Anthony Robert Levite ’64 (Secondary Education 7-12: Social Studies) enrolled in the Columbia University School of Social Work and earned a master’s degree. He worked with the New York State Division of Juvenile Justice for more than 30 years in research and management positions of increasing responsibilities. Upon retirement, he relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina. He writes: "Five years ago, I made my final move to Port St. Louis, Florida, for even more fun in the sun. I will be forever grateful for the four years at New Paltz where I experienced going from a high school graduate to a young adult with an excellent college education.”
Stann W. Reiziss ’65 (Elementary Education N-6: Sociology) ’68g (Educational Administration) won the 2021 Best of Kailua Awards in the category of Counseling Services. The Kailua Award Program honors and generates public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Kailua, Hawaii.
John Beaver ’66 (Elementary Education Pre K-6: Earth Science) taught elementary science in Three Village School District, Setauket, New York, for 19 years and was also a science education professor at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, for 21 years. Beaver earned an M.S. in Science Education at Queens College in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Science Education at Michigan State University in 1982. He retired in 2006. Beaver and his wife Mary Candidus Beaver ’66 (Elementary Education Pre K-6: History) have been married for 54 years and reside in Millstadt, Illinois. Mary received an M.S. at Western Illinois University in 1992. Mary taught elementary school in the Massapequa School District and Three Village Schools, and St. Paul Elementary School in Macomb, Illinois. She served as an academic advisor to elementary education majors at Western Illinois University for 15 years and retired in 2005. John and Mary enjoy spending time with their daughters and grandchildren in Saugerties, New York, during the summer months and wintering on Perdido Key in Florida during the winter.
David Feinberg ’67 (Art Education) retired from the University of Minnesota in June 2021 after 50 years of teaching. He was the longest-serving art professor in the history of the university. The Art Department displaced 53 years of his artwork in the Katherine Nash Gallery, Sept. 14 to Dec. 11, 2021. https://cla.umn.edu/art/news-events/story/david-feinberg-retiring-department-art https://cla.umn.edu/art/galleries/katherine-e-nash-gallery
Lenore (L. E.) Kay ’69 (Psychology) worked for the New York City Department of Education as a special education teacher and then as a supervisor completing a professional diploma and school district administration. Last year, Lenore published her first book, “Life is What it is.” Her second book is titled, “Life Lines" and is scheduled to be published soon. She has written more than 500 inspirational cards to seniors quarantined in various nursing homes around the country since the pandemic began.
Susan Slotnick ’69 (Art Studio) was featured in an Impact Everywhere podcast titled, “Bringing the Power of Dance to the Incarcerated” and recently published a book titled, “Flight: The Dance of Freedom,” which provides guidance to those who want to use their skills to support inmates.
Frank Juliano ’72 (Theatre Arts), as the retired Executive Director of Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit, New Jersey, he was honored at the June 5, 2021, gala, ART in the Garden. Highlights of his tenure include increasing the Arboretum’s annual visitorship from 28,000 to over 100,000; creating the Arboretum’s Visitors Center; introducing diverse and full arts programming including exhibitions and performances by renowned, international artists; broadening the Arboretum’s outreach to include underserved communities; and developing a second-chance job training program for the homeless. While expanding upon the Arboretum’s reputation as a major resource for education, engagement, and inspiration, Frank is responsible for developing a master accessibility plan, Accessibility for All, which will burnish the legacy of the Arboretum for years to come.
Ellen Brief’s ’73 (Art History) collage “Tree Hat” was included in the ArtsWestchester show “Together apART.” The exhibition of art projects created by Hudson Valley artists during the pandemic was on display in the White Plains, New York, gallery and online in 2021. Ellen’s intimate-size collage incorporates sections of her recycled monotypes and watercolors, with the addition of colored pencils. Brief also contributed artwork to several of the weekly-themed slideshows screened in conjunction with the Katonah Museum of Art’s “Still/Live” exhibition that ran in 2021.
