School of Professional Development
Stony Brook University School of Professional Development Search


Patricia Aceves

Patricia Aceves, EdD
Dr. Patricia Aceves currently serves as the Director of The Faculty Center in Teaching, Learning + Technology at Stony Brook University and has spent the past 16 years working with adult students in training, administrative and teaching roles.  Dr. Aceves earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration at Northern Arizona University, her master's degree in Vocational Education from Montana State University-Northern and her doctorate of Education in Leadership from St. Mary's University of Minnesota.  Her dissertation research, entitled Exporting Excellence: Creating Successful Distance Education Degree Programs to China, focused on how universities have developed successful educational partnerships and dual-degree programs with Chinese universities. 

Prior to coming to Stony Brook, Dr. Aceves worked as Director of Distributed Learning at St. Cloud State University where she was responsible for building e-learning and off-campus degree programs that became the largest public online programs in the state. At Stony Brook, her office provides learning opportunities and individual consultations to support faculty's work in the classroom, from pedagogy and assessment to using technology to improve teaching and learning.  Throughout her career, she remains a teacher at heart, as an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, NYU School of Professional and Continuing Studies and the Mountbatten Institute in Manhattan.  In the School of Professional Development, she will teach Research and Assessment in Higher Education and the Leadership courses online.  A Minnesota native, she currently resides in Commack, NY.

Meaghan L. Arena

Meaghan L. Arena, EdD
Dr. Meaghan Arena currently serves as the Vice President of Enrollment at SUNY Geneseo, where she oversees Admissions and Financial Aid. Dr. Arena has been in higher education for twelve years and has held a variety of roles in the admissions department as well as the role of Associate Dean for Graduate & Continuing Education at Westfield State University, in western Massachusetts. Dr. Arena's work has encompassed outreach, recruitment, marketing, budgeting, advising, program development, non-credit, workforce development, professional development for in-service pre-k - 12 teachers, student services, summer programming, strategic planning, leadership, organizational/structural development, revenue-generation, academic decision making, staff development and needs assessments.

Dr. Arena has been an active member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and has presented at the UPCEA Regional Conference on the topic of non-credit programming and its importance in academia.  She has also authored several journal articles on various issues in higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Education, and a Doctor of Education. Dr. Arena resides in upstate New York with her husband and best friend.

Jeffery Barnett

Jeffrey Barnett, MA
Jeff Barnett is currently the Assistant Dean of Students at Stony Brook University, where he is responsible for community building initiatives, large scale programming, student crises response and case management, policy development, budget management and staff supervision. His experience includes leadership roles in both academic and student affairs, having served in roles related to Assessment, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Residence Life, First Year Student Experiences programs, and Academic Advising. As Co-chair of the Assessment & Strategic Planning Team for the Division of Student Affairs, Mr. Barnett is charged with linking strategic planning to the assessment of student learning and departmental operational outcomes among different departments across the division. He has published and presented widely at national and local conferences on a myriad of topics. Mr. Barnett holds an MA in Higher Education Administration from Teacher's College, Columbia University and BS in psychology from Stony Brook University. His doctoral research interests broadly center on issues of educational policy and inequality, educational achievement of low-income students, affirmative action, community development and early childhood education. Mr. Barnett teaches HEA 504, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 

Kelly Brennan

Kelly Brennan, EdD
Dr. Kelly Brennan has been working in higher education and philanthropy for more than 15 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity at Iona College. She completed a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and a Certificate in Fundraising Management at New York University, and earned a doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. Dr. Brennan’s dissertation research focused on management practices of executive leaders in Advancement as well as the relationship universities have with their alumni.

Most recently she served as the Associate Vice President of College Advancement at the College of New Rochelle (CNR), where she worked for eight years. Dr. Brennan’s philanthropic experience includes oversight of alumni relations, annual fund, database services and technology, special events, prospect management, research, strategic planning, outcomes evaluation and assessment, and volunteer management. Outside of the development area, she has experience working in academic advising, financial affairs, fraternity and sorority life, residence life and housing, and student activities.


