Ithaca College is set to officially welcome a new member of the IC family on Monday, August 16, when Shadayvia Wallace begins her role as the Program Director for the MLK Scholar and First Generation programs. This announcement comes following an extensive search process, led by Hierald Osorto, Executive Director of Student Equity and Belonging.
“Ithaca College is at a crossroads and needs forward-thinking leaders who hold together what once was and the possibility of what still lies ahead,” Osorto said. “Ms. Wallace is such a leader. She understands what it means to have our students at the center and with an eye towards our broader community partnerships and alumni. We are indebted to the vision that Dr. Roger Richardson, Dr. Tanya Saunders, and Malinda Smith had for establishing the MLK Scholar Program. I also want to recognize the Office of New Student and Transitions Programs, in particular Lia Munoz, who laid the foundation for what is now a thriving First-Gen program. Finally, I would be remiss not to recognize the legacy of countless alumni who have shaped these programs.”
Wallace is the inaugural director in this position dedicated to oversee programming for both the MLK Scholars and First Generation students. This newly formed position will serve to further support Ithaca’s ongoing commitment and vision as an institutional leader in diversity, equity and inclusion. Wallace’s visionary leadership will further enhance opportunities and experiences for students in the MLK Scholar Program and who identify as first generation college students.
“I am very excited to start my journey at Ithaca College,” Wallace said. “I want to thank the search committee for their belief in me and my leadership capabilities as an asset to support students. Every student deserves to be in an academic space in which they are supported holistically. Through the MLK Scholar and First-Generation programs, I hope to ensure students are supported, have meaningful experiences, and can successfully transition from students to alumni. I am most looking forward to connecting with students and finding new creative ways to work together.”
Wallace arrives to Ithaca College following a highly accomplished four-year stint as Program Coordinator in the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Global Education at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. At Le Moyne, she played a significant role in advocating and programming for traditionally under-represented communities. Some of her major accomplishments included planning and coordinating the annual week-long events “You Are Not Alone Week” and “International Education Week.” Wallace also founded and developed several unique programs, such as “Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve Mixer” that provided support and outreach to Le Moyne’s LGBTQIA+ community, as well as “Strong Women Slay” – a mentoring group for female-identifying BIPOC students, faculty, and staff.
“I am excited for Shadayvia Wallace to join our IC family and fulfill this critical new role within our division,” said Rosanna Ferro, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life. “Our commitment to providing enriching opportunities and growing our ability to support our students is unwavering. The MLK Scholar Program and our First-Generation Student programming have been at the forefront of these efforts to ensure that all IC students have access to transformational experiences that resonate during their time on South Hill and beyond. I look forward to seeing the evolution of both these programs under Shadayvia’s dedicated leadership.”
Wallace can trace her passion for working with underrepresented communities to a variety of roles in the Office of Student Activities and Student Affairs during her undergraduate studies at Keuka College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/History and minor in Communication Studies in 2015. She earned a master’s degree in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University in 2017. Simultaneous to her graduate studies, Wallace gained invaluable experience through a variety of internship and assistantship opportunities, including: Days-Massolo Center (Hamilton College), CNY Community Foundation, Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services (Syracuse University), and the WellsLink Leadership Program housed within the Office of Multicultural Affairs (Syracuse University).
“I want to extend a sincere thanks to everyone who has given me such a warm welcome thus far,” Wallace concluded. “I am excited to be an Ithaca College Bomber!”