Employee Assembly Candidate Profiles - Spring 2020 Election (reactivation)

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Representative

College of Human Ecology Representative

College of Veterinary Medicine Representative

Cornell Tech Campus Representative

Graduate School, Law School, and Johnson School Representative

School of Hotel Administration Representative

School of Industrial & Labor Relations Representative

Division of Alumni Affairs and Development Representative

Division of Student and Campus Life Representative

Division of University Relations Representative

Exempt Employee Representative At-Large

Facilities and Campus Services Representative (formerly IPP)

Less than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large

LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large

Non-Exempt Employee Representative At-Large

Research, Technology Transfer & Information Technology Representative At-Large

Veteran's Representative At-Large

Women's Representative At-Large

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Representative candidate Katlyn Wilcox
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Representative
I started my career at Cornell in 2014. I have held a few different roles during that time beginning at the College of Veterinary Medicine and then moving to Alumni Affairs and Development. This has given me experience on both the endowed and contract sides of the college. Before coming to Cornell, I was an active member of my union as well as holding the president position for some time. This experience provides me with what I feel I would need to be an active and effective member of the Employee Assembly. I listen actively and will represent CALS and its employees to the best of my ability. I am passionate about Cornell and CALS and would love to be considered to represent our college on the Employee Assembly.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly College of Human Ecology Representative candidate Kristine Mahoney
College of Human Ecology Representative
I have been the Director of Facilities for the College of Human Ecology for over 18 years and feel a strong sense of commitment and dedication to the CHE Community.  In 2016, I was elected as the EA Representative for the College. In 2017, in alignment with my work responsibilities and interests, I was elected to chair the EA Transportation Taskforce which worked in strong partnership with Transportation Services to elevate and address issues and concerns of the employee body regarding parking and other elements of the transportation system.  In 2019, I accepted the responsibility to chair the Employee Welfare Committee. While we have remained in strong and active partnership with Transportation Services, our committee has expanded our collaboration with the Office of Work/Life to advance initiatives associated with employee wellness at a broader level.  I appreciate the opportunity the EA has provided me to represent the staff of CHE and to develop a strong partnership with Transportation Services and the Office of Work/Life for the past 4 years.  I would be honored to continue this service for upcoming term.  Thank you for considering my candidacy.
Sean Holbert
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly College of Human Ecology Representative candidate Sean Holbert
College of Human Ecology Representative
I hope to have the opportunity to not only represent the College of Human Ecology but our LGBTQ+ staff here at Cornell.  I feel that it is important that our LGBTQ+ colleagues are represented on the Employee Assembly in order to advocate for the issues that are important to the community.  Cornell has been a great place to work and grow, and while I find the University to be incredibly friendly to the LGBTQ+ community, having representatives on the EA will ensure that we can continue to champion our vision for a more inclusive and diverse Cornell.  I look forward to representing all of my fellow Human Ecology colleagues and hope to be able to bring a fresh perspective to the Assembly.  It would be an honor to be a part of Cornell's Employee Assembly and participate in the governance of an incredible University.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly College of Veterinary Medicine Representative candidate Jackie Creque
College of Veterinary Medicine Representative
I have worked at Cornell for almost 10 years and joined the staff at CVM 4 years ago.  I started as the Conference/Academic Program Coordinator in Biomedical Sciences and became the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education 1 year ago.  I enjoy bringing people together and have run multiple events for the CVM Community including a bake-off benefit for wildlife rescue in Australia and a holiday escape room to benefit the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes.  I actively participate in multiple staff-focused groups including the Staff Council and have been representing CVM in the EA since last fall.  I have come to really appreciate the role that the EA plays in voicing the concerns of staff to leadership and communicating valuable information from leadership to staff.  I have learned a lot in my short time in the EA and would love to continue to serve the CVM staff in this capacity.
Denny Totman, II
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly College of Veterinary Medicine Representative candidate Denny Totman II
College of Veterinary Medicine Representative
My name is Denny Totman, I have worked in the College of Veterinary Medicine for 14 years and have held a variety of positions. I started out in a husbandry role, became a husbandry supervisor, moved into a more clinical/regulatory role, and am now a Technical Program Manager within the Center for Animal Resources in Education (CARE).
I grew up in Dryden, went away to school, and returned where I started. My family and I live in McLean with a tiny bit of land that some may classify as a hobby farm because of my many gardens, fruit trees, and poultry.
Before coming to Cornell, I worked in a variety of fields. Regardless of my role, it has always been a core value of mine to make things more efficient and have fun while doing it. Actively listening to the needs of people and making a plan that benefits everyone involved will always be important to me. I value every person’s feedback. We all think differently, and everyone knows something you do not know.
It would be an honor to be elected for this position and represent our group. I am excited about the possibility of like-minded individuals, working together in a team, to continually improve upon an already great community, both on campus and off.
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Cornell Tech Campus Representative candidate Marin Cherry
Cornell Tech Campus Representative
Over the last 8 years, I've worn several hats within Cornell University - full time graduate student, temporary staff, full time staff in CALS, and now staff at Cornell Tech. I've had the privilege to see the our University from several perspectives, seeing both our consistent excellence and those areas where we are continuing to grow.
Cornell Tech is incredibly unique within the larger Cornell community, with programs and initiatives that are innovative, driven to address needs rooted in the unique context of NYC. Our staff community at Cornell Tech is an amazing group of people, and one that will bring a new voice within the Employee Assembly. We are unique as our campus is unique, with distinctive concerns and needs, interwoven in NYC, and we are expanding what it means to be a Cornellian.
I believe that I would be an excellent Cornell Tech campus representative because of my background across the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses, and and my commitment to ensuring that Cornell Tech has "a place at the table" within the broader Cornell staff conversations happening every day.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Graduate School, Law School, and Johnson School Representative candidate Karen LoParco
Graduate School, Law School, and Johnson School Representative
I am Karen Michelle LoParco and I am seeking re-election for the Graduate School, Law Schoool, and Johnson School Representative on the Employee Assembly (EA). I have held this position for the past term as well as the Parliamentarian position on the Executive Committee. My role at the Law School is in events coordination and due to the pandemic, I have been assisting other departments as needed. During my tenure on the EA, we have worked very hard to listen to our constituents and work with the administrators on addressing your concerns. Several resolutions have passed out of our committees for President Pollack to review. One important resolution from the Benefits Policy Committee sought to have the Funeral Leave (bereavement) policy adapted to be more inclusive of the modern family. We are grateful that President Pollack approved that portion of our resolution. This experience has shown me that shared governance is important for a healthy work environment. The Staff Forums have also quantified the high level of engagement with staff across campus and the importance of the collective voice to our administrators. The EA is your voice and I would like to continue this work as your representative. Thank you for your support!

