Fulbright’s Greater New York Board of Directors and AdvisorS
KATIE BAKARICH (President)
Fulbright: Germany, 2009
Katie attended Fairfield University in Connecticut, majoring in Accounting and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008. During the summer of 2006, Katie had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy. This experience furthered her desire to spend time abroad after graduating. During high school and in the summers off during college, she studied German and developed an affinity for the culture and language. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Katie spent her Fulbright year at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. While there, she attended courses and conducted research on German accounting and the EU business environment. When she returned to the U.S., she joined the public accounting firm McGladrey LLP, for whom she had interned during college. Katie served as an external auditor for three years, conducting financial statement audits of companies in a variety of industries and obtained her CPA license for the state of New York. In 2012, she began a full-time PhD program at The City University of New York (Baruch College) in accounting, with the goal of becoming a professor at a business school focusing on international accounting and business.
KRISTA SANDE-KERBACK (Vice President)
Fulbright: German, 2006
Krista Sande-Kerback served as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant at a comprehensive school in Hamburg, Germany from 2005-2006, working with students in a primarily Muslim migrant community. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) where she studied Geography, Public Policy, and German. Krista completed her MBA at Columbia Business School (2014) and also took courses around immigration, multiculturalism and Turkish for a year at the Universitat Hamburg as part of her Fulbright. Krista is currently a Senior Analyst at IBM and is part of a global team of market research analysts and consultants that conduct projects on topics of importance to IBM business leaders and strategists, accelerating the understanding of new or emerging markets. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristasande
TOM GAFFNEY (Board Secretary)
Fulbright: Macau, 2008
My name is Tom Gaffney, and I’m proud to say that I’m an alum of the Fulbright program, having had the opportunity to live in Macau in 2008 thanks to a research grant. My project was to study the impact of casino liberalization in Macau (both the economic and the political impact). Outside of my research, I was lucky enough to spend a year doing some of my favorite things: namely, meeting lots of interesting people and exploring new places. I am a native New Yorker (well, a native Westchester resident at any rate) who now lives in Manhattan. I just graduated from a master’s degree program at Columbia, where I studied public policy and economics. Before that, my background was in newspaper journalism and I worked for The New York Times for five years. Now I’m looking for the next adventure! In my spare time, I like playing basketball and chess, running, checking out museums and exhibitions, trying out new restaurants, and kibitzing with friends over drinks or coffee.
RON GONELLA (Treasurer)
Fulbright: Wales 1981; India, 1987
Ron Gonella has retired from teaching and administration after almost 40 years in the classroom. Ron began his educational career in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia (now Eritrea) then returned to teach in NYC. He was awarded a Fulbright Teacher Exchange appointment to Wales in 1981-2. Ron's second Fulbright was as a curriculum specialist in 1987 when he joined a team of educators who spent a summer in India developing a series of lesson plans & resources to be used in the nation’s classrooms towards establishing the global classroom in schools & colleges. Ron is a charter member of the NY Chapter, having joined in 1982. He has served as treasurer and board member for more than a decade. More recently, his primary role has been to serve as liaison with the Yonkers Board of Education & Sarah Lawrence College in the Youth Mentoring/Global Curriculum Initiative which endeavored to connect high school students to the Fulbright goal of international understanding & cooperation. The Global Curriculum Initiative is now engaged with Palisades Prep in Yonkers in developing curriculum using chapter personnel & resources in a variety of disciplines in the classroom, in the hopes of developing a model that can be replicated in other educational settings.
General Board Members:
Fulbright: Dutch Fulbright alumna to U.S., 2012
After getting her Masters in Clinical psychology from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, as well as a degree in Choir Conducting at the Conservatory, Vivienne Aerts worked as a therapist in a private practice and as a choir conductor and singer for a couple years. In 2012, she received a Fulbright to study jazz and vocal performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In December 2014, she graduated and has been residing in New York City where she gave a debut performance at the Blue Note Jazz Club and is currently working on her third album. Since, Vivienne has shared the stage with both national and international Jazz icons such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Joe Cohn, and Florian Weber. Besides this, she works with pianist Kenny Werner and the Effortless Mastery Institute at Berklee. Together with her husband who is a Pastry Chef she organizes events and performances under the name Vervool using jazz, haute cuisine and modern art. http://www.vivienneaerts.nl
Fulbright: U.K. alumna to U.S., 2015
As a recipient of a U.K Fulbright Award 2015/16 I am currently furthering my studies at The New School in New York as a graduate student in the organization change management department, whilst studying service design in Parsons school of design, with a focus on nurturing systemic change in K-12 education systems. Most recently co-founded two start ups which are non-profit organizations that support Dance education for students in the the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Both of which follow the Fulbright mission of fostering international exchange and scholarship. Blending students with educators and globally minded-citizens of the world and challenging stereotype behaviour. Background includes lifetime involvement in educating and facilitating youth empowerment in society through involvement in the performing arts and sport. Highly passionate, dedicated, creative, resourceful and disciplined practitioner and respected leader.
