• Humanities Department

  •        Location: C-745
           Phone: (718) 482-5690

  • Click any link below to see Faculty contact information, listed by Program:

  •  Communication Studies

    Dr. Louis Lucca

    B.A., Modern Languages, Seton Hall University
    M.A., TESOL, New York University
    Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, New York University

    Dr. Louis Lucca

     Dr. Lucca is the Director of the Communication Studies Program and The Speech Center at the College. His doctoral dissertation is on the experience of ESL Community College Students in Learning Communities. His research interests include learning communities, distance learning, media effects, and digital storytelling. His avocations are, among others, radio broadcasting and travel.

    Ms. Alberta Arnold

    Ms. Alberta Arnold M.A., Rhetoric and Public Address, University of PittsburghM.S., Applied Human Development and Guidance, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAlberta Arnold is a lecturer with CCE. Her Scholarly Interests include Rhetoric and Public Address and Interpersonal Communication.

    Dr. Nancy Bandiera

    Dr. Nancy Bandiera
    Dr. Nancy Bandiera, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at LaGuardia Community College, has been teaching full-time in higher education for over 15 years. She is a graduate of SUNY Albany, received an M.A. in Linguistics/Education from UT Arlington; an M.F.A in Acting and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from UT Austin. Dr. Bandiera has taught ESL and numerous theatre and communication studies courses. She is a member of Actors Equity Association & the Voice and Speech Trainers Association as well as professional organizations in communication.

    Her research is in spirituality & communication. She recently conducted a poster presentation on “The Use of Grounded Theory in Analysis of Liminality Among Labyrinth Walkers” and published an article, “My Experiment with the Labyrinth in Education.”  Currently, Dr. Bandiera is teaching Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Oral Interpretation of Literature at LAGCC. The essence of Dr. Bandiera’s teaching philosophy is instilling in each student that he or she has a right to speak, an ethical responsibility to audiences, and an obligation to train the mind, body, and voice for clear, confident, and ethical communication in contexts of professional communication sites and social activism. Dr. Bandiera’s students are negotiators in discovering common ground among diverse opinions for the public good.

    Dr. Robert Bruno

    Tom Dempsey
    Dr. Robert Bruno holds a Bachelor's degree in English from SUNY at Stony Brook, a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ohio University, and a Doctorate in Communication from Purdue University. He has worked professionally in the communication field for a number of years prior to entering academia including; election campaigns, public relations/affairs and internal communications in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay area. His research examines the communication that takes place within collaborative spaces, technological and/or online, and its effects on outcomes, including learning. He has been published in multiple scholarly publications and conference proceedings, and co-authored papers for presentation.

    Dr. Andy Kai-chun Chuang

    Dr. Andy Kai-chun Chuang
     Dr. Chuang received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a focus on organizational communication and a secondary focus in critical cultural communication at the University of Denver. He also received an M.A. from the University of Denver and a B.A. from Tamkang University in Taiwan.

    Dr. Chuang’s work examines the intersections between critical rhetorical approaches and performance studies perspectives in organizational and professional contexts. His research perspective bridges rhetoric and performance in organizational communication and has manifested in some of his recent projects presented at both the National Communication Association (NCA) and International Communication Association (ICA). These projects explore the underappreciated concept of professionalism and the performance of identities and resistance by examining Taiwanese commercial airline pilots’ discursive practices.

    Before joining LaGuardia in 2014, Dr. Chuang taught in both two-year and four-year colleges in Denver, Colorado. Now, he teaches Fundamentals of Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Communication in a Professional Setting, and Small Group Communication. He hopes to teach Organizational Communication, and Intercultural Communication in the future.

    Dr. Sandra Dickinson

    Dr. Sandra Dickinson
    M.S., Communication Disorders, Emerson College
    Ph.D., Linguistics, New York University

    Dr. Dickinson is ASHA certified in SpL (Speech-Language Pathology) and has authored numerous publications and conference presentations on language acquisition and phonetics.


    Ms. Susan Gizzi
    M.A., Communication and Culture, New York University

    As a member of the Humanities Department, Susan Gizzi has been dedicated to the Speech Center’s growth and evolution. She has also taught a variety of Communication Studies courses.

    Her interests include Business Management and Communication. She enjoys learning about culture in her travels.

    Ms.Erika Heppner

    Ms.Erika Heppner
    Erika Heppner has been a full-time lecturer at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY since 2004. Before coming to LaGuardia, she taught at Loyola University and Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans.