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly School of Hotel Administration Representative candidate Jamie Duong
School of Hotel Administration Representative
When I joined the Employee Assembly in November of 2019, I could never have imagined the radical disruption our campus, our region and the world would experience this spring. Despite the dramatic impacts COVID-19 has had I am proud of the work we did on behalf of all Cornell staff and hope to continue representing the staff who support the School of Hotel Administration. 
While Cornell prepares for a return to campus it is more important than ever that Employee voices are heard and considered in the University decision making process. Staff are vital to Cornell’s continued success, and critical to our faculty and student achievements. Without the staff there can be no University.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected to serve another term representing the Hotel School staff I will keep listening to staff and relay any questions and concerns they might have through the available channels. 
Amanda Simpson
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly School of Hotel Administration Representative candidate Amanda Simpson
School of Hotel Administration Representative
Hello, my name is Amanda Simpson.  I am currently the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the Office of Student Services at the School of Hotel Administration; I have been happily employed with Cornell for almost 13 years.  I reside in a very small town called Waverly, NY with my husband and two children (ages 8 and 3).  
Cornell has made such a lasting impact both for me professionally and in my personal life. During the pandemic I have attended many of the EA sessions offered and learned more about this group.  I would love the opportunity to be the voice not only for those in my college, but employees across the university to!  It is imperative during these uncertain times that the employees have a voice and we continue to pursue initiatives that not only provides a healthy work/life balance but fosters a sense of community and support.  I'd love the opportunity to be part of that change and growth.  Thank you! 
Eli Kozik
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly School of Hotel Administration Representative candidate Eli Kozik
School of Hotel Administration Representative
Hello! I'm Eli Kozik, an admissions counselor for the College of Business (representing the Hotel School and the Dyson School). I am halfway through my fifth year here at Cornell, and it's incredible how much change has happened in such a short amount of time. I started my career here doing admissions only for the Hotel School, and know how sincerely Hotelies represent the idea of "life as service", from students to faculty to staff. In fact, after my job interview Heather Fortenberry took me to the break room under Statler to get coffee, which, to me, was an incredibly hospitable and kind thing to do, but now I understand just how simple the gesture was for anyone working for the Hotel School (and I try to do the same for others now... harder with working from home!).
I work as an advocate and a problem-solver, and emphasize community and connectedness (shout-out to the Statler Events Committee). As a staff representative I will do everything possible to represent the Hotel School and see to it that voices are heard. I am a firm believer in surveys and authentic feedback, and am not afraid to speak up for the people I represent. I am proud to still call myself a "Hotelie by Proxy", and would proudly represent the Hotel School!
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly School of Industrial & Labor Relations Representative candidate Michelle Podolec
School of Industrial & Labor Relations Representative
I am a project coordinator at the Yang-Tan Institute for Employment and Disability in the ILR School, and a co-chair of the ILR Staff Association Personnel Policies Committee. I have worked for Cornell University since 2010 in CALS and ILR. I have previously served as a member of the Employee Assembly Transportation Committee. I enjoyed working with the committee to understand and represent commuting staff’s needs. If elected, I look forward to meeting with ILR staff to explore ideas and concerns, and to providing the ILR Staff perspective to the Employee Assembly.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Division of Alumni Affairs and Development Representative candidate Lisa Zacharias
Division of Alumni Affairs and Development Representative
I am a hard working, motivated and enthusiastic Administrative Assistant with 15 years experience here at Cornell.
I always strive to achieve the highest standard possible, at any given task and in any situation.  I am accustomed to working in a challenging and fast-paced environment, particularly when dealing with multiple projects and priorities at the same time.
I'm seeking election to advocate for the division of Alumni Affairs and Development.
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Division of Student and Campus Life Representative candidate Brandon Fortenberry
Division of Student and Campus Life Representative
As an employee of Cornell University for over 14 years I have been fortunate to benefit from so many opportunities provide to me by Cornell. I started my career in Cornell as a member of the UAW Union in the SO04 Cook position at 104 West, and have worked my way up to my current position as Director of Catering & Concessions.
