Academic Year 2019 - 2020


Media Feed
Note: some media hits marked with an asterisk may be behind a paywall
  • [4/7/20]
    [VIDEO] YouTube — Professor of Art Jillian McDonald was interviewed by Hallwalls Gallery Visual Arts curator John Massier.
  • [2/28/20]
    Everyday Health — Professor of Psychology James McCarthy was mentioned in the Everyday Health article Conduct Disorder in Children.
  • [2/6/20]
    *The Wall Street Journal — Professor of English Sarah Blackwood was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article God Goes Missing in Little Women.
  • [2/5/20]
    [VIDEO] News12News12 featured Political Science Professor George Picoulas commentating on the State of the Union.
  • [1/19/20]
    The New York TimesCatherine Zimmer, the chair of the film studies department was quoted in Who’s Watching Your Porch?
  • [1/18/20]
    TAIPEI TIMESProfessor Joseph Lee published an op-ed entitled "Election results a message to China" in TAIPEI TIMES (Jan. 18, 2020) discussing the historical implications of Taiwan's recent presidential and parliamentary elections.
  • [1/16/20]
    DanceSpirit — Dance Spirit featured Dyson's PPA Professor Suzi Taylor in The Nominees for Dance Spirit's 2019 Best Cinematic Choreography Award.
  • [1/15/20]
    Rewire — Research conducted by Professor of Psychology Leora Trub and students on people’s texting behavior was mentioned in an article for Rewire.


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Dyson College

Pace Aids in the Fight Against COVID-19

Helping to protect the healthcare professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, Pace University’s College of Health Professions and Dyson College have donated more than 15,000 gloves, 250 standard face masks, more than 60 N95 masks, and nearly 50 disposable gown kits to the Westchester Medical Center and New York State. The contribution is an effort to assist in tackling the severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) that threatens our ability to save lives and reduce the impact of the virus.

“Healthcare workers are literally putting their lives on the line to help patients with COVID-19,” said Professor Marcy Kelly, chairperson of the Biology Department on the New York City campus, “If [they] do not have PPE, they will most likely catch the virus. The more healthcare workers who are sick, the greater the impact on our ability to treat patients and keep the mortality rate down.”

Dyson College, Faculty, Student

Students, Faculty Respond to COVID-19

Dyson College students, faculty, and staff are adapting quickly as Pace University moved to a remote learning model on March 11, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “A midterm in my digital marketing class was originally going to be taken in person, but, because of the new format, it was online and my professor uploaded instructions to Blackboard,” said Rebecca Newman ’20, Communications. “I am also taking a painting class where my professor wants us to email her photos of our painting at different stages and then comment on other students’ work instead of discussing it in class.”

Two local news affiliates featured Dyson College professors talking about how they are adjusting their instruction. Kimberly Collica-Cox, an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Security was featured on ABC7 Eyewitness News, and  English Professor Kelley Kreitz shared her online instruction plan with WNBC news (at about 4:43:35), “Over the course of the next couple of weeks, this will, I hope, help the virus to run its course,” she said in the report.

Award, Dyson College, Social and Natural Sciences

Psychology Professor Honored for Research Excellence

Assistant Professor Brenna Hassinger-Das, PhD, of the New York Department of Psychology, received the 2020 Award for Research Excellence by Early Career Psychologists from the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA). The organization is “geared to advancing the science and practice of psychology.” Hassinger-Das will receive $200, a free membership in the Academic Division for one year, a listing on the NYSPA website’s “Friday Flash,” and an invitation to attend the Academic Division June 2020 Annual Luncheon. “This award means a great deal to me, as it demonstrates the support of my colleagues in the NYSPA for my research agenda, particularly my Pace colleague, Dr. Florence Denmark, who nominated me for the award," says Hassinger-Das.

