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Alumni Achievement

Explore the achievements of CW alumni!

Congratulations to the 2023 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Darnell Dixon, CW Class of 2016

Congratulations to the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award recipient Damara Wright

In 2016, Darnell Dixon graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Darnell was a CWCF scholar recipient and obtained dean’s list status several times throughout his journey at The College of Westchester.

While at CW you could always find Darnell participating in the Caribbean Student Association, helping the Just Dance Crew, playing for the CW Warriors Basketball team, later becoming an Assistant Coach. Darnell was also one of the founders of Brother’s United, now known as Brothers and Sisters United. He was also known as the CW DJ! Anywhere you went, you could find Darnell and always with a smile on his face. Darnell was and is a true CW Warrior.

The College of Westchester was a fresh start for Darnell, which groomed him into the man he is today. Darnell says CW has taught him that it does not matter where you start, it’s how you finish. Darnell learned to be humble, disciplined, self-motivated and a go-getter while at the college.

These are things that Darnell has taken past The College of Westchester into his career at Enterprise Rent A Car. Darnell started as a management trainee, where he motivated himself to achieve goals set forth to earn his first promotion as Management Assistant in a little over a year. Darnell has been with Enterprise for over 5 years, has since received numerous promotions, and is now running his own branch as a Branch Manager.

It all started with the foundation that Darnell learned at The College of Westchester. Darnell says to the graduation class today, be humble, stay disciplined, set your own goals for your career and go out and achieve them!

Congratulations to the 2022 Alumni Achievement Award recipient,
Danielle Settembre CW Class of 2015

Congratulations to the 2022 Alumni Achievement Award recipient Danielle Settembre

In 2015, Danielle Settembre graduated cum laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She also graduated with BBA honors and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Danielle was a recipient of The College of Westchester Charitable Foundation Scholarship and in her essay, she had written:

“Hard work, efforts and achievements don't go unnoticed at CW. As one of the first in my family to attend college, being inducted into the prestigious honor society Phi Theta Kappa has been one of my greatest achievements. Many students think that the sole goal of success in college is receiving a diploma, but forget that it is fortified through the values instilled behind that piece of paper. After graduating with a degree in Business Management I will forever carry with me the skills I've learned and remember the mentors that have helped guide me along the way as I start my career.”

And Danielle did just that!

Danielle is the owner and founder of the innovative concept Hair Saloon & Café in Scarsdale, New York. The first of its kind in Westchester County as a full-service salon, spa, café, and full liquor bar. After signing her lease, COVID hit and while it may have delayed her opening, it did not diminish her spirit. Danielle forged ahead and her grand opening was in October of 2020.

Danielle trained at L’Oréal academy in Paris, has worked alongside French celebrity stylist Odile Gilbert and is an ambassador for the global hair care product line, Kerastase.

Danielle has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion backstage during New York City and Paris fashion week where she mastered precision cutting and color techniques on runway models. With years of extensive experience, Danielle built up her clientele working in New York at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.

In addition to hair, she has always had a love for hospitality. Her family-owned restaurant inspired her to merge the concept of food and beverage with a full-service salon experience. Danielle is a fierce supporter of female-owned businesses and welcomes all to experience the concept that she so passionately built.

Hair Saloon and Café was named Best of Westchester salon in 2020. Most recently, Danielle was named to Westchester’s 914 Inc Class of 2022 Wunderkinds; as one of the savviest businesswoman in Westchester under the age of 35.

Danielle’s advice to the CW Class of 2022 is, “never give up on your dreams even though it may seem hard to get there it will be worth it in the end. You can do anything you put your mind to. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and you will get there sooner than you know it!”

