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Issue 1

Summer 2011

Inside this Issue...

Welcome Back! Dear Wagner Community,

What Happens in Campus Life?


Save these Dates!


Dean of Campus Life Staff


Academic Advising Staff


Career Development Staff


Co-Curricular Programs Staff


Health Services Staff


Intercultural Advancement Peer Tutoring & Writing Center Staff


In addition to the departmental changes, we have been busy planning Orientation, Week of Welcome and Family Weekend. Co-Chairs Sabrina Slater and Ben Fabian, Orientation Coordinators Jason Hyland and Gina Giglia, and Orientation Intern Brandon Wright have been working all summer to create a weekend that is informative and exciting. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Family Weekend, September 16-18! Information and online registration can be found on the Campus Life website.

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This issue contains photos and brief biographies for all new and returning staff in the Division of Campus Life.You’ll also find great snapshots of how to get involved on campus during the first few weeks of the academic year. If you have any questions please call the Dean of Campus Life Office at 718.390.3423. We look forward to seeing you soon. Have a great, safe rest of the summer!

Residential Education Staff

As the summer draws to an end, we are busy preparing for yet another exciting year in Campus Life! The Division of Campus Life has grown to include Career Development, Academic Advisement, and the Peer Tutoring and Writing Center, in addition to the Dean of Campus Life Office, Residential Education, the Center for Intercultural Advancement, Co -Curricular Programs, and the Center for Health and Wellness. This summer has brought some staffing changes to our area. Dean McGlade left the College in July to pursue her doctorate within the field of higher education. We are pleased to have Sara Klein, formerly the Director of Residential Education, move into an Associate Dean of Campus Life position. She will directly oversee Residential Education, Career Development, and the Student Conduct process. Curtis Wright has also been promoted to Associate Dean of Campus Life, a role in which he will oversee Co-Curricular Programs, Intercultural Advancement, Academic Advisement, and the Peer Tutoring and Writing Centers. Kathy Oberfeldt, formerly the Director of Health Services, is now Assistant Dean for the Center for Health and Wellness, adding Counseling Services and Peer Education to her responsibilities. Some other new faces in Campus Life include Jen Ciaccio, the Director of Residential Education, and Ellen Navarro, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Advancement. We also have many new Graduate Assistants in our division who will be introduced on the following pages.

Sincerely, Ruta Shah-Gordon Assistant Vice President of Campus Life

Curtis Wright Associate Dean of Campus Life

Sara Klein Associate Dean of Campus Life

What happens in the Division of Campus Life? Dean of Campus Life Office • • • • • • • •

Oversight of all Campus Life offices Leadership Development & Recognition Student Conduct Student Publications Student Government Association Co-Curricular Competencies Assessment Academic & Awards Dinners

Co-Curricular Programs • • • • • •

Student Organizations Greek Life Campus Events & Traditions Trips Coffeehouse Intramurals and Recreational Sports

Residential Education • • • • • • •

Housing Programming & Community Building Leadership Development & Recognition Student Conduct Residence Hall Health & Safety FYRE and Bridges Programs Themed Communities

Health and Wellness • • • • • •

Immunization/NY State Compliance Well Visits Sick Visits and Prescriptions Short-Term Individual and Group Counseling Referrals Peer Education

Center for Intercultural Advancement • • • • • • •

Internationalization Study Abroad Diversity and Social Justice Theme Months Intercultural Awareness Workshops Safe Zone Workshops International Student Services

Academic Advisement • • • • •

Advisement for Undeclared majors Assistance for students as they explore majors and develop their own Wagner Plan Registration and support for students with disabilities Mentoring for students on academic probation Advisement and F1/J1 Visa support for international students

Career Development • • • • • •

One-on-one Career Counseling Resume and Cover Letter assistance Career and Graduate School workshops Mock Interviews Job and Internship postings Etiquette and Networking receptions

Peer Tutoring and Writing Center • •

Academic assistance from for subject areas Writing assistance

Special Events • • • • • •

Orientation Family Weekend Homecoming Songfest Fashion Show and Wagnerstock Senior Week

