Through the nearly four decades she has been part of the School of Business at Ithaca College, Alka Bramhandkar has seen good times (the school earning accreditation in 2005) and challenging ones (when the stock market crash of 1987 led to the college’s enrollment plummeting.) She will rely on her collective experience to guide her in her new role as interim dean, effective July 1. “I want to take the lessons I’ve learned from each of our successes and failures and apply them to current challenges,” she said. “I want our students, faculty and staff to know that I’m here for them. I’ll do that by listening to their stories, perspectives and needs, and collaboratively creating plans of action.”
“Dean Reid has energized our school with his relentless work, and I plan to keep the momentum going,” she said.
Recognizing that the school and the college as a whole are dealing with an unprecedented situation presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, she says, “I anticipate facing a number of unique challenges. I plan to remain agile and dynamic as these issues continue to evolve and possible solutions emerge.”
In addition to navigating vastly new circumstances the school and college will be facing, she has several goals for the upcoming year. These include working with the college’s office of admissions to improve enrollment, and ensuring that the World of Business course, the school’s first touchpoint with new and incoming students, makes a smooth transition to a new coordinator.
“I want our students to be exposed to the intersectionality of diversity and experience the vast benefits of those perspectives.”Alka Bramhandkar
Bramhandkar believes that her diverse background gives her the ability to see challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives. She wants to help instill that in students. “I think diversity of thought leads to better outcomes,” she said. “I’ve been teaching as a woman in a male-dominated field for three decades. I’m a first-generation college student, a person of color, and I was not born here. I want our students to be exposed to the intersectionality of diversity and experience the vast benefits of those perspectives.”