Christopher Cuccia

Christopher Cuccia, EdD
Since June 2010, Dr. Christopher Cuccia has served as the Academic Assistant Vice President for the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University. In this capacity, he is responsible for the overall management of all academic services on the campus while also working very closely with faculty members and academic administrators in the planning and development of new academic programs

After a brief experience in the corporate sector, Dr. Cuccia returned to St. John’s in the fall of 1998 as a Financial Aid Counselor. During his four years in this position, he assisted both undergraduate and graduate students finance their education and better understand their aid and payment options. Following four years in this capacity, he was promoted to the position of Associate Director of the University Freshman Center in September, 2002. He held this position for approximately eight years prior to his current appointment.

Dr. Cuccia has enjoyed a distinguished career at St. John’s, where he earned the degree of Doctor of Education in 2009, during which he has amassed several certificates and citations, including the Professional Development and Online Pedagogy certificate programs, a 2007 Founders Week award and an Outstanding Administrators medal in 2013.

Dr. Cuccia is an active member of several professional organizations, including the National Academic Advisors Association and the National Branch Campus Administrators Association. He received the 2012 Excellence in Education award from the Turkish Cultural Center Staten Island and a 2007 Founder’s Week Award from St. John’s University. Dr. Cuccia is also a member of several University- and community-related committees, including the Snug Harbor Task Force Education Committee, the Italian Cultural Center of St. John’s University, and the University’s Presidential Multicultural Advisory Committee.

In addition to having recently joined the Higher Education Administration faculty for the School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University, Dr. Cuccia is also an Adjunct Associate Professor for the Division of Administration and Instructional Leadership for The School of Education at St. John’s University.

Jacqueline Donnelly

Jacqueline Donnelly, LMSW
Jackie Donnelly is a Licensed Master Social Worker currently working in the Academic & Transfer Advising Services office at Stony Brook University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Binghamton University, and went on to complete her Masters of Social Work at Stony Brook University. Jackie has taught courses in the Living Learning Center Interdisciplinary minor in Community Service Learning, and is an active guest lecturer within the School of Social Welfare. She is a Certified Social Work Field Instructor (SIFI), and provides supervision to graduate-level interns from Stony Brook's School of Social Welfare.

Prior to her career at Stony Brook, Jackie served as a program coordinator and staff psychotherapist at an outpatient mental health and chemical dependency clinic, as well as a counselor within the Student Health & Counseling Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. She has extensive experience in clinical social work and higher education, and will be teaching HEA 520 - Advising and Counseling in Higher Education. 

Dean Emeritus Paul Edelson

Paul Edelson, PhD, JD
Formerly the Dean of the School of Professional Development, Dr. Edelson holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from New York University and a JD from Hofstra Law School. He has published five books, "Rethinking Leadership in Adult and Continuing Education" (1992), "Higher Education's Role in Retraining Displaced Professionals" (1997), "Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education" (1999), "Weiterbildung in den USA" (2000) [Adult Education in the USA], "The Complete Guide to Distance Learning Schools" (2001) and "Drawing on Experience in Adult and Continuing Education" (2006) as well as over 100 articles, papers and presentations on adult learning, leadership, academic planning, electronic distance learning and creativity. In addition to administration, research and writing, Dr. Edelson teaches graduate courses at Stony Brook and at Teachers College, Columbia University where he holds the rank of Adjunct Professor. In 2008 he received the Specialty Books Excellence Award from the American Association for Collegiate Independent Study (AACIS).
» Watch a video of Dr. Edelson in which he discusses his course.

Stephanie Foote

Stephanie Foote, PhD
Dr. Stephanie M. Foote is an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of First-Year Programs at Kennesaw State University. Prior to coming to coming to Kennesaw in 2011, Stephanie was the Director of the Academic Success Center and First-Year Experience at the University of South Carolina Aiken. In 2009, Dr. Foote won the NODA Outstanding Research Award for her dissertation study of the perceived effects of first-year seminar participation on the experience of students in their first semester of college.

Dr. Foote has published and presented on her research college students in transition, and she has developed and taught online courses on fostering the success of first-year students. Dr. Foote served as a Commission Chair for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Commission on Admissions, Orientation, and the First-Year Experience, and she currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP). Dr. Foote is also the Editor for the Journal of College Orientation and Transition (JCOT).

