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Wednesday, November 8

Melinda Mack


The world of work is changing around us, and so are the ways we educate, train, and support our students, job-seekers, and workers into employment.  Melinda Mack, Executive Director for the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), will join us to describe their recent analysis of the labor market in New York, the changing nature of work, and the impact of federal and state shifts in workforce policy.

Bio: Melinda Mack is the Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), a nationally recognized, leading non-profit membership association in the field of workforce development.  On behalf of its members and their partners, NYATEP educates and developments workforce boards, business organizations, education and training providers, economic development entities, organized labor, elected officials and government agencies to sustain and enhance education, training, and employment for all New Yorkers.

In her previous role, Ms. Mack was the founding Director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation program, Graduate NYC!, an ambitious initiative bringing together the City University of New York, the NYC public schools and Mayor’s Office, and a range of external partners to effect system-wide changes aimed at improving college readiness and completion.  Ms. Mack also served as the acting Executive Director for the New York City Workforce Board under the Bloomberg Administration.  Before working in New York City, Ms. Mack worked in Upstate New York in local government working in both municipal finance and economic development in Buffalo and Albany.


More information on upcoming October NYATEP Conference: 

Thursday, November 9

Dr. Jeff Borden


Concurrent Session

Neuroscience + Learning Research + Education Technology = Education 3.0

Brain science shows us that how we typically use PowerPoint stinks.  It suggests that for some, learning should not be attempted before 10am while for others, learning should conclude by noon.  Cognitive research proves that listening to a lecture is the brain-equivalent of watching televised fishing.   Education technologists have produced social learning assets that not only cross over the walls of classrooms, but even the borders of countries for deeper, more engaging learning.

Dr. Jeff Borden will try to showcase what 21st Century teaching and learning means in a practical way, through the lens of what he calls, “Education 3.0.”  Jeff will unpack what neo-millennial learning can and should be, as well as a few old policies and procedures, embedded deeply in the educational DNA that need to go.  From game changers based on cognitive science to meaningful uses of data leading to personalization to best practices found in education psychology and support for it all through technology platforms and frameworks, attendees will have a better understanding of how to make tomorrow's learning start happening today as we build Education 3.0.

Bio: Dr. Jeff D Borden is the Chief Innovation Officer at Saint Leo University.  For two decades, Jeff has acted as a “trend spotter” to help his efforts to transform education.  From 2002-2014, Jeff worked as a Vice President with eCollege which was acquired by Pearson Education, providing an academic vision and strategy that encompassed digital learning, neo-millennial instruction methods, authentic assessment, and beyond.    In 2013, as Research & Innovation Network’s Center for eLearning Director, Jeff pursued rigorous research opportunities through a ‘think tank’ of educational innovation.  Now Dr. Borden is implementing almost a dozen strategy initiatives (concurrently) at Saint Leo University to create true “next generation learning” for students. 

For 20 years Dr. Borden has consulted with educators in every U.S. state, led transformative efforts in 34 countries, provided almost 200 keynote presentations to audiences of 100-10,000, and spoken with stakeholders from teachers to principals to college administrators to government officials.   Prior to his private sector work, Jeff taught full time at the University of Northern Colorado and was the Coordinator of Public Speaking at Metropolitan State College of Denver.  At the same time, in twenty years, Dr. Borden has taken only 1 semester away from teaching Communication, Rhetoric, and Education classes at various levels – from technical schools to community colleges to state and private universities.

In Dr. Borden’s current role at Saint Leo, he has led the charge in building a “Next Gen Learning (eco)System” (Lions SHARE), has established a learning innovation incubator, and led numerous projects promoting transformational, academically researched, and effective practices, all at scale.   These strategies tie back to Jeff’s platform of “Education 3.0” – the confluence of neuroscience, learning design, and education technology.  Through this lens, Dr. Borden is incorporating his extensive history consulting, teaching, and researching to provide a fertile bed of learning innovation.  Jeff continues to blog for’s Innovation site, presents keynote addresses at numerous conferences each year, and promotes research / publications in Education, Technology, and Communication.

Twitter: @bordenj

Friday, November 10

Patricia Thompson


The Excelsior Scholarship was signed into law in April 2017, providing free tuition at New York State (NYS) public colleges and universities to families making up to $100,000 a year, beginning in fall 2017.  This groundbreaking program was implemented in a very short timeframe due to an unprecedented collaboration between state agencies and the tireless efforts of campus officials.  The Excelsior program is expected to provide tuition funding to thousands of NYS students this year and in the coming years.  During this session we will provide an overview of Excelsior program requirements as well as discuss the development and implementation of the program at the state and campus level.   

Bio: Patricia Thompson joined State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration in 2010 as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Financial Aid Services, where she serves all 64 SUNY campuses.  Patricia currently leads SUNY’s Smart Track Initiative, an innovative and comprehensive university wide approach to default prevention through student retention.

Prior to joining SUNY, Patricia spent over twenty years at New York State’s financial aid agency, Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).  During her tenure at HESC, Patricia held numerous positions relating to the administration of New York State (NYS) and federal financial aid programs.  She also served as Grants Administrator for two federally sponsored grant programs, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) and College Access Challenge Grant (CACG).

Patricia began her career in financial aid in 1987 as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Genesee Community College, where she also served as the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Coordinator and Veterans’ Counselor. 

Patricia has been recognized for her service to the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA).  She was awarded the President’s Award by the New York State Organization of Bursars and Business Administrators (NYSOBBA) and the President’s Award from the SUNY Financial Aid Professionals (SUNYFAP). 

Patricia is a proud SUNY graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Fredonia.  She also holds a Master of Science in Public Administration from Sage Graduate School.

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