Director & Faculty

Human Rights holds a discussion on the campus' many outdoor spacesA Medical Science student checks the professors vitals

Our academic faculty is specially chosen among teachers and researchers in some of the world’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, the London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, New York University, University of California, Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca, and Pompeu Fabra. In 2015 our teaching staff in Oxford and Cambridge alone consisted of 28 Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, making Oxbridge one of the biggest employers of Rhodes Scholars in the world. 

Our creative workshop courses are taught by full-fledged professionals – acclaimed writers and poets, filmmakers, photographers, and actors – all selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students.

Led by these outstanding individuals, whose work is thoroughly evaluated after every summer, and operating in small, seminar-style classes, our courses immerse students in subjects about which they are passionate while helping them uncover the spectacular sites and cultures in which they are living.


The New York College Experience Director

Director, Kevin Held

Director Kevin Held
Kevin Held returns to The New York College Experience for his fifth summer as Director, having previously served as a Program Dean on both NYCE and The Cambridge Tradition. After earning a BA from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, Kevin taught Latin and Technical Theater at St. George's School in Rhode Island for 12 years. While teaching, he earned an MA in Theater from Northwestern University.  

Today Kevin continues to teach Classics (Latin and Attic Greek) and stagecraft at Taipei American School in the Republic of China. He designs the scenery, lights, props, and costumes for all the Middle and Upper School productions. This year's performances at TAS included Fiddler on the RoofSnow (a retelling of the fairy tale in dance), Macbeth, and Annie. In addition to being passionate about theater, Kevin loves to travel, and he has recently visited Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Iran. Kevin is always willing to share his knowledge of East and West.


The New York College Experience Faculty


Julia Bosson

BA, MFA Columbia University

Julia is a professional author based in Brooklyn. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in creative writing from Columbia University, where she was the recipient of several awards and fellowships. Julia’s current project is a collection of essays about memorials, museums, and collective trauma, inspired by her work at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the Columbia Center for Oral History, and the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Judy Cappuccio

BS, MS New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Judy is a project manager who recently completed a master’s degree in construction management. In both her academic and professional careers she specializes in civil engineering projects in urban areas. Her most recent research analyzes major transportation projects in and around New York City.

David Charpentier

BA University of Rhode Island, MA UNC Charlotte School of Architecture, MFA Boston University College of Communication

David is a professional writer and director who embraces all aspects of filmmaking. For the past ten years he has lived on the east coast, where he works with art and architecture firms, writes for online and print magazines, and shoots and produces independent media projects. After directing and editing the award-winning short "Ghost Light," David wrote and directed two episodes of the online series "The Bench Project." Recently, David consulted as a producer on the Indian-American sitcom "Brown Nation," and on the feature film "Money," directed by Martin Rosete and starring Erin Richards (Gotham) and Kellan Lutz (Hercules).

Stacy Davidowitz

BS Tufts University, MFA Columbia University

Stacy is an acclaimed author, playwright, screenwriter, and performer. She has published three novels in her "Camp Rolling Hills" series, and eight full-length plays which have been performed around the world. These include "The Rubber Room," which was staged at the world-famous Old Vic Theater in London. As a performer Stacy has appeared at The Public Theater, Classic Stage Company, City Center, and on A.R.T., MTV, and Nickelodeon. She has also sung the National Anthem solo for a New York Jets football game.

Dr. Mariangels De Planell Saguer

BS Universitat de Girona, MBE University of Pennsylvania, PhD University of Pennsylvania, MA Columbia University, MA Columbia University

Dr. De Planell Saguer is an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and a Project Coordinator for the World Health Organization. She has particular expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology. In her current research, Dr. De Planell Saguer is investigating the biology and function of non-coding RNA. The long-term goal is to unravel the role of gene expression dysfunctions in the etiology of pulmonary diseases.

Yue Dong

BS Nankai University, MSci University of Pennsylvania

Yue is a professional educator based at the prestigious Winchendon School in Massachusetts, where he specializes in the building of calculus, engineering, and physics curricula. His graduate research, which he conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, focused on energy and nanotechnology. While studying abroad as a research assistant at the University of Auckland, he investigated the removal of estrogenic compounds and Bisphenol A (BPA) from water using microfiltration membranes. His findings were later published in "Water Research," an international scholarly journal.

Shayna Goncalves

MA Parsons The New School for Design

Shayna is a fashion expert and a teacher at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. She has particular research interests in how garments acquire different meanings across the world, to the extent of one society's symbol of liberation and permissiveness being considered a threat to another society's way of life. Shayna is passionate about education and outreach, and outside of academia she has served as a curator at the Wits Art Museum in her native South Africa.

