Dr. Dorothy Escribano was named Interim President of the College in October 2016.
She was appointed Provost of the College in 2012 and served as the College's Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2007. As the chief academic officer and chief planning officer of the College, Escribano was responsible for the overall leadership of academic affairs and the strategic planning process. During her years at CNR, she has effectively administered and improved curriculum development, faculty development, assessment, institutional and program planning, accreditation and regulatory issues, and enrollment management for the four Schools.
Prior to coming to CNR, Escribano spent 12 years at Worcester State College: seven as a faculty member in the Department of Languages and Literature, four as associate vice president for academic affairs, and her final year as the College's interim vice president for academic affairs. Before her tenure at Worcester State College, Escribano spent one year as visiting assistant professor of Spanish at Clark University in Massachusetts and three years as a lecturer (Spanish language and literature) at the University of Rhode Island. She was awarded an ACE Fellowship for the 2004-05 academic year and participated in the Harvard University Executive Leadership Institute in 2008.
Escribano's research has focused on Medieval and Golden Age Spanish literature (1107-1650), and the romancero (Spanish balladry) from medieval times until the end of the Spanish Civil War (1939). She recently completed an article about the use of balladry in both Spain and Mexico during early 20th century socio-political conflicts.
Escribano earned her B.A. in Spanish and secondary education from Marist College, her M.A. in liberal studies (concentration in Special Education) from SUNY Stony Brook, her M.A. in Spanish literature from the University of Rhode Island, and her Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University.
Kevin Cavanagh was named Executive Vice President of Strategy and Planning in October 2016.
Cavanagh joined The College of New Rochelle in June 2014 as Vice President of Enrollment Management. He previously was Senior Director of Enrollment Services and Student Information at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. As the chief enrollment officer of the 19th-ranked medical school in the country (according to US News & World Report), he developed and executed a strategic plan for delivering enrollment services to meet the needs of the school, supervising the offices of Admissions, Registrar, Bursar, Health Insurance, Financial Aid, and Housing.
From 2007 - 2012, Cavanagh was Assistant Vice President for College Admissions at Iona College, where he was responsible for the enrollment of traditional undergraduates, evening and weekend adult students, transfers, and graduate students. Before moving to Iona, he was a longtime member of Manhattan College's admissions team, where he rose to the position of Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Cavanagh also has been a leader within the admissions industry at large, having served on the Executive Board of the New York Association of College Admissions Counseling and been elected as a State Delegate representing New York at the National Assembly of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling. He also represented both Manhattan and Iona as a member of the Catholic College Admissions Association. The Irish Echo recently recognized Cavanagh for his contribution to the higher education industry by naming him to their 2014 list of 40 Under 40.
Cavanagh holds a B.A. in history and an M.B.A., with a concentration in management, both from Manhattan College. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. David Donnelly joined the College as Interim Dean of the Graduate School in September 2015. In August 2016, he was named Dean of the Graduate School and Interim Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences.
Donnelly’s career in education spans undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. He started his career with the University of Houston’s School of Communication, where he rose from Instructor to Associate Professor. He later served as the Director of Continuing Education at Sarah Lawrence College, Dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University, and Dean of the College for Graduate Studies at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has also served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the McGannon Center at Fordham University.
Donnelly has produced and directed numerous video productions, including Grading the Media (2009), which was broadcast on Connecticut Public Television, and Visual Velocity (2000) which aired on PBS Stations across the Southwest and at several film festivals. He has written extensively for newspapers and academic journals and has contributed chapters to eight books, including The Culture of Efficiency and Real Law@ Virtual Space.
He holds a B.A. in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Maryland, College Park, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research areas include technological innovation, media forecasting, and the scholarship of teaching.
Thomas Cunningham joined The College of New Rochelle in May 2016 as Assistant Vice President for Finance/Controller and was named to his current position, Vice President for Finance and Administration, in November 2016.
Cunningham has held positions of responsibility for divisions and stand-alone operations associated with global public companies and privately held firms. His experience includes overseeing the financial performance of portfolio companies, including international operations, and he has worked with financial advisory firms in the areas of restructuring, turnaround, bankruptcy and interim management.
Prior to joining the College, Cunningham served as CFO/COO at Fundamental Corporate Credit US, LLC, an alternative investment management company. Earlier in his career, he was CFO and Administrative Officer at Vault.com, Inc., where he established administrative functions, instituted operational controls, hired staff, implemented systems, and structured employee health and benefit programs. He also served as Managing Director of the Capstone Advisory Group, where he assisted senior management in evaluating operations and improving financial performance as the company went through a complex transformation from a food processing plant to a producer of ethanol.
