Virtual Webinar: May 20, 2021 @ 6pm
Mothers with Purpose: Power Players and Parenthood
Career, Family, Academics…
Completing the puzzle! How did they make it all work?
Is it possible to have not one, not two but three successful careers? Balancing career, family and academics is a highly personal challenge and one that many MCNY students face. What works for some may not work for others. However, there are some common themes among those who have navigated these waters. These Power Players will share some honest dialogue on life’s priorities, the compromises that each was willing to make and what parts of life were not negotiable!
Remarks by Dr. Joanne Passaro, President MCNY
Keynote: Joanne Ardovini, PhD, Dean of the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services, Education, Public Affair & Administration, Human Services & Common Curriculum Program Director
Syrena Huggins MPA’13 is the Executive Director at HELP USA. She is a health and human services professional with over fifteen years of experience working with under-served families and individuals. Through her professional experiences, she has been able to improve the quality of life of many clients through community engagement, direct case management, advocacy, and supervision of a prevention initiative.
Syrena is also the founder of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization, G.O.G.O Inc. (Giving Our Girls Opportunities). A mentorship program for girls, ages 13 – 18, with a focus on education and community service.
Syrena Huggins completed MPA at Metropolitan College of New York with a concentration in Public Affairs and Administration and presented her thesis at the 2014 American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Her thesis focused on improving internal auditing practices and staff compliance and its effect on the viability of nonprofit programming.
Her goal is to continue to advance within the field of prevention to direct a community-based program and eventually have an active role in creating new policies to aide homeless families and individuals.
Syrena is a single mom living in Brooklyn with her daughter. You can learn more about Syrena Huggins in the MCNY Alumni feature here.
Our Power Players:
Nikki Kearney, Sales Strategist, Google Cloud Engagement Manager, Google Inc. is an accomplished business strategist with over 20 year’s experience in sales, services, partnership development, marketing, and GTM execution. She has spent her career creating and coaching to develop opportunities for businesses to grow to deliver most commonly against portfolio revenue targets of 40 million-plus.
Her keen business savvy, vast network, and understanding of marketplace trends have made her an expert in identifying partnerships, packaging opportunities and helping clients build a roadmap towards success. She excels in helping to bring new business ideas and extraordinary expertise and skills to market. This includes various industry and sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and entertainment personalities. Her new focus and commitment is dedicated to bringing this knowledge and track record of success to women-led businesses.
She established High Heel Media LLC to leverage her skills and experience in corporate America to help strategically coach and advise women-focused businesses to reach, cater, respect and represent the influence of the female perspective. She also founded Female Footprints to mark the presence of female excellence.
Nikki earned her B.A. in Merchandising and her Master of Public Administration at West Virginia University. She is a wife of 25 years and counting and a mother to a beautiful college-age daughter. She brings all the same commitment, determination, and beliefs that she holds dear for her family to those she touches and is unwavering.
Dr. Lavita McMath Turner is the Chief Diversity Officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She joined The Met in January 2021. She collaborates closely with partners in a wide range of departments, particularly Human Resources, to oversee the execution of the Museum’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access plan and Commitments to Anti-Racism, Diversity, and a Stronger Community and to lead the creation of new initiatives that support The Met’s goals to become ever more inclusive, equitable, fair, and welcoming.
Previously, she served as Assistant Dean for Equity, Inclusion, and Experiential Learning at Stella & Charles Guttman Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), where she provided strategic leadership in shaping the college’s equity, diversity, and inclusion plans and worked to address the equity gaps for students with diverse backgrounds. She was the first Director of Government Relations at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College, where she led important civic engagement efforts and advocated for providing more equitable access to higher education, and also worked at the Brooklyn Museum, managing their government relations department for six years and supporting the museum’s efforts to engage more deeply with the Brooklyn community. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education from The Graduate Center, CUNY; a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School for Social Research; and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Lavita lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 14-year-old daughter.
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey MSA’97, President & CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) is a seasoned executive and leader in the workforce development sector in New York City with over 20 years of management experience. As President & CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out, Dr. Rainey oversees programming that has helped more than 10,000 young men access education, achieve emotional well-being, and secure meaningful employment since its advent over 16 years ago. GOSO’s innovative workforce development program, GOSOWorks, has placed hundreds of justice-involved young men in paid internships and internship-to-employment placements in fields including the non-profit, food service, construction, and building maintenance sectors—growth industries in the metropolitan area.
Before coming to GOSO, Dr. Rainey was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), leading workforce development, administration, security and human resource strategies for the organization. She established impactful partnerships in order to connect the underserved community in Brooklyn with career opportunities in the Yard’s growing industries, eliminating barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations and increased placements of formerly incarcerated individuals to 20 percent and total workforce placements from 100 to over 500 in eight years.
Prior to her tenure at BNYDC, she was the Human Resources Director for specialty food retailer Agata and Valentina. Dr. Rainey has also held senior positions at Independent Living Association, Home Depot and Boar’s Head. A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Dr. Rainey holds a master’s degree in administration from Metropolitan College and a doctorate in Leadership from St. John Fisher College. She is a member of the New York City Workforce Development Board, a trustee of the New York College of Technology Foundation Board and trustee of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Board. Dr. Rainey is the recipient of several prestigious honors including being named one of The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business in 2016.
Amanda Rosado MBA’16 is a Human Resource professional at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Amanda’s work is concentrated on employee engagement and strategy, performance management and project management with a special lens on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Amanda serves as a Board member and Vice-Chair of Governance at Children of Bellevue, an auxiliary of Bellevue Hospital. She joined Children of Bellevue to play an active role in ensuring equitable healthcare and developmental programming are available to children and families from minority and underserved communities.
Amanda holds a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in General Management from Metropolitan College of New York, and a Bachelors of Arts in Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College. She is a former MCNY Adjunct Professor and the former President of MCNY’s School for Business Alumni Network. Amanda is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Leadership and Innovation from New York University Steinhardt.
During her leisure time, Amanda enjoys hiking, beating her time on crossword puzzles and Words With Friends, bingeing on Netflix, traveling, and hanging out with her partner Edwin and daughter Jailyn.