Celebrating Nyack College & Alliance Theological Seminary Faculty & Staff Achievements

 Fall 2011

Keep us in the loop!

Please send your latest achievements including books published, research completed, honors received from professional organizations, fellowships awarded, oversight or development of service learning projects, and work with community organizations to Erica Videc at Erica.Videc@nyack.edu.

Please provide details (who, what, where, when, why) and the significance of news in relationship to our core values, where possible. High resolution digital photos that you can share for publication are welcome. (Please note: copy may be edited for length.)

Congratulations President Scales!

Dr. Michael G. Scales


President Michael G. Scales has been appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Presidents Council! As this is the chief governing body of the NCAA Division II, his role will enhance the visibility and reputation of our institution. Dr. Scales' term will run through 2017.

Welcome to Nyack College!

The following faculty members joined the Nyack/ATS campus community this 2011-2012 academic year:


Dr. Kimberli Huster

Director, ESL Program; ESL Instructor


Dr. Michael Huster

Prof. of Physics


Dr. Damaris-Lois Yamoah Lang

Asst. Prof. of Biology


Dr. Jang Ki Lim

Asst. Prof. of Pastoral Ministry

Director of Korean Ministry


Dr. Peter Park

Asst. Prof. of Biology


Dr. Antoinette Gines Rivera

Asst. Prof. of Mental Health Counseling


Dr. Ching-Ching Ruan

Asst. Prof. of Marriage and Family Therapy Counseling


Dr. Wenbo Yan

Asst. Prof. of Biology


Dr. Keyone Kale Yu

Asst. Prof. of History


New Nyack/ATS staff members include the following:




Miss Heather Butcher

Residence Director, Christie Hall


Mrs. Rhonda Dubé

Coordinator of Student Health Services


Mr. Joshua Dyke

Media Resources Coordinator


Mrs. Miriam Nelson

Faculty Asst./Assessment Coordinator


Miss Marielle Pasquale

Admin. Asst. to the VP of Enrollment


Miss Jennifer Scott

Admin. Asst. to the School of Music


Mr. Thomas Galban

Admissions Associate


Miss Jenny Bach

Admissions Counselor




Miss Katie Bolles

Public Services Supervisor, 

Wilson Library


Miss Catherine Langholff 

Adm. Faculty

Instruction & Technology Librarian 




Miss Meredith Duncan

Admissions Counselor & Operations Manager

Dr. Martin Sanders, Director of the D.Min. Program

Dr. Martin SandersWhat brought you to Nyack College/ATS?

In the 1980's, I was teaching at Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan and was invited to come and teach as an adjunct at ATS in January 1989. After teaching several courses and helping to redesign the internship program, we moved to Nyack in the summer of 1991.


What is your favorite Nyack College/ATS experience?

As president and founder of Global Leadership, Inc. as well as professor of pastoral theology, I love to take graduate students on overseas ministry experiences with young leaders from various multicultural contexts. Those have been incredibly life-changing experiences for our seminary students, and have helped them capture the bigger picture of the kingdom of God.


Favorite food:



Latest interesting read:

Dancing with Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business is Done by Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi


Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:

As a teenager my life path seemed to be set. I was to study hard, get a football scholarship, go to law school, and become the company lawyer for my father's business. It seemed to be a good plan. However, my father died unexpectedly and suddenly when I was fifteen. I was well-recruited as a student-athlete to play college football at some well-known and highly ranked football programs. But there was also a need for someone to run the family farm. I opted to stay home, marry young, and go into farming. I often introduce myself as the only Doctor of Ministry Program director in North America who is also a certified artificial inseminator of cattle (It looks good on my wall beside my ordination.)


In the fall of 1974, Dianna and I came to Christ on the same day in a C&MA church in New London, OH. We knew within months we had a calling into a vocational ministry. So nine months later with two small children, we started college; then started seminary with three children; and graduate school with four children. It's been a long journey preparing academically, and in ministry for the positions I have held as a professional. But we thank God for this now my 25th year of investing in pastors, missionaries, and leaders for the C&MA and beyond.


Ms. Joan Spence, Administrative Assistant to the Dean/College of Arts & Sciences, NYC Campus

Joan Spence

What brought you to Nyack College/ATS?

