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Graduate Education Student at Lehman College Receives First Sheryl Chasin Memorial Award

June 1, 2011


From left: Dr. Faith Deveaux, chair of Lehman's Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education Department; Lehman President Ricardo R. Fernández; award winner Kathryn Menendez; and Stephanie Chasin, daughter of the late Sheryl Chasin.

Kathryn Menendez, who is graduating June 2 from the Lehman College master's program in counselor education/school counseling, has received the first Sheryl Chasin Memorial Award. The award honors a Lehman alumna who was a long-time counselor and administrator for the Yonkers school system and was killed last December in a hit-and-run accident.

Ms. Menendez is a counseling coordinator at Hunter College and also provides counseling services to nursing students through a grant to increase diversity in that profession. She received the award on May 19 from the Division of Education at a ceremony for Lehman's graduating education students. Presenting the award were Ms. Chasin's daughter, Stephanie, who is a kindergarten teacher, and Dr. Faith Deveaux, chair of Lehman's Department of Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education.

A contribution in Mrs. Chasin's honor will be made to the Sheryl Chasin Foundation by the Chi Sigma Iota International Counseling Honor Society, Tau Chapter, at Lehman College. Ms. Menendez also was inducted into that society during the ceremony.

As a graduate student, Dr. Deveaux noted, Ms. Menendez "demonstrated a commitment to addressing issues that impact on student success," including grief, anger management, gang violence and bullying, and praised her "thoughtful intelligence, grace, awareness and sensitivity."

Mrs. Chasin graduated from Lehman in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and earned her master's in counseling in 1983. "For her entire career," Dr. Deveaux said, she was "an outstanding example of a professional who promoted justice and equity, and was valued by those who knew her. She always contributed through diligence, caring and commitment to urban education and provided support and strength to an entire community."

When she became the director of professional development for the Yonkers schools after a Federal landmark desegregation decision in 1985, Ms. Chasin organized community workshops to bring stakeholders together to build parental involvement. In 2010, she was named as executive director of Human Resources and Instructional Staffing for the system. This year, the district posthumously recognized her with the Administrator of the Year Award.

Later this year, the Foundation established by the Chasin family plans to award a scholarship to a Lehman student.