School of Liberal Arts and Sciences introduces members of new Advisory Board

NEW PALTZ- The State University of New York at New Paltz is proud to announce the formation of the first-ever Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, James Schiffer, has recruited a board of accomplished alumni and friends to give advice and outside perspective on the college’s present and future academic programs and offerings.

The purpose of the board is to advocate for the value of liberal arts education that the College provides New Paltz and the region; network with others for the betterment of the College and its students; and contribute to and assist in fundraising.

Members of the inaugural board include:

Onika T. Jervis (’93 Biology), Chair, Associate Director of Residential Life and Housing at Barnard College. Prior to this, Ms. Jervis worked with SUNY New Paltz in the office of Residence life as the Complex Director of Bevier Hall; under Onika’s leadership the “First Year Initiative” program was implemented.

“As an alumna who has greatly benefited from my Liberal Arts Education at SUNY New Paltz, I am thrilled and honored to chair the inaugural Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Ms. Onika Jervis. “I am confident that the outstanding team of alumni will be dedicated and results-oriented in order to further support and grow the mission of the College—thereby, creating many more engaged and thoughtful graduates who are exceptionally prepared for life after New Paltz.”

Ed Carroll (’85 Communication & Media) chief operating officer of Rainbow Entertainment Services. Mr. Carroll has built some of the most successful brands in television and has overseen the development of some of television’s most successful series, including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Bridezillas, Inside the Actors Studio and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Patrick Dean Coleman (’90 International Relations) is the Director for African Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). USTR is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Mr. Coleman works on developing and implementing U.S. trade policy with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

Howard Goldblatt (’73 Political Science) has been Director of Government Affairs for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud since its inception in 1993. His career in government and public policy started in New York and includes 10 years of service on Capitol Hill serving on legislative staffs of several members of Congress.

Bruce Hottum (’78 Biology) is currently working in his own practice as a General Dentist in Kingston, New York. Dr. Hottum is also a teacher of pre-hospital emergency care and rescue to EMS, Fire, Police and Military within the Hudson-Valley region.

Ronald Knapp taught for 33 years from 1968 through 2001 in the Department of Geography and the Asian Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz, retiring as SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus to pursue full-time fieldwork and writing. He is the author or editor of, or contributor to more than 20 books on China’s architecture, culture, and historical geography.

Jeffrey Korn, Esq. (’79 Speech Communication) has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for iMergent, Inc, an ecommerce solutions company, since 2009. Prior to that Mr. Korn was a practicing trial attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, during which time he was a frequent lecturer and author on trial tactics and creditors rights.

Beth (Yaffee) McNeill (’91 Speech Communication) works for Cintas Corporation as a Global Account Manager. In her role, she manages a portfolio of Fortune 1000 companies. She develops and leads account strategy on multi-platform initiatives across all lines of service provided by Cintas.

Judy O’Brien (’70 Sociology) is currently the Field Vice President with Travelers Insurance. As Field Vice President, Ms. O’Brien’s direct reports include eight Claim Center Vice Presidents and their executive management teams representing approximately 2700 claim professionals.

Christopher Wright (’01 Speech Communication) is the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment at Emerson College. He helps guide the college with their diversity and inclusion initiatives, while advising young people of their options and opportunities in higher education.

Robin Faye Angstrom (’10 Anthropology) is currently living in Besançon, France, where she works at L’université de Franche-Comté as a full-time English Lecturer. She attended SUNY New Paltz from 2006 to 2010 where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and French.

Ms. Michele T. Di Palo (’77 Sociology) is the Director of Medical Policy Operations and New Technology Assessment at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), an independent not-for-profit Blues Plan that covers 2.5 million members nation-wide. Ms. DiPalo has also consulted at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Tufts University, and Northern Essex Community College. Ms. DiPalo earned her Masters in Sociology from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

James Schiffer has served as Professor of English and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at SUNY New Paltz since July 2008. From 2000 to 2008, he was Head of the English Department at Northern Michigan University, and before 2000, he served for many years as Chair of the English Department at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

“I have been delighted by the response to our call to various alumni to serve on our first-ever Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said James Schiffer. “Our board members represent a variety of disciplines offered at SUNY New Paltz, as well as a variety of professions. It will be an honor and a pleasure to work with such a distinguished group of our graduates. They are dynamic, successful embodiments of the lifelong skills and values of liberal education.”