Save these Dates! Graduate Student Orientation Wednesday, August 17 4:30—9:00 PM Spiro Hall 2 Contact: Sabrina Slater (

New Student Orientation Thursday, August 25 through Sunday, August 28 See full schedule online (

Week of Welcome Monday, August 29 through Wednesday, September 7 Full schedule soon to be online (

Club Fair and BBQ Wednesday, September 7 4:30 PM Sutter Oval

9/11 Remembrance: 10th Anniversary Friday, September 9 11:30 AM

Family Weekend Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18 Register and see full schedule online (

Fall Fest and Fall Ball Saturday, October 1

Homecoming Saturday, October 29 Football game starts at Noon (this game will also be televised)


Dean of Campus Life Office 718-390-3423 Union 221

Ruta Shah-Gordon, Assistant Vice President of Campus Life Ruta oversees the Division of Campus Life as well as internationalization and diversity initiatives. She received her master’s degree from Colgate University in Psychology; her thesis was on Stereotype Threat: Effects on Students of Color. Her undergraduate degree is in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook. She serves as the co-chair for the Internationalization Action Council and the Diversity Action Council. In her role at the College, she works to bridge students’ academic and co-curricular experiences so that they have the opportunity to learn more about themselves as individuals in the context of being civically engaged and interculturally competent citizens of the world.

Curtis Wright, Associate Dean of Campus Life A native Arkansan, Curtis had devoted his professional life to the affairs of college students. He has a background in residence life, diversity education and co-curricular programs. Curtis currently oversees Academic Advising, Intercultural Advancement, Co-Curricular Programs and advises SGA and student publications. Curtis previously worked in multicultural affairs at NYU and in minority advocacy, student activities, Greek Life and Residence Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Curtis holds a master’s in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Sara Klein, Associate Dean of Campus Life Sara supervises the Residential Education and Career Development areas, in addition to overseeing the College’s student conduct process. Sara recently graduated from NYU with a Ph.D. in Higher Education, the same program from which she earned a master’s degree. She has a B.A. in Psychology and Vocal Performance/Musical Theater from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to working in the Dean of Campus Life office, Sara worked in Residential Education, both at Wagner College and at NYU. She also spent time as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. before entering the world of higher education.

Maddy Sliger, Administrative Assistant Maddy has been working at Wagner College for 16 years. She first worked in the Alumni Office, and then joined the Campus Life area 6 years ago. Maddy was born on Staten Island and raised three sons and a daughter here. She feels that through her Wagner and life experiences, she can help our students with most questions about the college or the island.

Steve Composto, Graduate Assistant A native Staten Islander, Steve graduated from Wagner with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2010. He is currently in the process of getting a master’s in Microbiology. His long-term goal is to become an optometrist. Steve is a die-hard Mets fan.


Academic Advising 718-390-3181 Union 3

Dina Assante, Associate Dean Dina has over 20 years of experience as an academic advisor at Wagner College, as well as directing services for students with disabilities. She is passionate about helping students appreciate their own special talents and abilities. She has a master’s degree in Special Education and a Certification as a College Coach helping students on the autism spectrum. She maintains professional memberships in The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the New York State Disability Services Council (NYSDSC).

Margaret Echanique, Assistant Dean Margaret started working in student success over 20 years ago, in a drop-out prevention program for atrisk junior high students. Through that program I learned tutoring techniques, which I brought with me when I became director of the Peer Tutoring Center at Wagner in 1993. After 5 years I worked with the Dean of Students, and then came to the Academic Advisement Center as Assistant Dean in 2001 to advise and support students and also work as an International Student Advisor.

Amerika Grewal, Coordinator for Student Development Amerika is a graduate of Texas A&M University. In her previous experiences, she has worked with undergraduate and graduate admissions, career placement, intercollegiate athletics, study abroad programs, and international students. In addition to her role as an academic advisor, Amerika works with student leadership development through the Co-Curricular Competency Program and skill development of at-risk students. She enjoys social media and exploring New York.

