit agencies including Catholic Charities, The Hunger Project, Mary Louis Academy, and the YMCA.

Reflections Summer 2007
Raymond Page
, an English teacher at St. Anthony High School, was honored at Princeton University’s Commencement in June as one of four outstanding New Jersey secondary school teachers. Over the course of his 30-year teaching career, including 18 years at St. Anthony, Raymond has successfully weaved "his academic magic among his students because he has vast knowledge, he exudes a caring interest in each student and he willingly puts in the time to prepare, to deliver and to assess," says principal Matthew Glowski. Raymond leads classes ranging from St. Anthony’s new Advanced Placement courses in language arts and literature to a workshop for freshmen with below-average writing skills. He also organized the school’s first Basic Skills Academy. He is versed in many subjects, having also taught history, math, science, and French classes, and sometimes interjects lessons from various religions into his dialogues with students. Outside the classroom, Raymond is equally dedicated to introducing students to a variety of viewpoints. He designed the Underground Reading Club to get students interested in reading socially relevant works. He also advises the school’s literary magazine, Serendipity, and leads the Magic Club. For Raymond, magic is more than just a fun activity that he shares with students in an extracurricular club–it is an essential facet of the teaching experience.


Reflections Fall 2008
Howard Gold
was awarded the 2008 Excellence in Adjunct Teaching Award in June by the Farmingdale College Foundation.  Howard has taught advanced courses at Farmingdale State College in Report Writing and Technical Communications, Research Techniques, and Documentation in the Professional Communications department for six semesters.  As an unusual teaching activity, Howard submitted several student documents for publication to various newspapers (Newsday, the Farmingdale Observer and the New York Times); 19 students have had 22 articles published in the past three years.  A former student of Howard’s and a graduate of Farmingdale, now a CBS employee wrote, “Everything I learned in Professional Communications I am able to use, almost on a daily basis, and I’ve learned a lot. Thank you!”  Howard is also a full-time technical writer with the Informatics Department of Forest Laboratories, a leading pharmaceutical firm.  Howard resides on Long Island with his wife, Meredith Kollen ’78 Gold, and their two teen-aged children.  Howard can be reached at

Reflections Summer 2007
Ronald Matthias
was appointed Senior Assistant Attorney General, Statewide Capital Case Coordinator, by the California State Attorney General. After graduating from Oneonta, Ron graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was an editor on the Law Review. He worked for two years as a full-time instructor at the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law and Boalt Hall before joining the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Ron joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1984 and has served as Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the last 15 years and as the regional Capital Litigation Coordinator in the San Francisco Office for the last 14 years. He has briefed and argued cases at every level of the state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, the Ninth Circuit, and the California Supreme Court.

Reflections Winter 2007
Carl Nold
, President and CEO of Historic New England, received the Association of Midwest Museums’ Distinguished Service Award on September 26 in the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois.  The Distinguished Service Award recognizes long-term, career service to one or more museums or museum associations, and career achievements.  Carl is the ninth person in the association’s 76-year history to receive the award.  In presenting the award, Nicola Longford, President of the Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, TX, noted that despite demanding responsibilities as director of Mackinac State Historic Parks, one of the Midwest’s leading museums and travel destinations, Carl provided years of volunteer service to the museum profession.  “Through the Michigan Museum Association and through the Association of Midwest Museums he has been a mentor to many and a true leader in our field.  He is hugely respected colleague, a supporter for so many of us in our work, and a welcoming friend to all those interested in museums,” Longford said.  She also noted that, even after leaving the Midwest to become President of Historic New England, Carl agreed to continue to serve for several years to provide needed continuity for the board and for association programs.  Carl served as director of Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac Island, Michigan from 1992-2003.  Now a resident of Winchester, MA, he was appointed President of Historic New England in April 2003.

Reflections Summer 2006
Pattie McLellan Simone
, President of Write-Communications and Founder of WomenCentric, LLC, was interviewed on FOX5-TV on Good Day New York on February 1.  She discussed women’s business issues, identifying the top three mistakes women make at work and how to fix them.  She also partnered with Michele Phillips of Key Seminars to produce an imaginative and inspirational program, “Celebrate You–A Woman of Influence,” in honor of Women’s History Month.  WomenCentric, LLC, in conjunction with The Female Entrepreneur’s Alliance of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, sponsored a Women’s Entrepreneurial Success Breakfast on May 19.  

