Fall 2021 Guidance/COVID-19 Information

Multicultural Life director awarded

Multicultural Life director awarded

12/08/2020 

AnnaMaria Cirrincione, director of Multicultural Life and Diversity at SUNY Cortland, on Dec. 3 was among 11 SUNY faculty and administrators named as a 2021 Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) Fellow by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“AnnaMaria has been asked to share her considerable expertise across the university, directed not only toward student issues but also helping to educate our faculty and staff and to improve the campus climate overall,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum.

“She has done so — lecturing in the classroom, leading faculty and staff workshops and participating in campus-wide discussions focused on the difficult issues of race, ethnicity, equity and social justice in American society.”

Cirrincione_portrait_in_red_WEB
AnnaMaria Cirrincione

Launched in 2018, the institute offers fellowships to Hispanic and Latinx faculty and staff in leadership positions throughout the system. To date, 32 up-and-coming SUNY leaders have completed their training and graduated as HLI Fellows. The goal of the institute is to help these high achievers continue to build skills and advance their careers, ensuring that SUNY’s diversity is reflected in college leadership as well as in the student body.

Over the next six months, Cirrincione will attend seminars on leadership with other SUNY academics and administrators that will offer insights on how these two sides of campus work together. As an HLI Fellow, she will participate in individualized mentoring, assessment and development programs.

 “The Hispanic Leadership Institute provides rigorous training and support for our emerging leaders within the Hispanic and LatinX community that resembles some of the best executive leadership programs for chief executives,” said SUNY Chancellor James Malatras. “And as it grows it is creating opportunities for more of our faculty and staff.”

“I recognize that in order to impact the change I want, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone and be willing to take on leadership roles outside of the institution I work at,” Cirrincione said. “I know that being an HLI fellow will give me the opportunity to do that.”

Cirrincione joined the university more than five years ago as assistant director of the university’s Multicultural Life and Diversity Office (MLDO). She was promoted to direct the office in early 2017, having first served as interim director during the prior 11 months.

This past spring, in addition to her director role, Cirrincione was tapped by President Bitterbaum to serve as the university’s interim chief diversity officer. She accepted the appointment just as the campus adopted remote learning in reaction to the COVID-19 viral outbreak and as across the country communities of color protested the glaring social inequalities that the pandemic as well as shocking acts of police brutality across the country had brought to light. 

“She was able to fulfill both very well under the most trying of circumstances,” said C. Gregory Sharer, Cirrincione’s supervisor and vice president for student affairs. “In her relatively short time at SUNY Cortland, she has consistently proven herself to be a leader in the Division of Student Affairs and across the campus. She has demonstrated the vision, initiative and ability to become an outstanding senior student affairs officer.”

Cirrincione often is called upon to conduct workshops, facilitate discussions, teach classes and generally offer her expertise to faculty, staff and students. She demonstrates patience, compassion and skill while navigating challenging conversations.

“She has the unique ability to address complex and demanding issues without provoking defensive reactions,” Bitterbaum said. “At the same time, she does not back away from her positions or the key points she needs to make.”

“She is highly regarded for her ability to address topics with great care while not shying away from difficult discussions,” Sharer agreed.

The institute serves as a resource for Hispanic and LatinX leaders in higher education, both in New York state and across the country.

“The Hispanic Leadership Institute provides rigorous training and support for our emerging leaders within the Hispanic and LatinX community that resembles some of the best executive leadership programs for chief executives,” said SUNY Chancellor James Malatras. “And as it grows it is creating opportunities for more of our faculty and staff.”

Cirrincione first found out about the HLI Fellows Program through colleagues who had been a part of it and encouraged her to apply.

“Hearing about their experiences got me very excited for this opportunity to grow my network, assess my leadership profile and continue my professional growth,” Cirrincione said. “I have worked very hard to know my silo well and build relationships throughout campus to help further the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, always putting what is best for our student body first. The reward for the work that I do is knowing how it supports our students and campus community.”

Cirrincione is only the second SUNY Cortland employee to be so honored. L. Sebastian Purcell, SUNY Cortland associate professor of philosophy and co-coordinator of the university’s Latino and Latin American Studies program, was one of 14 leaders from the 64-campus SUNY system named in early 2019.

Before joining SUNY Cortland, Cirrincione worked as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University for almost two years as a graduate assistant in the Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Office while pursuing her master’s degree full-time.

Cirrincione earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Utica College and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University.

She also filled the role of practicum student in Syracuse University’s Off-Campus and Commuter Services Office and Hamilton College’s Days-Massolo Cultural Education Center.

Before that, she spent three years working at Utica College, first as an assistant director in the Admissions Office and then as a counselor in the Office of Opportunity Programs.

 

 

 


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