Jonathan Gastel, Ph.D.
Dr. Gastel, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and his Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University, brings to the New York Military Academy a strong desire to propel students to higher standards for academics, leadership, and character. Before joining NYMA he taught various subjects in both public and private schools locally and internationally, including Stuyvesant High School in New York City. He also created and led several successful project-based instructional programs and was Supervisor of Secondary Science at Pelham, NY.
Dean of Academics
Maria Reeves joined the NYMA staff in August of 2006. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and her Master of Arts degree, also in Psychology, from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has held many positions within the Academy and is often called upon for her experience in residential life, admissions, classroom management, testing, counseling, and the college application process. As the current PDSO for SEVIS, she is specifically responsible for international students entering the country. Her greatest work is helping students realize their full potential while using a very individualized approach. Ms. Reeves creates many opportunities for students to participate in community service because she would like to instill the belief that we are all stewards of our community.
Director of Admissions
Mr. Dolan has put forward 25 years of experience working in an educational environment, 21 years with the New York Police Department, and 27 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. He has a strong ability to maintain the continuing flow of quality applicants and recognize core trends effectively. Mr. Dolan’s strength in admissions and marketing educational curriculums is a huge asset to NYMA.
Joseph Naseef is the Commandant here at NYMA. His role is to enforce the standards of the cadet manual, counsel cadets to resolve infractions, and foster a healthy environment for our cadets to thrive in. He recently retired from the U.S. Army where he deployed overseas several times...first with the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment at Vilseck, Germany, again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2007-2008), and then to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (2011-2012). Mr. Naseef is a recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. Prior to joining our team, he was a MS100 college instructor for the Military Science Division at West Point for four years. Mr. Naseef also teaches a Military Familiarization class as well as a Military Science course here at NYMA.
Robert Blum was born in Pennsylvania and entered the Regular Army in February of 1974. Upon completion of basic training, he was assigned to the Air Defense Artillery Center and School at Fort Bliss Texas for training as an Air Defense Artillery Crewman. He served in this position until January of 1979 when he was assigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School. There he obtained the Military Occupational Specialty of Intelligence Analyst position. First Sergeant Blum served at a variety of duty stations worldwide and ended his active duty career in October of 1994 as an Operations Sergeant and First Sergeant in the Foreign Material Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
First Sergeant Blum has been a certified JROTC instructor since January of 1995 having served as a JROTC Instructor in the Baltimore City and Philadelphia Public School Systems and also at Carson Long Military Academy.
Robert Blum is a graduate of the Sergeants Major Academy, First Sergeants Course, and the Operations and Intelligence Course at Fort Bliss, Texas. He also graduated from American Military University with an associate’s degree in General Studies. First Sergeant Blum is a veteran of Desert Storm and his awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
First Sergeant Blum is married to the former Esther Kim and is the father/stepfather of five daughters and four grandchildren.
Director of Dining Facilities
Richard Thorn is a culinary professional with over 30 years of experience in all aspects of food service. He is an alumnus of Paul Smith’s College (A.A.S. Culinary Arts) and has served in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service (MS2-SS). After his time in the Navy, Mr. Thorn became a certified Dietary Manager and worked in contract food service. He was assigned to a variety of locations throughout the region including medical, corporate, recreational and educational facilities. Mr. Thorn returned to NYMA in 2017. He was previously the Food Service Director here from 2013-2015.
Lydia Chan is the Program Coordinator for the Early College & Postgraduate Programs here at NYMA. She brings with her several years of experience having worked in various offices at the NYC Department of Education. During her time there, she moved fluidly between different roles…from overseeing school compliance, developing special education policies and initiatives, and project managing citywide STEM programs.
Ms. Chan is also a recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship which fully funded both her college and graduate education at Columbia University. She holds a bachelor’s in Psychology and a master’s in Education Policy (Legal Specialization), matriculating cum laude.
Susan O'Dell, R.N.
Health Services Manager and Head Nurse