Dean’s Advisory Council
Ana Karen Barone, formerly Ana Karen Aguirre, a CUNY Baruch College alumni, graduated with a BA degree in Biology from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences in June 2013. During her time at Baruch, she served as the Secretary of the Baruch Bio-Med Society. Ana originally immigrated to the United States with her mother from Ecuador at the age of 9 years old, without any knowledge of English. Barone quickly overcame challenges, worked hard, and took pride in her acceptance to Baruch College. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Barone worked full-time in the medical field, and after considering a career in medicine, felt her skills would be most valued teaching New York City’s diverse immigrant families with similar aspirations and work ethic.
In 2014, Barone was awarded a position as a New York City Teaching Fellow, and an AmeriCorps Teaching Grant. She completed her graduate degree in Science Education from Pace University in June 2016 while working full-time as a 6th and 7th grade Science teacher. Barone later completed her Dual-Language Extension from CUNY Queens College, also funded through the award of an NYCDOE grant. Ana currently serves as a tenured, 6th and 7th grade Science and Dual Language Spanish teacher for M.S. 136, an intermediate school in the immigrant community of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. At M.S. 136, she also serves as a Model Teacher for the Teacher Leadership Team, and on the Anti-Racism Team. She has also led educational, international trips for her students to both Spain and Tanzania, helping to provide eye-opening experiences for traditionally underserved communities. Barone lends her experience as an immigrant to the relationships she fosters with students and families, serving as a leading model of what is possible through hard work and determination. Barone is enthusiastic about sharing this experience, and her passion for social justice issues, with the WSAS, continuing to fulfill Baruch College’s goal of equitable education.
Marlon J. Altoé (He / Him / His) is a Financial Advisor with Eagle Strategies LLC. He focuses on providing comprehensive, fee-based financial planning and advisory services, with an emphasis on estate planning, retirement planning, and asset management.
Marlon is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) Candidate through the American College of Financial Services. Marlon is also very active in local business organizations including the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA), the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), and the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NAPD). At the NYSSCPA, Marlon acts as the President of the Society’s Toastmasters Club and sits on the Estate Planning, Family Office, Taxation of Individuals, Insurance, and Business Continuation Planning Committees.
Marlon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Baruch College (2013) and strives to maintain close ties to his Alma Mater, where he currently acts as the Co-Chair of LGruch Alumni and Allies Group.
Stefan Barone, a CUNY Baruch College alumni, graduated Cum Laude with a BA degree from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences in February 2012. During his time at Baruch, he served as the Vice President of External Affairs to the Baruch Accounting Society, President of the Baruch Bio-Med Society, and completed a medical volunteership in Ghana as a Global Impact Fellow for Unite for Sight. After completing his Honor’s Thesis in phylogenetic research (sponsored by a MACUB grant and matching funds from the WSAS) with Dr. Valerie Schawaroch of the Baruch’s Department of Natural Sciences, he obtained his degree with Honors in Biology.
Barone is a Staten Island native, NYCDOE 6th grade Science teacher, outspoken activist, and hip hop artist. Since graduating from Baruch College, he co-founded Play It Forward NY in 2012 with his mother, Debra Santulli-Barone, a resource center for children and teens experiencing bullying, which runs free monthly support groups in the north and south shore of Staten Island. In 2014, he co-founded Red Planet Records, LLC in 2014, with his younger brother, Jordan Barone, an R&B artist. Stefan also serves as a teaching artist for the Projectivity Group, and Sundog Theatre, non-profit organizations providing media and arts education to the Staten Island youth.
In 2019, Barone was awarded a position as a New York City Teaching Fellow. He is currently obtaining a graduate degree in Science Education from CUNY Relay’s Graduate School of Education, and teaching at Brooklyn Studio Secondary School, where he serves on the Equity Team, focused on implementing and delivering Culturally Responsive Teaching practices. Barone also serves on the Board of Directors of Move Forward Staten Island, a non-partisan organization focused on moving social justice issues forward in the community through civic engagement, education, grassroots organizing, and policy advocacy. Barone is excited to lend his skills and knowledge to the WSAS to serve the diverse collection of future Baruch College students and faculty.