Reflections Fall 2007
Caryl Stern
was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the US Fund for UNICEF.  She was the Chief Operating Officer for the organization since 2006.  “It is a great honor to be asked to lead the US Fund for UNICEF,” said Caryl on her first official day as President.  “Over the past 60 years, UNICEF has achieved incredible successes in saving children’s lives.  I look forward to using my background and expertise so that this organization continues to have a profound and long-lasting impact on child survival around the world.”  Caryl brings vast experience in education, advocacy, management, and fundraising to her new role.  Before her work with UNICEF, she spent 18-years at the Anti-Defamation League, where she served as the first female Chief Operating Officer and Senior Associate National Director, following many years as Education Director and director of the award-winning A World of Difference Institute.  She is co-author of Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice and Future Perfect: A Model for Professional Development.  Much of Caryl’s career has been dedicated to education, civil rights, and fighting hate in an effort to ensure a safer and more equitable world for children.  In her new role as President, she will be responsible for fundraising, advocacy, and education programs to promote the survival, protection, and development of children around the world.  


Reflections Summer 2006
Roderic Ellman, Jr., P.E
., was recently admitted to the partnership of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, a leading foundation-engineering firm based in New York City, where he has been employed since 1980.  After receiving his BS in geology from the College, Roderic received both his BSCE (1980) and MSCE (1984) from Polytechnic Institute of New York.  He is a licensed professional engineer in New York and is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Structural Engineers Association of New York, and the Deep Foundation Institute, where he is the Chairman of the Marine Foundations Committee.  An experienced structural engineer with expertise in marine engineering and waterfront structures, Roderic has managed several large-scale projects and published papers and delivered lectures and presentations on numerous marine and foundation-engineering topics.  Most recently, he supervised MRCE’s structural staff from 1997-2002 and served as the project manager for the foundation for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which is under construction near Washington, DC.  Currently, he is the project manager for the firm’s role as foundation engineer for the New South Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan.  

Reflections Summer 2007
Don Garber
, Commissioner of Major League Soccer and CEO of Soccer United Marketing, was honored at UJA-Federation’s Sports For Youth Luncheon in March. More than 200 sports, television, and radio stars and professionals were in attendance for this historic gathering celebrating the marriage of sports, community, and youth. Don joined an impressive list of Sports for Youth honorees including WNBA President Donna Orender, World Series champion Joe Torre, Knicks Hall of Famer Willis Reed, and USA Track and Field CEO Craig Masback. Don said, "It is a privilege to receive this honor from UJA-Federation of New York, an organization that positively impacts the lives of millions of people worldwide. I have been so fortunate in my own life and career; it’s tremendously rewarding to be able to give back to the community, especially to kids whose lives can be so positively impacted when they are given the chance to participate in sports. I’m particularly proud to be associated with a program such as UJA-Federation’s Sports for Youth initiative that provides recreational opportunities for so many young people in need." UJA Federation of New York is the world’s largest local philanthropy strengthening community and helps 1.4 million people in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island, as well as three million in Israel and 60 other countries. Funds raised by UJA-Federation sustain the activities of 100 health, human-service, educational, and community agencies.

Reflections Fall 2008
Chuck Bogosta is Executive Vice President of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and of UPMC Cancer Centers, part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  He is President of the International and Commercial Services Division of UPMC.  As a leader of ICSD, he oversees international development efforts, including the creation of a new biomedical research center in Sicily, a leading transplant hospital in Palermo, Italy, and cancer treatment centers in Ireland.  He is also spearheading efforts to create and manage innovative, for-profit businesses that leverage UPMC’s medical and technological expertise.  As Vice President of UPMC Cancer Centers, Chuck is responsible for the strategic, operational, and financial activities of all cancer-related clinics and research activity.  In March, Chuck and Bruno Gridelli, MD, medical and scientific director at Istituo Mediterraneo per I Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione--UPMC’s transplantation center in Palermo, Italy, presented at the fourth annual World Health Care Congress Europe in Berlin.  They discussed the medical center’s efforts to create a global healthcare network to efficiently provide high-quality patient care and services wherever UPMC operates.  Chuck says, “Our goal is to create an international medical and academic highway that brings together the world’s leading scientists and healthcare professionals in a global environment of collaboration.  By sharing best practices around the world, supported by experienced managers on the ground, we believe that we and our partners can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare for all of our patients.” 