Richard Gatteau

Richard Gatteau, PhD  
Dr. Rick Gatteau has worked in the higher education field more than 20 years. He is Stony Brook University's Associate Provost for Academic Success and currently serves as the Faculty Director of the Higher Education Administration program.  Dr. Gatteau earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and his master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Vermont.  He completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration at Fordham University.  His doctoral dissertation research focused on female presidential leadership at selective higher education institutions. 
Dr. Gatteau's career includes working in residential life and academic advising capacities.  He worked as a Hall Director at the University of Vermont and as Assistant Director and Director of Residential Life at Iona College before transitioning to academic advising.  Dr. Gatteau was the Senior Dean of Columbia University's sophomore advising center before coming to Stony Brook University in 2002 as Director of Academic and Pre-Professional Advising, and now as the Assistant Provost.
Dr. Gatteau teaches Foundations of Higher Education Administration, Advising and Counseling in Higher Education, and Project Seminar.  He is a Long Island native and currently resides in East Setauket.
» Watch a video of Dr. Gatteau in which he discusses his course.

Charles Harris

Charles Harris, EdD
Dr. Charles Harris is an online faculty member in the School of Professional Development. Dr. Harris earned an Associate in Arts degree at Tallahassee Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economic Geography at the University of Idaho, a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Idaho State University, and the Specialist in Community College Teaching and Doctor of Education degrees from Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. His dissertation research, titled Faculty Perception of Proficiency in Attributes of Teaching Graduate Courses Online for an NCATE Accredited Education Unit Using the BlackBoard Course Management System, focused on how university faculty perceive how they have been trained to be efficient and effective online teachers.

Prior to coming to Stony Brook, Dr. Harris has been active as an educational consultant since 2004. His prior higher education administrative experience includes 15 years as a financial manager with expertise in Procurement and Contract Management, five years as a grant project manager, and fifteen years as an instructional designer. Dr. Harris is a certified Quality Matter Peer Reviewer. A Florida native, Dr. Harris resides in Washington State with his spouse Bonnie. 
» Watch a video of Dr. Harris in which he discusses his course.

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins, PhD
Dr. Hopkins is teaching HEA 523, Student Affairs Administration. She earned three degrees from Stony Brook University (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.) all in Sociology.  Dr. Hopkins has extensive experience teaching courses as an adjunct in the University's Departments of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies. 

Dr. Hopkins is the Assistant Director of the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center at Stony Brook University and coordinates the Center's year-long Academic Peer Advisor Internship.  Additionally she coordinates the Rotating Faculty Advisors initiative and the University's Challenge Exam Program.  Dr. Hopkins has been associated with the Center for over 20 years; first as an undergraduate work study student, later as a graduate student assistant, as a professional academic advisor and served as Director for three years.  She is the Center's linkage advisor to the Departments of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies and serves on the Intercollegiate Athletics Board and the Protestant Campus Ministry.

Dr. Hopkins volunteers annually as a group leader for Stony Brook Day in Albany and has served as a coordinator of the SBU house building and fund-raising for Habitat for Humanity.  Ellen is a proud recipient of The Sister Margaret Ann Landry RSHM Lifetime Achievement Advisor Award and is an Honorary Member of the Golden Key National Honour Society.
» Watch a video of Dr. Hopkins in which she discusses her course.  


Robert Izzo, PhD
Dr. Rob Izzo currently serves and an online instructor, teaching Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Administration and Supervision at the University of Virginia in 2012, while exploring the achievement gap among low-income minority students in Advanced Placement courses. His teaching experience includes teacher preparation courses in Classroom Assessment, Curriculum Design, Systems Analysis and Design, and Instructional Technology at the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia. Prior to his work in higher education, he taught high school Career and Technology Education classes in Atlanta, GA.

James M. Keane

James M. Keane, EdD
Dr. James M. Keane currently serves as the Executive Dean and Campus CEO at Suffolk Community College, the Michael J. Grant Campus. Suffolk Community College is part of the SUNY system and currently enrolls over 25,000 students college-wide, of which 9700 are enrolled on the Michael J. Grant Campus.  In his role as Executive Dean and Campus CEO he serves as the chief academic and administrative officer providing oversight for the integrity and direction of all of academic and non-academic campus programs and services. 
Prior to Suffolk Community College Dr. Keane served as the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and as the Director of the Institute for Core Studies at St. John’s University. At St. John’s he have played an important institutional role in a variety of arenas including: leading a campus wide academic assessment initiative, developing of a 4-year academic service scholars program, creating and implementing of a learning communities program and integrating of a global curriculum and international experience in the Core courses.  In addition to his administrative responsibilities at St. John’s he also served as an adjunct instructor in the School of Education.
Dr. Keane received his Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in Environmental Science, a Master’s degree in Theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University, and his Doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.