Phillip Griffith

BA University of Georgia, MA Columbia University

Phillip is conducting doctoral research at the City University of New York, where he specializes in French Literature. His current project is focused on twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and art - particularly the avant-garde, the relationship between literature and other art forms, and contemporary Francophone and Anglophone poetry. He is an experienced pedagogue and teaches French at the City College of New York. Outside of academia, he has worked in the arts at Creative Time, an art non-profit in New York City, and at "Art Papers," an international contemporary art magazine based in Atlanta. Phillip also writes his own poetry and has been published in "La Petite Zine" and "Esque: REVOLUTIONesque."

Sheena Jeswani

BA Emory University, MA Fordham University

Sheena is conducting doctoral research in Applied Developmental Psychology at Fordham University. Her current project focuses on depression, social support, and agency, as well as the relationship between ethnic and racial identity and academic behavior during the transition from middle to high school. Sheena is a decorated scholar and has received several prestigious prizes for her work. Among them are the Presidential Scholarship and the Marie Louise Farrell Teaching Fellowship, both awarded by Fordham University.

Neeraj Joshi

BSc Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, JD Seton Hall University Law School

Neeraj is a patent attorney in New York City who has been admitted to practice law in six jurisdictions. He represents clients seeking a variety of high-tech patent law services and has authored several articles on contemporary legal issues. During his first year of law school, Neeraj earned a position on the interscholastic moot court board. He recently returned to coach students competing in constitutional law and securities law tournaments. Neeraj has also coached a pair of moot court teams to first place in oral advocacy at the annual Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in trademark and unfair competition law.

Dr. Hill Krishnan

MA, MS New York University, PhD Boston University

Dr. Krishnan teaches in a range of disciplines, including comparative politics, public policy, international relations, and government, at Hunter College, Pace University, and Baruch University. He began his career as a mechanical engineer in India, before moving to America to pursue graduate-level study at New York University and Boston University. Dr. Krishnan is a widely-published author. His books cover everything from the ethics of nuclear weapons to US foreign policy in Latin America to the history of the Indian caste system.

Dr. C. Aaron Lawry

BA University of Arizona, MA Columbia University, PhD University of Arizona

Dr. Lawry is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Champlain University. He has several years of college-level teaching experience in Marketing, Fashion, and Music. His clients in the industry include Dockers, L’Oréal Paris For Men, Tylenol, and Mini USA. He has published extensively on fashion and advertising, most recently with C. Helms in "Curating the Creative Genius in Luxury Firms." He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Steinfeldt Fellowship in Arts and Material Culture from the Texas State Historical Association.

Theresa Leigh-Nguyen

BA, BS Columbia University, MSc University of Pennsylvania

Theresa obtained a BA in political science and a BS in computer science from Columbia University before pursuing a Masters of Science in criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work experience and research focuses on human trafficking, data analysis, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. She has won several awards and grants from a variety of organizations, including “Women Who Code,” and the U.S. Department of State.

Dr. Francesco Lotti

BS Sapienza University of Rome, PhD San Raffaele Scientific Institute

Dr. Lotti is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University, where he is based in the College of Physicians and Surgeons. His current research utilizes the modeling of human disease to better understand pathological mechanisms. This involves close examination of the basic mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression and RNA metabolism. The end goal is to identify and design new therapeutic interventions that will help to overcome dysfunctions in gene expression.

Levi Mandel

BFA The Cooper Union School of Art

Levi is a professional portrait and lifestyle photographer based in New York. He trained at the famous Cooper Union School, and now consults with a variety of clients in fashion and media. Among them are publications like "Allure," "GQ," and "The New York Times Magazine," as well as major international businesses, such as Macy's.

Michael Edward McGuire

BS Babson College, BA Columbia University, MIA Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs

Michael has worked for over twenty years in international business. His career began with a banking position at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. He left this to begin building companies independently. His early projects included a commodity trading and structured finance company, an offshore software development company, and an asset management company. Michael was recognized as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004, and went on to serve on the boards of two publicly-traded enterprises: Stillwater Mining Company and Plug Power. Today he spends much of his time negotiating and making transactions for businesses based in Russia, China, India, and Europe.

Ty Mecham

BFA Brigham Young University

Ty was offered a place on BYU’s prestigious photography program by a senior faculty member who saw his work. He moved to New York after graduating, where he worked with photographers such as Annie Leibowitz, Michael Thompson, and Karl Lagerfeld on shoots for "Vanity Fair," "Anthropologie," and Target. Ty now shoots fashion, still life, interiors, travel, and commercial portrait photography. His recent work has appeared in publications including "Elle," "Lucky," "Details," and "People," and his client list includes West Elm, Physique 57, and Kate Spade.

Prachi Patel

BS Nirma University, MS Columbia University

Prachi is an Officer of Research at Columbia University, where she is based in the Neural Acoustic Processing Lab. She is contributing to a project on human speech communication. The work centers on the identification of representational and computational characteristics of the brain regions and biological neural networks involved in naturalistic speech communication. The outcome will be more accurate neuro-inspired models, which will advance our knowledge of how the brain extracts and processes information. This will close the performance gap between biological and artificial computing. Outside of academia, Prachi is passionate about outreach and education. She recently spent time working with Harlem Children's Zone to promote physics and calculus among the under-served high school students of New York City.

