The New Faces of Manhattan College

With the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Manhattan College is welcoming several new faculty and administrators to campus.

With the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Manhattan College is welcoming several new faculty and administrators to campus, and each person’s extraordinary experiences and backgrounds will contribute to the academic and professional success of the College.

On Aug. 25, Andrew Ryan, P.E., became vice president for facilities at Manhattan College, and his first major project will be overseeing the construction of the College’s Student Commons, a centerpiece in Manhattan’s new strategic plan. A professional engineer with extensive operations experience, Ryan has worked on projects with Perkins Eastman, Syska Hennessy and Langan Engineering. At Weill Cornell Medical College, he had overall responsibility as director of engineering and maintenance for the maintenance and operation of more than 1.6 million square feet of combined state-of-the-art research, medical, educational, business and residential space.

Ryan’s duties will include providing leadership for the College’s extensive sustainability initiatives. Energy conservation has always been one of his main goals, and during his time at Weill Cornell Medical College, Ryan brought the institution into the Mayor’s University Challenge to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 30 percent by 2018. Weill Cornell already has reached that goal and has programs in place to reduce emissions further by 2018.

Earlier this summer, Constantine E. Theodosiou, Ph.D., started as the new dean of the school of science. He most recently served as vice provost for research, dean of the graduate school at Montclair State University and professor of physics, and supervised all aspects of graduate education and the grant proposal process for research projects. Under his leadership, Theodosiou helped the graduate school implement an electronic graduate admission application process, and also integrated an electronic grant proposal system in the office of research.

“I am very excited at the opportunity to help Manhattan College excel in the teaching of its students and preparing them for successful careers in a very demanding and challenging new century,” said Theodosiou. “I am looking forward to being able to use my past experience to help the faculty enhance their teaching and scholarly performance, and further the College’s excellent reputation.

In addition, Cheryl Harrison, Ph.D., began as the new executive director of the school of continuing and professional studies in the spring. The College’s division of continuing studies, which focuses on adult education, was transformed into the school of continuing and professional studies effective July 1, 2011. Formally the executive director of organizational leadership programs for the college of professional studies at Quinnipiac University, in her new role, Harrison oversees the school of continuing and professional studies’ development and its future success.

Another new face to Manhattan College is that of Mehnaz M. Afridi, Ph.D., the new director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, which changed its name on July 1 from The Holocaust Resource Center. The Center, while remaining committed to its long-standing mission to educate the public about the Holocaust and genocide, broadened its focus to promote a better understanding among Christians, Jews and Muslims through interfaith dialogue related to the College’s educational mission.

Afridi brings an impressive record of scholarly commitment to the study of the Holocaust and genocide, and years of dedicated work in interfaith relations, and will also be an assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College in the fall. She has taught at Antioch University, National University, American Intercontinental University and Loyola Marymount University.

Mitchell S. Aboulafia, Ph.D., was appointed as professor and chair of the philosophy department. Prior to coming to Manhattan College, he was director of interdivisional liberal arts at The Juilliard School and was particularly instrumental in helping to expand the liberal arts curriculum, including revamping the core curriculum and adding more than 25 new electives to Juilliard’s catalog. In addition to being a professor of liberal arts and philosophy and director of liberal arts, he was co-director of Juilliard’s new writing and communication center, a state-of-the-art center focusing on a broad range of writing skills.

Several faculty members also commenced the new academic year, including: Kirk Barrett, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Angel Bestwick, M.E. (Master of Education), instructor of education; Gregory Bucci, M.B.A., visiting instructor of accounting, law and computer information systems; Kerryanne Donohue-Couch, P.E., visiting instructor of civil and environmental engineering; Aileen Farrelly, M.S., CPA, visiting instructor of accounting, law and computer information systems; Stephanie Fiorelli, M.A., visiting instructor of English; Doug Godsoe, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Byungwan Koh, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and marketing; Peter Lyons, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of biology; Tyler Markkanen, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of math and computer science; Maria Maust-Mohl, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of psychology; Dustin Mulcahey, B.S., visiting assistant professor of math and computer science; Jeffrey Pettis, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of religious studies; Sharina Maillo Pozo, M.A., visiting instructor of modern foreign languages; Marju Purin, M.Sc., visiting assistant professor of math and computer science; Susan Reslewic, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of chemistry; Robert Rivera, M.A., visiting instructor of psychology; Parisi Saboori, M.S., assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Sarah Scott, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of philosophy; Zhe Shan, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, law and computer information systems; Jasmine Tan, M.A., assistant professor of communication; Thomas Twardowski, Ph.D., visiting instructor of chemical engineering; Reeves Whitney, M.S., visiting instructor of civil and environmental engineering; and Minglang Wu, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of chemistry. The following faculty members are also now on the tenure track: Chiara Indiani, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry; Matthew Jura, Ph.D., assistant professor of math and computer science; and Ira Gerhardt, Ph.D., assistant professor of math and computer science.

The College also welcomed two new colleagues whose work will support students as they strive to meet the challenge of a Manhattan College education: Marisa Sarlo-Passafiume, M.S.E.D., director for Manhattan College’s new Center of Academic Success, which focuses on helping students to improve academic performance and success; and Brother David Trichtinger, FSC, academic adviser for athletics also started at the College in August.

And last but not least, watch out for some new faces in our Division I athletic program. Jim Duffy joined the athletics staff in August as the new head baseball coach, while Jerry Wood ’75 became the new head coach of the men’s golf program, and Steve Masiello took on the role of headmen’s basketball coach last spring. They are joined by Matt Grady, associate head basketball coach, Rashon Burno, assistant basketball coach, and Matt Wilson, coordinator of basketball operations; and Patrick Waldron, assistant women’s basketball coach.