Advancement Advisory Council

The College of Education Advancement Advisory Council plays a vital role in the life of the College and the University. Members, appointed by the dean, help advance the University’s mission and strengthen its position among institutions of higher education in New Jersey and beyond. Council members demonstrate their commitment by investing generously in the future of the College of Education and William Paterson University.

College of Education
Advancement Advisory Council Members


Geri Berhain
BA ’71 (Elementary Education)
MED ’78 (Reading Specialist)

Former Employer: Wood-Ridge School District*
Title:  Retired Teacher

Brief Background: After graduation, Geri started as a substitute teacher in Hasbrouck Heights and Wood-Ridge where she eventually landed a full-time teaching position.  She built a wealth of experience over her 39 year career teaching K-8 and discovered her passion teaching social studies, science and reading.  As a life-long learner she earned 27 additional credits post MED (MA+27).    

Geri, is a distinguished WP Heritage Society member with over 40 years of giving back to her alma mater. She established the Geri Bahrain Education Scholarship.


 Dr. JoAnn Cardillo
BA ’76 (Early Childhood)
MED ’97 (Administration)

Former Employer: Passaic Valley Regional High School
Title: Former Superintendent
Current Organization: JDC Education Consulting
Current Title: Founder

Brief Background: After graduation JoAnn became a teacher in the Paterson Public School District where she rose up the ranks to Vice Principal, Principal and eventually was hired to serve, in a different district, as the Passaic Valley Regional High School Superintendent.  She devoted her 40 years of service to her professional passion – help students become literate citizens prepared to succeed and contribute to society.   

JoAnn has partnered with her alma mater in many ways throughout her career and has a history of giving back.  Currently she is working to establish a JoAnn Cardillo Education Scholarship for a deserving WP student.


Dr. Gina Coffaro
BA ’90 (Elementary Education)
BA ’90 (History)
MED ’94 (Special Education)

Employer: Oakland Public Schools*
Current Title: Superintendent of Schools

Brief Background: Gina has a wealth of experience from being classroom teacher (Pre – K-8), Guidance Counselor, Assistant Principal, and faculty at higher education institutions. As a life-long learner she went on to earn two Master degrees from Columbia University – MED ’98 (Educational Administration) and MA ’99 (Curriculum & Strategic Leadership).  She also earned a Doctoral Degree from Drew University ’07. 

Gina has a strong history of giving back to her alma mater and has established the Coffaro Family Scholarship.


Suzette Corrado
BA ’86 (Elementary Education)
MED ’92 (Reading)

Organization: Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County*
Current Title: President of the Board

Brief Background: Passionate about empowering and helping, Suzette serves as the President of the Board of Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County where she helps refugees and members of the community with literacy skills.  As a volunteer she tutors her students through GED completion and learning how to read and write.

Suzette has a history of giving back to her alma mater and is often looking for ways to recommend it to prospective students she knows.  Suzette and her husband Mark set up the Corrado Family Annual Scholarship.


Bob Medina
BS ’75 Civil Engineering (NJIT)


Current Company: Medina 43 Business Strategies
Current Title : Founder, Business Strategist

Brief Background: Bob earned his BS ’75 in Civil Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering (NJ Institute of Technology). After 14 years of experience, he founded Medina Consultants P.C., one of the largest Hispanic owned engineering firms in New Jersey.  Eventually he merged it with TY Lin International and became a Senior Vice President member of the Board of Directors. In 2014 he retired and founded Medina 43 Business Strategies, but now a retired professional engineer.

His philanthropic mission is to inspire latino students to enter STEM education/careers.  He and his wife Dr. Patricia Campos-Media established the Medina family Endowed Education Scholarship at William Paterson.


Susana Peron
BA ’93 Elementary Education
BA ’93 Phycology

Employer: Paterson Public Schools*
Current Title: Deputy Superintendent of Schools

Brief Background: After graduating from William Paterson, Susana started as a Bilingual Teacher / Preschool Master Teacher (14 years of service in Paterson’s Early Childhood Program) which led her to a variety of administrative roles and her current leadership role as Deputy Superintendent of Schools.  She is a lifelong learner and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Northeastern University. 

Susana has established the Electra Rodriguez Education Scholarship in memory of her beloved grandmother. Over the years she has collaborated with faculty and staff of the College of Education on programmatic initiatives and has given back philanthropically.



Frances Dinino Powers

Employer: retired teacher and owner of a child development center
Current Title: retired teacher/business woman

Brief Background: Frances started as a 1st grade teacher at East Orange. She took some time off until her youngest child was in nursery school when she started to teach at a church sponsored school. 

She eventually had the opportunity to own her own child development center where she acquired a wealth of knowledge teaching and leading child development centers for 14 years. Towards the end of her career she went back to teach for the Clifton public school district.

Frances is a distinguished WP Heritage Society Member with over 41 years of giving back to her alma mater.  She established a scholarship in her father’s name – Mr. Jasper Dinino.


Dorothy Westdyke
BA ’64 (Middle & Junior High School)

Employer: Passaic City School District*
Title: Retired Teacher

Brief Background: After graduating William Paterson, Dorothy developed a wealth of experience in her 40 years of teaching middle school in Passaic School District. As a life-long learner she 30 additional credits (BA+30).

Dorothy is a distinguished WP Heritage Society member with over 39 years of giving to her alma mater. She established the Dorothy Vernon Westdyke Endowed Scholarship.

*Only intended to indicate professional background of each Council member.