A newsletter for alumni of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary
Spring 2017  

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 #NyackNation and #NyackCollege. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Congratulations to our newest alumni, 
the Class of 2017!

At Nyack's 2017 Commencement ceremony on May 6, some 589 graduates joined the nearly 34,000 alumni serving in over 80 nations around the globe. 

"I hope our graduates will appreciate and celebrate what still remains for them to experience and to accomplish for the glory of God. I certainly do!"
~Dr. Michael G. Scales, Nyack/ATS President

To view Commencement photos, click here.

If you would like to purchase a DVD of the ceremony, please contact Erica Videc in the Alumni Office at Erica.Videc@nyack.edu or 845-675-4426.
2017 Grads Are Nyack's 
Inaugural Class of Biology Majors *

Four Nyack College Class of 2017 grads (l-r)- Emily Barner, Katherine Oldfield, Kuan Chiu, Hwa Soo Ryoo -marked a new milestone in Nyack College history: They are the first graduates of Nyack's degree program in biology. The Bachelor of Arts in biology was approved by the New York State Education Department in 2012 and is the first natural science degree offered by Nyack College.

"Although our biology program is young, as a testament to the hard work of the students and our strong program with dedicated faculty, our graduates have done significantly above average in the National ETS® Major Field Test for Biology. They have participated in and presented at national, regional and local research conferences earning numerous accolades and honors with top ranking finishes. While it's bittersweet to see them go, it's clear that great things are in store for them in the future and I could not be more proud of them," says Biology and Chemistry Department Chair Dr. Jacqueline Washington. Read more about our biology grads here
Celebrating Nyack's School of Nursing Graduates *

The CBS reality television show, "Survivor" was bested at Nyack College Rockland. It was not an individual whose competitiveness, determination or manipulation produced a victor. At Nyack's 2017 Cheryl Phenicie School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, the "Surviving Six" as they dubbed themselves, graced the stage of Pardington Hall before an audience of family, friends and the campus community, after completing the rigorous Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

The six young women- Krystal Alexis, Alice Barber, Pascale Barthelemy, Esmeralda Ndoci, Maryann Thomas and Leslie Varughese-joined the ranks of Nyack graduates committed to the legacy of serving others.

Each received special recognition with the following awards presented during the May 5 ceremony.

Ronald and Marilyn Eastman Award for Outstanding Nursing Student : Pascale Barthelemy
Drs. Ardel and Teresa Vietti Award/Academic Excellence in Nursing : Alice Barber
Christian Leadership AwardLeslie Varughese
ANA-NY Future Nurse Leader : Maryann Thomas
Excellence in Clinical Nursing (Good Samaritan Hospital)Krystal Alexis
Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing (Rockland Psychiatric Center)Esmeralda Ndoci
Student Research Conference Award : Leslie Varughese
School of Nursing Class of 2017, you are more than survivors...you are more than conquerors!
Nyack Artists Featured in East Village Multimedia Showcase *

A group of Nyack College alumni and current students gave new meaning to the phrase "if these walls could talk." These Nyack artists spoke through their paintings, illustrations and photography on display at the intimate 400-square foot East Village Storefront in Manhattan.

Katie O'Sullivan, a Nyack College Honors Program alumna and 2016 summa cum laude English major, invited Nyack College students to participate in the event showcasing multimedia forms of art. Katie is currently pursuing graduate studies in International Relations at New York University. She explains, "As part of NYU's Peer-to-Peer (P2P) 2017 campaign, "Common Place," our goal is to inspire ongoing conversations about community, identity and diversity. The art show is part of a trio of events that aim to encourage people to share stories, embrace different perspectives and express themselves."

The work of alumni--artist Qian Ye ('12 BS, Communications; '15 MSOL) and photographer, Tyrone Taylor ('15, Youth & Family Studies major)--was displayed. Two current Nyack students, Djulie Scaff ('18, music major), whose illustrations were on display, was joined by her cousin Christine Freitas ('18, Bible major). The duo provided music during the exhibition.