Carmella (Candy) Pucci, Administrative Assistant Candy began working at Wagner College in 1999 as a Receptionist for the Offices of Career Development, Academic Advisement and Experiential Learning . In 2005 she moved to her current position, providing support to the Dean and Assistant Deans in Academic Advisement. In this role, I work closely with the Associate Dean to assist in providing support to students with documented disabilities, scheduling appointments and tests due to their needs for various accommodations.


Ann Giarratano, Office Manager Ann came to Wagner College September of 1993 as a part-time clerk for the Admissions Office. She later moved to over to the Union to provide support to the Academic Advising, Career Development, and Integrated Learning Areas.

Gregory Monte, Graduate Assistant A lifelong New Yorker, Greg is a Graduate Assistant for Disability Support Services in the Academic Advising office. He holds a master's degree in Political Science from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany, where he previously served as a Residence Director. He is currently earning his master's degree in Secondary Education and loves Wagner College!


Career Development 718-390-3181 Union 3

Natalie Johnson, Director Natalie's work in higher education began at Olivet College,(MI), where she served as the Assistant to the President, followed by work as the National Coordinator for the Association of American Colleges and Universities program: Racial Legacies and Learning, and service to her alma mater, Trinity College, Washington DC, where she served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. She joined Wagner College as the Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations and in 2007 moved to the Career Development area.


Tulin Aldas, Assistant Director Tulin has worked full-time at Wagner since 2006; first as a Career Counselor, and now as an Assistant Director of Career Development. Prior to that, she completed a M.S.Ed. at Wagner and was a GA in the Experiential Learning area. Currently Tulin works with undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them for life after graduation. She specializes in the professional programs: Business, Education, Nursing, and PA, but assists all students and alumni of the College.

Victoria Crispo, Assistant Director Victoria was the first Graduate Assistant for Career Development and joined the team full-time in July 2002 as the Assistant Director of Career Development. She assists students and alumni in resume and cover letter writing; researching and applying for internships, employment, and graduate school; and all other facets of career exploration and preparation. She specializes in the areas of arts administration, journalism, communications, art, music, theatre, and not-for-profits.

Camille Cook, Administrative Assistant Camille has worked at the College since 1992. She started as a secretary for the Department of Business Administration, and was later invited to work as an assistant for Career Development in 1995. She has been in the Career Development area since; in addition to her role supporting the Integrated Learning area.

Sean Travis, Graduate Assistant Sean graduated with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Wagner College. Throughout all four undergraduate years he played lacrosse and had the opportunity to travel to Germany to play in the Berlin Open. He has interned at companies such as Union Beer Distributors, UBS Financial Services, and Legend Securities. Sean is currently pursuing his MBA at Wagner in International Business.


Co-Curricular Programs 718-420-4257 Union 214

Sabrina Slater, Director Originally hailing from the West Coast, she has been at Wagner since the summer of 2007, which makes this the beginning of my 5th year here. Professionally she has roots in Residential Education, working as a Residence Life Coordinator in CA (go HSU!) as well as having served as the former RD of Harborview Hall. While an undergraduate, she was involved with varsity Athletics (crew), Greek Life, Admissions, Ministry, RA and more! Sabrina has a master’s degree in Education from Wagner and an undergraduate degree from Lehigh University. When you are not in class, please stop by to say hi -- she can't wait to meet you!

Ashley Deon, Graduate Assistant After two years working for Wagner College's Residential Education as an Assistant Resident Director (in both Harborview and Towers Hall), Ashlee recently transitioned into the Co-Curricular Programs area where she will work with Greek Life. She is particularly excited for this position because she was an active member of Greek Life at Indiana University, where she received her bachelors degree in both Political Science and Journalism. Prior to working at Wagner College, Ashlee worked for multiple congressmen in the area of campaign advising and also worked in Tokyo, Japan for Toyota in a Public Relations position. Other than working she enjoys kayaking, meditation and hiking!

Dallas Dowling, Graduate Assistant Dallas attended Wagner College as an undergraduate student. During his undergraduate years, he double concentrated in Management and Marketing in the Business Department. He was also a scholarship athlete on the football team. When he is not busy with academics and work, he enjoys listening to oldies Motown music.

