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mpizzo Professional Headshot.jpeg

Community Liaison Chair/Board of Directors

Board of Directors of the New York State
Social Work Education Association (NYSSWEA)

Published Peer-Reviewed Article:

Political Discourse and Aging in a Neoliberal Singapore: Models of Citizenship, Older Adults and Policy Initiatives, Journal of Aging & Social Policy (2020)

Dr. Marcella Pizzo earned her Ph.D. at Adelphi University’s School of Social Work. As an
intersectional feminist scholar, her research employs critical feminist theories to explore the
complex interplay of social identities, organizational power, leadership, and organizational
policy. Her future research trajectory is centered around the exploration of intersectionality and
leadership within human service organizations. Deeply impacted by her professional experience
as a former New York City teacher, Dr. Pizzo’s research trajectory also includes the exploration
of experiential learning within social work education.

Professionally, Dr. Pizzo has founded a behavioral health practice centered around women's
wellness. She has been trained and certified in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) through the
Beck Institute. Dr. Pizzo utilizes CBT and other evidence-based practices within her clinical
work. As an adjunct lecturer, she teaches in the research sequence where social work scholars
can explore the bidirectional relationship between research and practice. As an active community
member, Dr. Pizzo dedicates her time to numerous nonprofit organizations centered on
community building, advocacy, and social justice.

Dafny Irizarry
Youth Committee Chair/B
oard of Directors

Dafny Joy Irizarry Ortiz is the founder and president of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association. A woman and educator with a passion for equity, justice, and inclusiveness. Ms. Irizarry has demonstrated leadership and commitment in advocating, in collaboration with community groups and educational institutions to ensure high quality education for all students. She is committed to empowering Long Island’s youth to grow educationally.

Ms. Irizarry was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She attended the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras where she became a recipient of the Paul Douglas Scholarship. This opportunity allowed her to successfully complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from SUNY Stony Brook. Additionally, she completed a Master’s degree in Education from CUNY at Queens College. She graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Currently, Ms. Irizarry teaches English as a New Language (ENL) in the Central Islip School District. She also serves a member of the Advisory Board Member for the TESOL Program at Molloy College, a member for the Community Advisory Board for Northwell Health, a Board Director for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, and a Board Director for 100 Hispanic Women – Long Island Chapter, and a Board Director for the Equity 4 Long Island Youth. She served as Board Chair Trustee for the Suffolk County Community College, First Vice President for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Long Island Chapter, member for the NYS Commissioner’s Teachers Advisory Board, Board Chair for Herstory Writers Workshop, and Advisory Board member for the Professional Education Program at Stony Brook University. She has been recognized among Long Island’s 50 Top Women.


Ross L. Schiller, ESQ.
Partner Group Liaison Chair/Board of Directors

Mr. Schiller runs his own licensed N.Y. State legal practice in East Meadow, Ross L. Schiller & Associates P.C., concentrating on real estate, trust & estate work, asset protection, litigation and entertainment.  Previously, Ross was an Associate Director at Standard & Poor’s, and has intimate knowledge of the financial community, having worked with multiple financial firms on a variety of structured transactions and with ISDA documents. 

In 2020, Ross was honored as a HomeTown Hero, and was previously awarded the East Meadow Herald's Person of the Year.  Ross has served as a three year Member of the Board of Directors for the Nassau County Bar Association ("NCBA") from 2015-2018, Committee Chairperson of the Sports, Entertainment and Media On-Line Committee, and was a recipient of the Access to Justice Champion Award from the NCBA.  He also served as a Distinguished Past President of Kiwanis East Meadow, continuing to help children and families in the community and worldwide. Ross is a licensed NY State EMT-B Firemedic for the past 8 years with the East Meadow Fire Department, Rescue Co. 5, and served as a Staff Officer for 5 years.  Ross takes great pride in helping those in the Community, serving on a variety of different committees and counsels, and takes pride in collecting and giving out clothing and food at various events.  

Importantly, Ross wants to continue helping those who are looking for an opportunity to learn and work, and looks forward to serving on this, the Economic Opportunity for All Youth, where diversity and opportunity come together.

Liz Fries 
Partner Group Liaison Co-Chair/Board of Directors

DPP Liz Fries of East Meadow Kiwanis was elected to 2021/22 Lt Gov Designate! 

She will be serving under NY District Governor- Elect James Mancuso and under Kiwanis International President Elect Peter Mancuso- an East Meadow trifecta of leaders! 

Ms. Fries is also the Chief of Staff of John Mikulin, New York State Assembly, District 17.

Website Content Committee
Christine Waters, Ross L. Schiller, and Patrice Dobies

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