A newsletter for alumni of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary
Fall 2018  

Welcome to Nyack Nation--a publication created just for you filled with the latest achievements and life events of Nyack & ATS alumni. Please share your news and stories on our website or by emailing them to alumni@nyack.edu. And keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook using #NyackCollege and #NyackCollegeAlumni. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Nyack/ATS Alumnus Kelvin Walker 
Is Metro District Superintendent-elect *

"Is this real?"

That was the question Rev. Kelvin Walker repeatedly asked God. It sounded a lot like Moses's, "Who me?"

But the surreal became reality when Rev. Walker, lead pastor of Bedford Community Church in Bedford Hills, NY was officially named the C&MA Metro District Superintendent-elect this month. It was a milestone for the denomination: He is the first African American to hold this position in a region and in the C&MA.

Not surprisingly, in Kelvin's swirl of disbelief, it was his wife Doni, the mother of their six children, who could see the natural progression leading up to the appointment. Without question, his resume displays all the appropriate credentials. He's an alumnus with a Nyack College bachelor's degree in music, an Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) master's degree of professional studies, and a doctoral candidate in the ATS D.Min program, which he hopes to complete this December. Licensed as a C&MA worker since 1988, Kelvin has served as the Nyack College campus pastor, an adjunct professor and ATS chapel service coordinator. As he winds up his pastoral role at Bedford Community Church, he is currently president of the Association of African-American Pastors, Consecrated Women, and Licensed Workers of the C&MA; a member of the C&MA Board of Directors; and a member of the C&MA President's Cabinet. Read the full interview with Kelvin here!
Nyack's Nominee: Chelsea Geyer *

Nyack's 2012 alumna, executive director of the nonprofit, DC127, is Nyack's nominee for the 2019 Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Young Alumni Award. 

After having her own life changed through the foster and adoption process of three of her siblings, Chelsea sought to mobilize local churches to find adoptive homes for children in the foster care syst em. Under Chelsea's leadership, DC127 serves over 100 children and has connections with over 17 churches and the Child Welfare Agency. She also acted as project manager for the Lord's Resistance Army Crisis Tracker with the Resolve: LRA Crisis Initiative, advocating for the end of atrocities committed by the LRA in Africa, was the 2017 Woman Empowerment with Phenomenal Achievement Award Winner, and was featured in Christianity Today's 2015 article, "Engaging the World." Learn more about Chelsea here! 

School of Music Alumna Laura León in "Tales of Hoffmann" *

You could say  Nyack School of Music  magna cum laude graduate Laura León was exhibiting a multi-personality crisis-but to the delight of opera lovers.

The Cuba-born soprano graced the stage of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and played all four lead female roles in Opera Orlando's science fiction-influenced "steampunk" production of "Tales of Hoffmann." The show, which concluded its run on October 30, was based on the work by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann. The lead male in "Tales of Hoffmann" portrays the author, who throughout the opera shares about the four loves of his life-Stella, Olympia, Antonia, and Giulietta-starring Laura León.

Homecoming Weekend
October 12-13, 2018

Dear Alumni and Friends,

For those of you who traveled from near and far to join us for Homecoming 2018, we're sending this heartfelt thank you. The weekend's success would not have been possible without you!

It was great to see this awesome multi-generational gathering on the Hillside, which included a precious couple who graduated 60 years ago! Hearing the laughter and seeing the smiles and hugs, assured us that the months of planning were worth our effort to cater to the young and the young at heart.

If you were unable to make it to campus this year, we don't want you to feel left out. Take a look at the  Homecoming 2018 Photo Gallery that captures so many of the most memorable moments.

With warm regards,

The Nyack College Alumni Office and
The Nyack College Alumni Association

"A Taste of Nyack" Cookbook 

Order your copy today !

This updated edition of the classic campus cookbook has been expanded to include those favorite recipes from the original version along with new ones.  You'll find something to please every palate. In addition to main entrees, you'll find literally generations of appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, breads and rolls, cookies and candy and desserts.

Add this cookbook to your collection...or to someone else's! Copies are just $12.00 per book (which includes shipping in the continental U.S.) and can be ordered online .  

Alumni Referral Tool 

Did you know that full-time students who are referred by alumni may be eligible to receive an Alumni Referral Grant?

Vice President of College Relations Jeff Quinn invites all alumni of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary to support new students interested in receiving the same Christ-centered education that so greatly impacted their lives by completing an Alumni Referral form. Simply visit the Nyack website where you'll find a convenient  online referral tool  to get prospective students connected with the Admissions Office. Click here to learn more about this opportunity!
School of Ed Alumnus and His Students Are "Samsung Solve for Tomorrow" Contest Winners *

Nyack College School of Education 2008 alumnus Jonathan Harvey, (pictured at far right) is an enrichment teacher at Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, NJ. The Early Childhood Education major and his students were one of three teams named finalists in the 2018 "Samsung Solve for Tomorrow." Each of the schools won $150,000 in technology including laptops, tablets and LED televisions. The winning teams were announced and appeared on  ABC's "Good Morning, America."

