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The Master of Science in Education: Dual Childhood 1–6/Special Education

Meet the Faculty of the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education

Steven Cresap (BA, Cornell University; PhD, Cornell University) Ext. 2409

For over two decades Dr. Steven Cresap served as faculty and administrator at MCNY. As an assistant professor, his concentrations include values clarification, critical thinking, rhetoric, ethics, and introductory world civilization. Dr. Cresap also leads master's seminars in philosophy. Prior to coming to MCNY, Dr. Cresap served as a researcher and role player at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, where he created and performed the character "Jonah Fidd", a 19th-century sailor. He has written for numerous publications, specializing in the interaction between aesthetic experience and moral behavior. Recent publications include: "Is Lookism Unjust?" for The Journal of Libertarian Studies (2005) and "Hegemonic Visualism" for Radical Pedagogy (2005), both in collaboration with Prof. Louis Tietje. In 1999 Dr. Cresap received an N.E.H. Fellowship for the New Media Classroom ("Crossing Urban Borders") at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He is currently working on a monograph about the aesthetic value of terror.

Theodor Damian (Doctor Honoris Causa, Bioterra University, Bucharest; PhD, Bucharest University; PhD, Fordham University; Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary; Post-graduate studies at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, BA, Bucharest University)
Ext. 2401

Dr. Damian serves as professor of Philosophy and Ethics in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at Metropolitan College of New York and served as the coordinator of the Staten Island branch of MCNY. In addition to teaching at MCNY since 1992, Dr. Damian has taught courses at St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary, the College of New Rochelle, and Spiru Haret University, Bucharest. He has served as a priest in Romania, as Dean of Dorohoi District and as a magazine editor. He is founder and president of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, Pasadena, CA, and of the Sophia Institute, New York, as well as President of the American branch of the Academy of Romanian Scientists.

He has also been the recipient of prestigious awards for his work in academic disciplines such as Philosophy, Theology, Ethics, Creative Writing, and Literary Criticism. Dr. Damian has published over 30 books, as well as hundreds of articles and poems in both Romanian and English, in the United States and Europe.

Among his books are Life and Mind. Perspectives on the Human Condition (Ed., with Richard Grallo and Bert Breiner), The Isar Sign, Prayers in Hell, Introduction to Christianity: The First Millenium, Philosophy and Literature: A Hermeneutic of the Metaphysical Challenge, and The Icons. Theological and Spiritual Dimensions According to St. Theodore of Studion.

Dr. Damian has organized, presided and presented his research at over 100 national and international conferences.

Eric Fuchs (B.Sc. mathematics, physics and education, Hebrew University in Jerusalem; B.Sc. electrical engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; M.Eng. electrical engineering, McGill University in Montreal; Master of philosophy, Doctorate-level certificate in interactive technology and pedagogy and Ph.D. in Urban Education (mathematics, science and technology) - all from CUNY Graduate Center in New York)
Ext. 2441

In his doctoral dissertation, entitled Basic Mathematics Education and Graduation from Community College, Dr. Fuchs researched teaching developmental mathematics to community college students through co-teaching, peer-tutoring and use of technology.

At MCNY, Dr. Fuchs teaches mathematics, statistics, and mathematics education in the Master of Science in Education program and Human Services program. Before joining MCNY, Dr. Fuchs taught mathematics education at Hunter College, Queens College and mathematics and statistics at Bronx Community College.

Dr. Fuchs's research interests include pedagogy and teaching of mathematics to elementary and middle-school students, teaching of developmental mathematics to adult students, and the use of technology to improve students' comprehension and learning of mathematics.

Dr. Fuchs speaks seven languages, but his favorite language is the language of math.

Richard Grallo (BA, philosophy and mathematics, Boston College; MS, philosophy of science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MA, educational psychology, New York University; PhD, measurement, evaluation and research design in educational psychology, New York University; postgraduate studies, clinical psychology, Hofstra University) Ext.2407

Richard Grallo is currently professor of applied psychology in the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education at Metropolitan College of New York. He is also Special Advisor to the President for Academic Outcomes Assessment. As faculty member, Dr. Grallo began teaching at the College in 1983. Currently he teaches undergraduate courses in applied psychology and occasionally statistics. Over the years, Dr. Grallo has taught courses in all eight undergraduate semesters in the Human Services Program. Also at MCNY, for a number of years he taught a research methods course in the masters of Public Administration Program. He has also taught in the Urban Studies Program.

In the surrounding larger community he has been engaged for many years in a number of professional activities. From 1993 to 2011, Dr. Grallo was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University, where he taught undergraduate and masters-level courses in counseling, measurement and research methodology. He is a Fellow at the Albert Ellis Institute, a Past President of the Association for the Advancement of Educational Research, a member Phi Delta Kappa and other scientific and professional organizations. His current research interests include problem solving, decision-making, self-regulation of learning and the application of mathematical models and multivariate methods to social science problems.

