First President’s Fellows Announced

By Dan Verderosa and Patrick Bohn, May 16, 2018
Six fellows will spend the 2018-19 academic year working on special projects across campus.
Seven people standing in a row for a photo

From left to right: Sue-Je Gage, Beth Hulbert, Carlie McClinsey, Jason Freitag, Shirley M. Collado, Terri Landez and Mary Jo Watts.

(Photo by Sheryl D. Sinkow/Ithaca College)

Bridging the gap between data and policy, encouraging student involvement in strategic planning, and promoting study abroad are just a sampling of the projects that Ithaca College’s President’s Fellows will spend the next academic year working on.

The President’s Fellows Program is a one-year fellowship that moves participants outside of their normal work environment and field to experience new professional opportunities on campus, develop leadership capabilities and receive mentorship in an unfamiliar area of interest. The program is supported by the President’s Discretionary Fund, a strategic resource for supporting faculty, staff and students as they explore their potential as learners, educators, leaders, professionals and human beings.

The inaugural cohort of fellows was announced by President Shirley M. Collado on May 9.

I was incredibly impressed by the high caliber of our applicants for this program and the tremendous creativity they brought to their ideas around leadership, shared governance and collaborative work at Ithaca College,” said Collado in an email to the campus community. “The six fellows who’ve been selected demonstrated incredible vision, and throughout the next academic year they will have a great deal of learning opportunities both as individuals in their selected project or department area and as a group through cohort-based and interdisciplinary professional development opportunities.”

The fellows for the 2018-19 academic year are:

Jason Freitag

Jason Freitag, an associate professor in the department of history, is keenly interested in how the college is preparing students to take on an increasingly global world. His area of interest for his fellowship — IC and global engagement — reflects that.

Freitag hopes to work with the Office of the Provost to help get more students involved with study abroad programs. He’d also like to take an inventory of what the college is doing globally. “Having a central clearinghouse for the global work we do at the college, for example, would be fantastic,” he said. “It would allow faculty and students who share interests to connect.”

Freitag said he is thrilled to have been selected as a fellow, and is looking forward to taking part in the program. “This can have a lasting impact on Ithaca College and the lives of its students, and that’s exciting,” he said.

Sue-Je Gage

As an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Sue-Je Gage has studied conflict and conflict resolution for over 10 years. She completed York University’s Essentials for Ombuds certificate program and serves as a volunteer mediator at the New York State Conflict and Dispute Resolution Center in Tompkins County.

Concerned by the incidents of conflict revealed by the college’s 2016 Campus Climate Survey, Gage will work as a fellow to understand how various campus offices and organizational bodies address conflict. She hopes to create a roadmap for individuals on campus in need of conflict resolution.

“Most organizations don’t have that mapping, so I want to figure out how we can help one another with having a little more transparency about where we can go,” Gage said.

Gage is excited to be involved with a cohort of other fellows, which she hopes will function as a “think tank” to share knowledge and spur innovative thinking for Ithaca College. She is also interested in working with and learning from President Collado and Nancy Pringle, general counsel and executive vice president for legal affairs.

“Many aspects of Nancy's job is trying to figure what to do about conflict on our campus,” said Gage. “Having her as a mentor is an honor and I’m really looking forward to learning from her before she retires.”

Mary Jo Watts

Learning technology coordinator Mary Jo Watts will spend her fellowship working with the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research.

In her current position, Watts oversees the integration of learning technology applications like Sakai and Kaltura. She applied for the President’s Fellows because she had an interest in working with faculty, staff and students across disciplines to gain a holistic understanding of how students actually use learning technology, and how Information Technology might work with the larger IC community to improve student engagement with them.

As a fellow, Watts will be working on a college-wide project to centralize data from across campus. She will work with AIR to prepare a Sakai data dictionary to translate the language machines use to describe human actions with the system into language easily understood by analysts. Watts believes that analysis of data from learning technologies can help inform course design and policy decisions, ultimately improving the overall student experience. 

Watts is interested in pursuing mentorship through the President’s Fellows Program, and is especially excited to be part of a diverse cohort of fellows. “I hope that I’ll have an opportunity to work with the students and the faculty to pick their brains about this project and learn how to speak to their needs,” she said.

Beth Hulbert

A staff member in the college’s Office of Facilities since 1994, Beth Hulbert has managed budgets for IC’s Alternative Spring Break program for the past eight years. As a President’s Fellow, she will work in financial services.

“I’m honored to be part of this initial cohort of Presidential Fellows,” Hulbert said. “I’m really looking forward to learning more about the budgeting processes here at Ithaca College, and I’m excited to meet new people and learn about their departments.”

Terri Landez

Music performance major Terri Landez ’19 will be working in the areas of student affairs and campus life operations.

“I want to find ways to increase student engagement, especially among students who just go from their classes to their dorms and aren’t really involved in extracurricular activities,” she said. “I think that would create more campus leaders.”

Landez has worked for the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs (OSEMA) as a student leadership consultant, mentoring other students and planning retreats. As a fellow, she hopes to work with Rosanna Ferro, the college’s vice president for student affairs and campus life, to see how recent structural changes have affected areas of SACL including OSEMA, Residential Life and student mental health services. 

“I’d love to leave Ithaca College being able to say I did something tangible to help the school, and this is a great opportunity to do so,” she said. “I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Carlie McClinsey

Carlie McClinsey ’19 will be working as a President’s Fellow in the Office of College Relations and Communications to help improve communications with students.

McClinsey has served for three years on the Student Governance Council, including as SGC president during the 2017-18 academic year. She applied for the President’s Fellows Program in order to gain experience working in higher education while applying skills she’s learned as an integrated marketing communications major in the Roy. H. Park School of Communications. Her fellowship proposal focused on promoting greater student involvement in the upcoming strategic planning process.

“The strategic plan is a really great opportunity for students across the board to get involved and express what they’d like to see happen at the college both in the short term and in the long term,” said McClinsey. “Being able to communicate with students where they are and pull them into this process is going to be something that’s really important for the college.”

McClinsey is looking forward to working with the CRC staff, especially Jennifer Campbell, associate vice president for college relations and communications. “Jennifer Campbell has such a vast array of knowledge,” she said. “I’m really looking to tap into that and learn a lot from her.”