Instructors

The Learning Collaborative attracts a vibrant group of instructors, ensuring an ongoing stream of long-term and new educators. Many bring an intense passion for their subject, which while not necessarily connected to their earlier careers, is deeply learned and embraced.  Our student body often expresses its enthusiasm for these instructors. 
We listen to them!

Suzanne Altman

Suzanne Altman, B.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Master’s in Art Education, Pace University, has taught art and art history in public and private schools. She lectures on art history at many venues in the Hudson Valley and New Jersey. Suzanne is also a painter who works and teaches out of her studio in Ossining. Her works have been widely exhibited.

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Helena Bardusco

Helena Bardusco is a Golden Circle Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. She has been providing organizing services in the Manhattan, Westchester, and Rockland areas for over 20 years. She was featured in the Holiday Issue of Rockland Magazine.

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Susan Barnett

Susan Barnett holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Queens College. She has taught at Bronx Community College and at Fairleigh Dickinson. She has also taught ESL for many years in the Teaneck Public Schools as well as at the Tenafly Adult Education program.

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Bill Batson

Bill Batson, a trustee of The Historical Society of the Nyacks, publishes a weekly sketch and short essay about Nyack in NyackNewsAndViews. He chaired the effort, with the Toni Morrison Foundation, that created a monument to the Underground Railroad. Bill has worked for non-profits, labor unions, and in NYS government as an organizer, writer, and public relations specialist.

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Kenneth Bé

Kenneth Bé, performing lute music since 1974, has been taught by notable lute players including Sylvian Bergeron, Ronn McFarlane, Paul O’Dette, and Nigel North. He participated in the Boston Early Music Festival and has played duet recitals with McFarlane. His repertoire for early plucked musical instruments spans from the earliest known lute tablatures of the late 15th century through the twilight of the lute in the late 18th century, plus the surviving music for the vihuela and guitar of the renaissance and baroque periods. Bé is originally from Tappan and has worked as a painting conservator at The Cleveland Museum…

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Courtney E. Boniface

Courtney E. Boniface is the managing partner of Cane & Boniface, PC, a boutique law firm based in Nyack, NY. The firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is dedicated exclusively to planning and settling estates for individuals and families. The firm was recognized in 2015 by the Rockland Development Council with the Corporate Leadership Award.

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Brian Bonvissuto

Brian is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. He plays all the trombones (alto, tenor, bass), euphonium, and tuba. He has played in the orchestras of the Broadway shows Chicago, Gypsy, The Color Purple, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Come Fly Away with Me. He is a pit substitute on Broadway. He has also performed or recorded with musical acts such as Blood, Sweat and Tears, Lionel Hampton, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Marlene VerPlank, and many others. When he’s not playing at home he’s an arranger and copyist.

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Robin F. Brancato

Robin F. Brancato has taught English, journalism, and creative writing at Hackensack H.S., Teaneck H.S., and Kean University, all in New Jersey. She has published eight young adult novels with Alfred Knopf and two nonfiction books for teenagers with Scarecrow Press. She is a member of the Authors Guild, PEN International, and Writers Guild East.

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Dr. Anna MacKay-Brandt

Dr. Anna MacKay-Brandt is a NYS licensed psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology and geriatrics. She is a scientific investigator on a number of research studies, lead neuropsychologist for the Clinical Evaluation Center, and a NY State Research Scientist. Her research interests are in cognitive changes associated with aging, plasticity of cognitive function, and factors that can modify the preservation of cognitive abilities into later adulthood.

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Sabrina Chapadijev

Sabrina Chapadijev is a musician, songwriter and musical director who has independently recorded and produced two CDs of her own work and performs all over New York and the country.

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Phyllis Citrin

Phyllis Citrin holds a B. S. in Biology and a Master’s in Science Education from CCNY. She did research and participated in leadership institutes at Princeton, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Nathan Kline, and Cornell University.  She was a finalist for 1999 New York State Teacher of the Year and has taught Advanced Placement Biology and Science Research for over 44 years.

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Dr. Marty O. Cohen

Dr. Marty O. Cohen has a doctorate in Nuclear Science and Engineering from Columbia University. He has lectured on history, science, and the historic approach to Bible at Road Scholar (nee Elderhostel) seminars, the Melton Institute, alumni associations, synagogues, culture clubs, and many times here at the Collaborative. He is a member of TLC board and is the catalog editor.

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Karen Curlee

Karen Curlee was a performer on Broadway for 20 years, most notably in CATS, A Chorus Line, and Showboat. She then completed an Arts Management certificate program at NYU and has designed and implemented arts in education programs for Together in Dance, New York City Center, The Bronx Arts Ensemble,  and the University of Michigan.