Pictured: top row: Katie O'Sullivan; middle row: (l-r) Tyrone Taylor and Qian Ye; bottom row: Djulie Scaff and Christine Freitas.
Taking Notes with Teach2Teach  *
Jason Roe (2010)  and his wife, Kay, are the co-founders of Teach2Teach and were the first place winners of "The Entrepreneurial Business Venture Competition," a Shark Tank-like event hosted through a partnership with the Center for Transformative Work (CTW) and Nyack's School of Business and Leadership this spring. The $10,000 top prize also came with personalized business coaching from Bill Roesch of Impact Paterson, a New Jersey non-profit.  

Describing the distinctives of the music lessons offered to children and adults, Jason says, "We specialize in teaching one-on-one with each student and helping them discover their true goals and focus on achieving those goals. We also offer music lessons in each student's home, which is often more convenient and puts less of a burden on the student, helping them continue to take lessons for a longer period and improving their overall results on the instrument."

How has Jason's Nyack College undergraduate degree in music impacted their work? According to Jason, "Teach2Teach's core values, even subconsciously or unintentionally, closely reflect Nyack College's core values. We highly value excellence from both our teachers and students. We purposefully hire teachers who specialize in diverse styles of music. We also purposefully are spreading to cover an ever growing geographic area and hope to grow nationally and internationally within the next several years."

Jason offers an example of how Teach2Teach provides a transformational experience for their students. "Music itself was designed by God to be transformational. A story that I use a lot to illustrate this point is about my student Joey. Soon after I started teaching guitar to Joey, he had a bad seizure. This permanently affected his brain function and he forgot many of the details of his life. But music, he never forgot. He had already fallen in love with playing guitar and his attachment to music became even stronger after the seizure. It became therapeutic for him. He began playing guitar for hours every day, and still continues to do so to this day, alongside my weekly guitar lessons with him. He is now in college and taking music classes so he can become a music teacher himself and help others the way Teach2Teach has been able to help him."

Learn more about Teach2Teach
Of course you heard of besties, but if you haven't experienced Besteas NYC, it's time! *
Nyack College interdisciplinary studies alumna Kristena Kastelas ('07) and her business partner Laura Cepeda have created quite a tea time experience for their clients. Nyack Bible professor Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah recently made Besteas NYC the caterer of choice for her Woman program "Crossing over Ceremony" reception.
Teapreneurs Kristena and Laura met at Times Square Church in Manhattan where they are both members and volunteers in the church's prison ministry to female inmates on Riker's Island. Kristena shares, "Our hearts are to empower women in general. At our core, Laura and I are passionate about uplifting and empowering women. Our products and our tea events evoke powerful conversations and who we are steeps out into our parties. We feel called to make these women feel like the queens that they were created to be. It's our desire to see incarcerated women set free in believing and knowing that they are God's perfect creation. Through the unity of our friendship, we have been blessed to inspire women outside of the prison system as well."
For a season, the two owned a cafe in downtown Nyack, but chose to relocate to Manhattan where so many of their clients were. "While we thought that was the Lord's plans for us," Kristena explains, "He had something different in mind. For my birthday in 2013, Laura planned a beautiful tea party for my celebration. Our friends and family raved about that party. After much prayer, we felt led to create Besteas NYC. We are very thankful that our friendship speaks volumes to our clientele and people we meet. They are very intrigued by the loyalty and trust we have for one another and by the diversity in our cultures (Greece and the Caribbean)." But that's no mystery to Kristena who calls Nyack's diversity her favorite memory of her days on the Hillside.
Read a womeneur.com feature, on Kristena and Laura and learn more about Besteas and their tea line , which launched in November 2016. (Pictured l-r: Kristena, Laura)
AGSC Reunion

On March 11, AGSC hosted an alumni reunion at Nyack's NYC campus. Forty-three alumni attended this programmed event that focused on counseling in spiritually-oriented settings. The upcoming retirements of Dr. Carol Robles and Dr. Marcia Lucas were recognized and celebrated. Proceeds collected will be put towards the Dr. James Chin Scholarship Fund.

