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Ms. Autumn Carol Nova | Administrator of the School of Music, NYC 
1. What brought you to Nyack/ATS? The Lord brought me to Nyack College on July 9, 2007. I remember it clearly because the experience of working here has been life-changing for me. God has enabled me to accomplish things--spiritually, personally, academically and professionally--at Nyack College that I could not elsewhere.
2. What is your favorite Nyack/ATS experience? Some of my favorite experiences involve serving the music department. I have had the opportunity and blessing to work at Lincoln Center and at Steinway Hall on 43rd Street. Through fellowship with the music faculty and students at both campuses, I have attended piano recitals, student recitals, operas at the Met, on and off-Broadway shows and have gone to Venice, Italy under the leadership of Drs. Sue Talley and Dana Talley.
3. Favorite food: My favorite food or beverage of all time is definitely coffee. I enjoy a strong cup of pure black coffee or espresso. Hold the milk and the sugar, please.
4. Latest interesting read: I am currently reading Anxious for Nothing: God's Cure for the Cares of Your Soul by John MacArthur. This is a definite must read.
5. Unknown talent or interesting fact about yourself:   Over the years, I have had different interests in art ranging from fashion design, photography and now music. I am currently learning how to play the piano. In addition, I have had recorder lessons.  However, I am very much a novice when it comes to music.
6. Anything else you would like to include: My greatest passion in life is serving the Lord.  He is my Abba Father, my Savior through Jesus Christ and my Counselor through the Holy Spirit. Without them, I would be lost and wanting. They fill every deep place in my heart with love, contentment and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Nyack College Chapel
Chapel service is an integral part of the spiritual transformation experience at both Nyack/ATS New York campuses. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and be blessed by these times of worship and powerful teaching.
View the schedule of spring 2018 chapel speakers for the Rockland College campus and services held at 10:05 a.m. in Pardington Hall here. The New York City College campus services are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. in the Music Hall on the 22nd floor (Room 2241). The schedule of NYC campus speakers can be found here.
Does your schedule prevent you from attending chapel?
LIKE the " Nyack College Spiritual Formation" Facebook page to watch the Rockland campus services every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You will receive notifications when chapel goes live. Podcasts of past chapel services are archived at You can also listen to the live broadcast on Nyack Radio 88.7FM at The WNYK broadcast airs at approximately 10:20 a.m. live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Alliance Theological Seminary students, faculty and staff gather for chapel at the Rockland campus on Wednesdays, 2:30-3:20 p.m. and in New York City on Wednesdays, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
For more information about chapel, visit or
Nyack's School of Education: A SALT Shaker 
by Dr. Michael G. Scales
This year, the School of Education, under the exceptional leadership of Dr. JoAnn Looney, celebrates two milestones--on the Rockland campus, we mark the 50th anniversary and in New York City, the 20th anniversary.

The modern translation of Matthew 5:13 in The Message translation reads: "Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth." What could be a better job description for the Christian educators prepared at Nyack's School of Education? SALT is in the very DNA of the School's faculty and students. In fact, S.A.L.T. is the conceptual framework of the division, an acronym for Service, Academics, Leadership and Teaching, coined by the former School of Education Dean, Dr. Bennett Schepens, (who is now our assistant provost and director of institutional assessment) and Prof. James Nichols.

Our School of Education holds accreditation from the prestigious National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the profession's vehicle for establishing high quality teacher preparation. Nine programs offered include bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and dual bachelor's/master's degree-with specializations in English, social studies, math, childhood education, special education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)-are all nationally recognized by professional agencies.
So after leaving Nyack's School of Education, a virtual salt shaker, where do our graduates go to serve? They go to the inner city, rural and suburban schools. They circle the globe to teach English. They are school board members, administrators, school developers and researchers.

Our alumni leave with more than a professionally accredited degree, their spheres of influence are seasoned with Nyack's core values of being academically excellent, globally engaged, intentionally diverse, personally transforming and socially relevant.
Partnerships beyond our campuses have been forged by our faculty and include students and alumni. Among those alliances are  The Cause, a Christian educator support group and Inwood Academy Charter School for Leadership, both in Manhattan; International School of Tegucigalpa in Honduras; Riverview Nursery School in Nyack, NY; and Ridgeway Nursery School and Kindergarten in White Plains, NY. These liaisons broaden our impact to infuse today's dialogue and decisions in education with Christ-centered values.

The Great Commission is fulfilled by our educators. For this past half century and for the decades ahead, we are grateful for God's favor that empowers them to be SALT and light.
Survey Center Team Goes "Undercover"*

To what lengths would your typical institution of higher education go to learn how to serve its students and faculty better?

