On Monday March 7, 2011 from 8:30 am-10:30 am, The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault with the support of the Joyful Heart Foundation hosted the annual Celebration of Excellence Ceremony and presentation of the Lydia Martinez Collaboration Awards at the New York Academy of Medicine. The award ceremony breakfast honored and commemorated professionals who have shown exceptional leadership and dedication in the pursuit of providing the best care to victims of sexual violence.
The morning opened with a welcome and introduction by Alliance Executive Director, Harriet Lessel. The event also featured a keynote presentation by New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, followed by remarks from Sarah Tofte, Director of Advocacy & Policy at the Joyful Heart Foundation. Alliance board members Laurence E. Busching and Shirley A. Traylor also shared a brief history of the Alliance, and highlighted some of the anti-sexual violence prevention and intervention successes of the past decade. Before introducing the 2011 documentary film about the 2011 award winners, Susan Morley, the Senior Advisor for Investigation at the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) also provided a moving tribute dedicated to the late Detective Lydia Martinez.
To see more pictures from the 2011 Celebration of Excellence, please visit the full photo album
Lydia Martinez's Enduring Legacy
Detective Lydia Martinez will forever be remembered as a passionate and dedicated professional who worked tirelessly to meet the needs of sexual assault victims in New York City. As a Special Victims Detective, she spearheaded multidisciplinary initiatives aimed at improving systems response to victims, and helped to set benchmarks for excellent law enforcement response in the area of sexual violence. The Lydia Martinez Collaboration Awards recognize excellent service by individuals involved in ensuring best care to survivors of sexual violence in New York City. We hope you will join us at this wonderful event as we honor our award winners.
Eric Rosenbuam, Assistant District Attorney
Richard Ortiz, NYPD Special Victims Detective
Deesha Narichania, Program Coordinator for WHMC Violence Intervention and Treatment Program
Maegan Corcoran, Volunteer Advocate
Glenda Guzman, Program Coordinator Queens Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)/SAFE Examiner Awards were presented by:
Lisa Friel, Assistat District Attorney
Dr. Jordan Foster &
2011 Winner Profiles
Assistant Prosecutor: Eric Rosenbaum, Queens County District Attorney's Office
Eric Rosenbaum has served as an assistant district attorney in Queens County for over 16 years. A graduate of Williams College and Fordham Law School, he began his legal career as a litigation associate at the Manhattan law firm of Proskauer Rose. In 1994, Eric left private practice and joined the Queens District Attorney’s Office. After becoming involved in the emerging field of forensic DNA in the 1990s, the District Attorney appointed Eric as Chief of the newly-formed DNA Prosecutions Unit in 2004. In this capacity he supervises sexual assault and child abuse cases involving DNA evidence and serves as a trial advisor office-wide on prosecutions involving DNA. Eric also works on both the local and state level with other prosecutors, victim advocates, police, and community groups to craft and lobby for improved legislation and policies relating to forensic uses of DNA, the CODIS data banks, sex crimes and child abuse. Eric is also a faculty member of the New York Prosecutors Training Institute and the National College of District Attorneys, serves on NYC Criminal Justice Coordinator’s Sex Assault Task Force, the NYS D.A.’s Association Legislative Subcommittee on Sexual Assault and Family Violence, and has previously served on the NYC Bar’s Criminal Justice Council, Committee on Court Operations and Budget, and as chairperson of the Committee on LGBT Rights.
NYPD Special Victims Detective: Det. Richard Ortiz, Staten Island
Richard Ortiz was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn and attended Eastern District H.S. A member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Richard has served as a Cannon Crew Member and Military Policeman. Richard is a 20 year veteran of the N.Y.P.D. and was assigned to the Detectives Bureau in March of 2006. In April of 2006, Richard was hand-selected by Det. Lydia Martinez for assignment to the Special Victims Division, where he joined the Staten Island Child Advocacy Center as a Child Abuse Detective. In June of 2007, the Special Victims Division absorbed the Staten Island Child Advocacy Center Detective Squad, and became known as the Staten Island Special Victims Squad. The squad, which is a co-located part of an MDT, is comprised of members of the NYPD, Richmond County District Attorney's Office, A.C.S., Safe Horizon, and Medical Professionals who work tirelessly to support victims of abuse and sex crimes. Richard was also recently accepted into the College of Staten Island's Nursing Program where he is pursuing a degree in Nursing.
Rape Crisis Professional: Deesha Narichania, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center
Deesha has engaged in a diverse range of anti-violence efforts for over ten years. In her position at the WHMC Violence Intervention and Treatment Program, Deesha provides program planning and coordination, direct service, and education, as well as rape crisis program leadership for Envision-Williamsburg, a community mobilization project to prevent sexual violence in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), a volunteer collective which facilitates student organizing to reform campus sexual assault policies. Deesha is grateful for these positions, which privilege her to participate in others’ sacred healing processes and to collaborate in fierce activism. Her work at once empowers and challenges Deesha to creatively express her politics. A saying that grounds her in the inter-sectionality of social justice work: When one of us is oppressed, none of us are free. In addition, Deesha is a dedicated student of kathak, a classical North Indian dance form.
Rape Crisis Volunteer Advocate: Maegan Corcoran, St. Luke's- Roosevelt CVTC
Maegan Corcoran, a former native of Southern California, moved to the Big Apple in 2000 to study musical theatre just two weeks after graduating high school. While working hard to make it as an actress, Maegan got her real estate license and has been working as an agent in Manhattan since 2006. Maegan was introduced to the rape crisis volunteer advocate program at The Crime Victims Treatment Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital, when she was in the Emergency Department after she was sexually assaulted in 2006. Since that moment, Maegan knew when she was ready; she would become an advocate herself and help survivors, just like she was helped. Maegan became a volunteer rape crisis advocate at CVTC in 2008 and has dedicated many hours of her time helping victims take the first step to taking their power back and giving them a voice. Maegan is so honored to be here today receiving this award!
Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner: Glenda Guzman, Elmhurst Hospital Center Glenda Guzman has been a licensed Physicians Assistant in New York since 1995. Since 2006, Glenda has held a managerial and clinical position in the emergency departments at Elmhurst and Queens Hospital where she is the Program Coordinator of the Queens Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). As the SART coordinator, Glenda is responsible for the administrative and clinical functions of the program and also acts as the liaison with local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Guzman received her training as a physician assistant from Long Island University; she also holds a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Mercy College. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, New York State Society of Physician Assistants, Society of Emergency medicine of Physician Assistants and International Association of forensic Nurses. In her spare time, Glenda provides lectures, consults and trainings on the assessment, evaluation and treatment of sexual assault victims and has been a guest speaker at Queens Borough Community College on the topic of sexual violence.
The 2011 Lydia Martinez Awards were brought to you with the support of our
event partner, the Joyful Heart Foundation.