Commencement Speakers

Deborah A. Shanley ’74

Portrait of Deborah Shanley.For the past 39 years, Dr. Deborah Shanley has enjoyed a rewarding career in public education.

After graduating from California University in 1974, she was hired as a special education teacher in the Miami-Dade (Fla.) public schools, where in partnership with the Juvenile Justice Department she started the first program for 7th- to 9th-grade students with behavior disorders. In 1982, while completing her doctorate at Columbia University’s Teachers College, she was a resource room teacher at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn. 

Dr. Shanley joined the faculty at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1985 and achieved full professor rank in 1993. She then served as dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education until being named dean of the School of Education at CUNY’s Brooklyn College in 1998.

Dr. Shanley developed three television series on WNYE-TV that addressed issues in special education. She also hosted the call-in radio show that followed, answering questions and directing listeners to needed services.

Her scholarly writing has focused on topics including women in leadership roles and educational reform issues. This year she completed a chapter in Teacher Education Policy in the United States: Issues and Tensions in an Era of Evolving Expectations with a colleague from West Virginia; it examines developments in urban and rural communities impacted by No Child Left Behind and other education policies.

Dr. Shanley has taken leadership roles in national collaborative partnerships including the National Network for Education Renewal, the Council for Great City Schools, the Middle College National Consortium, and Teachers for a New Era. She served with the National Parks Second Century Commission, which developed a 21st-century vision for the National Park Service, and was co-chair of the Committee for Senator Schumer, charged with re-imagining Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

Her international experience includes summer teaching in Cuba, Japan and Thailand, and needs assessment projects in Hanoi, Vietnam and Sierra Leone. In 1998 she was awarded a Humanitarian Award by the CUNY Consortium for the Study of Disabilities and the Medgar Evers College Worker Education program.

As the senior education dean in the CUNY system, Dr. Shanley regularly shares her expertise in policy and practice with both the New York State Regents and the New York State Education Department.  

Mark Camillo ’76

Portrait of Mark Camillo.Mark Camillo is recognized internationally as a law enforcement and security professional with exceptional expertise in emergency preparedness operations. He is credited with directing the security operations of some of the most critical infrastructures in the world.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education from California University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Camillo began his career in law enforcement as a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service, where he completed a distinguished 21-year career that included three separate assignments at the White House. He protected four U.S. Presidents and their family members in various capacities and ultimately served as head of the White House Security Branch, supervising daily security, emergency preparedness and all-hazards operations at the White House Complex.

Following his final White House tour of duty, Mr. Camillo continued his advancement in the Secret Service with an appointment as deputy assistant director, detailed to the headquarters of the newly created Department of Homeland Security. He continued working in critical assignments until his return to Secret Service headquarters, where he was appointed to serve as the agency’s chief technology officer.

Mr. Camillo held several key positions during his career in major event planning, but the most notable was his role as Olympic coordinator for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Under his direction, the Secret Service executed its mission to design, plan and implement the federal operational security plan for the Games. The successful execution of this carefully designed preparedness and prevention plan was later identified by the White House Office of Homeland Security as an excellent model for future security designs at events of national significance.

Currently, Mr. Camillo is senior vice president for strategic planning at Contemporary Services Corp., a U.S. leader in event security and crowd management.

He is an appointed member of the American Society of Industrial Security’s Global Terrorism/International Crime Council; an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and chair of the Board of Trustees for the Academy for Venue Safety & Security conducted annually by the International Association of Venue Managers.

Mr. Camillo also serves as a senior fellow at the George Mason University Center for Infrastructure Protection, providing subject-matter expertise in security studies and operations.