I must thank Cornell University along with my peers and supervisors for the support I received in getting the training and experience I needed to be able to reach this position. It is for that reason that I am running to represent SCL on the Employee Assembly.
In my position I am blessed with the opportunity to interact with the entire SCL division, and am confident that I am uniquely qualified to represent not just the division of Student and Campus Life Enterprise Services, but the entire SCL division at large. I hope to ensure the the Employee Assembly appropriately takes into consideration the tools and resources needed in SCL to achieve the goals of our division while ensuring that employees are able to find the necessary work/life balance in that success.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Division of University Relations Representative candidate Kate Supron
Division of University Relations Representative
I am running for reelection as the Employee Assembly Representative for the Division of University Relations. 
In my initial two-year term, I’ve served on the EA’s Welfare Committee and on the Transportation task force. These groups, in conjunction with the full EA, have worked with staff colleagues to address topics related to transportation, wellness and wellbeing, work-life balance and inclement weather. We also review and share resources available to staff through Human Resources, such as the CARE fund and Faculty Staff Assistance Program.
The EA partnered with the Division of Human Resources in 2018-2019 to sponsor a series of informal Staff Conversations and worked with HR to synthesize key points to help guide the EA’s priorities moving forward. 
During the COVID-19 pandemic the EA has supported transparency and served as a conduit for staff concerns. The EA and HR initiated the 2020 staff forum series to facilitate communication between staff and senior leadership as we all move through this unprecedented and ongoing period of change.
I am honored to participate in Cornell’s shared governance system on behalf of my divisional colleagues and would welcome the opportunity to continue serving you.
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Exempt Employee At-Large Representative candidate Hei Hei Depew
Exempt Employee Representative At-Large
I've been on the EA for three years, in that time I've been fortunate enough to meet great staff members across campus, work on issues concerning the staff and learn a lot about the University. I hope to continue learning and working to represent staff members. I think the EA is a great platform to engage with the Cornell Community in a productive and informative way. I want to continue the work and continue to learn.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Facilities and Campus Services Representative candidate Brian Goodell
Facilities and Campus Services Representative (formerly IPP)
Hi, I am Brian Goodell and I would like to be your voice on the Employee Assembly. I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the Employee Assembly because of my vast array of experience that I have acquired during my 30+ years at Cornell. I have always been an advocate for my fellow Cornell employees, and have served on the Employee Assembly and the University Assembly in the past. I served as the UAW 2300 President from 2001-2004, where I fought for better working conditions for my constituents. I returned to the Employee Assembly this past year where I was elected by my peers on the Employee Assembly as the current chair of the Benefits and Policies Committee.
While serving as the chair of this committee I am happy to report that we were successful at passing resolutions that updated the Funeral Leave Policy to add a more inclusive definition of “Family”, and we were also able to pass a resolution in support of employees for continued employment during the COVID-19 Crises. I am asking for your vote so that I can continue serving you, and I can continue advocating the issues that are most important for all of us at Cornell. 
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Lauren Simpson
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
Having just completed my first year of work at Cornell as a member of the Athletic Communications staff, I've come to love working for this university and can see myself here long-term. In my first year working and living in Ithaca, I feel as if I merely dipped my toes in the water as I got acclimated to Cornell and the greater community. As I enter my second year, I would like nothing less than to dive in more, taking on a leadership role and establishing myself as a member of the Cornell community. By joining the Employee Assembly, I believe that I would be able to do just this. Not only would I be able to achieve my own goal of getting involved, I would simultaneously be able to give back to Cornell, helping to make our university community the very best it could be for both current, and future, employees. This is very important to me, because Cornell is the place that it is because of the people that compose it. Being able to represent some of the newest employees at Cornell, during a period of adjustment for them and a time in which it can be difficult to be heard, bears great responsibility. I would be honored to be able to be that voice, and hope to be able to do so as a member of the Employee Assembly.
Kara Bugis
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Kara Bugis
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
