This year, two Wagner alumni have taken on top leadership positions at their alma mater: John Carrescia ’99 M’06 and Christian Miller ’84 M’88.
In January, Carrescia was appointed chief financial officer and vice president for finance and business. He succeeded Bill Mea, who left last August. Carrescia began his career in accounting at KPMG. He has worked at Wagner since 2003, beginning as assistant controller. Since 2005, he has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Business Administration — and he has earned the title of Outstanding Graduate Teacher.
Miller joined Wagner this summer as director of campus operations, succeeding the longtime previous director, Dominick Fontano, who retired after 50 years of working at Wagner College.
“There are lots of opportunities to do some really cool stuff and make things better for everyone.”
Miller had served as vice president of maintenance for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation for the previous year, but most of his career was with the YMCA of New York City. As the director of property management, he managed 25 facilities. He also served as executive director of the McBurney YMCA and oversaw its move from its 100-year-old building on 23rd Street (famous for the Village People’s “YMCA” music video) into a new, 70,000-square-foot facility on 14th Street.
Miller is not entirely new to working with facilities and operations at Wagner — during his student years, he worked on the grounds one summer. “I cut an awful lot of grass,” he recalls. “If you look out over those lovely Tiers parking lots that are so nicely manicured, they weren’t so much then. I actually spent two weeks with a hand sickle chopping down lots and lots of weeds and grass.”
A business administration major with a minor in theater tech, he even interned for the director of campus operations at that time, Stan Shilling. What he calls “my love of the mechanical, using my hands” became the basis of his career.
“I’m thrilled to death,” Miller says of his return to Wagner. “There are a lot of challenges, but it’s a very positive environment. There are lots of opportunities to do some really cool stuff and make things better for everyone.”