Celebrating Nyack College & Alliance Theological Seminary Faculty & Staff Achievements

 Fall 2012

After Sandy

Nyack College students have gone into the Tri-State New York area to volunteer on post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup and delivery of supplies supervised by faculty and staff.


One student group, Hands of Compassion, traveled with the New Life Community Health Center (www.nlchc.org) in Elmhurst, NY to take supplies to residents of Rockaway Beach.


Intercultural Studies Professor Scott Reitz took a crew of intercultural studies, business, education, and nursing students with him to volunteer in New Jersey with Samaritan's Purse. The Boone, NC-based organization, headed by Franklin Graham, sent volunteers to Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and to Nassau County in New York.


Nyack's Hands of Compassion, LoSTANDfound, and Students Against Hunger have scheduled other outreach efforts.


Please continue to pray for people who are still suffering as a result of the storm and for the volunteers and other respondents who are attempting to serve them.


Empower is the Women's Certificate Program, developed by the Metropolitan District of the C&MA and Alliance Theological Seminary/Nyack College, which launched this fall. Classes are held at the Rockland campus of ATS.The intent of the program, taught by several Nyack College and ATS professors, is to empower and equip women to take a more active role in ministry and to serve in their churches and communities. The program meets monthly for two semesters with one weekend retreat. For more information on registration and fees, visit www.metrocma.org.

Colloquium on the 2012 Presidential Election

The Nyack College October Colloquium, sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences with the Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement, addressed the November 6 U.S. presidential election and issues confronting our nation. The event took place in Shuman Hall on the Rockland County campus.


Healthcare, job creation, national budget, support for the middle class/family, and leadership traits of the candidates were explored by a panel of Nyack faculty that included Dr. Carol Awasu (Social Work); Dr. Vilma Balmaceda (Political Science); Prof. James Muckell (Business/Accounting); and Dr. David Weir (History).


The thought-provoking discussion was led by Nyack College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Turk.


Dr. Barbara Austin-Lucas, Professor of Religious Education

1. What brought you to Nyack College/ATS?

I was initially invited to teach a course as a visiting professor. After the completion of this course, the dean asked me to consider coming on board as a full-time member of the faculty. Through prayer I discerned that God was encouraging me to apply for the position, and so I did... the rest is history.


2. What is your favorite Nyack College/ATS experience?

There are many things that I enjoy about my experiences here at ATS (i.e. the energy of the students in classes, interactions with other colleagues, the chapel worship experience). If I had to pick a favorite, I would say that it is Commencement and the Hooding Ceremony because these represent the culmination of working with students and preparing them to launch out into the next chapter of their lives.


3. Favorite food:

Right now my favorite food is chicken with rice and beans, particularly the kind that Dean Carlo provides for the faculty meetings.


4. Latest interesting read:

I've recently read Where Two or Three are Gathered: Spiritual Direction for Small Groups by Daniel L. Prechtel. There are some interesting exercises in the book that I am considering for the "Working with People" class that I teach.


5. Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:

I enjoy singing and writing poetry. 


Dr. Elaine Lux, English Department Deputy Chair

1. What brought you to Nyack College/ATS?

The Lord highlighted an ad for ADCP in my local newspaper. That began my journey at Nyack College. Then Dr. David Turk invited me to head up the English Department in New York City, and I felt it was a call from God.


2. What is your favorite Nyack College/ATS experience?

I love my students and colleagues. This year's start-up favorite experience was having several students tell me how much they love Nyack College. My heart rejoiced. When I taught a session for the tutors at the Writing Center this summer, I became vitally reawakened to how much I love teaching and love teaching here.


3. Favorite food:

I am mostly vegan, so my food will not excite too many people. I love organic collard green leaves topped with hummus.


4. Latest interesting read:

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. I was reminded of what I do when I read, and it helped me to remember back to my initial responses to professors' literary interpretation when I was a freshman, just beginning my journey, before I decided on an English major.


5. Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:

Since 1997, I have kept a daily journal in the "Morning Pages" fashion as designed by Julia Cameron--three handwritten pages, one side of the page--on anything I feel like writing about.


Mr. Doug Walker, Facilities Director

1. What brought you to Nyack College/ATS?

I came to Nyack and ATS for my degrees. After a few years away, God called me back to minister to the students through my work in Facilities.


2. What is your favorite Nyack College/ATS experience?

I have many, many great memories here. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be scoring the game-winning goal against Dominican with 21 seconds left in the game my freshman year.


3. Favorite food:

Besides coffee, probably Gummy Bears.