Reflections Summer 2006
Richard Mlecz
is a 21-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department and was promoted to captain at a ceremony at Metrotech Auditorium in Brooklyn on February 17.  He considers himself honored and blessed to reach this career milestone and will continue to serve the great City of New York to the best of his ability.  He has two sons: Wil, who recently completed his freshman year at Ramapo College, and Chase, who will begin kindergarten in the fall.  


Reflections Fall 2006
Cory Morowitz
, MBA, CPA, has been appointed the industry director of The Wharton Program for Gaming Executives.  The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania partnered with industry experts to develop an education program for gaming executives to be held in Philadelphia from February 18-23, 2007.  The program is being developed jointly by Wharton Executive Education and Morowitz Gaming Advisors, LLC, a leading provider of training and consulting services to the gaming industry.  In this capacity, Cory will assist with the development of program content, lead daily integration sessions in which he shows how what is learned in the classroom can be applied, and act as a liaison to the gaming industry.  Cory earned his MBA in 1996 from the Wharton School.  He is also the chairman and managing member of Morowitz Gaming Advisors, LLC, a gaming consultancy, and Morowitz and Company, LLC, a public accounting firm.  Both are located in Galloway Township, NJ. 


Reflections Fall 2007
Seth Asumah
was promoted to Distinguished Teaching Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees in May.  He is an 18-year member of the SUNY-Cortland Political Science Department.  A native of Ghana, Seth is chair of the African American Studies Department, which became the Africana Studies Department this fall.  He is a renowned scholar of African regimes and national development as well as multicultural issues in America.  A prolific author, he has co-edited or co-written seven books, 16 book chapters and 14 scholarly articles.  Seth earned his master’s degree in public administration and a doctorate in government and international relations from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.  He began his teaching career in 1987 as an assistant professor of political science at Hartwick College.  He joined the SUNY-Cortland faculty as an assistant professor in 1989, became an associate professor in 1995, and was promoted to professor in 2002.  Seth resides in Cortlandville.  He has one daughter, Tosha, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

Reflections Winter 2008
Ronald J. Garan
, Jr., USAF Colonel and NASA astronaut, is scheduled to launch on the Space Shuttle Discovery in April on mission STS-124, the second of three flights that will launch components to the International Space Station to complete the Japanese “Kibo” laboratory, and he plans to take a memento of the College with him into space.   Over the course of this 14-day mission, he is scheduled to conduct 20 hours of space walks to support space station construction.  Ron was selected as a pilot by NASA in July 2000.  After the completion of two years of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station and Shuttle Operations Branches.  In April of 2006, he became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO 9 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation), an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world’s only undersea research laboratory.  During this 18-day mission, the six person crew of NEEMO 9 developed lunar surface exploration procedures and telemedical technology applications in support of the nation’s Vision for Space Exploration.  Ron received the Distinguished Graduate and Top Academic Award from USAF Fighter Weapons School; was twice selected Top Academic Instructor Pilot at the USAF Weapons School; received the Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault Award at the USAF Weapons School and USAF Weapons and Tactics Center; was named a Distinguished Graduate of Officers School; and received the Top Academic Award in the F-16 Replacement Training Unit.  Ron’s military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross for Combat Valor, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for Valor, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Award, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and various other service awards. He also received the NASA Superior Accomplishment Award and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award. 

Reflections Summer 2008
Jingyu Lin
and her husband, Hongxing Jiang, relocated to Lubbock, TX, in May, after being appointed the Linda F. Whitacre Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, respectively, as a part of AT&T’s support of Texas Tech’s $9 million nanophotonic research package.  Along with the $5.35 million investment from AT&T came a $2 million Research Superiority Award from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and $2 million from the university to attract a team of faculty researchers in the field of nanophotonics.  Prior to moving to Texas, Jingyu and Hongxing were professors researching nanophotonics at Kansas State University.  They also moved their business, III-N Technology Inc., to Lubbock with them.  In doing so, they brought new jobs to the state and “strengthened the fiber of Texas.”

