David R. Brown is a program director for the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education. He is currently on leave from Southwestern College (Chula Vista, Calif.) where he is a professor of chemistry. His interests as a chemical educator range from teaching chemistry to undergraduates and engaging them in research activities, developing programs and curriculum, providing professional development activities for fellow educators and engaging youth in hands-on science activities in an effort to increase their interest in education and careers in science.
Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera is president of Keuka College and brings an extensive background in technical education and leadership. He came to Keuka from Rochester Institute of Technology where he served as founding dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. He has consulted for a number of firms and government agencies including the New York Stock Exchange, Institute for Defense Analysis, General Electric, TRW and IBM. He also shares his professional expertise to international organizations.
Sergio Esteban is the chairman of the board and CEO of LaBella Associates, P.C., a Rochester firm providing expertise in architectural design, engineering, environmental consulting and planning services. He received the 1993 Rochester Civil Engineer of the Year Award. He is affiliated with the Genesee River Alliance, the Rochester chapters of both the New York Association of Consultant Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Hispanic Business Association. He serves on the executive committee of the Monroe Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, is president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies' committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He was named by President Obama to chair the newly created President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans and serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Patricia Larrabee, RN, CCRC, NP is the CEO and founder of Rochester Clinical Research (RCR), a company ranked among Rochester's "Top 100" over the past four years. She is also a sub-investigator for RCR and an adult nurse practitioner. RCR conducts U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical research trials as part of the drug development process. She has been involved in the development of Clinical Conductor (clinical trials management software) that is used in over 800 clinical research sites worldwide. She is also member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, University of Rochester School of Nursing National Council and the Women's Presidents Organization, a small business consulting group.
Mike Mandina is one of the founders and president of Optimax Systems, Inc., an optical components manufacturere dedicated to small volume, high quality and quick delivery of precision optics, located in Ontario, New York. An MCC alumnu and master optician himself, Mandina is the invetor of the patented VIBE polishing process used for polishing complex lens shapes. In addition to being a member of the New York State Business Hall of Fame and a founding member of the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufactueres' Enterprise, he is active in many industry associations, including the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Rochester Techno9logy and Manufacturing Associaiton and NYS Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board.
Katherine "Kit" J. Mayberry is the vice president for strategic planning and special initiatives at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She began her career as a professor of English at RIT in 1987 and has served in a variety of leadership roles, including chair of the univerfsity's Technical and Liberal Studeis Program, associate provost for academic programs, and vice president for academic affairs. She has written many scholarly atricles for leading literary and higher education publications. Since 2008, Mayberry has served as the principal invetigator for RIT's McNair Grant, working closely with minority and first-generation students to encourage and support their entry into doctoral programs.
Becky Wai-Ling Packard is a professor of educational psychology at Mount Holyoke College. She is also the director of the Weissman Center for Leadership. She has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, focused on the mentoring and persistence of students from first-generation for college and lower-income backgrounds as they navigate trade, work, community college transfer, and four-year college pathways in science and engineering fields. She has published numerous articles and frequently works with colleges, community organizations, and businesses to design formalized mentoring programs and effective advising practices.
View our past Essential Discussion, "Completion – Our Community's Next Promise"