Three Touro Law Graduates Named NYS Excelsior Fellows

July 19, 2016

Touro Law Center is pleased to announce that three graduates have been selected as prestigious New York State Excelsior Fellows. Mickelle Damasia ’16 will be working at the New York State Department of Finance, Joseph Castrianni ’16 will be placed at the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation in Albany, NY and Jolevette Mitchell ’16 will be placed at the New York State Division for Human Rights.

Dean Patricia Salkin stated, “Touro Law is proud of our record of producing quality government lawyers to serve the people of New York State.  These competitive fellowships in particular provide great opportunities for recent graduates to fast track their public service careers while being exposed to high level policy initiatives, both regulatory and legislative, at the state level. It is a honor to be selected  for this opportunity, and we are proud of our recent graduates.”

The fellowship program is an initiative to bring highly talented graduates of colleges, universities, and graduate, law and professional schools into government service. Fellows will start in early September and will be placed in the Executive Chamber and at 41 state government agencies and authorities.
The Excelsior Service Fellowship Program will build on the success of the Empire State Fellows program that attracts early-career professionals to high-level positions within state government, and the New NY Leaders Internship Program that offers hundreds of college students an opportunity to work in state government. Excelsior Fellows work full-time alongside senior members of the administration and play a policy-influencing role in New York State with the opportunity to work on the most pressing issues of the day. Although the Excelsior Fellowship Program lasts two years, exceptional fellows may continue to serve New York State over time. 

Graduate and Excelsior Fellow Joseph Castrianni applied for the fellowship because he thought it would be a tremendous experience and would set him on a career path that was right for him. He stated, “I am excited about the experience. I know this fellowship will provide me with knowledge and great work experience. I am excited about this opportunity and the potential it brings and I look forward to putting my legal education to use while making a difference at the government level.”


Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center’s 185,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art law school is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning model for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law, which has a student body of approximately 650 and an alumni base of more than 6,000, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs, several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

Touro Law’s newly implemented Portals to Practice is a cutting-edge, experiential learning program that reconceives and restructures the law school experience. Portals to Practice expands the scope and quality of legal education by focusing on the development of legal professionals, from pre-law through post-graduation. 

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 29 branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to:

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

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