Reflections Spring 2006
James Zachos and Terrence Quinn
will be taking part in the 2006-2007 Joint Oceanographic Institution's Distinguished Lecturer Series.  The Distinguished Lecturer Series brings the results of scientific ocean-drilling program research to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as the wider geosciences community.  Jim is a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Terry is professor in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.  While on sabbatical, he is a distinguished visitor at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin.  Along with Eric Tappa ’81, Jim and Terry are the sponsors of the QTZ Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding Oneonta students who major in any geology, water resources, or earth science.   


Reflections Spring 2008
James Preller
is the author of several children’s books and has more in production.  After starting his career as a waiter following graduation, James was hired as a copywriter for Scholastic publishers in New York, where he worked on the SeeSaw Book Club, writing about thousands of children’s books and becoming acquainted with many authors.  His first picture book, MAXX TRAX: Avalanche Rescue, was published in 1986 and is no longer in print.  Since then, James has published a variety of books, including movie adaptations, Hello Readers, nonfiction books about sports and animals, and even a book for teachers.  His pen names included Mitzy Kafka, James Patrick, and Izzy Bonkers.  James is best known for writing the Jigsaw Jones mystery series.  His upcoming books include Six Innings, which is due out in March; Mighty Casey, a twist on the classic poem, “Casey at the Bat”; and a new paperback with Scholastic, Along Came Spider, which is set in a fifth grade classroom.  James is currently finishing a revision of Barbaro’s Journey, about the Kentucky Derby winner whose story touched the hearts of millions when he suffered an injury on national television. Another picture book, A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade, is due to be released in 2009.  He is also researching a book that revolves around a middle-school bully and hoping to write another “school story” for Scholastic, featuring some of the characters who first appeared in Along Came Spider.  James resides in Delmar with his wife, Lisa, and their three children: Nicholas, Gavin, and Maggie.


Reflections Winter 2007
Bill Cronin
has been appointed President of Wholesale Energy for Direct Energy.  Bill was formerly President, Upstream and Energy Management.  He is responsible for commodity procurement, natural gas production, power generation, midstream gas (storage and transportation), and proprietary trading.  Bill, whose roles at Direct Energy have included responsibility for the retail activities in the northern US markets, has extensive executive experience in his 23 years in the commodity sector.  He is currently based in Stamford, CT.

Reflections Winter 2007
Nina Tuckman Stearns
recently joined Oxford Communications as media planner/buyer.  She came to Oxford with experience as a media director for Princeton Partners and as sales specialist for John Blair and Company in New York City.  As a member of Oxford’s media department, Nina researches, develops, and implements television, radio, and print advertising schedules for the agency’s diverse clientele.  Miriam Dubin, senior media buyer/planner says, “Nina’s skills have been a great asset to our expanding media department.  With her extensive television experience, she immediately became a valued member of our team.”  Nina and her husband reside in Doylestown, PA, with their two daughters.


Reflections Summer 2007
Donald Gibson
was elected President and CEO of Greene County Bancorp, Inc., effective July 1. Greene County Bancorp, headquartered in Catskill, has over $300 million in assets, 120 employees, and offices in Greene, Columbia, and Albany counties. Donald joined the bank upon graduation from Oneonta and since 2003 has served as the Senior Vice President of Commercial and Retail Banking. He earned his MBA from the College of St. Rose. He also serves on the boards of directors of several local organizations, including Columbia Memorial Hospital and the Greene County Empire Zone Administration Board. He is a Past-President of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce. 

Reflections Winter 2007
Daniel Lagani
has been named President of the Fairchild Fashion Group. The announcement was made in September by Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO of Condé Nast Publications.  In his new position Daniel will oversee Women’s Wear Daily, WWD/DNR, Footwear News,, Fairchild Summits, Fairchild Books, and Fairchild Classified.  “Dan’s broad business experience and sharp acumen make him a perfect choice to run this segment of our company,” Townsend said. “The Fairchild Fashion Group offers continued growth possibilities as we consider our business globally.”  Dan joined Condé Nast in March 2005 as vice president and publisher of the Bridal Group, which includes the leading bridal magazines Brides, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride.  Prior to joining the company, Dan was vice president and publisher of Better Homes and Gardens from 2002-2005.  Previously, he was the vice president and publisher of Ladies’ Home Journal, publisher of George, and the associate publisher of both Condé Nast Traveler and New Woman.  Dan resides in Mamaroneck with his wife and two children.  