Angele Malhotra, Graduate Assistant Angel is pursuing her MBA at Wagner College. In her role in CCP, Angel serves as an advisor for WagCab and the Interfraternity Council. Prior to joining the Wagner community, Angel attended Rutgers University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance. In her free time, Angel enjoys traveling, shopping and exploring NYC!

Kathryn (Katie Jo) Younkins, Graduate Assistant Katie Jo hails from Lisbon, NH, and is a graduate assistant in both the Co-Curricular Programs and Dean of Campus Life offices. She received her undergraduate degree in International Affairs from Wagner last year. As an undergraduate, Katie Jo was heavily involved in the Student Government Association, recently holding the Vice President of Finance position. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Wagner in International Business.


Health Services

718-390-3158 Campus Hall 127 PHOTO HERE

Kathy Oberfeldt, Assistant Dean Kathy has her undergraduate degree from the College of Staten Island, and her MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner from Wagner College. She has been at Wagner for 11 years, and has developed our student health service to provide assessment of illness, diagnosis, and treatment. She is excited to expand her role this year to include oversight of the Counseling Services area as well as the Peer Education program.


Sharon Kiuhara, Associate Director Sharon received her doctorate from Rutgers University in 1991 after having completed an internship at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan. She serves as Associate Director of the Counseling Center and feels privileged to have been part of the Wagner community for 16 years. In addition to her work with students, she collaborates with Health Services, the Dean of Campus Life Office, Residential Education, and Academic Advisement. Sharon has a private practice on Staten Island and enjoys an active family life.

Barbara Birstler, Associate Director Barbara has been a nurse in Health Services at Wagner for 27 years. She graduated as an R.N. from the College of Staten Island. Barbara loves cows, so stop by Health Services if you’d like to see her extensive collection!

Donna D’Angelo, Counselor Donna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in the field of behavioral health. She graduated from New York University with a Masters in Social Work in 1994. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including addictions, crisis intervention and the college student population. Ms. D'Angelo has been a counselor at Wagner College since January 2010.

Christopher Flanagan, Social Worker Christopher has been an active member of Wagner College's community for eight of the last nine years. Having graduated from Wagner in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology while minoring in Gender Studies, Christopher went on to earn his first Masters Degree at Hofstra University in Marriage and Family Therapy. During his training at Hofstra, Christopher returned to his alma mater in 2008 as a clinical intern, working as a counselor.. Upon graduating Hofstra, Christopher re-enrolled at Wagner to earn his second Masters Degree, an M. S. Ed in Childhood and Special Education. He currently teaches middle school Science at Bay Ridge Preparatory School in Brooklyn and is available for counseling and peer education

Elizabeth (Betty) Volsario, Administrative Assistant Betty is a native Staten Islander and has been working at Wagner College for 10 years, four of which have been in Health Services. She is the proud parent of two Wagner alumnae and enjoys her interactions with families and students here at Wagner.


Intercultural Advancement 718-420-4517 Union 204

Ellen Navarro, Director Ellen brings a wealth of experience to her role as both an educator and program administrator, having served at both the College of Staten Island and St. John's University coordinating their ESOL programs. Ellen has an M.A. in English from the College of Staten Island and studied both Business and English as an undergraduate student. She has completed NY State Certification in ESL. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in education focused on ESL/ESOL at Northcentral University.

Chazz Gonzalez, Graduate Assistant Chazz received a B.A. in marketing from Wagner while playing Football for the Seahawks. He is currently pursuing an MBA in Management at Wagner. In the Center for Intercultural Advancement, he works closely with students to assist with the Expanding Your Horizons program and also with the Study Abroad programs. He also oversees the "Man Camp" program, so keep an eye out for upcoming events.

Peer Tutoring & Writing Center 718-390-3430 Horrmann Library Lower Level


Mary Zanfini, Associate Dean Mary began her professional career in Education in a small inner-city high school after receiving a M.A. in English Literature from New York University. She then came to Wagner as a teacher of English as a foreign language. She eventually transferred to the Humanities Department to teach Freshmen Composition and subsequently became the Director of Remedial Education and the Writing Center. Mary became the Director of Peer Tutoring 10 years ago, but she has been at Wagner College since 1990.

