Notable Retirements to End the 2019/2020 Academic Year

Notable Retirements to End the 2019/2020 Academic Year

Concordia College New York’s 2019/2020 academic year ends with the announcement that three esteemed faculty will be leaving their roles as of July 1.  

After serving Concordia for 36 years, Provost Emerita and Vice President of Mission Dr. Sherry Fraser will retire. Dr. Fraser joined the Concordia faculty in 1984 as an Assistant Professor of Social Work. She advanced to the rank of Professor of Social Work in 1998, and in 2001, she became the first woman to be appointed Academic Dean for the College. In 2005, she was promoted to Dean and in 2010, Vice-President For Academic and Student Affairs and Provost. Dr. Fraser has been both Westchester Regional Representative and President for the New York State Social Work Education Association, and is a New York State licensed clinical social worker. In addition to retaining her role as Provost Emerita, Dr. Fraser plans to return to her second passion: clinical social work practice. “The need is overwhelming,” said Dr. Fraser. “And God’s spirit is at work in my life, leading me to the next place I am called to serve.” 

Also retiring is Dr. Mandana Nakhai, Dean of Concordia College New York’s School of Humanities, Dean of Fellows, and Distinguished Professor of English. Since 1987, Dean Nakhai has served Concordia College in teaching and administrative experiences at various levels including Dean and Vice Provost of Academic Affairs. She pioneered the establishment of Concordia’s Writing Center, and the Writing Across the Curriculum program. On January 18, 2019, she was inaugurated into the College's first endowed chair: the Rev. Dr. Thomas Nelson Green Endowed Chair for the School of Humanities. Dr. Nakhai said: “My retirement plans have developed and collapsed in this uncertain time. I love to see the world and write, and now I have more time for both. In retirement, I do not retire my soul.”

Additionally, Dr. Kate Behr will be leaving her role as Professor of English at Concordia, where since 2000 she has taught several parts of the curriculum. As Director of Concordia’s Fellows program, Dr. Behr has guided Concordia’s honors students through innovative and enriching educational experiences, and led the publication of the annual Fellows journal Prelude. Dr. Behr came to New York from the UK in 1995, and her family is relocating there when her husband takes on a new role as Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Behr, who will continue to serve Concordia remotely as an adjunct professor, said: “I feel very fortunate to have been part of the welcoming community I discovered in Concordia’s students, faculty and staff.”

Celebrations of the remarkable accomplishments and legacies of these beloved members of the Concordia College community are planned for the time when the community can gather safely.