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September 2016


Only as strong as our members are strong: Faculty promotion and the SCCC funding formula
Sean Tvelia


Sean Tvelia presents at promotion workshop
VP Sean Tvelia shares a laugh as he presents to a packed room during the February 2016 promotion workshop on the Grant Campus. To his left sit his co-presenter, Grant Campus Executive Dean Jim Keane, Marlene DuBois (English) and Janet Simpson (Philosophy). (photo by Pete DiGregorio)

I know what you're thinking: What does faculty promotion have to do with the funding formula for the college's operating budget?

Let me explain.

Surveying the officers' work in the FA, it's evident how eager we are to see our members succeed.

Cynthia Eaton regularly assists our 1,500+ adjunct faculty with questions and concerns. Dante Morelli guides faculty through grievances when necessary and developed our nascent Conflict Mediation Program. Maureen Arma is working hard to keep our finances solid. Marie Hanna assists members with procuring sabbatical and faculty development funding. Kevin Peterman is tireless in working to ensure positive political relationships.

And when I help members with promotions throughout the year, it's plain that the FA is only as strong our members are strong.

I've been thinking about our trip to Albany for Higher Ed Lobby Day in late February. Kevin was speaking with legislators about the funding formula: state education law says that the SCCC operating budget should be funded 1/3 by the state (actually 2/5), 1/3 by the county and 1/3 by students. Truth is, SCCC students are paying more than their fair share. That's a problem we're working to address constantly.

But the principle behind this formula says something important about faculty promotions.

The SCCC funding formula represents the time when New York State residents and Suffolk County residents said, yes, we want to live in a state and county with well educated citizens and thus some portion of our taxes should help subsidize the cost of attending our community colleges; otherwise student tuition would be out of reach for many citizens.

This is a significant investment by our fellow New Yorkers in what we do as faculty at SCCC. It illustrates our collective egalitarian sense of what a community college should be. It shows that New Yorkers and Suffolk County residents understand that community colleges promote the common good and that the production and sharing of knowledge strengthens and improves our communities.

Thus, publishing the list of faculty promotions each September is one of the highlights of my year. This list shows that our members are committed to their teaching and other duties on campus, to their college and community service and to their personal and professional growth: the three areas assessed for promotion. It shows that our faculty are engaged in representing SCCC well off campus, in bringing community members onto campus and in being responsive to the needs of our students.

Promotion is a way of saying "your work is valued." I hope you'll contact me ( or attend one of our spring promotion workshops to prepare for your next promotion—because we are only as strong as our members are strong.

Congratulations to the following faculty on their promotions this year!

Full-time faculty

to professor

  • Alonso-Almagro, Maria Nieves (A)
  • Benhar, Michael (A)
  • Burns, William (A)
  • DeLong, Audrey (A)
  • DuBois, Marlene (G)
  • Epstein, Jeff (G)
  • Farquhar, Jennifer (A)
  • Norman, Richard (A)
  • Smith, Phoebe (G)
  • Tvelia, Sean (A)
to associate professor
  • Afshar, Fara (A)
  • Baessler, Keith (G)
  • Breen, Travis (A)
  • Brewer, Courtney (A)
  • Chu, Adrienne (G)
  • Denicolo, Glenda (A)
  • Kumar, Vivek (G)
  • McNamara, Marianne (A)
  • Napolitano, Joseph (E)
  • Neus, Jordan (A)
  • Prather Davis, Danna (A)
  • Rawat Prakash, Richa (G)
  • Turner, Justin (E)
to assistant professor
  • Acquavita, Nina (E)
  • Adeyeye, Melissa (A)
  • Berger, Jordan (A)
  • Curreli, Misty (E)
  • Lauria, Richard (A)
  • Milano, Richard (A)
  • Millings, Rachel (E)
  • Schmidt, Rachel (A)
  • Starr, Meredith (E)
  • Thompson, Brent (A)
  • Wing, Dawn (A)
  • Wood, Susan (E)
  • Zhang, Yu (E)
to specialist 2
  • Arma, Maureen (G)
  • Cavanaugh, Lawrence (G)
  • Gullo, Ming Tian (C)
to professional assistant 2
  • Altman-Giron, Elizabeth (A)
  • Blanco, Joseph (C)
  • Durso, Jeanne (A)
  • LoSardo, Jeffrey (A)
  • Nevola, Gisele (G)

Adjunct faculty

to adjunct professor
  • Giordano, Donna
  • Hellebuyck, Ute
  • Karahalis, John
  • Sackett, Jeffrey
  • Schaub, William
  • Thalen, Geraldine
  • Wynn, Catherine
to adjunct associate professor
  • Bergman, Lisa
  • Devine, Michael
  • Flaherty, Janet
  • Flores, Kelliann
  • Hinrichs, Randall
  • LaTorre, Salvatore
  • Mauser, William
  • Novak, Robert
  • Pinkas-Sarafova, Adriana
  • Ripp, William
  • Schlesinger, Arthur
  • Stark, Steven
  • Vanderbeek, Warren
  • Williams, Kenneth
to adjunct assistant professor
  • Adamski, James
  • Arena, Julia
  • Armato, Philip
  • Benvenuto, Laura
  • Carey, Thomas
  • Chan, Louis
  • Chisena, Frank
  • Clement, Peter
  • Conley, Maura
  • French, Christopher
  • Galati, William
  • Galofaro, Manuel
  • Kuehhas, Steven
  • Lynch, Agnes
  • Mann, Heather
  • Mattina, Thomas
  • Miller, Nicole
  • Moncho, Donna
  • Newman, Kristen
  • Notaro, Cristina
  • Parente, Michael
  • Petro, Victoria
  • Plotkin, Stuart
  • Restivo, Barbara
  • Stevenson, Mary Ann
  • Terano, Robin Anne
  • Wolfe, Bethann
to adjunct professional assistant 2
  • Boyce, Karen
  • Brown, William
  • Gardner, Sharon
  • Hymowitz, Michelle
  • Link, Rita
to adjunct professional assistant 1
  • Ryan, Vanessa
  • Wong, Silvia