A combination of reasons and events brought me to Nyack College/ATS. In 2000, after attending a few non-Christian colleges, the Lord led me to enroll in a Christian college. In 2004, I graduated magna cum laude with a BA in biblical and theological studies. In 2007, I returned to ATS to pursue the Master of Divinity in urban ministries. After earning 24 credits in the program, I had a strong urge to follow a new interest--teaching English as a foreign language. I prayed before leaving the program, but felt it the right thing to do. I turned my focus on finding a graduate program for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). In 2009, I interviewed for a full-time position as administrative assistant in the Office of the Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, was offered the position, and accepted!


What is your favorite Nyack College/ATS experience?

During my student years at Nyack College/ATS, my favorite experience is from the times I spent in the Writing Center at the Manhattan campus, helping students edit their papers. Sometimes, editing papers was a difficult task, but it was always a fulfilling moment when students would return overjoyed to the Center or stop me on campus to share how their grades and writing skills were improving.  


Favorite food:

The Jamaican national dish, ackee and saltfish


Latest interesting read:

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, "a leading business thinker," recently captured my interest. The book rests on the work of Dr. Donald O. Clifton (1924-2003) who, "in 2002 was honored by an American Psychological Association Presidential Commendation as the Father of Strength-Based Psychology." Strengths Finder 2.0 helps readers to identify their strengths or talents, encouraging them to focus on these strengths, as opposed to their weaknesses, so that they might reach their potential.


Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:

Languages intrigue me. For a long time, I have been trying to learn different languages by myself, but so far, I can only speak my native tongues, English and Jamaican Patois. Studying a foreign language, Greek, was a requirement for my undergraduate degree, but speaking in Greek was not part of the course. Instead, it was learning how to read and translate Greek into English. I would spend hours studying Greek grammar with English grammar. Then, something remarkable began happening. I was so engrossed in the study that I began seeing English from a foreign language perspective. Soon after I knew I wanted to teach English as a foreign language! Now, eight more credits to go and I will graduate from Hunter College with my MA degree in TESOL. Again, I see providence linking this degree with my BA in biblical and theological studies, and the mission field.

Minister Donna Baptiste with Drs. Mark and Myra Wade, Founders of Arise and Walk Ministries
Minister Donna Baptiste pictured above with Drs. Mark and Myra Wade, Founders of Arise and Walk Ministries
Minister Donna Baptiste
Donna Baptiste Ministries received the Arise and Walk International Missions Award from Arise and Walk Ministries Foundation (AWMF) on November 5, 2011 at the Community Baptist Church in Englewood, NJ. The International Missions Award pays tribute to individuals and organizations exemplifying remarkable, unselfish, humanitarian efforts to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hurting people around the world. Congratulations, Minister Baptiste!
Dr. Carolyn Tonge

Dr. Carolyn Tonge

Dr. Tonge earned an Ed.D. from Florida International University in spring 2011. She successfully defended her dissertation on the topic of "ESL in the Community College." Congratulations, Dr. Tonge!


Dr. Fernando Arzola, Jr.Dr. Fernando Arzola, Jr.

Dr. Arzola presented a lecture at Fordham University's Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education for Religious Education Ph.D. candidates on the doctoral dissertation process. Dr. Arzola also spoke at the 2011 Academy for Jewish Religion annual gathering on the topic of "Understanding Contemporary Christian Youth Ministry."



Dr. Vilma Balmaceda

Dr. Vilma BalmacedaDr. Balmaceda, associate professor of political science and newly appointed director of Nyack's Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement, participated in the Annual Peacemakers Conference in Orlando, FL and led two workshop sessions on the following topics: "A Justice that Heals" and "The Role of Justice in Peacemaking" with Chip Zimmer, vice president for Global Ministries. Dr. Balmaceda presented a paper on "The Politics of Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in Latin America" at the 2011 Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American Political Science Association (APSA). She also participated in the launching of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK) in Tokyo, Japan.


Dr. James DanaherDr. James Danaher

Dr. Danaher published his fourth book, Contemplative Prayer: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century, by Cascade Books/Wipf & Stock. A selected text on "The Saint and the Celebrity" from this book was posted on Theological Scribbles, a blog dedicated to theological issues and books. To read more, visit http://theologicalscribbles.blogspot.com/2011/08/guest-postjames-danaher-on-saint-and.html


Dr. Jeffrey DueckDr. Jeffrey Dueck

Dr. Dueck presented the following three papers: "Religious Exclusivism and the Ethics of Diversity" at a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) conference held at Fresno State University; "Pragmatism and the Art of Existential Repetition" at the Think Art conference, hosted by Boston University; and "An Education in Existential Wisdom" at the 2011 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture.


