Center for Nonprofit Leadership Advisory Council
The Center for Nonprofit Leadership Advisory Council is a strong network of qualified and dynamic community leaders working to serve as volunteer advisors who advance the values, mission, strategic vision, and goals of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership.
The Advisory Council will operate in an advisory role to the Center’s Faculty Director and provide a mechanism through which strategic issues can be explored, analyzed and evaluated from a number of perspectives.
The Advisory Council will collaborate to raise the Center’s profile, increase regional pride and involvement in the Center, and help the Center reach its highest potential.
The Advisory Council will not be involved in operational details, nor will it carry supervisory or oversight responsibilities. Advice and counsel will be sought by the Faculty Director, as well as recommendations for specific actions, programs, or studies. With the unique combination of intellect, experience, skills, and positions of leadership represented by its members, the Advisory Council will be further enhanced by its independence from routine operations.
Advisory Council Objectives
The Advisory Council assists the Faculty Director in accordance with the following objectives:
- To provide advice and counsel to the Faculty Director on important internal and external issues affecting the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, so as to best position the Center and its programs to meet the changing needs of society.
- To improve the Center’s relationship with major stakeholders and generally to promote good public relations for the Center with regional nonprofit organizations and their leaders, philanthropies, government representatives, the broader business and civic communities at large, and the general public.
- To help secure resources for annual operations and special projects, scholarships, community events, and the like, through annual giving and special gifts or grants, as well as by identifying and recruiting prospective donors and Advisory Council members.
Advisory Council Members
Josayne Anderson-Tejera currently serves as Dutchess County’s Equal Employment Opportunity & Inclusion Officer which is a senior-level administrative position responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives. She has over twenty years of experience advocating for equity, inclusion, diversity and belonging. Anderson-Tejera volunteers with nonprofit organizations committed to equal opportunity, career advancement, health and wellness as well as domestic violence and sexual assault, where she is the Executive Director for the Love Quest Foundation. Anderson-Tejera looks forward to joining the Advisory Council of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership where she can collaborate with like-minded professionals who are dedicated to achieving a workforce that reflects and benefits the community we serve.
With 20 years of experience in Long Island’s non-profit sector, Lori Andrade has worked with Long Island’s leading regional non-profit organizations creating systemic social change. Since 2010, Andrade has been with the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI), first as the Senior Director of Planning and Development and now as the Chief Operations Officer. Andrade manages funder relationships and grant writing contributes to strategic planning and oversees key organizational advocacy and programming.
Prior to HWCLI, Andrade was the Director of Development and Communications at Sustainable Long Island and a consultant on the Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index. She has also worked with ERASE Racism, Planned Parenthood of NYC and Amityville School District Night School as an ESL teacher. She worked for a Continuing Medical Education (CME) company conducting needs assessments and outcomes evaluations for educational programs for physicians and pharmacists.
Andrade is a Co-chair of the Steering Committee of Medicaid Matters NY. Andrade is a graduate of the Energeia Regional Stewardship Program, Molloy College, Class of 2013; 40 Under 40, Long Island Business News, Class of 2010; and Research Fellow, Alliance-Merck Professional Development Fellowship, 2002-2003.
Andrade has a BS in Healthcare and Welfare Policy Analysis from Cornell University and a Masters of Science in International Administration from Central Michigan University. Andrade completed the Master’s Degree in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico where she lived for four years studying, teaching and working for the US State Department. A native Long Islander, Andrade lives in Syosset with her husband, two children, and a dog, Luna. She enjoys running, reading and writing.
Lakeya Cherry, DSW, MSSW is the Chief Executive Officer of The Network for Social Work Management, an international membership organization dedicated to strengthening leadership in health and human services. Under her leadership, the Network has grown globally and introduced new, innovative programming that meets the needs of social work and human services leaders everywhere. At her previous position with 2U, Inc., a technology company partnering with prestigious universities to place degree programs online, she was a Senior Regional Field Manager for the University of Southern California School of Social Work’s online Master of Social Work program. Dr. Cherry was in charge of spearheading national partnerships and managing field education agency development initiatives. She has also held a variety of direct service positions in the nonprofit sector and volunteers during her free time. Dr. Cherry currently serves on the board for the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP).