2017 Nyack College Opportunity Golf Classic

The Nyack College Opportunity Golf Classic has been a popular tradition for more than a decade. This year's event will once again be held at the historic Saint Andrew's Golf Club in Westchester County on Thursday, September 21. Saint Andrew's is America's oldest continuously existing golf club and is recognized as the first host of the U.S. Open and a founding club of the USGA. Today's course, with updated designs by Jack Nicklaus, is highly regarded by professionals and amateurs.
For more info, contact Jeff Quinn, vice president for College Relations, at 845-675-4425 or Jeff.Quinn@nyack.edu.

Homecoming 2017

Nyack Rockland's annual Homecoming Weekend will be October 13-14, 2017. Check the Homecoming webpage for details to come soon! 

If you graduated in 1967, 1977, 1987, 1992, 1997 or 2007, it's a milestone year for you! Contact the Alumni Office at 845-675-4426 or via email to Erica.Videc@nyack.edu to help plan your reunion.


'64 Richard J. Stedman is enjoying working part-time at Clear Fork Alliance Church in Bellville, OH, serving as administrative coordinator. He also serves part-time as the director of men's ministries at Richland Pregnancy Services, Inc. in Mansfield, OH. Richard and his wife, Dolores ('61 Dorn), will celebrate 55 years of marriage on August 18, 2017.

'71 Donald Paine  continues to improve in health following a life-changing and faith-affirming accident in June 2016 that left him with a severed pelvis. Since the accident nearly a year ago, Don has undergone several surgeries. Still unsteady on his feet, but free of a wheelchair, crutches and cane, Don has the goal of completing his 29th NYC Marathon in the fall. Don continues to minister as a preacher, psychotherapist and teacher. He presented workshops in March on trauma recovery at the Minnesota Association f or Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) conference and at the National American Association of Pastoral Counselors in Decatur, GA. Don credits his speedy recovery to the many alumni, friends and associates who have prayed for him. 
'79 William A. Payne was appointed as a board member of HarborOne Bank effective March 22, 2017. He also joined the board of HarborOne Bancorp, Inc. and HarborOne Mutual Bancshares, the company's mutual holding company parent. William is principal and co-founder of PRW Wealth Management, LLC, an independent Registered Investment Advisor serving the planning needs of both the mid-market corporate marketplace and high net worth individuals and families. "We are excited to welcome Bill Payne as the newest member of our board," said CEO James W. Blake. "Bill has built an excellent career in wealth management and we look forward to leveraging his considerable experience and expertise."

'83 Mark Putnam , president of Central College, was appointed president of the Pella Area Community and Economic (PACE) Alliance Board of Directors by a unanimous vote of the board. In this position, Mark will play an active role in lea ding dynamic economic growth and innovative solutions for Pella. "It is an honor to serve in this capacity with the support of Pella's business community," said Putnam. "Pella is ready for growth and the PACE Alliance will serve as a catalyst for economic and business development, job creation and workforce readiness." Click here to read more. 

'84 NC, '88 ATS Ron Walborn was the featured speaker at "Spring Clergy Day" on Wednesday, May 10, an event hosted by the Pastoral Care Department of Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff, NJ. Dr. Walborn presented on the topic of "Embracing Your Grief" in two segments. Ses sion One focused on "Grieving the Seasons of Life and Ministry" and Session Two focused on "Emotional Healing for Life and Ministry."

His article, "Letting Go of Losses," was published in the spring 2017 issue of Alliance Connection.

