BMW CANA honors two with Community Service Award

Michael Deas accepts award from BMW CANA President Pamela Griffin (R) and Mistress of Ceremonies, Dr. Claudette Gordon.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester Chapter of the Caribbean American Nurses Association (BMW CANA) on Saturday honored Michael A. Deas, the director of Urban Male Leadership Program at Lehman College, and Ruel Roy Stephenson, NYPD deputy chief, with its Community Service Award.

“Special thanks to the honorees for their selfless contribution and work they do in our communities,” said BMW CANA Vincentian-born president Pamela Griffin in her remarks, at the luncheon ceremony, at Eastwood Manor in the Bronx.

“I want to sincerely say ‘thank you to everybody,’” said Deas, whose father hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica. “Let’s give our nurses a greast hand.” Patrons obliged.

Stephenson was not present, but the Rev. Pierre-Andre Duvert, the Haitian-born rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in the Bronx, accepted the award on his behalf.

Deas earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Lehman College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University.

Deas has a long history of working in public and private agencies providing support services for children and families.

He was appointed Director of the Urban Male Leadership Program (UMLP) at Lehman College in August of 2008, and continues to create an abundance of program awareness across the Lehman campus, as well as on others.

Always putting the needs of the student first, Deas said he has developed a program to strengthen academic skills, personal development, and character enrichment.

Prior to Deas’ appointment as director of the UMLP, he was the New York City Director of Social Work for the Administration for Children’s Services Juvenile Justice Initiative.

He is an adjunct professor at Herbert H. Lehman College (Africana Studies Department), was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Lehman College in 2006, and is also an adjunct professor at The College of New Rochelle (Social Work Department).

A skilled orator, Deas serves as a motivational speaker for the United States Army Disabled Veterans.

Recently, Deas was honored as one of the 25 most influential leaders in the Bronx by the City of New York,and the State of New York.

He was also honored by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce as “a leader who has made significant social and educational contributions to the City of New York.”

Stephenson graduated from Xavarian High School in 1988 and went on to attend the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York for two years.

He played Division 3 basketball during both years at The College of St. Rose.

In February, 2003, Deputy Chief Stephenson graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

On June 30, 1995 he joined the New York City Police Department and was assigned to the 70th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, the community where he was raised.

With his hard work and ambition he steadily elevated through the ranks.

He successfully passed three competitive promotional exams and was promoted to sergeant on Sept. 29, 2000, to lieutenant on Nov. 23, 2004 and to captain on Dec. 23, 2008.

On Sept. 22, 2010, Stephenson was assigned as Commanding Officer of the 30th Precinct.

On Oct. 31, 2011, he received a discretionary promotion to Deputy Inspector from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

On April 7, 2013 he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of the 47th. On Nov. 25, 2014, he was promoted to Inspector by Police Commissioner William Bratton.

Finally, on Nov. 21, 2017, Stephenson was promoted to Deputy Chief by Police Commissioner James O’Neil and was immediately transferred to the Housing Bureau, where he is currently assigned as the Executive Officer (2nd in command).

During his tenure as Commanding Officer in the 30th & 47th Precinct, Stephenson said he “shared a genuine bond with the community.”

Stephenson is renowned for his engaging manner and calm demeanor.

BMW CANA said those who have worked with him throughout his career in the NYPD “recognize that beneath that composed, genial exterior is a very disciplined, dedicated and humble man.”

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