Mohawk Valley Community College announces the following new appointments, employee title changes, and promotions as approved by the Board of Trustees at its Aug. 19 and Sept. 23 meetings:

  • Diana Ayers-Darling, Professor Emerita
  • Monica Brown-Hodkinson, Student Support Advisor
  • Grace Costello, Student Support Advisor
  • Emily Gifford, Coordinator of International Students
  • Geordan Holmes, Licensed Mental Health Practitioner
  • Brandon Horender, Coordinator of Dual Credit
  • Nancy Hall, Instructor, Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Jonathan Hodge, Admissions Counselor
  • David Katz, Administrator and Professor Emeritus
  • James Kelly IV, Additive Manufacturing Specialist
  • Jean Leandre, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership
  • Kalynn Riedman, Admissions Specialist
  • Robin Saxe, Student Support Advisor
  • Zachary Steffen, Associate Business Advisor
  • Gail Warchol, Associate Director of Human Resources for Benefits and Labor Relations

In recognition of her many years of outstanding service to MVCC, Diana Ayers-Darling was named Professor Emerita.

Monica Brown-Hodkinson was appointed to the position of Student Support Advisor and will provide students with a single point of contact to create a seamless pathway for student success from pre-boarding to completion. She will work as part of a team providing individual academic, career, financial, and related support to an assigned group of students. Prior to joining the College, she worked at Utica College as an administrative assistant, academic coaching expert, adjunct faculty member, and, most recently, a success coach. She holds a master’s degree in liberal studies and organization communication and a bachelor’s degree in science, health studies, and human behavior, both from Utica College.

Grace Costello was appointed to the position of Student Support Advisor and will provide students with a single point of contact to create a seamless pathway for student success from pre-boarding to completion. She will work as part of a team providing individual academic, career, financial, and related support to an assigned group of students. Costello has been with the College since 2001 in several capacities, including Placement Test Administrator, College Advisor, Accessibility Resources Specialist, and an Adult Lerner Support Specialist. Prior to this position, she served as an accounting clerk at Cathedral Corporation and a billing coordinator at Northland Communications. Costello holds a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Oneonta and an associate degree in General Studies from MVCC.

Emily Gifford has transitioned to the position of Coordinator of International Students and will be responsible for international student recruitment, support, programming, and retention efforts to ensure the success of the College’s international student population.

Jonathan Hodge was appointed to the position of Admissions Counselor and will be responsible for recruiting students to achieve college enrollment objectives by working with high school counselors, participating in information programs, and assisting students in the selection of educational programs. Prior to joining the College, Hodge worked as a K-5 elementary physical education teacher, and assistant varsity and eighth-grade basketball coach at Atkinson Elementary School in Barnesville, Minn. He also served as a special education teacher at Beacon Academy in Maple Grove, Minn., and assistant basketball coach at Hamline University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in K-12 education: physical education from Saint Cloud State University and an associate degree in general studies from Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Geordan Holmes was appointed to the position of Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and will provide an array of counseling, mentoring, and coaching services and personal and educational counseling for individual students. She also will be responsible for the evaluation of mental health and mental health-related cases, and may provide short-term intervention and referrals to community agencies where appropriate. Holmes most recently served as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Herkimer BOCES. Prior to that position, she served as primary therapist in the Intensive Treatment Program at The House of the Good Shepherd. She holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from SUNY Oswego.

Brandon Horender has transitioned to the position of Coordinator of Dual Credit and will be responsible for meeting the needs of K-12 partner organizations by coordinating the development and delivery of selected credited coursework and articulation agreements.

Nancy Hall was appointed to the position of Instructor of Electrical Engineering Technology. Before joining the College, Hall was a principal engineer at Global Foundries; an integrated circuit layout engineer and senior CAD engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in South Portland, Maine; a senior process engineer at National Semiconductor Corporation in South Portland, Maine; and a research engineer at Florida Institute of Technology. Hall holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and microelectronics and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, both from the University of South Florida.

In recognition of his many years of outstanding service to MVCC, David Katz was named Administrator and Professor Emeritus.

James Kelly IV was appointed to the grant-funded position of Additive Manufacturing Specialist and will assist the Principle Investigators of the Remote Lab-Sharing Models for Additive Manufacturing Skills Training-NSF-funded project fulfill outlined goals. Kelly has been with the College in various capacities since 2007, including technical assistant, professional tutor, adjunct faculty member, drone outreach program instructor, and STEM program curriculum designer and lead teacher for Upward Bound. Prior to joining the College, he worked at Kelly Foundry and Machine, Co., Inc. first as a laborer and production operator and then as vice president for engineering. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in science, manufacturing, technology, and supply chain operations management from SUNY Empire State College and associate degrees in geospatial technology and mechanical engineering technology from MVCC.

Jean Leandre has transitioned to the position of Director of Student Engagement and Leadership and, as such, will provide administrative oversight of the Student Activities office, including Student Government, and serve as the Director of the CSTEP and STEP grants.  

Kalynn Riedman has transitioned to the position of Admissions Specialist and will work with the director of Admissions to develop and implement an Admissions Recruitment Plan that’s consistent with the College’s strategic plan and initiatives. She also will be responsible for recruiting students by working with high school counselors, adult learners, community agencies, and local businesses.

Robin Saxe was appointed to the position of Student Support Advisor and will provide students with a single point of contact to create a seamless pathway for student success from pre-boarding to completion. She will work as part of a team providing individual academic, career, financial, and related support to an assigned group of students. Saxe has been at MVCC since 2009 in several capacities, including Director of Kids Summer Camp, Assistant Coordinator of Kiddie Campus, College Services Associate, and Community Resource Specialist in the College-Community-Connection office. Prior to joining the College, Saxe was the director of the School Age Program at St. Luke’s Nursing Home, a teacher in the Preschool Age Program at MVCC, and site director at the Neighborhood Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Oneonta and an associate degree in fine arts from Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.

Zachary Steffen was appointed to the grant-funded position of Associate Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center. He will support business advisors who provide advisement services to a variety of small businesses and entrepreneurs engaged in starting, managing, growing, or purchasing a business. He also will be responsible for the SBDC’s social media strategy and activities, and assist the director in coordinating seminars, workshops, and webinars. Steffen’s prior positions include general manager for North Country Books and president of Pyramid Publishing, both out of Utica. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from SUNY Albany.

Gail Warchol was appointed to the position of Associate Director of Human Resources for Benefits and Labor Relations. As such, she will direct a variety of College human resource processes and procedures revolving around benefits and labor relations. Warchol has been with MVCC since 2011, first as a Coordinator of Healthcare Careers and then as Academic Project Manager. Prior to these positions, she acted as a human resources representative and hazard analysis critical control points coordinator at Delft Blue, and an outreach coordinator for government programs at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield. Warchol holds a master’s degree in Information Design and Technology and bachelor’s degree in professional studies in health service management, both from SUNY IT, and an associate degree in Human Services from MVCC.