Carrie Rebora Barratt is an energetic and collaborative executive leader, who has spent her career in top NYC cultural institutions. She brings dedication, curiosity, civility, and enthusiasm in times of challenge. An accomplished art historian with major exhibitions, books, and lectures, she rose to museum administration to run capital projects, fund-raising, organizational transition and change, digital enterprise, strategic planning, board development, and mapping of vision to mission. Dr Barratt advocates for collective intelligence, productivity, and innovation at every level of her staff. She is committed to anti-racism as daily practice, and to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and belonging as the underpinning of cultural life.
Dr. Barratt joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a summer intern and rose to Deputy Director, 34 years working in a cultural mecca at the forefront of rediscovering the past and developing collections and narratives to create a more inclusive story of our glorious and complicated past. A renowned curator and scholar of American Art, she transitioned in 2009 to governance and administration. As Deputy Director during a transformational period in Museum’s leadership, she championed presentation and interpretation of collections, and led projects on cultural heritage, conservation, and established global partnerships.
In 2018, she left The Met for a museum of plants, New York Botanical Garden, leveraging her love of collections in the natural and scientific world. As the first woman to hold the Garden’s leadership position, she worked closely with colleagues to foster human wellness, joy and a deeper connection to the natural world. She galvanized 450 colleagues and a long-standing board of trustees through leadership transition and the COVID-19 crisis with a balanced budget and thriving program. She strengthened the institution’s work as an anchor institution in the Bronx, in the cultural life of New York City and the nation, and as a world leader in the scientific and horticultural dimensions of climate change, conservation, sustainability, and food security.
Recently, Dr. Barratt left this role to create The Solace Project, a hub of resources and learning opportunities that leverage the healing and mindful experience of art, backed by scientific evidence.
Debbie, now a proud grandmother, grew up and raised her three children in Westchester County, New York. She now serves as Executive Director of the William and Anita Newman Foundation. Debbie spent most of her career working for a marketing agency focused on brand development in the promotional products marketplace.
Debbie has been a Trustee on the BCF since 2012, and served on the Board of Directors of the Dance in Education Fund for the Steffi Nossen School of Dance. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and huge fan and supporter of the Orange and other teams.
Robert Bistoury is a Sales and Trading Analyst at Citigroup. He is originally from Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College, where he majored in Economics and minored in English. At Baruch, Robert developed a passion for travel and world learning, as he engaged in experiential learning opportunities in places such as, China, Poland, and throughout Europe. In addition, Robert was Vice President of the Entrepreneurship Club at Baruch and founder of NextGen Scholars allowing him to intimately connect with the Baruch Community. Furthermore, Robert is currently serving as a Junior Board of Trustees Member of the YMCA Bronx.
Tali Rosenblatt-Cohen has a BA from Barnard College. She worked in book publishing as a literary agent and has written for various publications. Tali has served on various Boards and is currently the Chair of the Board of Beit Rabban Day School, a small progressive Jewish Day School. She also sits on the Board of The Natan Fund and co-chairs the Natan Notable Books Committee. She and her husband have four children and live on the Upper West Side.
Born in Brooklyn—to alumni of Baruch and Brooklyn Colleges—and raised there and in New Jersey, Erika Dreifus earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, where for several years she taught history, literature, and writing. From 2007-14, she served on staff in CUNY’s central Office of Academic Affairs. The author of Quiet Americans: Stories and Birthright: Poems, and a fellow in the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute, Dr. Dreifus currently lives in Manhattan and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of English at Baruch.
