Sara Crosby, Director
Phone: (212) 220-8328
Sara Crosby joined the Learning Academy in Fall 2017, after teaching and serving in administration at Brooklyn College, Kingsborough Community College, and New York City College of Technology. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at The New School in New York City. Sara has spent fifteen years helping students transition to college and become more successful learners, and she is honored to be a part of the Learning Academy’s efforts to support students all the way to graduation and transfer.
Jordan Evans, Associate Director
Phone: (212) 220-8000 ext. 5320
Jordan Evans joined the Learning Academy in the fall 2014 and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Learning Academy. He has also held the roles of Senior Academic Advisor and Academic Advisor within the department. Prior to his time at BMCC, Jordan was an academic advisor for Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana. He received his Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College and his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Bethel College. Jordan is passionate about retention and learning initiatives that assist students from their transition into BMCC, through graduation and beyond.
Kamilah Bass, Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (212) 346-8610
Kamilah Bass joined the BMCC Learning Academy in Fall 2017 though she has been with BMCC since 2007. She first started in the Admissions Office, then went on to work in the Women’s Resource Center. Kamilah received her Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University and is currently working toward her graduate degree. Kamilah adores working with and supporting BMCC’s diverse student population and is overjoyed to be a part of the Learning Academy after working so closely with them over the years.
James Nadeau, Recruitment Specialist
Phone: (212) 776-6368
James (Jamie) Nadeau joined the Learning Academy at BMCC in the spring of 2017. A Government and Legal Studies major at Bowdoin College, he has worked for several nonprofit organizations at home and abroad that focus on postsecondary access and success. In 2016, Jamie earned a master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he focused on issues of transition and retention at community colleges. He is thrilled to be part of the BLA team and looks forward to spreading the news about BLA and supporting amazing students at BMCC.
Christopher Rafinski, Senior Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 220-8000 ext. 5318Room: M-1413
Christopher Rafinski has a background in Student Services and International Humanitarian Aid. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from New York University and his Master’s from Queens College. His greatest drive is knowing the inherent value, potential, and purpose of every individual. A quote which best illustrates his work’s passion from Howard Thurman reads, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive
John Huie, Early Alert Specialist
Phone: (212) 346-6327
John Huie has worked at Borough of Manhattan Community College since 2003. He joined the BMCC Learning Academy in summer 2018. Prior to joining, he worked as a Multimedia Lab Supervisor and Academic Testing Coordinator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science from Fordham University.
Gabrielle Lloyd, Senior Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8558
Gabrielle Lloyd is originally from Georgia and obtained her Bachelor’s from the University of West Georgia in Middle Grades Education, where she worked within UWG’s admissions, financial aid, and graduate school departments. Gabrielle decided to make the move to New York to pursue her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at New York University. While pursuing her graduate degree, she served as a college assistant at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the advisor for the Community Engagement Board at Pratt Institute. Gabrielle is very passionate about working with students to ensure their successful transition into college. She greatly enjoys connecting with students through motivating and mentoring.
Mark Podlas, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 776-6368
Mark Podlas joined the BMCC Learning Academy in the Fall of 2016. Before coming to BMCC, Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication Management at the University of Dayton. Mark is passionate about helping students maximize their potential and achieve academic success.
Brittany Sinodinos, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8505
Brittany Sinodinos joined the BMCC Learning Academy in spring 2018. Before joining the Learning Academy, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Gender Studies at the College of Staten Island through the Macaulay Honors College. She worked for the College of Staten Island in several positions through her undergraduate career and beyond as a writing tutor, Orientation Leader, Women’s Center Intern, and most recently as the Pluralism and Diversity Coordinator for the Office of Student Life. Helping students achieve success has been a long-standing passion, one that she is excited to pursue as an advisor at BLA.
Cindy Louissaint, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8873
Cindy Louissaint joined the Learning Academy at BMCC in the spring of 2018. Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree in Art at the College of Staten Island. Cindy worked at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum as a certified horticulturalist teaching art and garden cultivation workshops to elementary school groups. Thereafter, she worked with a non-profit organization CAMBA for 9 years as an Advocate Counselor. She provided services to at-risk youth who were over-aged and under-credited. She was able to guide high school students removing barriers towards graduation by engaging students in college preparatory activities, providing support services and teaching life skills workshops. She believes students deserve the opportunity to excel beyond their greatest expectations. She is honored to be part of the BMCC Learning Academy team where she can continue to support students achieve their academic goals.
Sean Persaud, Program Recruiter
Phone: (212) 346-8870
Sean Persaud joined the BMCC Learning Academy in the spring 2018. Sean is an alumnus of BMCC and the BLA program. Prior to joining BLA, Sean worked in Student Affairs at BMCC. Sean graduated from The City College of New York with Bachelors of Arts degree in Anthropology and History. Sean is excited to be a part of the BLA team and cannot wait to work with BMCC’s diverse students.
Melanie Bonilla, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8641
Melanie joined the Learning Academy in the fall of 2018. Prior to joining the Learning academy, she worked for the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY Purchase College where she worked supporting first year and second year students. Melanie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Gender Studies from SUNY Purchase College and a Master’s Degree in Science Education in School Counseling from Long Island University: Hudson. Melanie is passionate about working in the student support sector supporting students in their transition to college in order to achieve academic success. She is thrilled to be a part of the Learning Academy team and looks forward to working with BMCC’s diverse population.
Geraldo Cruz, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8618
Geraldo Cruz joined the Learning Academy in fall 2018. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Brooklyn College (after transferring from BMCC!). Prior to joining BLA, Geraldo worked with the non-profit organization Bottom Line for four years, helping guide diverse first-generation students from low-income communities achieve academic success and prepare for life after college. Geraldo is excited to be a part of the BLA team where he can continue to help students successfully achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
Arielle Richards, Academic Advisor
Phone: (212) 346-8871
Arielle Richards joined the BMCC Learning Academy Program in the Fall of 2018. Arielle is an alumna of BMCC and thereafter earned a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies at SUNY Empire State College. Presently, Arielle is a student at CUNY School of Professional Studies earning a Master’s in Youth Studies. Prior to joining the learning academy, Arielle has worked in the field of youth development within the non-profit sector for 9 years. Arielle is passionate about connecting students to the endless opportunities higher education provides and helping students create individualized paths to success.