She earned her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Dr. Cherry earned her Doctorate in Social Work from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Her capstone project, “Changemakers of Color: A Model for Racial Equity in the Nonprofit Sector” focuses on addressing the racial leadership gap in the nonprofit sector.
Dr. Cherry holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the National Human Services Assembly in collaboration with The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, the Executive Education Program at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. She is also a StartingBloc Fellow, #IamRemarkable Facilitator, and Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator.
Joan Crawford, LCSW, is a proactive, accomplished and results-oriented human services executive practitioner with a proven record of leadership, innovation and vision. She has served as a leader in Family Services for more than 20 years. Her experience enables her to interface effectively with state, county, and other local stakeholders while creating a reputation as a community leader. She has experience in formulating human service policies on both micro and macro levels, and has the capacity to address changing priorities within and outside the work setting. She has served in a leadership capacity for over 20 years with passion and commitment. Crawford is currently Chief Program Officer for Family Services where she oversees all aspects of programs and services, including victim services, behavioral health centers, community safety programs, youth services, substance abuse prevention programs, and family-centered programs. After graduating from Ulster Community College, Crawford went on to receive her undergraduate social work degree from Marist College. She received her Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and has been affiliated as a Professor of Social Work at Marist College and is a member of their social work advisory board. She has served as the Delegate Assembly representative for the Hudson Valley division of the National Association of Social Workers. Crawford has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition, including National Association of Social Workers New York State Social Worker of the Year, YWCA Tribute to Women award, Ulster Community College Alumni award, and was an Athena nominee. Crawford has also served as the President of the NYS Crime Victims Advisory Board and serves on many local committees. Crawford provides consultation for a variety of state and local agencies to assist in the development and implementation of training curricula.
Graziela Penna Fusaro currently holds the position of Director of the Innovation Center at Adelphi University. She is responsible for developing programs that provide students and faculty with real-life applications; connecting academia with corporate, non-profit and government partners. She works closely with academic Deans and faculty to design innovative educational programming across all majors providing cross-disciplinary engagements that will better prepare the students for a future career in their respective fields.
Prior to joining Adelphi, Mrs. Fusaro served as Assistant Dean of the College of Management at Long Island University–Post in Brookville, NY. In addition to her administrative duties and teaching responsibilities at the College of Management at LIU-Post, Fusaro lead LIU-iQ Consulting, a university-based experiential learning initiative that gives students the opportunity to provide strategic management consulting services to companies in the U.S. and around the world. In this capacity, she developed international partnerships between the LIU College of Management and The University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, University Pan-Americana in Mexico, Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance in China, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, London South Bank University in England, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and the IDC Interdisciplinary Center in Israel. She was also responsible for expanding the university’s business incubator activities to address the needs of student start-ups and outside companies that apply for partnership with LIU through the New York State – Empire State Development START-UP NY program, which helps new and expanding businesses through tax-based incentives and innovative academic partnerships.
Simultaneously, since 2015, Fusaro has served as chief executive officer of International Consulting Network (ICON) based in Syosset, NY. In this role, she has managed more than 100 international academic-corporate projects with the participation of 180 students each year. She has been responsible for coordinating relationships and responsibilities among students and universities, as well as identifying and cultivating clients for consulting projects.
Prior to entering academia, Fusaro served as Managing Partner of Araújo Fontes boutique investment banking firm in Belo Horizonte, Brazil from 2005 to 2015. Prior to that, she was a manager with international management consulting firm A.T. Kearney in São Paulo, Brazil where she developed more than 20 strategic consulting projects in various industries and countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the U.S.).
Fusaro holds an MBA in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor of science in business administration from la Universidad FUMEC (Fundação Mineira de Educação e Cultura/The Minas Gerais Foundation for Education and Culture) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Information Studies doctoral program at Long Island University (expected completion May 2022). She serves on the advisory boards of numerous organizations including the East Meadow School District Academy of Finance, Innovation Immersion Program (IIP), Eparel and Illinois Business Consulting (IBC).
