Employee Assembly Candidate Profiles - Spring 2021 Election

Marcus Brooks

Spring 2021 Employee Assembly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Representative At-Large candidate Marcus Brooks
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Representative At-Large (3 year term)
Fortunately in my role as a facilitator with Cornell's Team & Leadership Center I've had the pleasure of interacting with many aspects of the Cornell community.  I hope to be a representative of my fellow employees to the best of my ability.

Andrea Haenlin-Mott

Spring 2021 Employee Assembly Disability Representative At-Large candidate Andrea Haenlin-Mott
Disability Representative At-Large (3 year term)
I am seeking a second term as the Disability Representative At Large for the Employee Assembly.  Currently I am the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for Facilities and Campus Services and I have been in this role for the past fifteen years and prior to that I worked in ILR for eleven years on an Americans with Disabilities Act grant.  Much of my career has been focused on improving inclusion, awareness and equality for people with disabilities at Cornell University and beyond.  We have a large population of staff who identify in some way with disability—be it an obvious disability or non-obvious disability that impacts people’s ability to work, learn and earn and be able to participate in all aspects of the benefits and privileges of employment at Cornell.  There has been some reflection in the past year regarding “belonging” at Cornell for employees with disabilities and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve as the Disability Representative and work on improvements for engaging our employees who have disabilities.

Derrick Barrett

Spring 2021 Employee Assembly Division of Financial Affairs, Budget & Planning, Audit & Investment Representative candidate Derrick Barrett
Division of Financial Affairs, Budget & Planning, Audit & Investment Representative (1 year term)
I joined the Cornell community five years ago and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore my passion for finance supporting the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and now the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. I currently serve as a Budget and Reporting Specialist and am part of a team responsible for managing the Research Division’s annual Facilities and Administrative budget. 
Having been born and raised in the Ithaca area, I have deep ties to the community. I attended Ithaca College, just a few miles from my childhood home and elementary school, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. I have been a Board Member for the Tompkins Employees Federal Credit Union and a Member-at-Large in the Men of Color Colleague Network Group here at Cornell for the past two years. 
My wife and I welcomed our first child in June of 2020. She has and continues to amaze me from the moment she was born. While spending time with family is a priority for me, I also enjoy golfing and watching sports with friends - Go Big Red!
I am excited for the opportunity to represent the incredibly talented staff members that make Cornell what it is. 

Jessica Withers

Spring 2021 Employee Assembly Library and Museum Representative candidate Jessica Withers
Library and Museum Representative (3 year term)
I have been representing Library and Museum staff for the past two years, and I would be honored to continue doing so. I believe I have shared information and requested input from my constituents without overburdening their inboxes, and I have responded to constituent inquiries either by finding answers or by directing them to someone who can help.
I have been an active and engaged member of the Employee Assembly, serving as chair of both the Education and Elections Committees. I also led the membership task force which updated EA seats, adding several new seats including a BIPOC seat and a More Than 20 Years of Service seat. This spring I have been working with the Student Assembly to bring more attention to the Community Learning and Service Partnership (CLASP), a program which benefits both students and staff. 
I am proud of the work we have done together on the Employee Assembly, and I hope to continue being a voice for staff and raising our concerns and interests with university leadership.

Marcella Benda

Spring 2021 Employee Assembly More than 20 Years of Service Representative At-Large candidate Marcella Benda
More than 20 Years of Service Representative At-Large (3 year term)
I have been an employee of Cornell University at the College of Veterinary Medicine and specifically at the Animal Hospitals for 21 years this Spring. I previously served on the Assembly and chaired the Education Committee. I was proud of the work the EA  did during the beginning and duration of this pandemic. Deemed an Essential Worker, as an Assistant to the Hospital Director and Associate Dean, I have been working on campus since May of 2020 and have experienced first hand, the challenges staff have faced. I worked remotely for two months (part of March and all of April) and have been on campus and on site since May 2020. The veterinary profession has its own challenges, but when you combine a pandemic, I have been amazed and awed at what we have accomplished while still teaching and caring for animals. I think I would be an asset to the Assembly, lending a voice and point of view from someone like me, experiencing both remote and on campus challenges. Reminding people and units that the University is not entirely remote: so maintaining campus parking lots and roads, etc. is still important. Daily testing, surveillance, PPE has become the new normal for me and half of staff on campus. Thank you for considering my application.