Images of various faculty members.


Faculty/Staff Accomplishments and News: Fall 2016

December 8, 2016

Photo: Some of the NYIT faculty members making news with their recent accomplishments. From left to right, top to bottom: Nick Bloom, Rozina Vavetsi, Ziqian (Cecilia) Dong, Robert Sherwin, Susana Case, Purushottam Meena, Fang Li, Matthias Altwicker, Zehra Ahmed.

From teaching professors to be better teachers to examining affordable housing in New York, read the most recent news and accomplishments from NYIT faculty and staff members below, including from:

The NYIT Office of Academic Affairs regularly shares news and accomplishments updates on its website. If you are a staff or faculty member with news you would like to share with the NYIT community, please follow this procedure.

College of Arts and Sciences

Nicholas Bloom, Ph.D. (, associate professor of social sciences, had his new book, Affordable Housing in New York, featured in an article in Metropolis magazine. The article, “Can Affordable Housing Overcome the Odds (Once Again) in New York?,” called the book “an excellent primer on the many efforts that have been made toward tackling affordability, with lessons both cautionary and encouraging.” The book was co-edited by Bloom and highlights case studies on affordable city housing written by more than two-dozen scholars, including Matthias Altwicker, B.Arch, M.U.P. (, associate professor of architecture. Bloom, along with co-editors Lawrence Vale and Fritz Umbach, was also awarded Best Edited Book in Planning History at the 2016 International Planning History Society for a collection titled Public Housing Myths (Cornell University Press).

Susana H. Case, Ph.D.
(, professor and program coordinator of behavioral sciences, read from her manuscript-in-progress at Queens Council on the Arts as part of a Boundless Tales Anniversary celebration, which featured writers with a connection to the borough of Queens.

Michael Gamble, Ph.D. (, professor of English, along with his wife, Teri Gamble, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at The College of New Rochelle, were honored with an APEX 2016 Award of Excellence in the “One-of-a-Kind Publications—Print” category for their book, The Public Speaking Playbook. The APEX Awards for Public Excellence is an annual competition “recognizing excellence in publishing by professional communicators.”

Amanda Golden, Ph.D. (, assistant professor of English, edited a new book, This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton, published in November 2016. This collection of critiques of one of America’s most influential women writers “reassesses [Anne] Sexton and her poetry for the first time in two decades and offers directions for future Sexton scholarship.”

Anya (Anna) Hamrick, Ph.D. (, assistant professor of English at NYIT-Nanjing, had her peer-reviewed article, “Bodily Willfulness: Intentionality and the Neurological Unconscious in Dostoevsky’s A Writer’s Diary,” published in the International Journal of Russian Studies in July 2016. Hamrick also had a peer-reviewed article, “Psychic Surveillance: Punitive Psychiatry in Sokolov’s A School for Fools,” accepted for publication in The Lincoln Humanities Journal for fall 2016.

John Hanc, M.A. (, associate professor of communication arts, had three stories published in recent months in The New York Times. The first, “Teaching Professors to Become Better Teachers,” which explores the (relatively) new emphasis on improving undergraduate teaching that is emerging at many colleges and universities around the country, was published in a special Education Innovation section on June 22, 2016. The second article, “A Back Door Into the Marathon Connects Runners With a Cause,” discussing the motivation of charity marathoners, ran in the Sunday Sports section on October 30, 2016. The third, “Asking for Money? Compliment the Donor, Not Your Organization,” was published in the Giving section on October 31, 2016, as part of the Times’ annual look at trends in the world of philanthropy and development. The theme of this year’s section was about what motivates people to give. Hanc’s story was about the language of giving—the words and the appeals that skilled fundraisers use to get people to open their wallets. Hanc also co-authored, Organize your Emotions, Optimize your Life, a Harvard Health book and William Morrow paperback, which debuted in September.

Robert Sherwin, M.F.A. (, associate professor of communication arts, recently completed a 30-minute documentary, Fatal Encounter–The Last Indians of Greenwich, which dramatically captures how European settlers violently eradicated 700 Native Americans from an area in southwestern Connecticut—now one of the wealthiest suburbs in America—in the worst massacre to occur between the two civilizations. Festival and educational screenings are planned.

Rozina Vavesti, M.Sc. (, associate professor of digital art and design, received two Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) InHouse Design Awards. (Scroll through until you arrive at The Hive logo.) The first was for the logo for The HIVE, a new NYIT facility featuring advanced design technologies (3-D printers, laser cutters, etc.). Vavesti received her second award for a poster she designed for CITYArts, Inc. and the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District announcing a joint project with NYIT featuring design ornaments produced by students at The HIVE for display on the 2015 Lincoln Square holiday tree.

Peter Voci, M.F.A. (, professor of digital art and design, had his sculpture featured in “Hawaiian Summer,” an exhibit at Viewpoints Gallery in Maui, Hawaii, that ran from July 9 – August 17, 2016.