The nationwide competition invites students in sixth through twelfth grade to use science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) to address world issues and to influence change in their communities. Because a classmate suffered a concussion during a football game last fall, Jonathan Harvey's students were motivated to design a sensor to be worn on football helmets to identify possible concussions and help prevent further damage through early detection.

Since 2010, Samsung has received more than 17,000 entries for this annual competition that encourages students to be problem-solvers with the support of their teachers, peers and local communities.  Congratulations to Jonathan and his students!
Warrior Men's Basketball Head Coach Accepts 
NBA G-League Coaching Position 

Nyack Head Men's Basketball coach and '03 alumnus Jason Crafton accepted an assistant coaching position with the Philadelphia 76ers G-League affiliate team, the Delaware Blue Coats. Coach Crafton will join the Philadelphia 76ers for their upcoming training camp and will then report to Wilmington, DE for the start of the Blue Coats training camp later this fall. The Blue Coats will play an intense 50-game regular season schedule that begins in November. 

Crafton served as head coach for the Warriors for six seasons. He says, "I 'd like to thank President Scales, Vice President Dave Jennings and Athletic Director Keith Davie for believing in me and offering me the opportunity to be the head coach at my alma mater back in 2012. During my six years, I got the chance to recruit and coach GREAT student-athletes that will forever hold a special place in my heart. I enjoyed every second of investing in our culture at Nyack and I truly believe the program is in a tremendous position to continue its ascension in the CACC. I'm excited to see the future of Nyack basketball!" Read more here.  
SUNY Rockland Community College Names 
Nyack Alumna to Nursing Faculty *

Nyack College School of Nursing alumna Tahira Ilarraza joined the faculty of SUNY Rockland Community College (RCC) in Suffern, NY. The 2013 Nyack graduate teaches two lecture sections of "Fundamentals of Nursing" and clinicals. In addition to her role at SUNY RCC, she continues to work at Montefiore Nyack (formerly Nyack Hospital) as a member of the per diem staff on the postpartum unit and medical surgical unit. 

Tahira credits her Nyack College experience as a time of invaluable preparation. She explains, "It takes true intentionality to go into a shift every day and provide patient-centered care in a Christ-centered way. I am so thankful to have studied nursing in a school that values the love of Jesus and the powerful difference it makes. Nursing is a beautiful profession that provides the opportunity to care for people, some of whom are at their lowest point." Read more about Tahira!
Nyack Alumnus Carlos Martinez Named 
Executive Director of BRiDGES *

Carlos Martinez (NC '08) was named the new executive director of Rockland Independent Living Center's BRiDGES, a non-profit agency (Building Relationships Investing in Diversity Genuinely Empowering Self) dedicated to providing leadership, advocacy and support services to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Carlos joined BRiDGES in 2010 as the assistant director of the Personal Assistance Self-directed Employers of Rockland (PASER) program and most recently served as its director of operations. He is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with more than a decade of experience in human services. The Nyack  social work major , who also earned a master's degree at Fordham University, commented, "Disability is a natural part of our human existence and it is our responsibility as an organization to step in and remove physical and psychological barriers that impede people from living independently in the community."  Read more about Carlos!
Ligia Cushman...Serving Chosen Children * 

In May 2018, Ligia Cushman ('00) was named Director of Adoption Services for Eckerd Connects in Tampa Bay area, where she oversees adoptions for the more than 1,500 children in Florida's foster care system. She stepped into that role with compassion and a sincere connection to her clients because she and her husband literally walked in the shoes of adoptive parents. Ligia, describes herself as "a fierce advocate for adopted children and multiracial families." She has the ability to have authentic conversations about her Afro-Latina experience, adopting a multiethnic child, and being married interracially.  

The psychology alumna shares, "Being one of the first inner city students welcomed to Nyack in 1992, I know what that feels like. Many of my professors and peers gave me grace and now I can extend the same to the children and families I serve. I believe Nyack paved the way for me to influence the secular world with love and grace. Never did I imagine God would take me on the journey of adoption professionally and personally. Adopting our son and directing the flow of adoption work on a statewide level allows me to have a platform."  Read more about Ligia!


Missio Alliance is bringing together a dynamite group of panelists for the #ChurchTogether conference on November 10 at the Nyack College Manhattan campus on 
Saturday, November 10 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Registration and info here!

Missio Alliance will present their 4th national gathering, 
"Awakenings: The Life of the Church for the Sake of the World," on March 28-30, 2019 in Alexandria, VA. Click here for more info!

Alliance Theological Seminary with partners Missio Alliance and Fresh Expressions, will present "Faithful Presence in the City" on December 1, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Click here for more info!

