Jean Callahan, Esq., MSW
Jean Callahan became Director of Brookdale in 2010. Prior to joining Brookdale, Jean spent a decade working for the Vera Institute of Justice. At Vera, she was the founding director of two successful demonstration projects – the Guardianship Project, a nonprofit provider of guardianship services for elderly New Yorkers who cannot care for themselves, and Adolescent Portable Therapy, a program which serves adolescents in the juvenile justice system.
In 1998-99 Jean served as a White House Fellow with Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala. Earlier in her career as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Jean represented elderly and homebound New Yorkers in areas such as housing, health care, consumer law, financial exploitation and entitlements.
A graduate of New York University, Jean received her law degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work.
Vicki Lynn Bryan, MEd
Project Manager & Trainer
Vicki Lynn Bryan has been in the field of workplace learning and performance since 1984. The focus of her work is on designing and delivering professional development programs to social service personnel in classroom settings and online. Vicki combines organizational development theory and her experience as a manager in both the private and public sectors to present workshops on topics such as management/supervisory skills, stress management, time management, team building, diversity, conflict management, communication skills, change management, train-the-trainer and presentation skills.
A graduate of Upsala College, Vicki received a Master of Education from Seton Hall University.
Mark Daponte joined Brookdale in 2009. Working within Brookdale’s Learning and Development Division, Mark provides assistance in the form of administering and coordinating all training workshops for homeless shelter staff members in the metropolitan area.
Mark has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Bridgeport.
Ashley Faustin, MPH
Ashley Faustin joined Brookdale in April 2012. She coordinates all services provided under the Protective Services for Adults (PSA) contract. She assists in the implementation of all PSA training courses, seminars, workshops, and conferences. Prior to joining Brookdale, Ashley served as the Content Coordinator at the Harlem Health Promotion Center where she was responsible for providing online health information at a health literacy level that reflected the culture of the Harlem community.
A graduate of New York University, Ashley received a Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in History and Ethics of Public Health and Medicine from Columbia University.
Paul G. Fleishmann
Paul Fleishmann joined Brookdale in 1993. He has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of communications, media, print and electronic publishing, website design and management, and special events and conference planning. Prior to joining Brookdale, Paul spent nearly a decade in the radio, television, video and advertising industries where his work included writing, producing and directing commercial and public service announcements, video editing, producing multi-media productions and managing the distribution of network syndicated programs.
Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in Television and Radio Broadcasting from SUNY College at Buffalo and an Associate in Applied Science and Broadcast Telecommunications from Suffolk County Community College.
Sheryl Grant joined Brookdale in 1988. Sheryl handles a wide array of key tasks, from providing information to all new employees, to overseeing timesheets, to facilitating the timely payment of all invoices. Her knowledge of and long-standing relationships with key personnel at Hunter College and the CUNY Research Foundation are invaluable.
Sheryl attended York College and majored in Accounting.
Edith A. Henry
Edith Henry joined Brookdale in 1994. She is the first person most visitors encounter when they come to Brookdale, and it’s her voice people typically hear when they call the Center’s main number. In addition to staffing the reception desk, Edith is responsible for maintaining day to day office operations.
Nina S. Parikh, PhD, MPH
Acting Director of Research
Nina Parikh has been on staff at Brookdale since 2005. She provides oversight and guidance on all aspects of the research process, mentors and supervises research staff, and contributes to the mission of the Brookdale Center.
Dr. Parikh brings professional experience, methodological expertise and academic training in health services research and medical sociology to the research and evaluation studies Brookdale carries out. Dr. Parikh’s current research focuses on the complex social and cultural factors that influence healthy aging among diverse populations and developing and implementing evidence-based solutions for older adults in New York City and beyond. Her work has received grant support from local and federal government agencies as well as foundations.
Dr. Parikh received her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University and has a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Emory University.
Geoffrey L. Rogers
Director of Learning and Development
Geoff Rogers has more than two decades of professional experience helping individuals and organizations learn, manage, change and seize new opportunities. Prior to joining Brookdale in 2007 as Director of Learning and Development, Geoff was Director of Operations for the New York City Home Energy Assistance Program. He has also worked in advertising, publishing and marketing and served as a Director of Special Projects, Director of Training and Director of Operations for New York City Adult Protective Services.
Geoff’s unusual background spanning creative industries, public administration and management consulting informs his work at Brookdale to develop learning opportunities that engage a diverse array of human services professionals.
