Mohawk Valley Community College announces the following new appointments, employee title changes, and promotions as approved by the Board of Trustees at their March 21, April 18, and May 16, and June 21 meetings:
- Salina Billins, Director of Opportunity Programs
- Molly Cameron, Librarian—User Experience
- Julianne Cardone, Controller
- Durell Cull, Track and Field Head Coach/Athletic Specialist
- Steffani DiPierro, GEAR UP Coordinator
- Frank DuRoss, Vice President Emeritus
- Venancio Fuentes, Instructor, School of STEM-Career
- Jaime Gallardo, Coordinator, Workforce Development
- Julia Hobika, Coordinator of the Center for Leadership Excellence
- Angela Marken, Assistant to the Office of Institutional Advancement
- Kshaw Paw, STEP Program Specialist
- James Roberts, Assistant Professor
- Erin Rooks, Health Professions Resource Specialist
- Jensen Saere, Job Corps Scholars Counselor
- Jaime Sangiacomo-Jackson, Coordinator, Re-Entry
- Andriana Semko, Instructor, School of Health Sciences
- Krystal Smith, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
- Devin Sonne, Instructor, School of STEM-Transfer
- Kenny Stover, Instructor, School of STEM-Career
- Courtney Taurisano-Sprague, Director of Development
- Christine VanNamee, Assistant Professor
- Marie Veschusio, Admissions Specialist
Salina Billins has transitioned to the position of Director of Opportunity Programs and will provide leadership for the overall administration of MVCC’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) grant, including supervision, budget management, grant requirement compliance, and program assessment. Billins has been with MVCC since 2012 in a variety of capacities, beginning as a GEAR UP Academic Specialist, Completion Coach, GEAR UP Coordinator, and most recently as Director of the EOP. She also is a Leadership Co-Facilitator for MVCC’s Center for Leadership Excellence’s Neighborhoods Rising series. Prior to joining the College, she worked for Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency as a family advocate, child development supervisor, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Green Job Training Program manager, and finally education manager. Billins holds a master’s degree in leadership and instruction for inclusive classrooms from Utica College and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication disorders from SUNY Buffalo.
Molly Cameron was appointed to the position of Librarian—User Experience and will deliver comprehensive library and information services to students, faculty, staff, and community members using current and emerging technologies to provide a quality user experience. They also will take part in teaching information literacy, facilitate access to libraries’ collections, serve as a liaison to the Academic Affairs department, and participate in collection development and management activities, the assessment process, and in professional development activities to keep abreast of current developments and best practices related to areas of responsibility. Cameron previously served as an on-call reference librarian at Illinois Central College, a research and doctoral committee graduate assistant at university of South Carolina, a graduate teaching assistant at University of South Dakota, and an access services student worker at Western Illinois University. They hold a master of library and information science degree from University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in English from Western Illinois University.
Julianne Cardone was appointed to the position of Controller in the Business Office and will be responsible for the oversight and management of the College’s fiscal affairs, including general accounting, bursar operations, student receivables, and management of student financial aid funds, budget preparation and control, grants, investments, and all aspects of internal and external audits and compliance. She also will train, direct, and guide assigned personnel in respect to these objectives. Cardone served most recently as corporate controller for Nascentia Health, and previously worked as a counselor/interim accounting manager at Special Metals Corporation, consultant/senior accountant at The Bonadio Group, Chief Financial Officer at Sitrin Healthcare Center, controller at Mohawk Valley EDGE, controller/director of finance at St. Luke’s Home, director of finance at United Way of Utica, office manager at Carbone Honda, controller at the Jewish Community Center in Utica, and senior auditor at Wyner, Rinehard and Fitzgerald. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Utica College.
Durell Cull has been appointed to the position of Track and Field Head Coach/Athletic Specialist. Cull has worked at MVCC since 2013 in a variety of part-time positions, including Assistant Sprint Coach, Adjunct Instructor, Technical Assistant, Head Cross Country Coach and Head Track and Field Coach. Prior to joining the College, Cull served as a supervisor at Upstate Cerebral Palsy and recreational specialist for Job Corps. Cull holds a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from SUNY Oneonta and an associate degree in Recreation and Leisure Services from MVCC.
Steffani DiPierro has transitioned to the grant-funded position of GEAR UP Coordinator and will manage programming and support services for GEAR UP, overseeing the effective delivery of a wide range of instructional support and interventive services to support program retention and completion. DiPierro has been with the College since 2016, first as an Adjunct Instructor and College Services Associate and most recently as a GEAR UP Program Specialist. She previously held positions as senior secretary/supervisor at The Neighborhood Center, certified second consultant/manager at Aspen Dental, assistant merchandise manager at DSW in Syracuse, and department manager at JC Penney in New Hartford. DiPierro holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from SUNY Empire State College and a bachelor’s degree in world history from University at Albany.
In recognition of his many years of outstanding service, Frank DuRoss has been named Vice President Emeritus.