Richard Morgan ’73g (Secondary Education 7-12: Physics) ’80cas (Business) published his ninth book, “Poems of Your Own," a guide to writing personal poetry. A lifelong teacher (physics and math) and poetry writer, he shares the insights he has learned along the way. He lectures on the importance and benefits of writing poetry at book clubs, churches and the local community college. He lives with his wife, Pat, a watercolor artist, in Hendersonville, North Carolina. All of his books are available on Amazon.com.
Richard Blum ’74 (Political Science) went on to law school in California graduating from Western State University College of Law in 1977. His 40-year private practice in Santa Ana and San Clemente concluded in 2018 with his retirement. He has been married to his wife, Susan, for more than 41 years.
Linda Gerecitano ’75 (Art Education) recently published a children’s book, “I Loved You From Afar,” a grandmother’s letter to her grandchild born during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a heartfelt reflection of the emotions and experiences many dealt with during this difficult time. Gerecitano, the illustrator, and ironically the author, Joni Acquafredda, had granddaughters born on the exact same day and shared the same hardships of not being able to be with a newborn grandchild. As a retired New York City art educator, Gerecitano has finally realized the lifelong dream of being published. Their book shows that although many of us were alone, we were alone together.
Dr. Mekah Gordon, Ph.D. ’75 (Art Education) ’80g (Art Education) became a grandmother on Sept. 29, 2020, to a very handsome grandson named Asher Winter Ohayon Gordon.
Mary Stephanie Corsones ’76g (Elementary Education) ’78cas (Educational Administration: Curr/Gen Supv) was appointed Interim School District Superintendent with Onteora Central School District effective May 10, 2021.
Richard H. Adler ’77 (Sociology) recently published a book on traumatic brain injury titled, “Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Survivors and Families.” It can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Douglas Branch ’80 (Journalism) had his first book published in 2020 titled, “The Addiction That Drove Me.”
Stewart Nachmias ’80 (Printmaking) reports, “My virtual solo show, Stewart Nachmias: Cast Paper & Prints, hosted by Cross Contemporary Partners, is up and running now through Dec. 2021. The show includes 33 of my cast paper pieces and prints. You can virtually move around the space and zoom in on the art.”
Marlene Wiedenbaum ’83 (N-6: Humanistic Education) has an exhibit of her pastel paintings at The Mark Gruber Gallery in New Paltz, New York in 2021. Learn more at www.wiedenbaum.com
Debra Scacciaferro ’85 (English; Theatre Arts) has published her first novel, a psychological thriller set in the Hudson Valley called “State of Innocence,” which she co-wrote with S.K. Mason. The story of a young therapist assigned to help a family who has just lost a baby to sudden infant death syndrome, is set in Newburgh, New York. Debra used her 20-year background as a reporter for the Times Herald-Record in New York, and the Daily Record in New Jersey, to build a psychological thriller that examines issues of generational poverty and family dysfunction, as well as the dedicated members of the community who try to help improve small cities and suburban working-class towns. Debra lives in Warwick, New York, and has helped research more than 20 books on American, World War II, and military history for her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jim DeFelice. She also has private clients as a personal editor and writing coach. She studied literature, creative writing and journalism with Professor Robert Miraldi and feature writing with Glenn Doty. Excerpts and essays about her writing life can be found at www.debrascacciaferro.com.
Richard Burlot ’86 (Communication Studies) married Grace Licata Esposito on March 6, 2021.
Arthur Pfister ’87 (English) recently published three books titled, “Jazz Stories,” “A Love Supreme,” and “My Name Is New Orleans: 40 Years of Poetry & Other Jazz.” Each is a collection of short stories and poems.
Adam Breier ’94 (Secondary Education 7-12: English) earned his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Fordham University in May 2020. In April 2021, Adam was appointed as a Deputy Superintendent for the New York City Department of Education's District 75, which is a citywide district that provides highly specialized instructional support for students with significant challenges.
Dr. Matthew Lee ’94 (Sociology; Philosophy) was recently named Executive Interim Provost at Louisiana State University. Lee received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from LSU in 1996 and 1999, respectively.
Serena Marrero ’94 (Communication Studies) recently joined the Community Foundations staff as Director of Planned Giving.