Nyack College/ATS alumna, Rev. Donna Baptiste of Donna Baptiste Ministries, Inc. will host "From Seed to Harvest," a non-profit and business development seminar on Saturday, November 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Clarendon Road Church (CRC), 3304 Clarendon Road in Brooklyn, NY. This year's theme is "Leap Ahead." Click here for more info!


'71 Don Paine after taking a three-year hiatus from participating in the Running Warrior Race at Homecoming, was back on the Hillside this year and completed the race course! Congratulations, Don!

'83 Stephen Julian  with co-author Timothy Parsons, published "Become the Leader You'd Love to Follow," the first book in their "Become Collection." The second book in this collection, "Become the Manager You Wish You Had," will be available in March 2019. Also available in March 2019 are other books in the series that will address parenting and marriage. All collections can be found on Amazon. 

'85 ATS, '08 MS  Donna Baptiste
hosted and interviewed Dr. David Jennings, Nyack/ATS Executive Vice President and Treasurer, on "Pursuing God" Radio Broadcast. The interview aired on October 1 on 570am WMCA TheMission.

'88 David Fox is a music teacher in the Herkimer Central School District in Herkimer, NY. He is a music director at SUNY Morrisville and band director for the NY American Legion's Boys State program. David also builds fine handcrafted dulcimers, banjos and mandolins. 

'90 Stephanie (George) Chambers, a n educational consultant for the Center for Regional Education Support Services (CRESS) for the Gloucester County Special Services School District, was the support staff member honored as the "Employee of the Year." 

'90 Jonathan Schaeffer is senior pastor of Grace Church in Middleburg Heights, OH, a pastorate he took over from his father, Donald Schaeffer, in 1998. Grace Church recently celebrated its 60th church anniversary. Jonathan
invests  the bulk of his ministry time teaching God's Word, casting vision, and leading the staff team at Grace. Read more about Jonathan here.

'99 ADCP Brigadier General Patrick Center of the New York Army National Guard, received his second award of the Legion of Merit Medal and a New York State Conspicuous Service Medal during his retirement testimonial after nearly 40 years of military service.
'99 BS, '07 MS Andres Valenzuela
completed his second triathalon,  The MightyMan Montauk, on September 30. The sprint included a half mile swim, 10 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run. Andres says, "I want to try a few sprints more and in the next few years build up to an Olympic distance race." Congratulations, Andres!

'02 Katie Harmon Regan  was recently promoted to a new  and expanded leadership position  at OCM BOCES as director of educational technology. In her new role, Katie is in charge of planning and implementing technology at OCM BOCES for its 1,100 employees.  Read more about Katie here!

'03 NC, '09 ATS  Richard Villodas, Jr , lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, will be a speaker at the 4th national Missio Alliance gathering, "Awakenings: The Life of the Church for t he Sake of the World," in March 2019.  Click here for more info.
'06 Sasha Portes has been working for the past eight years at Kedrion, a pharmaceutical company that collects and fractionates blood plasma to produce and distribute plasma-derived therapeutic products for use in treating serious diseases and disorders. She was hired at Kedrion to work in payroll and has worked her way up to assistant manager of the accountin g department.

'07 BS, '11 MS Vonice Harrison
has been working at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington DC serving as government pe rsonal property liaison since January 2018. Prior to this role, Voni worked at NASA in the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD as a personal property specialist for eight years. She is celebrating her professional achievement of passing the Certified Professional in Patient Saf ety (CPPS) Exam. 

'07 Marvin Nelson' s book , Unleash: Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders, was published in September by Abingdon Press. Marvin is the College and Campus Plant Pastor at Allegheny Center Alliance Church in Pittsburgh, PA.

'07 ADCP, '13 MS Olga Piedra earned her Ph.D. from Walden University in July, graduating with honors.

'07 ADCP Joy Ann Tyson  is a certified speaker, trainer and coach with The John Maxwell Team. She facilitates The John Maxwell Team Leadership Game for teens and adults. The Leadership Game is a comprehensive game based on the teachings of John C. Maxwell that helps organizations improve their leadership intelligence and increase their effectiveness.

'09 Valiant Jones accepted the position of head coach for  Nyack's men's basketball team for the 2018-19 season. V aliant served as men's assistant basketball coach for four seasons at Nyack College and assisted in every phase of the program including recruiting, opponent scouting and defensive coordinating. Valiant was a two-year standout in his playing career at Nyack. He was named to the All-CACC Conference Team in 2008-09 and led the team to the NCAA 2010 National Championship game where he was named First Team All-Tournament.   Read more about Valiant here !  

