NIGEL ROBERTS, DIRECTOR
Nigel Roberts currently serves as the Director at The New School Center for Media. A graduate of Iona University, Roberts has 15 years experience working primarily in the areas of capital markets business advisory and financial performance management for multiple investment banks. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Director of Athletics for Academics at Iona University, supporting the university’s 400-strong student-athlete cohort, as they strove to excel in both the classroom and playing field. A former NCAA Division I soccer student-athlete, Roberts enjoys playing soccer recreationally, as well as following his favorite club, Liverpool FC, in his spare time.
Ali Daneshmandnia, Director and Teacher of Data and Security
Ali Daneshmandnia currently is a professor at The New School Center for Media. Previously, he served as Chief Information Officer of Globe Institute of Technology for 22 years. Currently, in addition to teaching at The New School Center for Media, he serves as Information Technology consultant and professor for MS&T and CUNY respectively. His area of research and specialization is Information Security Governance, Networking, and Data Science. Ali Daneshmandnia obtained his PhD in Information Studies from Long Island University, CW Post, and an MBA from New York Institute of Technology with specialization in MIS and BS in Banking and Money Management from Adelphi University located in New York.
Alexandre Ismail, Director
Alexandre Ismail is the Director of Technology and Media School in New York City, a member of IONIS Education Group, a leader in private higher education in Europe. Alexandre, who is fluent in both English and French, is a graduate from Sup’Biotech, a IONIS School where he subsequently worked for years and managed student teams. He also is Designated School Official (DSO), responsible to guide foreign students through the visa application process.
Alexandre’s passion for new technologies allowed him to acquire a strong background in software and digital communication.
Alexandre obtained a Ph.D in molecular modeling of proteins at the College de France in Paris, a Nobel Prize-winning institution, (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie), a master’s degree in biotechnology from Universite d’Evry near Paris, and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Hunter College in New York City.
CONOR TRACEY, Director of Online Studies
Conor, who holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oregon, mastered the different software in the ADOBE Creative Cloud suite to start his own web design consultancy. When he moved from the West Coast to New York City, he decided to teach web design and web development technologies at a professional school where he enjoyed the direct exchange with students and applied work techniques.
Conor moved on to New School Center for Media where he teaches web design and prepares students for ADOBE certification tests such as for Photoshop or Dreamweaver.
TRURO HAWKINS, Manager for Cybersecurity
Truro earned his Bachelor Degree in Computer Animation and Game Development from California State University. At the same time, Truro focused on computer sciences as an instructor for students eager to become developers.
Truro moved to New York where he taught foundational computer science and fundamentals of video game design and programming at schools with professional courses. Drawing on his experience of working with people of different backgrounds, he builds personalized channels of communications between the teachers and the class – which he views as the only way to make teaching works.
CATHY TAYLOR, Student Services Administrator
Financial Aid Officer
Cathy joined the school in 2007 in the administration department, maintaining regular communication with students. She previously held administrative functions at two Albany, NY, institutions and back-office production for a professional Kentucky-based magazine, Bluegrass Horseman Magazine. Cathy is involved in philanthropic causes such as the Arthritis Foundation and Sjogren’s and served on the Public, Education and Government Access Oversight Board for the city of Albany. Due to her long expertise, she became Director of Operations in 2019.
Jason Bourdeau Music Recording/Audio Specialist Instructor
Jay Bourdeau comes to The New School with 15 years of experience as an audio engineer/music producer and musician. Although he specializes in mixing and music production, he has also worked as a professional musician, sound designer, AV technician, live sound engineer, and DJ. Jay brings a wide variety of experience to the classroom. He is a freelance music production/audio engineer with Drift-Productions. He also is an audio and video production technician at Viking Video Technologies sound reinforcement for live events.
Josh Mirksky Music Recording/Audio Specialist Instructor
Josh “Mirk” Mirsky was born and raised in Albany, NY. He moved to Westchester County in 1999 to attend SUNY Purchase College majoring in Music Production. He stayed until 2003 completing a Masters in Music program with a focus in Studio Composition. While living in close proximity to New York City, Mirk worked with Jive Records as a producer and engineer producing songs for Petey Pablo, Eamon, and Ciara. He also mixed for Dolla, T. Pain, S Dub, and Mickey Factz. In 2009 he sold a production to Jay Z and Rock Nation Records that featured his old classmate from Purchase, Regina Spektor. Also in 2009 he formed his band Mirk and the New Familiars, now simply known as MIRK. They have since released 3 independent albums Called Love, Grind, and Run and have toured the northeast and beyond. Currently he is the owner and operator of Foster House Studios producing for various up and coming artists.
