Stars of Pace: Theatre

From taking on national tours of Broadway musicals to producing Tony Award-winning musicals, Pace students, faculty, and alumni are center stage. >>Read More

Caught in a Web
Dyson musical theater student Brett Thiele ’13, who’s starred in more than 10 professional theater productions in Dallas and New Orleans and was a choreographer for Pace’s 2012 Dance Out Loud, made his Broadway debut in Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.


Playing Princess Fiona

Recent Dyson musical theater graduate Whitney Winfield ’12 took on a monstrous role  in October 2012, when she joined the National Tour of Shrek the Musical as the ogre’s Princess Fiona. Whitney also recently made her way into the semifinals of’s “Next Broadway Star” talent competition.


Soaring to New Heights
In addition to being involved in several Pace musicals and the Dance Out Loud showcases, recent Dyson musical theater graduate Brandon Contreras ’12 joined the first National Tour of In The Heights, which took him all over the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, as the male swing and understudy for Sonny and Graffiti Pete.

Beauty and the Beast on Tour
Disney’s smash hit Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast is on tour…and with them were two Pace musical theater students. Matthew Farcher ’12 played the villain Gaston and Jimmy Larkin ’15 his bumbling sidekick, LeFou. Dates took them from Orlando to Ottawa, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and much more!

A Ghost of a Chance
One of the youngest producers in Broadway theatrical history, at 24, Dyson alumnus Jordan Scott Gilbert ’09 is currently co-producer of the three-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Ghost the Musical through his company, Gilbert Productions, an independent production and casting company. “Being at Pace allowed me access to New York City—something that should not be underestimated in choosing a university,” notes Gilbert, who attended three different schools before ultimately picking Pace. “Pace allowed me to work with the producers on the Broadway musical A Tale of Two Cities at the same time that I was enrolled. That’s something great, because the best classroom is actually being thrown right into the profession.”

A Freaky Friday
Performing Arts Adjunct Professor and composer and lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver, who’s works include Mrs. Sharp, Darling, and 35MM, is developing the music and lyrics for Disney Theatrical’s stage musical of Freaky Friday.

Hairspray to Mamma Mia! 
Dyson alumnus Donell James Foreman ’12 is breaking both legs. In addition to being on the national tour of Hairspray and making his way to the national tour of Broadway’s global smash hit, Mamma Mia!, Donell has joined the national tour of the hit show The Book of Mormon.

Bringing It
Dyson musical theater student Lindsey Carothers ’13 has already brought it, dancing and singing her way through the national tour of Bring It On the Musical. Bring It On made its Broadway debut on August 1, 2012.

She Feels Pretty, Oh So Pretty
Dyson alumna Evy Ortiz ’04 must have felt pretty and witty and bright when she landed the leading role of Maria in the Broadway national tour of the prolific West Side Story. From New York to North Carolina, Tallahassee to Toronto, Ortiz has been travelling around North America. Follow her around the US on her blog and on Twitter.

Proud to be an American Idiot
Green Day’s American Idiot is going around the country and across the pond and Dyson musical theater student Brandon Kalm ’14 is joining them as part of the show’s ensemble. The groundbreaking Broadway musical will go on an international tour with stops in Ireland and the U.K., as well as all over the U.S.

A Top 10 Casting Director
Pace students learn from the best and make great connections. Performing Arts Adjunct Professor Bob Cline was named one of Broadway’s top ten casting directors. Cline has worked on more than 50 national tours including Rent, Shrek, Hairspray, Annie, and more!

Catch Them if You Can
And they’re off—Dyson musical theater student Amanda Braun ’14 and recent graduate Taylor Collins ’12 both landed roles in the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Catch Me if You Can.

Hair Today, There Tomorrow
Recent Dyson musical theater graduate Cailan Rose ’12 spent time everywhere from Hollywood to Orlando, when she hit the road for the national tour of Hair. She played a Tribe member, a role she also held with the Broadway company before the show closed in September 2011.

A Pace Family Reunion
Recent Dyson performing arts grads Donell James Foreman ’12, Matt Farcher ’12, and Ally Bonino ’11, along with Performing Arts Assistant Professor Robert Meffe earned major accolades for their work in the 2012 Off-Broadway show Myths and Hymns presented at the West End Theater. Meffe was mentioned in the New York Times article, In Its Next Life a Song Cycle is A Musical.

© TMI Touring Company

There’s No Place Like Oz

Recent Dyson musical theater graduate Kate Bristol ’12 followed the Yellow Brick Road all across North America last spring when she played the lead role of Dorothy in the national tour of The Wizard of Oz, which made stops everywhere from Montana to California to Saskatchewan, Canada. Read more in our Annual Report. And if you think her voice sounds familiar, you may be right. Kate has done voice work for more than a dozen anime shows including Dragon Ball Z, Negima!?,  Suzuka, and more!

Kicking It Up a Notch
Dyson Dance Instructor Lauren Gaul doesn’t get her kicks from torturing Pace students—she got them on the kick line as a beloved Radio City Rockette, who performed at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and more for ten years. Read more about her here.

