President's Council & Board of Trustees
Vice President for Academic Affairs
As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Natalia Blank provides strategic leadership and administrative oversight in key academic areas, including educational operations, program development, resource allocations, as well as academic and faculty policies.
Blank received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Nizhegorod State University (RUS) and Ph.D. from Dartmouth College (NH). Prior to joining D’Youville in July 2021, Blank served at Norwich University (VT) as a faculty member and in several administrative roles, including Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment.
Executive Vice President & Senior Advisor to the President
As Executive Vice President & Senior Advisor to the President, Joggeshwar (Jogy) Das provides leadership for assessment, planning, resources, and accreditation.
Prior to joining D’Youville, Das served as Associate Dean in the School of Education for the State University of New York at Oswego, helping the school achieve national recognition for teacher preparation programs improving upon college professional associations and national accreditation.
Prior to SUNY Oswego, Das spent 25 years at Ohio State University, serving in multiple positions including Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Fisher College of Business School, Director of Undergraduate and Graduate services, and Manager for Quality Data Reporting for the College of Education.
Das holds an ABD from Ohio State in Anthropology and has two master’s degrees, an MA in Anthropology from Ohio State University and an MSc from the University of Delhi along with a BSc in Anthropology from the University of Delhi.
Chief Mission Officer
As the Chief Mission Officer DiRienzo will be responsible for integrating mission and service is into all aspects of the campus community. The Chief Mission Officer is a member of the President’s Counsel and functions as a strategic partner and influencer of the campus functioning in a manner consistent with our heritage and values.
DiRienzo joins D’Youville after several years in higher education, most recently with Cornell University. There she worked as the Director of Outreach and Engagement in the Graduate School, developing career and professional development programs, and expanding their graduate programs. An educational leader, grant writer, and project manager, DiRienzo’s experience centers around strategic learning, community engagement and involvement, and developing innovative approaches to mentorship and curriculum design.
Executive Dean of Online Learning and Faculty Development
Jeremiah currently serves as the Executive Dean of Online Learning and Faculty Development at D’Youville University. At D’Youville his primary responsibility is to expand the University’s academic mission through high-quality online learning and exemplary pedagogy. During his tenure, D’Youville has seen a rise in the number and quality of online programs.
Prior to D’Youville, he held related positions at the University at Buffalo and Trocaire College. His background is in instructional design, online education, gamification, educational technology, and faculty development.
In addition to his duties at D’Youville, he has held adjunct faculty roles at several institutions teaching courses in online pedagogy and instructional design. Jeremiah holds a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning from the University at Buffalo. His research interests include examining how faculty can integrate gamification into the design of online courses.
Benjamin Grant (BG)
Vice President for Student Affairs
Benjamin Grant, best known as BG, is an innovative higher education thought-leader, currently based in Buffalo, New York, with over seventeen years of experience. Specializing in engaging, supporting, and challenging students, BG has successfully implemented intentional culture shifts at three different colleges and universities.
Having obtained his undergraduate degrees in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smith’s College and his master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, BG is currently completing his doctoral work at D’Youville University.
As a 2022-2023 American Council on Education Fellow, BG focused his development around institutional advancement, shared governance, and better understanding of the lived experiences of c-suite education executives.
Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation
Ona Halladay took over the role of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in the fall of 2019, after previously serving as Associate Director of Athletics and Assistant Director of Athletics in her tenure at D'Youville. During her short time at the head of the department, Halladay has been instrumental in the 2020 rebranding of D'Youville Athletics from the Spartans to the Saints, as well as the athletic department's move from NCAA Division III to Division II and admittance into the East Coast Conference.
Halladay joined the D’Youville staff in August 2013, spending seven seasons as D’Youville's head softball coach in addition to roles such as senior woman administrator and compliance director.
Throughout her time at D'Youville, Halladay has assisted with the budget and finances for the department, has handled NCAA rules enforcement, and has worked with all coaches and department members in various ways.
Entering into the coaching ranks in 2010, Halladay joined the staff at St. Bonaventure where she was an assistant coach under long-time SBU head coach Mike Threehouse. Under Halladay’s direction, players were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team and the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team, and the team's home run total was ranked 17th in the country during the 2011 season.
A 2010 graduate of SUNY Brockport with a bachelor of science in psychology, Halladay was a two-time All-SUNYAC softball selection as a member of the Golden Eagles. The native of Palmyra, New York began her collegiate career playing at St. John’s University for two seasons where she was a two-year letter winner.