More recently, Cunningham filled the Managing Director role at FTI Consulting, where he led the financial team in working with investment bankers to sell strategic assets of a multinational company. He also served as CFO at FiLIP Technologies, Inc.. Over the course of his career, the roster of companies that have benefitted from his expertise includes the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), Havas North America, and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.
Cunningham is a member of the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. He earned a B.S. in Accounting from Manhattan College and a M.B.A. in Corporate Financial Management from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. An active member of number of not-for-profit and volunteer organizations, he serves on the parish council for the Church of St. John and St. Mary, in Chappaqua, New York, and as a board member of La Salle Academy in New York City. He is a founder and board member of San Miguel Academy in Newburgh, New York.
Brenna Sheenan Mayer came to The College of New Rochelle in 1990 as Vice President for College Advancement. Her primary responsibilities are the successful development and implementation of the College's alumnae/i relations and fund-raising programs.
She has extensive fund-raising experience. Prior to joining CNR, she worked for the United Fund, the United Way of Tri-State and the United Way of NYC for 14 years, and for one year at New York University. During her tenure at CNR, Mayer has successfully conducted two significant fund-raising campaigns for the College, raising more than $78 million for a wide variety of CNR programs. She has concentrated more specifically on CNR's alumnae/i relations and fund-raising programs since 2001.
Mayer has a B.A. in psychology from Pace University.; She is an active participant in CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), the New York Women's Agenda, the Junior League of Bronxville, and Women in Development, New York (WIDNY). She served as President of WIDNY from 2004 to 2006 and by emphasizing service membership increased by almost 30 percent to 770.
Dr. James Murtha was appointed Chief Information and Effectiveness Officer in July 2017. He brings more than 35 years of experience in public and private higher education to his position at CNR, in which he oversees information technology and institutional research.
Murtha began his career in institutional research with the City University of New York, where he conducted numerous studies on post-graduation status, retention, and the effects of educational interventions on success in college—work that figured prominently in improving CUNY’s academic reputation and setting the stage for major reforms. He went on to serve as director of institutional research for CUNY and later as associate dean for planning, acting budget director, and finally as university dean for information services. Under his leadership, CUNY began consolidating its administrative system and developing a common platform for student information.
Later as vice president for administration at Baruch College, he managed several rounds of New York State budget cuts, modernized technology, expanded summer offerings, and initiated the College’s award-winning, “vertical campus” facility.
Murtha also served as chief operating officer of The New School, where he worked to expand and improve facilities, bolster finances, grow degree enrollment to over 10,000 students, and sharply expand the ranks of full-time faculty. He also guided the development of the award-winning University Center complex and oversaw the implementation of Banner enterprise resource planning system.
Most recently, he served as chairman and CEO of Maguire Associates, a firm credited with originating enrollment management as a business discipline that has worked extensively with colleges and universities throughout the country. While there, Dr. Murtha initiated a client-oriented, data analytics system and dashboard, fostered technical innovation and formed numerous industry partnerships, including with EduCo International and Blackboard.
He has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of New England College in New Hampshire, where he continues as a trustee and board officer. He currently co-chairs Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative, a foundation focused on improving school safety and security. He served for a decade on the board of the Union Square Partnership, receiving its Buchbinder Award for community service in 2011 and has taught at Columbia University, Queens College, St. John’s University, and Baruch College.
Rebecca Lafleur, currently Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, joined the CNR faculty in 1999 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2003. During her time on the faculty, she has served as Chairperson of the Psychology Department and Director of the Women’s Studies Program, and was instrumental in the revision of the SAS core curriculum. She has also played key roles on numerous college committees, including Council of Faculty, the Faculty Development Committee, and the Strategic Planning Taskforce.
She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College and a M.A and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Temple University. She has conducted research in the areas of sexual harassment and the stigma of feminist identity, and is currently examining the phenomenon of “fat talk” among young women. She is an active member of the Association for Women in Psychology and has served as their newsletter editor and conferences liaison.<-p>
Wendi Vescio, currently the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, joined the staff of the CNR Graduate School in 2007 as Director of Human Services, after earning her master’s in guidance and counseling. In 2010, she was promoted to Assistant Dean for Academic Administration and subsequently to her current role as Associate Dean in 2012. She has taught numerous workshops during her tenure at the College focusing on credentialing for students working toward teacher certification.
She served as a member of the Strategic Planning Taskforce, has served as Chair of the Professional Staff Council and is currently a member of the Presidential Search Committee. In addition to her counseling degree from CNR, she holds a B.S. in Finance from Fairfield University, professional preparation that allows her to bring additional perspectives to her new role.