Award, Dyson College, Social and Natural Sciences

Chemistry Professor Wins Teaching Honor

Professor JaimeLee Rizzo, Ph.D., has received the Outstanding Four-Year Undergraduate College and University Chemistry Faculty Teaching Award for 2019 from the New York Section of the American Chemical Society. The organization, "founded to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people,” presents the award annually to recognize highly effective teaching and inspirational leadership to students in chemistry. “I am so very honored and humbled to have been presented with the 2019 NY Section's Outstanding Four-Year Undergraduate University Chemistry Faculty Teaching Award,” says Rizzo, the associate chair, Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences. “I've been teaching organic chemistry for almost 20 years and have worked with some of the brightest and most hard-working students. One word describes many of them—grit.” 

Award, Dyson College

Jefferson Awards Honor Dyson Community

Six members of the Dyson College community—including three students—received Jefferson Award Bronze Medals for 2019-2020, recognizing their public and volunteer service and dedication to improving the quality of life in their communities. The recipients are Laurianne Gutierrez ’20, Political Science (New York City); Natalie Hernandez ‘20, Digital Journalism (Pleasantville); and Kaitlyn Houlihan ’19, Political Science (Pleasantville). The following New York City faculty and staff members were also honored: Anne Toomey, assistant professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Science; Denise Santiago, director of Pace’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and adjunct faculty, Sociology and Anthropology Department; and Laurie Brown Kindred, production manager in the Pace School of Performing Arts. 

Alumni, Arts and Sciences

Alumnus Joins The Groundlings

Chris Guerra, ’09, BFA Musical Theater, was recently invited to join the Main Company, also known as "The Groundlings," at Los Angeles' legendary Groundlings Theatre. “It’s an incredible honor,” said Guerra, who was welcomed in alongside two other performers, Leonard Robinson and Samantha DeSurra. Only a select few are chosen to join The Groundlings, which caps membership at no more than 30 individuals at one time, and company members have gone on to create pop culture history on Saturday Night Live and other television shows. Comedic talents including Laraine Newman, Jon Lovitz, Julia Sweeney, Cheri Oteri, Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Michaela Watkins, Taran Killam, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, and the late Phil Hartman are all The Groundlings alumni.

As part of the company, Guerra—who has appeared on Broadway, television, and in numerous commercials—will create and perform in weekly sketch comedy shows with the rest of the group. He started sketch comedy training on the advice of an agent and said his education at Pace was essential to his accomplishment at The Groundlings Theatre. “Pace’s musical theater program focuses on your unique talents and what you bring as a performer,” said Guerra. “That really set me up for success.”    

Arts and Humanities, Faculty

Pace Project Wins Design Award

A typography project of Assistant Professor of Art Brenda McManus, MA in Communication Design, has been named a winner in the prestigious Society of Typographic Arts, 100 competition. The project, a children’s book titled Drew’s ABCs was a collaboration with students. McManus’ work has been showcased previously by organizations including the Art Directors Club, the Type Directors Club, the University & College Designers Association, the Museum Publications Design Competition, and the Creativity Design Competition. Additionally, as part of the Education team at the Cooper Hewitt National Smithsonian Design Museum, McManus has contributed two Learning Lab tools. The Learning Lab is a free, interactive digital platform where users share resources and create content and to aid in teaching and learning.

Arts and Humanities, Student

Dyson Dancer Wins Cover Model Search

Darriel Johnakin ’23, Commercial Dance, is Dance Spirit magazine’s 2019 Cover Model Search Winner. A Miami native with a strong passion for dance since childhood, Johnakin has performed at Pace in Dance Out Loud and DanceSpace, as well as at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. She is also set to appear an upcoming film choreographed by Martha Nichols (So You Think You Can Dance, The Greatest Showman). Johnakin says her experience with the cover model search allowed her to get out of her comfort zone, and she encourages her fellow dance students to “go in with a positive attitude, perform to the best of your ability, and always have fun.” Looking ahead, she plans to continue performing, auditioning for as many opportunities as possible, including tours, Broadway productions, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Social and Natural Sciences, Student, Research

Students Publish Cancer, Cardiac Study

An interdisciplinary team of Pace science students has published new findings that could aid in new and better drug treatments for cancer and heart disease. Their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at how a cancer drug currently undergoing clinical trials blocks the function of hERG, a protein that allows cancer cells to spread. hERG also helps to regulate cardiac function. Research was conducted under the direction of Professor Demosthenes Athanasopoulos, PhD, Chemistry and Physical Sciences, and Associate Professor of Biology Zafir Buraei, PhD, by Biology undergraduate students, Zuleen Chia Chang ’19, Matthew Orzillo ’20, and Gabrielle Suppa ’18, as well as Masters students in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program Salma Allam ’17, Christopher Fernandes ’20, and Bryan Cernuda ’18. Cernuda was the lead author and performed most of the work.

