Faculty & Staff

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Mary Gatta

Mary Gatta
Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center on Ethnographies of Work

Dr. Mary Gatta joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Sociology at CUNY-Stella and Charles Guttman Community College in August, 2015. Prior to her appointment at CUNY, Mary served as a Senior Scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington DC, and as Director of Gender and Workforce Policy at the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. In addition, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers.

Mary is a leader in research and advocacy related to job quality, such as workplace flexibility for low-wage workers in business sectors including restaurants, tourism and manufacturing; workforce development training programs and nontraditional job training for women; and the lived experiences of seniors who lack economic security. Mary’s expertise includes the integration of a gender lens into these and other areas of economic policy analysis. In her latest book. Waiting on Retirement: Aging and Economic Insecurity in Low Wage Work (Stanford University Press, 2018) she explores retirement insecurity and low wage workers. In addition she is working on a large project on the economic insecurity of older women in Florida.

Mary is also the author of All I Want Is A Job! Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System, released from Stanford University Press in April 2014; Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development and Juggling Food and Feelings: Emotional Balance in the Workplace and is the editor of A US Skills System for the 21st Century: Innovations in Workforce Education and Development. Mary received a B.A. in social science from Providence College and her Master’s degree and PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University.

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Niesha Ziehmke

Niesha Ziehmke
Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Planning and Co-Director of the Center on Ethnographies of Work

Dr. Ziehmke brings with her a deep commitment to educational equality for our students and our city, and a strong understanding of Guttman’s mission and instructional model. She earned her Master’s in Education from the New School for Social Research and taught Spanish in a NYC public high school for six years. She then completed her Ph.D. in linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center, with a focus on methods for teaching academic English to students who speak non-academic varieties of English. While working on her doctorate, she administered an Educational Psychology research program in Self-Regulated Learning (SRL), sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in Education at the Graduate Center. The SRL program aimed to improve the academic performance of developmental math and writing students at the college
level. This work fostered for her a deep respect for the creation of pioneering curricula based on sound research, as well as an understanding of the critical role assessment plays in educational innovation.

From 2009-2013, Niesha served as Director for First College Year Programs at Brooklyn College. In this role, she designed and assessed innovative, research-based curricula and programming on a large scale, serving over six hundred freshmen each year and finding ways to help students learn, practice, and value the habits of successful students. More recently, Dr. Ziehmke served as Executive Associate for Academic Affairs at LaGuardia Community College where she worked collaboratively to take on the challenge of improving student success and assessment across the institution. Her LaGuardia portfolio included working closely with faculty and administrators from all divisions on strategic planning, assessment, and grant writing. The main focus of her work was improving advisement, STEM success, and guided pathways from admissions to first-year programs to transfer and career preparation.

Niesha’s key responsibilities are the Programs of Study, Global Guttman, and experiential learning. She works closely with Program and Area Coordinators to provide continuity, support, and new strengths in all these areas. Niesha is also the first point of faculty contact for Endowment-funded initiatives and the RPT process.

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Faculty & Staff

  • Kristina Baines, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Valora Blackson, Director of the Center for Career Preparation and Partnerships (CCPP)
  • April Burns, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Nelson Castro, Student Success Advocate
  • Patricia Jean, Career Program Manager of the Center for Career Preparation and Partnerships (CCPP)
  • Charles Jordan, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Area Coordinator of Ethnographies of Work
  • Nicole L. Kras, Assistant Professor and Program Co-Coordinator of Human Services
  • Douglas A. Medina, Instructor of Political Science
  • Erin Roy, Consultant and Adjunct Faculty
  • Angelina Tallaj, Assistant Professor of Arts and Humanities and Area Coordinator of Arts in New York City
  • Alia Tyner-Mullings, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Karen G. Williams, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Lori Ungemah, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Program Co-Coordinator of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Humanities and Social Sciences