Meet Your Alumni Council
2017-2018 Alumni Council Members
President and President Elect
After a long career in TESOL (in the US and Asia), I came to Teachers College in 1989, to pursue a doctorate in International Educational Development. Soon after arrival, I was able to get a workstudy job in the International Student Office. Twenty happy and rewarding years later, I retired from TC as Director of International Services. I always said I had the best (and most fun) job at TC, as I worked with the College's wonderful international students and scholars, truly 'the best and brightest' from all around the world. 'About 20 minutes' after I retired, I was asked to join the Alumni Council, and for six years I served as co-chair of the International Outreach Committee and as a member of the Awards Committee. My tenure as a Council member enabled me to stay connected with TC’s international alumni and to learn more about the entire TC alumni community. We are a most impressive Association! I am honored that my fellow Council members elected me to serve in the presidential “stream.” I believe that all of TC’s alumni can play important roles in identifying and supporting prospective students; offering networking and professional opportunities to current students; and facilitating life-long connections with the College and fellow alumni. It is the role and responsibility of the Alumni Council, in coordination and cooperation with the Office of Alumni Relations, to create and implement strategies that will increase alumni engagement in all these areas. I am fully committed to leading the Alumni Council and the Association toward these goals.
Connect with Marion
Ed.D. '96 | International Educational Development
Having earned three degrees and having been an adjunct professor at Teachers College, my horizons were significantly broadened and I have been constantly invigorated to learn more.
Connect with Philip
M.A. '72, M.E. '73 | Psychological Counseling
Ed.D. '81 | Guidance in Elementary Education
My work with Teachers College has challenged me to be the best educator I can be and to encourage the diversity of educators and others who come through TC's doors to work together on the common goal of bettering ourselves, and more importantly, bettering those around us.
Connect with Jeffrey | @DrJeffreyP
M.A. '97, M.E. '98, Ed.D. '11 | Higher & Postsecondary Education
Executive Committee Members
I now know all about how to motivate employees, so they are productive and satisfied. In fact, I am now obsessed with Management Theory and I am proud of this skill I learned at TC!
M.A. '98 | Social-Organizational Psychology
From the moment that I first arrived at TC I felt "Changed". I felt a sense of history wash over me and a feeling that I could become a part of that TC history. Given that I attained 3 graduate degrees at TC and spent 8 years as a student at TC I know that I've been impacted in many ways and continue to be impacted everyday. The greatest impact has been in how I view myself as a College Professor...as an educator first. I learned from great examples of mentors at TC that it is our students that come first and that we should do whatever we can to assist them,shape them, and educate them in their fields and as people. TC also gave me a great understanding and appreciation for the enterprise of Higher Education, that so many are lacking. When I first got to TC I just paused and touched the wood paneled walls of Zankel and Thompson halls. I was even moved by the cafeteria given it's beauty (obviously not the food). The lounge in Zankel and the Library might have been my favorite spots, but so was the court yard. I never took TC for granted and always appreciated the fact that I had the privilege to be a part of such a great institution....the best there is.
Dr. Gibaldi is a Professor of Management and Organizational Behavior at both Harvard University and St. John’s University. He also maintains an Organizational Consulting practice, and is a Fulbright Scholar. He has over 30 years of experience in the education and corporate consulting sectors.
During his career thus far he has published in the areas of Human Resource Management, Career Planning and Development, Strategic Planning, Organizational Development and Change, Issues Related to the Changing face of Retirement, and The benefits of Working with an Executive Coach. His present research and writing is in the areas of “Fear in the Workplace”, “Organizational Behavior in a Global Context”, and “Possible Causes of a Failure of Leadership”. He has written and delivered over 40 professional papers at international conferences and recently returned from the University of Bologna (Italy) where he carried out a number of professional academic activities as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.
His educational background is in Psychology, Management, Organizational Behavior, Understanding the Adult Learner in the Workplace, Curriculum and Faculty Development, and Management Development (post doctoral studies at Harvard University). He presently teaches and has taught numerous Management courses both traditionally (in the class room), as well as “live” via web-conference.
Dr. Gibaldi has many personal interests that he is fully engaged in and has sat on many nonprofit boards. Presently he serves as the Board Chair of a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn, NY that provides social services to the poor, Pre-K programs, and College Scholarships to underprivileged NYC youth.
M.A. 83 | Psychology-Organizational
M.E. '87, Ed.D. '89 | Higher Education
Connect with Carmine.
