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Gail E. Wentworth

Department: Early Childhood & Psychology
Office Location: United States
Office Phone: 5474

Areas of Expertise: Early Childhood Curriculum & Assessment, Child Study/Observation, Early Literacy, Infant and Toddler Development, Family Engagement in EC Programs

Courses Taught:

  • ECHD 460/461 Early Childhood Internship
  • ECHD 452 Assessment & Evaluation in EC
  • ECHD 357 Literacy Development & Young Children
  • ECHD 351 Families as Partners in Early Childhood Programs
  • ECHD 175 Infant & Toddlers: Development and Programming

About Gail:
Dr. Gail Wentworth, Professor of Early Childhood has been a faculty member at SUNY Cobleskill since 2003. She has worked in the Early Childhood field for almost 30 years as a college professor, department chair, preschool teacher and director. She recently earned a certificate of completion from the Brazelton Touchpoints Center in Boston, MA. She has developed Touchpoints-inspired college curriculum for Infant/Toddler and Families as Partners courses. Dr. Wentworth has a special interest in the humane treatment of animals and is developing early childhood curriculum about proper pet care and gathering learning outcomes data as a research project.

She has lived and worked abroad in Naples, Italy as a teacher at a Montessori School in Naples; and in Switzerland where she was the Early Childhood Coordinator and preschool teacher for the International School of Geneva. She has also spent time in China, Morocco, Russia, and the West Indies for professional endeavors and looks forward to continued travel abroad to enrich her work.

Elise Nash Weiss

eliseTitle: Lecturer
Department: Early Childhood and Psychology
Office Location: Holmes Hall
Office Phone: 518-255-5459

Additional Title: Practicum Supervisor; Early Childhood Club Advisor

Areas of Expertise: Best practices in Early Education; Classroom Management; Teaching Pedagogy; Observation; Reflective Practices

Courses Taught:

  • Positive Child Guidance
  • Math and Science for Young Children
  • Children with Special Needs
  • Practicum/ Field Experience
  • Foundations for College Success
  • Curriculum and Methods
  • Foundations of Modern Education

About Elise:

Elise N. Weiss has been a lecturer at SUNY Cobleskill since 2005. She has co-presented at the New York State National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference on “Best Practices for the Developing Teacher.” Elise has contributed to the New York State Early Learning Guidelines and has worked to incorporate SMART Board technology and STEM learning into the early childhood curriculum.

Elise is also the Early Childhood Association Faculty Advisor. She promotes leadership and community engagement with participants and provides opportunities each semester for college students to be immersed in the field of early education. From community service learning projects, hosting book fairs (promoting literacy), and countless volunteer opportunities to recognizing National Week of the Young Child each spring semester, Elise collaborates with the greater Cobleskill community and launches several events with the assistance of college students.

Elise was also an elementary school teacher for ten years before her teaching and learning came full circle at the college level. She takes pride in her ability to prepare college students for the profession. Elise has a M.S. in Reading and a B.S. in Elementary Education and is originally from Brooklyn, New York.

Melissa Collins

Title: Visiting Instructor
Department: Applied Psychology
Office Location: Warner 204
Office Phone: 255-5245

Areas of Expertise: Industrial Organizational Psychology

Courses Taught: Organizational Psychology & General Psychology

About Melissa: I’ve taught with 6 colleges before accepting a full time position at SUNY Cobleskill. A few of the classes I have been involved with are Organizational Psychology, General Psychology, Human Growth & Development, Group Process and Introduction to Psychology. I’m a member of Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Capital Region Human Resource Management (CRHRA), and the American Psychological Association (APA).

International & Cultural Studies

Descartes, Rene Michel - Anthropology, Archaeological Theory, Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Early Agriculture

Jagendorf-Sobierajski, Susan Eileen –  internationalizing the curriculum, international student and scholar regulations, ESL, linguistic issues, Spanish, international academic program articulations, intercultural understanding and negotiations

Rivera, Salvador – Latin America, Economics, Politics, Cultural Integration, Cuban Military

Rene Michel Descartes

Title: Professor
Department: Liberal Studies
Office Location: Ryder Hall 216
Office Phone: 518-255-5661
Office Hours: Tues/Thurs, and by appt.