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Officer Niles Davies

Officer Niles Davies is the Community Police Officer for the Clarkstown Police Department. He has experience in Community Police, Crime Prevention, Scams, Emergency Management, CARES unit, and VIN etching.

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Anna de la Paz

Anna de la Paz,Spanish dance artist, is a performer, producer and educator, specializing in the classical and folkloric dances from Spain. After having studied extensively in Spain and in the US, she feels honored and privileged to share her art form on many important stages as a dancer, teacher and lecturer.

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Mary Lou Dillon

Mary Lou Dillon is a certified bioethicist from a program jointly sponsored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She earned an M. A. in History from NYU. She is a Distinguished Scholar at the Hastings Institute.

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Jim Evers

Jim Evers, M.A.T., Oberlin, writer, entrepreneur, and retired educator, has taught all grades, K– 12, graduate school, and corporate training programs. He is the Co-Facilitator of Grassroots Community Service Projects. Jim is the founder of the Center for Exploring Creativity and New Possibilities.

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Rick Feingold

Rick Feingold holds a B.A. in History and Business from Rutgers and an M.B.A. from Penn State. He has 30 years of teaching experience, currently teaching “American Business History” and “The Air Force in World War II” at Bergen Community College. He also teaches at Ridgewood Community School and Emerson Community School. He has lectured at over fifty local libraries and has written for the Boston Herald and Christian Science Monitor.

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Jeffrey Friedberg

Jeff is an award-winning performing musician, a board-certified music therapist, and a NY State licensed creative arts therapist. He sings and plays banjo and guitar. He currently runs Music for Life Creative ArtsTherapy in Nyack. He uses music to help children, teens, and adults build skills, form relationships and improve their lives.

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Karen Gilbert

Karen plays the violin and viola and is the current concertmaster of The Rockland Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed widely in the United States, touring nationally with The Eastern Opera Company, and in Europe with the Allegro Chamber Ensemble. She was formerly a member of the Gotham Piano Trio, The Huntington Trio, River Trio and Gamela Son Of Lion and also recorded for Folkways and A&M records. Most recently she performed at Carnegie Hall for two seasons with the Senior Orchestra of Local 802. She’s left behind a long career as a teacher of strings in Rockland County schools…

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Howard B. Goldstein, M.D.

Howard B. Goldstein, M.D., a pathologist, has studied public policy conflicts, epidemic disease, climate change, and moral philosophy.

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Dr. Leonard (Lenny) Grob

Dr. Leonard (Lenny) Grob is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His expertise lies in the areas of Holocaust Studies and ethical issues pertinent to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. As a member of a small think tank, he currently brings peace proposals on this Middle East conflict to ambassadors and their deputies at the UN.

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Patricia Haddad

Patricia’s music education began at a very early age. At six years old she was performing and singing in musicals and theatrical productions. Years later, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she studied opera as well. Patricia remains a singer with a 4-octave range, and a prolific songwriter whose compositions are marked by a lyrical and sensuous style. She has taught at several universities in the Philadelphia area and has also published a book, La Giara (The Water Jug), from which she created a musical inspired by the story of her Sicilian family’s emigration to America.

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Colleen Hawks

Colleen Hawks is a Broadway performer (Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman, and Shrek the Musical – available on Netflix and DVD) who has been teaching voice and musical theatre for many years. Other notable credits include the original Off Broadway production of Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party and Anything Goes with Chita Rivera.

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Louise Heit-Radwell

Louise Heit-Radwell has performed and choreographed in many dance, dance theater and performance art pieces throughout New York City and worldwide. She holds a MA from the Trinity Laban Conservatorie of Music and Dance in London, a CMA (Certified Movement Analysis) from Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC, a BFA in dance and theater from New York University and a certificate from the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd Street Y.

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Tara Hooker

Tara is the youngest child in an intimate Irish-American family wonderfully full of musicians. She began playing the harp at a very early age. Now she is giving harp lessons both privately and for the Rockland Conservatory of Music. Her students and their teacher have won honors and awards both at home and abroad. She also performs professionally at private events and other venues, including Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria and Plaza hotels.