Jenine Mayring ’94 (Theater Arts) is an energy medicine master, spiritual guide, author, and speaker. Mayring is widely known by her spiritual name “Divine J9.” Divine J9 is honored to be a featured author in the #1 Amazon best-selling book titled, “The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care: 25 Tools to Achieve Anything” with the foreword penned by global entrepreneur and philanthropist John Paul DeJoria. The tools and stories shared in this beautiful book will help you to develop healthier habits in your life and make it more possible for you to create sustainable success on your own terms.
Tom Seaman ’94 (Elementary Education Pre K-6: Psychology) published his second book, “Beyond Pain and Suffering: Adapting to Adversity and Life Challenges,” an honest account of many life challenges people face each day. It addresses the light and dark side of adversity in a truthful manner, with the intent to acknowledge people who are struggling, offer understanding, provide hope and help find meaning in one’s life that transcends whatever challenge is in front of them.
Evelyn Varner ’94 (Business Administration) has been named head of Advice Enablement for Wealth & Investment Management with Wells Fargo.
Daniel Pare ’95 (Psychology)’s debut novel was released on Dec. 2, 2021, by Black Rose Writing. The title of the book is “No Matter the Price.” It is a psychological drama centered around a family dealing with the spiraling depression of their oldest child. It will be available on Amazon, the Barnes and Noble website, and the Black Rose Writing website. Pare can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas R. Cartagena ’98 (Political Science) was appointed Special Counsel to the newly created New York State Public Campaign Finance Board. The Public Campaign Finance Board was created by the State Legislature in 2020 as a result of action by a Blue Ribbon Commission appointed in the state budget of 2019-2020 to study public campaign finance reform in the state. The Board is charged with the responsibility of administering a program of public matching funds for candidates for state office beginning with the 2024 general election. Learn more at this link.
Candace Seti ’99 (Psychology), best-selling author, recently published her latest book, “The Self-Sabotage Behavior Workbook!” It is a guidebook for anyone that is standing in their way to success, whether it be with career, relationships, weight, health or finances. It is a primer to learn how to conquer your own self-sabotage and thrive. The book is available on Amazon.
Todd Sliss ’99 (Journalism) won six awards in the New York Press Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest for The Scarsdale Inquirer. The newspaper’s sports editor since the fall of 1999, Sliss temporarily turned to news and features full-time when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 as there were no sports in New York State schools until late September. Based on his varied work, Sliss won first place for Business, Financial, and Economic News for his pandemic-related coverage; shared second place in Coverage of the Arts with a colleague, including a piece on former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, who spoke at New Paltz in the spring of 1999; took second place in Best Special Sections as the editor of the Kids! section; a third place with his colleagues in Elections/Politics; and for sports won first place in Sports Feature Story for the fifth time and took third place in Sports Writer of the Year, his seventh time placing in that category. The Inquirer staff took home 13 awards in total, including an honorable mention for Past Presidents Award for General Excellence, which honors all aspects of the newspaper from cover to cover. ss, who has also been the special sections editor since 2007 and the digital editor since 2018, launching a brand-new website in 2019, has won 55 NYPA awards.
Lanette Sweeney ’99 (English) had her debut poetry collection, “What I Should Have Said: A Poetry Memoir about Losing a Child to Addiction” published by Finishing Line Press in August 2021. The book, divided into the stages of grief, features 20 poems by Sweeney's late son, Kyle Fisher-Hertz, who died of an overdose in 2016. Leslea Newman, author and editor of more than a dozen poetry collections, called Sweeney's poems “poignant” and “beautifully crafted” and says she read the book “straight through with her heart in her throat,” adding, “Reader, prepare yourself, once you start reading ‘What I Should Have Said,’ you won't be able to stop.”
Elsa Maribel Batista ’00 (Spanish) ’03g (Humanistic-Multicultural Education) was chosen as Newington Public School Teacher of the year for 2020-2021 and was also a Semi-Finalist for the Connecticut Teacher of The Year Program for the 2020-2021 school year. "It was a true honor to have been chosen by my colleagues for this prestigious title," she said.