Reflections Summer 2007
Lorin Beller
is the founder of Big Fish Nation, a unique, year-long development program that helps entrepreneurs define, capture, and execute against their unique business and life vision.  She received her master’s in health administration and is also a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaches Federation. Lorin began her career path as a stress-management and goal-setting trainer, counselor, and entrepreneur in the wellness/health industry. She then went on to co-found, develop, and sell Global 2000, a technology company. Following the sale of her brainchild, she continued with the publicly-held acquiring company BiznessOnline as the VP of sales and marketing and was a key player in helping the organization acquire and integrate over 13 businesses in 2 ½ years. After this time of growth and learning, Lorin left the corporate world to follow her next dream, coaching fellow entrepreneurs in a new way of approaching business, life, change, and success. In January 2004, Lorin launched Big Fish Nation and now, in addition to one-on-one coaching, helps groups of entrepreneurs from across the continent make a "big splash" with their lives and their businesses. Lorin has published her first book, From Entrepreneur to Big Fish, and her work has been recognized by leading national business publications including Investor’s Business Daily and Female Entrepreneur Magazine, which named her one of the Top 30 Female Executives in 2004. She was also named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 by the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce. Lorin resides in Austin, TX, with her husband and daughter.


Reflections Fall 2007
Raymond Caputo
recently received the 2006 Director’s Award for Scientific and Technological Achievement from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Topographic Engineering Center (TEC) Alexandria, VA.  Raymond was cited for his leadership in directing the Army GeoPDF effort resulting in the development of better maps with a relatively small file size and the improved usability of digital maps through ensuring greater accessibility for Army users.  His work has not only led to improving the Army’s geospatial support, but has improved usability of maps worldwide.  Raymond is a geographer in TEC’s Geospatial Information Imagery and Requirements Branch’s Operations Division, which is responsible for identifying, reviewing, analyzing, evaluating, and designing the geospatial information and imagery requirements for the Army.  Prior to joining TEC, Raymond served in private industry positions supporting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Geographic Information System (GIS); as Project Manager for GIS Mapping for the Immigration and Naturalization Service/Border Patrol Remote Video Surveillance mapping initiative; in database administration for the custom-written Revenue Management System and MicroStation Interface for the Metropolitan Washington Airport; as Supervisor of the Mapping Department and GIS Manager for the City of Manassas; and as a photogrammetrist with the Virginia Department of Transportation.


Reflections Summer 2007
Stephen Kost
is Senior Vice President of Global Accounts for Lee Hecht Harrison, a subsidiary business of Adecco Group, the world’s leading workforce-solutions provider. The former Worldwide Account Manager for FedEx Corporation, Stephen spent 10 years successfully managing several of the company’s largest Fortune 100 clients and working to design and implement leading-edge supply chains, logistics, and e-commerce solutions for their largest global customers. Stephen earned numerous awards, including the distinctions of Ambassadors Club winner in 2004 and Worldwide Account Manager of the Year runner-up in 2003. In 2006, he completed the prestigious FedEx Executive Leadership Program, an MBA-equivalent program that identifies the organization’s top leaders. Stephen also worked as a corporate accounts manager for Choice Logistics, where he developed important client relationships and trained junior account managers on successful business strategies. Previously, he worked in account management and sales positions at AT&T and Liberty Mutual. Stephen and his wife, Kimberly, have a three-year-old daughter.  


Reflections Winter 2007
Rondiene Robins Novitz
became managing partner at Cruser & Mitchell, LLP, in their Melville office in November.  Cruser & Mitchell is an Atlanta-based law firm and has changed the name of the Melville office to Cruser, Mitchell & Novitz, LLP.  Rondiene is the first female partner in the firm’s history.  Rondiene specializes in commercial litigation, employment discrimination, civil rights, and general liability matters.  Prior to joining Cruser & Mitchell, LLP, she was a senior trial lawyer in the law offices of Stephen M. Cohen.  She also worked as a staff trial attorney for a law firm dedicated to representing a local union in all facets of litigation.  Rondiene is a member of the New York State Bar Association.  She is a frequent writer and speaker on various litigation matters, especially employment-related issues.  She has also tried and arbitrated cased throughout New York on a variety of civil legal issues.  