Venancio Fuentes was appointed to the position of Electrical Engineering Technology Instructor in the School of STEM. Before joining MVCC, Fuentes served as a professor of electronic engineering technology and was chairperson for Engineering Technology and Criminal Justice at County College of Morris in New Jersey. He also served as a senior systems engineer at Kearfott Navigation and Guidance in New Jersey and a systems engineer at Sperry in Long Island. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from SUNY Stony Brook.
Jaime Gallardo was appointed to the grant-funded position of Coordinator, Workforce Development in the Center for Corporate and Community Education and will be responsible for meeting regional workforce development needs by coordinating the development and delivery of educational programs. Gallardo most recently served as a student support assistant at Syracuse University and worked as education and disability services coordinator at Community Action Partnership in Canastota, program director of Rehab Resources, Little Lukes, at World of Wonder Childcare Center in Fulton and Camillus, and was lead toddler teacher at Peace Inc., EHS Program in Camillus. Gallardo holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Syracuse University.
Julia Hobika was appointed to the program-funded position of Coordinator of the Center for Leadership Excellence and coordinate the development and delivery of leadership programs for personal enrichment and professional development. She also will work collaboratively to identify and prioritize the educational needs of leadership, enrichment, and development offering. Hobika most recently served as a site coordinator on the Family Advocate Connections Team at CNY Health Home Network. Before that, she was a care manager III for their Health Home Serving Adults team, a Utica family court victim advocate at the YWCA Mohawk Valley, and an intern at The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication with minors in business and psychology from University at Albany.
Angela Marken has been appointed to the position of Assistant to the Office of Institutional Advancement and will provide administrative and office support for the Office of Institutional Advancement to assist with fundraising and community development. She also will be responsible for maintaining various financial and budgetary detail for the office and the MVCC Foundation Board of Directors and research, gather, and maintain confidential donor, prospect, and financial information. Marken previously held the position of registrar for Pratt MWP College of Art and Design and has been an adjunct professor of art at MVCC and American University of Health Sciences in California. She also served as a front office coordinator in the Department of Mathematics at University of California, Irvine. Marken holds a master of fine arts degree in painting from Laguna College of Art and Design, bachelor’s degrees in visual art and business administration from SUNY Potsdam, and an associate degree in Fine Arts from MVCC.
Kshaw Paw has transitioned to the grant-funded position of Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) Specialist in the TRIO-Upward Bound and GEAR UP department and will provide direct services to STEP students and assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program. Paw has been with MVCC since 2021 as a part-time STEP Advisor. Prior to joining the College, Paw was a hospital interpreter for Mohawk Valley Health System and a teacher’s assistant/teacher’s aide at Notre Dame Elementary. Paw holds a bachelor’s degree in childhood education from SUNY Oneonta and associate degrees in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Adolescent Education and Liberal Arts and Sciences: General Studies from MVCC.
James Roberts has transitioned to the position of Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities and will teach courses in English. He has been with the College since 2010, serving as a Professional Writing Tutor, instructor, assistant professor and most recently as Dean of the School of Humanities. Roberts holds a master’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a bachelor’s degree in English from Utica College.
Erin Rooks was appointed to the position of Health Professions Resource Specialist in the School of Health Sciences and will supervise the Health Professions Resource Center, reinforcing learned content and skills with individual students. She also will be responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating strategies to improve student retention in the School’s programs. Most recently, Rooks worked as a Registered Nurse—clinical coordinator for Loretto Health and Rehabilitation’s Restorative Care Unit in Syracuse. She also has been an RN at Syracuse VA Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital and was a Licensed Practical Nurse at St. Joseph Hospital and Finger Lakes Health in Geneva. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Governors University in Utah and an associate degree in Nursing from MVCC.
Jensen Saere was appointed to the grant-funded position of Job Corps Scholars Counselor and will provide youth of diverse backgrounds from the high-needs population of Utica with rigorous academic instruction, occupational skills training, and viable pathways to college and careers. He also will act as a program liaison and student advocate, coordinating and referring students to MVCC and community resources as needed. He previously worked as a residence counselor and peer support counselor at Access CNY in Syracuse and as a crew member at Dunkin Donuts. Saere holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY Cortland and an associate degree in human services from Onondaga Community College.
Jaime Sangiacomo-Jackson has transitioned to the grant-funded position of Coordinator, Re-Entry and will be responsible for taking a lead role in coordinating support/educational services and activities to assist post-release returning citizens and offenders transitioning back into the community. Sangiacomo-Jackson has been working at MVCC since 2017 as a Transfer Success Advisor and most recently as a part-time Education Outreach Center Technical Assistant/Bookkeeper. She also previously served as an adjunct instructor at the College. Prior to joining MVCC, she was an admissions advisor at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, nursing administrator III at Utica University, child and family advocate at the Child Advocacy Center in Utica, Medicaid service coordinator at the Resource Center for Independent Living, and an employment specialist at Wildwood Programs in Latham.
