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Cornell University

Our Team

Initiatives Team

Bonnie Comella, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Bonnie serves as the chief of staff to Vice Provost Nishii. Additionally, she leads several functional areas in the Vice Provost's portfolio, works in close collaboration with the academic advising community, and is a contributing member to several cross-campus committees that are currently focused on community wellbeing, and student access and success initiatives. Prior to joining OVPUE, Bonnie held roles as Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, Director of Advising in undergraduate biology, and Associate Director of Admissions in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She very much enjoys advising a cohort of first and second year undergraduates, as well as serving as a Carl Becker House Fellow and a team advisor for the Cornell women's track & field and cross country programs.

As a first generation college student, Bonnie holds a BS in Biological Sciences from the State University of New York College of Cortland, MS in Student Personnel Administration from Ball State University, and EdD in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

Carol Grumbach, Academic Programs and Policy Consultant

Carol recently retired from her position as Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and currently serves as a consultant to the Vice Provost. In both roles, she has focused on developing academic policies and programs related to undergraduate education, mental health initiatives, Title IX, faculty living-learning initiatives, and academic integrity. In those positions, she has worked closely with faculty from across the university, the Associate Deans Council, and the Faculty Senate. She was a member of the Cornell University Law School faculty from 1998 through 2005, where she was the founding Director of the Law School's Lawyering Program. Before joining Cornell Law School, she was a criminal defense attorney. In her free time, Carol enjoys reading, watching movies, auditing courses, traveling, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband Michael and her dog Ted.  

Carol received both her BS and JD from Cornell University.

Elizabeth Karns, Provost Fellow

Liz, a lawyer and epidemiologist, is a senior lecturer in Cornell Bowers CIS. Her research and classes focus on statistical evidence, occupational illnesses, assault and harassment injuries, and reproductive harms.  Her current work on data science ethics brings together professional practice norms, individual values, and organizational goals. As a Provost Fellow, she works on topics that span the University, such as academic integrity, implementation of minors, and data analysis of student-based data. In her free time, Liz enjoys outside seasonal activities such as biking, swimming, running, hiking, and skiing. 

Liz received her BA from Reed College in Economics, MPH in Epidemiology from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and JD from Quinnipiac University. 

Janaki Parthasarathy, Product Manager, Cornell Student Engagement Initiative

Janaki works with student service professionals across the university to align processes and technology, with the goal of helping students have a more streamlined and equitable experience when seeking out and receiving academic support and opportunities. In her spare time, she enjoys wandering Ithaca's green spaces with friends and family in search of great blue herons and other wildlife, and spending time with her snuggly old cat who thinks she's a dog.

Janaki received her BA in Anthropology, concentrating in Asian-American Studies and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University. She earned a MPA from Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (now Cornell Brooks Public Policy). 

Emily Bednarski, Data Analyst

 Emily works closely with the Cornell Student Experience Initiative (CSEI) Product Manager to support data-informed academic advising practices and decision making. Her work includes producing student engagement data reports, collaborating with CIT to develop analytics dashboards and reporting best practices, leading the CSEI reporting group, and serving as a data and reports consultant to colleges and units. In her free time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, taking hikes, playing board games and solving puzzles. 

Emily holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester and EdM from the University of Buffalo in School Counseling. 

Laura Miller, Executive Assistant

Laura provides organizational support for the daily activities of the OVPUE, assists in overseeing a broad range of initiatives, manages work flow, and coordinates the Vice Provost's very complex and high-volume calendar. Prior to working at Cornell, Laura worked as an administrator in museums and non-profit art organizations. Born and raised in Ithaca, Laura continues to explore and find new treasures that the Finger Lakes region has to offer. She enjoys spending time with her family, visiting art museums, hiking the gorges, reading, cooking, and cuddling her two cats.

Laura received her BA from Goucher College in Art History and MA from Columbia University in Arts Administration. 

Unit Directors

Kristin Dade, Director, Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives

Kristin oversees the CSTEP/P3 and McNair Scholars Program. Additionally, she is the institutional coordinator for the Leadership Alliance. She is originally from Southern California and is a proud first-generation college student. In her free time, Kristin likes to play dominoes, cards, and other board games. She also enjoys watching shows on Food Network. 

Kristin received her BA in Sociology from Central Washington University, MS in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University, and PhD in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University.

Amy Godert, Executive Director of Academic Student Success Programs and Director of the Learning Strategies Center

Amy works with the LSC staff and other units on campus to promote students’ academic success at Cornell. Amy is a teacher at heart, and prior to joining Cornell she taught chemistry at a small liberal arts college. She works with a dedicated team of instructors and student staff to support students as they transition to college and adjust to the academic rigors of Cornell. Before her current role, she was an Associate Director in the Center for Teaching Innovation at Cornell for seven years. In her free time, Amy enjoys running (you might see her around Beebe Lake or the Cornell Botanic Gardens) and spending time with her family.

Amy received her BS in Chemistry and Computer Science from Canisius College and PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University. 

Adi Grabiner-Keinan, Executive Director for Academic DEI Education and Director of the Intergroup Dialogue Project 

Adi works closely with Cornell's academic units and leadership across the university and leads campus-wide educational programs and interventions, focusing on four key development areas: human connection, social identity, intergroup communication, and strategic change. 

Adi received her BA from Tel Aviv University, MA in Cultural Production from Brandeis University, and PhD in Anthropology from Cornell University.

William Horning, Director, Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives 

William ("Woodg") oversees the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Higher Education Opportunity Programs (HEOP). Working with EOP/HEOP has been his passion and drive for more than a decade. Prior to his position in OADI, he spent six years in Robert Purcell Community Center working with students and planning events. In his free time, Woodg enjoys volunteering with the Cornell Raptor Program, riding his motorcycle in good weather, and spending time with his wife Suzanne and dog Clyde.

Woodg holds a BA in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and MPS in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.

Rachael Perry, Director, Health Professions Advising

Rachel is the inaugural Director of the newly envisioned Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC). With over a decade of experience working with college students, Rachael has a deep commitment to holistic student well-being and development that guides her in assisting students. Previous to her position at Cornell, she worked at Binghamton University as the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and was an integral member in the development of the Binghamton School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  In her free time Rachael enjoys skiing, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Rachael received her BA in Mathematics from Keuka College and MS in Student Affairs Administration from Binghamton University. 

Ethan Stephenson, Director, Faculty Living-Learning Programs

Serving in this role for over fourteen years, Ethan works to support faculty engagement with undergraduates in and through the residential communities. Through the offerings of events and Learning Where You Live courses undergraduate students build a sense of belonging and community. In his free time, he likes to spend time in the kitchen, being active outdoors, or drinking tea and reading a good book.

Ethan holds a BA in Political Science and Government from Wesleyan University and PhD in Higher Education from University of Michigan.