Institutional Leadership


Dr. Michael G. Scales

Michael G. Scales is president of Nyack College, founded in 1882 and Alliance Theological Seminary, founded in 1960. Both institutions of Christian higher education have New York campuses in Rockland County and Manhattan and an extension site in Puerto Rico. Dr. Scales was inaugurated on April 27, 2007. In June 2015, the Nyack/ATS Board of Trustees unanimously extended his role as chief officer for a fourth term.

Prior to assuming the role of its president, Dr. Scales served Nyack College/ATS as Executive Vice President (2000-2003) and Vice President for Advancement (1989-1993). The Gadsen, Alabama native earned his BS (1975) in Bible and theology from Toccoa Falls College, his MA (1978) in humanities from Western Kentucky University, and his Ed.D. (1988) from the University of Georgia.

Married to the former Susan Lynn DeLany for more than three decades, Dr. Scales and his wife are the parents of two daughters and two sons and the grandparents of four grandsons and two granddaughters.

Visit the President's Page

Dr. David F. Turk
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Turk has an extensive relationship with Nyack, which began when he enrolled for undergraduate studies and subsequently completed his bachelor's degree in English in 1975. He later earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at New York University.

Dr. Turk served as Nyack's director of Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), 1978-1984; English Department professor, 1978-1997; chair of the English Department, 1992-1997; director of Nyack's Drama Ensemble, 1984-1997; and dean/vice president for Nyack College New York City 1997-2002 and became Nyack College’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2005.

In Nyack's English Department, Dr. Turk has taught 20 different courses, specializing in Shakespeare and Milton. He has also directed 20 plays and musicals. In addition, he has led numerous student groups for studies in London, England and regularly leads book discussions at public libraries.

In 2016 Dr. Turk re-launched Nyack College’s drama program and directed the successful productions of West Side Story (2016) and In the Height (2017) in the NYC theater district.

Dr. Turk has also served as an Evaluation Team Chair for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The MSCHE is an accrediting agency for higher education institutions in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera
Director of Alliance Graduate School of Counseling

Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera, Ph.D. is the Director of AGSC and the Mental Health Counseling program at Nyack College, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling. Dr. Toni, as she prefers to be called, is a graduate of Regent University where she obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology & Counseling with a specialization in Counselor Education & Supervision. Also receiving a duo degree in M.S. in Bilingual Education and Bilingual School Psychology from Fordham University in NYC, after which she worked for the NYS Department of Education for ten years before pursuing her doctorate.

Dr. Toni’s duo-language bilingual abilities afforded her the opportunity to conduct an emic international research study where she investigated the counseling needs of the Honduran population in-country. Her study has been published in an ACA (American Counseling Association) publication in 2013, titled Counseling Around the World: An International Handbook. This publication has opened countless doors for Dr. Toni to speak publically abroad and in the United States where she teaches and trains those who are working in the trenches of helping the native Hondureńo and Latino family with their hardships and suffering. Currently, Dr. Toni is working with the Bhatt Foundation in developing the Honduras Mental Health Systems, which is also projected to be implemented in India and Africa.

Dr. Toni’s passion for counseling and spiritual well-being comes on the heels of her own childhood trauma which became her catalyst to developing into the resilient woman she is today. She has learned to embrace the biblical truth that suffering is what God uses to prepare and train us to be a beacon of light for others who suffer in this world. Through her journey of faith in God, inner healing and education, she has found her passion and purpose in the world. Dr. Toni’s story is featured in Pastor Jim Cymbala’s 2017 released book, The Rescue, where he tells the powerful stories of seven people. She has also been featured in Laura Contreras Rowe’s 2009 book, Aim High: Extraordinary Stories of Hispanic &Latina Women.

As Director of AGSC, Dr. Toni’s objective is to guide applicants interested in Mental Health counseling in navigating through the process of discovering their passion, dreams and highest career choice potential. Choosing a graduate school can have a significant impact on one’s future profession, ministry, and personal life as counseling is both a calling and a responsibility requiring competency, compassion, discipline and discipleship. 

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) was founded on the principle that we are able to grow to be healthy and whole beings. AGSC offers you this through our M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at our new beautiful and high-tech Manhattan campus. AGSC is a program that has been designed to prepare our students to be competently trained and competent NYS Licensed counselors who are ready for any arena of mental health services. Dr. Toni strongly believes that God is raising up a new breed of counselor that will be used mightily to service a spiritually and emotionally impoverished world. We accomplish this through an integration of faith and practice, using the psycho-spiritual-counseling model. Situated in an urban environment, we purposefully emphasize counseling within the cross-cultural approach. Lastly, we care deeply about the personal and professional growth of each student. Dr. Toni encourages you to pray and seek to know if AGSC is for you. If you decide that it is, we are here and ready for you!