Carlos Payan

BA College of William and Mary, MA Fordham University

Carlos is conducting doctoral research at Fordham University, where he specializes in Economics. He has particular expertise in both macro- and microeconomics, and enjoys engaging his students using enigmas and games to help them understand theories and concepts in the subjects. Before entering the academic world, he served in the Air Force.

Robert Romano

BS Southern Connecticut State University, JS Loyola Univeristy School of Law, MS Columbia University

Robert is a New York-based attorney licensed in both the state and federal courts. He specializes in sports law, and sports and entertainment-related issues. His job involves negotiating employment contracts, and endorsement and sponsorship agreements for coaches, athletes, entertainers, and broadcasters. He regularly appears as a guest contributor on ESPN Radio and FOX Sports Radio. Robert is also highly sought-after in the academic world. His posts include Director of Sports Management at Mercy College; Visiting Foreign Professor at the IE Business School in Madrid, Spain; and Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University, Quinnipiac Law School, and Drexel University.

Dr. Hemant Sabharwal

MB Ain Shams University, BCh Ain Shams University, PhD Lunds Universitet

Dr. Sabharwal is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Hematology at Hunter College, and a member of the department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University. His clinical research focuses on pediatric nutrition and infectious diseases. He has particular expertise in carbohydrate and protein purification in the field of cancer prevention. Dr. Sabharwal is also an experienced businessman, having been the Executive Vice President of Laktobiotics LLC for over a decade.

Jason Silva

BA SUNY Purchase, MA City College of New York, MA John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Jason is a doctoral researcher and Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he is based in the Law and Police Science Department. He is a Criminology expert. His current research focuses in particular on crime and the media, terrorism, and high-profile crimes. In the past has worked on projects centering on drug courts, the juvenile justice system, school shootings, and the influence of crime on politics and policy decisions. Jason is a member of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Dr. David Spigelman

BA University of Illinois, DPhil Stanford University

Dr. Spigelman is the founding partner, chief economist, and managing director of Criterion Associates, LLC. He regularly performs economic analysis for litigation and serves as an expert witness, especially for personal injury and business interruption litigation. Dr. Spigelman is also active in the academic world, having been a lecturer at the University of Miami in economics, international finance, and business at the University of Miami for over a decade. He has authored three economics textbooks, as well as "A Brief Guide to an Extraordinary College Experience."

Elizabeth Weinfield

BA Rutgers University, MSt University of Oxford

Elizabeth works in the Publications Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has been Editor of the monumental "Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History" since 2008, manages the online content of the Museum's collection, and writes about historic musical instruments. Elizabeth is also a classically-trained musician. She serves as The Chancellor's Fellow in Music at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; and as the artistic director of Sonnambula, a Renaissance ensemble that presents historically-informed performances on period instruments. She is an experienced pedagogue and teaches in the Music Department at Fordham University.

Benjamin Weiss

BA University of Wisconsin-Madison, MA Columbia University

Benjamin is an Associate with Veracity Worldwide. In this role he advises clients on corruption, political, and business risks in South Asia. He also presents research to the US Department of State and National Security Council on the role of civil society in India and Pakistan; and publishes commentary on South Asian politics in "Foreign Policy" and "The Hindu," among other prominent media outlets. In the past he has served as an editorial fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and worked as a Research Consultant with both the Brookings Institution in New Delhi and the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. As a student at Columbia University, Benjamin was awarded the prestigious Merit Fellowship established by Ralph O. Hellmold and Susan Eastham for excellent academic performance in International Affairs.

Dr. Matthew Welsch

BS Ohio State University, PhD Columbia University

Dr. Welsch is the Founder of Atoms 2 Applications, a biotechnology consultation company that specializes in computer-aided drug design and pre-clinical drug discovery programs. His particular areas of expertise include oncology, infectious disease, and metabolic and central nervous system-based disorders. Dr. Welsch is also active in the academic world, and holds an Adjunct Professorship at Kean University, where he teaches courses on biochemistry and organic chemistry.

Zoë West

BA Rutgers University, MPhil University of Oxford

Zoë is conducting doctoral research at the University of Oxford, where she is based in the Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology. Her current project examines the central role of immigrant workers in New York in new and revived forms of grassroots worker organizations, against the backdrop of a decades-long decline of organized labor in the United States. She is the co-editor of "Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma's Military Regime," a book of oral histories that catalogs human rights abuses from the perspectives of refugees, activists, journalists, monks, former political prisoners, and soldiers. In the past, Zoë spent several years living in Southeast Asia. She worked for various NGOs there, consulting with community-based and international human rights organizations.