Dyson’s Latest
Fulbright Scholar

Gerrard James ’17, MFA Acting (pictured R with Pace University President Marvin Krislov), was selected as the Fulbright John Wood LAMDA Award recipient and will pursue an MA in Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in London, the oldest drama school in the United Kingdom. Only one such Fulbright award is extended annually.

Of the 49 Pace University Fulbright scholars since 2002, 32 are from Dyson College.

Have something to brag about? Tell us at dysonnews@pace.edu!


Charles Fall ’14, Master of Public Administration, was elected the first Muslim and African-American to represent Staten Island in the New York State Assembly. Fall (D) grew up in the district that he represents. His parents immigrated from Guinea, West Africa.

Jesse James Keitel ’15, Acting, was named in OUT magazine’s OUT 100: 2018. Last year, Keitel appeared in the Netflix film Alex Strangelove and on the TV Land series Younger.

Joshua Kennedy ’16, Film and Screen Studies, had the first theatrical release of his new feature film House of the Gorgon, starring cult horror movie icons from the ’60s to the ’70s.

Michael Kopy ’96, Liberal Studies, has been selected as director of emergency management for the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Sheila Leary ’89, Literature and Communications, joined Provident Bank as senior vice president, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering compliance director.

Hilary Leavitt ’10, Theater Arts; Film and Screen Studies, signed a producing deal with Hulu to develop and produce new programming.

Jacklynn Egger ’14, Biology, was promoted to translational research project coordinator in the Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Matthew Federman ’97, Media, Communications, and Visual Arts, co-created the CBS action-adventure television series Blood and Treasure.

Maral Javadifar ’12, Biology, was announced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant strength and conditioning coach. Javadifar, along with Lori Locust, assistant defensive line coach, are the first fulltime female coaches in franchise history, and the Buccaneers now become the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff.


 Andrea Stewart-Cousins ’86, Master of Public Administration ’08, made New York State history in November. After winning reelection, she was confirmed as the first African-American female—indeed the first female—State Senate Majority Leader. “We’re so proud of Senator Stewart-Cousins for all her hard work, drive, and great accomplishments,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov in a public statement of congratulations. Stewart-Cousins (D), who grew up in New York City public housing, earned her undergraduate degree in journalism at Pace as a nontraditional student. She has represented parts of Westchester County in the New York State Senate since 2006.


Gerald Olvera ’18, Liberal Studies, enrolled in Pace’s student veteran program and took classes in digital media that sparked his interest in video production. Olvera was selected for an 18-month Sgro Fellowship for Veterans at A&E Networks that covers all of global and technical operations, from post-production to engineering.

Read our full interview with Gerald


Katrina Alonso ’19, Communication Studies, was awarded the Sarah Willis award in journalism at the annual English Department Writing Awards Ceremony. Alonso served as editor-in-chief of the Pace Press.

Sydney Korman ’21, Political Science/Women’s and Gender Studies, and Terrie Soule ’19, Peace and Justice Studies, delivered a statement to the United Nations General Assembly calling for greater participation of youth, women, survivors of violence, and people from the “Global South” (Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East) in peace and security policy making.

Kaleigh Ryan ’19, Chemistry, was awarded first place in the poster presentation competition at the American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition for her research on polymers. Her findings could have significant applications, most notably in the fields of medicine and solar energy.

Lisdy Contreras Giron ’19, Criminal Justice, gave an inspiring speech at a campaign rally for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). She shared her story as a DREAMer who immigrated to the United States from Guatemala with her parents at age five. Contreras Giron, who completed internships with the senator and the Manhattan district attorney, plans to pursue a law degree and a career in public service.

Read our full interview with Lisdy


Celebrating the standout achievements of exceptional graduating students, Dyson College and Pace University presented annual honors in Pleasantville and New York City. Top awards included the Scholastic Achievement Award, recognizing undergraduate students excelling in scholarship, effectiveness in class discussions, and research, and the Charles H. Dyson Award, given to an outstanding member of the Society of Fellows.