Jeanette Gisbert joined Volunteer New York! in 2010 and became Executive Director in July 2020 after serving as an Executive Fellow for Capacity Building and Networks with Points of Light. In her previous role as Deputy Executive Director, Gisbert focused on mission delivery, overseeing programmatic strategy and cohesion and supporting revenue-generating specifically related to corporate outreach. Previously, Gisbert was New York Cares’ first Director of Volunteer Relations, responsible for the recruitment and management of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of volunteer leaders. Jeanette started her career as an Americorps VISTA member. She holds a BS in Management from Boston College and her Master’s in Public Administration from CUNY Baruch. She is a Westchester native and lives in Cortlandt Manor with her husband and son.
Dr. Claire J. Green-Forde is an unapologetic social justice advocate whose mission and passion is to be an illuminator, and systems interrupter. She is a Barbadian born, New York and New Jersey based, Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose work and interests focus on the intersectionality of behavioral health, criminal justice, social disparities, trauma, and human development.
Dr. Green-Forde firmly believes in the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of wellness and is a strong advocate for holistic and culturally humble practices that consider both a trauma-informed and neurobiological lens. She has training and experience in areas including adolescent and adult mental health, policy development, and racial trauma. Dr. Green-Forde lends her time to help support various missions and is a member of many community service organizations including Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc
Damyn Kelly, JD, PhD, serves as the President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of NY; a nonprofit human services/social change organization that has an operating budget of more than $68 million and employs more than 642 human service professionals at over 39 sites in the city of New York. Key programs of LSSNY include early childhood education, foster care, immigrant services, supportive housing, immigration legal services and a school for special needs children.
Throughout his career as a nonprofit executive, Dr. Kelly has led organizations serving the formerly incarcerated, the developmentally disabled, those living with mental illness, the homeless, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, immigrants and vulnerable children and families.
Dr. Kelly has also served as a frequent speaker, presenter and lecturer on issues pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion with a special emphasis on the lack of executives of color in the nonprofit sector. He also emphasizes the lack of Black males in leadership positions. He is also frequently sought out by other nonprofit organizations who seek training and assistance in insuring that their organizations are addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dr. Kelly currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies; The Human Services Council, Black Agency Executives, Lutheran Services NY Alliance and GallopNYC! He has been recognized by City and State Magazine as one of the 100 most influential nonprofit leaders in the city of NY and has been recognized by the NYC City Council, the NYS Assembly and the US Congress for his work on behalf of vulnerable populations.
Dr. Kelly received a BBA from Adelphi University, a Juris Doctorate from the Antioch School of Law and a PhD from the Adelphi University School of Social Work.
Dr. Virna Little is a nationally and internationally-known speaker around integrating primary care and behavioral health services, collaborative care and the development of viable behavioral health services in community health settings. Dr. Little is an advocate for integrated delivery systems and behavioral health workforce and development. Dr. Little is currently the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Concert Health, a national organization providing behavioral health services to primary care providers, the Director of the Center for Innovation in Mental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health in New York and the co-founder of Zero Overdose, a not for profit addressing the national crisis of unintentional overdoses. Prior, Dr. Little worked for 22 years as a Senior Vice President for a large FQHC network in New York overseeing over 300 behavioral health and community staff and worked for New York City Health and Hospitals as a citywide family violence coordinator. She has a Doctoral degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Social Work, a Master’s in Business Administration and Healthcare, is a Certified Care Manager (CCM) and a recognized Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
Diana Lopez is an attorney who has dedicated her career and volunteer time to supporting families in crisis. For 18 years she implemented and led disaster response and recovery efforts with The Salvation Army of Greater New York for families impacted by disasters including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy among many others. She ensured that families were supported holistically, not just financially. Currently, Lopez leads the Mission Support team of Make-A-Wish Metro New York & Western New York. She is focused on creating equitable access to the wish experience regardless of a childs’ racial or socio-economic background through strategic outreach and education of the Make-A-Wish mission across NYC and Nassau. She has also made strides in diversifying the volunteers to be representative of the children they serve and has maintained an 80% engagement rate among 700+ volunteers even through a pandemic. Outside of her career, Lopez continues to strive to empower underserved communities. For 3 years, she was an adjunct professor at Metropolitan College of New York, a school largely attended by veterans and economically & racially diverse students. She also currently volunteers as the Community Outreach Secretary at The Salvation Army Community Center in Hempstead where she is charged with providing and connecting resources within the surrounding neighborhood. Lopez is also the proud mother of two daughters with her husband, who very often all accompany her in volunteering within the efforts mentioned above. It truly is a family affair.
