This Friday, February 26, we are hosting another Honors Alumni Panel at 4pm in Textor 101. This year we have three awesome panelists – Jesse Katen ’05, Melissa Littlefield ’00 and Lily Shafer ’08. Here’s some more information on each of the panelists:
Jesse Katen graduated from Ithaca College in 2005, majoring in Politics. He went on to earn an MA in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture from Binghamton University in 2007 and also owns The Jesse Katen School of Dance in Windsor, NY, which is in its twelfth season. In addition to teaching ballet, tap, jazz, and acro at his studio, Jesse also teaches English at SUNY Broome Community College, where he serves on the committee that established and oversees the college’s Honors Program. Jesse also travels regularly as a professional dance competition judge, having adjudicated more than fifty competitions across the United States, including several nationals. In 2015, he one of three dance judges nominated for the Dance Gala Award for Outstanding Judge by the Association of Dance Competitions and Conventions.
Jesse serves on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Binghamton and chairs the International Service Committee, having successfully completed international projects including establishing a program to feed malnourished children in the Philippines and helping rebuild schools damaged by the earthquake in Nepal. In 2014, he and his 72-year-old student raised more than $7,000 for charity performing a tap dance challenge. He successfully authored a grant for $18,000 to expand the Planetarium programming at the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton. Jesse serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Broome County Public Library and is slated to become President of the Rotary Club of Binghamton in 2017. He was recently the subject of a featured story on WBNG-TV entitled “Tales from the Tiers.”
Melissa Littlefield is an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she teaches classes on Science Fiction, Feminist Science Studies, Body Studies, and Literature and Science. After graduating from Ithaca College in 2000, she earned her dual PhD in English and Women’s Studies from Penn State University. In 2011, she published her first book, The Lying Brain, Lie Detection in Science and Science Fiction; in 2012, she co-edited a second book with Jenell Johnson titled, The Neuroscientific Turn: Transdisciplinarity in the Age of the Brain. Melissa is currently writing a book about novel EEG technologies in popular culture, tentatively titled, Instrumental Intimacies: Measuring and Modifying the Brain Through Mobile EEG. She also co-edits Configurations, A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology. Basically, she loves finding interesting connections between science and culture.
Originally from Ithaca, Melissa loves coming back to NY to visit family and spend summers in the small house she built with her husband a few years ago. When she’s not thinking about brains, you can find her knitting and spinning various woolen fibers in Illinois or playing board games with her 11 yr old son.
Lily Shafer discovered a love for technology and learning at Ithaca College in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her ability to translate technical jargon and computing concepts to students and faculty made her an extremely effective student help desk technician at IC. As a self-confessed technology geek and a English major, Lily believes anyone can and should be able to learn to use a technology effectively and should never be made to feel foolish about their inexperience. This belief compelled her to pursue a MS degree in Information Science: an interdisciplinary field straddling the line between technologies and the people who use them. Lily’s work there inspired her to pursue a career in instructional design to provide the best learning environments for a new generation of teachers and learners in our interconnected age. She began working at The College of Saint Rose in February 2014 and has quickly earned the respect of members of the faculty with whom she has collaborated as an instructional designer, with the goal of providing the best learning environments for a new generation of teachers and learners in our interconnected age.
Outside of work, Lily is still a voracious reader and video game geek, and plays D&D with the most well-dressed group of professionals she’s ever known (who said adults ever had to grow up?). She is also a fiber artist, who dyes, spins, knits, weaves and sews all sorts of works. All of this is done in the company of her two dogs, who are too smart for her own good (and conspire to steal her peanut butter sandwiches).
Come meet them all on Friday at our Alumni Panel!