Social and Natural Sciences, Student, Research


Tatyana Graham '22, BA in Environmental Science, Brielle Manzolillo '17, BA in Environmental Studies and Nadya Hall '18, MA in Environmental Policy, recently had their research published in Cities and the Environment, an academic journal focused on the ecology of urban communities. With the help of Assistant Professor Anne Toomey, PhD, Environmental Studies and Science, they completed an extensive investigation of the significance of coyotes in New York State. The paper looks at the differences in perceptions of coyotes among urban and suburban park users.

Award, Student

Model UN Teams Brings Home Awards

Pace's Model United Nations teams received nine awards at the national conference, held November 8-10 in Washington, DC. The awards included three for Honorable Delegation, to Pace NYC students representing Afghanistan and PLV students representing Nicaragua and Turkmenistan; two for Outstanding Delegate(s), to Callie Anderson ’23 and Nick Moustakas ’22, for their work representing Turkmenistan in the Economic and Social Council, and Kayla Guarino ’21, for her work in the United Nations Environmental Assembly. Pace also received four outstanding position paper awards, two went to the NYC team and two went to the PLV team.

Arts and Humanities

Pace Expands Opportunities for Veterans

In an effort to continue serving Pace student veterans and their families, the University has announced several new initiatives. With the help of $200,000 in funding secured through NYS Senator Peter Harckham (D-40th District), a new Student Veterans Center on the Pleasantville campus will serve as a one-stop resource for veterans across all campuses. Construction is expected to be completed during spring 2020. A new Learning Community course is also being offered next semester. Designed especially for veteran and active duty military students, students who are military dependents and family members, and those from conflict zones, After Action: Perspectives on Conflict and its Aftermath will include a photography, creative writing and American studies course. This month, look out for and support our student veterans as they march in the Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City on November 11.

Arts and Humanities, Faculty

Prof Awarded for Writing Center Book

Robert Mundy, professor of English, Pleasantville, has coedited the book Out in the Center: Public Controversies and Private Struggles, which won “Outstanding Book” from the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA). This collection of essays explores the personal experiences of writing center tutors, faculty, and administrators, and addresses the ways in which differences such as race and gender can challenge and inform conversations and communities. “This book shows the important role and function narrative can and should play in our field, specifically highlighting stories and voices we don't often hear,” says Mundy. The award was presented at the IWCA annual conference in October 2019.

Alumni, Award

PPA Alumnus's Play Wins Festival Honors

Harold Hodge Jr. '18, PPA Directing, both wrote and directed Fancy Maids, the 2019 Rave Theater Festival’s selection for “Outstanding Play.” Madeline Grey DeFreece ‘19, BFA Acting for Film, Television, Voiceovers & Commercials, and Kayland Jordan ‘19, BFA Acting, received recognition for “Outstanding Performances.” On what this play, about black women who fought for agency over their bodies in the pre-abolition North, means to him, Hodge says, “Having done so much collective research, the team and I have discovered so many women whose names have been forgotten by history and we are humbled at every opportunity to share their story.”

Dyson College, Students, Award

Dyson Students Honored for Internship Work

Nine Dyson students were celebrated recently for their participation in the 2019 Wilson Center summer funded internship program, providing experiential learning opportunities to those interested in social enterprise, nonprofit, and public service careers. Students interned at organizations including WaterAid, the 9/11 Tribute Museum, Latino U College Access, and the Billion Oyster Project. They presented learning outcomes at a reception on September 11.

Student, Award, Social and Natural Sciences

Psy Club Awarded for Suicide Awareness

The Pleasantville Pace Psychology Club has won a Community Service Program award for hosting the University's first Out of the Darkness Campus Walk for Suicide Awareness. Sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the May 2019 event raised more than $2,000 and featured guest speaker Brian Halloran ’91, founder of the Break the Hold Foundation. The club plans to host a second walk in May 2020.

