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Diversity Council

More information on Dutchess Community College's Diversity Council members.

Council Member/Title Background
Jennifer Aponte-Paez
Academic Coach/Adjunct Faculty
Jennifer has been at the College since September of 2018 and is dedicated to efforts that provide equitable educational opportunities. She has served on the Committee for Professional Staff Development since 2021 and the Consortium for Immigrant and Undocumented Students since 2018. (she, her)
Jay Brown  
Marcia Butland
Assistant Dean, Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability
An alumna of DCC, Marcia Butland returned to the College in January of 2015. She is a resource for students, informing them of their rights and how to exercise them while clarifying their responsibilities. Through the DCC CARES initiative, she connects students experiencing financial emergencies with on-campus and community-based resources. (she/her/hers)
Melissa Carlo-Gonzalez
Director of TRIO
Since 2001, Melissa Carlo-Gonzalez has worked to support access and equity for low-income, first-generation college and college-bound students as well as undergraduate students with disabilities. Melissa has been at Dutchess since fall 2016. She has served as chair of the Administrative Staff Council since spring 2021. 
Bernadette Cekuta
Coordinator of EMS Programs
Bernadette has been working at the College ever since she graduated from DCC in January 2002. She has held various roles as adjunct faculty, lab faculty, clinical and lab coordinator and, since August 2011, as the Coordinator of EMS. “Emergency Medical Services are very diverse and we work in a diverse society,” she says, so her goals are to make safe learning spaces where everyone is respected and where we can all learn from one another.
Adjiwanou Gbagba
Director of NYS-CSTEP and NSF-LSAMP
Adjiwanou Gbagba has been with the College since June 2018. He has worked to support the recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged students pursuing education in STEM fields, licensed professions and health-related careers.
Jessica A. Geer, PhD
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Professor Geer has been at the College since 2015. She believes that "diversity is acceptance, inclusion and equality amongst all races, genders and sexual orientation. Diversity is like an intricately woven quilt. Each tapestry, side by side, comes together to make a beautiful, and colorful work of art."
Shalon Hallager
Instructor of History, Department of History, Government and Economics
Shalon Hallager has been at DCC since August of 2017. She teaches courses in American History and Women's History. (she, her)
Ahmad Ismail  

Kevin Lang

Kevin is an assistant professor in the English and Humanities department. He started in 2009 and has been full-time since 2013. He served on the Black History committee from 2015 to 2021. He has been the adviser to the DCC student newspaper, The Falcons' Call, since 2009.
Paula Lockshon, LMSW
Instructor, Human Services program
Paula Lockshon founded the DCC Consortium for Immigrant and Undocumented Students and is the founding member of DCC’s LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Committee.
Sabrina Evelyn Lopez
DCC Fishkill
Sabrina has been with the College since 2016. “As a first-generation student myself,” she says, “I understand and value diversity as the vehicle through which social progression and harmony can be found.”
Janette McKoy  
Mariana Melo, Sc.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Allied Health and Biological Sciences
Willie Morris
Instructor, Department of English and Humanities
Marta Newkirk  
Carl Norris
Academic, Career, and Transfer Center/Adjunct Faculty: Career Exploration and Planning
Carl has been with the college since August of 2016.
Steven Posada
Diversity Admissions Counselor, Admissions Office
Steven Posada has been at the college since June of 2017 and is an active member of the Consortium for Undocumented Students. (he, his him)
Kaina Rivera
Director of Academic Housing
Kaina Rivera has been with the College since January 2019. She is passionate about making spaces equitable and accessible for underrepresented identities.
Jaclyn Savolainen
Acting Director of Ritz Library
Jaclyn Savolainen has been a librarian at DCC since 2016. She is committed to ensuring that the library’s collections are reflective of the diverse populations we serve, that there is equitable access to information, and that the staff engages in ongoing practices of inclusion and celebrating of differences.
Coreen Simms  
Keith Tombrello
Coordinator of Testing
An alumnus of Dutchess, Keith has been working at DCC since 2011. He is humbled and honored to serve the College as a member of the Diversity Council.
Dana Weidman, MFA
Professor of Communications, Media Arts and Film