    Her teaching and current research interests include oral history, digital storytelling and radio production, experiential learning, and learning communities. She feels fortunate to be part of the LaGuardia faculty and work with so many inspiring students and colleagues.


    Dr. Sumanth Inukonda

    Mr. Sumanth Inukonda
    Dr. Sumanth Inukonda has successfully defended his doctoral dissertation at Bowling Green State University. His doctoral dissertation analyzes the relationship between media and the Telangana Separatist movement in India. He has earned his M.Sc. (with Merit) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His Master’s dissertation analyzed the BBC’s positioning of business journalism in an emerging multimedia environment.

    He is presently teaching Public Speaking and Communicating in a Professional Setting at LAGCC. In the past, he has taught Media and Information Society, Communication Theory, Interpersonal Communication and Interviewing.

    He has professional experience working in the Media and Communications sector in the UK and in India. He has worked in London with a major financial publisher and in India as a Development Communications Consultant.

    Ms. Rachel Kerr

    Ms. Rachel Kerr
    Rachel Kerr has her Master of Fine Arts in Performance. Rachel has been teaching for LaGuardia Community College for 14 years as an adjunct and is currently a full-time substitute.  In part, her research interests are relative to social realities as they are created by acting styles in film. She is also an artist, photographer, playwright, and poet.

    Prof. Doreen Kolomechuk

    Doreen Kolomechuk is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies Program at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. She has over thirty years of experience in higher education and has focused on teaching, experiential learning, and career development and counseling throughout her career. She teaches a variety of online and classroom courses in the Communication Studies Program. She also assists students in securing internship opportunities and enables students to analyze and learn from internship experiences. Before joining LaGuardia Community College, Professor Kolomechuk worked at Hofstra University and Long Island University. She has an M.S. in Education and Counseling from Hofstra University, an M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. 

    Dr. Robin Levenson

    Mr. Sumanth Inukonda
    Dr. Robin Levenson, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, enjoys teaching all aspects of Communication. She has recently been elected to the Executive Board of NYSCA (New York State Communication Association), and has presented her book, Acting in Translation, at conferences in East Anglia, England, Philadelphia and here at LaGuardia.  

    Her research interests include language and performance, and a new course, Language and Human Behavior, is in the works. She has published articles in Communications from The International Brecht Society.

    Robin’s students have won First and Second Places at CUNY and LaGuardia Speech Contests, and awards at the NYC “Model U.N.”  She conducts student Speech Seminars at Hunter College for the Andrew Mellon Project every year. Robin has earned a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Drama, French and English, an M.F.A. in Acting from UC Riverside and a Ph.D. in Education from NYU.


    Mr. Sean Palmer

     Sean Palmer earned his B.A. in French and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh. Several years later, he earned a MATESL from the University of Illinois. While at the University of Illinois, Mr. Palmer worked on many projects in the digital humanities both in the University’s archives and as coordinator of the audio production facilities. After graduation, Mr. Palmer taught in the ESL program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh before coming to LaGuardia in 2004. At LaGuardia, Mr. Palmer manages the Speech Center and teaches on an adjunct basis. 

    Ms. Jaime Riccio

    Ms. Jaime Riccio
    Jaime Riccio recently returned to her home state of New Jersey to join the LaGuardia Community College faculty. She is a full-time Instructor of Communication Studies and scholar of mass media. She earned her M.A. in Media Studies from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and her B.A. in Communications with a specialization in Radio/Television/Film from The College of New Jersey. She has a background in broadcasting and digital marketing, serving as a digital media strategist in the greater NYC area.

    Her research interests include media effects, digital literacy, and child media use, with her doctoral dissertation focusing on adolescent identity formation in the digital age. Jaime has presented media research at national and international conferences, and has published a number of works on media theory, including chapters in Producing Theory 2.0, The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, and the Handbook of Communication Sciences. Jaime currently teaches classes in Broadcasting and Public Speaking.


    Dr. Joni Schwartz


    Dr. Joni Schwartz

    Dr. Joni Schwartz is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies and a social activist scholar. She is the founder and developer of three adult education centers in NYC, is co-editor of Swimming Upstream: Black Males in Adult Education, reflections editor for Dialogues on Social Justice – a peer reviewed online journal, and has published in Adult Education Quarterly, Adult Learning, Science Education, and International Journal of Science in Society. Her documentary, A New Normal: Young Men of Color, Trauma and Engagement in Learning, is utilized in classrooms across the country, and she is currently the executive producer for an upcoming  documentary about post-incarceration and engagement in learning.