A team from Nyack College, led by Institutional Registrar Evangeline Couchey, visited several stores at a Rockland County, NY mall to study customer service practices. With two colleagues, Renata Couto and Catherine Lang, Ms. Couchey visited four different cellphone providers. The reception they received varied widely from "immediate recognition, but low level engagement" to "personable, yet not hovering." The team experienced a variety of extremes. Some employees were aloof and some were knowledgeable, attentive and warm. Sales personnel in some stores appeared to be distracted, while others were politely engaged.

Why are customer service practices so important at Nyack?

In a recent departmental restructuring that combined the staff of the Registrar's Office and Student Financial Services Office to become the Service Center, this "field trip" confirmed what to incorporate and what to avoid in an optimal consumer experience. Service Center employees concentrate on front line interaction. "Behind the scenes," Nyack has created Centers of Excellence in areas such as compliance, reporting and data processing. Specialists are available to answer questions by phone, but will also suggest an appointment to extend the personal touch of an in-person meeting.

Being on the receiving side of service, the team concluded that the most effective transactions were with people who raised the bar on hospitality and were knowledgeable about their products. Sales people who engaged the Nyack team by asking questions to make certain they were being effectively accommodated were the most memorable. These individuals took time to understand the "customer's'" needs and were more relational. Their conduct suggested they were interested in return customers rather than quick transactions to increase their day's sales volume. The latter approach could run the risk of overlooking what would satisfy the consumer or missing an opportunity to present other goods or service options.

At Nyack, visitors--current and prospective students as well as faculty--can expect to receive a heightened standard of efficient and engaging reception at the Nyack Service Centers. With undergraduate and graduate studies delivered in the classroom, online and hybrid format, taking the time to make efforts more comprehensive is the reason this level of service is a top priority.

Service Centers are available on the New York City and Rockland County campuses of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. 

In addition to his articles, essays and  blog posts about John Brown, Dr. DeCaro's published books include "John Brown Speaks: Letters and Statements from Charlestown" (2015); "Freedom's Dawn: The Last Days of John Brown in Virginia" (2015); "John Brown, Emancipator" (2012); "John Brown: The Man Who Lived" (2008); "John Brown: The Cost of Freedom" (2007) and "Fire from the Midst of You: A Religious Life of John Brown" (2002).

The John Brown Society was founded in New York City in 1989 by independent activist and grassroots scholar, Larry Lawrence. The board of the Society is comprised of an array of scholars and activists, including leading Civil War scholars Eric Foner (Columbia University) and David Blight (Yale University). Periodically the John Brown Society awards the silver medal to recognize cultural achievements in the study or artistic portrayal of John Brown, or generally to scholars or artists who have advanced an appreciation of the historic struggle for racial justice in the United States. 

A professor of church history and a variety of history and theology courses at ATS for a dozen years, Louis DeCaro, Jr. was named director of the Seminary in 2016.

Congratulations, Dr. DeCaro!
The Eighth Annual National Hispanic Education Summit and the Ninth Annual Nyack Scholars Symposium took place at both New York campuses of Nyack College: on Wednesday, November 8 at 2 Washington Street in Manhattan and on Thursday, November 9 on the Rockland County campus in Nyack.

This joint event was sponsored by Nyack College's Center for Scholarship and Global Engagement (CSGE), which was directed by Dr. Vilma "Nina" Balmaceda (top left) and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference's (NHCLC) Faith and Education Coalition, directed by Dr. Andrea Ramirez (top center). This two-day gathering included plenary sessions and workshops addressing the theme, "In Search of Accountability in Closing Educational Gaps." ( See details.)

The opening plenary session in New York City featured Dr. Balmaceda, CSGE director on "Seeking equity in education as part of the biblical imperative to do justice." Other plenary speakers were Mr. Jer Swigart (bottom left), founder of  The Global Immersion Project and Ms. Nohemi Hernandez (center bottom), a college student majoring in communications, addressed "Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World." The closing plenary featured Dr. Irvin Scott, (far right) senior lecturer on education at Harvard University. His topic was "A Macro-View of Education Equity and Predictions of Hispanic Educational Outcomes."

Breakout sessions included topics such as "Hispanic Students and College Graduation: A Four-year Game Plan;" "Equipping Church Leaders: Raising Highly Capable Kids;" "Teachers as Culturally Proactive Agents Through Cycles of Self-Regulation;" "Latino Doctoral Students in Counseling Programs: Navigating Professional Identity Within a Predominately White American Profession;" "Structural Constraints Limiting Latino Students;" "College Recruiting and Admissions;" "The Role of 'Institutional Agents' in the College Choice Process for Latino(a) Students."
Baby Face

Dr. Marie Kenote became a grandmother (again) in September. Her new granddaughter, Claire Renne, lives in Hong Kong. Proud grandma is looking forward to meeting her granddaughter in January. 

