Marcia Cantarella is the author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide which educators, parents and students say is a goldmine of information and strategies especially for first generation, low-income and students of color who struggle to complete college degrees.
Dr. Cantarella has been an Associate Dean at Hunter College, a Dean at Princeton University and part of the Dean’s staff at New York University’s College of Arts and Science. In these functions she has been responsible for academic advisement, career development, preparation for postgraduate fellowships, development of diversity programs, and strategies to generally enhance students’ academic experience and outcomes. She has drawn on 15 years of corporate experience gained as a Director in Public Affairs and then in Marketing at Avon Products to apply those skills and background to communications challenges, financial and strategic planning in a higher education environment. As Vice-President of Student Affairs at Metropolitan College of NY she was responsible for web development and rebranding of the College as well as admissions and student services. In each of these roles she has also engaged in fundraising and philanthropic activities.
She is also President of Cantarella Consulting, focusing on issues of student success, access and diversity. Consulting projects and clients have included Kingsborough Community College, The One Club, and work on the educational support for the PBS films All the Difference and College Behind Bars. She is the Co-Director of the CUNY Black Male Initiative at Hunter College.
She serves on the boards of Saint Elizabeth University, READ Alliance, DEGREES NYC, Create Change Transform, and the Boy Scout Council of Greater NY.
Having a doctorate in American Studies with a focus on American business she has also taught courses relating to working and consuming in America at Princeton, Hunter College and NYU.
She has been honored by an array of organizations including the Harlem YMCA, the Links, Inc., and the Congress of Italian American Organizations, the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Foundation, Bryn Mawr College, and READ Alliance. She has been been published in Vital Speeches.
Dr. Cantarella graduated with Honors from Bryn Mawr College and has her Masters and Doctoral degrees from New York University in American Studies.
“I do this work because I believe that strong leadership, clear information and great resources will result in higher access to college and students who succeed.”