Carlos Martinez, LMSW is the CEO/Executive Director of BRIDGES, a local non-profit organization, guided by its mission of advocacy and leadership towards the creation and development of an accessible and integrated community, for people with disabilities. BRIDGES administers programs in the community that serve various underserved populations: veterans, people with chronic disabilities, multiple disabilities, mental health disabilities, and individuals diverted and/or re-entering the community from the criminal justice system.
Louise McLoughlin, a former small business owner, is currently the Executive Director of the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board. In her previous role, Ms. McLoughlin was the Senior Vice President of Workforce Development at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. Ms. McLoughlin earned her Doctorate Degree in Public Administration from West Chester University. Louise serves on several Boards in Dutchess County and adjuncts at Marist College in the School of Management.
Jeffrey McQueen, MBA, LCDC, is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Nassau County. McQueen is a combat veteran who has lived experience with multiple facets of recovery. Prior to his journey in recovery, McQueen has experienced several institutions battling emotional distress, PTSD, and substance abuse, McQueen has presented implementation techniques throughout the country on topics such as personal growth and change, time management and other recovery-based modalities. He has learned from a variety of adversities and obstacles throughout his recovery process and has embraced these experiences as well as learned to use them to not just educate society as a whole, but to find purpose and empowerment in these experiences
Robin Melén is a program officer of the Westchester Community Foundation, whose mission is to bring generous donors together with the causes they care about to strengthen community. Her grantmaking portfolio includes Youth Development, Arts, Health, and Technical Assistance grants to nonprofits for capacity building.
She is a member of the Westchester County Youth Board, an advisory board to the County Executive, which is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders whose interest is to support opportunities that respond to the needs and problems of children, youth, and families.
She is currently treasurer of Board of Directors of the Sing Sing Prison Museum, which is being built just outside the walls of Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It will be a site for engaging in an urgent national conversation about social justice and incarceration.
She was a volunteer for 17 years at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, tutoring students in the Marymount Manhattan College program there. She has served on the boards of several Westchester nonprofits, including Rehabilitation Through the Arts in Katonah.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, and a master’s degree in writing and a certificate in nonprofit management, both from Manhattanville College. She worked for most of her career as an editor at local and national magazines and newspapers. She and her husband, Eric, have been residents of Somers since 1998.
Nancy Nunziata is an LMSW with over 40 years of professional social work practice. She currently serves as Nassau County’s Commissioner of Social Services. Nunziata’s portfolio includes over 35 years of executive management of several large non-profits in the fields of family and children’s services, family violence and housing and homeless services. She is an adjunct assistant professor at a local community college, has extensive field instruction experience and has conducted numerous management trainings through the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. Nunziata remains committed to improving the lives of others through systemic change and social advocacy.
Dr. Jorge R. Petit is a community psychiatrist and the President and CEO for Coordinated Behavioral Care, Inc. (CBC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of care for individuals with serious mental illness, chronic health conditions and/or substance use disorders, through a Health Home, an Independent Practice Association (IPA) and an Innovations Hub. CBC is a network of New York City community-based health care organizations, with the shared mission of ensuring and improving the quality of care and access to treatment, housing, employment and other needed health and human services.
Prior to joining CBC, he was the Regional Senior Vice President for New York State for Beacon Health Options and before that was the Founder and President of Quality Healthcare Solutions, a consulting firm that provided training and consulting services for healthcare systems including community-based behavioral health agencies, hospital systems, and local and state regulatory entities. He was the former Associate Commissioner for the Division of Mental Hygiene in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Dr. Petit has been the primary lead on several large-scale grant-funded implementation projects including the recently awarded SAMSHA COVID Emergency Grant as well as: Integrated Care Models to Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Poverty funded by the Robin Hood Foundation; the Depression Care Management in Primary Care funded by Forest Laboratories; the Behavioral Health Care Collaborative (BHCC) funded by NYS OMH and the BHCC expansion grant funded by NYS OASAS.
Dr. Petit sits on the board of Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) and Mental Health News Education (MHNE); is a Distinguished Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and a member of the Committee on Psychiatric Administration & Leadership in the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP) as well as many of other organizations.
