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.

Ryan Allen, Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, is the author of “Empathy through Practice: Why Everyone Needs International Experience,” which was published on the New York International Website. The Website focuses on the acclimation of foreigners to New York City. In addition, Mr. Allen created an info-graphic on Chinese international education that has been shared by various organizations in the educational sector. Mr. Allen also is the author of “Caring parents seek educational dreams for new generation on US campuses,” an op-ed about the popularity of educational tours to the United States among Chinese students, which appeared in the Global Times in August.

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, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Don’t Text! Talk to Me!” at the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) 2013 National Conference in St. Louis, MO. In addition, Dr. Clerkin served on the USDLA National Conference Program Committee.

Mary Jane Clerkin teaches an online Public Speaking course that has been certified by Quality Matters, a nationally recognized faculty-centered, peer review process that certifies the quality of online and blended courses.

Melissa Dubrowa, Ed.D., Developmental Education, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Blackboard Blogging Creates Community and Collaboration” at the New York College Learning Skills Association conference in Syracuse, NY.

Melissa DuBrowa, Ed.D., 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.

Kim Felsenthal, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “The Home: A psycho-spatial tool to empower, validate, and express the identities of aging men and women living alone” at the Canadian Association of Geographers annual conference at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.

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.

Cezar Giosan, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Darwinian Psychotherapy for Depression” at the International Conference of Experiential Psychotherapy and Unifying Personal Development” in Bucharest, Romania. In addition, Dr. Giosan was honored at York College, The City University of New York, for the publication of his book, “The American.”

Dr. Giosan presented “Darwinian-Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression” at the Institute of the Romanian Academy of Sciences in Bucharest, Romania.

Byron K. Hargrove, Ph.D., Director, Honors Program, hosted the first Honors Scholar reception at the Chart House in Weehawken, NJ. The event was attended by students and their families, in addition to Berkeley College leaders and faculty members.

Laura Harste, Ph.D., Math and Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, recorded a brief interview for “Life & Living with Joanna Gagis” that aired in April on NJTV. Dr. Harste spoke about Project GreenPath initiatives at Berkeley College.

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.

Robert Keiber, English, School of Liberal Arts, had five poems from his book “Urban Hykool: The Zen of the City” published in The Milford Journal magazine in August.

Robert Keiber gave a presentation about the third edition of his book "Fear is Good" at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

Dean Kostos, English, School of Liberal Arts, is the author of the poem “A Cannibal's Suicide,” which was published in Alimentum online.

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.

Joyce Frei-McNeill, D.Lit., English, School of Liberal Arts, served on the Scholarship Committee for the 200 Club of Morris County at the Morris County Police Academy. The Committee chose 25 college scholarship winners on the basis of academics, service, finances, essay and recommendation.

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. 

Thomas Miller, Ph.D., organized and hosted a lecture by David Kahn, D.Phil., author of “The Codebreakers” and the world’s foremost historian of cryptography, at Proteus Gowanus interdisciplinary gallery and reading room in Brooklyn, NY. The talk was presented as part of the “Secret Wars” exhibition curated by Dr. Miller.

In addition, Thomas Miller is the creator of the short film “The Shaman’s Journey,” which was included in the “Inside the Moment” International Short Film Festival, at the Crane Arts museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Miller hosted an open house reception for his latest photography and mixed media exhibition, “On the Road of Bones: Ghosts of the Siberian Gulag along the Old Kolyma Highway.” The exhibition has received extensive media exposure including coverage in the New York Daily News, New York Post, and Yahoo! News. The reception featured a live chat with photographers in Siberia. Another of Dr. Miller’s installations, “Nine Worlds: The Shaman’s Journey,” was included in Synesthesia.2, a group exhibition at SINergy Project Space and Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.

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. 

Michael Montlack, English, School of Liberal Arts, is the recipient of the 2013 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award for his poem “Questions My Father Asked Watching This Old House (1993).”

Michael Montlack was awarded a six-week writer’s residency at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany. In addition, two of his poems, “On Castro” and “Uh, Didn’t You Get the Memo?” were published in the anthology New America. Mr. Montlack performed a reading of his work for the launch of the anthology at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village, NY, and he was interviewed for an article that was published in Gulf Stream, Florida International University’s literary magazine. Mr. Montlack participated in the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City, where he moderated a panel on his book Divining Divas and took part in a poetry reading.