From Seussical to Freckleface the Musical
Dyson musical theater alumna Bridget Riley ’10 has graced various stages over the last few years. She played the Ballet Girl/Francine and understudied the role of Freckleface in Off-Broadway’s Freckleface the Musical through July 2012. She played Pinkalicious in the Vital Theater Company’s production of Pinkalicious: The Musical, was Gertrude McFuzz in the National Tour of Seussical in 2011, Pearl in Off-Broadway’s The Scarlet Letter, as well as several regional and international shows. Bridget was also the assistant choreographer for the film Something Borrowed, starring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin. This September, she’ll take on the role of tomboy Anybodys in the national tour of West Side Story, where she’ll join current Dyson musical theater student Tory Ramirez ’15.

Bye Bye Birdie… Hello Bruiser!
Dyson alumna Lara Hayhurst ’07 played the lead, Kim MacAfee, in the national tour of Bye Bye Birdie. She was also nominated for a Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Clara in The Light in the Piazza at the Stage Door Theater. In May 2012, she played Elle in Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Pittsburgh Musical Theater. Dyson alumnus Andy White ’10 is also Team Elle Woods, playing Aaron in the national tour of Legally Blonde.

*These are just SOME of the Pace students and faculty on and off-Broadway. For more, visit the Dyson website.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: TV

From comedies like Glee, Parks and Recreation, and iCarly, to police procedurals like CSI: Miami and Hawaii Five-0, Pace Setters are making a big splash on the small screen. >>Read More

Inside Inside
Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, which is taped at Pace’s Schimmel Center and serves as the craft seminar for MFA students of the Actors Studio Drama School, hasn’t just brought an impressive lineup of A-listers to Pace, including the casts of Modern Family, Glee, Family Guy, and Mad Men, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, James Franco, Bradley Cooper, and more. The show, whose host and executive producer James Lipton is also Dean Emeritus of the ASDS at Pace, just earned its 15th Emmy nomination.

iGot to Be on iCarly
Dyson musical theater student Aaron Albert ’14 has had great success on both the small screen and big screen, including iCarly, where he starred in an episode as Sam’s boyfriend, Jonah; in an episode of ABC Family’s 10 Things I Hate About You; a recurring role on Disney’s live action sitcom, I’m in the Band, and played young Principal Verge (Dane Cook’s character) in the teen horror-comedy and 2011 SXSW official selection Detention, which also stars the The Hungers Games’  Josh Hutcherson. And, he performed at Dyson Professor Ryan Scott Oliver’s Barre Bones concert in LA. You can watch the video here. “It is such a joy for us to see how Aaron has grown as a person and as an actor at Pace. The program has been a great fit for him,” says Aaron’s mom, Julie Rissman. Read more in Pace Magazine.

Developing a Lifeline for Millionaire
Acting adjunct professor Joseph Cotugno is a three-time Emmy Award-winning cameraperson and twice-nominated TV director. He was the technical director for Ryan’s Hope, one of ABC’s most famous soap operas, and continued directing other popular soaps including Loving, One Life to Live, All My Children, and Guiding Light. Cotugno was also a part of the historic 1980 USA gold medal ice hockey victory over the Soviet Union at the Lake Placid Olympics and the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Most recently, Cotugno served as technical manager for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and helped develop skype as a lifeline on the show.

Dancing with the Stars
Maksim Chmerkovskiy has been a Dancing with the Stars favorite for 12 seasons. But when a younger, yet just as talented version of him performed on the show, people thought who is this guy and where did he come from? His name is Val Chmerkovskiy, he is Maks’ younger brother, and in fact, he came from Pace University. At 15, Val won his first IDSF World Championship and became the first and last American to ever do it. But that didn’t stop the pro dancer from coming to Pace to study his entrepreneurship. In addition to winning the German Open, Asian-Pacific Championships, US Open, Blackpool, and the World Championships two times and appearing on the last few seasons of Dancing with the Stars, Val opened four Dance with Me dance studios in SoHo, Stamford, CT, Ridgefield, NJ, and Long Island with brother Maks and fellow DWTS dancer, Tony Dovolani. Looks like those Lubin classes came in handy!

A Special “Treat”-y for a Pace Student
Dyson musical theater and acting major Kelly Washington got the unique chance to act alongside Amy Poehler and Adam Scott in November 2011, when took on a guest starring role on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. You can watch a short clip of her on the episode entitled “The Treaty” on Hulu. Kelly also starred as Amanda in the Syfy TV movie Leprauchan’s Revenge, as the lead in two films, The Fat Boy Chronicles and Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas, and the upcoming documentary Edge of Salvation, also starring Charlene Tilton, Jeremy London, and Jonathan Lipnicki.

Bate Bate, Chocolate!
If you picked up your key Spanish words from watching Dora the Explorer on her adventures, you can thank Pace student Kathleen Herles, who was the original voice of Nickelodeon’s beloved Dora for 10 years strong. Come on, VAMONOS!