I believe that I would be a good representative for the under 5 years of service group because I have recently worked outside of a University setting and have been in a department that gives me exposure and options to collaborate with many areas of campus. I have been a member of the Cornell community for just over a year. My core values are integrity and collaboration. I believe that when we're honest with each other and work together, a workplace can achieve its greatest potential, and would encourage new employees to do the same. I also think during this time of isolation, I can support others who have not been able to make the connections that I have been able to make during my time at Cornell and empathize with any frustrations or fears that may have that come with the current unstable economy and university policy changes that have come with the COVID-19 Pandemic while giving them a voice in a constructive way.
Mia Ferraina
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Mia Ferraina
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
I have been working as an advisor in Cornell Career Services for just over a year. In this time, I have enjoyed getting to network and collaborate with different partners across campus to understand more about how we can all work together for a better Cornell. My core value in my personal and professional life is advocating for changes that prioritize equity. While this Assembly position is not focused on a particular social identity, it is important to bring that equity lens to all conversations we have in EA to help our staff of all levels and all social identities feel more supported and included. One idea I’d like to explore with EA is a system to better support new employees in learning about and incorporating into the Cornell community. At such a large, complex organization, it is easy to feel overwhelmed – both in terms of understanding workplace partnerships, norms, and questions, as well as finding social connection in a new community. As a member of EA, I would bring my passion for social advocacy, ability to brainstorm new ideas, and tact in approaching campus leadership to help support the mission of advancing solutions that improve the employee experience.
Nasser Andrew Siadat, JD/LLM
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Nasser Andrew Siadat, JD/LLM
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
I’m Nasser. I joined the Cornell family 2 years ago in the Office of Institutional Equity & Title IX, where I investigate reports of prohibited discrimination (race, religion, disability, age, etc.), and sexual and related misconduct on campus. 
Like all candidates, I am committed to supporting our colleagues with marginalized identities. I an active member of the Men of Color CNG and would bring this valuable perspective to the EA. 
Before moving to Ithaca, I received my JD and LLM from Georgetown Law, and practiced as a public interest lawyer in Washington DC.  
I love to be involved in any community that I am a part of. In Ithaca, I ran and won a seat on our neighborhood’s HOA and serve on the board of our local faith community. On campus, in addition to the Men of Color CNG, I am our office’s “Minister of Fun” (it’s a real role). 
On a more personal note, my toddler lights up my world, I’m a fan of Cornell Wrestling & Cornell Soccer, and I never turn down a cup of coffee. Reach out anytime and let’s grab a cup of coffee (over Zoom) if you’d like to get to know me better.
I hope to win your vote, and I look forward to hearing from you!
All the best, 
Jonathan Augustyn
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Jonathan Augustyn
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy for the Employee Assembly. As I head into my fourth year as a member of the Cornell Community I felt this was the appropriate time to look into an opportunity like this. I have been fortunate to see some of the great advocacy efforts from the Employee Assembly during my time here and I hope to participate in furthering those conversations and efforts in the future.
Given the current state of things both at the university and around the nation as a whole, I think we are at a critical juncture for employees who have seen significant changes in their present roles. From individuals working remotely for the first time in their career, juggling family and work responsibilities including possibly assisting children with remote learning while trying to learn new job functions or completely reinventing themselves or their respective roles due to the overnight changes in the way we have had to operate due to the pandemic - all employees are facing new stresses never experienced before in our lives.
I think the Employee Assembly can truly advocate for the people who need it the most now with the hope that everyone feels supported in this "new normal."
Beth Korson
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Beth Korson
Less Than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large
Hello, my name is Beth Korson and I work in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering as the Events and Main Office Coordinator. I started at Cornell as a temp in October 2018 and accepted a full-time position in March of 2019.
I am running for the EA, because I want to find a way to be more actively involved in addressing staff concerns and challenges. As a new employee, it was surprising to feel so siloed and I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with staff members throughout the University on key issues.
I believe that it is vital to focus on the areas of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging with every issue brought to the EA. Since starting my full-time position in 2019, I have been actively pursuing learning opportunities in these areas. I plan to continually expand and deepen my knowledge and hope to use this position to keep these vital conversations at the forefront.
