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A Newly Minted Dean and Three Assistant Deans

Thursday, June 25, 2015

During the June 23 Board of Trustees meeting, the College officially appointed Dena Leiter to the position of Dean of Learning Resources and approved the hiring of three new assistant deans.

Three current employees competed for the recently created assistant dean positions and all three earned promotions. Sara Lacagnino is the College’s new assistant dean of Humanities and will support Dean Elise Donovan. Nicole Cippoletti has become the assistant dean of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) under Dean Liesl Jones. And Dr. Carlos Barrezueta is our assistant dean of Social Sciences/Businesses, which has Dr. Lester Sandres Rapalo as the new dean.

As Dean of Learning Resources, Ms. Leiter will be responsible for the Libraries, the Academic Learning Centers, the Media Center, and Distance Education. She directs services at three campus-based libraries and the Academic Learning Centers, managing faculty librarians, library staff, and ALC staff. She manages a $2.3 million budget. Before becoming a director in 2012, she served in an interim role and as an assistant librarian and an adjunct librarian. In these roles, she instructed students in research methods using the library Web site, which included use of the online catalog, electronic databases, and bibliographic-management tools. She also managed library acquisitions. Her educational credentials includes a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from Rutgers University.

Ms. Lacagnino has worked for Union since 2009, as a coordinator and then a project director for the College’s Title V-funded programs for Hispanic students. The initial program was the Center for Student Success. Then in 2012, the College introduced a new Title V program called LEAP (Learning Enhanced through Accelerated Paths). Ms. Lacagnino’s prior experience included positions in Financial Aid offices at Seton Hall University and Wagner College. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall.

Ms. Cippoletti joined Union in 2012, and served as an academic affairs administrator for Cranford Campus Associate Vice President Negar Farakish. Her prior experience at Union included work as a program assistant for the Title V STEM program and as a youth-programs instructor for Continuing Education. Her prior work experience includes full-time teaching positions at Hackettstown High School, Weehawken High School, and McNair Academic High School, and as a Director of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund in NYC. She has a master’s degree in Education from St. Peter’s University of Jersey City.

Dr. Barrezueta has served as the College’s ombudsman and affirmative-action officer since 2013. His prior experience includes work at Miami Dade College as the executive director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Initiatives. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Yale Law School, where he also served as a post-doctoral fellow. His bachelor’s is in Political Science and History from Columbia University.

Ms. Leiter’s promotion and the appointment of the three new assistant deans become official on July 1.

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