Board of Trustees Recognizes Faculty Members

By Dave Maley, May 24, 2023
Promotions and tenure awarded.

Congratulations to the members of the faculty who have been recognized by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. At its May meetings, the board awarded tenure to one associate professor, promoted three from assistant to associate professor, and promoted six from associate professor to professor.


Roy H. Park School of Communications
Department of Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies

Associate professor Julie Blumberg, who earned her B.A. and M.A. from Tufts University, and M.F.A. from the University of Southern California. Blumberg teaches in the Writing for Film, Television, and Emerging Media degree program and is an accomplished screen and television writer herself, including for the Emmy Award-winning TV series Felicity. She has numerous screenings and awards to her credit, including for the 2018 feature-length screenplay The Manhattan Front. Current projects include a feature-length screenplay, Annie’s Adventures in Hollywood, and a memoir, Confessions of an Unlikely Mother, both of which have had adaptations already in shorter forms.


Criteria for promotion to associate professor include: a sustained record of teaching excellence, evidence of significant scholarly or appropriate professional attainment, and evidence of service to the college and profession.

Roy H. Park School of Communications
Department of Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies

Andy Watts, who earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and M.F.A. from Columbia University. Watts teaches primarily upper-level cinema production courses in Park’s B.S and B.F.A film degree programs as well as introductory screenwriting courses. With 20 years of experience on film sets — from small independent films to Steven Spielberg Hollywood blockbusters — Watts has served as a director, writer, and professional set lighting technician. His most recent creative endeavor is a narrative short film, Twenty-first, which he wrote, produced, and directed and is about to start its official festival run.

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance
Department of Occupational Therapy

Jessica Valdez Taves, who earned her B.A. from Ithaca College and M.O.T. from Colorado State University. Valdez-Taves holds the specialty certification in Lifespan Gerontology and is recognized as a Driver Rehabilitation Therapist, Adaptive Services. She has taught 20 different courses that have spanned the undergraduate and graduate levels, utilizing different formats including classroom, labs, seminars, and clinics as well as in-person, hybrid, and online modalities. She has a very significant record of service at all institutional levels along with impressive work in the community that provides students with experiential learning opportunities.

Department of Physical Therapy
Jill Mayer, who earned her B.S., M.S., and D.P.T. from Ithaca College. Mayer holds a New York State Physical Therapist License and a Specialty Certification as a Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy.  Her instructional responsibilities include mobility training and areas in neurological foundations and rehabilitation, as well as supervising students in the OT/PT Clinic. Mayer is an inductee to the Ithaca College Chapter of Alpha Eta Society in recognition of her significant scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the allied health professions.


Criteria for promotion to professor include: evidence of a continued record of teaching excellence, evidence of significant scholarly or appropriate professional attainment, evidence of having attained regional or national stature in the discipline or distinguished academic leadership at the college, and evidence of significant service to the college and profession.

School of Business
Department of Sport Management

Annemarie Farrell, who earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. An internationally known expert on sport marketing and fan identification, Farrell is a passionate teacher, devoting significant energies to creating experiential learning opportunities in sport management and supporting her students’ career success.

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance
Department of Heath Promotion and Physical Education

Mary Ann Erickson, who earned her B.A. from the University of Rochester, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Erickson holds a certification in Mindfulness Studies and as a Koru Mindfulness Teacher, as well as a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification. She has made significant contributions to the education of students in gerontology and her scholarship and professional efforts related to gerontology education are noteworthy. Erickson’s work on mindfulness and meditation is particularly innovative, especially as she has developed practical strategies to engage individuals in these practices.

School of Humanities and Sciences
Department of Economics

Shaianne Osterreich, who earned her B.A. from Central Connecticut State University and Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Osterreich is recognized by her colleagues as an exemplary college citizen, as she has served in numerous leadership roles including department chair, chair of the Academic Policies Committee, and Coordinator of the Ithaca Seminar Program. That same devotion to community is reflected in her teaching, which is anchored by her commitment to nurturing “caring global citizens” and which has prompted her to teach not just in economics, but also for the Honors and Ithaca Seminar programs. Students praise her ability to make visible how the content of her courses is applicable to urgent local and global issues. Osterreich has conducted research for the United Nations Development Program; she was a Senior Fulbright scholar in East Java, Indonesia; and she has published numerous influential articles in the areas of gender studies, decent employment, and development economics.

Department of Sociology
Alicia Swords, who earned her B.S. from Oberlin College, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. Swords has earned an international reputation for her scholarly work on a range of topics and areas in sociology, including food justice, US-Latin American relations, the Zapatista movement, and public sociology. Her impassioned commitment to fostering food security is the linchpin for many of her scholarly, teaching, and service activities. Swords has been described by community members as crucial to local and global efforts to better understand the root causes of food insecurity, and students repeatedly express gratitude for the transformative opportunities she creates through her work with the Food Dignity Project, which have enabled her classes to collaborate with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Her teaching serves not just sociology but also the Ithaca Seminar and Honors programs, and she served as Director of the Honors program for four years.

Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Marella Feltrin-Morris, who earned her Laurea from the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Binghamton University. Feltrin-Morris is a prolific translator of Italian literature, widely known for her elegance and erudition, as well as the author of groundbreaking scholarship on the art of translation. She teaches courses on the Italian language, literature, and culture, and her students praise her ability to instill in them her own love for language study and literary analysis. Feltrin-Morris is the current department chair, and she has served on many other committees, including the H&S Faculty Senate. At the heart of her teaching and scholarship is her conviction that language learning is a means for tapping into “unsuspected inner resources” and for discovering oneself “in an elsewhere that has the potential of becoming ‘home.’”

Department of Writing
Eleanor Henderson, who earned her B.A. from Middlebury College and M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. Henderson is an internationally renowned author whose first novel, Ten Thousand Saints, was named one of the 10 best books of 2011 by the New York Times and was adapted into a film starring Ethan HawkeMore recently, she has published a second novel, The Twelve-Mile Straight (2017), and a widely acclaimed memoir about marriage and illness entitled Everything I Have is Yours (2021). Henderson teaches courses on fiction-writing that students describe as inspirational and that they credit with granting them the ability to be honest, vulnerable, and courageous as writers. She chaired the writing department for three years, and she has been honored by IC as a Robert Ryan Professor in the Humanities.