Legislature Elects Three New Members and Re-elects Three Members to Board of Regents

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate and Assembly Education Committee Chairs Shelley B. Mayer and Michael Benedetto, and Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Patricia Fahy today announced the Legislature’s election of Hasoni Pratts, Dr. Seema Rivera and Patrick A. Mannion, and the re-election of Dr. Christine D. Cea, Dr. James E. Cottrell and Wade S. Norwood to the New York State Board of Regents.

The Board of Regents is comprised of 17 members elected by the Legislature for five year terms. One member is elected from each of the state’s 13 judicial districts and four members serve at-large.

“I want to congratulate the newly elected members of the Board of Regents, Hasoni Pratts, Dr. Seema Rivera, and Patrick A. Mannion as well as Dr. Christine D. Cea, Dr. James E. Cottrell and Wade S. Norwood on their reelection to this critical institution,” said Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins. “The new members will bring a wealth of knowledge and diversity of experience that will enhance the work of the Board. I look forward to working with them to support the Empire State's role in providing world class higher education to students in New York and beyond.”

“Having experienced, knowledgeable and diverse members of the Board of Regents is critical to giving students in New York State high quality education that addresses their diverse needs,” Speaker Heastie said. “I would like to congratulate Hasoni Pratts, Dr. Seema Rivera and Patrick Mannion on their elections and Dr. Christine Cea, Dr. James Cottrell and Wade Norwood on their reelections to the Board of Regents. I have faith that they will continue working to give our students a world class education.”

“I congratulate our returning regents and our newest appointed regents who are joining the critically impactful work of the New York State Board of Regents. We rely on the board to adopt wise policies and provide thoughtful guidance to our schools, professionals, and many other regulated entities during these challenging times. I commend the willingness of these qualified individuals to volunteer their time, expertise and collective experience to help guide the New York State Education Department and our state forward,” said Senator Mayer.

“I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to the newest members of the Board of Regents and to our returning members,” said Assemblymember Benedetto. “As an educator, I know the important role that the Board of Regents plays in shaping our educational system, and I believe that the regents we elected today will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help our students learn and thrive.”

“Congratulations to Hasoni Pratts, Dr. Seema Rivera and Patrick Mannion on their election to the Board of Regents, and to Dr. Christine Cea, Dr. James Cottrell and Wade Norwood on their reelection to the board,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “Every student deserves access to a high-quality education. I know that these members, both new and returning, will use their experience and background to continue to strengthen our education system here in New York, and ensure that it meets the needs of all of our students and educators. They join a long list of notable New Yorkers who stepped up to serve our state and their communities in this capacity including Alexander Hamilton, former Governor of New York George Clinton, Secretary of State John Scott and more.”

Hasoni Pratts (second Judicial District ) is currently senior advisor to CEO and President Marc Morial at the National Urban League, where she serves as liaison for federal, state and local equity outreach in underserved communities.

Dr. Seema Rivera (third Judicial District) is an associate professor of STEM education at the Institute for STEM Education at Clarkson University, and previously served as program director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Noyce Grant. Her research areas include STEM graduate student education, graduate student self-efficacy and identity, and STEM teaching in secondary schools. Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. Rivera taught chemistry in the Bronx, Germantown and Cairo, N.Y.

Patrick A. Mannion (fifth Judicial District) served as vice chair of the Columbian Financial Group in Syracuse prior to his retirement in 2020, and currently is an active member of the Fayetteville Fire Department where he is a firefighter, emergency medical technician, lieutenant and public information officer. Previously he served as chairman, president and CEO of Unity Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Dr. Christine D. Cea (thirteenth Judicial District) is currently a visiting scientist at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Laboratory of Intervention Research. Dr. Cea has developed techniques to enhance the comprehension of persons with intellectual disabilities to enable participation in the informed consent process for health treatments and to understand their rights as research participants. More recently, she co-developed and published a health promotion program now being used on Staten Island to encourage adults with intellectual disabilities to lead healthier lifestyles, and has worked to evaluate an initiative for individuals with autism spectrum disorders who are transitioning from school to work or college. Dr. Cea has authored numerous articles and chapters concerning the rights and ethical treatment of persons with disabilities. She has served as a regent since 2009.

Dr. James E. Cottrell (At-Large) is a distinguished service professor and emeritus chair of Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn. As a clinician, Dr. Cottrell has served on the medical staff of Kings County Hospital Center, Long Island College Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, New York University Hospital and Bellevue Hospital Center. He also served as an associate professor of anesthesiology at New York University. He is a past president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and was awarded that national organization’s highest honor, The Distinguished Service Award, in 2010. Dr. Cottrell has served as a regent since 2011.

Wade S. Norwood (At-Large) has served his community for over 30 years including past membership on the Rochester City Council and the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority. He is currently the chief executive officer of Common Ground Health, a not-for-profit community health planning agency that promotes public health in the Finger Lakes region through research, advocacy and community engagement. Norwood has served as a regent since 2009.

While regents serve five year terms, two regents elected today are filling vacancies and will serve out the remainder of those terms. Hasoni Pratt will serve the remaining one year, and Patrick A. Mannion will serve the remaining two years.