Samantha Lodato

Samantha Lodato, MSW
Samantha Lodato is the Assistant Director for the Higher Education Administration Program. She works with HEA students helping them through the admissions process, course selection and is the instructor/coordinator for the HEA 586 - Practicum in Higher Education.

Prior to starting her work with the Higher Education Administration Program, Samantha worked in the Academic & Pre-Professional Advising Center at Stony Brook University for six years. She also worked as a Financial Aid Counselor at Drexel University in Philadelphia and an Admissions Counselor at Suffolk Community College. 

Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from SUNY Cortland and her Master's degree in Social Work at Stony Brook University.   During her graduate studies, she interned as a School Social Worker in William Floyd Elementary School and did individual, group, and family therapy at the Family Service League in Riverhead, NY. 
» Watch a video of Ms. Lodato in which she discusses her course.

Dr. Manuel Londong

Manuel London, PhD
Dr. Manuel London is Dean of the College of Business, Director of the Center for Human Resource Management, and Professor of Management. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology. He is also Stony Brook's Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Leadership & Service.
Dr. London's career spans his professorship at major research universities - in particular, the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana from 1974-1977 and Stony Brook University from 1989 to the present. For the 12 intervening years, he was a researcher and human resource practitioner at AT&T. Dr. London is a pioneer in the now popular field of multisource (360 degree) feedback. As a practitioner and consultant, Dr. London has worked on program development and publications in the areas of performance management, feedback, managing marginal performers, and the manager as coach and developer. Dr. London received the Book Award from the Society for Human Resource Management for Change Agents: New Roles and Innovation Strategies for Human Resource Professionals.
» Watch a video of Dr. London in which he discusses his course.


Marilyn London, EdD
Dr. Marilyn London is Assistant Dean for Medical Education for the Stony Brook School of Medicine.  She has been at the medical school since 1996, before which she had a position in the School of Health Technology and Management for three years.  Dr. London has taught in SPD for over 10 years, including Project Seminar, Cultural Diversity in American Musicals, and the Leadership in Higher Education course.  She also facilitates in the Medicine in Contemporary Society sections, and Foundations in Medical Practice Self-Awareness sections in the Stony Brook School of Medicine.  Dr. London holds a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, both earned at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign.  She co-authored a book on First Time Leaders of Small Groups with Dr. Manny London, as well as other publications, conference workshops and poster sessions related to medical education, leadership, feedback loops, and music education.
Prior to working at Stony Brook, Dr. London was a professional musician/pianist/teacher.  She taught in public schools, adult schools, and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where she founded the group piano program, and taught theory and music appreciation classes.  She also taught at Rutgers University, and Wesleyan University in Illinois.  Dr. London also ran a New Jersey library concert series and co-founded the Belle Mead Friends of Music in Belle Mead, New Jersey.  She has performed in Urbana and Bloomington, Illinois; Beloit, Wisconsin; Princeton, New Jersey at Westminster Choir College and with the Westminster Community Orchestra, as well as frequently at the Belle Mead Friends of Music and Rocky Hill library concert series.  In addition, she has performed across Long Island at libraries, the Great Neck House, the Stony Brook Village Heritage Center, the medical student Evening of Art, and as an ensemble and Chorale member in Staller Center at Stony Brook.  She ran a private music and coaching studio for over 20 years before moving into higher education administration.
» Watch a video of Dr. London in which she discusses her course.

Joseph Loughren

Joseph Loughren, MBA
Mr. Loughren has worked in the financial management field for 19 years and currently serves as the Director of Financial Services for Facilities and Administration at Stony Brook University. Mr. Loughren earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from St. Joseph's College, his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Hofstra University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies at Colorado State University.

Mr. Loughren's career includes working in corporate finance at Computer Associates International, Inc., serving as the Business Manager for two public libraries on Long Island, and working as the Financial Services Administrator for the Division of Campus Residences at Stony Brook University. He is a member of The New York State Government Finance Officers' Association and The Institute of Management Accountants. Among other volunteer activities at Stony Brook, Mr. Loughren serves as a 101 Instructor and a Student Mentor. He is a Trustee of the Sayville Library, a former two-term treasurer of the Suffolk County Library Association, and has twice served as the President of the Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics, having earned a Presidential Citation and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Mr. Loughren teaches Finance Issues in Higher Education. He is a native Long Islander and currently resides in Sayville, NY with his wife and family. 