In the years since I attended as a student, I have come to appreciate even more my time spent at TC. The quality of education and educators was then, as it is now, naturally world-class. The TC experience helped shape me as a thinker, and underlined for me the importance of life-long learning.
Jennifer received her master’s degree in Communication and Education from Columbia University, Teachers College and her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Communications and Women’s Studies from Fordham University.
Jennifer currently works as the Coordinator for the Dance/Movement Therapy Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence College. The Program is one of only seven Graduate Programs in the country for Dance/Movement Therapy. Prior to Sarah Lawrence, she has worked in project and account management for WebMD and AstraZeneca, and worked for the Archdiocese of New York in the Safe Environment Office and in religious education at the parish level.
In the past, Jennifer served many years as a mayoral appointed Yonkers Public Library Trustee and as a pastor appointed member of the Parish Council for St. Joseph Church in Bronxville, NY. Recently, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the North Shore Beach Property Owners Association in Long Island.
In November 2016, Jennifer completed training to become a certified ProVetus Mentor through the Teachers College Resilience Center for Veterans and Families.
A native New Englander, Jennifer resides in Westchester County and Long Island with her husband, son, rescue dog, and two birds.
M.A. '99 | Communication and Education
Teachers College truly gave me the vision of always trying to improve and excel in the education of young people. As educators, we must strive to continue learning, doing research, and collaborating with our peers in order to stay “cutting edge” in our knowledge and experiences in education. Teachers College challenged me to widen my educational philosophy to a growth mindset in that we never stop learning ourselves. My time at TC was invaluable and was truly the best education I have ever received.
M.A. '92 | Education Administration
TC provided me the perfect balance of theory and practice I needed to become a successful school administrator. As a principal, director, and now superintendent of schools, I still find myself referencing lessons learned from professors and fellow students - in short, TC taught me what real leadership is about.
Rory McCourt is the Superintendent of Schools for the River Vale Public School District in River Vale, New Jersey. Prior to this, he served as both the Interim Superintendent of Schools and Director of Curriculum for the Westwood Regional School District, after starting his administrative career in Westwood as Principal of the Brookside Upper Elementary School. Rory also served as a fourth grade teacher and eighth grade social studies/English teacher in the Ramsey School District, as well as a 7th grade teacher in the Paterson School District. In addition to Rory's work on the Teachers College Alumni Council and in River Vale, he is also the Bergen County Association of School Administrators's New Jersey Small Schools Committee representative, chairs the BCASA Professional Development wing, and serves as a mentor to aspiring administrators in northern New Jersey.
M.Ed. ' 07 | Education Leadership
My specialty in human capital and the economics of education was finely honed at TC, and has continued as my consummate passion throughout a most interesting and fulfilling career. I am honored and delighted to serve on the Alumni Council, a forum with a mission that enhances all alumni ties to the College and to one another.
Ph.D. '79 | Philosophy and the Social Sciences
Jane E. Neapolitan
I am currently Professor of Education and Assistant Provost for Academic Innovation at Towson University, Maryland. With more than 30 years’ experience in higher education as teacher and administrator, I have a passion for collaborations and partnerships that result in opportunities to learn for people from all backgrounds. The majority of my career has been in teacher education where my scholarship has focused on research about school-university-community partnerships. In 2013, I was given the opportunity to create a new unit at my university that would create communities of practice centered around teaching with technology and online learning. My current work focuses on faculty learning through experiences such as course redesign, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and virtual learning communities.
Ed.D. '94 | Curriculum and Teaching
Kate is a Senior Consultant at Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company. Currently, she serves as Head of Change Management and Communications for the organization’s European business, as well as its Operations and Technology function. During her tenure with the company, Kate has worked on a variety of global and regional assignments, including a three-year assignment in Hong Kong as Chief of Staff for Asia Pacific. Her professional interests include executive coaching, leadership development, organizational development, corporate governance, employee engagement, and talent management. She resides in London.
M.A. '12 | Psychology-Organizational
Alumni Council Members
Dr. Renée J. Blumstein is an educational psychologist with over 30 years of experience working in programs of all types and at all levels (PK-16). A graduate of the Teachers College Ph.D. program in Educational and Psychological Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, Dr. Blumstein has successfully applied her qualitative and quantitative skills to a host of different organizations including the largest corporations in the U.S. However, she finds the most satisfaction working with schools to identify and implement programs and practices to enhance their curricula and policies so that their students are able to reach their highest potential.
