Registration Now Open for April 19 In-Person Day.

The April 19th conference day takes place on the campus of LaGuardia Community College, E Building, in Long Island City, Queens, NY.

There are no virtual sessions on April 19th.

Welcome and Opening Speakers

Dr. Regina Varin-Mignano, LCSW-R
Manager, Health and Wellness Education and Grant Development and

Director, Neurodiversity Program, Program ASSIST (Academic and Social Student Integration for Success Team)
LaGuardia Community College

Dr. Varin-Mignano has over 27 years of experience in the social work field, specifically clinical, research and administrative experience with eleven years specifically dedicated to overseeing and direct practice in counseling, disability, teaching and mental health populations. Dr. Varin-Mignano is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with R Psychotherapy Privilege in the state of New York.

She has been with LaGuardia Community College for over a decade, beginning with the Office of Students with Disabilities before becoming the Manager of Health and Wellness Education and Grant Development at the Wellness Center. Her primary responsibilities include grant acquisition, administration and management for the Health and Wellness Center programs; the development and subsequent instruction of curriculum on Healthy Life Choices and other Health and Wellness Center Umbrella initiatives.

Dr. Varin-Mignano is the principal investigator and coordinator for the LaGuardia ASSIST program – a CUNY Project REACH Mini Grant initiative geared for support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She also provides a level of direct service support to students, perform clinical assessments for students who present in need and provide crisis management for students who exhibit suicidal/homicidal ideations. 

Clinically, Dr. Varin-Mignano is a skilled clinical social worker with extensive experience in working with physically and mentally disabled children and adults in both a hospital and a university setting. She has extensive experience in advocating for her consumers in obtaining entitlement benefits, placements, and short and long term counseling and psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and their and families. She has extensive experience developing comprehensive treatment plans, coordinating intakes, evaluations, screenings and psychosocial assessments. 


Dr. Alexis J. McLean-McKessey
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
LaGuardia Community College

Dr. Alexis J. McLean-McKessey is the Vice President for Student Affairs LaGuardia Community College where she serves on the President’s Cabinet and oversees LaGuardia’s Student Affairs Division which includes Athletics, Campus Life, the Early Childhood Learning Center, Health Services, the Office of Accessibility, Transfer Services, Veterans’ Services, the Wellness Center, and more.

Prior to joining LaGuardia in her current role, Dr. McLean-McKessey served as the Dean of Students at Medgar Evers College. Her 14-year career at Medgar Evers included roles serving as the Associate Director in the Department of Special Programs/Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program; as Assistant Professor and Counselor with the Department of Special Programs/SEEK Program; and as a Counseling Coordinator in the same department. Before joining Medgar Evers, Dr. McLean-McKessey was an instructor/counselor in the counseling department at LaGuardia Community College.

Dr. McLean-McKessey earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Arts in Mental Health & Wellness Counseling, and Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration, both from New York University.

Dr. McLean-McKessey's research has been published in peer-reviewed and academic journals including The NYU Journal of Student AffairsTaboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, and The American Educational Research Association Annual Conference Proceedings. She has also presented her research at the city, state and national level. Her conference topics have focused on student development in higher education, the role of institutional agents at colleges and universities, and the ways in which Black women navigate the doctoral completion process. Works include “We Got Y’all: The Transformative Role of Mentoring in the Lives of Students of Color,” “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: A Recipe for Successful Relationships between Black Practitioners and Black Students in Community College,” “Just Like the Water… Surviving and Thriving as a Woman of Color Moving Through the Academy”, and “Okay Ladies, Now Let’s Get in Formation! Narratives of Mothers of Color Who Survived and Thrived While Pursuing Doctoral Degrees.” In addition, she has served as a guest lecturer, speaker and facilitator for a number of workshops, panels and symposia focused on access and success in higher education.

Dr. McLean-McKessey serves as a member of a variety of academic and professional organizations including, the American Counseling Association (ACA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She is also a member of the SUNY Conduct Institute, and an External Reviewer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Dr. Denise B. Maybank
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Dr. Denise B. Maybank is the recently appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for the City University of New York. In this role, she assumes responsibility for unifying the student affairs and enrollment management functions of the University’s Central Office to guide the work of supporting student engagement from recruitment through to completion and beyond.

Prior to joining CUNY, Dr. Maybank served as the vice president and associate provost for student affairs and services at Michigan State University. During her 15-year tenure there, she served in progressive leadership roles beginning as an associate vice president in 2005. Dr. Maybank contributed to significant initiatives structuring the undergraduate experience; developed partnerships with the Graduate School and colleges to initiate the Graduate Student Life and Wellness emphasis; and conceived and implemented lasting innovative programs and services.

Throughout her career, she has been a member of professional associations representing the disciplines and contexts in which she serves. She is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Board of Directors, representing the Council on Student Affairs; she values the opportunities to have her voice and expertise included in national initiatives on higher education. As an active member of the communities in which she lives, she has served on various boards of directors for civic and social service organizations, often being elected to leadership positions. She is also an active member of her church community and sorority.

A lifelong learner, Dr. Maybank has earned additional credentials as an educational leader through the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. She holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in educational administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Maybank is a proud CUNY alumna, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Brooklyn College.