Student, Award

Student Film Wins Best Documentary

Hawaii: Living on the Edge in Paradise?, produced by student filmmakers from the Media, Communications, and Visual Arts department, has won Best Student Documentary Short Film at the  2019 Williamsburg International Film Festival. Watch the film here.

Faculty, Award, Social and Natural Sciences

Profs Receive $372K NSF Grant

Professors Sergey Kazakov and Nancy Krucher and Assistant Professors Sally Marik and Aaron Steiner in the Biology and Chemistry and Physical Sciences Department were awarded $372,304 from the National Science Foundation through its Major Research Instrumentation Program. This will allow the purchase of an automated high-resolution fluorescence imaging system in fall 2019, which will be used across several research areas, such as neuroscience, developmental biology, cancer biology and novel drug delivery systems, as well as enhance undergraduate research and training. On the benefits of the technology to students, Principal Investigator Marik says, “This microscope will allow Pace students in the sciences access to cutting-edge equipment, strengthen their quantitative skills, and provide them real research experience in our teaching laboratories.”

Dyson College

Criminal Justice Ranks Third

Pace has been nationally ranked third in College Factual's list of 2019 Best Criminal Justice Programs for Returning Adults Analysis, placing the University in the top 1 percent of all US schools for nontraditional students studying criminal justice. This ranking was created to help those seeking criminal justice programs that provide support for nontraditional students and successful outcomes for graduates.

Faculty, Award, Arts and Humanities

Opportunitas in Action: Dyson Profs, Alumna Receive Inaugural Awards

Two Dyson professors and a distinguished alumna received Pace University’s first-ever Opportunitas in Action Award. This new honor, presented at the 2019 commencement ceremonies, recognizes innovative thinkers who have contributed positively to the community in the spirit of the university’s mission of Opportunitas. In New York City, Matthew Bolton, associate professor of Political Science, and Emily Welty, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Director of Peace and Justice Studies, were recognized for empowering students to make a difference, both in the classroom and through Pace’s award-winning Model UN program. Their work with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, involved student participation. In Pleasantville, the recipient was Shirley Acevedo Buontempo ’84, ’12, MPA, who was honored for her work establishing Latino U College Access, a nonprofit that provides college resources and support to first-generation students and their families.

Faculty, Award, Arts and Humanities

Professor Celebrates Film Fest Win

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.

Faculty, Award

Research Council Honors Dyson Professor

Clinical Associate Professor of History Maria Iacullo-Bird, PhD, has been honored with the Volunteer of the Year 2019 Award from the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Iacullo-Bird, who is also assistant dean for undergraduate research, grants, and special projects and executive director of the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences at Pace, served as elected chair of CUR’s Arts and Humanities Division from 2016-2019.

“Dr. Iacullo-Bird is exceptionally deserving of this special recognition,” said Elizabeth Ambose, CUR executive officer, in a letter announcing the recognition. “[As chair], Maria expanded her advocacy by working with the National Humanities Alliance and Americans for the Arts to support federal funding for undergraduate research, and to advocate for the value and importance of the arts and humanities.”

CUR is a global organization established to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. The award was officially presented to Iacullo-Bird this summer at the group’s annual business meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Dean, Dyson College

Want to succeed? Study Liberal Arts

In an editorial in the Westchester County Business Journal, Dyson College Dean Nira Herrmann explains why “liberal arts programs are relevant to today’s job market.” The bottom line: liberal arts programs teach the core skills that enable individuals to thrive in every field of employment. At Pace, that’s combined with a wide range of internship, research and experiential opportunities to give students the practical skills employers demand. Read more

Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty

Env Prof Explains "Manhattanhenge"

In a recent AccuWeather segment, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Monica Palta discussed “Manhattenhenge,” a phenomenon which occurs when the rising and setting of the sun aligns perfectly with the unique east-west street grid of New York City. Palta describes events like the solar eclipse and “Manhattenhenge” as those that “really draws us out of our place.” It occurs annually around the summer and winter solstices.

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