Dr. Kristine D. Southard has worked as an expert in adult learner educational models for the School of New Resources at The College of New Rochelle for 23 years. In 1994, she joined the College as a faculty member in the School of New Resources, where she taught English and American literature courses as well as required courses for the degree. Serving on many college-wide committees during this time, Southard also was part of the Steering Committee for the Middle States review in 2000.
In 2002, Southard was named Campus Director of the Co-op City Campus. Under her leadership, the campus expanded to capacity and became a central part of the Co-op City community. Working with local and state representatives, she secured government grants that enhanced the technology of the campus with smart classrooms and computer labs.
In 2012, Southard was named Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. She co-chaired the Strategic Planning Initiative that led to the identification and development of the College’s strategic goals for the next five to 10 years. As Assistant Vice President, Southard was responsible for the development of the Learning Commons, which offer academic support services to students of all four schools. The Learning Commons was combined with the Gill Library and became the College’s Library Learning Commons.
In 2015, Southard was named Interim Dean of the School of New Resources. In her first two semesters, Southard opened a new site in downtown Yonkers and energized the School and its faculty and staff through new articulation agreements with the College’s own School of Arts and Sciences and several academic partnerships with the Graduate School. She was named Dean in July 2016.
Southard holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Fordham University, and a M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Literature, both from New York University.
Dr. Debra Simons was named interim dean of the School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions in July 2017. She had served as associate dean of the School since 2015. As a certified nurse educator, simulation healthcare educator, and certified case manager, she has practiced in diverse settings, which include clinical, business and academia.
Dr. Simons is committed to assisting in the development of healthcare students as future inter-professional team members. She has written many inter-professional clinical scenarios and has developed an outcome evaluation instrument inspired by QSEN competencies, which measures student self-efficacy post inter-professional simulation.
Prior to coming to CNR, Dr. Simons was the director of the Certificate Entry into Nursing Second Degree Nursing Program at the University of Connecticut and was a professor at Norwalk Community College.
Dr. Simons contributes to scholarly publications. Most recently, her piece on the use of simulation in nursing was included in the book, The New Nurse Educator: Mastering Academe, and she provided a reflective response in seeking lifelong mentorship and menteeship in doctoral advanced nursing practice in the book, Role Development for Doctoral Prepared Nursing Practice. She has also developed a Quality and Safety Self-Efficacy Scale © and has completed a study Measuring Self-Efficacy during Inter-Professional Clinical Simulation,
She has been inducted as a Fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine and is passionate about urban health. She is a member of the board for the non-profit organization, Under One Roof, which addresses urgent and complex needs facing today's families.
She holds a B.S.N. from The College of New Rochelle , a M.S.N. from the University of Phoenix and a Ph.D. from Capella University.
Ana Fontoura has been Dean of Gill Library since 2009. Her background includes over 25 years of combined library experience in technical services, serials, reference, teaching, staff training, and electronic resources in academic and school libraries. She is a past member of the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization Executive Board and is CNR's Liaison Officer to New York University's Faculty Resource Network.
An active member of the College Community, chairing and serving on many committees, Fontoura believes that the library serves as the beacon of digital and information literacy and works to advance and facilitate the development of solid information seeking behaviors for our students. Her responsibilities include leading and planning for library resources and services including the development of Library Learning Commons for all students at CNR, as well as administrative oversight of all campus libraries. Her interests include trends in library innovation, management and technology, children's literature, and promoting lifelong learning.
Fontoura received a B.A. in psychology from The College of New Rochelle, a M.L.S. from Queens College – City University of New York, and a M.S. in gerontology from The College of New Rochelle. She has participated in the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education and also holds a certificate in leadership and management from the New York Library Association.
Tiffani Blake was named Dean of Students in 2015. In this role, she directly supervises programs that enhance student engagement and campus life including student activities, residence life, health and wellness initiatives, orientation, student leadership, judicial affairs, and commuter student services.
A CNR alumna, Blake first joined the College's Student Services staff in 2005. She served as Associate Director and Director of Student Development. Most recently, she served as Special Assistant to the President for Mission and Board Relations, through which she worked to inspire members of the College Community to embrace CNR's Ursuline heritage and mission of education and service.
Blake is actively involved in the Archdiocese of New York. She is a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and has been a commissioner of the Office of Black Ministry since 2005, serving on numerous committees. In 2014, she served on the Archdiocesan Advisory Group to Timothy Cardinal Dolan. She is a founder and member of the Harlem Chapter of the Associates of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament; founder and co-advisor of the St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church youth group; and assistant choreographer of the church's liturgical dance ministry.
She holds a B.A. in psychology from The College of New Rochelle, a M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology from Bernard M. Baruch College, and a Ed.M. in higher and post-secondary education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Northeastern University.