University Dean for Student Success Initiatives
Donna directly oversees Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which, under her leadership has become nationally recognized and is regularly cited as one of the most successful community college programs in the country. As of 2014/15, ASAP enrolls 4,300 at seven colleges and is expected to expand to 13,000 students by 2017.
Her portfolio includes oversight of CUNY Start, a pre-matriculation program for students with high remedial needs at seven CUNY colleges. Donna has supported the program’s expansion to 3,800 students between 2011-14 , and in 2014, helped to secure a five-year Institute of Education Sciences (IES) research grant to study CUNY Start with MDRC and the Community College Research Center. She also oversees the Graduation Success Initiative, a structured support program for public assistance recipients in their final year of associate degree study at five CUNY colleges.
Donna previously served as University Director of the CUNY Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP, a federally-funded consortium project partnering high-needs public schools with CUNY colleges to improve college awareness and readiness. Before joining the Office of Academic Affairs, she was an Assistant Professor of Theater and Education at Brooklyn College. While at Brooklyn College she oversaw a theater and education initiative serving area high schools in partnership with the Department of Theater and School of Education. She has also taught at Lehman College and Bard College. Before entering academia, she worked professionally in the theater as an actor, director, and dramaturg.
She holds a B.F.A. in drama from the University of Southern California and an M.F.A. in theater from Brooklyn College. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration at Northeastern University.