Shelly Eversley teaches literature, feminism, and African American Studies in the English Department and in the Black and Latino Studies Department. She is Interim Chair of the Black and Latino Studies Department and Provost Faculty Fellow. Alongside Cathy N. Davidson, she is Director of the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Transformational Learning in the Humanities initiative, part of a $10M grant funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has recently served as Academic Director of Faculty Fellowship Publication Program at CUNY and is Founder of equalityarchive.com, an open educational resource on gender equality. She is the author of The “Real” Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth Century African American Literature (Routledge, 2004) as well as several scholarly essays on literature, feminism, and Black culture. She is also editor of the book Black Art, Politics, and Aesthetics in 1960s African American Literature and Culture (Cambridge 2021), and is completing a new book titled The Practice of Blackness: Cold War Surveillance, Censorship, and African American Literary Survival. She earned her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and her graduate degrees at The Johns Hopkins University.
Alaina Claire Feldman is the Director and Curator of Mishkin Gallery, an academic art gallery affiliated with Baruch College, City University of New York. At Mishkin Gallery, she has organized solo and group exhibitions, performances, poetry readings and film screenings with artists such as Filipa César, Minerva Cuevas, Juan Downey, Lamin Fofana, Nicolás Guagnini, May Joseph, Zeena Parkins, Nicolas Premier, and more. With the Newman Library, she initiated the Exhibition Resource Center (ERC) for students to access tailored bibliographies for every exhibition. Feldman also initiated the Gallery Talk series which invites faculty from different disciplines to share their scholarly interpretations on exhibited art with the public. She has taught as an Adjunct Professor in Baruch’s MA Arts Administration program, as well as at the University of Porto, The School of Visual Arts, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston/Tufts, and the Center for Feminist Pedagogy.
Her writing has appeared in Afterall, Contemporary&, Flash Art, Kaleidoscope, and in museumatalogues for Partenza: Renata Poljak (Galerije Umjetnina, Split, 2017), Megan Frallivan (Mathew Gallery, NY, 2017), Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness (ICI, NY, 2016), Self-Timer Stories (Museum der Moderne Salzburg, 2015), BLESS (Kunsthaus Graz, 2010) and more. Previously curated exhibitions include Peter Fend: HACE SENTIDO (Embajada, San Juan, 2018) a project interrogating the environmental predatory “shock doctrine” of a post-Maria Puerto Rico, as well as Cherchez la femme/Maso et Miso Vont en Bateau (The Kitchen, New York, 2012 and Space, London, 2014), featuring video works she translated from the Centre audiovisual Simone de Beauvoir in Paris. She was previously Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International where she curated Publishing Against the Grain and The Ocean After Nature, a traveling and modular exhibition presented at seven museums around the world. Her current research is concerned with the aquarium as a display technology that has contributed to the production of nature as human material for consumption as well as the naturalization of a human-animal binary.
David Gruber is Presidential Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Baruch College, City University of New York and serves on the faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Biology at the CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY Macaulay Honors College. He is a Research Associate in Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History.
His interdisciplinary research pertains to tropical marine biology, climate change/biogeochemical cycling, microbiology, deep-sea ecology, polar biology, biofluorescence/bioluminescence and animal communication. He completed a PhD in biological oceanography from the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Brown University Division of Biology and Medicine, working to develop fluorescent proteins into probes with neurobiological and medical applications. Prof. Gruber’s deep-diving scientific diving teams have discovered scores of unique biofluorescent compounds, some of which have been developed into tools to find better cancer drugs. David’s research utilizes Remote Operated Vehicles, extended-range SCUBA and soft robotics (in collaboration with the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory) to delicately investigate corals, sponges and other marine fauna. He is passionate about utilizing modern technology to view the underwater world from marine creatures’ perspectives. In this vein, his group developed a “shark-eye” camera to gain a shark’s perspective of their marine environment. David was awarded the 2019 Lagrange Prize for his complexity science research “focused on the conservation of biodiversity, protection of resources and the safeguarding of ecosystems.”
Danielle James is the D&I Manager at MongoDB, where she builds programs that close the opportunity gap and expand access for underrepresented tech talent. She was born in NYC to a Jewish-Belgian mother and Jamaican father, and is a first-generation college graduate. She obtained her B.A. in English from Baruch College and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from St. Joseph’s College.