For all her perseverance and determination, please join us in congratulating Danielle Settembre for earning The College of Westchester’s 2022 Alumni Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the 2021 Alumni Achievement Award recipient,
Mary Magdalene Anyansi, CW Class of 2013

Congratulations to the 2021 Alumni Achievement Award recipient Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene graduated magna cum laude with her online Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Project Management and Finance in 2013. She was one of the first cohorts of the Online Division. She graduated with BBA honors, was the recipient of the Dr. Milton E. Cagan Memorial Award, and a member of Sigma Beta Delta.

In 2011, Mary Magdalene graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Associates degree in Accounting and was also the recipient of The College of Westchester Charitable Foundation Scholarship Award, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

Mary has been a leader within the finance industry with 14 plus years of increasingly responsible experience in delivering maximum value through skilled financial, operational, and administrative leadership by collaborating with stakeholders to establish strategy and drive business decisions. Mary is a subject matter expert in finance applications and system implementation. She is known for defining and developing effective and workable framework to manage and improve all organizational functions and corporate change agenda and transformation.

Mary’s career highlights include:
• Orchestrating the rollout of a new travel and expense (T&E) system for +10,000 employees in the UK, US, and Canada.
• She developed a “World Class AP Department,” according to her Global CFO, by commanding department reorganization and overseeing talent acquisition to increase team skillet and deliver top customer service.
• She orchestrated and created new company policies that enabled her team to achieve 100% vendor compliance and streamlined efficient processes daily.
• And so much more.

After graduating CW, Mary has obtained a Certificate in Project Management Essentials from Pace University, a Certificate in Accounts Payable Manager from the Institute of Finance and Management, and is currently pursuing her M.M.G.T, Strategic Management and Executive Leadership from Penn State, World Campus.

Mary Magdalene is a member of the Institute of Financial Management, the Project Management Institute, and The Global Business Travel Association. She has also received the Distinguished Performance Award and Employee of the Year award from her employers.

“Mary has said CW has provided her with a means to juggle being a full time mom, employee and student with flexibility in her classes, a personal success coach who always counsels her in every way possible…Her professors were always willing to work with her, with all the necessary resources needed to attain success.”

Mary Magdalene currently resides in Pennsylvania with her two children ages 14 and 6. Also in her “kid pack” are mischievous chocolate lab, Loki age 1, and feisty American short hair tabby, Francine who is 12. When not working, Mary Magdalene enjoys time with her family and traveling.

She is proud and honored for this recognition and shares it humbly with her fellow CW graduates and all faculty. She is grateful to her father for always pushing her to be her best self, to her best friends Daisy and Susan for their unwavering support and love through the years, and to her daughters for being her inspiration and drive each day.

For all her perseverance and determination, please join me in congratulating Mary Magdalene O. Anyansi for earning The College of Westchester’s 2021 Alumni Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Damara Wright, CW Class of 2016

Congratulations to the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award recipient Damara Wright

Damara is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and graduated in 2016 with Magna Cum Laude honors with her associate degree in Computer Network Administration. She plans on continuing her education in Cyber Security. As a student at The College of Westchester, Damara was a work-study for the library and a member of the PC Doctors under the direction of Dr. Grace Bonanno.

After graduating CW, Damara used the education and hands-on experience obtained to excel in her career. In the past 3 years, she have leveled up 3 times. Damara currently works for the Department of Juvenile Justice in South Carolina. Her responsibilities and work duties are providing advance customer service and technical support to end users for hardware and software, password protection and resets, installing new and existing software, assist users with access to systems, communicate and translate technical information to non-technical users, assist with set up of new equipment, run updates, and troubleshooting computer issues remotely.

Damara is also co-owner of Wright Away Travel, an Independent Travel Agency where she is responsible for the website design, website security, troubleshooting, and installing and updating software from suppliers.

In her spare time, Damara is a member of 3MC Car Club which participates in Trunk or Treat for an underprivileged neighborhood, and Toy for Tots. She strongly believes that the education She received from CW helped her to excel in my career.

For all her perseverance and determination, join us in congratulating Damara Wright for earning The College of Westchester’s 2020 Alumni Achievement Award.