4. Latest interesting read:

"New York State Building Code Laws"--I couldn't put it down.


5. Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:

I am a third generation alumnus. My grandfather was here when A.B. Simpson walked the campus. 

Welcome to Nyack!

We hope that you get an opportunity to meet some of the new members of our faculty and staff who have joined us during the fall 2012 semester.


The campus community is happy to welcome the following:

  • Mr. Robert Bohn, Asst. Prof. of Business, NYC
  • Mr. Jeffrey Garcia, Lecturer in Bible, NYC
  • Mr. Richard Mako, Asst. Director of Library Services, NYC
  • Mr. Stephen Nehlsen, Lecturer in Intercultural Studies, Rockland
  • Dr. Brian Roland, Asst. Prof. of Social Work, NYC
  • Dr. Lisa Steiner, Asst. Prof. of Mental Health Counseling, NYC
  • Dr. Andrzej Wlodarczyk, Prof. of Business, NYC
Dr. Martin Sanders

Dr. Sanders' book, Power of Mentoring, was released in French earlier this year. President of PhiloTrust, speaker, and writer Canon J. John says, "Martin Sanders is one of the most creative and effective communicators that I have heard. He has a remarkable ability for clarity, seasoned with scholarship humour, and sound practical advice."

Dr. Elaine Lux 

Dr. Lux presented a paper entitled "The Narrative Shaping of Meaning in Gail Godwin's A Southern Family" at the Narrative Matters 2012 conference in Paris. The five-day international conference was held this past spring, and featured keynote speaker Jerome Bruner, a pioneer in the field of narrative. Narrative Matters Conferences are held every other year and are sponsored by CIRN (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative), based at St. Thomas University, located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Narrative has become a major interdisciplinary field and papers from a variety of disciplines are presented at the conference.


Interested in Godwin's life and writing since first reading The Good Husband, Dr. Lux interviewed the author in 2009. She has written several papers about Godwin, including one which was published in a peer-reviewed online journal entitled "Holistic Spirituality in Gail Godwin's Life and Fiction: Father Melancholy's Daughter, The Good Husband, and Evensong." E-rea (Revue Electronique D'Etudes Sur Le Monde Anglophone) 8.2 (2011). Issue: Femmes et Spiritualite. Web: http://erea.revues.org/1579 (a peer-reviewed journal)

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

Dr. Orlando Rivera

Dr. Rivera (pictured right) successfully defended his dissertation at Regent University in June, having earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Congratulations, Dr. Rivera!


Dr. Steven L. Ware

Dr. Ware (pictured left) attended a symposium in Germany entitled "VI. Internationales Symposium Mittelalterliche Astronomische Grossuhren" (6th International Symposium on Medieval Astronomical Clocks). His presentation entitled "The Stones of Easter:  Lithic Inscriptions of the Paschal Cycle in the Late Ancient and Late Medieval Eras" sparked an interest to a local film crew who asked if they could interview Prof. Ware about his part in the symposium. Perhaps they found it remarkable that an American would be at such an event, let alone be one of the speakers. To read more about the symposium, click here.

Dr. Gordon Boronow

An op-ed by Dr. Gordon Boronow, assistant professor of business, appeared in The Christian Post. "Step Back From the Fiscal Cliff" can be read in its entirety by clicking here. 

Dr. Frank Tuzi

Dr. Tuzi created a number of podcasts on integrating technologies into the eCollege system as well as a podcast on eCompanion-e-College basics. To view Dr. Tuzi's podcasts, click here.


Gwendolyn Bradley, voice teacher and former Metropolitan Opera and International soloist, has been an adjunct professor since 2005. This year, she has been noted for her long career of vocal artistry and successes. She was included in the 2013 AT&T History Calendar of South Carolina African Americans of Achievement. Honorees and calendar unveiling ceremonies were held in October in Columbia, SC. 


Cool Causes

Shared by Mandy Aikens, NCAA Compliance Officer

I started running in March 2011 and since then have completed three half marathons (13.1 miles) and two marathons (26.2 miles). The most recent was the Steamtown Marathon in my hometown of Scranton, PA. I run with Team In Training (TNT) which raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and have raised over $4,700 to date. I am preparing to sign up for my next event with Team In Training, the Nike Women's Marathon, in Washington, D.C. The race benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My new goal is to raise $2,000 before the end of April.


My times aren't that impressive--I care more about the work I am doing for a great cause. I lost my cousin to leukemia in 2009 when she was just 21. She was a three-sport college athlete and incredibly healthy. She passed away six months after being diagnosed. I have found that TNT has been a great way for me to be able to do SOMETHING to fight cancer. I will never give up. My cousin didn't, even as she took her last breath. So I continue her fight.


