Faculty and Staff
Agriculture and Food Management Department
Champlin Hall 208
Rich Benninger is a visiting faculty member Chef Benninger teaches Culinary I, Introduction to Baking and Pastry, and American Cuisine. He has enjoyed a 28 year career in hospitality management. Chef Benninger is a former Executive Director of Catering and Convention Services at two of Las Vegas’ premier hotel casino resorts. In addition to teaching, he owns and operates a full service catering venue and tavern. Chef Benninger earned his AAS Professional Chef degree from SUNY Cobleskill and holds a BS in Hotel Administration from University of Nevada Las Vegas, an MBA from University of Phoenix-Nellis Air Force Campus, and is currently working on a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership at University of Phoenix.
Champlin Hall 211
Keith Buerker is a faculty member in the Agriculture and Food Management Department at SUNY Cobleskill. He is a Certified Executive Chef, a Certified Culinary Educator, and a Certified Food and Beverage Executive. Chef Buerker is a member of the ACF Capital District-Central New York. He has a bachelor of science from Southern New Hampshire University and a master of science from SUNY Albany. Chef Buerker was named Chef of the Year of the Tri-Lakes Chefs Association and has won six ACF gold medals, six ACF silver medals and five bronze medals in National and International competitions. He has also won numerous awards and honors including: Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, The American Cancer Society and the New York State Beef Council.
Professor, Department Chair
Champlin Hall 213
Chef Cloughly is an American Culinary Federation certified Executive pastry Chef and Chef de Cuisine. She is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Les Dames de Escoffier, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) and the Retail Baker’s Association. Chef Cloughly was awarded Educator of the Year in 2011 by WCR. Chef Cloughly serves as a chairperson for New York State SkillsUSA. She advises the Student Pastry Arts Club. She is a certified Allergen and Gluten Free trainer. Chef Cloughly teaches Culinary I and the Baking and Pastry courses.
Prentice Hall 012
David Campbell, an American Culinary Federation member, has earned several distinctions with the ACF including Certified Culinary Educator and Certified Chef de Cuisine. He is an active member of the Capital District Chefs Association.
Kniskern House 102
Dr. Jason Evans received his BA in Economics and Psychology from the University of Virginia, and his MS in Agricultural Economics and his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics from West Virginia University.
Prior to his arrival in 2009 at SUNY Cobleskill he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant Professor at WVU. Dr. Evans has authored two books and several refereed journal publications. He is the advisor to the American Animal Producer’s Club, the Livestock Show Team and Epsilon Pi Tau honor society at SUNY Cobleskill, and also an active member of many on-campus committees. He is also enthusiastically involved in grant writing.
Instructional Support Assistant
Champlin Hall 206
Jamie Handy applies her years of food service experience to assist with the daily operations of the Culinary Arts department.
Champlin Hall 204
Michael Lapi is the former chef/owner of Church and Main Restaurant in Canajoharie and a chef instructor at SUNY Cobleskill where he teaches International Cuisine, Meat Products and Farm to Table Management. Recently he has been working at the Olde Tater Barn in Central Bridge NY, where he incorporates fresh-local ingredients from Schoharie Valley into his preparation of seasonal catering menus. Whether he is preparing Northwind Farms’ rabbit gumbo or fresh duck egg pasta with braised Gordon Farms’ oxtails, his food is always delicious. Michael has long been a champion of cooking with local ingredients and sources many of his ingredients from the farms throughout Schoharie and Albany counties and, many times, from his mother’s garden. He is also an expert mushroom forager.
Warner Hall 102
Dr. Rogan earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Foods at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Her Master’s degree in Food Science, also earned at Cornell, was completed in the Department of Vegetable Crops. She attended a dietetic internship at the Mayo Clinic/St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN. to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). Dr. Rogan studied Statistical Process Control in the HACCP system for food processing for a Ph.D. in Administrative Systems at Union Graduate College, Schenectady, NY. Her research was conducted with financial support of PMI Industries and with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst providing lab support. Dr. Anne Rogan is responsible for teaching sanitation, nutrition and food purchasing courses. Dr. Rogan has research interests in food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control (HACCP) and statistical process control. Dr. Rogan is a certified instructor for the National Restaurant Association Serv Safe Program. She is a certified dietitian/nutritionist with the NYS Education Department. Dr. Rogan has provided nutrition and food consultation for children in Head Start and school lunch programs. She has also provided diet and nutrition information to county Office for the Aging on-site and meals on wheels centers and at long term care facilities.
Champlin Hall 205
Professor Cherryl Vaccarella is an alumna of Cobleskill and teaches a variety of courses in the department, including catering, casino management, menu planning, dining room service, beverage management and principles of management for the service industry. She has been a part of the SUNY Cobleskill's Department of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism since 1998. She received an award from the Societe des Culinaire de Philanthropique at the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York City and also the SUNY Cobleskill Alumni staff award. She is a certified TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) trainer teaching responsible handling and service of alcohol and won a trainer award in 2011. Professor Vaccarella is also a trainer for the Federation of Dining Room Professionals in dining room service. She is a member of WCR - Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, a national organization that fosters women in the Hospitality Industry. She is an active member of the campus and surrounding communities with her CHAT (catering) club that received many awards for their participation in charitable organizations' fundraising events through the years.
Knistern House 101
A native of southern France, Dr. Winter joined the Agricultural Business Management team at SUNY Cobleskill in 2014. She received a Masters degree in Agribusiness from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Arizona State. Her teaching interests include food systems, marketing, small business development and entrepreneurship. Dr. Winter is faculty advisor for the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), a student organization that competes nationally each year in marketing plan competitions.
Champlin Hall 209
Dave Yanisko is a graduate of the University of Rochester (BS Geology) and Johnson and Wales University in Denver, CO (AAS Culinary Arts). He is currently pursuing a MsEd in Career and Technical Education from SUNY Oswego to be completed Spring 2016. Dave has 12 years of experience as a chef in a la carte and private event dining in Philadelphia and resort areas of Southern New Jersey. He is heavily influenced by and classically trained in French brigade/contemporary restaurants. Dave teaches introductory/fundamentals culinary classes, Regional American Cuisine, Catering Operations, and Restaurant Operations. He has also served as the culinary advisor/coach of student competitions such as Chaine de Rotiseurs “Le Jeune Chef Competition,” San Pellegrino “Almost Famous Chef Competition” and the NY Beef Council Competition.