New Faculty and Employees at Manhattan

Read about a few of our 26 new faculty members and 13 employees who will be making a difference at Manhattan.

This year, Manhattan College not only welcomed one of the largest freshman classes in its history, but also several new faculty members and employees. Along with 26 faculty members and 13 employees, here are a few of the new employees who will be making a difference at the College. 

Center for Career Development
Kelly Ahn, Ed.M., started as the new director of Manhattan College’s Center for Career Development this fall, and was hired to further develop the career counseling and mentoring services provided by the Center, including internship opportunities and job placement.

Ahn most recently spent four years as associate director of Columbia University’s Center for Career Education. In this role, she was instrumental in assisting undergraduate and graduate students within Columbia’s seven schools on career assessment, job/internship search and networking.

Computer Science Department
This August, Val Kolesnikov, Ph.D., joined the School of Science as the new chair of Manhattan College’s Computer Science department. He will also serve as an associate professor of computer science and will play a vital role in strengthening the new Computer Science department, which formally was part of the Mathematics department. Assistant professor Peter Boothe, Ph.D., as well as new hire Tina Tian, Ph.D., an assistant professor of computer science and former instructor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, will also assist Kolesnikov in growing the department.

Most recently an assistant professor at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., Kolesnikov taught a variety of computer science courses from Introduction to Programming: C++ to the Introduction to Game Design and Development. He was also instrumental in creating Indigo framework and the development of optimization techniques for distributed algorithms.

Communication Department
The Communication department welcomed media studies expert and seasoned journalist Joe Cutbirth, Ph.D., as a new assistant professor and adviser to the College’s student-run newspaper, The Quadrangle. Cutbirth will also teach a series of classes and critique the journalistic work of recipients of the College’s Quadrangle scholarship.

As a political blogger for the Huffington Post since 2007, he regularly writes about politics and examines the social impact of mass media. He was a recurring analyst for Politics Live with Sam Donaldson and Rick Klein on ABC News Now during the 2008 presidential election.

Performing Arts
Another new face to Manhattan is Andrew Bauer, the director of music and coordinator of performing arts. With more than 25 years of professional music experience, Bauer brings extensive knowledge as a music director and teacher to the College.

Since 2004, he has served as music director and organist of the Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart in Yonkers, N.Y. For the past eight years, he has directed and conducted four choirs, and provided music for nearly 200 weddings and funerals each year. He currently instructs a variety of theater performances at the schools of the Sacred Heart, and is a part-time choir director for Mother Cabrini High School and St. Catharine Academy.

Jasper Athletics is also introducing some new faces on and off the field this year. In July, Steve Manitta joined the Jaspers as the new head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, and he recently announced new staff members Matt Nealis, Sal Marinello, John Lade and Charlie Cipriano, coming on board in 2013. Steve Masiello, head men’s basketball coach, will begin the pre-basketball season with new assistant coaches Oliver Antigua and Rasheen Davis.

Technology in the Classroom
With a growing number of new faculty and employees on campus, the College maintains its focus on enhancing the technology available to faculty and students. As part of this focus, the College hired instructional designers Khaitsa Wasiyo, Ed.D, earlier this summer and Kim Woodruff in 2011 to assist faculty in using technology to connect and communicate with students in a variety of ways.

One specific example referenced by Woodruff is the learning management system Moodle, which allows faculty to post course materials online and provide interactive learning activities, such as online practice quizzes and discussion forums. She also highlighted that several faculty members are utilizing clicker software, so students can answer instructor questions privately while in class with an electronic device that corresponds to a receiver on the instructor’s computer. “These devices allow instructors to receive immediate feedback on how well students understand a concept,” Woodruff explains.

In her new role, Wasiyo is initially focused on further developing existing and future hybrid courses for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) maintained within the Moodle system. Because bachelor’s and master’s students within SCPS are taking courses at an accelerated pace, hybrid courses help the instructor and students connect online through assorted resources outside the classroom, beyond their once-a-week meetings.