Charles Gray (BA, Syracuse University; MSW, New York University; DSW Yeshiva University) Ext. 2405

Dr. Gray is an associate professor of sociology and psychology at MCNY and served as Chair of the Faculty Council. Dr. Gray also formerly held the title of Team Leader working with the faculty in developing policies and procedures pertaining to "Establishing Professional Relationships" and "Counseling." He has held numerous academic positions at Columbia University, Yeshiva University, and New York City Technical College. In addition, Dr. Gray has served as Acting Associate Director for the New York City Department for the Aging. His research interests include cultural and ethnic diversity, group dynamics, counseling, systems theory, leadership and decision-making.

Clyde Griffin, (BA and MA, Ohio State University; EdD, Teacher's College at Columbia University) , Ext. 2400

He originally joined the MCNY as a fulltime faculty member in 1983. Dr. Griffin holds an undergraduate degree in Romance languages and literature from Ohio State University, a masters in English as a second language, and a doctorate in linguistics and education from Teachers College, Columbia. His doctoral work included interdisciplinary studies in family literacy, therapist/client communication, and the design and implementation of teacher training programs.

Before coming to MCNY, Dr. Griffin taught in Nigeria as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He taught both English and French and also developed a community library and a local network of medical professionals. Upon his return to the U.S., he spent ten years teaching in independent schools, whose function is to prepare students for elite colleges in the United States. He was chairman of the foreign language department and taught courses in French, Spanish, Italian, and German, as well as in English literature and the humanities. As chairman, he was responsible for all administrative matters concerning the department as well as being responsible for the academic integrity of the program, which included the training of new teachers. Immediately before beginning his career at MCNY, he was a teacher trainer and part-time coordinator of the ESL program at Teachers College, Columbia.

At MCNY, Dr. Griffin served as the chair of Counseling and Leadership Development at Metropolitan College of New York for many years. He has been responsible for developing curriculum in self-assessment, groups, teaching, counseling, managing change, and in the liberal arts. He has also served as the director of the Advanced Standing Program, a program that awards college credit to students for their work experience and learning in the Field. During his tenure, Dr. Griffin has, in addition to teaching, worked in the field of human service to develop programs for abused and neglected adolescents. The program in which he worked at Edwin Gould Academy has become a national model for working with disturbed youth and has been recognized by both the Ford Foundation and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

His current research interests and teaching practices focus on the integration of Purpose-Centered Learning and contemplative practices across the curriculum in the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education.

Heide Hlawaty, (B.S. Biochemistry, Stony Brook University; M.A. Biological Sciences, CUNY Hunter College; Ed.D. Administrative and Instructional Leadership, St. John's University)

Dr. Hlawaty teaches primarily Human Biology & the Life Sciences and Promoting Empowerment through Teaching and Communication on the undergraduate level. She also teaches Science Methods and Curriculum in the M.S. Ed. Program. Holding four permanent NYSED secondary science licenses, Dr. Hlawaty taught secondary school in New York City and Nassau County. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Grant, teaching biology, physics, and English at the Lessing-Gymnasium in Bochum, Germany. Prior to teaching at MCNY in New York, Dr. Hlawaty was a professor of science education at Georgia College & State University, where she taught science education, statistics and research design on the undergraduate and graduate levels. She served as the Mentor Leader for pre-service secondary level teaching candidates and she was the research advisor for several M.A.T. and Ed.S. students. Back in New York, Dr. Hlawaty has served as a research advisor with Bronx School of Science students and she is a SENCER SSI Fellow. For nine years, she was the chair of the American Urban Studies program and Common Curriculum. Following her research interest in informal science education and science literacy, Dr. Hlawaty is also an Earth and Space Science Explainer and Tour Guide at the American Museum of Natural History.

Ruth E. Lugo, Ph.D., (BA at the University of Puerto Rico; MA/Ph.D. From the State University of New York, Stony Brook; and AM from Middlebury College, Madrid Program)

Dr. Lugo was the former Dean of the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education (ACSHSE) for fifteen years and currently is a Professor at the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education.

For over two decades she has volunteered for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the Northeast Region and Puerto Rico as a consultant, evaluator and team chair in the accreditation process. In this role she identifies the strengths and development needs of higher education institutions, reviews governance policies, academic programs and the delivery of student services. She consults extensively in Latin America and Puerto Rico on Board Assessment and Accreditation. She has taught courses in Latin American Literature and Hispanic Languages and Literature at La Guardia Community College, William Paterson University, and Montclair State University.