Reflections Spring 2006

Jennifer Platt
was awarded the 2005 Emmy for outstanding spot news coverage by the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  This is her second Emmy honor, the first coming in 2004 for general news photography.  She continues to work as a photojournalist for Boston’s Fox affiliate, WFXT-TV.   


Reflections Summer 2008
Leandro Cabrera
was Assistant Director of Student Services at Eugene Lang College, later worked at New School University, and was selected as the first Coordinator of University Student Life due to his outstanding performance.  In a different facet of his life, Leandro started his new career at Sensación, where his marketing and advertising experience ranged from promotional events to specialty publishing targeting US Latino males for major national campaigns.  During the 2002 World Cup, Leandro and his team launched the largest and most successful national Latino sports title, Fútbol Mundial magazine.  To seek new challenges and start-up opportunities, Leandro accepted a position in the newly created International division at Gap, Inc. and he was recently transferred to an expatriate position as the production manager for Gap Japan KK, the Japanese division of Gap, Inc.  Leandro is also highly involved with alumni activities, and he was elected to the EOP Alumni Steering Committee in 2007.

Reflections Spring 2008
Tammy Leech
, partner and executive producer of Brave St. Productions, worked together with DiBella Entertainment on the television premiere of Magic Man on Showtime.  The documentary chronicled the ascent of perpetual underdog Paulie the “Magic Man” Malignaggi, a scrawny kid from a broken home who, in a quest to prove his life was worth something, defeated all odds to arrive at the Mecca of boxing one big upset away from proving everyone wrong.  The film, produced by Lou DiBella and Brave St. Productions, traces Malignaggi’s difficult upbringing as the child of Italian immigrants struggling to find his path in life in America.  Magic Man premiered at the Hoboken International Film Festival, where a rough cut of the film won the 2007 Audience Award.  The film was first televised when it aired December 30 and continued to air leading up to Malignaggi’s title fight on January 5.  Tammy said, “Anyone who watched Magic Man will have a new perspective on Paulie and realize the sheer and brutal tenacity that it took for him to overcome major life obstacles and fulfill his dreams of becoming a champion.”


Reflections Summer 2008
Traci Crumb Boris
was appointed Legal Counsel for St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center recently.  Traci is a partner in the law firm of Gale and Dancks, LLC, in Fayetteville.  She is an active member of the Stittville Fire Department, an emergency medical technician, and a member of the Holland Patent School Board.  Previously, Traci was Assistant District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Goshen, and a legislative aide for New York State Senator Joseph R. Holland.  Traci and her husband, Butch, reside in Stittville, with their children--Abigail, Wyatt, and Lillian.

Reflections Spring 2007

Katherine Tillson '98 Croft and Stefanie Sitler Rice 
were among a group of 98 teachers who achieved the profession’s highest distinction of National Board Certification on December 13. Stefanie is a family and consumer science educator at Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie. She is also coordinator of the Family and Consumer Science Department at the school, where she teaches mainly the early childhood and parenting classes. She and her husband, Matthew, have two children: Matthew and Tabitha. Stefanie is also a member of the New York State Family and Consumer Science Educators–Hudson Valley North East organization, where she presently serves as President. Kathy, also a family and consumer science educator at Arlington, is the fashion club advisor. She teaches predominantly fashion classes. She and her husband, Jesse, reside in Poughkeepsie and have a two-year-old pit bull named Manny.  Kathy is also a member of MYSAFCSE-HVNE, serving as Vice President.  She received the Promising New Professional Award in 2004.

Reflections Fall 2006
Nathaniel Wienecke
has been named Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs by President George W. Bush.  Nat served previously as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.  Prior to that appointment, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Communication at the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce.  Earlier in his career, Nat served as Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce.  Before joining the Bush administration, Nat worked in the U.S. House of Representatives in the office of New York Congressman Mike Forbes and on the Committee on Government Reform as the committee’s point man on procurement policy.  At Oneonta, Nat served as Vice President of the Student Association.  He graduated with a degree in business economics. 