Dr. Kenote continues to enjoy the blessing of her granddaughter, Eden, who lives in Connecticut. Eden will be turning three in a few months and loves music and dancing.

Yee Yang McLeod and husband, Stedford, welcomed baby boy Ryu Immanuel on August 24. Ryu weighed 7 lbs., 13 oz. and measured 20 inches long. 

Dr. Rexi Thomas and husband, Jibin, welcomed baby boy Jeremiah Thomas on September 4. Jeremiah weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz. and measured 20.5 inches. Siblings Elizabeth, Rebekah, Hannah and Jonathan were excited about the arrival of their baby brother.

Giselle (Torres) Swann and husband, Everett, welcomed baby boy Greyson Kristophor on October 23, who weighed 9 lbs., 7 oz. Greyson joins big sister Penelope.
Good Reads

Dr. Elaine Lux is reading an autobiography entitled You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir by Melissa Ohden. The author is the survivor of an attempted abortion. Her story is very moving, and the book is worthwhile and well-written.
Dr. Lux's favorite sections of poetry are from W.B. Yeats's "Sailing to Byzantium." "An aged man is but a paltry thing,/ A tattered coat upon a stick, unless/ Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing/ For every tatter in its mortal dress." 

One of her favorite lines from Shakespeare's King Lear is spoken by a very humbled King Lear, who responds to Gloucester's request: "O, let me kiss that hand!" with these amazing words: "Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality" (4.6.132-133).
My Favorite Things 

Dr. Marie Kenote 's favorite verse lately is I Cor. 14:15 "So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding."
Kids Say the Darndest Things!
Pauline Anderson Brown shared some of her granddaughter's clever quotes.
"My granddaughter is in the backseat of our SUV on our way to a function and we are all talking, but she gets real quiet looking through the window. Her grandpa turns to her and says "J, are you ok?" She responds, "Yes, Grandpa, I just want to be quiet right now. Can we not talk?" I am sitting in the front, dying of laughter on the inside, not sure where that came from, but dare not bust out laughing as this might hurt her feelings.  Grandpa turns to her and says, "Ok, J," and we all rode along quietly with our own thoughts."
"Another time we are at the house and again she is having a conversation with her grandpa who is having trouble figuring out something on his cell phone. After he puts down the phone with a little frustration, my eight-year-old granddaughter picks it up and says, 'Grandpa, what do you need?' He tells her that his emails are not downloading since yesterday, so she starts playing around with the phone and next thing you know the emails are downloading. Grandpa turns to her and says, 'What did you do?' She looks at him and says, 'Grandpa, don't worry about it. I can't explain it. It's too complicated.' I almost died with laughter...still laughing every time I recall!"

Dr. Marie Kenote visited her family in Bellingham, Washington last summer. She also met for the first time cousins from her father's side of the family in Norway. Together they visited the farms and churches of their great-grandparents. Marie's two sisters and a childhood friend were hiking the 400-mile Pilgrimage Path and met Marie at their long-lost cousins' home. What an awesome family reunion and trip of a lifetime!
Faculty Achievements 
Dr. Amy David Abdallah published an article, " How Bible Translation Shapes Our View of Women in God's Story," in  Mutuality Magazine, a magazine for CBE International whose mission is, " to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world."
Dr. Jeffrey P. Garcia welcomed  guest speaker an d his Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Lawrence Schiffman, to  his Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity class in September. Prof. Schiffman spoke to the class about his own career dealing with the scrolls and handling the actual ancient texts. His 1974 thesis was the first work to deal extensively with Jewish law in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which in turn, has shed light on opinion of the Jewish law that we find in the New Testament.

Prof. Garcia's thesis, "Creation, Composition, and Condition: On Being Human in Early Judaism," has been accepted for publication, pending revision, in the supplements to the Journal for Ancient Judaism
Dr. Sharron Greaves, program director of Nyack College's radio station, WNYK 88.7 FM Warrior Radio, reported on the station's successful 2016-2017 year that featured 15 live in-studio interviews with musical talents including Trinity Rose and Kayla Rae, artists who appeared on NBC's The Voice and many on-air phone interviews. WNYK Radio streams School of Music performances and produces "Get to Know a Warrior" podcasts that highlight Nyack College Student athletes. They also feature one alumnus or alumna every month who discuss career paths after graduating from Nyack. To learn more about WNYK Radio, click here
Dr. Stanley John's book, Transitional Religious Organization and Practice: A Contextual Analysis of Kerala Pentecostal Churches in Kuwait, will be released in March by Brill, the international academic publisher, headquartered in the Netherlands. 
Dr. Anna Flores Locke was invited to speak at the 6th Anniversary Celebration for the American Counseling Association of New York in November at the Columbia Medical Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Dr. Flores Locke spoke about counseling and advocacy to an audience of about 30 members, four of which were current or former Nyack College graduate counseling students.
Dr. Flores Locke is president-elect of Counselors for Social Justice, Nyack's assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling and the director of clinical internship and field placement. She is also the owner of Charlandra Counseling Services in Woodcliff Lake, NJ.
Dr. Marie Herseth Kenote , along with Mrs. Carol Ann Freeman and Mrs. Bonita D'Amil, ministered in Debrecen, Hungary on the topic of "Teaching English through Music." Dr. Kenote visited the Market Street Mission in October where she and Nyack students ministered in music and enjoyed an evening of sharing faith and music. In November, she and Nyack students presented a concert for patients of the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY. 