Since moving to Long Island in 1996, Dr. Blumstein has worked with high needs suburban schools to strengthen programs and services using evidence-based research and evaluation. She has worked with these schools on developing competitive grant proposals, winning more than $100 million over the last 20 years for schools that serve predominantly at-risk students.
Dr. Blumstein is interested in connecting with current Teachers College students to discuss educational research and evaluation, statistical methods, and fund raising for high needs schools.
Connect with Renee
Ph.D. '86 | Measurement and Evaluation
Ed.D. '04 | Health Education
M.E. '79, Ed.D. '82 | Instructional Technology and Media
M.A. '00 | Psychology-Organizational
M.E. '01 | Psychological Counseling
Arnold F. Fege is President of Public Advocacy for Kids, a national group devoted to federal and national education and child advocacy policy with a focus on low-income and special needs children and families. You will find Arnie working on the Hill, with federal agencies, school districts and community based organizations where he contends that policy must be shaped and crafted from the bottom-up, but with a strong federal presence in assuring equity. His personal and professional passion is to fight for the rights of students, parents and families who have no voice in the education of their children, in the United States and internationally.
Arnie is a 1974 TC graduate majoring in Education Leadership and Policy and has been working in the fields of public education and child advocacy for over 35 years. He has served as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum, and desegregation director, and is former journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times and AP covering the Vietnam War and urban problems in education, Director of Governmental Relations with the National PTA, and Director of Public Engagement and Advocacy for the Public Education Network. As a staff member for the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, he helped draft provisions of the original ESEA (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act), and has been involved in each ESEA reauthorization since 1965.
Fege has written and spoken widely on issues of education equity, civil rights, teacher professionalism and community engagement. He serves on numerous non-profit boards, and has received awards, some of which include the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Peace Award, Roosevelt Center Congressional Child Advocacy Award, the National PTA President’s Recognition for Outstanding Child Advocacy, and the Nelson Mandela Award for International Education Leadership and Social Justice. He is currently working with seven South East Asian nations on education, social justice, and community development. Arnie is a staunch TC advocate and credits TC with “having a major influence in crafting his education philosophy and TC professors in inspiring his policy work.”
Connect with Arnold
M.Ed. '75 | Education Administration
Michael C. Gillespie
Michael Gillespie was the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs whose primary responsibility was for academic support services and faculty
development. Dean Gillespie also managed the college’s immersion programs, high school partnerships, Urban Male Leadership Academy,
IRB and COPE.
Prior to coming to BMCC, Dean Gillespie served as Professor of Education and Senior Director of Collaborative Programs at Bronx
Community College. He has served as founding director of the City College/Hunter College Principals’ Center and has taught secondary
English, worked as a guidance counselor and corporate trainer. His primary research interests are on urban schools and the best
practices for preparing both teachers and principals to lead them effectively. Dean Gillespie earned his combined AB/MAT in English
at Brown University, M.A, and Ed.D at Teacher College, Columbia University.
M.A. '80 | Student Personnel Administration
Ed.D. '83 | Entry into Educating Professions
Myah Irick Moore
I have had the unique opportunity to both study and work at TC. This diverse and open community has exposed me to a distinct way of thinking. TC has encouraged me to continuously challenge myself and those around me, with the ultimate goal of promoting acceptance and mutual respect. By continuing to engage with fellow alumni and former colleagues, I am reminded to live my life with purpose and to motivate others to do the same.
Connect with Myah
M.A. '06 | Higher & Postsecondary Education
Beverly Elmyra Johnson
The experience of study and social interaction that I encountered at Teachers College broadened my world beyond my expectation,for this I am very grateful.
Beverly Elmyra Johnson is a native New Yorker, the eldest of seven children, born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn.
Beverly has degrees from Brooklyn College, The City College, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ed. D. 1986. Social work, elementary school teacher, elementary school guidance counselor, assistant professor of education and middle school guidance counselor describe some of the work that she has done. Her publications include:
1992 “The Student Fieldwork Experience Cycle: Learning to Think Like a Professional.” College Student Journal. Vol. 26, No. 2, 260-262.
1992 “Learning in School: Facilitating the Child’s Emerging Construction of Self.” Education. Vol. 112, No. 3, 439-442.
1991 “An Education of the Imagination: Expanding the World of Children Living in Poverty.” Journal of Instructional Psychology. 18(3). 174-177.
1991 “The Role of Students Learning to Read.” Reading Improvement. 28(1), 61-63.