Michael Montlack read from his book “Divining Divas” at the Art Market Provincetown gallery in Provincetown, MA; San Francisco Public Library, Books Inc., in San Francisco, CA; and Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland, Oregon. He also was a featured author at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA. Participating authors included Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling authors of fiction and nonfiction. In addition, Mr. Montlack is the author of two poems: “On Castro” and “Uh, Didn’t You Get the Memo?” which were published in the new anthology “New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society” (Autumn House Press, November 2012).

Jea Sophia Oh, Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Hanul, an Eco-God: The Triune Reverence of Life” at a meeting of The Society for the Study of Process Philosophies held during the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Marilyn Papayanis, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, is the author of “Sex on the Beach: The Ying Yang of Female Sex Tourism,” which was published in the online film journal Bright Lights. She is also the author of “Our Orgasms Ourselves: Meditations on Movie Sex,” which appeared in the May issue of the 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.

Giammarie Pieri, Developmental Education, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Why Professional Development in Developmental Education Is Essential for All Educators” at the National Association for Developmental Education conference in Denver, CO.

Afshin Razani, Ph.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, participated in the Secretariat Meeting and the European Regional Conference of the World Peace Council in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition, Dr. Razani presented “Syria and Iran: The Next War?” at the International Action Center in Manhattan, NY.

Marga Ryersbach, Ed.D., Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, presented “Queer Orientations and Identities” during the roundtable section on sexualities at the Conference of the American Sociological Association in Manhattan, NY.

Marga Ryersbach presented “Roads through the Borderlands: Life Stories of the Everyday” at the Society for Phenomenology and Human Sciences conference in Montreal, Canada.

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, School of Liberal Arts, was honored with a certificate of recognition from His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The certificate was presented to Dr. Serels by H.E. Mohammed Loulichki, Ambassador to the United Nations, Kingdom of Morocco. Dr. Serels was honored for his academic work, especially related to the Jews of Cape Verde.

Catherine St. John, D.A., is the author of “The Many Sidedness of Beauford Delaney’s Art,” which was published in Les Amis de Beauford Delaney blog.

Meanwhile, Catherine St. John attended a commemorative ceremony at the tombstone of expatriate painter Beauford Delaney at the Thiasis Cemetery in Paris, France. She was a guest at a reception that followed at the embassy of the United States. Dr. St. John is a member of the Association Les Amis de Beauford Delaney and has completed extensive research, written articles and given numerous presentations on the painter. Dr. St. John also conducted a workshop titled “Creating a Professional Portfolio: An Artist’s Best Tool” at Gilman Center at SUNY Orange County Community College.

Catherine St. John presented “Painted Words: The Union of Text and Image in the Art of Glenn Ligon” at the School of Visual Arts Twenty-Sixth Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. 



David Andrew Stoler, English, School of Liberal Arts, wrote, edited and directed the film “Daadi,” which was previewed at the India International Film Festival and was accepted into the ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Stoler also composed and performed the film’s soundtrack.

David Stoler also presented “Bad Star: Mitigating Worst-Case Scenarios from Pre-Production to Picture Lock” to undergraduate students as a guest speaker at The New School.

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.

Roseann Torsiello, Ed.D., Associate Chair, Online, School of Liberal Arts, has been selected as a conference proposal evaluator for the College Reading and Learning Association.

Dr. Torsiello served as a program proposal reviewer for the 44th Annual College Reading and Learning Association Conference, to be held in California in November. She also serves as a program advisor to the Academic Advisory Board for Annual Editions: Mass Media (McGraw Hill Contemporary Learning Series).

Hui-wen Tu, Ed.D., presented “Dialogue as a Tool for Motivating Multicultural Learners’ Critical Thinking in Business Education” at the Annual Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching in Bethesda, MD. In addition, Dr. Tu presented on the topic of applying learning contracts to enhance the quality of learning in blended classes at the International Journal of Arts and Sciences (IJAS) Conference for Academic Disciplines at Harvard University.

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, School of Liberal Arts, presented “For Want of a Better Estimate, Let’s Call It the Year 2000: The Twilight Zone and the Aural Conception of a Dystopian Future” at the Music and the Moving Image Conference at New York University.

Dr. Wissner presented “The Twilight Zone and the Avant-Garde Sound” at the Popular Culture and American Culture Association National Conference meeting in Washington, D.C.

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). 

Gail Wood-Miller, Ph.D., English, School of Liberal Arts, gave a presentation about the interaction between learning and nutrition at the Bronx Charter School for Better Learning Health Fair.