At the Dyson College Annual Awards Ceremony, held on May 19, Sierra Leach, Environmental Studies, received the Dyson College Scholastic Achievement Award and Joshua Michael Barry, Environmental Science, was recognized as Dyson’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year. Leach also received University honors for scholastic achievement at the May 20 commencement ceremony, along with Eric Huang, Mathematics. Other University award winners from Dyson College included Sven Latinovic, Applied Psychology and Human Relations and Film and Screen Studies, honored with the Pace University Trustees Award, and Paula Medina, Mathematics, who received the Academic Leadership Award.

New York City

On May 22, at the Dyson College Annual Awards Ceremony, Emily Hirowski, Biology, received the Charles H. Dyson Award; Joseph Reich, School-Clinical Child Psychology, and Cathy Qi Tan, MPA, were recognized as Dyson’s Outstanding Graduate Students of the Year; and Frida Josefine Bidegard, Communication Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Syndey Leone Tisch, Peace and Justice Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, were honored with the Dyson College Scholastic Achievement Award. Bidegard and Tisch also received the Pace University Scholastic Achievement Award at commencement on May 23. Also at the graduation ceremony, Joseph Colella received the Pace University Community Service Award, Katrina Alonso was honored with the Pace University Trustees Award, and Servando Martinez gave the Student Address. Georgiana Paolillo spoke at the graduate commencement ceremony. 


Solar Libre: A Family Affair, by Assistant Professor Melanie LaRosa, Media, Communications, and Visual Arts, won the Director’s Choice Award at the 2019 Rincón International Film Festival in Puerto Rico. The short film showcases clean energy efforts at the grassroots level.

New York City professor Sarah Blackwood, English authored two essays published in The New Yorker. “A Lost and Found Portrait Photographer” (February 14, 2019) was on the work of portrait photographer Hugh Mangum, a white man who, in an era of racial terror and Jim Crow laws, set up makeshift portrait studios in which he welcomed white and black customers alike. “The Secret Rebellion of Amelia Bedelia, the Bartleby of Domestic Work” (June 10, 2019) details how the fictional character relates to emerging feminist ideals of the 1960s.

Faculty Awards

Joseph Morreale, PhD, professor and chair of the Economics Department in New York City, was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor, Pace University’s highest faculty honor, in recognition of a sustained record of extraordinary research, teaching, and service.

Professors Meghana Nayak (L) PhD, Political Science, and Ross Robak (R) PhD, Psychology, both received a Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence. The honor recognizes exemplary teaching. Nayak received the honor in New York City, and Robak was recognized in Pleasantville.


Eric Price (L) and Will Reynolds (R), Pace School of Performing Arts adjunct faculty members, received the 2018 Fred Ebb Award, given by the Fred Ebb Foundation, in association with the Roundabout Theater, to aspiring musical theater songwriters. Price and Reynolds have collaborated on several musicals.

(Photo by Henry McGee/Fred Ebb Foundation)

Lisa Rosenthal, PhD, was honored with the Division 1 George Miller Award from the American Psychological Association. The New York City assistant professor of psychology was recognized for her work on intersectionality, the ways in which different forms of social stratification intersect and connect.


Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD, was selected as the first recipient of the Ken Peak Innovations in Teaching Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

New York City Professor Elliot Hearst, English, was honored with a 2019 Outstanding Educator certificate from the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Through the Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program, he has guided students in research including documenting the stories and identifying photos of one of the families who assisted the Franks in hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

Professor Lawrence Hundersmarck, Philosophy and Religious Studies, received the inaugural Honoring Excellence Award from the Office of Residential Life and Housing in Pleasantville. Hundersmarck was selected as the honoree out of more than 40 nominations.

Professor Maria Luskay, EdD, Media, Communications, and Visual Arts, received the Sophia Abeles Education Award from ArtsWestchester, an organization promoting and funding the arts in Westchester County.

Farewell Setters

We send our best wishes to these dedicated faculty in their retirement!

Harold Brown

43 years of service, Professor and former chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies in Pleasantville

Uday Sukhatme

7 years of service, Professor, Chemistry and Physical Sciences, and Provost Emeritus

Geraldine Taiani

39 years of service, Professor and former chair of Mathematics in New York City