Please join the Office of the Provost in congratulating faculty who have received distinguished honors, as well as those who have presented, published, and performed professional service during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Distinguished Honor Recipients

The Russell Sage College Exemplary Service Award for Faculty was awarded to Christine Mulligan, OTD, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy.

The Russell Sage College Faculty of the Year Award was awarded to Peter Stapleton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Professional Education Programs, and Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives.

The Susan Warren Beatty Faculty Research Award for Excellence in Research was awarded to Marisa Beeble, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

The Terry Cannizzaro Award for Full Time Faculty Award was awarded to Francesca Durand, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Educational Leadership.

Promotion to Professor

Debra Collette, OTD, Occupational Therapy


Melody Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Art History, 15 years of service

Carol DiMambro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, 41 years of service

Deborah Lawrence, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, 30 years of service

Jerome Steele, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of the Practice in Educational Leadership, nine years of service

Lynne Wells, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Education,five years of service

Sabbaticals for the 2024-2025 Academic Year

Debra Collette, OTD, Occupational Therapy, spring 2025

William Fillmore, MFA, Visual + Performing Arts, fall 2024

Nathanael Green, MFA, Interdisciplinary Studies, spring 2025

Julie McIntyre, Ph.D., Psychology, fall 2024

Emilly Obuya, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2024-2025 academic year


Jae Kim, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies,  Betty Harder McClellan Distinguished Professor in Humanities (2024-2026)

David Baecker, MFA, Visual + Performing Arts, Sherman David Spector Professor in the Humanities (2024-2026)

Haidy Brown, Ph.D., Management, Emily L. Mantilia Professor in Business (2024-2025)

Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D., Biology and Health Sciences, Lewis A. Froman Endowed Fellow (2024-2025)

Shealeen Meaney, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies, Judith A. Barnes Faculty Fellow in Communications (2023-2025)

Michael Musial, Visual + Performing Arts, Edith McCrea Professor in the Fine Arts (2023-2026)

Michelle Napierski-Prancl, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Studies, The Reverend Dr. Edith Grace Craig Chair of Religion and Philosophy (2023-2026)

Patricia O’Connor, Ph.D., Psychology, Lorraine Walker Chair in Developmental Psychology

Sandra Penny, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, Walter Robb and Anne Gruver Robb Fellow in the Sciences (2022-2024)

MaryEllen Tedesco, Management, Lawrence Family Foundation Professorship in Economics and Business (2023-2025)

Publications, Presentations, Service, and Honors

“Views of African Higher Education Scholars About Effective Leadership” by Professor of Educational Leadership Daniel Alemu, Ph.D. was published by the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education in August 2023.

Professor of Theatre David Baecker, MFA presented “Teaching Tennessee Williams in the 21st Century” at the 2024 Northeast Regional Honors Conference in Albany in April. His presentation was based on material from his Honors course, “Tennessee Williams’s Women.” He was part of a panel honoring award-winning actress and Troy native Maureen Stapleton hosted by Catholic Central School in March. Stapleton was also a major interpreter of plays by Williams. In December 2023, Baecker directed A Christmas Carol with Troy Foundry Theatre and in July 2023 he directed The Fat Man: An Audience with Sydney Greenstreet at Glen Conservancy Hall in Glen, New York. The one-act play written and performed by Byron Nilsson tells the story of the last days of actor Sydney Greenstreet. 

Professor of Art History Melody Davis, Ph.D. chaired the session, “Jim Crow Recontextualized, 1870-1930” at the conference of the College Art Association in February in Chicago. She delivered a paper, “Lost Among the ‘Cannibals’: A South African Musician in Jim Crow America” at the same conference. This involved a re-attribution of a misidentified stereoscopic image of a Swazi musician issued by the Keystone View Company and photographed by George K. Lewis in 1931. The legend on the card back falsely insinuated that the musician was a cannibal, which Davis associated with racialized imagery of Jim Crow. In December 2023, Davis was named a peer reviewer for the International Journal on Stereo and Immersive Media. In August 2023, she delivered a lecture, “That Banjo! In Stereo and Culture from the Late 18th to Early 20th Centuries,” at the National Stereoscopic Association’s Sessions on the History of Stereoscopic Photography. She spent June 2023 researching racialized performance in narrative stereoviews of the 19th and 20th centuries at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian, on a Library of Congress/National Stereoscopic Association Fellowship. 