Dr. Kenote also organized and led the second annual Hymnfest on Nyack's Rockland campus. She presented a paper at the Nyack Scholars Symposium entitled "The Therapeutic Power of Latin America Humnology" with Dr. Sue Talley, Prof. Glauco Limo, Prof. Eleaser Rodriguez and Nyack student Djulie Scaff. 
Dr. Maureen Kroning co-published an article, "Student Perspective Improves Spiritual Care Curriculum," with Nyack student Deborah Yoon in the Journal of Christian Nursing.
Taken from the article's abstract, "Spiritual nursing care is a fundamental aspect of care often unobserved during students' clinical experiences. A nursing student shares her disillusionment about the lack of spiritual care she observed during a clinical rotation. Her instructor used the negative experience to identify areas for curriculum improvement to develop and address the lack of spiritual nursing care education."
Dr. Tammy Lum performed at Hong Garden, a historic mansion, during a visit to her mother's hometown of Shantou, China. The recital received a favorable review

She also met her childhood idol, pianist Nancy Lo. Dr. Lum says, "Her recital in the early 70's was the first piano recital I had ever attended. I was stunned by the beauty and musical space she created. Her playing left an indelible mark on my young mind. It was kind of her to invite me to go on her radio show!"
About her travels, Dr. Lum added, "Last and the most important, I spent time with my folks and loved ones!"
Dr. Elaine Lux  contributed a chapter, "Narrativity in Dementia, through Fiction: Alice Munro's Away from Her, Elie Wiesel's The Forgotten and Lisa Genoca's Still Alice" to the book, In  Dementia and Subjectivity / Dementia and Subjectivity by Daniela Ringkamp, Sara Strauss and Leonie Süwolto. Peter Lang, a company that specializes in works in the humanities and social sciences, published the book.
Dr. Andrew Mercurio presented a session at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) conference entitled "Sexual Re-sensitization for Christians Struggling with Sexual Shame." 

Dr. Peter Park was a  guest lecturer for the newly established Town of Clarkstown Fishing Club in September. He shared his accomplishments with the Nyack College Fishing Club addressing the topics of citizen science, fishing clinics and environmental stewardship--all in collaboration with students. He also gave a workshop on fish biology and fishing techniques. 

The Nyack College Fishing Club was an exhibitor at the Rockland County National Hunting and Fishing Day in September, organized by the United Sportsmen Association of Rockland County. The event was co-sponsored by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of Clarkstown.
Dr. Elizabeth Simon  presented "Academic Correlates that Influence Retention, Graduation and Licensing in Nursing Education" at World Education Day in September at the Dalian International Conference Center, Jinan, China. This paper was presented under the Mental Health Education forum that she chaired. With the help of Dr. Bennett Schepens, Nyack's assistant provost, the paper described the results of ongoing correlation studies at the School of Nursing. 
Damien Sneed  was the accompanying pianist at a concert presented by The Council of NY Area Branch Presidents of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. This concert in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in October featured works by Bolcom, Bonds, Brahams, Cavalli, Flaherty, Hayes, Marsalis, Rodgers, Schubert, Sneed and Wolf. 
Dr. David Turk contributed a chapter to  Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, & The Future of Christian Higher Education edited by Karen A. Longman and published by Abilene Christian University Pre ss.
Keep us in the loop!

Please send your latest achievements including books published, research completed, honors received from professional organizations, fellowships awarded, oversight or development of service- learning projects and work with community organizations to Erica Videc at

Please provide details (who, what, where, when, why) and the significance of news in relationship to our core values, where possible. High resolution digital photos that you can share for publication are welcome. (Please note: copy may be edited for length.)


Don't're invited to submit information to the "Life After Hours...On My Time Clock" section of Class Act. We want to hear about the books you've read; fun vacations you've taken; cooking/baking skills (share your recipes); family tree updates; good habits; and unknown talents. Share your good news with us!

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*Featured articles written by Deborah Walker.