Faculty Bios

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Faculty Bios

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Eric Alterman is a Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College and Cuny Graduate School of Journalism. He is “The Liberal Media” columnist for The Nation and author of nine books. Alterman received his BA in History and Government from Cornell, MA in International Relations from Yale, and PhD in US History from Stanford.

Max Alvarez is a New York writer, film historian, and frequent speaker on world cinema culture. Alvarez has held prominent positions as an entertainment journalist, film and theater critic, and motion picture and archival researcher. He has formed presentation partnerships with organizations such as the American Film Institute and the Library of Congress to broaden understanding of the cultural impact of film.

Doug Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residences, and has lectured at the JCC. He is a former feature writer for the New York Daily News, and both a history and ethics teacher at the prestigious Dalton and Ethical Culture Schools. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited in major gallery neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Kamil Buczanski is a civil engineering student at City College. Buczanski has worked with computers from a young age and studied advanced computer programming classes. Buczanski emigrated from Poland and one of his greatest satisfactions comes from sharing his knowledge of computers with others.

Paulina Buczanska graduated from Hunter College with a degree in medical laboratory science, and works at NY Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center. Buczanska became interested in computers at a young age after emigrating from Poland.

Andrew Dickos is a film historian and critic and the author of Street with No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir and Intrepid Laughter: Preston Sturges and the Movies. His third book, Abraham Polonsky: Interviews, is on the great Hollywood filmmaker blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

Caroline Grant has worked as a professional dancer in TV, theater, and club productions. For the past 25 years, she has taught yoga, dance, and body movement privately and in classes at the Integral Yoga Institute, Barnard College, JASA, and the 92nd Street Y.

Mark Hyman has won both the Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKinney Awards in 2005/06. He holds the Manhattan Bridge Club Championship for 2006. He is an experienced teacher and player.

Beth Karas spent nearly two decades covering trials for Court TV including many of the biggest crime stories at the time. Karas is a former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and currently an investigative journalist, consultant, and speaker who operates the website, KarasOnCrime.com.

Scott Klavan is an actor, playwright, and director, who appeared on Broadway with Tovah Feldshuh. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and a graduate of Kenyon College (two-time Paul Newman Acting Award winner). He was recently published in Best American Short Plays and participated in The Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

Pamela Koehler is an adjunct professor of art and art history at Adelphi University. As a teaching artist she has presented lectures, talks, and workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, and the Dahesh Museum.

Andy Kravis is a trivia writer and crossword constructor. He is one of the constructors for the mobile app Crosswords with Friends, co-founded and co-directs the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament in Washington, D.C. He has had crosswords published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsday, and Fireball Crosswords.

Natan Last published his first crossword in The New York Times when he was 16, then the youngest constructor to appear in the Sunday New York Times. Last wrote a book of crosswords, titled Word. He received a BA with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.

Jane Marsh was invited to represent the US in the historically legendary International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in that competition. An internationally renowned singer, Marsh is the Artistic Advisor and Program Consultant to the Met Opera Guild Education Center.

Gina L. Martinez was a doctoral candidate in Philosophy at Fordham University and has taught Introduction to Philosophy courses (or The Big Questions), Ethics and Law, and Philosophical Issues in Human Rights at John Jay College. She currently teaches ‘Introduction to Ethics’ and ‘Social Justice Philosophies’ at Berkeley College, NY.

Steve McCann has played tournament-bridge for over four decades. Today he is in high demand as a teacher.

Frances Richey is the author of two published poetry collections. She won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize in 2003. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches Shakespeare at the 92nd St. Y., and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city. He co-wrote “Give Us Hope”, a song performed by the San Francisco Children’s Choir at President Obama’s first Inauguration.

Jim Smith was the Executive Director of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for 23 years, where he also taught courses in Classical Music listening. He is energized by the connections between art, psychology, current events, history, and the life of the spirit.

Amy Weiss is the Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the College of Saint Elizabeth. Her research and publications focus on the intersections of American Jewish history, Israel Studies, and Jewish-Christian relations. She most recently received the American Council for Judaism Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio, to conduct research on her book manuscript on Jewish-Protestant interfaith alliances and Israel. She received her PhD in Hebrew & Judaic Studies and History from New York University.

Christopher Widelo is the AARP Associate State Director for Advocacy in New York City. He’s a 17-year veteran of government relations with a background in political science and dispute resolution. He’s been with AARP for 11 years with their MA and NY offices.

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