Dr. Jonathan GatesDr. Jonathan Gates

Dr. Gates along with Honors Program students Courtney Soucek and Stephanie Leone co-presented "Beyond a Game: Creating an Immigration Simulation" at the 2011 National Collegiate Honors Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference program described the presentation as follows: "Challenged to create a learning experience that would enable students far removed from the realities of illegal immigration to grapple with the impact of U.S. policies and practices, the Nyack College Honors Program has developed a creative student-directed immigration simulation activity." For more information, visit http://www.nchchonors.org/2011-conference/nchc-2011-program-final.pdf.  


Dr. Kimberli HusterDr. Kimberli Huster

Dr. Huster successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Suspended between Languages: Biliterate Voices of Hmong Generation 1.5 University Women" at Indiana University of Pennsylvania this past September. She also presented a paper at the New York State TESOL Annual Conference entitled "Biliterate Voices: Hmong Women's Reflections on their U.S. Educational Experiences."


Dr. Michael HusterDr. Michael Huster

Dr. Huster published a paper, "An Improved Box Theater," in the September 2011 edition of The Physics Teacher Online. This journal publishes papers on the teaching of physics and on topics such as contemporary physics, applied physics, and the history of physics.




Dr. Mayra Lopez-HumphreysDr. Mayra Lopez-Humphreys

Dr. Lopez-Humphreys presented a paper at the Council of Social Work Education's 2011 Annual Program Meeting. Her paper entitled "A Pedagogical Model for Integrating Cultural Competence within a Social Justice Framework" examines intergroup dialogue intervention, an innovative pedagogical model for teaching cultural competence, and social justice principles and practices.


Prof. Brad McDuffieProfessor Brad McDuffie

Prof. McDuffie published "For Ernest, With Love and Squalor: The Influence of Ernest Hemingway on J.D. Salinger" in The Hemingway Review. This pieces together the facts concerning the meetings between Hemingway and Salinger and takes a closer look at Hemingway's influence on Salinger's fiction.



Dr. Larry PostonDr. Larry Poston 

Dr. Poston presented two papers at the 2011 Baylor University Institute for Faith and Learning in Waco, TX. The first is entitled "China Rising: How Will the Wisdom of Lao-Tze and Confucius Interface with that of Jesus and Aristotle?" In the second paper, Dr. Poston joined Dean of Library Sciences Linda Poston in presenting "Of the Making of Books There Might Be an End: Educating for Wisdom in an Internet World."


Dr. James RomaineDr. James Romaine

Dr. Romaine published "Marc Quinn: The Matter of Life and Death" in Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion. This essay explores mortality and materiality as sacramental themes in the work of one of Britain's most celebrated visual artists. Creating sculptures and paintings that celebrate the fragile and transient state of life, Marc Quinn visualizes a conception of the human condition as beautiful and meaningful.


Dr. Jacqueline WashingtonDr. Jacqueline Washington

Dr. Washington was appointed to the committee on education of the American Society for Microbiology education board. She will serve on the editorial board of The Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. A primary responsibility of this role is to review research articles submitted to the journal.


Dr. Keyone Kale YuDr. Keyone Kale Yu

Dr. Yu published a paper, "Hawaiian Connectionalism: Methodist Missionaries, Hawaii Mission, and Korean Ethnic Churches," in the October 2011 issue of Methodist History Journal, which is the official historical journal of the United Methodist Church, where he serves as an elder.



Dr. Kwi YunDr. Kwi Yun

Dr. Yun presented a paper at the 2011 North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Her paper entitled, "Can you be compassionate and not burned-out?" examined the nature of compassion from both a social science and a Christian perspective, and presents a model for competent and compassionate social practice that reduces burnout among social workers with faith.  


For more news from the College of Arts and Sciences, view their complete blog at http://www.nyack.edu//blog/CASNews.

Prof. Don Hammond
Professor Don Hammond
Prof. Hammond, adjunct professor for Nyack's School of Intercultural Studies, was selected first president of the merging United Way chapters of Dutchess and Orange Counties. Prof. Hammond is chief operating officer of the Rockland County YMCA and has served for over 25 years in a number of executive capacities for national and regional non-profit organizations.