1989 Book Review by Beverly Elmyra Johnson. To Open Minds: Chinese Clues to the Dilemma of Contemporary Education by Howard Gardner. Capstone Journal of Education. Vol. IX, No. 3, 71-72.
As an advocate for art education in schools, Beverly presented a paper (10/2016) “The Relevance of Art” at the “School of Visual Arts Thirtieth Annual National Conference of Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists” Also, Beverly is an amateur flutist.
Ordained as an elder at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, Beverly has served 3 full terms on their Session and taught their adult class The Book of Psalms. In 2016 she was elected to serve (6 years) on the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of New York City.
Along with the Alumni Council, Beverly also serves on the Campaign Committee.
M.E. '83, Ed.D. '86 | Family and Community Education
Emmanuel "Noel" Leyco
M.A. '80 | Organizational Psychology
I learned, at TC, not just about anthropology and education, but (perhaps more importantly) about myself. Looking back, those were the most precious years shaping me as a person. Currently, as the Director of Education at China Institute in America, I truly value the formative years at TC, which broadened my vision and mind, sharpened my thoughts, and connected me with some of the most passionate and brightest people I have ever met. For me, while TC wasn't an immediate launching pad, it truly built the most critical foundations with lasting values for my career until today.
Connect with Shenzhan
M.E. '04 | Anthropology and Education
TC taught me to understand the intricate complexity of education, and to look for different ways to approach the challenges we face in classrooms and policy. Currently, I am back in Brazil and have focused my work on disseminating and implementing social and emotional learning programs. I have worked in classrooms, developed curriculum and started nationwide programs in public schools - and TC’s teachings has been with me along the way. Serving in the Alumni Council is a chance to contribute and give back to the place that has given the world so much knowledge.
Connect with Leticia
M.A. ’11 | Elementary Inclusive Education
At 15 years of age I knew two places I had to see were Africa and Australia. T.C.’s Teachers for East Africa program was the gateway. Three years living in Kenya was followed by a return to T.C. for further graduate work. The assistant to the Registrar, Phyllis Packer, was a joy to my eye. We married. Our firstborn from that union is a man most of you know: Jeffrey S. Putman. Completing fifty-seven more years of various high school and college positions, I surrendered to Jeffrey’s cajoling and applied to the Alumni Council. Since my application to T.C. sixty-three years ago, this school has been a enduring segment of my life.
M.Ed. '71 | Teaching of Social Studies
When I began the M.A. program in Organizational Psychology at TC back in 2000, I had already been in the working world for almost 20 years. I found it exciting to be learning the theory behind the organizational dynamics playing out in front of me from my position in the corporate world. I was able to use the Master’s program as a learning laboratory and to apply in real-time the leadership and change models I was studying. I believe this provided a clear return-on-investment for my company and provided a strong foundation for my eventual career as an OD consultant.
TC continues to nourish me both personally and professionally. I am inspired by the exceptional people I meet through my ongoing involvement with the College and the constant flow of ideas that TC supports across a broad range of disciplines. I am grateful for my TC education, and committed to staying connected and giving back through the Alumni Council for years to come.
Connect with Fran
M.A.'01 | Organizational Psychology
My involvement keeps me up to date on relevant trends and issues in education. It is also a great networking avenue as I meet people with great ideas and knowledge they are willing to share.
Connect with Carla
Ed.D. '93 | Higher Education
Jalene Spain Thomas
My professional trajectory has been forever shaped by my graduate studies at Teachers College. As a graduate of the Klingenstein Center’s Leadership Academy, I am committed to working for an independent institution that understands the centrality of education in promoting social justice and diversity. My training draws me to schools with a student body and faculty that represent the increasing diversity of our nation. I believe that well-funded schools should serve as a model and resource for students, faculty, and families of under-resourced schools while also appreciating and learning from the best practices used by these schools. I am committed to contributing to the alumni network’s recruitment of teachers to Teachers College who are willing to engage in and forward the public-private discourse. I am also committed to participating in and supporting programs that use the Klingenstein Center’s cohort model to promote leadership development.
In partnership with another Teachers College graduate, Rodney Glasgow, I co-founded the Administrators of Color in the Washington Metropolitan Area (AOC/DMV). I currently serve as the co-convener of the group. We offer support to administrators of color in area independent schools as part of a regional network and cultivate a professional learning community for sharing best practices and engaging in leadership development.
Jalene has recently begun a post as Lower School Head at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA, a JK-12 co-educational Episcopal School. She was previously the Assistant Head of School at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School in Washington, DC where she served as a teacher and administrator for sixteen years.