I think the different perspectives and insights I have gained from working in various industries and positions throughout my career will also be valuable. I have worked in the service industry and in administrative and management roles, and I feel that the diversity of my work experiences will help me to bring new ideas to the table.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large candidate Justin Chandler
LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large
I began working at Cornell in January 2020 as an Assistant University Registrar managing records compliance. I have worked at several institutions in my career and chose to become a Cornell employee because of its inclusiveness and respect for all individuals. As the LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large, I would bolster this inclusiveness and respect by ensuring LGBTQ+ voices, and the voices of all Cornell employees, are heard and represented. As an institution, we cannot make progress until all of us are fully included. Cornell is universally known as a welcoming institution where "any person can find instruction in any study," and I believe this founding principle can, and should, be broadened to encompass not only those attending Cornell, but those of us lucky enough to work here as well. "Any person" is welcome at Cornell, no matter their role. As a new employee with previous Staff Council experience, I believe I will bring a fresh perspective to Cornell's Employee Assembly and help us continue to move Cornell forward. Cornell is a special place, especially for those of us in the LGBTQ+ family, and I would be both honored and humbled to serve as your LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large. 
John Jacobson
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large candidate John Jacobson
LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large
As a queer-identifying and transgender/non-binary-identifying employee of Cornell, I believe I can help represent the interests of LGBTQIA2+ Cornell employees. As someone with both of those identities, I frequently look at issues in the workplace and at large through both the lenses of sexuality and of gender. As a part of my work at eCornell, I am also explicitly working to bridge the gaps between Cornell departments and employees of all walks of life. I am a part of the development team that is creating the Cornell staff-wide training on belonging, diversity, inclusion, and allyship, so I am thinking about how Cornell staff communicate and work together, as well as with the university. This experience in particular has given me a lot of insight into how staff members experience Cornell differently based on their marginalize identities, as well as their particular role. I also have served on several boards and hiring committees, and have a background in training people on LGBTQIA+ issues at Ithaca College, which I believe will give me additional skills needed to serve in this role. 
Joseph Cannella
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large candidate Joseph Cannella
LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large
Greetings colleagues and friends,
My name is Joseph Cannella (he/him/his) and I respectfully submit my candidacy for LGBTQ+ Representative at Large to the Employee Assembly.
As an EA member, I know I would be accountable for the welfare of Cornell and would work to advance the strategic goals of the University while simultaneously serving as the voice for Cornell’s LGBTQ+ employees.  I would serve to make sure that all were heard and ideas considered at the EA level.  I look forward to working with other EA members to identify future priorities, find opportunities for collaboration, and institute policies to bring about change for the betterment of present and future LGBTQ+ faculty & staff. 
The following are some sample goals that I’d like to advance as your representative:
  • Increasing formal and informal networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff
  • Re-kindling a campus-wide “Safe Zone” initiative
  • Increasing programs that partner with the LGBTRC including Colleague Network Groups (CNGs), Cornell’s LGBTQ+ Active Ally Program, and an overall increase in cooperation between faculty/staff and the work of the LGBTRC.
For me, this would be a deeply rewarding endeavor.  I hope I may count on your support.
Derron Borders
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large candidate Derron Borders
LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large
After having worked for Cornell for just over four years, I am ready to become more involved in campus-wide initiatives. I have experience in sitting on an official assembly from my graduate and undergraduate institutions and appreciated the opportunity to represent fellow students and their voice in discussions that impacted the campus. I am running for the LGBTQ+ Representative-at-large position, because I believe that as a queer person, it is important for our voice to be heard and for there to be a voice that advocates for policies and procedures that are inclusive and just, not only for LGBTQ+-identified folx, but for all marginalized and underrepresented folx. Also, I believe that I would be the first person to be from Cornell in Washington, which is part of the School of Continuing Education.
Foula Dimopoulos
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large candidate Foula Dimopoulos
LGBTQ+ Representative At-Large

