Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Nurses Middle College Charter High School- Capital Region are passionate about providing students with opportunities for a high quality education, increasing the diversity of the nursing and health care workforce and improving our healthcare system for all.

Susan Birkhead
DNS, MPH, RN, CNE, Chair
Dr. Birkhead, holds a Doctor of Nursing Science from The Sage Colleges as well as an MPH from Johns Hopkins University. She is a certified nurse educator and has extensive experience at the college level. She has served as an adjunct faculty at Empire State College and has served as faculty in health maintenance, restoration and support at the Samaritan School of Nursing and the Albany Memorial School of Nursing. Dr. Birkhead was also a nurse epidemiologist in the Hospital Infections Program at the CDC. She has experience as a consulting health systems analyst and has been a director of nursing and nurse manager among many other positions. Dr. Birkhead has made numerous presentations in the nursing field and has several publications in peer reviewed journals, as well as extensive experience in college programs including time as a Certified Nurse Educator.
Dr. Brenda J. Robinson
DNP, MSN, FNP-s, RN, Vice Chair
Dr. Brenda Robinson is CEO and founder of the Black Nurses Coalition, Inc which is a non-profit organization created to address healthcare disparities and advocate for health equity. Dr. Robinson serves many roles in the City of Albany including Human Rights Commissioner, Albany Public Library Board Trustee, Associate Director Capcom Federal Credit Union Board, Health Equity & Diversity Consultant, and President of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association. She is a published author and public speaker. Dr. Robinson was a member of the City of Albany Police Reform Collaborative and many other Albany initiatives. Dr. Robinson has been an employee of the Veteran Health Administration for over 27 years in many capacities and enjoys serving Veterans. She is a former instructor at Maria College and Mildred Elley Nursing School. Read More
Deborah Elliott
MS, RN, Treasurer
Ms. Elliott, MBA, BSN, RN, holds a Master of Business in Health Systems Administrator from Union Graduate College as well as being a licensed registered professional nurse in New York State. She is certified in labor relations, contract administration and collective bargaining. Ms. Elliott is currently the Executive Director at the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses, Inc., as well as the Exectuive Director og Nurses House Inc. In these positions she has oversight for all organized operations including finances, human resources facilities, marketing, public relations and communications. She has also served as the Director of Nursing Education and Practice and Deputy Executive Director for the New York State Nurses Association. She has held various other nursing and administrative positions as well.
Mary Therriault
MS, RN, Secretary
Ms. Therriault holds a Master's in Nursing Education from Excelsior College. She is a member of the Instructional Faculty Online Education and an academic advisor mentor at SUNY Empire State College, an Adjunct Faculty member at Hudson Valley Community College and Subject Matter Expert/ Adjunct Faculty member at Excelsior College. She has worked as a Quality Management Infection Control Specialists at Our Lady of Mercy Center. Ms. Therriault is a critical care registered nurse and formerly a Nurse Educator for the Department of Nursing Education at Saint Peters Hospital. She has also made numerous professional presentations in her field and has many peer reviewed publications.
Mark Little
Mark Little retired from GE in 2015 after a 37-year career. A company officer for 22 years, Mark served as a senior leader running both technology teams and mult-billion dollar global businesses. His last role at GE was Senior Vice President/Director of GE Global Research and Chief Technology Officer of GE. Mark is engaged in business as a Director of Analog Devices, a director of two Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, a Venture Partner at the Material Impact Fund, and as a director of two startup companies, Everon24 and Infinite Cooling. He is also an advisor to Energy Impact Partners. Mark is active in his community as President of The Little Family Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Ellis Medicine, President of the Board of Rise High, a STEM program for Schenectady youth, President of the Board of Young Parents United, an organization that supports young mothers with very limited resources, and Director of Better Community Neighborhoods, an affordable housing organization. Read More
Angela A. Antonikowski,
Dr. Angela Antonikowski is the Associate Dean of Wellness and Chief Officer of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Albany Medical Center as well as an Associate Professor at Albany Medical College. She also leads the New York Birth Equity Improvement Project at Albany Medical Center. In her current role as Chief Officer of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, she works towards fostering the development of strategies that will ultimately advance diversity within Albany Medical Center as well as the surrounding communities. In 2017, Antonikowski received the Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Award for outstanding community leadership. Dr. Antonikowski holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Criminal Justice, a master’s in Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology, all from the State University of New York at Albany.
Joseph B. Porter,
Over the course of his professional career, Joseph B. Porter dedicated himself to improving the quality of education and government at every level of New York State. At the time of his retirement in 2019, Mr. Porter served in the State University of New York (SUNY) as Senior Vice Chancellor for Executive Leadership and Employee Development where he served as the Chancellor’s liaison with campus presidents, oversaw the operation of the offices of Human Resources and Employee Relations, and created professional development opportunities for SUNY employees. Immediately prior to that, Mr. Porter served as Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, the chief legal officer of the State University and principal legal counsel to the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, senior officers in system administration and the presidents of the state operated campuses. Read More
J. David Brown
David Brown, who has a 30 year career within the YMCA, is currently the President / CEO of the Capital District YMCA. Brown is responsible for a $40 million dollar budget and the supervision 12 YMCA branches, 4 daycare centers, 2 camps, 2 housing corporations, and 60 childcare sites. The Capital District YMCA organization has 100,000 members, 2000 employees, 1400 volunteers and serves 6 counties and 18 different school districts. Throughout his career Brown has dedicated much of his time and effort toward helping children and teenagers realize their potential as students and members of their communities. Programs in youth athletics, education and mentoring, and leadership development have been advanced during his involvement. He was a founding member of the committee to establish the Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program which began in 2004 in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. By hosting its Inaugural Banquet with the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King as the keynote speaker he brought validation and recognition to this program and the YMCA. Dave earned a Bachelors Degree from Robert Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, and earned a Masters in Business Administration Spring of 2005 from the State University of New York at Albany. Read More
Maxine M. Smalling,
Maxine M. Smalling is a psychiatric nursing leader with 28 years of clinical, administrative, and public health experience. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Nursing Officer at the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) providing nursing leadership to address systemic issues in the field, ensure the presence of a nursing voice in policymaking, and advance the professionalization of the OMH nursing workforce. Her professional memberships include the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), American Nurses Association (ANA), Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders. Ms. Smalling holds an associate’s degree in Applied Science from the Helene Fuld College of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Russell Sage College, and a master’s in Nursing from Excelsior College.