If interested and you would like to hear more of what Nyack College’ AGSC program has to offer you, Dr. Toni can be reached by email at

Dr. Charles Hammond
Dean of Students, NYC

Dr. Hammond is the Associate Dean of Student Life for the NYC Campus. Charles has served on the Pastoral staff at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church for over twenty-five years. Charles received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from New York University, a Master of Professional Studies Degree in Urban Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. Degree from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. Charles' passion is to serve as a mentor in the lives of Nyack's diverse student community and watch God transform men and women into world changers.

Dr. David C. Jennings
Executive Vice President and Treasurer

David C. Jennings is the Executive Vice President and Treasurer for Nyack College, a position he has held since 1998. His wide-ranging portfolio includes responsibility for the following functions: business services, budget and management analysis, outside counsel, real estate, investment and risk management functions, student financial services, human resources, auxiliary services, NCAA Division II athletics, facilities management, and information technology departments.

During his tenure at Nyack, Mr. Jennings has led a variety of initiatives to support Nyack's operations at multiple campuses. Most recently, he successfully negotiated the lease of the Battery Park Campus and managed the construction of the property build-out, and coordinated the physical move between campuses. He has strategically increased physical assets with purchases and a swap for 26 additional acres of properties adjacent to the Nyack, NY campus. Under his financial leadership, Nyack College’s annual operating budget has grown from $17 million to $50 million and the endowment has grown from $3 million to $10 million.

Mr. Jennings started with Nyack College in 1991 as the Director of Campus Services. In 1996, he became Vice President of Advancement where he provided leadership to the fundraising and promotion areas of the College.

Mr. Jennings served as the Interim President of Nyack College during the 2005/2006 academic year. It was during that time that the College received a $1 million lead gift to launch the Cheryl Phenicie School of Nursing. Mr. Jennings managed the plans and implementation of the construction of the nursing labs, classrooms, and faculty suite. He has also been instrumental in developing relationships that have led to strategic gifts for other key initiatives and projects.

Mr. Jennings has applied his administrative strengths to community service for the poor. In 1996, he served as a catalyst to launch a ministry in the Philippines that has given birth to several educational and micro-business ventures. In 2000, in conjunction with a team of others, he started a health ministry in Elmhurst, NY. Today, he is the Executive Director of the New Life Community Health Center that utilizes a volunteer staffing model to provide nearly 2,000 annual medical and dental visits to immigrants, homeless, and the uninsured for free. In 2003, Mr. Jennings received an honorary doctorate from Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary in Zamboanga City, Philippines. He has been married to his wife, Cindy, for 29 years. They reside in Nyack, NY with their daughter, Hannah.

Dr. Glenn Koponen
Dean of School of Music

Ed.D., Columbia University
B.S., M.S., The Juilliard School
B.M., Eastman School of Music
Member of Board of Directors of Sibelius Society, Ltd. Research for doctoral dissertation on the Post-Sibelian Symphony in Finland conducted as a Finnish government scholar. Lecturer on the subject of contemporary Finnish music since the mid-seventies. Dr. Koponen’s choral arrangements are published by Boosey and Hawkes, and “Zion’s Walls” has sold more than 475,000 copies, having been recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony.  Member of the International Trumpet Guild, the American Choral Director’s Association, the Christian Instrumental Directors Association, the Sibelius Society, and the Finlandia Foundation. Official college representative to the National Association of Schools of Music since 1984.

Dr. JoAnn Looney
Dean of School of Education

Dr. Gwen Parker-Ames
Dean of Division of Student Success

Linda Poston
Dean of Library Services

Linda Poston has worked at Nyack College since 1992 in various positions in the libraries, including Acquisitions, Circulation, Director of Bailey Library and Dean of Library Services. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Masters of Library Science from Long Island University in Brookville, NY.

During her tenure at Nyack, the library has transitioned from card catalog access to the online environment. Library resources have expanded to include 200,000+ e-books and 90+ journal, news, reference, audio and streaming video databases. Other new services include live chat, research guides, and Encore, a discovery tool for students and faculty to more effectively search print and online resources with one search. Since 2007, a one-credit Information Literacy has been required of all in-coming students. In the Fall of 2016 a physical and online Information Commons was developed in collaboration with the Writing Center, Testing and Tutoring Center, e360 and student technology to provide student-focused solutions for successful academic support.

Linda has been involved in the library profession both locally, serving as President of WALDO (Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization) and nationally, as President of ACL (Association of Christian Librarians).

Linda married Larry Poston in 1975 and spent 4 ½ years with Greater Europe Mission in Sweden. They currently reside in Valley Cottage, NY and enjoy mentoring students and opening their home to them. They have one daughter, Helena, who lives with her husband and 3 sons, Caleb, Jacob and Henry, in the Baltimore area.