Dr. Patricia JohnsonDr. Patricia Johnson

Dr. Johnson, Nyack DC associate dean and director of the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program, presented her research at the 13th annual global conference of the International Leadership Association (ILA) in London this past October. Dr. Johnson joined 800 leadership scholars, practitioners, and educators from about 50 countries who presented their finest research and scholarship, best practices, teaching techniques, and unique stories from the field. Her research was on the topic of "Public Leadership, Private Faith: A Framework for Decision-making?"


Dr. Christine BuelDr. Christine Buel

Dr. Buel, assistant professor of education, successfully defended her dissertation and was awarded the Ed.D. from North Central University. Congratulations, Dr. Buel!


Dr. Elizabeth SwansonDr. Elizabeth Swanson

Dr. Swanson, assistant professor of music and Nyack College Chorale director, prepared several music majors from the Chorale to perform Bradley Ellingboe's Requiem at Carnegie Hall in May. The orchestra was accompanied by School of Music adjunct faculty members Jason and Laura Covey.


Professor Craig Williams

Prof. Williams played a recital at the West Point Cadet Chapel on September 11, which marks the 100th anniversary of the pipe organ at the West Point Cadet Chapel and the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The recital was significant in remembering and observing the positive forces that built up the values and the arts which give West Point a true foothold in building leaders of character. The Cadet Chapel and its organ are very much a part of what makes West Point unique.


Dr. Martin SandersDr. Martin Sanders

Dr. Martin Sanders is looking forward to the French translation of his book, The Power of Mentoring, which is scheduled for publication in January 2012.


Dr. Ben SchepensDr. Ben Schepens

Dr. Schepens adds to his current post as assistant provost and director of Institution Assessment, the responsibilities of dean of Alliance Graduate School of Counseling.


Professor Elona CollinsProfessor Elona Collins

Prof. Collins represented Nyack College at the Transition Fair for Life After High School, a joint effort of the Rockland Transition Consortium and Rockland BOCES. Representatives from Rockland County, New Jersey, and Connecticut colleges and organizations that provide help to people with a wide range of disabilities out of high school attended the fair. Prof. Collins said, "When students come from high school to college, they don't always know the laws are different. That's what's great about this kind of fair--we can talk to students and parents and let them know what they can expect at college."


Prof. Denise Lewis PatrickProfessor Denise Lewis Patrick

Prof. Lewis Patrick, adjunct professor of writing for the Division of Student Success, is the author chosen to tell the story of Cécile Rey, one of the two newest dolls in the American Girl line. Having only been given a few details about Cécile Rey, Patrick created a complete character, family tree, and storyline and wrote the following books: Meet Cécile (American Girl, '11); Troubles for Cécile (American Girl, '11); and Cécile's Gift (American Girl, '11). In addition to the American Girl line, she has had numerous books published for preschoolers, beginning readers, and middle graders. She has also written poetry and short stories for many years, and is currently working on a novel for adults.


Coach Keith Davie

Coach Keith Davie

 Coach Davie, Nyack College athletic director, is serving his 17th season as head men's soccer coach and is the "winningest" soccer coach in the college's history. Coach Davie is three-time coach of the year choice, has won two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) titles, and has made one appearance in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national tournament. He also led the soccer team to the first-ever bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II soccer championship.


Earl Miller

Mr. Earl Miller

Nyack College Executive Director of Community Relations Earl Miller, and a 2007 alumnus of Leadership Rockland, coordinated the multicultural community segment of Leadership Rockland 2011, a 10-month educational program created for leaders in businesses and not-for-profits in Rockland County. The day began at Nyack College in Shuman Hall with an address given by Dr. Anita Underwood, dean of Nyack's School of Business and Leadership on "Rockland County: The Multicultural Community."


Program participants learn about Rockland County demographics and when different ethnic groups settled in the area. The multicultural community session explores cultural diversity and its challenges within the context of education, economic development, public policy, and community development. Other stops on the daylong tour included the Hibernian House in Pearl River; The CEJJES Institute in Pomona; the Islamic Center of Rockland County; and the Jewish Community Campus.


Mr. Miller was also installed as the new president-elect of the Nyack Rotary Club this past summer at the West Nyack Firehouse. The Rotary is an international organization that strives to make a difference in both local and global communities and follows the motto, "service above self." 