Reflections Summer 2008
Heather Patton Harrison
joined the law firm of Farrell Fritz as a Litigation Associate concentrating in labor and employment law.  Prior to joining Farrell Fritz, Heather was an associate at Marrinan and Mazzola Mardon, PC, where she advised clients on a multitude of labor issues, including matters before federal and state agencies such as the United States Department of Labor and the New York State Division of Human Rights.  She also handled various federal and state litigations involving ERISA and joint labor-management employee health, welfare, and pension funds.  Heather earned her Juris Doctor degree in 2004 from St. John’s University School of Law.  While in law school, she was the Articles and Notes Editor of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review.


Reflections Summer 2008
Jenn Federici
, a music industry graduate, is currently doing freelance marketing for Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp, which can be found on the web at In March and April, she was on tour in the U.S. with rock/metal band Disturbed as the assistant production manager.  Jenn also worked in the Tour Marketing Department of Interscope Records for 10 years in the Los Angeles and New York offices. She worked with such artists as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, Sting, and many others.  Jenn was honored at the first Music Industry Hall of Fame induction at Reunion Weekend 2008. She was very excited to visit with her mentors, Dr. Nepkie and Dr. Barstow, and to meet old and new music professors and students. She says that it's nice to see the major flourishing, and she hopes to return to campus this fall to speak with music industry students and visit with everyone again. Jenn also can't wait for her new niece or nephew! Jessica (Federici) Phillips '00, her husband Jesse, and their 3-year-old son, Kai Brendan, are expecting a new addition in November. They live locally and run Shortstop Rental, a summer weekly vacation rental located less than a mile from the Cooperstown All Star Village baseball camp.


Reflections Spring 2006
Jason Nappi
is the weekend meteorologist for WETM-18 Storm Team in Elmira.  Prior to WETM, Jason interned at WCBS-TV in New York during the summer of 2001.  After graduation, Jason was hired by WPIX-TV as a freelance weather producer.  He enjoys weightlifting, ice hockey, roller hockey, baseball, football, visiting his family, and cooking homemade pizza.   


Reflections Spring 2006
Andrew Kozak
has recently been hired at KSNW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Wichita, KS, as an on-air meteorologist.  After graduation, Andrew worked at KTWO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Casper, WY.   

Reflections Winter 2009
Sandy Moxley
, Associate Sports Information Director at the College, once again was a member of the Illini 4000 for Cancer cross-country bike ride. The Illini 4000 is a student-run non-profit organization based at the University of Illinois that raises money for the American Cancer Society and Camp Kesem, a camp for children whose family members have been affected by cancer. The team departed from Central Park in New York City on May 23 and successfully reached Magnuson Park in Seattle, Washington, on August 2. During their ride, the group visited many hospitals and cancer centers. The team raised $50,000 for ACS for cancer research and $5,000 for Camp Kesem. 


Reflections Summer 2006
David Alfred
volunteers extensively at the College’s Biological Field Station, where he interned in 2005.  Two of David’s papers were published in the Biological Field Station Annual Report, highlighting his research on invasive species, Eurasian water milfoil, and zebra mussel larvae.  In his current role as a volunteer, David teaches youngsters from local schools and camps.  He presents material about Otsego Lake and its unique ecology, takes students on the lake in the field station’s 37-foot experimental barge, and leads them through a lab section to analyze the samples they’ve collected on the lake.  He also assists with grounds-keeping and trail maintenance at the field station’s complex, which now includes the Thayer Property overlooking Otsego Lake.  David also works at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, where he has led public tours, assisted with the Internet store, and worked in the lab testing carbonation levels.  His plans for the future include traveling and attending graduate school in the sciences.

Reflections Spring 2007
Evan Rodriguez
is attending medical school at Albany Medical College.  Evan is working with fellow medical students at a clinic in Ddegeya village in Uganda.  Stephanie Van Dyke, a fellow second-year medical student with Evan, funded the construction of the clinic buildings with money she inherited from her grandmother.  In April, Evan, Stephanie, and six other students will accompany two physicians and a nurse to the clinic to provide primary-care services to anyone who comes to the clinic.  They will also conduct a needs assessment survey with the villagers to learn their needs for future trips.  Aside from medical needs, the group will be passing out bed-nets to prevent the spread of malaria and conducting training on sexual education to address the overwhelming HIV epidemic in Uganda.  The website for the clinic and information about their goals is  The mission of the organization is to improve living conditions and reduce unnecessary suffering in rural Africa through education and compassionate health care.

