Ithaca College filled another key position within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, as Vice President Rosanna Ferro officially announced the hiring of Dave Curry as the new Director of Career Services. Tuesday's statement concludes an extensive nationwide search process that began in June. Curry is set to begin his new role at Ithaca College on October 19.
“I am incredibly excited to be bringing Dave Curry on board for this pivotal role at Ithaca College,” Ferro stated. “His prominent background as an educator and a nationally-recognized leader in career development immediately distinguished him as a prime candidate during our search process. I believe Dave will be the perfect fit to guide the IC students of today and tomorrow, strengthening our work to realize the goal of becoming a model for student success, engagement, well-being, and helping students develop their unique potential as outlined in our Ithaca Forever strategic plan.”
Laurie Koehler, Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy, chaired the search and worked with committee members Stacia Zabusky (H&S), Hierald Osorto (SACL), Ed Catto (Business), Gretchen Van Valen (Philanthropy & Engagement), and Jordan Stecker (recent graduate) to identify outstanding finalists from a strong pool of candidates. Koehler noted, “Dave stood out in the search process on many fronts, but of note were his demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, his innovative and data-informed approach, and his genuine spirit of collaboration. He also expressed a strong interest in working with our amazing alumni, both to help them as they pursue their own career paths and to involve them more deeply in supporting our current students. His energy was palpable and I can’t wait to partner with him!”
Curry brings a unique lens to his new role at IC, having spent the past 14 years of his professional career at Milton Hershey School (MHS), the world’s largest cost-free Pre-K-through-12th-grade private residential school for students in social and financial need. Beginning his time at MHS as an educator in a variety of subjects ranging from Government and Economics to Psychology and Sociology, he established himself as a visionary leader in his ability to build innovative curricula and collaborate with alumni and local entities to create real-word experiences for MHS students. The hallmark of his educational career was the design and implementation of a Career & Technical Education (CTE) program entitled Law, Public Safety & Security, which was recognized as the Advance CTE National Program of Excellence in 2017.
Leveraging his unique talent in curriculum and team building, MHS transitioned Curry to serve as Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in 2016. Over the past five years, he has built the CTE program at MHS into a national model for innovative career-focused education. Under Curry’s leadership, CTE has witnessed expansion to 16 unique program pathways, helping students develop post-secondary plans that fit their individual skills and passions, whether it be full-time employment opportunities or continuing education at the collegiate level. In conjunction with the great success of CTE, Curry has made several guest appearances as a presenter and lecturer, while his work has been profiled by industry journals including Skills USA Champions Magazine and Techniques Magazine.
“The opportunity to serve as the Director of Career Services for Ithaca College is a tremendous honor,” Curry said. “I have always been very passionate about helping students identify their strengths and interests and working with them to see what career and lifestyle would be the best fit. To be able to do this as a part of such a special community is something that my family and I are incredibly excited about.”
“He’s exactly what IC needs right now,” said Deontae Guy, Student Governance Council (SGC) President, who joined a focus group of IC students who participated in the final round of the interview process. “Mr. Curry seemed really student driven and student focused. I think he will be able to connect with the students at IC on a whole new level.”
The ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances is something that is relevant to any student entering the job market and certainly something that Curry can relate to in his own professional development. Curry began his collegiate path with the intention of pursuing a career in law enforcement, before ultimately discovering his passion for social work. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Administration of Justice from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004, while he completed a Master of Education in Middle and Secondary Instruction from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2010. Curry also holds an Instructional Certification from Edinboro, as well as Administrative Principal and Vocational Director Certifications from Temple University.
Curry is involved in several professional organizations, including the Harrisburg, PA Regional Chamber of Commerce Education & Business Committee, the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), the Pennsylvania Association for Career Technical Administrators (PACTA), and the National Council of Local Administrators (NCLA).
“I cannot wait to meet each and every one of our students in the coming weeks and months,” Curry concluded. “Ithaca College’s founding philosophy of 'theory, practice, performance' was so appealing to me, especially in this role. It really sets IC apart as a place that understands the importance of learning by doing. I am excited to work together to learn how the Office of Career Services can best serve our students to identify a career that will lead to the success and happiness they deserve!”