Geoff has a Bachelor of European History and English from Colby College.
Raquel Malina Romanick, JD
Staff Attorney, Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy
Raquel Romanick joined Brookdale in 2005. She oversees Brookdale’s Certificate Programs; monitors changes in relevant laws, policies and benefits; and regularly makes presentations on a wide range of topics, including: elder abuse, health care decision making, caregiving, Medicare and Medicaid, and daily money management. In addition to her work at Brookdale, Raquel is an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University.
Prior to joining Brookdale, Raquel served as Senior Policy Analyst for Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields where she worked on budget and policy issues related to the welfare of elderly New Yorkers.
A graduate of C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Raquel received her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Milagro Ruiz joined Brookdale in 2004. As a member of Brookdale’s Research Core and a native Spanish speaker, Milagro was instrumental in recruiting, training and managing over 30 bilingual interviewers for a recent study with the Department for the Aging. She also assisted in the implementation of a disease management program in select New York City senior centers to help older Latinos manage their diabetes.
Milagro has a Bachelor of Spanish and Italian Literature from Hunter College.
Debra Sacks, LPN, JD
Senior Staff Attorney, Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy
Debra Sacks has been a staff member of Brookdale’s Sadin Institute on Law & Public Policy since 1988. She is a nationally recognized expert and trainer in adult protective services, elder abuse, guardianship, and daily money management and currently provides legal training to staff throughout New York State who provide protective services to vulnerable adults. Debra’s most recent accomplishment is serving as Principal Investigator in Brookdale’s 2009 study, The Value of Daily Money Management: An Analysis of Outcomes and Costs. This groundbreaking research is informing national policies on aging.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Debra received her law degree from Pace University, an LPN from Phelps Memorial School of Nursing and a Certificate in Aging Studies from the University of Iowa.
Before coming to Brookdale, Jose Togbe served as project manager at ICC Lowe, a digital marketing agency focused on the healthcare industry. As project manager, he oversaw 6 projects simultaneously and produced timelines and user flows.
Prior to joining ICC Lowe, Jose was an information architect and online marketing strategist for various digital agencies including O2KL, Oho Interactive and Revsquare. As an information architect, he led usability tests and produced detailed sitemaps, interactive prototypes and technical specification documents for website builds and redesigns. On the online marketing side, Jose produced highly detailed content marketing plans and monitored the success of the marketing initiatives through analytics.
Jose received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Babson College as well as a diploma in history from Sorbonne Paris IV.
Carolina Villanueva, MPH
Carolina Villanueva has been on staff at Brookdale since 2012. Carolina assists with the development and implementation of research and evaluation studies. In addition, she acts as a liaison between the research team and academic investigators, community-based organizations and other local partners. Prior to joining Brookdale, she worked on a community outreach campaign “Save Half for Later” in Harlem-based restaurants. Carolina has also worked on several other research projects including examining the relationship between physical activity and the experience of menopause, as well as health disparities in cardiac outcomes.
Carolina has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University and recently received a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.
Joyce Washington, MPS
Project Manager & Trainer
With more than 15 years of experience as a learning consultant, Joyce Washington has developed professional learning programs for a range of organizations in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She joined Brookdale in 2008 as a Project Manager of the Homeless Shelter Training Resource System, a program to develop professional skills of homeless shelter staff. Joyce was a consultant to the New York City Human Resources Administration where she developed a standardized business model for Adult Protective Services in New York City.
In addition to her work at Brookdale, Joyce is Program Director for Citisouls, which develops faith-based programs for homeless shelter residents and supplemental breakfast programs for seniors and school-aged children.
Joyce has a master’s from New York Theological Seminary and is a master’s candidate at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
Gyongyi McQueston, MPA
Gyongyi McQueston joined Brookdale in 2014 as the Project Coordinator for the Adult Care Emergency Preparedness Program. Prior to joining Brookdale Gyongyi was a member of the New York Air National Guard (ANG) for 22 years. Gyongyi brings to Brookdale a wealth of “real-world” experience in emergency preparedness management. During her deployment to Manas Air Force Base in Kyrgyzstan, she served as the on- scene incident commander for several Improvised Explosive Device (IED) alerts, and was responsible for containment, evacuation and control of the scenes until alerts were cleared.
Gyongyi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from John Jay College, and is scheduled to graduate in June 2014 with a Masters in Public Administration in Emergency and Disaster Management from Metropolitan College of New York.