After being named a Chronicle of Higher Education “Great College to Work For” five consecutive years, it is no surprise when Nyack College employees continue a connection even after retiring.
Such is the case with two beloved Nyack deans—Dr. JoAnn Looney, School of Education, and Dr. Sue Lane Talley, School of Music. Both concluded their full-time employment this year, but to Nyack’s good fortune these extraordinary educators will take on new roles. Dr. Looney will contribute time as an educational consultant and Dr. Talley will instruct one music course each semester.
Among the 49% of faculty who are women and of 82% of Nyack faculty with earned doctorate degrees, Drs. Looney and Talley have been highly regarded by both students, alumni, their colleagues and professional organizations.
Nyack College welcomed Dr. Looney to its School of Education faculty in 2004 and was appointed dean in 2008. For her distinguished service, she was the 2009 faculty member presented with the Commitment to Mission Award, an honor extended to employees who exemplify the institution’s core values.
During Dr. Looney’s tenure, the school achieved national accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in 2012. A part of maintaining accreditation is an ongoing process combining regular self-study and various levels of peer review every three to four years. Accreditation is currently held with the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation.
Reflecting on the past 18 years of serving and developing leaders in the field of education, Dr. Looney comments, “ I am—(and I know I speak for the outstanding School of Education faculty)—most proud of our students, the SALT (Service, Academics, Leadership and Teaching) of the earth. Our graduates, who serve locally, nationally and internationally, bless their students daily by embracing academic excellence and demonstrating Christlike compassion and love in their classrooms.”
Dr. Talley will enter this new season of retirement along with her husband, Dr. Dana Talley, a Nyack voice performance professor. Together they have selflessly given more than four decades of combined service. Nyack was one of the many campuses that the Talleys visited to present concerts and workshops in the ‘90s. When there was a faculty vacancy in the fall of 2000, they were presented with a proposal from the campus dean: “Would one of you take a job in the Nyack Music Department?” Because of her choral directing background, it was settled that Dr. Sue would accept the offer. Dr. Dana began his time at Nyack the following year.
“God gave us the opportunity to work with some of the greatest teachers ourselves and we wanted to pass on what was shared with us,” says Dr. Sue, who was once a pianist and a coach with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera.
While the campus community wishes Dr. JoAnn Looney and Dr. Sue Talley well as they begin a new chapter of their lives, they are also applauded for impacting hundreds of successful alumni—the true fruit and reward of their labor.
Well done, good and faithful servant leaders!