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Faculty and staff depart from IC in Fall 2023

Several+faculty+and+staff+at+Ithaca+College+have+departed+the+college+recently+or+will+not+be+returning+after+the+end+of+Fall+2023.
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Several faculty and staff at Ithaca College have departed the college recently or will not be returning after the end of Fall 2023.

Several members of Ithaca College’s faculty and staff departed from or announced plans to leave the college during Fall 2023. 

Odalys Diaz Piñeiro, former chief of staff for President La Jerne Cornish, left the college at the end of October to serve as chief of staff at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Cornish said in an Oct. 27 Intercom post that Piñeiro started working at the college in April 2020 and helped guide the college through unprecedented circumstances by managing government and community relations and college communications. In the post, Cornish said she was grateful for Piñeiro’s significant contributions to the campus community during her three and a half years at the college

“Odalys was also deeply involved in implementing the Ithaca Forever Strategic Plan as well as supporting my transition from provost to president,” Cornish said in the post. “She has served as a continuously steady member of the cabinet, responsible for working with the president, vice presidents, and deans to help organize, focus, and implement the college’s broad strategic work.”

Cornish said in the post that she plans to divide Piñeiro’s responsibilities among her other staff members while she considers realigning staff duties. 

Yasin Ahmed, former director of Religious and Spiritual Life, resigned from the college as of Oct. 27. Luca Maurer, executive director for student equity, inclusion and belonging, shared a statement from Ahmed that explained he decided to resign to pursue a larger calling in an Intercom post. 

“I’m called to develop the ‘beloved community,’ but this will require my full-time attention,” Ahmed said. “After much reflection, I have decided to step away from my role at IC, an experience for which I am immensely grateful, in order to pursue the creation of a loving national community, a dream that has eluded us for too long.”

Maurer said in the post that he was grateful for Ahmed’s impact on the campus community.

“I know Yasin’s incredible kindness, support and dedicated pastoral care have touched the lives of many members of our community and his departure will be difficult to bear,” Maurer said. “I would like to thank Yasin for all he has done to foster a culture of finding meaning in our shared human experience and building bridges across the diverse fabric of religious, spiritual and secular worldviews that make up our campus community.”

Maurer said the college will provide an update for filling the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life position, and individuals can email him at [email protected] with any concerns, questions or needs that would have been directed to Ahmed.

Ronald Trunzo, former associate director for Residential Life and Student Conduct and Community Standards, left the college as of Nov. 3. Laura Davis, director for the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, said in an Intercom post that Trunzo worked in residential life for almost 30 years, primarily at the college and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

“During his time at IC, he gave much to the department and across the college and we greatly appreciate his hard work and numerous contributions,” Davis said in the post. 

Davis said Trunzo plans to further his musical career as an organist and vocalist in addition to spending time gardening, cooking, hiking and taking road trips. 

Radeana Hastings: As The Ithacan previously reported, Radeana Hastings, former program coordinator of the BIPOC Unity Center, departed the college as of Nov. 10. The college has not made a formal announcement of Hastings’ departure, but Luca Maurer, executive director for Student Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, confirmed in an email to The Ithacan that Hastings no longer works at the college. 

Hastings joined the BIPOC Unity Center staff Sept. 18. Before starting at the college, Hastings received her Master of Science degree in Counseling from East Connecticut State University and worked as a Graduate Intern in the University’s Intercultural Center. 

Sarah Boniche, associate director for Student Involvement in the Office of Student Engagement, will leave the college Dec. 8. Mish Lenhart, director of Student Engagement in the OSE, said in a Nov. 30 Intercom post that Boniche first joined the college in 2018 as a residence director, a position that she held until 2020. 

She returned to the college in August 2022 as associate director for Student Involvement. In this role, Boniche created recognition processes for returning and new student organizations, engineered the redesign of the Student Activities Center and developed workshops and a communication hub for advisors of student organizations. Boniche served as the adviser to student organizations like Student Governance Council, Bureau of Concerts and Student Activities Board. 

Boniche plans to return to SUNY Binghamton University, where she will lead the Office of Residential Life’s project management for special initiatives. 

Lenhart said in the post that the office hopes to start searching for a candidate to fill the associate director of Student Involvement position soon. Students can send any questions to [email protected] until the position is filled. 

Susan Salahshor, assistant professor and founder of the Physician Assistant Studies program, will leave the college at the end of Fall 2023. Christina Moylan, interim dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, said in a Nov. 30 Intercom post that Salahshor led the development of all facets of the new physician assistant graduate program. 

This included composing didactic and clinical year curriculum, hiring faculty and staff, building connections within the community, completing the ARC-PA accreditation process and establishing the program admissions process. 

Moylan said in a post that during Salahshor’s time at the college, she was also selected to be an ARC-PA Commissioner; helped gain the $1 million gift for the endowed Thaler Scholarship to support graduate students who are pursuing the physician assistant studies degree; received a Community Advocacy Award from the Point of Care Network; and helped establish the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, which Physician Assistant Studies students facilitate and use to educate their peers outside of the classroom.

Moylan said in the post that Melissa Murfin, associate professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program, will work as the interim program director while the college conducts a national search to find the program’s next director.

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Kai Lincke, Former Assistant News Editor
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    Camille DohertyDec 12, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Ithaca is facing a new workforce were committed employees are requiring more. And the ablity to retain strong candidates will need to be revisited if you want to keep the talent. This time will go down in history as the great resignation era

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