Skip to Content

BMCC Announces 2019 Cohort of Faculty Leadership Fellows

November 28, 2018

BMCC is proud to announce the 2019 cohort of the Faculty Leadership Fellows Program, which includes 15 faculty members from all levels and from 13 departments.

More than 50 faculty members were nominated by department chairs, past faculty fellows or Cabinet members – 25 faculty members applied and 17 were accepted.

Karrin E. Wilks, Interim President of BMCC, says the Faculty Leadership Fellows Program is essential to enhancing student success.

“We cannot significantly improve student success without strong, visible, and pervasive faculty leadership- particularly pedagogical leadership,” she says. “The Faculty Leadership Fellows program is part of our collective work to strengthen the theory and practice of faculty leadership at BMCC, engaging faculty in leadership development from where they are.”

The professors selected for the 2019 Cohort of the Faculty Leadership Program are: Sidney Askew, Accounting; Mohammad Azhar, Computer Information Systems; Lynda Carlson, Allied Health Sciences; Cheryl Comeau-Kirschner, Academic Literacy and Linguistics; Marcelle Edinboro, Nursing; Jennifer Gilken, Teacher Education; Luis Gonzales-Urbina, Science; Benjamin Haas, Speech, Communications and Theatre Arts; Maureen Keenan, Music and Art; Sophie Marinez, Modern Languages; Syreeta McFadden, English; Gloria McNamara, Health Education; Christine Priano, Science; Jill Richardson, English; and Michele Ronda, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice.

Shirley Leyro, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice and Tracy Bealer, English, were also accepted into the BMCC cohort; however, they will be participating in the CUNY-wide Faculty Leadership Program.


The goal of the Faculty Leadership Fellows Program is to recognize and develop faculty leadership through formal and informal roles across departments. The program is also designed to advance departmental and college priorities and promote the role of community colleges more broadly in society.

“In their applications, faculty identified issues that they felt compelled to address,” said Jim Berg, Dean of Faculty. “These issues ranged from helping students with their career goals, to the effects of developmental education reforms, to their own departmental cultures. The program will expose participants to new ways of thinking about issues that face the college and build on their strengths for helping to lead their colleagues for positive change.”

This year's Leadership Fellows Program will include a five-day seminar from January 8 through January 11. Participants will engage with nationally recognized experts on major challenges facing community colleges. These exemplary leaders and guest speakers included current and former college presidents, as well as prominent experts in the field of higher education teaching and learning, organizational development and equity.

A series of workshops will follow throughout Spring 2019. These will focus on topics identified during the January seminars and could include areas such as mentoring and coaching, planning for student success, dealing with conflict, program planning and budget development, as well as effective communications.

January Seminar Schedule

January 7: Transformational Leadership: Creating a Culture for Positive Change

Invited guest speaker: Monica Worline, co-author of Awakening Compassion at Work: The Quiet Power that Elevates People and Organizations (2017)

January 8: The Community College Mission: Designing for Success

Invited guest speaker: Leigh B. Goodson, President, Tulsa Community College

January 9: Leadership and Students: Leading a Culture of Care

Invited guest speaker: Russell Lowery-Hart, President, Amarillo Community College

January 10: Leading to Support Teaching and Learning: Developing Pedagogical Leadership

Invited guest speaker: Gail Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College, co-author of Taking College Teaching Seriously: Pedagogy Matters (2015)

January 11: Faculty Leader as Institutional Leader: Equity by Design

Invited guest speaker: David E. Kirkland, Associate Professor of English and Urban Education and Executive Director, NYU Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

share this story »


  • More than 50 faculty members nominated by department chairs
  • Faculty Leadership Fellows Program recognizes and develops faculty leadership through formal and informal roles across departments
  • Participants engage with nationally recognized experts on major challenges facing community colleges

share this story »