'85 ATS, '08 MSOL Pastor Donna Baptiste  delivered the closing prayer at the WMCA (AM570) Networking Breakfast hosted by The C12 Group at Nyack College's NYC campus in February, during which the Nyack Gospel Choir led worship. Pictured above with Pastor Baptiste is Rev. Dr. A.R. Bernard (ATS '06, '09)

'90 Ty F. Buckman will become the new provost of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA effective July 1, 2017. In a year of celebrating the University's 175th anniversary, Mary Baldwin's President Pamela Fox shared her enthusiasm about Buckman's appointment: "Ty is a proven transformational and strategic leader, an innovator and a skilled negotiator, a nd an open-minded thinker devoted to fostering diversity and inclusivity and collegiality." To read more, click here

'91 ATS Robert Reimer  is a full-time associate professor of pastoral theology at Alliance Theological Seminary. His article, "Casting Out Demons: Five Principles of Delivera nce Ministry," was published in the spring 2017 issue of Alliance Connection .
'96 NC, '02 ATS Wanda Velez 
was interviewed by Risen King Alliance Church in New City, NY. The interview is featured in the segment on "  Living by Design Stories, Part I ." Wanda was one of the two recipients of the Commitment to Mission Award at the NC/ATS year-end faculty/staff luncheon, recognized for being personally transforming and socially relevant. Click  here  to read more about this award.
'00 Jean-Christophe Bieselaar earned his Ph.D. from King's College University of London on March 1, 2017. His thesis was "Developing a Christian Theology for Ministering to Intercultural Couples." He has published his research in French in a book entitled Viv(r)e le Couple Interculturel! which was highlighted in French TV France 5 Les Maternelles and La Croix newspaper. He lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife Keiko (ATS '02) and their children, Anne and Paul. He is director of graduate studies for École de Théologie Évangélique du Québec, the French speaking seminary for The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Quebec and a partner of Université Laval. Jean-Christophe is pastor of the C&MA church of Gatineau in Québec.
'01 ATS Bren t Hoffman and '05 AGSC Elisabeth Hoffman  have worked in Alaska over the past eight years where they lived at a beautiful camp engaging in all sorts of interesting jobs and ministry. They also served in Alaska as lay leaders at ACF Church in Eagle River. So what's next for Brent and Liz? After taking a few ministry exploration trips to Czech Republic and walking through a rigorous application process, they have been appointed as missionaries with The Evangelical A lliance Mission (TEAM) for the next two years. They will serve with South City Church (a Czech-speaking church in Prague), study the Czech language, teach conversational English as ministry and show orphans they have a Father who loves them. Their goal is to leave in July/August.

'01 ADCP Sean Pica, founding member and executive director of Hudson Link, gave the keynote address at SUNY Ulster's Commen cement on May 24. Under his leadership, he has grown the program from 60 students attending Nyack College at Sing Sing Correctional Facility to more than 510 students attending college preparatory and college programs annually in six New York State correctional facilities.

'02 ATS Amy Davis Abdallah was the featured speaker at the Metro District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Women's Retreat on March 31 through April 2 at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, NJ. She was a speaker at W est Point at a women's cadet tea in February where 175 copies of her book, The Book of Womanhood , were purchased. On April 30, Dr. Davis Abdallah officiated the "crossing over ceremony" for Woman, the rite of passage program for senior female students at Nyack College, for the seventh year. 
'03 NC, '06 AGSC Mark Karris 
is a licensed marriage and family therapist, ordained pastor, husband, writer, recording artist and worship leader. He currently serves as a military and family life counselor for the United States Navy in Yokosuka, Japan.  His book,  Season of Heartbreak: Healing for the Heart, Brain, and Soul, is scheduled for pu blication in June by Kregel Publications.  Mark's pioneering research article on trauma and couple's therapy, "Integrating Emotionally Focused Therapy, Self-Compassion & Compassion-Focused Therapy to Assist Shame-Prone Couples who have Experienced Trauma," was published in The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families in 2015. Learn more about Mark at his website

