Alumni Mentoring Roundtable

Date(s) - Thursday, December 5, 2013
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

CUNY Graduate Center, room 9100 (Skylight Room)

You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” when it it comes to job hunting.  One fantastic resource we have at the GC is our alumni, many of whom have found great jobs inside and outside the academy.

You’ll have a chance to meet 9 of them in small group settings at our Alumni Mentoring Roundtable on Dec. 5th.  These alumni–representing various fields–have agreed to share details about how they started out in their career, offer tips for students about how to do the same, and explain what they like and find challenging about their jobs.

We expect the group discussions to be informal and very interactive, giving students a chance to ask lots of questions.  Each student will be paired with potential mentors for small group discussions (4-6 students) lasting 20-25 minutes each.  After about 20-25 minutes, we’ll rotate, giving students the chance to chat with alumni from 3 different fields.  The last 30 minutes will be an open networking session.

Light snacks and beverages will be served.

Our mentors:

Saul Fisher, Executive Director for Grants and Academic Initiatives, Mercy College

Dr. Fisher holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Graduate Center.  You can find out more about him by viewing his CV on

Bennett Lovett Graff, Senior Book Editor, Scarecrow Press

Bennett Lovett-Graff is publisher of New Haven Review, a nationally recognized literary journal, and is a senior book editor at Scarecrow Press, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield. An expert in digital publishing, he worked for nearly a decade at Gale Cengage (formerly Gale), where he managed the editorial programs of Primary Source Media, Scholarly Resources, and G.K. Hall.  Dr. Lovett-Graff is a scholar of the American gothic literature and a former reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly and Jewish Book World.

Tom Harford, Dean of Students, Columbia University School of General Studies

Dr. Harford holds a doctorate in medieval English literature from the GC, and has more than 15 years of experience in student affairs and academic advising. In his current position, Dr. Harford oversees the Office of the Dean of Students operations and work closely with and advising team to enhance the undergraduate program and support of GS students.  He previously worked as Columbia University School of Continuing Education’s associate dean of non-degree programs, where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of academic programs serving roughly 3,000 students, including Postbaccalaureate Studies, certificate programs, and summer sessions.  Prior to joining Columbia University, Harford held senior administrative positions in academic and student affairs at the City College of New York, where he also taught in the English and History departments.

Joan Liebmann-Smith, Consulting Writer/Editor, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Joan Liebmann-Smith is a medical sociologist and an award-winning medical writer. She is currently a consulting writer/editor for the Department of Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a freelance medical writer.  Her books include Baby Body Signs: The Head to Toe Guide to Your Child’s Health, from Birth Through the Toddler Years(Bantam, 2010), Body Signs: How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective (Bantam, 2007), The Unofficial Guide to Getting Pregnant (Wiley, 2005), The Unofficial Guide to Overcoming Infertility (Macmillan, 1999), and In Pursuit of Pregnancy (Newmarket, 1988).  She also ghostwrote Women Under the Influence (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.  Her articles have appeared in such publications as American HealthAARP Bulletin, Ms., Omni, Newsweek, Physician’s Weekly, Redbook, Self, and Vogue.  In addition, she has written for such websites as Huffington Post, Health News Digest, Savvy Magazine Online, Senior Planet, and Women’s and has appeared on numerous national radio and television shows including the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.  

Andrew McCarron, Department Head and Instructor, Trinity School

Andrew McCarron has taught at Trinity School in the Religion, Philosophy & Ethics and English Departments since 2002.  While at Trinity, Dr. McCarron has also taught at the university level, as a visiting lecturer at Cooper Union and as a Language & Thinking instructor at Bard College.  He earned his B.A. in English Literature from Bard, his M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from CUNY.  He was appointed permanent head of Trinity’s Religion, Philosophy & Ethics Department in 2013.  His dissertation, Three New York Poets, is forthcoming from Station Hill Press, and a psychobiography on the religious identities of Bob Dylan will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

Margaret E. Connors McQuade, Assistant Director/Curator of Decorative Arts, Hispanic Society of America

Dr. McQuade holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate Center.  We’ll post her full bio soon.

Marilyn Puder-York, Executive Coach

Dr. Puder-York is an executive coach with a 30 year successful track record in helping talented executives and professionals achieve their optimal performance. A licensed psychologist, she is one of the first to apply clinical psychology to the enhancement of executive careers.  In addition, Dr. Puder-York consults with CEOs and HR professionals regarding behavioral issues in the workplace. A popular speaker she addresses issues of resiliency, success, executive stress management, balancing work and family, and coping with difficult people in challenging professional situations.During the course of her career she has been frequently interviewed and cited in print and broadcast by the business and general media.  She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, The New York Times and others.  She has been seen on CNN,CBS, NBC and Fox television networks.  Her book, The Office Survival Guide, is published by Mc-Graw-Hill.

Eric Scheye, Independent Consultant, Justice and Security Sector Development and Conflict Management

Eric Scheye holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Graduate Center. You can find out more about Dr. Scheye by taking a look at his CV.

Iris Sroka, President, Paradigm Research & Consulting

Dr. Sroka holds a Ph.D. in development psychology from the Graduate Center.  You can read more about her on her LinkedIn page.



The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development
365 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10016 | Room 3300.08 | 212-817-7425
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