'16 Janiece (Cochran) Williams published her first book of poetry, for poems. This collection of love poems can be found on Janiece's website

'17 MS Janeen Reid  began Full Circle Youth Empowerment, an organization that " seeks to holistically empower, support, motivate, and encourage adolescents to become self-sufficient and successfully transition into adulthood." Watch Janeen's interview on "News 12" here!
Congratulations to the happy couples!
'04 Tim and '01 Jenny (Munroz) Lee celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary in September. Tim and Jenny met in a Methodist church in Queens, NY where their youth pastor was a Nyack grad. They have two children, Parker (4) and Isabell (2). The happy family loves exploring nature and life in Rockland County!

'07 NC, '18 ATS Ryan and Kara (Mangham) Alexander  celebrated their tenth anniversary in September.

'16 OM David and Rachel (Quinn) Rios  celebrated their second wedding anniversary in October. Congratulations to the happy couple! 
'17 C hristopher Williams  is engaged to marry Amaranta Elder. The couple serves together at Greater Zion Hill Baptist Church in NY; Amaranta as praise and worship leader and Christopher as youth minister. Amaranta graduated from Bryant University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in political science and is pursuing a Juris Doctor degree. Christopher is in his second semester as a Doctor of Ministry prerequisite student. The happy couple are planning to be married on August 18, 2019.  

Congratulations to the happy families!

'04 Ashley (Fitzpatrick) Hart  and husband, Barry, welcomed baby girl Everleigh Ruth on March 4, 2018. Everleigh joins siblings Cadence (6), Carrigan (4) and Tobias (2).

'12 Brice and Magan (Ravas '12) Walborn welcomed baby girl Hayley  Faith on October 11, 2018. Hayley weighed  8 lbs., 1 oz. and measured 21 inches long.  She joins two rambunctious siblings, Isabella and Ashton! 

Condolences to the family and friends of the following deceased alumni.

'39 Naomi (Boyce) Dockter , 100, went home to the Lord on October 6, 2018. Naomi spent over 40 years ministering with her husband,  George (NC '37) , in Ecuador. She greatly enjoyed family gatherings.  Naomi was a woman of great faith and a strong prayer warrior. She could be found visiting nursing homes and hospitals praying for people. 

'43 Anthony G. Bollback passed away on October 6, 2018 at the age of 96. Beginning his missionary career in China, he and his wife of 75 years, Evelyn (Watson '42), were forced to evacuate when the Communists took over, and three years later began serving in Japan for five years. The remainder of his 24 years in Asia was spent in Hong Kong where he planted and directed 10 chapels and schools with 10,000 students. He served as Field Chairman of the China-Hong Kong Field of the C&MA for four years. Anthony retired from active ministry after serving as District Superintendent of the Mid-America District C&MA for nine productive years. Following retirement in Florida, he began an active writing career. 
'57 Grant R. Walborn , 93, passed away on June 12, 2018. Rev. Walborn was a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor. Before serving as a pastor, Grant joined the Merchant Marine in 1942, serving faithfully on numerous ships and tours of duty during World War II. Following the war, he worked for a short time in the steel industry in both Pennsylvania and California, before receiving his call to the ministry. He attended Nyack College and graduated second in his class with high honors. For the next 40 years, Rev. Walborn served churches in Cumberland, MD, Uniontown, Punxsutawney, Meadville, Chicora and New Castle, PA.
Rev. Walborn was a member of the Butler County Amateur Radio Club and he enjoyed playing golf and pitching horseshoes. He lived a selfless life of service to the Lord Jesus Christ, his family and countless others touched by his ministry. He is deeply loved and will be fondly remembered.
'61 Evelyn J. (Deitt) Kline 
passed away peacefully on August 16, 2018 at the age of 79. She married Harrison Kline ('61) in 1962 and was a loving mother and housewife for many years before starting her career in healthcare.

'94 Heidi Ann Stentz went home to be with the Lord on September 16, 2018. As her homegoing program states, "the world lost a beloved mother, daughter, sister and friend. Heidi enjoyed life and lived it according to her core beliefs of faith, family and service. Heidi never met a stranger. Sometimes those closest to her would lovingly tease her and say, 'Come stay at Hotel Heidi's.' She made space for people, not just physically, but spiritually as well. She was a member of Search and Rescue, an organization that taught her how to prepare for and manage emergencies."
She was the mother of two daughters, Sierra and Sydney and grandmother to a grandson, Kaiden. She is also remembered by her biological mother Beth Roll and her adoptive family, parents Melanie and Bud Stentz; brothers, Howard Stentz, Daniel Stentz, Michael Stentz and Toby Roll and a host of other relatives and friends.

Want to be  included in the 
next  Nyack Nation?

Alumni Chapter Events

If you are interested in helping the Office of College Relations plan and host an event in your area, please contact Erica Videc, Manager of Advancement and Alumni Services, at erica.videc@nyack.edu or 845-675-4426.

Click here to see how many alumni live in your area!
*Featured articles written by Deborah Walker