RENEE COOPER (Advocacy Co-Director)
Fulbright: Denmark, 2013
Renee Cooper completed her Fulbright in Copenhagen Denmark February through April 2013. While there she lectured on marketing, business development and sales. Before returning to the States she presented Omni-Channel Retailing in the U.S. to the Danish business community. She has been on the faculty of FIT's Fashion Merchandising Management (FMM) department since 2000. She is the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service from the State University of New York (SUNY) for consistently superior service. As acting chairperson from 2008 to 2010, she played a major role in the launch of FMM's first fully online degree program. Cooper wrote and teaches online and hybrid versions of courses in Contemporary Retail Management and Leadership Development for Retailing. She has been FIT's liaison with the National Retail Foundation for the past thirteen years. Cooper is co- advisor of the National Retail Federation Student Association at FIT, which she co-founded. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Black Retail Action Group (BRAG) where she is Vice President of Planning. She is also the Co-Advisor of the FIT student BRAG Club. As Chair of BRAG College Chapters she has grown the organization to 9 chapters across the U.S., which gives more students internship and scholarship opportunities. As FMM's former International Coordinator, Cooper has facilitated student exchange programs in Italy, England, Australia, and France. She also designed and coordinated several of FIT's collaborative summer programs with Moscow State University. Before joining FIT, Cooper was a buyer and sourcing manager for major retail companies. Cooper earned a BS in Business Administration from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. and a Master's of Professional Studies degree in Global Fashion Management at FIT.
RONIT LEVIN DELGADO
Fulbright: Israeli Fulbright alumna to U.S., 2011
Ronit Levin Delgado is an Israeli multimedia artist who currently lives and works in New York. She has a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2008), and during her studies, she was chosen for the exchange students program and studied for a semester at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. In 2011, Ronit won the MA Fulbright program in Israel and was sent for her MFA in studio arts at Montclair State University. During her studies, she was selected to be the Assistant Set Designer for ZINNIAS: The Life Of Clementine Hunter, by Director Robert Wilson at Alexander Kasser Theater, NJ. After her graduation in 2013, she did the Academic Training program for a year, working with the world-renowned artist Nir Hod as his studio assistant at his Meatpacking Studio. Ronit has exhibited in group exhibitions in in Israel, Europe and the U.S., such as Magnan Metz Gallery and Pratt Manhattan Gallery in NYC, Solo Gallery and Index Gallery in Newark, Cardiff, Wales and Leeds in UK and Ramle Station for Contemporary Art and Hertzelilinblum Museum in Israel. http://www.ronitlevindelgado.com
JONATHAN GOODMAN LEVITT (Advocacy Co-Director)
Fulbright: United Kingdom, 1999
Jonathan’s films as a director and/or producer have been supported by broadcasters and funders including BBC, PBS, NHK-Japan, Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, and Sundance Institute. Personally or through his company Changeworx, he has worked on documentary features that follow people from five continents as their lives unfold over multiple years. Changeworx’s latest film is Among the Believers, a non-judgmental investigation of the Red Mosque madrassah network made collaboratively over six years by a Pakistani Muslim, Indian Hindu and American Jew (Jonathan). Released theatrically and broadcast on public television in 2016, Among the Believers has won over thirty awards internationally, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, Cinema Eye Honor, and Asia Pacific Screen Award. Jonathan’s recent directing project Follow the Leader was featured on C-Span, CNN and Fox; released by Angelika Film Center, PBS stations and Cinedigm; and was the only documentary to premiere in Tampa & Charlotte during the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions. His first feature, Sunny Intervals and Showers (Director, Producer, Editor, Camera, 2003), screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Chicago and One World Human Rights Film Festival; aired within the BBC Storyville documentary series; and was nominated for Grierson (British Documentary) and Mental Health Media Awards. Jonathan studied social psychology, political philosophy, and art at Stanford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the U.K.’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) in 1999. He has been based in Brooklyn since 2008. https://www.changeworx.com
Fulbright: Bulgaria, 2008