We would like to recognize those alumni who have submitted their bios for this year’s award. We are so proud of our Warriors and their accomplishments! Click here to read their bios.

Congratulations to the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Angel Ceballos, CW Class of 2009

Congratulations to the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award recipient Angel Ceballos

Angel graduated in 2009 with his Associate degree in Digital Media. He continued his education at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute and followed his love for design by getting his Design Technology degree from the Parsons School of Design in 2012. Angel also holds a Master’s degree from Hyper Island in Entrepreneurship. As a student at The College of Westchester, Angel worked as a Federal Work-Study student in the Office of Career Services. He volunteered at the United Way, The Business Council of Westchester, and took part in many on and off campus events.

Angel currently works on the product design team at Amazon. He spends every day doing the work he loves - creating products for brands and millions of shoppers around the world. Angel has over ten years of experience in software design in various industries with companies like Samsung, Google, Apple, Autodesk, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, NBBJ, Target, WeWork, and Hewlett Packard. Angel also enjoys creating experiences for people and solving complex problems both in the physical environment through his past work in architecture, and across online platforms in his current role with Amazon..

Angel’s passion of entrepreneurship, design, technology and learning led him to get accepted into a startup incubator lab at Google. There he became one of the founding team members of Modsy, which spun out of Google Ventures in San Francisco, California. He has since traveled to over 40 countries in the world, helped build a startup from scratch and now creates new experiences for millions of people across the globe in his role at Amazon.

Angel says: “Learn every day, and you’ll never live in a world that you can’t face. Knowledge is timeless...”

For all his perseverance and determination, please join CW in congratulating Angel Ceballos for earning The College of Westchester’s 2019 Alumni Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Kemique Jacobs, CW Class of 2015

Congratulations to the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Kemique Jacobs

Kemique graduated in December of 2015 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. With hard work and determination, Kemique became a member of Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society, graduated with BBA honors and Magna Cum Laude. He also was the recipient of the Marc Polcek Accounting Memorial Award and the honorary student speaker for 2016. Kemique will obtain his master’s in accounting in January of 2019 from Iona where he is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

After graduation, Kemique found himself at Enterprise, the largest car rental company in the U.S. and is the parent company of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands and ranks #13 as America’s largest private companies on Forbes. Kemique has been working at Enterprise for over two years and holds the position of Branch Rental Manager overseeing two locations. He has successfully employed several CW students and graduates!

For the past few years, Kemique has been head coach to the CW Warrior basketball team. He is not only a coach but also a mentor to the players. Kemique often gives back by speaking at special events to our students and future CW students.

In his spare time, Kemique is a volunteer peer mentor at Westhab and co-founder of Gamma Alpha Phi at Dutchess Community College, a brotherhood of young men who help their communities and lead in the academic aspects of college.

Kemique says, “During my time at CW, I’ve learned that personal perseverance will lead you to greatness. As long as you want to move forward, CW gives you the tools to do so. And if you need help, they will always be there for you. I’m an alum now, but I am a student forever.”

We congratulate Kemique Jacobs for earning The College of Westchester’s 2018 Alumni Achievement Award!

Congratulations to the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Catherine Blades, CW Class of 2010

Congratulations to the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Catherine Blades

Catherine is 2010 graduate of the Medical Assistant Management program. While attending CW, she took pride in her course material and worked hard to achieve excellent grades. With hard work and determination Catherine was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. After graduating, Catherine started as a Medical Assistant and quickly decided that her skills were unlimited and there was more to the medical field she wanted to explore. Catherine began working for Yale New Haven Health Systems, Greenwich campus and held various positions as she moved up the ladder.

After careful consideration and researching better job opportunities, Catherine and family moved to Charlotte, NC. Because of her versatility, she decided to try something different yet still within the scope of with she holds her degree from CW. Catherine began working as a Reimbursement Counselor for Amersourcebergen, a Pharmaceutical company. She was able to utilize the skills and knowledge obtained from my pharmacology class at CW and apply it to my daily job duty.