Carly Lyster, Graduate Assistant A 2011 graduate of Wagner College with a Bachelors degree in English, Carly is excited to join the Campus Life team working with the Writing Center. As an undergraduate at Wagner she worked as a Writing Intensive Tutor for three years. Carly was also a four year letter winner of the Lacrosse Team. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Secondary and Special Education at Wagner.


Residential Education 718-390-3420 Towers B3

Jen Ciaccio , Director Jen joined the Residential Education team this summer after working in Residence Life at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Temple University, and Lincoln College. She has an M.A. in English (Writing) from Indiana State University and a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Med) from Millikin University.

Matt Hollingshead, Associate Director Matt received a B.A. in History from UMass-Amherst, and a M.A. in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. He worked at Wagner for two and a half years as Resident Director before moving into his current role. His duties include coordinating the student conduct process within the department, liaising with Campus Operations and Housekeeping, and overseeing all housing assignment processes.

Ben Fabian, Resident Director of Harborview Hall Ben joined the Campus Life team in July of 2010 as the Resident Director of Harborview Hall. He received a M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration and a B.A. in Sociology from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. Prior to Wagner, Ben worked as a graduate hall director and and was first introduced to Wagner through a summer internship in Residential Education in 2009. As the Resident Director working with primarily first-year students, Ben oversees the First Year Residential Experience, firstyear themed communities and is the Co-Chair of New Student Orientation .

Alicia Ferrell, Resident Director of Towers Hall Alicia, a native Vermonter, earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont and a B.S. in Multimedia Graphic Design from Champlain College. Before coming to Wagner, she interned in a variety of student affairs areas including Student Union, Career Services, Orientation/First Year Programs, Dean of Students, and the LGBTQA Center.

Grant Bailey, Resident Director of Guild Hall & Grymes Hill Apartments Grant Bailey holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL and a M.A. in College Student Development from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This is his first year at Wagner where he serves as the Resident Director for Guild Hall and the Grymes Hill Apartments. He also chairs the Family Weekend Committee, assists with Themed Communities, and works directly with graduate students living in residence.

Christina Diggs, Resident Director of Foundation Hall Chris came to Wagner in December of 2009 to serve as the Resident Director of Foundation Hall in its inaugural semester. As the RD of Foundation, Chris oversees the Bridges program, a collaborative series of events and programs that help to prepare students for their transition to life beyond Wagner. She also serves as the chair of Senior Week. Prior to working at Wagner, Chris served as the Assistant Director of Career Development at Lehigh University. Chris has a B.A. in Political Science and Religion Studies and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, both from Lehigh University.


Residential Education 718-390-3420 Towers B3

Letty Romero, Administrative Assistant Letty has worked in her current role for 5 years. Her tenure at Wagner College began with the position of secretary in the Theatre Department for 4 years. Letty has now been working at Wagner for 10 years and loves interacting with the students who come into the Office of Residential Education needing assistance.

Jen Casey, Assistant Resident Director of Harborview Hall This is Jen's second year as an ARD in Harborview. She obtained her B.S. in Education from Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY in 2010. She is pursuing a master's degree in Literacy and will graduate this May. Please stop by the Harborview office to introduce yourself!

Loydes Vazquez, Assistant Resident Director of Harborview Hall Loydes recently graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. She also worked as a Resident Assistant for two years. Loydes is happy to join the Wagner ResEd team as one of the ARDs of Haborview Hall, where she hopes to assist the first year students in their transition into college life.

Greg Krajci, Assistant Resident Director of Towers Hall Greg is entering his second year at Wagner College in the MBA program. His responsibilities in Towers focus around the maintenance of the building, organizing Towers of Terror and helping with student conduct. Greg has an undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College.

Mark Clemmons, Residential Education Graduate Assistant Mark was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Management. During his time there, he worked as a Head Desk Assistant, Office Assistant, and Resident Assistant. Mark is entering his final year of the MBA program at Wagner College where his concentration is Management. Mark is responsible for oversight of the residence hall front desk staff.

Student Developments Summer 2011  
Student Developments Summer 2011  

Newsletter from the Dean of Campus Life Office at Wagner College.