callahan-staff-portraitJean 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.


Jerry AntonatosJerry Antonatos, MPA
Director of Finance and Administration

Jerry Antonatos has been a CUNY staff member since 1988. Prior to joining Brookdale in 2006, Jerry was Director of Finance for the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and before that, held various finance positions within the Research Foundation of CUNY. His longstanding contacts within CUNY and deep knowledge of the University’s systems make him a valuable member of the Brookdale team.

Jerry is an active member of the Army National Guard unit 4th Financial Management (Fighting Finance). He was called to serve in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 and again in 2014. He was the Deputy Disbursing Officer of Jalalabad in the East, and Disbursing Agent of Kandahar in the South and controlled all financial activities in those regions of Afghanistan.

Jerry received his Bachelor’s Degree from Hunter College in Accounting and has a Master’s in Public Administration with a specialty in fiscal policy analysis and oversight from John Jay College.


DSC_0123Vicki 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.

Meda Datcu
Program Assistant

Meda Datcu joined the Brookdale Center in 2015. As a Project Assistant, she coordinates the professional development and training for the Management Development Institute and the Local District Services Training.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Meda was the Project Coordinator of the Hertog Scholars Program at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. Prior to joining CUNY, she worked as a Research Assistant for the Cognition, Affect and Psychopathology Lab and as a Direct Care Worker for the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services.

Meda holds a B.A. in Psychology fromm Hunter College.


Paul G. Fleishmann
Logistics Coordinator

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 logistics. 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 syndicated network television 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.


Angela Ghesquiere, PHD, MSW
Research Program Manager

Angela Ghesquiere has been on staff at Brookdale since June 2014. She helps develop and oversee research and evaluation projects and works closely with project staff. Prior to joining Brookdale, Dr. Ghesquiere was a fellow in geriatric mental health services research at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Ghesquiere has also worked on several federally-funded intervention studies in the fields of grief, loss, trauma, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at both Columbia University and the University of Washington. Dr. Ghesquiere’s current research seeks to increase the access and quality of care for older adults experiencing mental health disorders after bereavement.

Angela received her PhD in Social Work from Columbia University, and has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Smith College and a Master’s of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.


Sheryl GrantSheryl Grant
Finance Administrator

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.


Caitlin McAfee, LMSW
Research Associate

Caitlin McAfee joined Brookdale in 2015. She assists with data collection, coordination of research projects and data analysis. She is especially active in outreach efforts for Brookdale’s work in community-based palliative care.

Prior to joining Brookdale, she worked as a geriatric social worker providing case management services to older adults. She has presented at national conferences on topics such as ethical conflicts in care management.

Caitlin has a Master’s of Social Work from Fordham University with a specialization in gerontology and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Texas Christian University.


Theresa Montini, MSW, Ph.D
Senior Researcher

Theresa Montini joined the Brookdale Center in 2015.  As a research scientist, she plans and conducts research to broaden scientific knowledge to improve the lives of older adults.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Dr. Montini worked as a researcher at the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF, as a NIH-CSR review officer and a NIH-NIDA program officer, and as a senior researcher at the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics.  Since returning to the New York City in 2008, she has worked as a senior researcher at the NYU College of Dentistry and an assistant professor at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  Dr. Montini’s research funding has ranged from public sources (NIH R21 AA012621 and R03 HG004040) to private foundations (Risk Management Foundation).

Dr. Montini received her doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco  (1991), her MSW from the University of California, Berkeley (1984), and her BA from Rutgers College (1979).


Geoffrey L. RogersGeoffrey 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 RomanickRaquel 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.


Jon Ruiz
Project Assistant

Jon Ruiz joined the Brookdale Center in 2015. As a project assistant, he coordinates the professional development and mental health trainings for Adult Protective Service workers across New York State and evaluates the knowledge gain of training participants. Jon is also part of a multi-disciplinary research team that collects and analyzes qualitative data to assess the need for community-based palliative care services in East and Central Harlem.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Jon was a research assistant in a team of investigators at Vassar College and the City University of New York studying various aspects of the transition from standardized testing to performance based assessments in New York City public schools. He was also a research intern at the Partnership for Palliative Care, and an intern at the Office of the Mayor of New York.

Jon graduated from Baruch College (City University of New York) with a major in Human Health and Society.


Debra Sacks, LPN, JDDebra 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.