Area of Expertise: Anthropology

Courses Taught: Full Range of Courses in Anthropology; Western Civilization Survey

About Me: Research Interests in the Origin of the State; Archaeological Theory; Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia; Egypt; Evolution of Early Cultural Complexity; Early Agriculture, particularly hydraulic applications.
Owner, with Dr. Marsha Descartes, and Operator of Beaver Dam Farms, Berne, NY, a Registered Polled Hereford operation since 1977.

Curriculum Vitae: Resume with full information on employment experience, symposium, research experience , grants, additional publications, available on demand.


  • 1981 The New School for Social Research, Ph.D. Anthropology
    Dissertation: “Karl Wittfogel and the Nomothetic Revival in Anthropology”.
    Committee: Michael J. Harner, Chair; Stanley Diamond; Rayna Rapp
  • 1972 University at Albany, M.A. Anthropology
  • 1970 University of Buffalo, B.A. Anthropology
  • Minors: Classics; European History


  • 1998 University at Albany, M.A. History
  • 1991 University at Albany M.L.S.
  • 2011 – present : University of Manchester, UK Program in Egyptology
  • Dansville Central High School, Dansville, NY
  • FFA 1957-1961
  • Star Farmer Award 1961
  • Livingston County Public Speaking Champion 1961
  • St. Anne’s Academy, Manhattan, NY


  • 2006 “Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Ancient Greece” in Ancient Greece, T.L. Sienkewicz, ed., Pasadena.
  • 2005 “England’s Agricultural Revolution”, in The Seventeenth Century, L.J. Taylor, Pasadena.
  • 2005 ” Reign of Montezuma II, 1502-1520″ in ,The Renaissance and Early Modern Era, C.J. Moose, ed, Pasadena.
  • 2004 “Ubaid Culture Flourishes in Mesopotamia”, in The Ancient World, Mark W. Chavalas, ed. Pasadena.
  • 2004 “Halafian People in Northern Mesopotamia” in Great Event from History: The Ancient World, Pasadena.
  • 2004 “Hohokam Adapt to the Desert Southwest”, in The Middle Ages, Brian A. Pavlac, ed. , Pasadena
  • 2002 “Agricultural and Animal Husbandry” in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, Vol. 1, Pasadena.
  • 2002 “Fertile Crescent” in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, Vol. 2, Pasadena.
  • 2002 “Natufian Culture”, in Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, Vol. 2, Pasadena.
  • 1974 “The Cabot Site: A Ceramic Period Occupation, North Haven Island, Maine”, Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin 14 (2).

Research and Grants: Listed on Resume, available on demand.​

Kayla Cady Vaughn



Title: Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design
Department: Liberal Studies
Office Location: Ryder 103
Office Phone: (518) 255-5355


Additional Title: Grosvenor Art Gallery Director

Areas of Expertise:

  • 2D: Painting, Drawing, Printmaking
  • 3D: Sculpture, Ceramics
  • Digital: Typography, Illustration, Photography

Courses Taught: Design I, Drawing, Art History I

About Me:
Multidisciplinary fine artist who loves to teach

LinkedIn URL:


Curriculum Vitae:


  • Master of Fine Arts, Marywood University, 2011
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cazenovia College, 2005


  • Cazenovia College
  • Herkimer College
  • Marywood University

Courses Taught:

  • Design I
  • 2D Design & Color Theory
  • Painting I
  • Painting II
  • Drawing I
  • Drawing II
  • Figure Drawing
  • Art History
  • Fundamentals of Art Education in Early Childhood Development
  • Art Therapy

Daniel W. Murdock

Title: Paramedic Program Clinical Coordinator
Department: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Office Location: Wheeler 104
Office Phone: 5382

Areas of Expertise: Paramedic, Emergency Management

Courses Taught: Paramedic, AEMT, and EMT Clinical

About Daniel: Nationally Registered and New York State Certified Paramedic with 8 years of EMS experience. Currently working as a Paramedic for the Town of Colonie EMS Department and a Flight Paramedic with the New York State Police Lifeguard 12 medevac program.