J. Michelle Hill is a computer graphics artist, faculty at Parsons The New School for Design, digital literacy consultant, residing in New York. She has a BFA_1977 in Textile Design, from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters_1982 in Printmaking from Howard University. Her educational experience and work conducting women's development projects in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and rural Africa, lead her to lecturing at the museum of African Art, New York and production contracting on Walt Disney Theatrical Productions of The Lion King and Aida. She has also worked on Broadway productions of Mamma Mia. Michelle's digital printing background allowed her to set up a digital print factory in China for an international lingerie company. Her lecturing opportunities have included The Textile Museum in Washington DC to Digital Print conferences in Istanbul, Turkey. Additionally, Michelle has exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally including the Museum of Art and Design in New York. One of her career highlights was acceptance of a Lecture/Teaching Fulbright fellowship in Sofia, Bulgaria where she researched Thracian culture and taught computer graphics at The National Academy of Art. During her stay in Bulgaria she collaborated with the U.S Embassy to sponsor exhibitions for her Fulbright project along with student exhibitions and acted in a movie. She has been published in Mademoiselle magazine, Black Enterprise, Surface Design, ESSENCE and One world magazine. She has written essays regarding early experimental digital printing technology on smart cloth. Her interests range from acting, animation and digital storytelling for ESL training.
Fulbright: Kolkata, India, 2016-2017
David was a 2016-2017 Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Assistant placed at Kailash Vidyamandir, an all-boys, primary, and lower secondary school in Kolkata. David was the first Fulbrighter placed at Kailash and the school’s first full-time English teacher in five years. In addition to helping his students become experts in the foundations of the English language, David did his best to introduce them to American culture— from trick-or-treating, to dancing to Michael Jackson, to explaining the differences between cricket and baseball. David also fundraised $10,000 from 116 donors that helped to build the 167-year-old school its first library, paint murals, and make crucial infrastructure improvements. David is currently living in New York City and is a Work First Foundation fellow, where he helps prepare New Yorkers on government assistance for jobs and researches unemployment issues. David received his B.A from Columbia University in Political Science.
Fulbright: Madrid, Spain, 2016
Upon graduating from Occidental College in May 2016 with a degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs, Sam was lucky enough to teach English as an ETA in Madrid, Spain. Sam helped his students compete in Global Classrooms, similar to Model UN, where the highschoolers practiced researching, presenting, and debating complicated global issues, all in English. Outside of the classroom, Sam enjoyed spending time with his local basketball team and practicing salsa. After moving back home to New York City, Sam joined Bombas, an apparel company that donates an article of clothing for each article sold, as the Giving Relationship Manager, where he works in tandem with over 2,000 “Giving Partners” across the country to find the best destinations for these donation products.
Fulbright: Colombia (Rionegro), 2013-2014, (Cali), 2014-2015
Hailing from Deltona, Florida, Caitlin is a graduate of the Florida State University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and worked with immigration and refugee populations targeting educational and legal needs. Upon graduation in 2013, she received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship with the Universidad Católica de Oriente in Rionegro, Colombia. After her year, she was awarded a Senior English Teaching Assistantship grant to the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. While teaching she studied romantic languages, economic development, then-present negotiations with the FARC, and conducted research on indigenous rights in Silvia, Cauca. Caitlin works at New York Peace Institute, a dispute resolution center in New York City as a conflict resolution practitioner and operations analyst. Caitlin is a Master’s in Public Administration candidate at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, with a concentration in International Security Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution. During summer 2018, she worked with the State Department's Colombia Desk and created a human rights incident tracker, created reports on conflict resolution implementation, and contributed to the annual Colombia Human Rights Report. As a recipient of the Pickering Graduate Fellowship, she begins a career in the Foreign Service with the September 2019 A-100 cohort.
Fulbright: Azerbaijan, 2009 & 2016
Melda has been an Assistant or Associate Professor (tenured) of Education at William Paterson University and the same at Kean University in Global Studies. She received a BA in Teaching English from as a Foreign Language from Bogazici University in Turkey, an MS in Instructional Technology from Southern Connecticut State University, and an Ed.D. from UMass Amherst. She has also served as a co-president of Fulbright's NJ Chapter with Dr. Richard Marranca and president of the NJ chapter since 2013. She recently moved to New York after accepting a department head position at NYIT and served her second Fulbright assignment in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016.
