A Thought-Provoking Symposium

Discussions explored the connections between theory, practice, and performance, and featured innovators and thought leaders within the Ithaca College community and from around the country.

Session 1: Breaking the Ice—and the Mold

Ithaca College faculty, alumni, students, and staff kicked off “Conversation: Started” by sharing their innovative and motivational approaches to learning and living that celebrate IC’s unique manifestations of theory, practice, and performance.


Searching for Ancestral Voices

  • Kathleen Mulligan, Associate Professor, Theatre Arts
  • Fiorella Fernandez ’18, Acting

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration: When Teams Make Magic

  • Christine Bataille, Assistant Professor, Management
  • Lisa Famularo ’16, Business Administration
  • Daniel Ruthman ’17, Business Administration
  • Ndella Seck ’17, Business Administration

Global Health: How One Small Country Impacted Our Practice, Hearts, and Futures in a Big Way

  • Jill Mayer DPT ’11, Clinical Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy
  • Mary Taylor ’08, Registered Professional Nurse, Center for Counseling, Health, and Wellness
  • Sarah Woychick DPT ’18, Physical Therapy

We Know More Than We Think: Punk Music and Full-Contact Aesthetics

  • Alex Reed, Associate Professor, Music Theory, History, and Composition

Imagination and Creativity: Requirements for Scientific Discovery

  • Luke Keller, Dana Professor, Physics and Astronomy

From Classroom to Career: How I Launched My Career in Broadcasting

  • Ciara Lucas ’17, Journalism

Session 2: The Power of Cross-Institutional Collaboration and Innovation in Higher Education

The future of higher education depends on strong collaborations and innovative approaches. This session embraced and explored the work of national leaders who have been catalysts for change in higher education by pushing the boundaries of the academy, building inventive initiatives and models, and creating valuable partnerships across sectors.


  • Eve Burton, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Hearst Corporation


  • Armando Bengochea, Program Officer for Diversity and Director, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program
  • Deborah Bial, Founder and President, The Posse Foundation; Education Strategist
  • Sarah Bolton, President, The College of Wooster
  • Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark
  • Mildred García, President, California State University, Fullerton

Session 3: The Woke Ones: Identifying and Cultivating Student Leadership and Talent

How can we help students channel their activism responsibly and constructively? Why is it critical to use a strength-based approach to develop promising—and often unnoticed—youth from all walks of life? Leaders, scholars, and practitioners within K-12 and higher education environments discussed the innovative ways they cultivate talent, spark change, and stay woke.


  • Leilani M. Brown, Chief Marketing Officer, Starr Companies


  • Timothy K. Eatman, Inaugural Dean, Honors Living-Learning Community; Associate Professor, Urban Education; Rutgers University–Newark
  • Marta Elena Esquilin, Associate Dean, Honors Living-Learning Community; Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, American Studies Program; Rutgers University–Newark
  • Kyle Finck, Youth Journalism Leader, High School Insider (Product of Los Angeles Times)
  • Chastity Lord, Chief Operating Officer, Color of Change
  • David Perez II, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership; Miami University; Posse Scholar

Special thanks to Professor Hormoz Movassaghi and Associate Professor Yvonne Rogalski, symposium co-chairs.