Faculty and Staff

Ruth Finkelstein, ScD
Executive Director


Dr. Finkelstein has devoted the last decade to transformation of our understanding of aging from a state of decline to a stage in the life course full of challenge and opportunity.

Most recently, she served as the Associate Director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center as well as faculty member at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. There, she was responsible for translation of research to policy and practice, particularly in the areas of work, engagement, and built and social environments promoting aging well.  Signature initiatives at Columbia included The Age Smart Employer Awards, honoring businesses who value workers of all ages, including older workers; The Age Boom Academy, an intensive annual course educating working journalists about specific topics in aging; and Exceeding Expectations, long form journalism and digital narrative following 20 New Yorkers over 81.

Prior to Columbia, Dr. Finkelstein was the architect of Age Friendly New York City, the award-winning initiative to make New York a great place to grow old.  This public-private partnership between the Mayor’s Office, City Council, and The New York Academy of Medicine built upon the World Health Organization’s strategy.  Age Friendly New York City focused initially on helping businesses better serve their older customers, enhancing the access of older adults to universities, and helping neighborhoods to address the specific issues of their older residents (Aging Improvement Districts). Program and policy change was realized in pools, parks, streets, schools, senior centers, and housing.  Dr. Finkelstein’s work has won awards, including “The Best Existing Age Friendly City in the World,” 2013 and the Archstone Award.  She has also been individually honored with a “Game Changer, 2012” award from Metropolis Magazine and as one of Next Avenue’s 2016 “Influencers in Aging.

Jerry Antonatos

Jerry 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.

Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD
Senior Research Scientist


Mark Brennan-Ing conducts psychosocial research on factors affecting coping and adapting to chronic conditions among vulnerable older adults, including people with HIV as well as sexual and gender minorities. Prior to his appointment at Brookdale, Dr. Brennan-Ing was a Senior Research Associate at the New  York City Department for the Aging and Lighthouse International, and was the Director for Research and Evaluation at ACRIA, an HIV research and education organization.

He is a past president of the State Society on Aging of New York (SSANY), a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and past chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Sexual Minority and Gender Diversity. He was an invited member of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Working Group on HIV and Aging. Dr. Brennan-Ing has been recognized for his work by the Brookdale Center, Pride Senior Network, and the New York State Office for the Aging. In 2017, he received the SSANY’s Walter M. Beattie Award. Dr. Brennan-Ing was the lead editor on Older Adults with HIV: An In-depth Examination of an Emerging Population (2009), and HIV and Aging: Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology and Geriatrics (2016), which received a “High Commendation” from the British Medical Association. He has authored over 100 peer-review journal articles, chapters and books.

He received his BA in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his MA and PhD in applied developmental psychology from Fordham University.

Jamie Frankenberg, LMSW
Research Associate


As a research associate, Jamie Frankenberg supports Brookdale’s research scientists by managing research projects, especially data collection, analysis, interpretation, and writing and disseminating the results. She is currently focused on a study of how scientific research affects policy making.

Before joining Brookdale, Jamie was living in Melbourne, Australia, working as a housing support case manager and drug and alcohol counselor to support homeless adults. Prior to that, she worked as a geriatric social worker and mental health clinician in New York City. She also held research assistant positions supporting Fordham University faculty who were investigating aging.

Jamie is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She received a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications from Boston University.

Sheryl 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.

Rose-Marie Mahase
Project Coordinator


Rose-Marie Mahase is a Project Coordinator.  She works on Brookdale’s Adult Protective Services-focused projects, including organizing the annual New York State Adult Abuse Training Institute.

Prior to joining Brookdale, she held positions in both the public and private industry, including project coordination and management in the real estate, banking, and quality management sectors.

Rose-Marie brings expert understanding of legal research and procedures through almost two decades as a paralegal and was extensively involved in appellate work throughout the New York State Unified Court System, including many years with the New York State Unified Court System as a Court Analyst for the Office of the Inspector General for Fiduciary Appointments.

She has also been involved in economic development work and has contributed to state-wide efforts to streamline intra-agency communications and to optimize efficiency in project management, and has vetted individuals and corporate recipients of State funds for Local Economic Development projects.

Rose-Marie has a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Mercy College and a Paralegal Certificate from Queens College, The City University of New York.

Theresa Montini, MSW, Ph.D
Director of Research


As the director of research, Theresa Montini 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 the University of California, San Francisco; both as a scientific review administrator and a NIDA program officer at the National Institutes of Health; and a senior researcher at the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics at Boston University.  Since returning to New York City, she has worked as a senior researcher at the New York University College of Dentistry and an assistant professor at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. Dr. Montini’s current research funding ranges from public sources, such as the National Institutes of Health (R03-DA040937), to private foundations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (74204).

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).

Alicia J. Murray, MBA
Program Manager


Alicia J. Murray joined Brookdale in 2016. As a Project Coordinator she provides training that blends traditional classroom instructions with distance learning technologies for management and frontline human services professionals. Prior to joining Brookdale, she worked as a  Project Coordinator at The College of State Island STEM program where she helped a number of students from under-represented  groups pursue professional licensure in the STEM fields.

Alicia has a Master’s of Business Administration from Metropolitan College of New York  and a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing  from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Austin Oswald, MA, CTRS
Research Associate


As a research associate, Austin Oswald collects, analyzes, and interprets data, and assists with writing research proposals and disseminating research findings.  He is currently working on a study that aims to discover how scientific research informs policy, especially how policymakers distinguish empirical research from other types of evidence presented to them.

Prior to joining Brookdale, Austin worked as a group therapist on an in-patient geriatric psychiatry unit.  He utilized a novel psychotherapy modality that targets late life depression and assisted with a research study that investigated the therapy’s efficacy.  In addition to his clinical work, Austin developed the curriculum for annual trainings of hospital workers who wanted to strengthen their culturally competent and patient-centered health care provision.

Austin is currently a doctoral student at the City University of New York.  He earned a BSc in Therapeutic Recreation from Dalhousie University, an MA in Applied Health Sciences from Brock University, and a Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies from the University of Georgia.

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.