School Pride
Lubin School of Business’ Nicole Cardoza ’11 has a lot to be proud of. In addition to completing a dual degree in Interactive Marketing and International Management and four internships during her time at Pace, Nicole loves to give back, volunteering as a yoga instructor at an after-school program for which she was featured on NBC’s School Pride. She is also the founder of Yoga Foster, a non-profit that fosters creativity through children’s yoga and offers free classes to schools in NYC.  Watch Nicole share her volunteer experience on NBC’s School Pride.

0 Yeah!
If you’ve tuned into Hawaii Five-0, you’ve probably seen Dyson theater and art history alumna Michelle Borth ’01 , who has appeared in several episodes as Catherine Rollins. On March 26, 2012, CBS announced that she would become a cast regular on Hawaii Five-0 for Season 3. Borth has also starred in the ABC television series Combat Hospital as Major Rebecca Gordon, a trauma surgeon for the Canadian Forces, co-starred alongside Christian Slater in ABC’s The Forgotten, and in the HBO one-hour drama series, Tell Me You Love Me, which earned a 2007 American Film Institute Award as one of the best television programs of the year. Check out Michelle Borth on IMDB.

Locke’d It In
Dyson musical theater major Beau Cybulski sent a video audition for a part on CSI: Miami. Although he didn’t get it, the producers called him three weeks later with another part and Beau made his TV debut on CSI: Miami in January 2012, when he played Cameron Locke, the son of the murdered skydiver. He will also play a 12-step member in the upcoming film, He’s Way More Famous Than You, starring Ben Stiller, Jesse Eisenberg, and more.

Gleek Out
In December 2011, the cast of FOX’s hit TV show Glee stopped by Pace’s NYC Campus for a taping of Inside the Actors Studio. And that taping must have served as inspiration for creator Ryan Murphy, because in April 2012, Pace’s Actors Studio Drama School hit the small screen when Glee showed its male lead Finn applying to the school and auditioning for James Lipton. He didn’t get accepted, but no worries Finn, we are one of the top 25 drama schools according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gleek Out Part Two
Last summer, the creators of Glee launched a spin-off reality show on Oxygen, The Glee Project, which picked the best of thousands of auditions from around the world into a competition for a featured role on the next season of Glee. When Dyson theater major Marissa Von Bleicken advanced to the final 12, she took a leave of absence from Pace to pursue her dream. Working each week with Glee’s casting director, choreographer, vocal coach, music video producer, and head writer, and winning several assignments, Marissa wowed the Pace Community and America, until her shocking elimination when she was in the top six. Following her elimination, show creator Ryan Murphy stated he made a huge mistake…and we don’t disagree. Check out this awesome clip of Marissa in action!

Hanging Out with Taylor Swift on Rachael Ray
Dyson communications student Melissa Recine had a pretty productive day when she went on the Rachael Ray show for what she thought was a makeover to look like her idol, Taylor Swift. Not only did Melissa get to meet Taylor Swift, she also brought along her resume and landed an internship in the production department of the Rachael Ray show. Looks like Rachael Ray, who also attended Pace, still has a soft spot for the University. Read more about Melissa’s experiences on the Dyson College blog.

I Want My MTV
What would MTV be without the VMAs? We’ll never know, thanks in part to Lubin alumnus Corey L. Galloway, MBA ’02, who in his role as Director of Operations for MTV’s animation division, developed launch strategies for projects such as Daria, the Video Music Awards (VMA), and MTV Movie Awards, which grossed more than $100 million under his leadership.

A Pugnacious Pace Setter
If you’re a news buff, you’ve probably heard of the name Charlie Gasparino, but did you know the former CNBC reporter and Fox Business Network senior correspondent is a Pace alumnus? Earning his degree from Pace in 1985, Gasparino has done it all. Before joining CNBC, he was a senior writer at Newsweek, where he broke major stories involving politics, Wall Street, and Corporate America and broke news on some of the biggest financial scandals of recent times for The Wall Street Journal. Gasparino was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in beat reporting in 2002 and won the New York Press Club award for best continuing coverage of the Wall Street research scandals. Gasparino has won numerous business journalism awards, and is the author of several books, including Blood on the Street: The Sensational Inside Story of How Wall Street Analysts Duped a Generation of Investors (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a BusinessWeek best seller that has been called a masterpiece of investigative journalism; King of the Club: Richard Grasso and the Survival of the New York Stock Exchange (HarperCollins, 2007), which was named by the Library Journal as one of the best books of 2007; The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System (HarperBusiness, 2009); and Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street (Sentinal, a division of Penguin Putnam, 2010).

Danny Makes a Deal
In addition to being an on-air personality at WDRE-FM “Party 105” on Long Island, Lubin alumnus Danny Pecoraro ’08 has made a deal with Howie Mandel, when he appeared on NBC’s Deal or No Deal, and took home $129,000.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: Music

From opening up for rock bands to rapping the Canterbury Tales to helping people find a job through music, Pace students, faculty, and alumni are facing the music.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Thanks to Pace Performing Arts adjunct professor Paul Guzzone, we don’t need six degrees. We have one. Guzzone, who has been teaching at Pace for more than 20 years, is bassist and vocalist with the Bacon Brothers band featuring actor Kevin Bacon and composer Michael Bacon. In addition to performing with the band all over the world and appearing on shows including The Tonight Show and The View, Guzzone has produced three of their albums, as well as recording Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and other luminaries for the New York Times bestseller Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton.