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Joe Dragone received the 2024 Excellence in Education award from the University at Albany. In May, he co-presented “Advancing New York’s Clean Energy Workforce: From Proposal to Implementation” and “Education to Employment: Opportunity for Adult Learners” at the New York Association for Continuing and Community Education conference. In January, he provided expert testimony before the Vermont State Legislature House Committee on Education regarding a bill proposing to allow school districts to create boards of cooperative education services to provide shared education services and access grants on a county level. In October 2023, Dragone was appointed to the SUNY Future of Healthcare Workforce Task Force’s Workforce Pipeline Workgroup and was a member of the regional site visit leadership team for the NSF Regional Innovation Engine Proposal “Upstate Makes: A Materials Innovation Engine for Manufacturing Sustainability.” In July 2023, he was a panelist for “Strategies for Building Semiconductor Partnership Networks: Leveraging What Works and Expanding Capacity” at the Semiconductor Education and Training Pipeline Summit, hosted by SUNY, Empire State Development, and the Business Council of New York State.

“Discovering Differential Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Education Workforce,” a book chapter by Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Francesca Durand, Ph.D., appeared in a special volume, Addressing Differential Impacts of COVID-19 in New York State from SUNY Press. In April, she presented on developing systems for assessing educator dispositions at the conference for the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation in Orlando. 

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Bonnie Fischer-Camara, OTD, OTR/L and fellow members of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Commission on Continuing Competence and Professional Development presented a short course, “Making Your Mark as an OT Practitioner: Planning your Next Five Years,” at AOTA’s Inspire Conference in March in Orlando.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Trudy Hutchinson, DNS presented “Nursing and Literature: Shaping Honors Curriculum for Health Sciences and Nursing” with Professor of English Tonya Moutray, Ph.D. at the 2024 Northeast Regional Honors Conference in Albany. Her article, “A Century of Self-Care: The Enduring Legacy of Nurses House,” appeared in a National Nurses Week supplement published by the New York Daily News in May.

Recent publications from Associate Professor of Biology and Health Sciences Kristi LaMonica, Ph.D. include In Her Shoes, a book by and for women with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (available for free download at and a Global Support Group Guide in partnership with the Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance (available for free download with other support group resources at In April, she helped plan a Living Well with Parkinson’s event at the Clifton Park YMCA, where she presented on the experiences of women with Parkinson’s Disease. In March, she was part of NEWS10’s Remarkable Women series, honoring women who influence public policy, social progress, and quality of life in Albany and nationally. In December 2023, she participated in a PMD Alliance webinar on navigating YOPD as a woman, and in July 2023, she presented posters, ”Gaps in the Literature for Women with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease” and “Comprehensive Survey Data Set of Women with Parkinson’s by Women with Parkinson’s,” at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Barcelona. The former included work done in collaboration with RSC students and the latter highlights data from the PD Avengers women’s group surveys disseminated through the Michael J. Fox Foundation. These surveys are the first of their kind to quantify the impact of the menstrual cycle on Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

Professor of Mathematics Deborah Lawrence, Ph.D. was selected as one of 17 professors from the U.S. and Canada to participate in the Mathematical Association of America‘s Open Math Learning Community on Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers. Over the course of the 2023-2024 academic year, this group developed open educational resources that can be used or adapted in elementary math courses.

“Convents and Women Religious,” a chapter by Professor of English Tonya Moutray, Ph.D., was published in volume three of the Oxford History of Irish and British Catholicism, a five-volume series that seeks to foreground the lives and experiences of Catholics across the British Isles and Ireland from the 16th to 21st centuries. Moutray’s chapter covers the mid-18th century until 1829, a period characterized by war, displacement, refugee migration, and the re-settlement of women’s religious communities in England, as well as the expansion of orders in Ireland through which women developed education and health care services for the marginalized. Her book review of Convent Autobiography: Early Modern English Nuns in Exile by Victoria Van Hyning appeared in the Journal of British Studies and her review of Figurations of the Feminine in the Early French Women’s Press, 1758-1848 by Siobhán McIlvanney appeared in ABO Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830. In April, Moutray presented “Nursing and Literature: Shaping Honors Curriculum for Health Sciences and Nursing” with Assistant Professor of Nursing Trudy Hutchinson, DNS at the 2024 Northeast Regional Honors Conference in Albany and in February she presented “Religious Inheritances: Refugee Nuns and the Romantic Period” at the Wordsworth Winter Conference at the Jerwood Centre in Grasmere, England. 

Professor of Sociology Michelle Napiersk-Prancl, Ph.D. was quoted in “Gender Neutral Baby Names Gain Popularity, but Traditional Names Still Rule,” published by Voice of America News on February 23, 2024; “Goodbye Linda, Hello Liam! How do Names go Extinct — and Get Reborn?,” published by The Guardian on September 20, 2023; “Why are ‘Olivia’ and ‘Noah’ so Popular? What Happened to ‘Michelle’? Here’s What Trends in Baby Names Tell Us,” in The Boston Globe on June 8, 2023; and “Dick & Jane, Liam & Olivia, and … Daniel Boone: The Story Behind Our Hand-Picked Names,” in the winter 2024 issue of 27587 Magazine.