Halladay graduated from Canisius College in 2018 with her master's in sport administration.
Chief of Staff & AVP for Operations
As Chief of Staff and AVP for Operations, Jason MacLeod oversees all President’s Office staff and manages presidential communications and relations with the Board of Trustees. He also oversees the areas of marketing, facilities services, capital projects design and construction, food services, and campus safety. Since March 2020, Dr. MacLeod served as the COVID-19 Compliance Officer for D’Youville, managing COVID-19 compliance, regulations, and communications.
Dr. MacLeod lived and worked in Wuhan, China for three years prior to coming to D’Youville, while completing his PhD at Central China Normal University. He holds a PhD in educational technology, as well as an MBA in business administration and a BS in Technology Management and Facilities Planning from the State University of New York at Oswego.
In addition to his primary duties at D’Youville, Dr. MacLeod is the co-director of a 3-year Department of Education grant aimed at teaching secondary teachers geospatial information systems technology, and he is an adjunct professor in the Doctor of Educational Leadership Program at D’Youville.
Ralph O. Mueller
Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Ralph Mueller is executive vice president for strategic initiatives and coordinates the planning and implementation of D’Youville’s mid- and long-range priorities across the President’s Council, Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Mueller’s prior administrative positions in higher education included vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) and dean of the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Hartford. At PNW, he oversaw six colleges offering more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs, started a Center for Faculty Development and Leadership, and developed the cross-disciplinary Center for Crime, Forensics, and Security Analysis. During his tenure at Hartford, he founded the Institute for Translational Research, developed anchor partnerships with the Hartford Public Schools and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and constituted the college’s first external advisory board.
Before pursing senior administrative roles, Mueller served as professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at the George Washington University. He became a noted quantitative research methodologist and a frequently cited contributor to the applied statistics literature. In 2021, Professor Mueller and his colleagues were honored by the American Educational Research Association with the Award for Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology. He earned baccalaureate and master’s degrees in mathematics from Elon University and Wake Forest University, and a PhD in educational research and evaluation from Virginia Tech. A native of Germany, he is a former Rotary Scholar and recipient of the 2017 Elon University Distinguished Alumni Award.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
As the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Kim Pietro sets the strategic agenda for areas of philanthropy and engagement, advancement operations, alumni relations, and annual giving. Pietro also collaboratively manages institutional communications and oversees D’Youvile’s D’Mensions Magazine.
Pietro brings a wealth of higher education and private sector experience, including prior senior administrative roles at the Crouse Health Foundation, Syracuse University, State University of New York College at Cortland, Onondaga Community College, and LeMoyne College. Most recently, Pietro served as the director of development at the Crouse Health Foundation where she led fundraising strategy and implementation of the $22 million Crouse Cares Campaign.
A native of New Jersey, Pietro holds a Master of Business Administration from Le Moyne College; a Master of Science in higher education administration from Syracuse University; and a Bachelor of Science in physical education from the University of South Carolina. She was a recipient of a 2012 Business Journal “40 Below 40” award.
Joseph J. Cozzo
President/CEO and Chairman of Buffalo Speech & Hearing Center
Dolores Prezyna EdD, '70, '14
Retired Administrator, Frontier Central School District
Dopkins & Co, LLP
Dr. Lorrie Clemo
President, D'Youville University
Jamel C. Perkins
Global Technology Executive at Sodexo
Founder and CEO of The Crisis Ready Institute
Chancellor Emeritus, NYSED
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary for Financial Institutions, Inc.
Founder and CEO of WhoseYourLandLord
Retired Senior VP for Marketing & Community Relations
Sister Julia Lanigan
Grey Nun of Sacred Heart
Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer at Catholic Health
Sister Mary McCarrick
Diocesan Director, Catholic Charities of Buffalo
Colin McMahon, MD, CPE
President/CEO, Dimensions of Internal Medicine and Pediatric Care
President, The McGuire Group
Carl J. Montante
President & Managing Director, Uniland
Todd J. Potter '12
Esq. Attorney at Law Office of Todd J. Potter Jr.
Chairman, President and Managing Partner
Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer of YMCA Buffalo
Robert G. Wilmers Endowed Executive Director of Buffalo Prep
Rev. Msgr. Robert Zapfel, STD
Pastor, St. Leo the Great Church
Paul D. Bauer
Retired financial executive, co-founder BISON children’s scholarship fund
Partner at Energy Solutions Consortium, LLC.