Catherine now works for the Carolina HealthCare System as a Qualified Specialist for Corporate. Carolinas HealthCare System is a nonprofit hospital network which operates hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, urgent care centers, and medical practices in North and South Carolina.

As you can see, Catherine strives to be all that she can be and gives credit to CW, Dr. Shamva Wright and Ms. Estelle Coffino, because that is where her foundation started. Catherine looks forward to coming back to CW as much as possible.

Congratulations Catherine!!!

Congratulations to the 2016 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Louis Paul Procaccini Jr., CW Class of 2014

Congratulations to the 2016 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Louis Procaccini

Louis Procaccini is President and CEO of Incision Network located in Stamford, CT. The company provides innovative consulting, creative marketing, and technical services to different businesses in our area. Louis Procaccini is passionate about helping his clients succeed by consulting and educating them as well as putting together solutions to their everyday business challenges.

Louis has over 15 years of direct experience in marketing, corporate web development and design, usability, computer repair, including building, networking, diagnostics, forensics, preventative maintenance, and technology consulting.

When Louis is involved in volunteer community work including Alpha Community Services YMCA and Urban Roots that builds community gardens, and housing projects through Habitat for Humanity. As a CW alumnus, Louis supports students at CW working as a tutor and recently assisted the CW’s Enactus team with two projects which earned the team “Rookies of the Year,” during the regional competitions in Washington D.C. Lou holds a BBA in Business Administration and Management and an AAS in Multimedia Development and Management, both from The College of Westchester. He graduated with Summa Cum Laude and Sigma Beta Delta honors, and was a participant in The Clemson University Institute for the Study of Capitalism.

Congratulations Louis!

Congratulations to the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Nelcol Philip,
CW Class of 1996

Congratulations to the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Nelcol Philip

Nelcol Philip is currently the Controller at Cresa New York, a Commercial Real Estate company, where her responsibilities include coordinating and managing all aspects of financial reporting, forecasting, and budgeting. Prior to joining Cresa, Nelcol relocated to Grenada in 2007, where she owned two businesses in the hospitality and entertainment industry, operated two annual summer camp programs, oversaw the budget for two major construction projects, worked with micro companies to rebrand their products and restructure their financial foot-print for more visibility in the market, and volunteered with the local schools (Dress for Success) program before returning to the U.S. in 2011. Nelcol’s professional portfolio span’s over fifteen years of experience within the accounting industry, working with major top 5 companies including Pepsi Bottling, General Electric and Fuji.

In addition, Nelcol is a qualified Project Manager Professional and holds an Associate degree from The College of Westchester, formally Westchester Business Institute, and her B.S. degree from Marymount College of Fordham University. She served as President of the National Association of Black Accountants, (NABA) Southern New England Westchester Chapter from 2006-2007, where she was able to increase professional membership by 35%, coordinate scholarship awards dinners for high school seniors and promote members fund-raising and volunteer events. Currently she serves as the student chapter liaison for the SNEW-NABA chapter.

Nelcol resides in Tuckahoe, New York and is a proud driven mother of one son Kayvon (presently a sophomore at Purchase College); she is goal oriented, supportive and enjoys working with diverse organizations. Her greatest satisfaction is assisting small businesses and start-ups to make feasible decisions about effectively allocating their financial and cash-flow resources. Her dedication is what sets her apart from others.

Congratulations Nelcol!

Congratulations to the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Laurie Nicoletti-Alstad, CW Class of 2005

Congratulations to the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Laurie Nicoletti-Alstad

Laurie Nicoletti-Alstad graduated from The College of Westchester in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration, achieving a 3.91 GPA. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Mercy College, and an MBA from Iona College, where she graduated with honors.