“Implementation of Functional Behavior Assessments for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Exhibiting Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors,” coauthored by Associate Professor of Applied Behavior Analysis Cheryl Ostryn, Ph.D., BCBA-D, was published by the International Journal on Social and Education Sciences in August 2023.

Professor of Nursing Jody Scardillo was re-elected as secretary of the board of directors of the Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society. At the society’s 2023 conference in Las Vegas, she delivered a debridement workshop lecture and co-authored a poster on how a turning and positioning education video decreased hospital-acquired pressure injuries.  

In April, Assistant Professor of Geography Ali Schaeffing, Ph.D. presented on community-engaged scholarship at a national gathering of the U.S. Community for Refugees and Immigrants. She spoke as a representative from a leading chapter of the Every Campus a Refuge movement. In February, she was a panelist for the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy discussion of the role of higher education in immigrant integration.

Instructor of Dance Sara Senecal is one of 12 choreographers selected for the New York State Choreographers Initiative, a funding opportunity administered by The New York State DanceForce in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts. It is designed to help choreographers develop their skills and advance their creative practice. Each awardee receives a $2,500 stipend, access to a mentor, and support for 20 hours of creative time with dancers and other collaborators. Each project is essentially a mini-residency, designed to fit the specific needs of each artist.      

“The Effects of an Adapted Walking Program on Fatigue Levels in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study,” by Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Rupali Singh, Ph.D., has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the Indian Association of Physiotherapists. The project was accomplished with the help of a Schacht Grant from Russell Sage College. In May 2023, the American Physical Therapy Association New York’s research committee selected her pilot study investigating the effects of low-level laser therapy on painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy for funding through its Arthur J. Nelson Research Designated Fund Award. That study is ongoing. Singh mentored a student project,”Effect of Aquatic Therapy on Glycemic Control in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: Systematic Review,” which they presented at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Boston in February and at the fall 2023 APTA New York Conference. In December 2023 PeerJ Publishing invited her to review a manuscript, titled “Deteriorated Sleep Quality and Associated Factors in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Complicated with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.”    

Spring semester 2024 presentations by Professor of History and Political Science Harvey Strum, Ph.D. included “1809 Election in New York” at the Midwestern Political Science Association conference; “Bryan, Canada, and World War I” at a New International Virtual Association Conference; “Antichrist Journeys to the Promised Land” on an online panel of the International Conference on the Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences; and “New York City and the War of 1812” at the New York State Political Science Association conference. Strum also chaired the international relations session at the New York State Political Science Association’s conference. His published pieces include “New York City and the War of 1812” in the New York History Review and a letter to the editor, “Jews can’t escape anti-Semitic attacks” in the Schenectady Gazette on April 20; “Quebec’s Aid to Ireland” in the proceedings of the International Conference on Humanities, Social and Education Sciences; a letter to the editor, “Trump sending clear message on Jews” in the Schenectady Gazette, October 12, 2023; a book review of Spain, the Second World War, and the Holocaust in The New York Military Affairs Symposium Review, September-October, 2023; an article, “Jewish Women’s Organizations of the Capital District” in the New York History Review, August 3, 2023; a letter to the editor, “Anti-Semitism now mainstreamed in politics” in the Schenectady Gazette, July 27, 2023; a letter to the editor on the relationship between Governor Martin Glynn and the Albany Jewish community in the Times Union, July 10, 2023; and an abridged and illustrated version of “Atlantic Canada’s Aid to Ireland During the Great Hunger,” published by the the Irish Cultural Association of New Brunswick in June 2023.

“Teaching Relationship Science,” an invited book chapter coauthored by Assistant Professor of Psychology Julie Verette Lindenbaum, Ph.D., will appear in the third edition of the Cambridge Handbook of Personal Relationships. She presented “A Sexual Stereotype Linking Sex in Casual Relationships with Low Self-Esteem” at the Midwestern Psychological Association conference in Chicago in April and is concluding her six-year term as teaching committee chair for the International Association for Relationship Research. Verette Lindenbaum is also coauthor of  “Is There a Kernel of Truth to the Stereotype That Women Who Engage in Casual Sex Have Lower Self-Esteem?,” which appeared in Personality and Individual Differences in May,  and “Teaching Relationship Science: Continuity and Change in the Craft,” which appeared in Personal Relationships in July 2023. She presented “Scaffolding Resilience in Undergraduate Students” at the International Association for Relationship Research mini-conference in May 2023 in Phoenix. 

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