Andriana Semko has transitioned to the position of Instructor in the School of Health Sciences and will teach courses in the Health Information Technology program. Semko has held a term appointment as an instructor at MVCC since 2021. Prior to joining the College, she served as program director and professor for the medical coding and billing program at Bryant and Stratton College, director of Health Information Management at Sitrin Healthcare Center, remote outpatient medical coder for Himagine Solutions in Tampa, revenue integrity specialist/outpatient medical coder for Oneida Healthcare, and release of information coordinator for Mohawk Valley Health Systems. Semko holds a master of business administration degree in technology management and a bachelor’s degree in health information management from SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Krystal Smith has been appointed to the position of Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and will be responsible for providing a full array of counseling, mentoring, and coaching services and personal and educational counseling for individual students. She also will be responsible for the evaluation of mental health and mental health-related cases and may provide short-term intervention and referrals to community agencies when appropriate. Smith previously worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at St. John’s Riverdale Hospital in Yonkers, a MICA specialist at Nyack Hospital, an addiction therapist and primary therapist at Rochester Regional Health Systems, and a chemical dependency counselor at Action for a Better Community, New Directions in Rochester. She holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, both from St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y.
Devin Sonne was appointed to the position of Instructor and will teach chemistry courses in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Sonne previously served the College as a professional tutor and then an adjunct instructor. Since then, she has worked at Kerry Bio-Science in Norwich as health, safety, and environmental manager. She also has served as a teaching assistant at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), a research assistant at University of Rochester, an environmental sustainability intern for Constellation Brands, an undergraduate research assistant at Cornell University, and a daily operations and sales manager at Dick Sonne’s Cycles and Fitness. Sonne holds a master of professional studies degree in environmental chemistry from SUNY ESF, bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and environmental studies from University of Rochester, and an associate degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Chemistry from MVCC.
Kenny Stover has transitioned to the position of Instructor in the School of STEM and will teach courses in HVAC and refrigeration. Stover has been had a term appointment as an instructor at MVCC since 2020. Since 2000, Stover has been the owner/operator of Stover Heating and Cooling in Vernon. He also has worked as part of the maintenance crew for Holmes County State Park, a bus driver for VVS School District, an engineering lab technician for ECR International, an associate engineer for Philips Broadband Networks, and was a communications supervisor in the U.S. Army at Fort Drum. He holds a bachelor’s degree in digital art from SUNY Empire State College and associate degrees in digital animation and HVAC from MVCC.
Courtney Taurisano-Sprague has transitioned to the position of Director of Development in the Office of Institutional Advancement and will collaborate with the Executive Director on the planning, management, and execution of the College’s major gifts campaigns and all fundraising activities. She also will be responsible for the tracking, identification, cultivation, and stewardship of alumni, donors, and prospects. Taurisano-Sprague has been with MVCC since 2016 as Development Assistant. She previously served as coordinator of marketing and public relations for Broadway Utica, account executive at Brockett Creative Group, communications specialist at Sitrin Healthcare Center, research analyst at Herkimer-Oneida Counties Planning Program, director of communications and constituent services representative for the New York State Senate, and public relations representative for United Food and Commercial Workers District Union Local. She holds a master’s degree in business communications from Jones International University in Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Syracuse University.
Christine VanNamee has transitioned to the position of Assistant Professor in the School of Business and Hospitality and will teach courses in business. She has been with the College since 2014, serving as adjunct instructor, instructor, and most recently as Dean of the School of Business and Hospitality. She previously worked as an associate financial representative at Northwestern Mutual, a financial analyst at Cathedral Corporation, and a commercial credit analyst at Partners Trust Bank. VanNamee holds a master of business administration degree from SUNY IT and a bachelor’s degree in management from SUNY Brockport.
Marie Veschusio has been appointed to the position of Admissions Specialist and will work closely with the Director of Admissions to develop and implement an admissions recruitment plan that is consistent with the College’s strategic plan and initiatives. She also will be responsible for recruiting students to achieve college enrollment objectives by working with high school counselors, adult learners, community agencies, and local businesses. Veschusio joins MVCC from Cazenovia College, where she served as the assistant director of Admissions. She also has worked as an art instructor/college guest lecturer at The Copper Easel in Rome and is an artist/co-owner of Songbyrd Street Studios. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art from Cazenovia College.
Mohawk Valley Community College, established in 1946, is New York State’s first community college with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. As the community’s college, MVCC is committed to student success through partnerships, transfer and career pathways, and personal enrichment. With campuses in Utica and Rome, MVCC is the region’s primary provider of college education, offering 90 degree and certificate options for its enrollment of 6,000 full- and part-time students. MVCC also serves an additional 6,000 people through its corporate and community education programs, and its campuses welcome more than 50,000 people annually for community events. To learn more about MVCC and its programs, visitwww.mvcc.edu.