In 2001 Laurie founded and managed Ravishing Affairs, an event management firm in Valhalla, NY where she expertly managed the life-cycle of public events. Laurie also worked as a Senior Administrator and Financial Analyst at MBIA Insurance in Armonk, and later became Program Leader at MasterCard Worldwide in Purchase. At MasterCard Laurie established herself as a highly regarded manager and cross functional team member in the Customer Risk Management division.

Over the last decade Laurie has also devoted her time volunteering and fund-raising for Making Headway, a foundation in Chappaqua, NY, dedicated to the care, comfort and cure of children with brain and spinal cord tumors. Additionally, Laurie has returned to speak to current CW students as an Alumni Ambassador and she is currently an Adjunct Instructor at The College of Westchester, teaching General Education and business courses at both the Associate and Bachelor degree level.

CW Presents Marissa Brett with Alumni Achievement Award for 2013

CW Presents Marissa Brett with Alumni Achievement Award for 2013Marissa Brett is executive director of Economic Development at the Westchester County Association. Her specific role is to implement The Blueprint for Westchester, a multi-million dollar, multi-year initiative to revitalize Westchester’s economy. Her role is to craft and execute the strategy to promote Westchester’s multiple assets and to market the county’s available real estate to spur economic growth. “We want to ensure that Westchester is top of mind when businesses consider relocating or expanding here,” she explains. Since the Blueprint went into effect, one million square feet of available inventory in Westchester has been removed.

Brett has more than a dozen years of experience in economic development and commercial real estate marketing. Prior to her joining the WCA in July, 2011, she was vice president of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation where she evaluated economic development efforts throughout the country as a guide in determining the right course of action for the Hudson Valley. Prior to joining HVEDC in 2005, she marketed a commercial real estate portfolio of 1.4 million square feet in White Plains for Albert B. Ashforth, Inc.

Brett holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and her associate degree from The College of Westchester (formerly Westchester Business Institute). She also obtained her masters of corporate real estate from CoreNet Global, the leading global corporate real estate network. She serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and the Workforce Investment Board for Westchester and Putnam, on the Advisory Board of Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies and also on the Board of Directors for the Putnam County Industrial Development Agency.

CW Presents Kevin Callanan with Alumni Achievement Award

CW Presents Kevin Callanan with Alumni Achievement AwardKevin graduated from CW with a 3.94 GPA, earning his Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Network Administration in 2005. Since graduation Kevin has quickly risen through the ranks of his field. Starting as a Technical Consultant and I.T. Support Manager, promotions quickly lead to positions as Network Administrator and Network Engineer, transitioning to his current position as Vice President for Information Technology. He manages over 100 physical and 200 virtual servers with a team of six. Kevin holds a number of industry certifications and will earn his bachelor's degree in Computer Information Science from Fordham University in 2012.

While at CW he was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and remains a loyal CW alumnus, serving on our professional Advisory Council, regularly interacting with faculty and staff, and speaking as an Alumni Ambassador to current students in networking classes. Additionally, Kevin volunteers his time to BOCES guiding students with interest in technology fields.

Kevin's personal philosophy is that every experience offers an opportunity to learn and deepen our understanding, while sharing one's knowledge and teaching others further broadens our wisdom and provides a prime path to success.

CW Presents First Annual Alumni Achievement Award

CW Presents First Annual Alumni Achievement AwardMs. Jessica Perilla was the recipient of the first annual CW Alumni Achievement Award. Jessica graduated from the Multimedia Management and Development program in 2001 and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from The School of Visual Arts. After graduating SVA, Jessica left her full-time job to start her own company – Jessica Perilla Design – an award-winning venture which has grown to over 100 clients, some very well known, such as Real Simple Magazine, Aeropostale, and Wiley Publishing.

Jessica is a member of several professional design and entrepreneurial organizations, started the Mural Project through which artists donate their skills to create murals in hospitals, including Montefiore in the Bronx, and founded an online network dedicated to women entrepreneurs called “Web2Fem.” Jessica has remained a loyal CW alumnus, continuing to interact with faculty and attending events.