If you'd like to help Mandy reach her goal, feel free to contact her at mandy.aikens@nyack.edu.


Shared by Adjunct Professor John Cattich

I have been volunteering at a soup kitchen at Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock, NY. The cast of characters is quite interesting. I was even blessed to meet another evangelical--which encouraged me to believe that God will provide a Christian community--even up here in "Woodstock Nation."

Fun Vacations

Shared by Jenny Bach, Academic Affairs Office, Faculty Secretary

London was a wonderful place to vacation and it was exciting to see the 2012 Olympic frenzy! The subway system, "The Tube", is so clean and easy to figure out, and the people were very friendly. There was a variety of delicious foods throughout London at Portobello Market and Borough Market. The Indian food is also the best I've ever had!


I had the great privilege of spending time at an orphanage in Kenya where the children won our hearts. Everyone was so giving, hospitable, and loving. It felt like a little slice of heaven. The food was so delicious since it came straight from the garden to the table--the carrots and pineapple were the sweetest and freshest I've ever tasted!


Shared by Youth Ministry Professor Dr. Ron Belsterling

Most of our summer vacations involve getting together with extended family. This past summer, we camped for one week with both of my brothers' families and nephew's and niece's families. We brought with us four children, ages 8-13, whose father passed away last year. It was a great decision--not only did the kids have a great time, but they added a lot of energy and enjoyment to the week! While there, my brother invited my family to join him on his OBX vacation...at no cost!


We helped my son, Sam, move out to Western Pennsylvania where he is working for a small company in Marketing and Sales. He and his fiancé Addie graciously asked me to perform their wedding ceremony, so it proved to be a very exciting visit!

Good Reads

Shared by Youth Ministry Professor Dr. Ron Belsterling

Latest Interesting Read: I've enjoyed getting into reading the Old Testament--carefully reading Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and Deuteronomy. This spring I read Francis Chan's Forgotten God and will share a simple but powerful quote for us to remember--relative to what I believe is the most important aspect of His true influence on us: "The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross..."


Shared by Adjunct Professor John Cattich

I read Gerald May's Simply Sane which challenges the critical message from society that many of us have internalized: we must "Do more. Do it faster. Do it better." Whatever we do, it's never good enough. This book addresses spirituality and I found May's writing to contain a lot of wisdom. When I began the book, I was on blood pressure medication (at age 32, and once people start blood pressure meds, they rarely get off them). Well, I got off the meds shortly after reading the book and my blood pressure has been pretty close to perfect ever since! 

Cook's Corner

Shared by Vangie Couchey, Undergraduate Registrar

What's Cooking? I have been inspired by Associate Dean of Students Wanda Velez to start juicing. I highly recommend the movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Despite the title, it actually is rather funny, heartwarming, and inspirational. I have experimented with using vegetable pulp to make turkey meatloaf.

What do squash blossoms and lemons have in common?

Advancement Office Special Events Coordinator Nancy Gates and Professor of Bible Dr. Elio Cuccaro made a harvest trade. In exchange for squash blossoms, Dr. Cuccaro shared some of his home-grown lemons with Nancy. Pictured is a delicious slice of lemon meringue pie prepared by Nancy.

Favorite Memories

Shared by Vangie Couchey, Undergraduate Registrar

One of my favorite Christmas memories is when our family bought plastic dart guns and tried to shoot ornaments off the Christmas tree. Often they would break, but we would all rejoice when one hit just right and stuck to the ornate bulbs! 

Family Matters

Nyack College's Worship Ministries Coordinator/Adjunct Lecturer Rafael Lara and his wife Erica Lara, Simpson Hall Resident Director/Student Leadership Coordinator, welcomed a son, Elias Josuč (pictured left), on October 1, 2012. Elias weighed 9 lbs., 10 oz. and was 22 inches long. He joins big sister, Eliana.


Matthew Moroney, Nyack College Financial Aid Counselor, and his wife Alicia are the proud parents of a daughter, Pria Grace (pictured right), who was born on August 3, 2012. She weighed 8 lbs., 13 oz. and was 20-1/2 inches long. Pria joins older brother, Liam.  



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.)

Don't forget...you're invited to submit information to the "Life After Hours...On My Time Clock" section of Class Act. We want to hear about the books you've read; fun vacations you've taken; cooking/baking skills (share your recipes); family tree updates; good habits; and unknown talents. Share your good news with us!

Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary
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