    She completed her Master’s degree in Communication at New York University and Doctorate from Rutgers University. Dr. Schwartz teaches online as well as traditional courses and enjoys teaching tremendously. For more information about her classes, undergraduate research projects and teaching approach, see her ePortolio: https://lagcc-cuny.digication.com/joni_schwartz_ph_d/Welcome.


    Dr. Poppy Slocum

    Ms. Poppy Slocum
    Dr. Poppy Slocum has been a faculty member in Communication Studies since 2014. She has a B.A. in Classics and Romance Linguistics from the University of Washington and expects to receive her Ph.D. in Linguistics in Spring 2016 from Stony Brook University.

    Her dissertation, The Syntax of Address, focuses on the internal and external structure of vocative phrases. In addition to generative syntax, Ms. Slocum is also interested in the relationship between language and power, both socially and politically. More details about her research and teaching can be found at poppyslocum.com.


    Dr. Patricia Sokolski

    Dr. Patricia Sokolski has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Medieval Studies. She has been involved in learning communities and teaches most of her courses in pairs and clusters. Her research interests include oral literature and interpersonal communication in the medieval times.

    Dr. Shaunee Wallace

    Dr. S. Lenise Wallace, Ph.D. is a motivational speaker, college professor and communication professional. She is an Associate Professor teaching communication courses such as Public Relations, Communication in a Professional Setting and Persuasion & Debate. She has over fifteen years of experience in public relations and image consulting. Dr. Wallace has energized audiences across the country, turning her speaking engagements into overall interactive experiences.

    Her research interests include public relations and race, gender and sexuality in mass media. Due to her prominent work in the field, Dr. Wallace was featured in two editions of The Practice of Public Relations by Fraser Seitel, one of the nation’s leading public relations textbooks. Dr. Wallace earned her B.A. in Political Science from Delaware State University, Dover, DE; M.S. in Organizational Communication & Public Relations from Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Ph.D. in Mass Communication & Media Studies from Howard University, Washington, D.C. Dr. Wallace serves as the faculty mentor for the Public Relations concentration of the Communication Studies program and the LAGCC Public Relations Club.

    Prof. Francine White

    Professor White is a member of the faculty in the Humanities Department at LaGuardia Community College. She has been a LaGuardia faculty member for more than twenty years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from City College, and a MBA from Dowling College. In her early years at LaGuardia, Professor White was privileged to work at Riker’s Island Adult Education program through LaGuardia – a relationship she is happy to continue as needed. She remains interested in issues of Criminal Justice, Prisoner Reentry and the impact of emotional literacy and listening in transforming lives.

    Dr. Anthony Palomba

    Dr. Anthony Palomba holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication, focused in Telecommunications, from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, a M.A. in Television, Radio, and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a B.A. from Manhattanville College, with a double major in History and Political Science (Pre-Law) and a minor in Economics.

    His area of research, known as media management, concerns the consumer behavior, branding, and marketing behind video games, television, and film. He has previous experience working in entertainment and corporate law firms, in which he was responsible for supporting work on option agreements and other deals for such shows as Billy Elliot, Shrek the Musical, and Avenue Q (International Tour) among others. During his doctoral studies, he worked for Nielsen, conducting research on how millennials consume and use entertainment and media content, products, and services. Before coming to LaGuardia Community College, he worked at Ipsos, where he conducted market research for HBO, CNN, Sesame Street, and NBC Comcast among others.

     Fine Arts

    To view our Fine Arts faculty – click here

     Industrial Design

    Contact: DennisD’Amelio, Coordinator  
    Office: C-745-EE          
    Email: ddamelio@lagcc.cuny.edu  

     Media and Technology

    John Henry Davis,  Professor 

    Email: jdavis@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Bethany Jacobson, Assistant Professor

    Office: C-745-I           Email: bjacobson@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Contact: Joyce Rheuban,  Professor,  Director of Media Studies

    Office: C-745-X          Email: rheubanjo@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    James Ricardson,  Professor,  Assistant Professor  

    Office: C-745-RR           Email: jaricardson@lagcc.cuny.edu  

    Thomas Seymour, College Lab Technician   

    Office: M-121           Email: tseymour@lagcc.cuny.edu  

     Media Studies

    Contact: Dr. Joyce Rheuban, Director
    Office: C-745-X           
    Email: rheubanjo@lagcc.cuny.edu 