Danielle is an avid boxer and writer. She recently completed her first (but maybe not last) book translation and is working on a novel.
Eugene Krel graduated from Macaulay Honors at Baruch in 2008 and completed a Masters in Financial Engineering at Baruch in 2009. He started his career with Quantitative Brokers in 2009 in order to pursue his interest in applying mathematics and computer science to trade execution. Eugene became a partner in a proprietary algorithmic market making group in 2018. His focus is on developing low latency, semi-automated trading solutions. Eugene is also interested in exploring new technologies, solving interesting problems and going on adventures with his dog Mishka.
With over 25 years of experience in private equity, asset management and investing banking, Joan has built commercially impactful global talent and leadership functions at both Goldman Sachs and Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR).
As founding member of Lavin Advisory, Joan helps organizations address three of the most critical levers for top performance.
1. Leadership Development: Executive coaching for business leaders, co-heads, and leaders in transition. Emphasis on best practices and tools for strategy development, aligning roles and responsibilities, driving change, handling complexity, ambiguity and conflict, managing inclusively, leading virtual teams, balancing ‘producer-coach’ tensions, and time management and productivity.
2. Executive Team Alignment: Design and facilitation of team offsites – opportunity to reflect on what’s working and areas to improve – all toward improving focus, alignment, productivity and team dynamics.
3. Organizational Development: Design and advisory of high-impact talent and cultural change initiatives, including ‘next generation’/high potential development and employee engagement and retention strategies
For those who’ve worked with Joan, she’s often described with a true passion for helping make others more successful, having them own the outcomes, and doing it in a way that is both challenging and supportive.
Most recently, Joan served as KKR’s first-time Global Chief Talent Officer based in New York, with responsibility for succession planning, next generation leadership development, talent assessment and selection practices, diversity and inclusion, performance management and employee engagement – all efforts designed to ensure the firm’s talent was strategically positioned to optimize near and long-term performance and profitability.
Prior to KKR, Joan established her own executive coaching practice based in Europe and served clients both within and beyond financial services.
Before running her own business, Joan was co-founder and Vice President of Goldman Sachs Pine Street Executive Leadership in New York, where she focused on leadership development and organizational effectiveness for Goldman Sachs senior leaders and the firm’s clients. Joan had previously operated as Co-Head of Professional Development in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.
In her early career, after moving from Ireland, Joan worked for Guinness Brewing International in London.
Joan holds a Bachelor of Psychology Degree (Baruch College/CUNY), is a certified executive coach, and is a qualified practioner of Hogan Leadership Assessment, Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator and 16PF behavioural instrument, all well-established psychometric assessments. Joan serves as an active member of Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. Together with her husband and three daughters, Joan resides in Westchester County, New York.
Maya Mesh is a current Macaulay Honors-Baruch sophomore majoring in History. She is passionate about public speaking, working with young children, and singing. When she is not at rehearsal for the Macaulay Theater Club or working on TEDxCUNY’s Speakers and Programming Committee, you can find her playing the piano or reading a book in Central Park. She aspires to choose a career that will allow her to make a positive social impact.
David Milch joined the Baruch faculty in the fall of 2018 as Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the MA in Arts Administration. Prior to this, David was the Director of NYIT’s graduate program in Leadership in the Arts and Entertainment Industries (LAEI) in association with Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment LLC in Manhattan.
David helped to develop and run the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University and spent nine years advising the performing arts groups at Columbia. David holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from Wesleyan University and is the Board Chair for The Assembly Theater, a NY-based collaborative theater company. David has an extensive background in performing arts management as well as higher education administration and programming.
Pablo Peixoto is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Sciences. He is passionate about inclusive excellence initiatives, especially those that stem from collaborations between students and faculty. He is campus coordinator of the NSF-LSAMP program and continuously participates in capacity-building DEI initiatives like the NSF-HSI-Hub and the LifeSci Internship Program. His research team recently attained a U$ 1.4M grant from the NIH to study how mitochondria control neuronal communication. Commencement and graduation are his two favorite days of the year.