Thomas McDonald

Thomas J. McDonald, JD, MEd
Thomas. J. McDonald is the Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life at The New School in New York City. Mr. McDonald has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration, with a focus in student services. Prior to working at The New School, Mr. McDonald was the Director of Student Disability Services at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, and an adjunct faculty member.

Mr. McDonald has expertise in legal and statutory compliance; crisis management and prevention; alternative dispute resolution; and the practical application of  city, state, and federal statutes affecting colleges and universities including the American with Disabilities Act (ADA); the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); Titles IV and IX of the Education Amendments; the Age Discrimination in Education Act; the Clery Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act; the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act; and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Mr. McDonald conducts investigations, holds due process hearings, and mediates various academic-related matters including sexual harassment, discrimination, and violations of university policy. Mr. McDonald serves as Title IX coordinator and is chair of the ADA compliance committee.

Mr. McDonald teaches Crisis Management and Prevention in Higher Education as well as Legal Issues in Higher Education. He holds a BA in English and Psychology from the SUNY New Paltz; an MEd in higher education administration from the University of Texas at Austin; and a JD from New York Law School. Mr. McDonald is an experienced mediator and a member of various committees and professional organizations including the New York State Bar.


Tara McNealy, PhD
Dr. Tara McNealy's professional background includes experience in a variety of administrative positions in higher education including leadership positions in academic affairs, career services, admissions, advising and retention services, institutional research, and assessment and accreditation. She has served in public, federal, and for-profit institutions of varying sizes. Dr. McNealy's educational background includes a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona, as well as master's degrees in both Human Resource Management and Counseling. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Georgia. Dr. McNealy's research interests include the college choice process, enrollment management, strategic planning, and institutional effectiveness processes in higher education.

Elsa-Sofia Morote, Ed.D.

Elsa-Sofia Morote, EdD
Dr. Elsa-Sofia Morote has 20+ years’ senior-level experience instructing, motivating and researching at the university-level. She holds two Masters Degrees - a MAP in Public Administration (concentration in Strategic Management) (CIDE, 1991), M.Sc. in Finance (Carnegie Mellon University, 1996) and she is Doctor of Education Ed.D (concentration in Higher Education Administration) (University of Pittsburgh, 2001); and completed a postdoctoral work using quantitative methods analysis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 2001-2003).
Dr. Morote is an international scholar with over 20 award and recognitions from several countries to incl. Best Case Study at a Conference (IBEC-India, 2010), Best Research Paper (Emerald Literati Award for Excellence, USA, 2013) and Best Experimental Research Paper (International conference in Management and Education Innovation –Paris, France, 2014).
Dr. Morote is the founder director of the International Studies and Diversity Institute (IDI). This Institute fosters understanding among cultures, develops global leaders, and promotes diversity in education. Currently, she is a full professor at Dowling College’s Ed. Adm. Doctoral program and Adjunct Professor at Stony Brook University’ Masters program, where she has taught HEA 504 Research and Higher Education Assessment. She feels tremendously rewarded by transforming students' fears and anxieties into positive attitudes and self-confidence .For further information visit Dr. Morote’s website:

Julie Muller

Julie Muller, MA
Julie Muller has been working in higher education for more than 20 years, specializing in intercollegiate athletics. She earned an MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds Advanced Graduate Certificates in Coaching from Stony Brook University and in Non-Profit Management from Marlboro College Graduate Center.

Julie currently serves as the Commissioner for the North Atlantic Conference, an NCAA Division III Conference in New England and serves as the President of the Division III Commissioners Association. Prior to joining the NAC, she was the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services at Stony Brook University from 2000-2004 during which time she began in her current role as an Instructor in the School of Professional Development. Julie's career in college sports began at Fairleigh Dickinson University as a field hockey coach and advanced to the role of Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator before heading back to her native Long Island.

In addition to Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education, Julie teaches several courses in the SPD Coaching Education Program.