Dr. Petit is the author of Handbook of Emergency Psychiatry and The Seven Beliefs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help Latinas Recognize and Overcome Depression and the recipient of the Schiff Community Impact Award from The Jewish Board, the 2017 Greater Good Honoree, Corporate Social Responsibility Award, the 2018 Heritage Healthcare Organizational Leadership Award and the 2020 Federation of Organizations Community Partner Award.
Andrea Reynolds is the President and CEO of The Dyson Foundation, a private family foundation serving the Mid-Hudson Valley. In 2019, the Foundation granted almost $12 million. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was President and CEO of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley. Under her direction, the Community Foundations – which initially was the Community Foundation of Dutchess County – grew to include Ulster and Putnam counties, increased its total assets from $22 million to $53 million and administered 530 charitable funds with annual grants of $3.5 million. Before returning to the Hudson Valley, Reynolds worked at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for ten years, holding a variety of positions which culminated in her being Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the then $250 million organization. Previous to her work in the community foundation field, she was a senior associate in allocations for United Way of the Mid-South helping to grant $5 million annually to nonprofits.
Reynolds received her Master’s of Science in Social Work administration and planning from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Memphis Branch. Her undergraduate work was completed at Hartwick College, where she majored in business management and minored in music and sociology, with a concentration in psychology.
Yolanda Robano-Gross joined Options for Community Living as Executive Director in 2014 with more than twenty years of prior executive-level experience in the health care industry. In January of 2021, her role was officially changed to Chief Executive Officer. She is responsible for oversight of all aspects of agency operations and reports directly to the Board of Directors. Responsibilities include fiscal management of an annual budget of over $24+ million, personnel management, program development, and fundraising. She earned her Master’s in Health Care Administration from Hofstra University, Master’s in Social Work from Yeshiva University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Marist College. She holds a certificate in Executive Education, Non-Profit Leadership from The Fordham Center for Non-Profit Leaders. Robano-Gross also serves as a board member for the Advanced Health Network (AHN) and the Women Economic Developers of Long Island (WEDLI). She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. In her community, Robano-Gross is a member of the 5 Towns Kiwanis Club and the America Legion Post 958 Ladies Auxiliary.
Elizabeth Rowley has been with the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan County since 2013 and currently serves as the President and CEO after working as their Director of Development for just over 1 year. She works with the Board of Directors, professional advisors and volunteers to plan, structure, implement and monitor an effective development program that will increase endowed and non-endowed assets, develop and maintain good relationships with nonprofit organizations, and steward current and prospective donors. During her time with the Foundation, charitable assets have grown to over $40million among 335 funds, with charitable grants and scholarships exceeding $20 million in the Foundation’s 21 years of existence.
Rowley is an Orange County native with a strong background in development and marketing having worked at Inspire – Orange County Cerebral Palsy Association and the Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club prior to joining the staff at the Community Foundation. She is a 2004 graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Marketing Communications. Rowley is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Orange and obtained her Certified Fundraising Executive certification in 2014. She serves as the Immediate Past-President of the Mid-Hudson Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals, President of the Board of Directors of Safe Harbors of the Hudson, a Trustee on the Garnet Health Foundation, a Sustaining Member of Junior League of Orange County, and is a member of the Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Auxiliary and the Middletown Women’s University Club. She currently resides in the City of Newburgh with her husband Bill Fioravanti, their daughter Mira and stepdaughter Caterina.
Barbara Silverstone’s social work career spans years of experience in direct practice, supervision, teaching, and administration. She served as President and CEO of Lighthouse International from 1984 to 2005 and since then as a partner in the social work consulting firm of SBW Partners, PLLC. A former President of the Gerontological Society of America, Dr. Silverstone has written extensively for the professional and lay public on issues related to social work practice and older persons and their families. The honors she has received include the 1997 American Society on Aging Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Aging and the 2013 Columbia University Medalist Award. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Helen Rehr Center for Social Work Practice and Co-Director of the Social Work Practice Fellows program, administered by the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Adelphi University School of Social Work.