Fulbright: India, 2006
Anjali Deshmukh is Vice President of Knowledge & Communications at Mission Investors Exchange, a network of foundations committed to impact investing. Previously, she was Director of Knowledge & Communications at Nonprofit Finance Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the giving and use of money for social impact. Anjali has also worked as a writer at LaPlaca Cohen, a firm specializing in communications services to cultural institutions nationwide, and served as an Americorps Vista volunteer at the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. Ms. Deshmukh received her BA from Amherst College in 2001 in English and Fine Arts and MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She has participated in exhibitions at the venues including the Brooklyn Museum, Dumbo Art Festival, Queens Museum of Art, India Habitat Center (Delhi, India), and Higher Bridges Gallery (Ireland). Her work can be viewed at anjalideshmukh.com.
ROSALBA DEL VECCHIO
Fulbright: Italy, 1980
Dr. Rosalba Corrado Del Vecchio is Director of the Master Degree Program in School Building Leadership for aspiring principals and administrators in the non public schools. She also teaches Master and Doctoral level courses and mentors students in the Department of Administrative and Instructional Leadership (DAIL). A member of the St. Vincent de Paul team for the Catholic Institute, she provides professional development to principals and board members of the new academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn and coordinates The Catholic Principals Academy (TCPA), which prepares future school administrators for the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn. A proponent of global programs, Dr. Del Vecchio taught in the first DAIL Instructional Leadership global initiative, on the Rome campus. She received the Global Certificate Program sponsored by St. John's Office of Global Studies and the Center for Teaching and Learning. An active member of St. John's Chapter of the Ladies of Charity, she served as the former Chair of the Spirituality Committee.
Prior to her work at St. John's, Dr. Del Vecchio served as a high school teacher of Spanish, Italian, French and English, then as a school building and central office administrator in one of the Big Four Districts in New York State. For over ten years, she was Director of Funded Programs responsible for the management of over $ 60 million in categorical and competitive grants in the Yonkers Public School District. A grant proposals reader for the U.S. Department of Education and New York State Education Department, she is also a Board of Directors member of the Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) Foundation, which seeks to provide career and college opportunities to underserved children.
A former Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Dr. Del Vecchio was Vice President of the Fulbright Association of Greater New York and continues to serve on its Board. She is the founder of the Youth Mentoring Initiative for International Understanding, a partnership program with the Fulbright Association of GNY, Sarah Lawrence College and an urban school district.
A graduate from Fordham University, Dr. Del Vecchio specializes in educational leadership, administration and policy, with a concentration on partnership development and professional development of aspiring school administrators. Recently, she traveled to China, where she presented a paper on the preparation of the next generation of school leaders, at the International Education Leadership Conference sponsored by the Beijing Institute of Education, The Beijing Institute of Educational Sciences, Global Interactions, the National Staff Development Council, and The Council of Chief State School Officers. The Business Review Cambridge just published her article on The Disconnect between workplace and graduate school motivation, written in collaboration with a colleague from Tobin School of Business.
Fulbrights: Netherlands, 2003; Austria, 2016
Josephine Dorado was previously President of Fulbright Association’s NY Chapter and chaired the Chapter Advisory Board before joining Fulbright Association’s National Board of Directors. She brings to the National Board extensive experience in chapter management as well as initiation of innovative alumni programs that nurture social entrepreneurship and youth mentorship. Josephine is a creative technologist, artist and digital strategist with an entrepreneurial spirit and an innovative approach, whose work focuses on the convergence of physical and digital experiences. Her work has garnered multiple Fulbright awards and a MacArthur Foundation award in Digital Media & Learning. As part of a Fulbright-Museumsquartier artist residency, Josephine worked with refugees in Austria to create virtual reality media narratives of their journeys. She currently teaches at The New School, specializing in immersive learning and media/tech for conflict zones, and leads digital marketing strategy for a business-to-business financial services firm that funds community development programs. In addition, Josephine is a trainer for the State Department’s TechCamps, an initiative to aid civil society organizations in developing countries by building their digital capacities, and has taught workshops in mobile storytelling and games in countries such as Ukraine, Palestine and Tunisia. Previously, Josephine founded Kidz Connect, a virtual cultural exchange program that connected youth internationally through creative collaboration and performance in virtual worlds. Her speaking engagements include Talks @ Google, TEDxFulbright, SXSW, IgniteNYC and SIGGRAPH. For more information, go to her website at www.funksoup.com.