Faculty and Staff Celebrated at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary Year End Luncheon

After celebrating Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary students and graduates with a week that included a nursing school pinning ceremony, multiple hoodings, two baccalaureates and the commencement ceremony, employees were celebrated at the annual Year End Faculty and Staff Luncheon on the Rockland County campus.

Four individuals who exemplify the employee distinctive of commitment, loyalty and standards of excellence were honored.

Dr. Glenn Koponen was recognized for 50 years of service to Nyack’s School of Music. Starting as a part-time lecturer in 1967, he climbed the ranks as a full-time instructor, assistant professor to associate professor and in 2009 was named dean of the School of Music. Surrounded by his adoring colleagues, the essence of this gentle man was remembered fondly in an introduction by Executive Vice President David Jennings.

Dr. David Turk was applauded for serving 40 years at Nyack College. A 1975 magna cum laude Nyack College alumnus, Dr. Turk joined the staff as the director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program in 1978 and instructor in English and served in other roles including chair of the division of performing arts and communications and associate professor of English, chair of the English Department, vice president and dean at the New York City campus and in 2003 was named provost and vice president for academic affairs, the position he currently holds. Two former students, now Nyack faculty–Prof. Beverley Locke and Dr. Kevin Pinkham–offered tributes and Dr. Lyndell O’Hara, a pioneering faculty member on the the NYC campus shared remarks via video.

Honoring the late Director of Database Operations, the Rick Santiago Commitment to Mission Award was presented to a faculty member, Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah, an associate professor of Bible and theology and director of the rites of passage program called Woman; the staff honoree for this award was Dr. Charles Hammond, dean of students on the New York City campus.

Service awards were also presented to the following employees:

5 years of service: Jennifer Hong, Dr. Daniel Kaluka, Jonathan Rivera and Dr. Rexi Thomas

10 years of service: Maria Arroyo, Dr. Gordon Boronow, Bonita D’Amil, Dr. Inseon Hwang, Anges McGarriagle, Dr. Andrew Mercurio, Raquel Shaffer, Dr. Donald Skinner and Giselle Swann.

15 years of service: Amanda Aikens, Daniel Bailey, Karen Davie, Heather Garcia, Joel Jameson, Melinda Kong, Sunya Notley, Angela Roth, Joy Santiago, Andres Valenzuela, Dr. Carlos Velez, Deborah Walker and Dr. Marie White

20 years of service: Julianne Cox, Deborah McDonald and Joshua Way

25 years of service: Dr. Jonathan Gates, Dr. David Jennings, Dr. Leonard Kageler, Linda Poston and Cindy Reeder

30 years of service: Kevin Buel and Dr. Tammy Lum

Professor Emeritus status was granted to Dr. Glenn Koponen and Dr. Leonard Kageler.

Dr. Jeffrey Ducek was promoted from associate professor to full professor; Dr. Antoinette Rivera was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of mental health counseling. Professors who have received summer research grants are Dr. Carol Awasu, Dr. Jonathan Gates, Prof. Beverley Locke and Dr. Jackie Washington.