     Music Option

    Lisa DeSpain

    Lisa DeSpain

    Music Option Program Director
    Associate Professor of Music and Theatre

    Professor Lisa DeSpain is the composer of STORYVILLE, an original musical based on the historical events surrounding the closing of New Orleans’ famous red-light district and birthplace of jazz. STORYVILLE’s creative team includes Oscar-Award winning lyricist Kristen Anderson-Lopez (FROZEN), playwright Julia Jordan (MURDER BALLAD), and director Kate Whoriskey (RUINED). STORYVILLE was presented at NAMT (National Alliance for Musical Theatre) in 2014 and selected for development by the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

    Lisa’s awards include a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, a Eugene O’Neill Center writer-in-residence, the ASCAP Commission Honoring the Duke Ellington, an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Fellowship, and a Barlow Award.

    Lisa’s commissions include a series of jazz ballet for The Buglisi Foreman Dance Company with premieres at the New Victory Theatre and Joyce Theatre, a cantata for the New Haven Symphony, a score for a circus (Flight of the Condor) and a fanfare celebrating the Wright Brother’s Centennial for Flight by the United States Air Force.

    She is the published arranger of multiple Broadway choral mash-ups including Pippin, The Who’s Tommy, Green Day/American Idiot, Once, Next to Normal, and Spring Awakening. She is the editor of “Broadway Presents!” a Musical Theatre Anthology series for training young voices.

    Lisa DeSpain Website

    Tom DempseyTom Dempsey

    Associate Professor of Music

    Tom Dempsey’s reputation for hard swinging sophistication and pure musicality have made him a distinctive voice in the New York jazz scene. Tom has performed and/or recorded with world renowned jazz musicians including: Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Brad Mehldau, Kenny Barron, George Coleman, Jack McDuff, Bobby McFerrin, Mel Torme and Dave Brubeck. Dempsey performs as a leader and a sideman at some of the top jazz venues throughout the world including Jazz at Lincoln Center, San Francisco Jazz Festival, The Blue Note, Yoshi’s, Smalls and Smoke. He has recorded seven CDs as a leader and has appeared on numerous recordings of other artists. As a well-respected jazz educator Dempsey currently teaches for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York Pops and the New York Jazz Academy. He is an Associate Professor of Music at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY where he teaches music theory, harmony and counterpoint, guitar, improvisation, and coaches a variety of ensembles. He has also published seven books for Alfred Music, numerous articles for Premier Guitar Publications, three interactive educational products True Fire. Dempsey has and continues to contribute and consult Jazz at Lincoln Center in matters relating to their online education content for the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy.

    Lisa DeSpainGustavo Moretto

    Professor of Music

    Gustavo Moretto was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he initiated his music career as a trumpet player, composer and pianist for Alma y Vida, one of that country's most famous bands. He later left the band to form Alas. Mr. Moretto toured extensively through Argentina and Chile and recorded six LP's for RCA and EMI. In 2005 a new CD was released called Mimame Bandoneon. His latest CD “Yo Me Acuerdo, Buenos Aires” was released in 2011. He holds a Doctorate degree in music composition from Columbia University, Bachelors Degree from The New England Conservatory and has been a professor at LaGuardia Community College in New York City since 1996. Mr. Moretto has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Norton Stevens Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, ASCAP's Raymond Hubbell Music Scholarship Award, a Fellowship at the Composer's Conference at Wellesley College, and a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation sponsorship at Yaddo. His classical works have been performed by the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, the Earplay Music Ensemble of San Francisco, the Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble of Boston, the Chamber Players of The Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Speculum Musicae at Columbia University, the Agrupación Nueva Música of Buenos Aires, the Grupo de Cámara de Buenos Aires, and others..