Hip-Hop You Don’t Stop
…until you find the perfect job. Lubin Professor and marketing guru Larry Chiagouris, PhD, really wanted to get his message across to students about how to market themselves as a product to get a job. After writing the book The Secret to Getting a Job After College, Chiagouris teamed up with hip-hop artist Timid to get the message out to students about battling a difficult job market. Watch the video for I Want a Secret featuring Pace students, and read an article in USA Today.

Wild-Out Wednesday
In February 2012, Dyson musical theater student Dana Harper ’13 performed on BET’s 106 & Park Wild-Out Wednesday, where she sang an original song and was voted the winner by the audience. But Dana’s no stranger to big performances. In 2010, she performed at the Dwayne Wade All-Star Luncheon during the NBA All-Star Weekend, in front of an audience that included Dwayne Wade himself, Spike Lee, Chris Tucker, and Alonzo Mourning. Make sure to check out her videos on YouTube.

Parachute Opening
In January 2012, Around August, a band comprised of Pace students Keith Vartanian, Grant Crawford, and Joe Wood, entered a music contest on for the opportunity to open for rock band Parachute at an upcoming show in North Carolina. With a video of “Words Meet Heartbeats” recorded in the dorms, Around August won the competition and packed their bags and their car for Winston Salem. Check out their video journey as they document their travel from New York City to Winston Salem, North Carolina to perform. Band member and Dyson student Grant Crawford also released his second album, Reflections, on iTunes. For the first couple of days after its release, it crept up the top 200 singer/songwriters charts until breaking the top 50. Reflections peaked at #37 on the charts, ahead of other artists such as Matt Nathanson, Boyce Avenue, and Bob Dylan.

Have a Glass of Wine
If you want to know what the “Pace Advantage” is, all you have to do is listen to Dyson student and rap artist Alex Antonio’sPace Yourself,” a song about the Pace experience which he wrote and recorded in the John Street dorms. And we didn’t even pay him to write it! Alex also collaborated with Dyson alumna and singer-songwriter Michelle Ferreira ’11 on a remix of her new song “Glass of Wine,” which will have you singing “chardonnay, I do not mind; sauvignon will do just fine,” seconds in. In addition to Glass of Wine, Michelle released her debut album Stories Left Unsaid and video.

Breaking Down Chaucer
We’re sure Dyson Professor Martha Driver gets a lot of e-mails from students in her Chaucer class. After all, Middle English can be hard to decipher. But one Dyson student Nathan Hamer seemed to have no problem when he broke down Chaucer in one minute in his Canterbury Rap. A+!


Earthdance Anthology
Dyson Environmental Studies Professor Evan Pritchard released a 12-song CD Earthdance Anthology (Robert Jackson AIF Music Productions), which he describes as “a ‘Native American Bandstand’ that teaches about living in harmony with each other and the environment—while getting everyone to dance.” The CD, five years in the making, is a collection of Pritchard’s favorite songs that he has written and performed over the last 45 years, focusing on issues such as: the Native American principals of taking responsibility for your own actions with songs like “Karma Blues,” the beginning of creation in “Fire in Our Heart,” and also modern-day issues such as “Cash is King,” a humorous look at the economic financial crisis.


pulseidolcirosThis Much Fun

SOE double alumna Jessica Calamera ’13 has been busy promoting her new full-length CD, “This Much Fun.” She’s been performing live, and in October 2013, was a finalist in the American Country Star Finals, a Nashville-based online show to find the country’s next country star. Her  taped concert was broadcast on PBS WCNY on May 31, 2014.  In June 2014, she was also the WHUD featured artist of the month. She has a number of shows coming up, locally at the Montauk Music Festival, the Taste of Country Festival at Hunter Mountain NY Country Jam Music Festival in Colorado, and Headwaters Country Jam in Montana.

Looking for musical theater stars? Head on over to our theater section!

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: Authors and Editors

From Hitchcock to Harry Potter, the economy to Ewoks, Pace is getting published!

Chic to Be Geek
Dyson Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies Nancy Reagin, PhD, combined her lifelong fascination of science fiction/fantasy literature and history to develop a series of books focused on history and pop culture: Harry Potter and History, Twilight and History, Star Trek and History, and most recently Star Wars and History, in which she collaborated with Lucasfilm and Star Wars creator George Lucas. And some Pace students even had the opportunity to write chapters for these books. Read more about Reagin’s work in Opportunitas.

From Book to Screen to Book
In their 2011 book Scripting Hitchcock, Dyson English professors Walter Raubicheck, PhD, and Walter Srebnick, PhD, explore the collaborative process between Alfred Hitchcock and the screenwriters he hired to write the scripts for three of his greatest films: Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie. Drawing from extensive interviews with the screenwriters and other film technicians who worked for Hitchcock, Raubicheck and Srebnick illustrate how much of the filmmaking process took place not on the set or in front of the camera, but in the adaptation of the sources, the mutual creation of plot and characters by the director and the writers, and the various revisions of the written texts of the films. The book was honored by the Mystery Writers of America with a nomination for the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award. Read more here.

