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!

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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Arlene Leventhal

Arlene Leventhal’s interest in the Arts has developed throughout her life. At Music & Art High School she concentrated in ceramics as well as other media. She studied Art Education at Brooklyn College where she received both her Bachelor & Masters degrees. She took workshops in watercolors, stained glass, quilting, and beaded jewelry and taught art for 24 years at every grade level from kindergarten to college. She was involved in writing interrelated arts programs (a grant from the Kennedy Center), staged yearly art exhibits in schools, malls, and offices, as well as exhibiting and selling her own work. Inspired by…

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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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Debra Levin

Debra Levin jumped into a sooner-than-expected retirement from a career in investments for major corporations. Late in her finance career, she embarked on her Positive Psychology journey by enrolling in the Wholebeing Institute/Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Positive Psychology program from which she earned a certificate in 2016. She has since taken additional classes in Positive Psychology and is thrilled to share her knowledge with the Learning Collaborative community.

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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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Muddappa Lokesh

Muddappa Lokesh grew up in India where he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Bangalore University. He later moved to the US and received an MBA in Finance from Iona College. He is currently working in Information Technology.

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Rabbi Paula Mack

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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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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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Sophia Patrikas

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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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Charlese Randolph

Charlese Randolph has an M.S. in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hunter College. She is a former Exercise Instructor for the RCC Senior Institute. Classes there also included retrospectives on Broadway and the Harlem Renaissance.

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Dr. Carl Rattner

Dr. Carl Rattner is a graduate of Grinnell College (B.A.), Cranbrook Academy of Art (M.F.A.), and New York University (D.A.). He is a sculptor and a recently retired art professor.  

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Amanda Rodriguez

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Judith Rose

Judith Rose, the founder of Vital MovementTM, is an experienced educator, choreographer, published poet and movement artist. She has an extensive background in a variety of movement arts, therapeutic modalities and specialized trainings. Her private practice and therapeutic wellness work is located in Nyack, New York.

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Mike Rossi

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Rabbi Craig Scheff

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Jeff Sherer

Jeff Sherer holds a BA from SUNY Cortland in Theater Arts/English, with a minor in Performing Voice and an M.A. from NYU in Educational Theater. As a video DJ, Jeff presents a Memory Lane music program at Rockland’s libraries, senior centers retirement and assisting living sites, the JCC, RPC, social clubs and charitable events.

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Martin Schneit

Marty Schneit is a born and bred New Yorker and a historian. He has lectured at many local institutions such as the NY Public Library, JCCs, The 92nd Street Y, The Health Outreach Program of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Central Synagogue, The Hebrew Home for the Aged (Riverdale), The Ziegfeld Society of NY, for patients at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, and the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University. The Jewish Braille Institute has recorded Marty’s lectures for their audio magazine and lecture series.

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Julia Schwartz-Leeper

Julia Schwartz-Leeper, LMSW, CYT, is a non-profit leader and social worker, specializing in aging and intergenerational and interagency programs. She has served as the CEO of several community-based non-profits (most recently Meals on Wheels of Rockland) and on several boards and advisory committees in healthcare. Julia is committed to advocating and reframing the way we approach and think about our own and each other’s aging.

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Dr. Ann Rothstein Segan

Dr. Ann Rothstein Segan has an interdisciplinary PhD in Expressive Arts for Social Change and is a research associate of the Living New Deal. Her current focus is the introduction of her father’s extraordinary photographic legacy to new audiences through articles, exhibitions, and illustrated lectures.

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Zev Shanken

Zev Shanken has been literary editor of Response, A contemporary Jewish Review. His poems appear in Richard Light’s Jewish Rites of Death, Red Wheelbarrow, Brevitas Festival, and others. With Richard Siegel he developed How to be a Perfect Stranger: a Basic Guide to Religious Etiquette for Jewish Lights. Zev is a member of Brevitas, an on-line poetry organization and, with Alice Twombly, conducted poetry readings in Bergen County through their program, “Thursdays are for Poetry.” Zev’s two books of original poetry, Memory Tricks and If I Try to be Like Him, Who Will Be Like Me? are available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Adam Sietz

Adam Sietz has decades of experience sharing enjoyable improvisation with all ages from 5–95. His career includes award-winning accomplishments on film (two times with Woody Allen), television, and three times on the Broadway stage. He is a co-founder of “Improvolutions,” an enterprise offering an “improv” approach to problem solving.

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Mark Silberstein

Mark Silberstein was a science teacher for 30 years and a professional development specialist and training facilitator for 14 years in the Yonkers public schools. He specialized in human relations skills and diversity and has trained students, teachers, school aides, and administrators. He has served on a community diversity committee for the Human Rights Commission of Rockland County.

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Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith (NYU, the Sorbonne and Cambridge) taught French literature at Cambridge University for many years before moving back to New York. She has lectured at Barnard, Columbia, Harvard and Sarah Lawrence. She is also the prize-winning literary translator of Irene Nemirovsky (12 novels including Suite Francaise), Camus (The Stranger) and Guy de Maupassant, among others.

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Rob Stoner

Rob Stoner has astounding credentials in classic rock including being Bob Dylan’s ex-bandleader and performing gigs with many world famous artists like Chuck Berry and Joni Mitchell. He is currently a guitar instructor in Nyack, specializing in beginners. His website is robstoner.com.

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Linda Hoju Strauss

Linda Hoju Strauss is a longtime Zen practitioner and an authorized assistant Zen teacher since 2007. She is a Dharma Holder and novice Zen priest and a student of Roshi Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts at the Heart Circle Sangha in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Linda also teaches at a prison in New Jersey.

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Macy Sullivan

Paralleling her teaching endeavors, Macy Sullivan also works as a dancer, rehearsal director, and dance editor for Caleb Teicher & Company. She has worked extensively with Dance Heginbotham, and has also enjoyed projects with Merce Cunningham Trust, The Bang Group, The Chase Brock Experience, and Pat Catterson. She is a graduate of Juilliard’s Dance Department.

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Robert Tompkins

Robert Tompkins has degrees from NYU and Cornell in majors unrelated to the course description. As a teenager, he learned that his Dutch Reform Protestant ancestor in 1739 was a slaveholder and thought him to be evil. Decades later, Robert discovered enslaving was not a Christian sin. He had to understand why and this lead to his writing a manuscript on the subject. Last year, he gave a lecture at TLC on “How Christianity enabled slavery and why that matters today.” Robert was a candidate for Orangetown Town Clerk in 2018.

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Alice Twombly

Alice Twombly has a B.A. in English from Brandeis and an M.A.T. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She taught Shakespeare and AP English at Teaneck H.S. for over 35 years. An educational consultant, photographer, and poet, Alice frequently lectures on literary topics at regional libraries, is the Curator of Thursdays Are For Poetry, a monthly poetry reading in Teaneck, and a member of Brevitas, an online poetry collective of over 70 poets in the NY Metro Area.

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Korliss Uecker

Korliss Uecker, an operatic soloist, earned her BA and MA degrees from The Juilliard School. She has appeared in over 150 Metropolitan Opera performances, including appearances with Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. The breadth of her repertoire and credits is vast and includes appearances with major symphony orchestras, at opera houses, and under the batons of such notables as James Levine, Donald Runnicles, Sir Andrew Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vladimir Jurowski, Edo de Waart, Julius Rudel, and Gerard Schwarz. She has premiered and performed works of today’s great contemporary composers. Of particular interest is her membership in “Feminine Musique,” a duo…

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Marc Wantuch

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