Nyrekia White is a Talent and Organization Development Business Consultant for nonprofit organizations in the New York metropolitan area and Long Island where she has led strategic planning implementation efforts, designed systems and process improvements, and oversaw nonprofit fiscal procedures. White has led nonprofit entity creation and dissolution in environments with collective bargaining agreements; negotiated program continuity throughout organizational change; planned and executed retrenchment and staffing realignment initiatives while managing the liabilities; navigated shifts in board governance; and nurtured strategic external partnerships which have resulted in funding support. White has also led program delivery in nonprofit organizations. In 2018, she was asked to serve as the first Fund Development Lead at Girls Inc. of Long Island and worked with the Executive Director and Board to triple the budget in less than two years ushering the affiliate into its 15th anniversary year. She is currently the Director of Resource Development at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York and a consultant with Adelphi University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership.
White has always involved herself in programs and with organizations that create opportunities for disadvantaged populations and communities or which support youth development and empowerment. During her career, White has also held positions as Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships & Program Delivery, Director of Human Resources and Operations, and Regional Manager-Systems and Operations Support. She has created policies, practices and procedures which have led to increased efficiency in corporate and nonprofit environments.
White spent a semester abroad in the U.K. working on her thesis in which she compared the homelessness and the social support systems in London and New York. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education in Non-School Settings with a Social Work concentration from LIU Post and also holds dual Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Human Resources Management. White is also a Certified Professional Life and Business Coach and runs her own consulting business. She devotes her time to supporting the educational and personal interests of her two children and volunteering or serving on advisory boards of various community and nonprofit organizations.
Advisory Council Student Members
Jean H. Telfort holds a BA in Public Relations and MA in Speech Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Hofstra University. A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, Jean received his commission at Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 1997 and served as a commissioned officer in multiple leadership positions for 11 years in the U.S. Army. He attained the rank of Captain. He participated in some major military and NATO led peacekeeping missions of our time most notably in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF); in Kosovo for KFOR; in Bosnia for Operation Joint Endeavor; and in Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield Desert Storm. He worked as an adjunct professor of Public Relations in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University from Fall 2012- Spring 2015. Continuing with his service-minded approach in life, Jean is a polyglot and presently works as a French and Haitian-Creole Per-Diem Interpreter for the Unified Court System of New York covering all Judges in Supreme, County, District, City, Surrogate, and Family Courts;
Jean is a graduate of the US Army Combined Arms and Service Staff School (CAS³); Chemical Officer Advanced Course (COAC); Chemical Officer Basic Course (COBC); Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (OSUT); Movement Control Course (UMO); Hazardous Material Training (HAZMAT); Air Assault Course; Basic Airborne Course; Master Fitness Trainer Course. Federally Certified Linguist, and Notary Public, USTA Safe Play Certified.
Army Achievement Medal (AAM);, Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM); Army Good Conduct Medal (AGCM); National Defense Service Medal (NDSM); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM); South West Asia Service Medal (SWASM); Kosovo Service Medal (KOSCM); Global War On Terrorism Service Ribbon (GWOTS); Overseas Service Ribbon (OSR); United Nations Medal (UNM); NATO Medal (NATOMDL); Air Assault Badge; Parachutist Badge.
Celeste Johnson is a current graduate student in the school of social work. She has spent the last 10 years of her career working in Hospitality as a hotel General Manager. For the last 4 years she has worked in Nassau County. In her career, she has gained an abundance of experience understanding housing, drug, fraud, and healthcare issues. She has a deep passion for social justice issues and understanding the social worker responsibilities. She aspires to be able to advocate for underserved populations after graduation. For the last year she has been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters Long Island. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Business from SUNY New Paltz.
Jessica is a college senior who will graduate with her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in May of 2022. She has long been drawn to the social work profession. She is passionate about social justice and plans to become an advocate who will add her voice to the collective calls for justice, equity, and wellness in communities that have been underserved and which remain vulnerable. In 2021, she was recognized by the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers as the BSW Student of the year. After participating in workshops on Intergroup Dialogue with Associate Professor Rani Varghese at Adelphi, Jessica was invited to co-facilitate alongside Dr. Varghese in subsequent semesters. Drawing from this knowledge and her own experience as a physically disabled woman of color, Jessica has appreciated recent opportunities to speak with social work graduate students about the importance of acknowledging the impacts of intersectional identities in their social work practice. Jessica believes that her current internship at the Center for Nonprofit Leadership will allow her to learn about the important work of nonprofit organizations in our society.