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. Every year our faculty is full of Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, enabling enabling our students to work with an array of elite academics.

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


Dr. Hadas Aron

BSc, MSc Tel Aviv University, MA, PhD Columbia University

Hadas began her career studying Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University, but she became fascinated with international affairs and political science and has been researching these subjects at Columbia since 2011. Her research focuses on Enemies of the State, and the policing of Far Right groups. In 2015 she designed and delivered an original undergraduate seminar on social movements, political protest and contentious politics.

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.

Dr. Phillip Bradford

BA Rutgers University, MS University of Kansas, PhD Indiana University

Dr. Bradford is an Associate Professor and Director of Computer Science at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. He has had a principal role in designing and developing the CS program at his university and his main areas of mentoring interests include computational biology, algorithms, management, and security.

Dilara Bural

BA Bilkent University, MS University of Pennsylvania

Dilara’s parents are police officers in Turkey, and their careers have inspired her passion for Criminology. Her masters research at UPENN focused on the effect of police on crime in various cities in the US. Her teaching integrates quantitative methods for policy analysis, criminal justice, and evidence based crime prevention.

Katya Campbell

BA University of Missouri, MFA Rutgers University

Katya is an Adjunct Professor in Acting and Vocal Production at PACE University. Her classes on public speaking and debate teach students how to present themselves with confidence, to use body language, posture, and tone to their advantage, and how to argue persuasively. Beyond the classroom, Katya has numerous acting credits on TV, Broadway, and film.

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.

Michael Delay

BA Kenyon College, MS, MPhil Columbia University

Following studies in Neuroscience at Kenyon College, Michael studied and published work with research groups at Yale, Ohio State, and UCSF in molecular biology and cancer pathology. He then switched to a more physic-based approach to science and obtained a M.S. and M.Phil from Columbia University where he is presently completing a Ph.D. for physical work pertaining to the state of water in bacterial spore based actuators and evaporation-harvesting technologies. Michael also more broadly specializes in force-analysis and Atomic Force Microscopy.

Steve Flatow

BA Cornell University, MBA University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Steve is a senior business development and marketing executive who has held high-profile leadership roles at Wilson Sporting Goods, under PepsiCo ownership, and he was the first sponsorship executive hired by the NHL. His courses on Sports Business teach the ins and outs of corporate sponsorship, team and league financing, fan loyalty, and beyond. They also tap into his wide network of colleagues in the industry, offering students the chance to meet with key influencers in NYC.

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.

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. Linda Kirschke

BA Columbia University, MA Johns Hopkins University, PhD Princeton University

Linda is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU and Columbia University, where she teaches upper-level international relations seminars on political violence, regime change, international security, state failure, and civil war. Her own field work has covered military coups in Sub-Saharan Africa, political violence in Serbia and Romania, and multiparty transitions in Kenya and Chad. She has won fellowships to conduct research with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Harriman Institute.

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.

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.

Jillian Minahan

BS, MA Fordham University

Jillian’s research focuses on the interrelationships between physical health, psychological well-being, and health behaviors, such as exercise, among older adults. She is a decorated scholar and has received several prestigious prizes for her work. Among them are the Centennial Scholarship and the Graduate Student Association Professional Development Grant, both awarded by Fordham University.

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.

Linas Phillips

BA New York University, Tisch School For The Arts

Linas is a director, writer, producer, and editor. A short-list of his impressive filmography includes: Rainbow Time, executive produced by The Duplass Brothers, which premiered at SXSW and is on available on iTunes and Netflix (2016). Another one of his films, Bass Ackwards, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2010). And one of his documentaries, Walking to Werner, won the special jury prize at the 2006 Seattle International Film Festival. He brings his varied experience in all areas of filmmaking to his courses.

Lance Richardson

BA University of Sydney, MA New York University

Lance has produced hundreds of features for various titles within Australia’s leading media companies, including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age, and the Australian Financial Review. He is a regular columnist on the ethics and politics of travel, and is currently working on a biography for Penguin Random House which is scheduled for a major in- ternational release in 2018.

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.

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.

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.