As I celebrate my first year at Cornell, I can think of few other ways to highlight this milestone than to seek out ways to be of use to colleagues from across the institution.  Service to & with others remain at the core of my professional & personal life. The EA is an effective & essential way to amplify employees’ voices, address critical issues & needs & foster a thriving campus. I was impacted by the EA forums held since March when clarity, information & community building have been essential to many feeling connected to Cornell – especially as the pandemic & public health crises grew, & as we, like many others, sought to address the impacts of white supremacy, implementing a  shift towards a more intersectional, anti-racist approach. 

No one person can address the critical needs of an organization, community, or institution. As a LGBTQ+ representative-at-large, I will draw from over two decades of LGBTQ+ related work to collaborate with the LGBTQ+ CNG, the Board of Trustees & my colleagues to address issues pertinent to LGBTQ+ employees, such as the higher rates of chronic illnesses --  with a fundamental commitment to embody Audre Lorde’s words:  “there is no single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives."

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Non-Exempt Employee Representative At-Large candidate Kit Tannenbaum
Non-Exempt Employee Representative At-Large
Hello! I’m Kit and I’m running for the Non-Exempt Employee Representative seat. I’ve held non-exempt temporary, UAW, & full-time positions in my 8 years at Cornell, bringing a variety of perspectives to this seat. 
In 11/19, I started my involvement in the EA through the Benefits & Policy Committee (BPC) and have accomplished the following thus far:
  • Originated the review of the University’s bereavement policy language to expand the definition of “immediate family” to include surrogate parents for employees who do not have traditional family arrangements. AY 19-20 EA Resolution #7 (Bereavement Policy) was created and President Pollack/VP Opperman accepted the proposed language change on 6/24/20.
  • Hand-edited language for AY 20-21 EA Resolution #1 (Protect Staff Jobs & Compensation) in response to University proposed salary/benefit cuts. This resulted in a reduced retirement contribution cut for endowed staff, rather than the proposed full elimination of the University retirement contribution.
  • Continued BPC participation and advocacy that EA meetings/activities are advertised to & accessible for all staff.
Thank you for considering your vote in support of advancing my unwavering employee advocacy efforts in the EA.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Research & Technology Transfer Representative At-Large candidate Ellen T. Miller
Research, Technology Transfer, and Information Technology Representative At-Large
I’m Research & Administrative Manager with Weill Institute for Cell & Molecular Biology and currently serve on Employee Assembly in the Non-Exempt Employee seat. I actively participate in both the Benefits & Policy Committee and Communications Committee.
Serving the non-exempt employee constituency is not easy with over 3,600 employees falling into that classification. I found my best approach has been to arm myself with knowledge. It’s been my priority to familiarize myself with policies, procedures and resources available to employees. My main focus has been equal access to benefits, professional development, and campus engagement for staff across all colleges, units and departments.
I’m currently running for the Research & Technology Transfer seat. As an actively engaged member of the Research Division staff, I feel primed to represent this constituency. I participate in monthly OSP roundtables, quarterly Research Division forums and serve on the ROAR (Reaching Out Advocating Research) Committee. In 2018 I was honored to receive a Mission-Possible award through the President’s Awards for Employee Excellence program. The Research Division is my Cornell home and I want to make sure that the voices of our employees are heard.

Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Veteran's Representative At-Large candidate Debra Howell
Veteran's Representative At-Large
I am the Director of Information Technology Operations for the University Libraries.  I am a creative, dynamic professional who thrives leading and facilitating complex workplace and technology processes, developing talent from within, and collaborating with others to build the most effective teams and environments. I have over 20 years of experience providing strategic direction and management. I have an extensive background in facilitation, organizational change, teambuilding, and leadership. I received my Master of Industrial and Labor Relations degree from Cornell University in 2006 through the Employee Degree Program.  I a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).  I an Office of the Secretary of Defense certified Master Trainer and I volunteer helping Army Reserve soldiers and families prepare for, get through, and recover from deployments. I also serve as the Information Officer on the Board of the NYS ACE Women’s Network.
I have always believed in giving back to Cornell. Currently, I chair the Cornell Veteran's Colleague Network Group and serve as a Title IX Hearing Board rep. I would welcome the opportunity to serve the university and its staff through the EA.


Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Women's Representative At-Large candidate Marcella Benda
Women's Representative At-Large
When I first joined the Employee Assembly two years ago, it took me the first year to understand all of the opportunities our Shared Governance system gives. The second year allowed me to participate and ask the questions our staff needs to ask. I found that if I have a question or a concern, I am not usually the only person who may not fully understand or just want confirmation of decisions made. I am fortunate that my position and director fully supports the time I put into the EA and want to continue to participate as much as possible. In these past few months, I have found the EA become an integral part of the CU community and participating in all of the forums has been a privilege. Working in the Veterinary College first remotely for two months and then on campus since May, has given me a unique opportunity to be both a remote worker and an essential employee, working on obtaining and distributing PPE, policies, etc. Being the Women Representative makes me view each resolution and issue which is being discussed to be sure women's voices are heard and appreciated. I am happy and eager to serve another two years and chair the Education Committee if re-elected.
Brenda Fisher
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Women's Representative At-Large candidate Brenda Fisher
Women's Representative At-Large
Thank you for taking the time to read my candidate statement for the role of Employee Assembly Women's Representative At-Large. I have worked at Cornell University for nearly a decade in Technical, Teaching Support and Administrative roles.  I am also a wife, mother and daughter.  As I'm sure you know all of these roles impact our lives to great extents.  While we have moved forward and entered the work-force at nearly identical rates to men, by-and-large caretaking responsibilities still fall on women's shoulders.
My primary goal in the EA, will be to continually improve equity, so that we can all succeed.  I will hear & voice your concerns surrounding issues of equity you may have encountered on campus.
In this time, with so many of us working from home or altered schedules, work-life balance is an utmost concern.  I find myself at times struggling to maintain the balance and find that work creeps into my family more than when I was working from home.  We all strive to be the best at work and at home and this can lead to an incredible amount of stress. We need to be given the support and tools from the University to maintain a balance.
Thank you and I look forward to representing you all.
Leila Aboharb
Spring 2020 Employee Assembly Women's Representative At-Large candidate Leila Aboharb
Women's Representative At-Large
I believe I would be a good fit to provide input into some employee issues at Cornell. I'm currently a young supervisor/manager to a team of male technicians. I can speak to great lengths of challenges women in face in the technical field, as well as at a male-dominated research institute. I have navigated the new COVID19 workplace restrictions far before Cornell had set any guidelines as a manager for essential personnel that needed to return immediately (Wilson Synchrotron Lab).
I am involved in the community through my Physics Bus work which aims to target under-served demographics. I also live in Ithaca proper, making me a good channel into what the community thinks about Cornell's decisions.
I think Cornell University is a great institution, and I would be honored to give my input into any and all issues.