Reflections Winter 2008

Carol Tichio
has received the 2007 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award from the Southwestern Section of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).  After graduation, Carol went on to Wright State University in Dayton, OH, where she earned her Master’s of Science Teaching in Earth Science.  She teaches Earth Science at Arcadia High School in the Scottsdale Unified School District in Scottsdale, AZ.  The NAGT Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award is given for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the secondary level.  Carol was cited for bringing exciting “hands-on, minds-on” science to her students, who are learning not just what Earth science is about, but how science is done.  The award was presented by NAGT representatives Kaatja Kraft and Thomas McGuire and Arcadia High School Principal Ann-Marie Woolsey.  In addition to a plaque signifying her award, Carol will receive complementary memberships to NAGT, the Geological Society of America and several other professional societies, publications from the United States Geological Survey, a stipend for travel to a Geological Society of America conference and a grant of $500 for classroom improvements.  As a sectional awardee, Carol will also be a candidate for the National Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award. 


Reflections Winter 2007
Musu Jackson-Buckner
was one of nine finalists nationwide for the 2006 National Collegiate Athletic Association’s NCAA Woman of the Year award.  In narrowing down the application pool, the NCAA selection committee considered factors such as service and leadership, academic achievement, athletic excellence, and the candidate’s personal statement.  Musu and the other eight finalists were saluted at the 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner on October 28 in Indianapolis, IN.  Musu was also awarded a 2005-06 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for graduate study at the university or professional school of her choice.  She is currently studying at Syracuse University, where she is pursuing a degree in higher education administration.

Reflections Winter 2007

Michael Valinoti
began performing in November with the 24-member national touring company of the Broadway play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Michael says, “Getting the double role of Jacob (Joseph’s father) and Potiphar (a rich Egyptian) is a dream come true.  It’s an incredible thrill, and incredible feeling.”  Joseph is Michael’s first show since he graduated from the College and his first big break as a performer in the theater.  As a senior at the College, Michael served as President of Mask & Hammer.  Earlier, he had served on the group’s executive board as secretary and vice president.  In 2005, he directed a performance of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs at the College.  In 2006, Mask & Hammer honored him as its “best actor” for his performance in Urinetown, the Musical and voted him “most likely to succeed.”  Michael was also a student worker in the Office of Alumni Affairs.  Michael is scheduled to appear in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Proctor Theatre in Schenectady and The Stanley in Utica in March.  

Reflections Fall 2006
Jonathan Winnicki
has joined Hudson Valley Community College as Assistant Director of Student Life.  He will plan student activities and serve as liaison between students and the college’s administration and faculty.  Jonathan is a 2003 graduate of Hudson Valley.  As a student there, he worked in the Student Activities Office, which he now helps run.  He received dual degrees in computer art and theater from the College at Oneonta in May.  At Oneonta, Jonathan served as one of the first two student members elected to the College at Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors and as President of the Student Association.  As President, he helped plan and establish the first-ever endowed Student Association Leadership Scholarship.  He also co-chaired the Oneonta Gulf Coast Collaboration, which was responsible for sending student groups to the Gulf Coast for relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.  Jonathan says he looks forward to continuing Hudson Valley’s diverse offering of extra-curricular activities and ensuring that students get the most out of their college experience. 


Reflections Spring 2008
Zirka Markewycz
began working in an internship last summer at Seventh House Public Relations, a fashion PR firm in New York City.  After a few weeks, she was offered the position of Executive Assistant to the Director.  In that position, she worked through Fashion Week with responsibilities such as assisting in producing shows, arranging after-parties, compiling mailing lists, sending invitations, and lots more that filled a 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. workday.  She helped coordinate events, including those co-sponsored with the Humane Society and the Police Commissioners.  Zirka was in charge of hiring and overseeing all future interns, budgeting, invoicing, completing expense reports, and many other tasks.  In January, she accepted “an offer too good to refuse” for the position of sales coordinator with the international Maharam textile corporation.