Turning Your Degree Into Dollars
Want to know the secret to getting a job after college? Then pick up Lubin Professor Larry Chiagouris’ book, The Secret to Getting a Job After College. Chiagouris, who has been called “a branding guru,” an “All-Star marketing strategist,” and “a consumer behavior expert” by the media, has lent his expertise everywhere from the Today Show to Fox News to The Wall Street Journal, and now to students around the country. The book gives students and the unemployed tips and tactics to identify opportunities, attract the attention of an employer, ace the interview, and get the job you want.

Capitalist Crisis
In his latest book The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession, Lubin Professor of Economics Andrew Kliman, PhD, tackles the recent financial crisis and Great Recession with a new twist: that Marx’s crisis theory can explain these events. Marx believed that the rate of profit has a tendency to fall, leading to economic crises and recessions. Kliman’s careful data analysis leads to a simple shocking conclusion: Short of socialist transformation, the only way to escape the “new normal” of a stagnant, crisis-prone economy is to restore profitability through full-scale destruction of existing wealth, something not seen since the Depression of the 1930s.

Do You Speak Teen?
Dyson alumna and professor Jennifer Powell-Lunder, PsyD, has got you figured out. In 2011, Powell-Lunder co-authored the book Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual, which seeks to uncover the code of “teen-speak” and bridge the gap in understanding adolescents today. She also spearheaded a subsequent event, “Teen Speak: A Parent’s Guide to Translating What Your Teen Really Means” in November 2011 on the PLV Campus.

In You God Trusts
Lubin student and U.S. Air Force veteran Darren Paul Shearer’s ’12 book In You God Trusts: The Five Domains of Personal Responsibility, intended to help people discover their life’s purpose, strengthen relationships, improve health, and master finances, won first place in the Christian Living category of the Christian Choice Book Awards Contest. Shearer is also founder and CEO of FitHopper, a fitness startup that was a finalist at the Seventh Annual Pace Pitch Contest.

“Obamanomics” and American Reinvention
Working with Wilhelm Hankel, Lubin Professor Robert Isaak, PhD, has co-authored Brave New World Economy: Global Finance Threatens Our Future, a book that describes how “Obamanomics,” the Euro crisis, and the shift of economic growth to emerging economies, if handled properly, can lead to “true” economic stability and job creation.

It Is What It Is Like
Pace Poet-in-Residence Charles North’s new book What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems (Turtle Point Press), which was recently named to NPR’s Best Poetry of 2011 list, spans 37 years of the author’s iconic work as well as a number of new poems. Says NPR “North is such an intelligent and good-humored writer that his literariness seems less a pose than an invitation… North is a gentlemanly guide who understands and values his ideal reader as much as he values the poems from which that reader is inseparable. As he notes, it’s worth remembering that ‘Poetry is astounding / if you don’t spend too much time on it.’”

Korrecting the Kardashians
Michelle Richter was a Mutual Fund Accounting Specialist before trading in banking for book publishing and joining Pace’s MS in Publishing program. Now the alumna is working with bestselling authors and even the Kardashian sisters, who called her “blazingly efficient” in the acknowledgments for their Kardashian Konfidential.


Poetry in Motion
Dyson Assistant Professor of English Deborah Poe, PhD, is the author of the poetry collections the last will be stone, too, Elements (Stockport Flats), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press). The upcoming book she co-edited with fellow Assistant Professor of English Ama Wattley, PhD, Between Worlds, offers excerpts from novels and short stories by some of the most important and established contemporary writers: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rebecca Brown, Ana Castillo, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, Rikki Ducornet, Louise Erdrich, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ha Jin, and Helena Maria Viramontes.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: Beauty and Fashion

From fashion designers making straitjackets for Lady Gaga to beauty queens advocating for causes, Pace gets gowned and crowned. >>Read More

Caught in a Plaid Romance
Alright, so Lady Gaga probably wouldn’t be caught in Rolling Stone or on the Today Show in plaid, but she did pick Lubin alumnus and designer Asher Levine ’10 to custom create pieces for her. No, Asher’s not responsible for the infamous meat dress, but this one’s just as juicy: The white straightjacket coat/dress she wore during her Today Show performance, the black motorcycle jacket seen in her July 2011 Rolling Stone feature, and  the black lambskin leather-paneled jumpsuit she had on in her “Marry the Night” music video were all Asher originals. And Gaga isn’t the only A-lister gaga over his work. In addition to showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Asher’s celebrity clientele includes the Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars, Sam Sparro, and the Scissor Sisters.

The Sweet Smell of Success
Since earning her degree in communications, Dyson alumna Alexis Rodriguez ’01 has had a rapidly excelling career in public relations and marketing. She was head of the beauty line at Diane von Furstenberg and eventually become the Director of Global Communications; she served as Public Relations Director for Parfums Givenchy and Pucci Fragrance’ and two years ago, she joined Bobbi Brown Cosmetics as Executive Director of Public Relations, again leading the corporate and personal public relations efforts for an industry icon. She also founded “The PR Closet,” an advice column and blog for aspiring beauty and fashion publicists who want to learn how to break into and succeed in the industry.

