Monroe College Honors Community Leaders at “Women of Excellence” Reception

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School of Criminal Justice Celebrates Six Accomplished Women for Their Professional and Civic Contributions to Local Communities

Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, yesterday honored six community leaders at the “Women of Excellence & Accomplishment” reception held on its Bronx campus.

Hosted by the College’s School of Criminal Justice, the event celebrated the professional accomplishments of several women who have made outstanding contributions to their communities through public service, education, and advocacy. The honorees were:

  • Deputy Chief Judith R. Harrison - Commanding Officer, New York Police Department (NYPD). Deputy Chief Judith R. Harrison was appointed as the first African-American commander of the NYPD’s sex-crimes unit, the Special Victims Division, in November 2018. Deputy Harrison has earned a reputation as an “accessible leader with a sense of mission”, as detailed by The New York Times in a recent profile.
  • Tracey L. Brown, Esq., - Managing Partner, Cochran Firm. An experienced litigator with both civil and criminal experience, Ms. Brown represents plaintiffs in a variety of employment discrimination, civil rights and municipal liability matters. She previously litigated consumer fraud cases as a senior counsel for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC, and is actively involved with various civic and philanthropic organizations.
  • Melissa Cebollero - Senior Director, Montefiore Hospital. Ms. Cebollero is Senior Director for the Office of Government & Community Relations at Montefiore Health System. Previously, Ms. Cebollero was the Director of Health and Human Services for the Office of the Bronx Borough President, which serves the 1.4 million residents of the Bronx.
  • Mary Gill - Director of Security, New York Botanical Garden. Ms. Gill has devoted the majority of her life to public service, assuming her current role after a 22-year law enforcement career with the New York Police Department. As Director of Security, she is responsible for ensuring a safe and welcoming experience for the more-than-one-million people that visit the New York Botanical Garden each year.
  • Diana Dykes, Esq., - Attorney and Faculty Member at Monroe College. Professor Dykes is a long-tenured member of the faculty for the College’s School of Criminal Justice and School of Business and Accounting. Her legal career has seen her serve as a Senior Trial Attorney for the Bronx District Attorney for approximately 18 years; previously, she was an Assistant Attorney General for New York State.
  • Anne Paulle, Victims’ Advocate and Faculty Member at Monroe College. Professor Paulle is a valued adjunct professor at Monroe and a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence. She consults in private practice on various domestic violence policy, training, intervention, funding and awareness initiatives. She also maintains a clinical and advocacy practice, assisting adult and child victims of domestic violence.

“We celebrated six incredible women today,” said Marc Jerome, president of Monroe College. “It was a pleasure to honor them and recognize their work and impact.”

The honorees of yesterday’s event participated in a lively panel discussion during which they shared their unique perspectives and career advice with an engaged audience comprised of College faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Militza Gonzalez, Director of Career Services at the College, moderated this first annual event.

Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a recognized leader in urban and international education. The College is proud of its innovative programs to increase college access, affordability, and completion outcomes, especially among first-generation students. The strength of its warm, supportive culture is reflected in the personal connections fostered among students, faculty, and staff.

Monroe educates close to 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and St. Lucia. Students may also take courses online.

Programs are offered through seven academic schools, including the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Business and Accounting, Criminal Justice, Education, Hospitality Management and the Culinary Institute of New York (CINY), Information Technology, and Nursing, as well as through King Graduate School. Liberal arts and continuing education programs are also available. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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Jacqueline Ruegger