Cedrick-Michael Simmons | Alumni Representative

Class of 2014

What are some activities or groups you affiliate with that feel relevant to you?

I was president of Student Government Association, a member of the MLK Jr. Scholars Program, president of Created Equal, and member of the best department (Sociology) and center (CSCRE) on campus.

What skillsets and perspective do you bring to the steering committee?

As president of SGA, I was a member of multiple committees and task forces which included the initiative to have the campus climate survey results released to the public. In addition, my dissertation focuses on the advocacy roles and responsibilities held by diversity managers and student affairs administrators at four-year postsecondary schools. Lastly, since I graduated, I have stayed in constant contact with faculty and administrators at IC.

What motivated you to join the steering committee?

This is a great opportunity to try and help IC from afar. I have been very eager to support IC since President Collado began her tenure. Also, there are members of the committee who I know and trust will make this a fruitful committee experience. 

What is your major hope for the strategic planning effort?

Now that I work and study at a research university, it is pretty clear how important it is to have a semblance of democracy. While research universities appear to prioritize the interests and perceptions of wealthy donors, schools like IC are special because they are so responsive to the needs and insights provided by faculty and students. When I needed help applying to graduate school, figuring out housing over semester breaks, and even getting financial support for groceries and living costs, there were always formal mechanisms in place that were able to provide that help. At other schools—unless you know someone who knows someone—finding that support is nearly impossible. I hope those practical needs and issues are taken into account.  

What do you love about Ithaca College that you hope will never change?

Shared governance. I am sure there is room for improvement. However, the more I learn about the differences between shared governance models and the more centralized models at other schools, the prouder I am to be an IC alum. Also, the opportunities that the MLK Scholars Program and CSCRE provide to students at IC continues to blow my mind. I came into IC as a homeless student, but I was able to conduct research in Ghana and the Dominican Republic and learn from speakers like Patricia Hill Collins and Ruth Wilson Gilmore on campus.