'05 NC, '09 ATS Kathia Benitez is the director of sustainNU at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.  In th e Office of Sustainability she is responsible for leadership and management to ensure integration of sustainable practices throughout the University's campuses. She coordinates and oversees sustainability and energy efficiency programs in collaboration with students, faculty and staff. Prior to joining the staff of Northwestern, Kathia was the senior manager for the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, providing direct oversight and strategic guidance for the Better Buildings Alliance and Better Building Challenge initiatives. She also served as a sector matter expert for healthcare organizations. Kathia was profiled in the Winter 2017 Northwestern Neighborhood  News publication. 
'06 Shameka Hamlet played the role of Liz in a Christian play entitled, After the Storm, written and directed by Dionne Watson and performed at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. An encore performance is scheduled for la ter this year.
'07 Arnie Buehler and wife
' 08 Melody (Sawyer) Buehler  are serving at Valleyview Alliance Church in Vestal, NY. Th ree years ago, Valleyview Church merged with a sister churc h in Johnson City NY, that has become a gospel-centered community center called  The Bridge Despite the disadvantages of generational poverty and high crime rate facing Johnson City and The Bridge, God has done amazing things there over the past few years. Arnie and Melody run an after-school program that offers academic help, mentoring and a place of safety for children. The Bridge has maintained an excelled partnership with the local school district as well as with the Johnson City Police Department.
'08 Hae Eun Baek earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University. 

'09 Carlos Cuestas , Nyack College NYC SOM alumnus, was featured in concert on April 22 at the Watchung Arts Center's "Classicals at the Circle" series. Carlos is guitarist of The Cline/Cuestas Duo as well as a member of the music faculty at Nyack NYC School of Music and at Brooklyn College. Click here to read more about Carlos Cuestas. 

'09 Bethany Elis Miller was accepted as a Ph.D. student of philosophy at Harvard University for fall 2017. Her success in academic philosophy benefited from the support and enthusiasm of two great philosophy professors at Nyack College: James Danaher and Daniel Wanless. Since graduating from Nyack College with a BA in philosophy and math in 2010, Bethany earned an MA in philosophy from King's College London and has taught Intro to Philosophy at City College in New York.

'10 BA, '15 MA Randy Martinez has been serving as a customs and border protection (CBP) officer for the past two years for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Randy was a guest speaker at one of Professor Miguel Sanchez's criminal justice classes at Nyack, during which he spoke about the recruitment process, initial and ongoing training, CBP responsibilities within the DHS as well as the benefits of working in the federal government system, lateral mobility and advancement. Pictured with Randy is Prof. Jennifer Kimble, Nyack's criminal justice department chair.

'11 Carlton Evans had his first book, Awakened, Empowered, and Enlightened by the Holy Spirit, published in May. 

'12 Madelyn Badillo is the Teen Life Internship Director at New City Kids in Paterson, NY. In this role, Madelyn will holistically equip, coach and disciple the future generation of leaders. She will develop and prepare at-risk youth to see and reach their own potential, enter the college world and break the cycles of systemic poverty. The mission of New City Kids is, "loving kids for change to create a community of academic, leadership, musical and spiritual development."
'13 Michael J. McConnell was the second place winner of the Pacific Legal Foundation's 2016-17 Annual Law Student Writing Competition. Michael, who is a second-year law student at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, won the second place award of $3,000 for his article, "Ending Deference to Agency Interpretations of Their Own Ambiguous Regulations by Enforcing the Constitution's Separation of Powers and Section 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act." Michael is a participant in the Pace Law School Grand Moot Competition, in front of a panel of U.S. District Court judges. This summer he will intern with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.

'15 Jonathan W. Allen Sr. launched his new book, Release to Receive, in January. Pastor Allen is pursuing a graduate degree from Virginia Union University. He and his wife, Pastor Kim Allen, are the founders of Allen Ministries based in Fort Washington, MD. To read more about Jonathan,   click  here .