Jarah’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret model Jarah Mariano has her own secret. The model, who became the first native Hawaiian and Korean to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, earned her BA in Speech Communications with a concentration in Media Studies from Pace. Now she’s strutting the runways at New York Fashion Week, posing for top photographers like Nigel Barker and Bruce Weber, and gracing the pages of numerous magazines including GQ, Elle, and Glamour, and even appeared in Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got” music video, TV shows including Chuck and Rescue Me, and had a minor role in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. She may not be speechless, but we are.

Miss Determined
Dyson communications major Thatiana Diaz ’14 is no stranger to the tiara. A Miss Teen New York 2010, Thatiana competed against 50 other girls for the title of Miss Teen USA, where she landed among the top 15. She was also Miss NY Latina 2011 and placed in the top 10 of the Miss Republica Dominicana U.S. 2011 Pageant, a qualifier for the Miss Universe 2012 pageant. This year, she returns to the pageant circuit with her eye on Miss Universe and will compete in for Miss New York USA 2013. She also appeared on Telemundo 47 for Acceso Total and in the August issue of Seventeen Magazine, where she’s currently an intern. Read more about her journey on her Facebook fan page or Twitter.

Advocating for Autism
Recent School of Education graduate Keenya Hofmaier ’12 was crowned Miss Black Arkansas 2012. Miss Black USA, Inc. is the premier pageant for women of color, promoting education and leadership by providing scholarships opportunities to its winners. Keenya, who teaches students with autism as a New York City Teaching Fellow, chose Autism Awareness: Autism Speaks as her official platform and is collaborating with Arkansas-area autism organizations to fundraise and host events, and will promote awareness during her reign. She is currently the celebrity advocate for Arkansas Autism Speaks. For more information, visit or follow her on Twitter.

A Crime-Fighting, Crown-Wearing Activist
Pace alumna Kristi Hey ’10, ’12 had a busy 2012—finishing up her master’s in internet technology at Pace, monitoring the computer activity of sex offenders for the U.S. Probation Office, creating a charity 5K race to bring awareness to safe driving, being crowned Mrs. Bristol 2012, and campaigning for safe driving awareness. Kristy also competed in the Mrs. Connecticut America pageant. Read more here.

Wearing Her Heart on Her Sash
Actors Studio Drama School alumna Osas Ighodaro ’11 is an actress, model, dancer, and journalist. She’s appeared in Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Cadillac Records starring Beyoncé and Adrien Brody, and plays the role of Malady in the Audelco Award winning Off–Broadway play Platanos Y Collard Greens. But it was her role as Miss Black USA 2010 that had her raising awareness of heart disease, the #1 killer of women, and took her around the world to address Malaria, clean water, and world hunger through her nonprofit organization, Joyful Joy Foundation, which is sustainably transforming lives one community at a time. Osas also ran the Marine Corps Marathon for Malaria No More, an organization for which she is a celebrity advocate. Read more about Osas on her website.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: Sports

From fencing in the Olympics to playing for the major leagues to racing the Grand Prix, here are just a few Pace students and alumni on the fast track to success.

En Garde!
If you’ve been tuning in to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, you may have seen three-time Olympian Tim Morehouse ’03 taking a stab at a gold medal as a fencer for Team USA. But did you know that he’s a Pace alumnus? After Morehouse graduated from Pace’s School of Education in 2003, he taught English and social studies to 7th graders in New York City’s Washington Heights. As any experienced teacher will tell you, the first year of teaching is the most challenging, but Morehouse’s evenings and weekends were filled not only with grading papers, but also with fencing advances, parries, and attacks. He was training for the 2004 Olympics. In 2008, Morehouse traveled with the American team to Beijing where he won the silver medal as part of the men’s sabre team. Since then, he’s appeared everywhere from movie red carpets to Oprah to the White House lawn, where he fenced with President Obama. And, he’s come out with his memoir, American Fencer: Modern Lessons From an Ancient Sport, which details his life’s struggles and successes. Read more about Morehouse’s journey on his blog.

Racing to the Finish
Grand-Am racecar driver and Lubin alumnus Gregory Liefooghe ’03 ’04 has been riding the fast lane to success since graduating from Pace with a BBA in 2003 and MBA in 2004. Part of the road-racing branch of NASCAR, one of the most competitive series in the United States, Gregory has amassed multiple driving championships in only a few short years. From racing in the Grand Prix de Trois–Rivieres in Quebec and the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona to creating, managing, and marketing his brand, learn more as Gregory shares an insider’s view of the business side of NASCAR road racing and how his Pace degree helped steer his career and perspective.

Knocking It Out of the Park
Pace men’s head baseball coach Henry Manning has had a successful career—both at Pace and with students making it into the major league. In 2012, Coach Manning was named the Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year and led the Setters to win the NE-10 Southwest Division title. During his tenure, Manning has coached nine players that were drafted by an MLB team: Matt Rigoli (2008 St. Louis Cardinals, 21st round); Jack Cawley (2008 St. Louis Cardinals, 34th round); Matt Arburr (2007 St. Louis Cardinals, 17th round); David Qualben (2006 Houston Astros, 7th round); Bryan Hallberg (2006 Houston Astros, 12th round); Earl Oakes (2006 Oakland Athletics, 24th round); Matt Reilly (2006 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 27th round); Pat Stanley (2004 Colorado Rockies, 16th Round); and Mike Bohlander (2002 Chicago White Sox, 27th Round).