Coach Ted Quinn (M) with Coach Jean Paul Mukasa (L) and Coach Alexandre Ahishakiye (R)
Coach Ted Quinn pictured above with 
Coach Jean Paul Mukasa (Left) and Coach Alexandre Ahishakiye (Right)
Coach Ted Quinn

Ted Quinn, head coach for Nyack College men's basketball is hosting two coaches from Rwanda, Africa. Alexandre Ahishakiye and Jean Paul Mukasa are a part of a larger group of coaches visiting colleges and universities nationwide under the auspices of Athletes in Action (AIA), a Christian sports organization based in Xenia, OH. The two Rwandan coaches are on the Rockland campus to shadow Nyack coaches and to observe team practices and games. Athletes in Action selected Coach Ted Quinn to serve as a coaching mentor based on his leadership on the Ministry Board of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. 


How does the old saying go? "The family that prays together, stays together?" How about this common variation: "The family that eats together, stays together." You only need to do a quick Google search to see the myriad of statistics correlating healthy relationships with eating together. Need "rock solid" confirmation? Read Acts 2 where the early church expressed their unity and affection for one another by praying and eating together!


The avocado salad recipe below has made its way around our campus family. It's a great demonstration of the vibrancy of the Nyack College community. It first started out with Karen Davie who made it for Raquel Shaffer and Mandy Aiken...who served it to Kim Scales...who shared it with Melissa Hickey...who told Nancy Gates...you get the idea. Enjoy the recipe and be sure to pass the fun along!


Avocado Salad

2 avocados, diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, diced

1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed

1 Vidalia onion, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix


Mix all veggies together. Mix together olive oil, white vinegar, and Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix. Add liquid mixture to veggies and chill. Serve with chips.


Don't Forget your Wellness Exam!

Nyack College continues to be committed to making worksite wellness an integral part of the institution's benefit offerings. We recognize that your health is crucial to both your personal well-being and the college's continued success.


According to data supplied by Aetna, less than 35% of Nyack's employees receive a Wellness Exam on an annual basis.  Receiving your annual Wellness Exam is essential to understanding your current health status, preventing future health problems, and preventing current conditions from getting worse.


With this in mind, all employees who receive a Wellness Exam between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 will continue to receive medical benefits with no required payroll deductions toward the monthly medical premium expense. Employees who do not receive a Wellness Exam during that period will pay 5% of the premium expense in payroll deductions beginning September 15, 2012. An estimated payroll deduction amount is $15 for single coverage and $38 for family coverage and will vary based on the upcoming renewal.


To continue receiving medical benefits without a payroll deduction:

(1) Schedule your Wellness Exam today,

(2) Download the Wellness Exam Certification Form at www.myusi.com and bring it with you to your appointment for both you and your physician to complete, and

(3) Return the completed form to Barb Shiffer, Human Resources, no later than August 31, 2012.

(Note: Nyack College will also verify your participation with a report from Aetna indicating employees who have received their Wellness Exam.)



User ID: Nyack

Password: Nyackbenefits


Invest in your health today!



In addition to being part of a successful campaign to raise funds for the purchase of new desk-chair units for our new Battery Park campus, faculty and staff "models" have had loads of fun posing for the Advancement team's camera. 


Bonita D'Amil could hardly keep upright while facing Dr. Fred Arzola's left hook. 


And when his freshman Honors students started hamming it up for the camera, straight man Dr. Jonathan Gates stepped out of character long enough to keep one in line with a swat on the head. 


Rashidi Aikens did such a good job in his debut role as arm wrestling vanquisher that he needed to stop and comfort his 19-month-old daughter Elise who was convinced that Dr. In Hak Moon was really hurting her daddy! 


And during their photo shoot, Dr. Andy Mercurio and his good friend Tony Stevens started brainstorming for a new AGSC course offering: Roller-Derby Relationships.


The Office of Advancement would like to offer a special thank you to all who have already jumped in and eagerly supported this great cause. Currently 36 chairs have been sold, and three weeks still remain in the Faculty/Staff Chair Challenge. You too can be a part of the fun!

Remember to send in your pledge form BEFORE December 21 
to be included in the drawing for an Apple iPad!
Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary
1 South Boulevard, Nyack, NY 10960