Congratulations to the happy couples!
'90 Alison Feliciano  has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. Alison faced her biggest challenge in 2015 during her mayoral campaign in Powder Springs, GA when she endured the tragic loss of her husband of 10 years, Marcus. She attributes her close walk with the Lord and His grace and mercy for bringing her and her children through that difficult time.
Another unexpected event was when Alison met Shane Harmon at a business lunch in December 2015. She hesitantly accepted his invitation to dinner and a movie, and Alison soon realized that Shane was a blessing from the Lord. He proposed nine months later with the blessing of her children, Tyler and Ayla. A November 4, 2017 wedding is being planned. 

'11 Yasmeen Thomas  said "Yes!" when  Reph Ojwang popped the question. Yasmeen met Reph while she was  in Kenya doing missions work at a children's home. The social work alumna served in Nairobi playing a dual role as house manager and providing therapy for the children. 

'16 Kayla Urena announced her engagement to Victor Baro on October 8, 2016. The couple is planning a fall 2017 wedding. Kayla is a NYC campus social work graduate and is enrolled in Nyack's Master of Social Work program.

'17 Drew Walker proposed to Theresa Huestis following Nyack's Commencement ceremony at the WCC in White Plains, NY on May 6, 2017. 
Congratulations to the happy family!

'05 Raquel (Sanchez) Shaffer and husband, Bret, welcomed baby girl Isabella Faith on May 10, 2017 who weighed 6 lbs., 8 oz. Isabella joins big brother Logan. 

Condolences to the family and friends of the following deceased alumni.
'42 George Smith Rawding, 99, retired minister of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, passed away on April 29, 2017 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Rev. Rawding was actively involved with ministries at The Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Shamokin for 50 years. He had churches in New Brighton, Woodchopper, Canton and Elysburg. He was the founding pastor of Elysburg Alliance Church. He was the beloved husband of Katherine (Perlakowski '42) Rawding, who preceded him into the gates of heaven on April 21, 2012.

'53 Leo Richard Mather passed from this life on May 17, 2017 at the age of 87. He was a preacher, hairdresser, furniture storeowner, but his true passion was gospel music and choir directing. He enjoyed camping, boating, fishing, singing and loved cats.
He is survived by his wife, Joan Mae (Ross) Loveland, three children, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

'54 Evelyn L. (Argile) Paige passed into the presence of the Lord. Evelyn was a missionary in Vietnam until the start of the Vietnam War. She married Earl David Paige in 1968 and had a son, Thomas Alexander, in 1970. She was an exceptional woman, loving mother and also had a knack for taking great pictures. 

'61 Ramsey J. "Razz" Wallace, 80, passed away on April 11, 2017. He was united in marriage to  Janet (Anderson '62) in 1960. Ramsey was a graduate of Penn Trafford High School in Pennsylvania and Nyack College. Rev. Wallace served as pastor at The Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in Kane, PA, Sculton, PA, Chicora, PA and Orrville, OH for 29 years, retiring in 2002.
Following his retirement, he served as interim pastor at various Mennonite churches, and served as chaplain at Brenn-Field Nursing Center for 10 years. Ramsey had an avid interest in the church bowling and softball teams and enjoyed golfing and coaching baseball. Ramsey enjoyed watching sporting events, especially the Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Orrville Red Riders, as well as watching his grandchildren's sporting events.
'71 Arlene Ruth (Carl) Cogan passed away on February 8, 2017 at the age of 67.  Arlene met her husband, the Rev. John Cogan ('72), while attending Nyack College and the couple married in 1972. She was active in several churches in her lifetime in Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania and assumed many supportive roles, but particularly enjoyed children's ministries and playing the piano for services. 

Robert Rivers Jr., Nyack HEOP Counselor (2004-2007), passed into the presence of the Lord on February 10, 2017. HEOP students looked up to Robert and were very fond of his work and dedication. Click here to get to know more about Robert Rivers Jr. Pictured with Robert is HEOP student and '08 Nyack alumna Jessica (Dalton) Beronilla.
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Alumni Chapter Events

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