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Susanne Kernan

Susanne Kernan is a Rockland grassroots activist and volunteer Climate Reality Leader trained by former US Vice President Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project in 2020. She is a founding member of Rockland Citizens Action Network, and a long-time member of the Rockland Water Coalition. As one of over 20,000 trained Climate Reality Leaders from over 150 countries, Susanne has a deep understanding of the science of climate change, the impacts of the climate crisis, and possible solutions to the crisis that each of us can take individually at home and collectively in our community. Susanne guest taught about…

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Louis Landon

Louis is a composer and Steinway artist. He has toured internationally, playing classical music for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jazz Fusion with the John Payne Band, Latin music with “Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers,” Pop Music with Rupert Holmes’ “Pina Colada Song,” and Rock and Roll with the John Hall opening for “Little Feat.” He has released 39 albums/CDs – his latest is Provocative Piano. His mission is to create a more compassionate world by writing, recording, and performing music that inspires love, peace, joy and gratitude.

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Dr. Floyd Lapp

Dr. Floyd Lapp has an M.A. and Ph.D. from NYU in Public Administration/Urban Planning and has been a practicing urban planner for more than half a century. He was attracted to his profession from the personal experiences of neighborhood change as he was growing up in the Bronx. While at home, he listened to his sister’s Frank Sinatra records. City planning, baseball (he lived within walking distance of Yankee Stadium), and Sinatra have been with him all his life.

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Dr. Duncan Rogers Lee II

Dr. Duncan Rogers Lee II is a local attorney and former acting Village Justice. His newspaper column “The Law and You” and his WRCR radio show of the same name ran for over a decade. He coaches the Nyack High School Mock Trial team.

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Jim Levey

Jim Levey, formerly a partner at American China Mercantile and a senior manager at IBM, holds an advanced degree from the China Studies Asian Institute of St. John’s University and is now working to introduce China education to mainstream Americans at various institutions.

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Dr. Steve Levy

Dr. Steve Levy, a psychologist, has worked in the fields of mental health and addiction for 50 years. He is the author of Managing the Drugs in Your Life, Children of Drug Abusers and The Mentally Ill Chemical Abuser, and the editor of Addiction in the Jewish Community. He has taught courses on addiction in colleges and medical schools and has lectured around the country. He is the founding director of the Rockland County Crack Cocaine Program and the Nyack Recovery Center.

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Joan Adinolfi Mallory

Joan Adinolfi Mallory has been an educator for 54 years both in public school and as head of the music education Department of Nyack College, 1998 to 2015. She received the Model Classroom Teacher award from MENC at the end of her public teaching career and now enjoys taking her “Opera Experience” class on the road.

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Richard Markowitz

Richard Markowitz has made a lifelong study of domestic and foreign record catalogs (from 78s to LPs and CDs) and has focused in detail on the history of sound recordings and published scores in the areas of concert works, folksong, and musical theater.

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Sandra Martin

Sandra Martin has a B.A. and an M.A.T. plus 36 hours of graduate work in Spanish. She has studied art formally at the Prado in Madrid, The National Gallery in DC, and the Met. For 32 years she taught in Ramsey, NJ. Since 2004, she has been an adjunct professor at Ramapo College where she has audited many courses on art and art history as well as other subjects.

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Ronni Miller

Ronni Miller is an award-winning fiction writer with eight published books. She created and founded Write It Out®, a motivational and expressive writing program in 1992 and teaches it in the US, Bermuda, and Italy at colleges, education centers, and private venues. She is a Book Midwife/Developmental Editor and guides her clients to birth their books from inception to delivery.

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Dr. Michael Nevins, M.D.

Michael Nevins, M.D., is a retired cardiologist and past president of the Medical History Society of New Jersey. Is the author of 12 books on various subjects in medical history.

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Katie Palmer

Katie Palmer is the Executive Director of Together in Dance. As a creator/performer, she has worked with dancers, singers, actors, and musicians across multiple performing arts organizations including NY Theater Workshop, Theater in Asylum, Alvin Ailey, and Disney Theatrical Group. She is delighted to draw on the rich talents of Together in Dance artists to present six amazing musical theater and dance professionals as they share their virtuosity with The Learning Collaborative.

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Constantine Pavlov

Constantine Pavlov (“Kos”) is a Project Manager and Web Developer for MESH Business Solutions, the firm that built and maintains the Learning Collaborative’s new website. Kos lives in the Ukraine and works virtually with his clients in the United States. He is well versed in numerous technologies relating to software and database development

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Dr. Alan J. Pierce

Dr. Alan J. Pierce, Ed.D., is the co-author of six textbooks on technology published by West Publishing and Glencoe McGraw-Hill. He was the technical consultant on the children’s book Discover How Things Work and was an editor for the six books created by The Techknow Project and published by Centre Pointe Learning. His magazine column on new and emerging technology is published monthly in the magazine TechDirections.

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