M.A. '11 | Private School Leadership
Graduating from TC, directly and indirectly influenced so many parts of my life. Many times I have harnessed my experience at TC as well as TC's strong reputation, in order to gain access to opportunities (both professionally and socially). I got my first role in educational publishing via a TC job fair, which helped to led me into my current role as an Educational Instructional Designer.
Courtney Steers came to Teachers College as a former math and science teacher and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Politics and Education in 2010. Initially, she utilized her degree for policy and grant work as part of the Gates Foundation and the Police Athletic League. Over her career, she continued to expand her skill set and made the transition into educational publishing and elearning. She has worked as a consult with PARCC and SBAC and developed educational software as part of a start-up, StraightAce, and with a large global company, Pearson. Currently, she works as an Educational Design Technologist at New York University (NYU) and works closely with world renounced faculty to develop online courses and materials.
Connect with Courtney
M.A. '10 | Politics and Education
It was at TC that I became immersed in Deaf Culture for the first time since losing my hearing at age 17. Through my program—the wonderful professors, classmates, and opportunities—I discovered confidence and direction. Every single one of those experiences helped shape my identity as a Deaf woman and challenged me to pursue a career in which I would promote inclusion and create opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
M.A.'05, M.E. '05 | Hearing Impairment
M.A. '89 | Student Personnel Administration
Ed.D. '01 | Higher Education
I entered Teachers College in the fall of 2013 to study international educational development. My coursework taught me the importance of intercultural communication and comptency, which would prepare me for my career following graduation from TC. I have a desire to use intercultural communication in organizational psychology through diversity and inclusion initiatives, and look forward to engaging with international students and alumni, while serving on the Council to continually build TC's reputation worldwide.
M.A. '15 | International Educational Development
Katherine Houghton Zatz
Dr. Katherine Zatz is the Assistant Dean for the School of Administrative Science for the Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies, at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. She is the Coordinator of the Cyber Crime labs and programs in Cyber and Homeland Security, Administrative Sciences, Student Services, Sports Administration, and Service Innovation and Leadership.
Dr. Zatz was appointed to the Board of Trustees of American Public University System in 2004, and has served as the Chair for ten of those years. For the past 12 years she has been a member of the Registry of College and University Presidents; and, until 2018, she was a senior consultant in organizational research, change management, and employee engagement with boutique firm Toolpack Consulting LLC.
In addition to serving on the Board of American Public University System, in June of 2017, Kate was named to the Macalester College Alumni Board and the Teachers College - Columbia University Alumni Council.
As Vice President of Student Development at SUNY-Rockland, Kate was responsible for enrollment management, financial aid, student activities and athletics, the student information system, two off-site centers, administration of federal and state grants, and academic advising. Within one year at SUNY-Rockland, she stabilized enrollment after ten years of decline, and increased new student enrollment.
In her eight years at Hudson County Community College, Dr. Zatz was responsible for more than doubling the enrollment from 2,900 to 8,400, without substantial budget increases. She also helped to raise student retention by 26 points.
As the Dean of Students of the Vaughn College of Aeronautics, she raised student retention by 17 points, and substantially increased enrollment. She also instituted a housing program with full occupancy; a peer-based tutoring program responsible for an average of one grade-point increase among participants; and a bridge program for high school students, 80% of whom entered the College. Her initiatives also increased the number of women enrolled from 50 to over 150 over three years.
Kate has served as the President of the New Jersey Deans’ Association for Community Colleges, has been a member of the Legislative Committee for the Council of County Colleges, and acted as a Middle States Commission peer evaluator. She served on the Substantive Change Committee of the Middle States Commission for six years.
Dr. Zatz has been a guest lecturer at Teachers College – Columbia University, served on dissertations hearing committees at Seton Hall and Capella Universities.
Kate holds a doctorate in higher and adult education and two master’s degrees from Teachers College – Columbia University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, and attended the University of Wisconsin - Marathon County Center. In 2017, She earned her certification in Human Resource Management from Cornell University. She also holds certifications from the HERS program at Wellesley College, ACE Women in Education, Institute of Education Management of the Harvard School of Education and in Corporate Governance of The Wharton School of Executive Education.
Kate’s current research interests are the appropriate use of technology in education.
Connect with Katherine
Ed.D. ’93 | Higher Education
Past Presidents and Mentors
Frances O'Connell Rust
Charles D.W. Thompson
Anna Bell Washburn