She has participated in postgraduate leadership training programs at the Institute for Educational Management and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program of Public Management (both at Harvard University), The Center for Creative Leadership, and Cornell University's School for Labor Relations. Other honors and competitive awards include: American Council on Education National Forum for Women in Higher Education; American Council on Education Fellow; Leadership America; National Hispana Leadership; the Executive Leadership Fellow from the League for Innovation in the Community College and a Ford Foundation Fellow. She was honored by the Board of Directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in association with the parade's 2010 Educational/Leadership Project Banquet for her leadership and numerous achievements in the academic arena that spans over two decades.

She was also recognized in 2010 by the Hispanic Business Magazine as one of Top 100 Influential Leaders in Academia for her leadership in Higher Education in the United States of America. This year, El Diario La Prensa, in New York City has selected her as one of the 2014 "Mujeres Destacadas Award" given to the outstanding women in the Business, Health, Education, Arts and Culture arenas. She is President of RLA Associates, Artistic, Cultural, and Educational Management Consultants in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. She is the Executive Producer of a CD: Antillano produced with RTS Music, Los Angeles, California.

Frances Meyer, (BA, Fairmont University; MA, Elementary Education; ED.D. Teachers College) , Ext. 2436

Dr. Frances Meyer serves as Assistant Professor of Special and General Education in the Audrey Cohen School of Human Services and Education. Before joining MCNY, Dr. Meyer was the County Director of Special Services for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services. (BOCES) She also served as the Director of Academic Services and Principal at the Edwin Gould Academy, Ramapo Union Free School District, Director of the Cooke Foundation, and most recently, as a coach and trainer for Ramapo for Children in schools throughout New York City and Newark, New Jersey. She holds New York State and New Jersey certification in school Administration and Supervision K-12, New York State Elementary Principal, Teacher of Common Branches K-8, Teacher of the Handicapped, and School Counselor.

Doru Tsaganea (MA, University of Bucharest, Academy of Economic Studies; MA, City University of New York, Graduate Center; PhD, University of Bucharest, Academy of Economic Studies; PhD, City University of New York, Graduate Center) Ext. 2410

Dr. Tsaganea has taught the two courses in mathematics and the social sciences since 2004, and three courses on applied statistics offered by the Audrey Cohen School. Prior to joining the faculty as an associate professor, he taught a wide variety of courses in two areas: mathematical modeling in economics; and international relations and security. In the first area, he taught advanced mathematical theories and mathematical models of optimal economic growth. In the second area, he taught: international relations theories; globalization; geo-politics and geo-strategy; international political economy; and contemporary international conflicts. Dr. Tsaganea's research is interdisciplinary. He uses high level mathematical theories and models for explaining complex political, strategic and economic problems. Two of his articles were published by the Journal of the World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics. He is a member of the International Studies Association, and has presented a significant number of his research papers at its conventions. Dr. Tsaganea received two successive one year Fulbright grants at the senior level for developing courses in the area of international relations and international security in Romanian universities. He was also the recipient of a one year Civic Education Project/Soros Foundation grant for consolidating what he had initiated as a Fulbright professor.

Vanda Wark (BA, Shepherd College, West Virginia; MA, Teachers College, Columbia University; EdM, Teachers College, Columbia University EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University) Ext. 2423

Dr. Wark has worked in the human services field as a counselor and licensed psychologist for more than twenty years. Professor Wark joined the full-time faculty of The Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education in September 2001 after serving over seven years as an adjunct at New York University, York College and MCNY. Her recently published novel, JULIANA (Vol. 1: 1941-1944) is the first in a series in which the same characters live out LGBT history in New York City through the decades. As a playwright she has received a number honors, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, published by Original Works was a finalist for a National Lambda Award. Her play, Patient HM, which later became The Forgetting Curve, won the Pride Stage and Screen's Women's Playwriting Award and another play, Why'd Ya Make Me Wear This, Joe, won Celebration Theater's Best New LGBT Play. Her non-fiction story, "Jack," was published in Prairie Schooner and another non-fiction piece, "Roger: Lost Between Philosophies," which appears in Pentimento was selected by New Millennium Writings for Honorable Mention from a submission pool of 1,300.

Jessica Zarian, (BA, MS and ED.D. St John's University) , Ext. 2406

Dr. Jessica Zarian is an Assistant Professor in the Master of Science in Education program, In the Audrey Cohen School of Human Services and Education. Before coming to MCNY, Dr. Zarian held the position as the Assistant Principal of The Academy Charter School in Hempstead, NY. Previously, she was an ESL classroom teacher and a data specialist for the New York City Department of Education. Dr. Zarian has NYS certifications in Childhood Education, ESL Education, School Building Leader and School District Leader.

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