Thomas Hawn Senior Radio Instructor, Broadcast Journalism and Radio Voice and Speech Coach
Tom’s lengthy tenure at The New School began when his guest lecture on radio arts led to an offer for fulltime employment. 32 years later, he still helps students perfect their on-air voices for both radio and television.
Tom has served for many years locally in positions such as music director, morning air personality, and voice talent at stations including WROW, WWOM, WRGB-TV, and Time Warner, as well as at WBZ-TV in Boston. His experience allows him to help students gain a deep understanding of station formats and real-world scenarios, while learning to properly develop and deliver their breaks.
Mike Corts Radio and Internet Personality Instructor
Mike began his career as a full-time on-air radio personality for Albany Broadcasting. He has also been a full-time on-air personality for Clear Channel Communications. He brings with him a diversified background in the areas of artist management and development, concert production, event marketing and promotion, music marketing, public relations and imaging consulting. Bringing with him an extensive knowledge of personality development and promotion, Mike teaches students at The New School not only about the fundamentals of radio but also how to create, market and brand themselves as an on-air multiplatform personality.
Nick Johnston Industry Associate
Nick Johnston is very excited to be joining the teaching staff or the New School Center for Media. Born and raised in the Albany area, Nick graduated from Guilderland Central High School in 2000, before earning a degree in Meteorology from SUNY Brockport in 2004. He attended The New School of Radio and TV (now the New School Center for Media) from September 2005 to March 2006, earning a diploma in Broadcasting. He then jumped right into television in April of 2006 in Wichita Falls, TX at KAUZ. It was there where Nick got to fulfill a lifelong dream of not only storm chasing, but seeing a live tornado. After a year and a half in Texas, Nick’s next move was to WFFF/WVNY in Burlington, VT in August of 2007. There Nick got to cover Burlington’s snowiest winter on record, the largest single snowstorm on record, and the historic flooding of Lake Champlain. Then in August of 2011 tropical storm Irene slammed the East Coast. He and his photographer covered the devastating flooding in Rutland, VT for 25 hours straight.
In October of 2011, Nick earned the American Meteorological Society’s CBM (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist), and remains a full and active member of the AMS. After almost 5 years in Burlington, Nick moved to WRGB back in Albany, and was thrilled to be back in his home town. He did weather in the mornings and at noon there for 3 years, before moving across town to WTEN, where he was the morning meteorologist for almost 2.5 years.
Nick’s love of nature goes far beyond covering the weather. In the summer he enjoys hiking, camping, and kayaking. In the winter Nick loves to snowboard, and still thinks sledding is a blast. Nick also enjoys grilling year round, and loves trying out new BBQ recipes.
Being active in the community is something that is important to Nick; Volunteering with ESGR (employer support of the Guard and Reserve), the Red Cross Veterans Services, and doing school visits to talk about weather. He is excited to share his knowledge and experience with students of the New School, and continue exploring the emerging field of social media broadcasting!
William “Prez” Bush Industry Associate
With someone like Prez as an instructor, music recording students get a glimpse of the real inner workings of the recording industry. Prez is not just a multi-instrumentalist. He’s a writer, producer and singer who has spent a lifetime composing, performing, producing, and jamming with some of the world’s best known recording artists. George Clinton, Christina Aguilera, Maxwell, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Tupac Shakur, Salt n Pepa, Krs-1, and Mad Lion, are only a small sample.
Prez has earned platinum record awards for his work on albums and soundtracks, and earned a Grammy nomination for his work with Aretha Franklin in 2004.
Chris Conti Industry Associate
Chris has been involved in video production for the last 15 years. He holds a BA in speech communications from the State University of New York at Oneonta and a certificate in video production from the NYU School of Continuing Education.
He worked at CBS 6 Albany for 13 years where he served as chief editor and features photographer, earning two Emmy nominations, a New York State Broadcasters award and two Associated Press awards. After training new employees at CBS 6 for many years, he is happy to help students achieve their creative potential.
Chris Famelette Industry Associate
Chris worked at WPTZ in Plattsburgh and is now a freelancer for FOX 23 News as a news photographer. He started at FOX 23 as their satellite truck operator. He attended SUNY Plattsburgh where he managed the PSTV program and produced Cardinal Sports, Cardinal Basketball, and Lights Out. Chris also manages the company Stage Left Lighting, bringing live national concerts to the Hudson Valley, and is co-owner of B & C Video Productions.