Rebecca S. Natow

Rebecca S. Natow, EdD, JD
Dr. Rebecca Natow is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has conducted extensive research on state-level higher education performance funding programs and on the federal rulemaking process for higher education. Her work has appeared in the Teachers College Record, and will appear in forthcoming publications by The Journal of Higher Education, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Johns Hopkins University Press.
Dr. Natow has worked in a variety of capacities in higher education, including student affairs, institutional studies, academic advising, the administration of a higher education internship program, graduate-level teaching, and research. Her dissertation, entitled Making Policy in the United States Department of Education: The Political Process of Federal Rulemaking for Higher Education, received the 2013-2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Politics of Education Association, and was a finalist for the 2014 American Educational Research Association Division J Outstanding Dissertation Award.
Dr. Natow received her Ed.D. in Higher & Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2013. She also holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and practiced law for several years before returning to graduate school to study higher education.

Sean O'Riley

Shawn O'Riley, EdD

Dr. Shawn O'Riley is the Dean of University College at Adelphi University and has spent the last several years of his career working with non-traditional students in higher education. University College is one of the eight academic units at Adelphi and serves non-traditional students in undergraduate, graduate, certificate, continuing education, pre-college, and veteran student programs. Prior to his current position at Adelphi, Dr. O'Riley was Associate Director of Continuing Education at Hunter College and Educational Programs Director for the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens. He began his professional life in advertising and market research working for Simmons, Research International, and MarkeTrends before transitioning to a career in adult education.

Dean O'Riley earned his Ed.D. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from NYU. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Quality Assurance from the University of Melbourne, an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College-CUNY, an M.A. in Teaching from Pacific University, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa. His dissertation research focused on emerging adulthood and how it impacts the college choices of young adults completing degrees as non-traditional students. Dean O'Riley is regular presenter on the topic of transitions to adulthood and their effects on non-traditional students at conferences around the country.

Lynette Phillips

Lynette Phillips, JD
Lynette Phillips is Legal Counsel for the City University of New York's Graduate Center, Guttman Community College, School of Journalism, School of Professional Studies and Macauley Honors College. In that capacity, she manages legal matters associated with daily and long term academic operations, including preventative law and risk management initiatives, human resource and student life issues, commercial transactions and fundraising matters, governance and academic misconduct, procurement, regulatory compliance, policy development, public safety, litigation and agency complaints. As the Vice President for Legal Services for Long Island University from 2010 to 2013, and as Associate Counsel at Stony Brook University from 2002 to 2010, she handled many of the same tasks.

Ms. Phillips began her legal career in Maryland, working for the Maryland General Assembly, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Licensing, Regulation and Labor, before joining DLA Piper in 1987. After transferring to Piper's New York office with an advisory and litigation practice in employment, commercial contracts and business torts, she joined the New York Attorney General's Education Division. Significant cases included implementation of the Regency Examinations ("high-stakes testing"), SED faculty certification requirements, tenure issues, Title VII and intellectual property claims. Ms. Phillips graduated from John Hopkins University with honors, and received her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Mary Beth Powers

Mary Beth Powers, MSW
Mary Beth Powers earned her MSW from Stony Brook’s School of Social Welfare and her BA in English from LeMoyne College.  She has 15 years experience in higher education in Residential Life and Academic Advising, as well as 13 years corporate experience in legal editing, sales, human resources, and corporate training.  During her graduate years she interned at University Medical Center with HIV/AIDS patients, in the Counseling Center at SUNY Old Westbury, held a graduate assistantship in research in the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, and the Reginald C. Wells Fellowship for Commuter Student Services.

Currently, Mary Beth is an Assistant Director in the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center at Stony Brook, where she specializes in working with undecided students and those experiencing academic challenges.  She is the facilitator/lead instructor of Stony Brook’s Academic Advising Certificate Program and has been a guest lecturer in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Social Welfare.  Mary Beth sits on a number of campus-wide committees including the Committee on Academic Standing and Appeals (CASA) and the Behavioral Assessment Committee (BAC).  She was awarded the 2007-2008 Distinguished Service Award for Outreach Efforts by the division of Student Affairs for her work with the Academic Advising Certificate Program.  Mary Beth is a member of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and an honorary member of Golden Key International Honour Society.

Marianna Savoca

Marianna Savoca, MS
As director of the Career Center at Stony Brook University, Marianna has many roles: director, producer, strategic thinker, planner, developer, fundraiser, writer, presenter, connector, relationship builder, counselor, coach, mentor, and teacher.