    Lisa DeSpainMark “Abishai” Brooks

    Music Recording Technology Program Director
    Professor of Music and Music Recording Technology

    Composer, songwriter, arranger, bassist, producer, and audio engineer, Mark "Abishai" Brooks was born in England; his family moved to the United States when he was five. Abishai studied voice at Michelangelo Intermediate School under Freda Edmead and Eddie Duchin. He completed his BA in Jazz Performance at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus). Abishai has studied bass with Calvin Hill, Percy Jones (Band-X), Jerry Jermott, Greg Maker, and Angus Thomas. He has studied performance with Benny Powell, Bob Mintzer and Eddie Henderson. At the Brooklyn College Music Conservatory, Abishai studied Composition with Tania Leon, Jason Eckardt and Ben Bierman. Mark "Abishai" Brooks has been in the music industry for 28 years now and has performed and recorded with numerous artists. Some of these include singer songwriter ROB, Alan "Juice" Glover, Fred "wuj" Kimmel, Cedric "Im" Brooks (Skatalities), Rex Anthony, Kay Boyd, and Ernest "Super" Cooper among many others. Mark "Abishai" Brooks is currently the director of the Music Recording Technology program at LaGuardia Community College and is the head engineer for Buss Recording Studio in the Bronx, New York.

    Will Fulton

    Assistant Professor of Music

    Will Fulton is a record producer, music historian, guitarist and DJ. He is an Assistant Professor at LaGuardia, teaching HUM101 Intro to Music, HUM210 American Music, and the new HUM109 World Music. The focus of his scholarship is American popular music and recording technology. He has contributed articles to American Music Review, The Grove Dictionary of American Music (Oxford, 2014), and The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (Oxford, forthcoming 2015), with topics including Jimi Hendrix, Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, and hip-hop production techniques. His compositions have appeared in feature films and television broadcasts, such as the 2007 Super Bowl broadcast (CBS Networks) and Breaking Bad (AMC, 2011), as well as numerous albums. He has produced and remixed music for Run-D.M.C., Tupac Shakur, Camp Lo, and Jay-Z. He has lectured internationally at conferences for the Society of American Music, American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, and the American Studies Association. Before he began teaching, Will served as A&R Director for Profile Records and Slash/Warner Music. He holds a Master’s Degree in Musicology from Brooklyn College, and is a PhD Candidate in Musicology at the City University of New York..

     Music Recording Technology

    Mark Brooks, Director of Music Recording Technology 

    Office: C-745-SS / E-127          Email: mbrooks@lagcc.cuny.edu 

     New Media

    Contact: Richard Dragan, Director New Media 
    Email: rdragan@lagcc.cuny.edu 

     Performing Arts

    Taryn Anderson, College Lab Technician
    Email: taanderson@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Lisa DeSpain, Director
    Office: C-745-W          Email: ldespain@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Steven Hitt, Artistic Director of LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC)
    Office: E-241          Email: stevenh@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Jason Ramirez, Assistant Professor
    Email: jaramirez@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Stefanie Sertich, Associate Professor
    Office: C-745-CC          Email: ssertich@lagcc.cuny.edu 


    Leslie Aarons, Assistant Professor
    Office: C-745-R Email: laarons@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Vera Albrecht, Associate Professor
    Office:C-745-KK Email: valbrecht@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Richard Brown, Professor
    Office: C-745-GG Email: onemorebrown@gmail.com

    John Chaffee, Director of Philosophy
    Office: C-745-D Email: JCTHINK@aol.com

    Payal Doctor, Assistant Professor
    Office: C-745-JJ Email: payaldoctor@gmail.com

    Emmanuel Nartey , Assistant Professor
    Office: C-745-QQ Email: enatey@aol.com

    Gary Richmond, Lecturer
    Email: richmondga@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Cheri Carr, Assistant Professor
    Office: C-745-K Email: ccarr@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Shannon Proctor, Assistant Professor

    Office: C-745-M Email: sproctor@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Dana Trusso, Assistant Professor

    Office: C-745-ZZ Email: datrusso@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Vera Albrecht, Assistant Professor
    Office:C-745-KK         Email: valbrecht@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Richard Brown, Associate Professor
    Office: C-745-GG          Email: onemorebrown@gmail.com

    Roberto Ruiz, Lecturer



    Hugo Fernandez, Assistant Professor 

    Office: C-745-WBB        Email: hufernandez@lagcc.cuny.edu  

    Javier Larenas, Senior College Lab Tech, Adjunct Lecturer  

    Office: B-336        Email: jlarenas@lagcc.cuny.edu  

    Lidiya Kan, Higher Education Officer  

    Office: B-336        Email: lkan@lagcc.cuny.edu  

    Sarah Midkiff, Assistant Professor  

    Office: B-336 / C-745-M        Email: smidkiff@lagcc.cuny.edu 

    Scott Sternbach, Director of Photography

    Office: B-336 / C-745 J      Email: ssternbach@lagcc.cuny.edu 

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