Board of Directors

Rik Flynn is a retired teacher and resident of Ulster County, NY for nearly forty years.  He served as a classroom special education instructor, was an Assistant Director of the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center and an acting director and board member for the Ulster County School-To-Work Partnership.  During his tenure as a teacher at Ulster County BOCES, he was also an adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz for a graduate level special education practicum requirement.  Rik served as president of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Ulster County BOCES Teachers’ Organization and was a member of several state and national professional education organizations.  He was also a vice-president of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation (HVALF) and officer of the Upper Hudson Area Central Labor Council (UHCLC), AFL-CIO.   More recently,  Rik  was a  co-Founder and founding President of UlsterCorps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening a culture of volunteerism and collaborative action.  He currently serves on its board.  Rik received a BA from Marist College and MS degree in Education from SUNY, New Paltz.

F. Russell Kellogg has a clinical, administrative, and academic career in medicine spanning over 35 years. While presently retired from practice, he currently provides volunteer services in gerontology public education. Most of his work took place at St. Vincent Hospital, the last 10 years there serving as Chair of it’s Department of Community Medicine. This department had a mission to on care for New York City’s poor and underserved and train physicians for this work. He was on the faculty of New York Medical College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He was active in research, authored numerous publications and served as editor on books and a geriatric journal. Finally, he has served on the Boards of several medical organizations.

Laraine Mai, President, has over forty-five years of hands-on, nonprofit leadership and management experience as a founder, executive, and consultant in the fields of education, youth services, international issues, and interfaith cooperation. This work has encompassed diverse cultures, traditions, and disciplines. She was a cofounder and Director of The Door, a national model for youth development and adolescent services; helped to establish The Interfaith Center of New York and served as its first Executive Director; and designed and directed several innovative youth and adult education programs including: The Learning Laboratory, a research and demonstration project serving youth; Women and Leadership, a retreat program for women; the EdTech Project, an education and consulting program on the creative uses of computer technology in schools; and the Quality of Later Life, a pilot health promotion and civic engagement project for elders. In 2002 she founded RiverTides. She is past President of the International Center for Integrative Studies.

Moira O’Shea serves as the Director for Programming and Research. Moira taught in international education programs in Russia and Viet Nam and has experience as an educator of both children and adults. During her years in education both domestically and abroad she has worked on curriculum and education program design with a particular focus on the development of critical thinking and literacy skills. As a researcher, Moira has worked on issues ranging from collective memory, culture, and identity, to issues of citizenship, globalization, and civic education.   She is currently working on a PhD at the University of Chicago.

David Sterman has worked in the fields of journalism and financial research for more than 25 years, and currently works as a freelance writer and is working towards becoming a Certified Financial Planner.  He is a board member of Family of Woodstock, Inc., a social services non-profit agency based in Ulster County, NY. David has previously been engaged in a broad range of civic duties, including serving as the Resident Manager of the homeless shelter operated by The Temple of Midtown Atlanta.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University with a dual focus on Political Science and Philosophy, and a minor concentration in Sociology.  He has a Master’s Degree in the Science of Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a focus on Organizational Behavior.

Christopher Thunberg, Secretary/Treasureris a career development professional with experience in developing and implementing career related programming and services in higher education environments.  He is currently Director of Career Services at Yeshiva University, and previously worked at New York University and Purchase College in their career development departments.  Christopher also has hands on experience in human resources and recruiting and is a skilled career counselor.

Advisor

Judy Chaddick serves as the on-site Coordinator in New Mexico for Mustard Seeds. A retired educator, Judy has worked for over 30 years with teachers in staff and curriculum development in under-served schools in northern New Mexico. She recently finished a model curriculum on regional petroglyphs that is being used in several schools in the area. Judy has been awarded the Elementary Science Teacher of the Year for New Mexico and the Earth Science Teacher of the Year for the Southwestern Region. Previously she was Director of the District Gifted Program in the Espanola Public Schools and was formerly their District Science Facilitator. She has also taught a graduate course in Inquiry-Based Science for elementary teachers at Highlands University and a distance science education course for the local community college.