Her professional involvement has included current leadership roles in the National Society for Experiential Education, and past roles with the National Association of Colleges & Employers, the Eastern Association of Colleges & Employers, and the SUNY Career Development Organization. Ms. Savoca is an experienced public speaker and has consulted for college and university career centers domestically and internationally. Her work has been recognized with a Fulbright Award for Administrators in International Education, the NSEE Rising Leader Award, and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Ms. Savoca earned a BS from SUNY Binghamton, MS from Indiana University, and is currently working toward a PhD. She co-teaches HEA 526: Career Counseling & The Psychology of Work with Elena Polenova.

Frank Shih

Frank H. Shih, PhD
Dr. Shih has 25 years of experience in higher education.  His broad career includes supervisory responsibilities in the areas of enrollment management, mental health counseling, orientation, academic support, judicial affairs and student activities.   He has lectured and presented papers and workshops on multiculturalism, academic advising, student services and topics in cultural anthropology.  As a diversity consultant, he has trained high school teachers, college administrators, corporate professionals, law students as well as undergraduates.  He served as the Chief Student Affairs Officer at CUNY School of Law from 1996 until he retired from the position in 2009.  With interests in transnationalism and globalization, Dr. Shih's recent publication focuses on the impact of international students on American college campuses.  He received his B.A. from Greenville College in Illinois and his M.A. and PhD in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York City.

A strong believer in volunteerism and community service, Dr. Shih is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Long Island, the Asian American/Asian Research Institute of CUNY and the Organization of Chinese Americans, Long Island Chapter.  He is also on the Advisory Council of the Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee, Inc.

Dr. Shih has three grown children and lives with his wife in Setauket, NY.

Elizabeth Squire

Elizabeth Squire, EdD
Dr. Squire is a graduate of Cornell University, and holds a Master's degree in Human Resource Management and a doctorate in Education Administration. Her research is focused on distance education.

Dr. Squire joined the Stony Brook community in 2001, first as a student advisor, and currently works in curriculum management. Prior to working in higher education, she worked in the White House Social Office and on the trading floor at Morgan Stanley.

Dr. Squire teaches Advising and Counseling in Higher Education. She lives in Setauket with her husband and son.

Karen J. Smith

Karen J. Smith, PhD
Karen received her BS in Sports Medicine from Oregon State University, an MEd in Applied Physiology from Auburn University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Florida State University.  Karen has been a faculty member at the University of West Florida, an adjunct online faculty member in higher education at Grand Canyon University, and conducted international education programs in Botswana, China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Currently an independent Research Analyst, she most recently served as the Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, Compliance, & Accreditation for Columbia Southern Education Group, and prior Senior Research Scientist and Training Analyst for Raytheon. Karen will be teaching HEA 560 – Comparative University Systems – online this fall.


Jerrold L. Stein, EdD
Dr. Jerrold Stein came to Stony Brook University in 1976 and became the Dean of Students in 2002.  Since 2006, Dr. Stein has served as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, where he provides administrative oversight for the Student Health Service, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Center for Prevention and Outreach, the Division of Student Life, and the Offices of the Dean of Students, Commuter Student Services, Multicultural Affairs, Facilities and Operations and Athletic Bands.  Dr. Stein was directly involved in designing the Red Watch Band initiative, a bystander intervention program to prevent death from alcohol intoxication, and the Community Pledge program, a campaign to create a more civil and caring community.  During his tenure as Dean, student clubs have grown from 180 to more than 330 recognized groups and he played the lead role in the creation of Stony Brook University’s Marching Band, the Spirit of Stony Brook, which grew from 17 members to more than 150 members in five years.

Dean Stein holds a clinical faculty appointment in the School of Social Welfare.  He served as a founding member and professor of the school’s Specialization in Higher Education, a graduate social work program.  He taught Stony Brook’s freshman seminar course for several years, created a residential tutoring program at the University, and worked with the Undergraduate Student Government to establish a student-run tutoring program.  Dean Stein has a national reputation for his work in student life, especially in the area of peer education and sexual assault prevention on college campuses.  From 1987 until 2003, Dean Stein directed the Sexual Assault Facts and Education (SAFE) peer-education program, which was recognized as a model anti-violence program by the United States Department of Education in 1999.  He earned a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and two Master’s degrees – one in College Student Development and the other in Business Administration.


