Deb Volberg Pagnotta, JD

Visiting Instructor

JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
AB, Anthropology, Brandeis University

Iona College
Department of Speech-Communication Studies
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Office: (914) 633-2051

Office Location:
18 President Street Room 201

Office Hours:
By appointment only

Deb Volberg Pagnotta, J.D. serves Iona in our Speech Communication Studies Department as a Visiting Instructor. In 2013 she also organized Iona’s first annual Student Storytelling. She served as Iona liaison to the groundbreaking Stand Up for Women Vets event held in Westchester in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Professor Pagnotta received her A.B. in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1977, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1981. A top-rated lawyer for over 25 years, she served as a managing Assistant Attorney General for the NYS Department of Law, Director of Legal Affairs for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and as employment law partner for Kirkpatrick & Silverberg, LLP with a focus on workplace harassment and discrimination. She founded Interfacet, Inc., in 1999 as a boutique workplace-conduct training company. As a trainer, fact-finder and mediator, she worked with a broad spectrum of organizations US-based and international, ranging from a global corporate communications firm and a medical technology company to high-end restaurants, fire departments, banks, museums, government agencies and fashion companies. In 2010, she spearheaded the team which developed diversityDNA®, a diversity training app, and serves as CEO of diversityDNA llp, which recently released a “disruptive” online application to explore personal diversity and human insight (
Her passion for multiculturalism and human communication began with her childhood in Africa and Europe, and has been amplified by her work/life experiences. For a look at Pagnotta’s interests and background, see: and


  • Junior Faculty Award (2013)
Classes Taught:
  • SCS 101: Introduction to Oral Communication,
  • SCS 205: Interpersonal Communication,
  • SCS 346: Intercultural Communication
  • SCS 330: Technology, Communication and Society
  • SCS 323: Persuasion
  • SCS 380: Communication Problems in Aging
  • Sexual Harassment in Academe: Negotiating the Maze (New York Law Journal)
  • Three White Ducks and One Brown: Diversity at the Workplace (NYSBA Labor & Employment Journal)