Started career in media at Interior Design Magazine. Currently transitioning to a career in market research and applying to MBA programs.
Cheryl C. Smith is associate professor of English at Baruch College, where she teaches writing, world literature, arts and literature, and American literature. During her years at Baruch, professor Smith has served as director of the English immersion and Great Works of World Literature programs, and coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum at CUNY. She was co-chair of the Self-Study for re-accreditation, which was successfully achieved in 2020. She currently serves on the CUNY Faculty Affairs Advisory Board and is faculty liaison to the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch. She has led countless faculty development initiatives, including workshops in assignment design, student writing assessment, active learning, writing in the disciplines, college reading and writing for non-native English speakers, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and faculty writing retreats. Professor Smith is co-editor of the Journal of Basic Writing and is working on a book, Poetic Justice: Poetry, Protest, and Democracy in Higher Education. She is an elected trustee on her local school board in Westchester, NY, and her favorite pastimes are cooking vegetarian dishes and hiking in national parks with her family.
Jennifer is a seasoned media executive who currently serves as Sony Pictures Television’s SVP of Scripted Programming overseeing creative on hit series such as The Good Doctor, The Boys and The Blacklist. In 2011, Jennifer combined her passion for fitness and desire to help others with her media background to found edutainment brand MAD COOL FITNESS (MCF), an inclusive, edutainment healthy lifestyle brand that helps people to achieve long-term good health through behavior science-based programs. MCF Programs are also based on Jennifer’s personal experience as someone who struggled with weight but has been living healthy for over 20 years.
To support her mission of health, Jennifer went back to school and received her Doctor of Public Health specializing in Health Education and Behavioral Science, from Rutgers School of Public Health. Her dissertation evaluated the Healthy Schools Program implementation at four, New Jersey, K-8 independent charter schools. Her research found factors impacting program implementation were the social determinants of health – access to healthcare, community context, socio-economics – the very same factors that are playing a role in COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on communities of color today.
Jennifer holds a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Finance from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Japanese Language also from the University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer is a New Jersey certified Teacher of Health Education N-12, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Youth Fitness Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Health Coach, Behavior Change Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer. She is an avid athlete and runner having completed numerous marathons (including two Boston and three New York City Marathons) and triathlons, (including Ironman Lake Placid).
Reflecting over 35 years of successfully integrating revenue, operational and control functions, Lewis Wirshba now serves as Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee of AgileThought, a full-service custom software consulting firm.
Derived from progressive leadership roles first at First Boston and then Credit Suisse as the Bank evolved from a regionally decentralized firm to a global organization, his expertise reflects tenures in many technical arenas including corporate governance, risk management, capital and funding, compliance, finance/accounting, business continuity, public policy/regulatory relations and operations.
As COO Americas, Lewis implemented profitable country business models for the Bank’s activities from Toronto to Santiago. Lewis represented the Bank to investors/lenders, rating agencies and served on the Boards of the Securities Industry and Association (SIFMA), the Institute of International Bankers (IIB), the American Swiss Foundation and the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce.
Lewis remains active in enhancing secondary and university educational experiences, long-serving on the CS Americas Foundation Board, on Cornell’s Trustee and Library Councils, and on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Cornell Dyson and the Baruch Zicklin Business Schools. He has taught undergraduate, MBA and law students at Cornell University, Baruch College and Fordham University. Since retirement, Lewis has consulted at several non-for-profits and serves on the advisory councils of the Jewish Theological Seminary Library, the Eldridge Street Museum and the Miskin Gallery at Baruch College.
Lewis earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Finance and a BA with honors in Economics and History from Cornell University. He and his wife Susan raised their two (grown) sons in Rye Brook, NY and continue to belong to Congregation KTI in Port Chester, NY. They currently live in New York City where they relish the trappings of an urban existence.