Victory at the Maccabi’s
Pace University alumnus and former Pace Men’s Basketball head coach Stu Wittner led the Men’s United States Basketball Team in the Open Division to a Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan-American Maccabi Games.

A Contact Hitter
If you’ve ever visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, you’ve supported a Pace Setter. Pace alumnus Edward W. Stack ’56 is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors, where he also served as Chairman from 1977 until 2000.

Hall of Famer
Former Pace men’s basketball and baseball player Bob Scheinblum ’60 was inducted into the Pace Hall of Fame this year. He served as captain of the basketball team, was Pace Athlete of the Year, and graduated as Pace’s all-time leading scorer. He went on to be a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps, where he flew in 297 combat missions in Vietnam from 1967 to 1978. He won a gold medal and bronze medal at the Arkansas State Invitational Senior Olympics in 2000 and 2001, respectively, and averaged 20 points per game. He averaged 15 points per game in the 2001 National Senior Olympics. He retired as a captain and instructor for Delta Airlines in October 1999 and today volunteers as a pilot for Mercy MedFlight, a charitable air ambulance service.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!

Stars of Pace: Film

From indie rom-coms featuring more than 100 Pace students and faculty to Emmy Award-nominated documentaries, it’s time for some popcorn because Pace is in the movies!

In addition to being a set for movies including Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3, romantic comedy Trust the Man, starring Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Eva Mendes, and more, Pace students, faculty, and alumni are starring in and making films.

Shrimpin’ in Belize, Popping the Cork, and Meeting the Ambassador
Dyson students in Professor Maria Luskay’s, EdD, Producing the Documentary course have been doing all that and more for years.

  • To cork or not to cork, that is the question students set out to answer in spring 2012, when they traveled to Portugal with Luskay and New York Times environmental blogger Andrew Revkin to study the connection between the cork in the bottle of wine on your restaurant table and the fate of forests that are repositories for wildlife across Southern Europe and parts of North Africa and a source of livelihood for 100,000 people. The resulting documentary, Battle Behind the Bottle: A Film on the Cork Question premiered on the PLV Campus in May. Read more about their journey on their blog.
  • In 2011, the student filmmakers travelled to Belize to explore the life of an aquaculture entrepreneur and her sustainable shrimp farming. The film Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time,” was awarded a Best Short Documentary Award of Merit at the 2011 Best Shorts Competition, appeared in the New York Times Dot Earth blog, and even received a congratulatory tweet from aquatic filmmaker and explorer Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau. Read more on their blog:
  • Going back even further to 2010, Luskay and her team spent a week in The Netherlands filming a documentary on Fay Hartog-Levin, the American Ambassador to Holland appointed by President Obama. The Life of an American Ambassador was the recipient of a Best in Category Award for the documentary category at the 2010 Indie Short Film Competition.

Watch more student videos on the MCA YouTube channel.

18 Voices, 2 Emmy Nods
The PBS documentary film Dyson Media and Communication Arts Professor Allen Oren produced and directed, 18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre, was nominated for two Emmy awards—one for the piece itself and one in the category of research. The documentary is about the Kol Nidre, the most sacred chant in Judaism, and how it reached that status. Oren previously won an Emmy for a series on the history of Madison Square Garden and was nominated for two others.

Finding Fred
Dyson film and screen studies student Geoffrey Kappenberg wrote, directed, and produced Finding Fred, a 10-minute documentary which was selected for screening at the 2011 Sprout Film Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The film is one of the oral history projects on individuals with disabilities that students produce each semester in Seidenberg courses, in partnership with AHRC New York City. Geoffrey was a student in Seidenberg Professor Jim Lawler’s Fall 2010 “Community Engagement through Information Systems and Technologies” course.

When Harry Chooses Pace
Pace’s NYC Campus became a movie set during the fall 2010, when more than 100 Pace students, faculty, and staff worked on the award-winning independent film, When Harry Tries to Marry. Dyson performing arts major Rahul Rai ‘13, who plays Harry in the film won “Best New Talent” at the London Asian Film Festival. The film won the “Audience Award for Best Film” and “Best Crossover Film” and was an official selection at the Austin Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival, and Gold Coast International Film Festival. Rai who was planning on attending NYU after the film wrapped, fell in love with Pace’s NYC Campus and stayed.  Pace Performing Arts Professor Grant Kretchik, who encouraged Rahul to consider Pace, also stars in the film, alongside several other Pace students including Kayla Mason, Ginger Graham, and Julie Robles, who all blogged about their experiences. The film opened in theaters last year and included a NYC premiere for the Pace Community.

