Kit Muma has retired from the department after 27 years of service. Kit came to Ithaca College in 1991. She has been a core member of the Biology Faculty, working especially with many of the large service courses over the years. Kit taught laboratories in Fundamentals of Biology for HSHP students and took over the course in 1996. She also established in Primary Human Anatomy labs for PT majors, and since 2000 she has taught the lecture and coordinated the labs for this foundational course. In 2013 she developed a nonmajors course entitled “Bird Brains and Mind Games: Animal Consciousness”. Kit has also provided exemplary courses within the Biology major, including Biology of Aging and Biology of Birds. Her true love is birds, and when ornithologist John Confer retired, she flew at the opportunity to teach the Field Ornithology course as well. Over the years, we estimate that more than 7000 Ithaca College students benefited from Kit’s expertise in the classroom!
Although there were no research expectations from her position, Kit continued active in research during summers at the Queen’s University Biological Station in Ontario; she won numerous Provost summer research grants to support this work. Her interests have led to scholarly contributions on a variety of topics including timing of hummingbird migration, host-parasite relationships in dragonflies, sex ratios and the effect of climate change on red-winged blackbirds, auditory sensitivity in diurnal moths, and bird-window collisions on college campuses. Kit and her husband Bruce Smith (who retired from the department in 2014) are returning to live in Canada where they will continue some research projects while setting aside quality time for kayaking. They also hope to travel back to New Zealand and the South Pacific where they went on two of their sabbatical trips. We will miss them both!