Christina M. Knopf ’00 (Communication Studies) published a new book titled, “Politics in the Gutters: American Politicians and Elections in Comic Book Media.” It explores the political critiques found in a multi-genre, historical cross-section of comic books and their transmedia adaptions.
Todd Joseph ’01 (Psychology) was named the co-chair of the American Psychological Association's Committee on Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE) for 2021. CABE helps set APA's national guidelines and policies for undergraduate education in psychology. Joseph also serves as the executive director of the Central Florida Psychology Summit and is the national president-elect of Psi Beta, the national honor society for psychology at two-year colleges. He is an associate professor of psychology and chair of the Public Safety, Behavioral, & Social Sciences Division at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.
James Schlett ’02 (Journalism) published his book “Frontier Struggles: Rollo May and the Little Band of Psychologists Who Saved Humanism," with Akron Press.
Erin Brady ’05 (Communication Media) has become senior producer at Good Morning America. As part of ABC's Juneteenth recognition, Brady produced a segment with former President Barack Obama.
Travis Dillon ’05 (Marketing) was recently promoted to regional local leasing director at Central/East Coast with Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP), the nation’s premier operating group of retail-led properties. With more than $3 billion in retail assets currently under management and a focus on enhancing the value and quality of a growing portfolio, PRCP is dedicated to creating a unique strategic vision for each property and exceeding the highest expectations of our investors, retailers and customers.
Vernon Byron III ’10 (Printmaking) has artwork featured in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art Hudson Valley Artists exhibition “Who Really Cares? Hudson Valley Artists 2021.”
Ian Brodsky ’13 (Theatre Arts), a New York-based musician, actor, and dancer, performed on Sept. 26, 2021, in his first full-length studio release, “Clever But Devastating.”
Brenna McCaffrey ’14 (Anthropology; Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies) and fellow alum Peter Nicholson ’13 (Photography) became engaged in 2020 and are planning a wedding for October 2022. They both reside in New York City.
Carissa Cancel ’15 (Digital Media Management), a Long Island-born author, had the #1 New Release in Caribbean and Latin American Literature on Amazon for their poetry chapbook, "Whispers on the Wind." The chapbook encompasses life as a queer, Caribbean-American living through grief and battling mental illness while experiencing the allure and destruction of love. Their poems capture raw honesty in a beautifully tragic light. Find "Whispers in the Wind" on Amazon.
Dylan Krakowski ’17 (Accounting) is currently the associate, IT audit and assurance at KPMG. She participated in a SUNY New Paltz Center for Student Engagement event via Instagram on April 20, 2021, where she spoke about her professional experience working in the financial industry.
Starr Sackstein ’18cas (Transition D - Alternative Certification for SDL) has joined Master Portfolio’s team as COO and partner. Master Portfolio is a Columbus-based Edtech start-up built by teachers for teachers to revolutionize grading and learning in schools.
Echo Goff ’19 (Painting) has a painting being featured in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art Hudson Valley Artists exhibition series “Who Really Cares? Hudson Valley Artists 2021”
Jamie Lazan ’19 (Sociology) founded a multidisciplinary arts company in March 2020. Through virtual meetings with 13 artists and creatives across the country, Lazen produced a multimedia gallery online at msmvthac.com where true stories were adapted into audio plays and multimedia creations. Part two involved collaboration between the artists to shape perspective and empathy and resulted in an experimental film premiering in June 2021. Directed through Zoom, artists learned how to set up their equipment using resources from home and took us on a journey through filming underwater, bringing in poetry, devised theatre, physical theatre, dance, comics, animation and more. Part three shares the gifts of the cohort with the community through an immersive online arts festival. This festival is designed to deepen relationship with oneself, unlock artistic flow, and empower our gifts to share with our communities.”
Robert Piersall ’20 (Journalism) published an article in Metsmerized Online titled, “Carlos Carrasco: ‘I Will Be Ready For Opening Day.’”
Ana Maria Farina ’21 (Studio Art) has been named the 2021 recipient of the College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship in Visual Arts.
Faiza Faruque ’21 (Computer Science) accepted an employment offer at Hearst as an Information Security Analyst.