School of Liberal Arts
Faculty Accomplishments

Walid Abushahba, Ph.D., Math and Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, is representing Berkeley College as a member of the New Jersey Department of Education committee formed to help make recommendations regarding the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards in New Jersey.

Dr. Abushahba is a co-author of a paper titled “Non-Canonical Smads Phosphorylation Induced by the Glutamate Release Inhibitor, Riluzole, through GSK3 Activation in Melanoma,” which was published in PLOS One (Volume 7), a peer-reviewed journal covering topics in science and medicine.

Melissa Baralt, Ph.D., Math and Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, received the Faculty of the Year Award for excellence in on-site instruction.

Yesudas Choondassery, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, is the author of “The Socio-ethical Quandary of Dalit Christian Upward Social Mobility and Evangelization,” which was published in New Evangelization and Migration: Transforming Perspectives in September.

Mary Jane Clerkin, D.A., English, is the recipient of a 2014 United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Hall of Fame Award. Dr. Clerkin was recognized for her years of professional experience and her many accomplishments that have helped lay the foundation for distance learning. The award will be presented at the USDLA National Conference in St. Louis, MO, on May 5. In addition, Dr. Clerkin presented “The New Interactive Embedded Course Resource: A Living Text!” at the Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning in Lake Buena Vista, FL. She also presented “Talk To Me. Don’t Text” at the Annual Conference of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Cooperative for Educational Technologies.

Gloria Davy, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “Cultural Understanding and Interpretation of Postpartum Depression in a Caribbean Immigrant Community” at the American Public Health Association 141st Annual Conference and Expo in Boston, MA. She is the author of an article by the same title that was published in Pro Quest Dissertations. In addition, Dr. Davy and Christian Ehiobuche, Ph.D., Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business, are co-authors of “Health Care and Culture Clash: The Case of Caribbean Immigrants in the US,” which was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and Negotiation (Issue 1).

Melissa Dubrowa, Ed.D., Developmental Education, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Student Reading and Writing: Course Content and Processes” at the Annual Accuplacer National Conference in San Francisco, CA. She also presented “Using Reading to Inspire Writing to Inspire Reading” at the New York College Learning Skills Association annual conference held in Hunter, NY.

The English department, School of Liberal Arts, organized the first Berkeley College Conference on Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking in New York City. The conference featured workshops led by 31 presenters. Two of the speakers were scholars from other institutions, and the remaining presenters were from three Berkeley College schools, the Academic Support Center, the Library and the Counseling department. More than 80 Berkeley College faculty members attended.

Luisa Ferreira, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, presented a paper titled “The Death of Cathleen ní Houlihan” at the American Conference for Irish Studies at Daemen College.

Heidi Hoefinger, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, is the author of “Transnational Intimacies: Examples from Cambodia,” a chapter that was published in Mapping Intimacies: Relations, Exchanges, Affects (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). In addition, Dr. Hoefinger was nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Plattsburgh State University Anthropology Department faculty.

Gregory Hotchkiss, Ph.D., Associate Chair, Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, received the Faculty of the Year Award for excellence in online instruction.

Michael Jacobs, D.A., Associate Chair, English, School of Liberal Arts, received the Faculty of the Year Award for excellence in Scholarship and Service. The award was given in honor of Dr. Jacobs’ work to organize the Conference on Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking, which was held in October at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan. The Conference was attended by more than 80 faculty members and academic administrators.

Michael Jacobs, D.A., presented “The Language of Crisis: Documenting the Depression” to Social Studies and English faculty members at Oceanside High School as part of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in Schools program. He also presented the lecture at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY, as part of a series hosted by the New York State Historical Association. Dr. Jacobs also presented “Documentary Humanism: Reinscribing the Other,” at the Hunter College Graduate Student Conference.

John LaValle, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “A Personal Account of Gay Adoption” at the Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Adoption conference held in Hollywood, FL, and sponsored by the Southeast Florida Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology. 

Vincent Maher, J.D., Math and Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “‘Sorry, Sir, would you please repeat that?’ When a Tweet begets a twit: The Utilization of social media in the classroom” and “Perceptions of Personal Security on Social Networking Sites” at an international conference in Istanbul, Turkey, sponsored by the Global Business and Technology Association.

Gail Miller, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Reading, Writing, and ADHD: A Call for Classroom and Home Creativity” at a meeting of the New York State Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children in Saratoga Springs, NY. 

Filippa Modesto, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, chaired a session titled “Dissident Citizenships” at the Gestures and Jesters: Irony at a Crossroads conference at the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Modesto also chaired a panel on “Speaking and Learning Foreign Languages” at Brooklyn College, CUNY. 

Marilyn Papayanis, Ph.D., English, is the author of “Notes on Sexual Nostalgia,” which won the 2013 Nonfiction Contest sponsored by So to Speak: Feminist Journal of Language and Art. The essay will be published in the spring issue of the journal. In addition, Dr. Papayanis is the author of “The Wanking Widow and Other Indecorous Dames: Three Films about Maternal Transgression and ‘Fortunate Fall,'” which was published in the Bright Lights Film Journal.

Ralph Peters, Ph.D., Chair, General Education, School of Liberal Arts, presented “The Evolution of Revolution: From Moses to Mubarak,” at the New York Open Center, a center of holistic learning and world culture.

Afshin Razani, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, under the auspices of the Latino Institute of Newark, led a group of students – including three Berkeley College students – faculty, and others on a five-day educational trip to Cuba. In addition, Dr. Razani represented the U.S. Peace Council at the Secretariat Meeting of the World Peace Council in Caracas, Venezuela.

Judith Sedaitis, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Globalized Social Capital: A comparison of social networks among immigrant, native and international students” at the 7th Annual International Conference on Education at the Research and Training Institute of the East Aegean in Samos, Greece. 

Mitchell Serels, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, is the editor of The Schiller-Kahn Family: a Genealogical History, which was published by the estate of Dorothy Schiller.

David Testone, English, School of Liberal Arts, received the White Plains Faculty Appreciation Award from the Office of Student Development and Campus Life in White Plains.

Hui-wen Tu, Ed.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “The Application of Learning Contract in Blended Class” at the 10th Annual Faculty Technology Showcase at Bloomfield College.

Hugo Walter, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Epiphanies of Light in Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’” at a conference of international scholars on British author Thomas Hardy at Yale University.

Jonathan Weidenbaum, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented his essay, “Between Mysticism and Medical Materialism: The Relevance of William James and John Dewey for the Question of Neurotheology” at the Mysticism without Bounds international conference held in Bangalore, India. The essay was published in the Tattua Journal of Philosophy (Number 5).

Reba Wissner, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, presented “Music for Murder, Machines, and Monsters: Moat Farm Murder from ‘The Twilight Zone,’ and the CBS Stock Music Library” at an American Musicological Society of the Greater New York Area meeting at Columbia University.

Stephen Wolf, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, is the author of “Henry James and Old New York,” which was published in The Villager (Volume 80, Number 35).