From Screenwriting Course to the Big Screen
As part of a course assignment while completing her bachelor’s in communications at Pace, Dyson alumna Annette Courniotes ’08 wrote a screenplay based on the story of her grandparent’s escape from Communist-occupied Czechoslovakia. Her professor, Maria Luskay, EdD, thought it was so good she encouraged Courniotes to shoot and edit one act to enter it into film festivals. The film, Freedom’s Gate, received numerous award nominations. Read more.

Black Maybe
Pace student group Black Student Union (BSU) explores what it means to be black in college in their documentary Black MAYBE featuring Felonious Munk, which premiered on the NYC Campus this year. You catch watch the film here: Part 1 Part 2.

Film Takes a Walk on a Briarcliff Campus
Pace’s Briarcliff Campus became home to a movie set during the spring 2012, when the Coen Brothers’ new film Inside Llewyn Davis, which includes Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, and Carey Mulligan, set up shop around campus. Check out photos from The Pace Chronicle.

Professor’s Wild Style
Pace professors practice what they teach. Just ask, Dyson Adjunct Art Professor Charlie Ahearn, whose film was named one of the top 10 films about New York alongside Scorcese’s Taxi Driver and Woody Allen’s Manhattan by the New York Post. The film, which The New York Post says “played a huge role in popularizing hip-hop around the world” focuses on the early days of New York’s rap, graffiti, and break-dancing scene.

Vito on HBO
Dyson Distinguished Professor of English and Women and Gender Studies Karla Jay, PhD, has a long history of activism, so it came as no surprise to us that she was selected to be interviewed by director Jeffrey Schwarz for his new documentary Vito about author and activist Vito Russo. Russo played a large role in the LGBT movement, particularly in developing The Celluloid Closet, a groundbreaking work detailing the gay community in film. Jay knew him personally through their work with the Gay Academic Union, the 1973 Gay Pride March, and a variety show called Our Time, which featured not only Jay but also the likes of actress Lily Tomlin as well. The documentary premiered on July 23, 2012 on HBO.

It’s Not Easy Being Green
Dyson acting major Christopher Bert has had his hands full juggling school and roles in film and on television. Chris played a leading role in The Green, a feature film starring Julia Ormond, Cheyenne Jackson, and Illeanna Douglas. During that time, he also filmed a role in a pilot called Bar Karma for Al Gore’s cable network, Current TV. Chris also acted alongside Dyson student Kelly Washington in The Fat Boy Chronicles and most recently played Jake Preston in an episode of CBS’ A Gifted Man, starring Patrick Wilson.

A Documentary that Makes a Difference
Dyson film and screen studies student Emily Cahill ’14 went on an adventure of a lifetime when she was selected to participate in the 2011 Actuality Media Outreach program in Guatemala. Working with three other students, Emily produced CasaSito, a 25-minute film which highlights and explores a nonprofit organization in Guatemala that works to increase educational opportunities for children in rural areas.

Comic Con-quer
Last year, Pace Law School student Anthony Desiato married his long-term love of comic books with his interest in filmmaking for a unique documentary about Alternate Realities, the Scarsdale, NY, comic book shop he’s worked at since high school. The final product My Comic Shop DocumentARy, which Desiato wrote, directed, produced, shot, and edited while a full-time student, was shown at independent film festival at Comic-Con. View the trailer here.

Small School, Big City
Launched in 2003 as one of NYC’s New Century High Schools with intense collaboration from Pace’s School of Education, Pace High School was partly funded by a $57 million grant from the Gates Foundation as one of over 300 “experiments” in small high school design. It is the little high school that could…and did. In 2011, a half-hour documentary, Small School Big City, about Pace High School by Ken Browne Productions premiered at the Professional Development Schools National Conference in New Orleans. Narrated by Sesame Street’s Roscoe Orman, the documentary tells the story of how a chance meeting between a Pace School of Education Professor and a New York City middle school assistant principal turned into a high school that just last year had 4,700 applicants for 108 open spots. View the trailer for the film here.

A Big Break
When the independent film Breaking Upwards was screened at Pace, the directors bonded with students in the audience and subsequently took on six Film and Screen Studies majors as interns to work on the film’s promotion, which landed a feature article in The New York Times.

Student on the Go…at
Dyson performing arts student Dominick LaRuffa was cast as the son of Armand Assante and Cathy Moriarty in the film Goat, currently in post-production. Goat is directed by Paul Borghese and features Dominick as 17 year old Nick Baldano, a role which made him an official card-carrying member of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

A River Runs Through NYC
Pace’s downtown NYC location worked out perfectly for Dyson acting major Cooper Rivers, who was able to shoot Mark Mann’s feature film Generation Um… starring Keanu Reeves on the Lower East Side. The film is expected to release in 2012.

Corujo Cannes Do It!
In 2010, Dyson film and screen studies major James Corujo submitted his film The Contract (made in Pace’s 16MM film production course) to the Cannes Films Festival Student competition. Only 300 films from all over the world were selected and Corujo’s was one of them. As a part of the Creative Minds at Cannes contest, in which five small groups were given a week to complete a film, Corujo made an additional five-minute short film, Kiss and Fly, and placed second.

Know someone who’s missing from this list? Leave your comment below or e-mail us!