College of Osteopathic Medicine

Joanne DiFrancisco-Donoghue, Ph.D. (, assistant professor, Min-Kyung Jung, Ph.D. (, biostatistician, Jayme Mancini, D.O.(, and Sheldon Yao, D.O. (, associate professor and chair, co-authored an article, “Osteopathic manipulation as a complementary approach to Parkinson’s disease: A controlled pilot study” that was epublished in October in OsteoBlast, a publication of the American Academy of Osteopathy, prior to its print publication in NeuroReahabilitation.

School of Architecture and Design

William Gates, M. Arch. (, adjunct assistant professor of interior design, is the architect of the United Nations Food Gardens, an initiative started in summer 2015 that established “small-scale food gardens and fruit-bearing trees on the UN Headquarters property in midtown New York. The designs incorporate raised beds, an area for wild flowers, and a kiosk with seating and shade.” This past summer, Gates teamed with NYIT interior design students to create beautiful signs for the gardens.

Jeffrey Raven, M. Arch. (, associate professor and director of the graduate program in urban and regional design, spoke on July 20 at Universita di Napoli II in Napoli, Italy, on “climate-resilient urban design” at the International Conference on Technological and Environmental Design for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas. Raven is also lead author of the urban planning and design chapter for the Assessment Report for Climate Change in Cities.

School of Engineering and Computing and Sciences

Babak Beheshti, Ph.D. (, professor of telecommunications and electrical engineering technology, had his article, “Encryption for the Internet of Things,” published in the September 2016 issue of (IN)SECURE Magazine, the first digital security magazine.

Ziqian (Cecilia) Dong, Ph.D. (, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Fang Li, Ph.D. (, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Babak Beheshti, Ph.D.(, professor of telecommunications and electrical engineering technology; and Dean Nada Anid, Ph.D. (, are among the co-authors of “Autonomous Real-Time Water Quality Sensing as an Alternative to Conventional Monitoring to Improve the Detection of Food, Energy, and Water Indicators” in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

School of Health Professions

Zehra Ahmed (, assistant professor and department chair of physician assistant studies, presented “Cultural Competence 101,” a workshop at the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA) conference held October 7-9 in Tarrytown, New York.

Mindy Haar, Ph.D. (, director of academic management in interdisciplinary health sciences, presented “Using New Technologies to Bridge the Virtual Distance in Online Health Education Delivery Formats” at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2016 Annual Meeting in Denver on November 1.

David Jackson, DHSc. (, associate professor of physician health studies, was named to the 14-member board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) in July 2016. He is serving as vice president and speaker of the House of Delegates.

Kristine Prazak, M.S. (, assistant professor of physician assistant studies presented “Use of Virtual Patient Software to Enhance Physician Assistant Student Knowledge and Competence in Palliative Medicine and End-of-Life Care” at the New York State Society of Physician Assistants Fall 2016 CME Conference in October 2016. She also presented “Uterus, Cervix, Tubes, and Ovaries...Oh My! What You Need To Know About Gynecologic Malignancies,” and co-presented “What Do 18-26 Year-Olds Know About Human Papillomavirus and its Associated Risks?” at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference in May 2016. Prazak also published her peer-reviewed article, “Ovarian Cancer: Practice Essentials” in Physician Assistant Clinics in July 2016.

School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education

Sarah McPherson, Ph.D. (, former department chair of instructional technology and former associate professor, published “Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas II: Application of a Competency Model to Experiential Learning for Sustainability Education,” on, operated by Elsevier.

Kate E. O’Hara, Ph.D. (, assistant professor and interim chair of the instructional technology program, led a discussion on the recently published book, Teacher Evaluation: The Charge and the Challenges, at the 17th Annual Curriculum and Pedagogy Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio in October 2016. O’Hara, who is the book’s editor as well as a contributing author, spoke about the issues faced by both pre-service and in-service teachers involving current evaluation measures that are biased, unreliable, and reliant upon quantitative outcomes. O’Hara also presented her paper, “Teachers as Critical Thinkers—or at Least We Think We Are,” about the increasing neoliberal effort to anti-intellectualize the teaching profession through standardization of the scripted work of K-12 teachers, as well as their students.

School of Management

Colleen Kirk, Ph.D. (, assistant professor of marketing, was selected to receive the Bright Idea Award, sponsored by the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University and the New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) Foundation, for her published paper “Investing the Self: The Effect of Nonconscious Goals on Investor Psychological Ownership and Word-of-Mouth Intentions.” The paper was selected as one of the top 10 of 141 papers compiled in the 2015 volume of the Publications of New Jersey’s Business Faculty.

Ravichandran Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (, associate professor of finance at NYIT-Abu Dhabi, received an award for outstanding contribution to education at the World Sustainability Congress in Dubai, held in October 2016. The award is presented to an individual who has “crafted leadership with his/her work and thinking” and recognizes excellence in the application of leadership principles to business situations.

Purushottam Meena, Ph.D. (, assistant professor of quantitative methods, represented NYIT as a panelist at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) event, “Innovation and Supply Chain Optimization Based on Production and Market Potentials in the Dominican Republic and the USA,” as part of Dominican Week 2016. See additional coverage.