Jeffrey Quinn
Vice President for College Relations

Jeff oversees the overall College Relations effort including donor relations; alumni relations and services; special events; publications and media relations and database and operations management. He oversees College efforts in raising annual fund support for Nyack and ATS from individuals, corporations and foundations and serves as a corporate representative at public events. He assists the President in cultivating relationships with major donors as well as with the design of corporate messaging. Jeff is a 1984 graduate of Nyack College (BA, English) and holds Master of Arts and Master of Education Degrees from Columbia University Teachers College.  He is an actively teaching faculty member in the Pastoral Ministries department and is a Doctor of Ministry degree candidate at Alliance Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bennett Schepens
Assistant Provost and Director of Institutional Assessment

Ben grew up on a ranch in Eastern Montana.  He attended the University of Montana and became a science teacher and coach of volleyball, basketball and softball.  After teaching three years he attended Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN where he earned an M.Div.  

Ben married Dona Moerer in 1979 and moved back to Eastern Montana for two years teaching science and coaching.  In 1981 he and Dona were sent by the C&MA to Quito, Ecuador to serve at the Alliance Academy, a school for missionaries’ children.  They served in Quito for 14 years and for 12 of those years Ben was the Director of the Alliance Academy.  During that time their three children were born.  He also completed a M.A. in Educational Administration and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Alabama.

The Schepens moved to Nyack, NY in 1995 after Dr. Schepens accepted a position as professor of secondary education.  Dona soon moved into a position in student accounts at Nyack College eventually becoming Assistant Treasure.  Dr. Schepens became the Director and later Dean of the School of Education and led the school in its first NCATE accreditation in 2005.  He moved to the position of Assistant Provost in 2007 with responsibility for college and seminary assessment, institutional LMS, new program proposals with NYS, and served as Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

Dr. Schepens still serves in the position of Assistant Provost.  Dona has stepped down from her position at Nyack College and is now a Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Living Christ Church in Nyack.  Two daughters, Sarah and Jennifer currently serve with the C&MA in France and Colorado Springs respectively.  Diana is in the final year of her doctoral studies in math at Montana State University.

Dr. Elizabeth Simon
Dean of Cheryl Phenicie School of Nursing

Dr. Anita Underwood
Dean of School of Business & Leadership

Wanda Velez
Dean of Students, Rockland Campus

Wanda Velez joined the staff of Nyack College in 2001 and served as the Director of Alumni Relations until 2003, when she joined the Office of Student Development as a Resident Director for Simpson Hall. Her tenure at Nyack has included a broad spectrum of responsibility from fundraising, community engagement and leadership development to crisis intervention, mentorship and spiritual formation. Previous experience as a youth director, a staff developer, a counselor in training program trainer for the Salvation Army Greater New York Youth Division. 

Named Dean of Students on the Rockland County residential campus in 2010, Wanda oversees all aspects of campus life. In addition to her oversight of policies, procedures and a code of conduct for students, she has been instrumental in changing the culture of Residence Life raising the standard of maturity, responsibility, accountability and community. She created and implemented a student leadership selection and mentorship process.

Ordained as a minister of the gospel in June 2011 by the Gathering Place Global Ministries, Dean Velez takes a holistic approach to her leadership role with a heart for seeing young men and women rising to realize their full potential. Going above and beyond the call of duty, Dean Velez has invested in the lives of hundreds of students via numerous outreach ministries and small groups, as well as one on one mentoring. For Nyack’s rite of passage program, “Woman,” she has been a curriculum facilitator and mentor. For the past eight years, she has served as a Spiritual Formation director.

The first in her family to attend college, she arrived at Nyack to pursue undergraduate studies when the institution was embarking on the journey towards intentional diversity. The Bronx native is among the campus leaders who have witnessed the influx of students from the Tri-State New York urban communities.

Wanda’s ethnic identity and personal journey empower her to be an effective leader--on campus, in her home church, and in the community. Her passion for “story” has been a driving force behind her leadership style. She believes we are most effective when we are willing to share our own stories of failures, as well as successes, to impact the lives of others. As result, she has been influential in developing hundreds of students leaders at Nyack College.

In addition to earning her BA in English at Nyack College and her Master of Professional Studies at Alliance Theological Seminary, Dean Velez is an alumna of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) Women’s Advanced Leadership Institute (WALI)  and the Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institute (M-ELDI). A mentor for the C&MA Metro District certificate program for women, “Empower,” she regularly serves as a conference speaker and as a panelist for higher education and ministry events.

Dean Velez is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at Alliance Theological Seminary.

William Voltmer
Vice President for Enrollment

Dr. Ronald Walborn
Vice President and Dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and College of Bible & Christian Ministry

Dr. Walborn was appointed dean of the seminary in 2008. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for The Christian and Missionary Alliance since May 2005.

In 1984, he earned an undergraduate degree in history at Nyack College and a Master of Divinity at Alliance Theological Seminary in 1988. Dr. Walborn has pastored C&MA churches in Connecticut and California. He planted Risen King Community Church in Redding, CA in 1989. While living in Redding for 10 years, he completed his doctoral studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

After a time in church leadership, he returned to Nyack and grew the Pastoral Ministry program into one of the largest divisions at the college. His passion for connecting the lost to the love of God and his commitment to bringing renewal to the church make him a popular guest speaker at retreats, conferences, camps, and mega-churches.

Dr. Kwi-Ryung Yun
Dean of School of Social Work