Gina Vanacore, MS
Gina Vanacore has worked in the higher education field for 20 years and currently serves as the Associate Director of Residential Programs.  Gina earned her bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Economics from Stony Brook University, her master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Indiana University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Social Welfare.  Her doctoral research focuses on socioeconomic status and educational attainment. 
During the course of her career in residence life, Gina has focused on student life programming, with an emphasis on the impact of college on student development and learning. She is very involved in Stony Brook University student life and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association. Gina has held leadership positions in the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and has presented at national and regional conference. Gina teaches Survey of College Student Development Theory.  She lives with her family in Port Jefferson Station.
» Watch a video of Ms. Vanacore in which she discusses her course.


Christina Vargas, MS
Christina Vargas serves as the Affirmative Action Officer at Suffolk County Community College.  Ms. Vargas has responsibility for developing diversity and inclusion strategies and managing the College's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and practices and its Affirmative Action Program compliance.  Her role includes ensuring that the College will be able to meet strategic initiatives and priorities related to diversity and inclusion.

Prior to Suffolk, Ms. Vargas spent 19 years at Stony Brook University.  As Director of Diversity, Affirmative Action and EEO, she directed planning, compliance, training, educational and development efforts; served as the University’s Title IX coordinator; and oversaw discrimination complaint resolution for Stony Brook’s faculty, staff and students in its academic and administrative areas, Stony Brook Medicine, and Long Island State Veteran’s Home.  She serves on the Board of Directors for ERASE Racism, Inc. (Education, Research, Advocacy and Support to Eliminate Racism.)  In 2008-2009 she served as President of Stony Brook University’s Alumni Association and is one of the founders of the Black and Latino Alumni Group. Her many contributions have earned Ms. Vargas multiple awards and recognition including the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, and the Suffolk County Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Meritorious Service. Ms. Vargas holds a Master of Science degree in Management and Policy from the Harriman School for Management and Policy at Stony Brook University, and a B.S. in Business Management from Stony Brook University.  She also holds a Diversity Management Certification as an Advanced Practitioner from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She serves as an adjunct lecturer for the Master’s Program in Higher Education at Stony Brook University.


Roger Ward, EdD, JD
Dr. Roger Ward is the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  In this role, Dr. Ward serves as the University’s Accreditation Liaison Officer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Dr. Ward has also served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the New School in New York City and also held senior administrative positions in the City University of New York system.

Dr. Ward holds an associates degree in data processing/computer programming from Kingsborough Community College, a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s in public administration, both from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He also holds a juris doctor degree from New York Law School, and a doctor of education degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania where his dissertation research focused on the role of faculty in helping colleges and universities support students with mental health problems. 
Dr. Ward has been teaching onsite, online, and in a blended environment since 2004 and have taught graduate courses in ethics, the history of higher education, leadership and organizational behavior, and legal issues in higher education policy, among others. 

Dean Wellinger

Joyce Wellinger, MBA
Joyce Wellinger is the Associate Dean for Finance and Administration within the School of Professional Development. Her responsibilities include the management of the school with regard to its administrative operations, financial management, budget development, human resources, technology management, facilities and allocation of space. Arriving at Stony Brook in 1987, Ms. Wellinger worked in the University Budget Office, served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Division of Facilities and Operations before joining the School of Professional Development. Prior to Stony Brook, she held financial positions in both the retail and international shipping industries.

Dean Wellinger teaches Foundations of Higher Education Administration and Higher Education Facilities Management. She holds a BA in Economics from Stony Brook University, an MBA in International Business from The American University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership Studies at Northeastern University. She is active on many university committees and organizations in higher education and serves as the chair of the Association for Continuing Higher Education Northeast Metropolitan Region.

Matthew Whelan

Matthew Whelan, EdD
Dr. Matthew Whelan is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. In this newly created position, Dr. Whelan will serve as an advisor to the President in the areas of long term policy and strategic initiatives. He will identify institutional priorities, facilitate planning and take the lead in identifying and facilitating cross-functional academic initiatives at Stony Brook. He will oversee the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness and reports directly to the President. Dr. Whelan was most recently the Associate Provost for Enrollment and Retention Management at Stony Brook. 

Dr. Whelan has spent the last 24 years working in key positions in college admissions, financial aid and enrollment management. He joined Stony Brook in 2006 after serving in key positions at St. John's and Hofstra respectively where he was notably successful in advancing goals for enrollment and admissions in the areas of applicant quality and yield by implementing more efficient processes and systems, something he has also accomplished here at Stony Brook.





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Last modified on 3/4/15.