Staff Directory

Krista Saleet, Director
(607) 255-0674
ks2334@cornell.edu

Krista guides her team at the Public Service Center in engaging students in learning through service that produces students who are civically engaged and graduates who are active, global citizens. Krista is guided by 15+ years of experience in higher education administration at Colgate University, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Chatham College. Krista sits on the NASPA Public Policy Board and the NASPA Region II Executive Board. Krista's professional interests include the impact of civic engagement on student success outcomes, higher education-community partnerships and millennial community engagement. Krista holds a Bachelors of Urban Planning and Development from Ball State University and a Masters of Public Policy and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

Chelsea Benson, PreK-12 Program Coordinator
(607) 255-0255
cb754@cornell.edu

Chelsea coordinates an array of student volunteer and work-study opportunities with local schools and community organizations. Activities range from tutoring and mentoring, to advancing scientific literacy, to preparing students for college. These services not only support PreK-12 students, they also provide Cornell students with valuable skills and experiences.

Prior to joining the Public Service Center, Chelsea worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology supporting the Lab’s citizen-science initiatives. She also served as the Education Program Coordinator for an environmental learning center in New York’s Hudson Valley. Chelsea has a B.A. in Psychology and English from Allegheny College and an M.A. in Environment and Community Studies from Humboldt State University.

Renee Farkas, Associate Director
(607) 255-1107
rcf1@cornell.edu

Renee has worked at the PSC since its inception in 1991.  Prior to that, Renee worked for CIVITAS. In addition to her duties as Associate Direct of the PSC, Renee coordinates the Community Work-Study Program and the Volunteer Program, leads the Pre-Orientation Service Trip (POST) program, and serves as the PSC liaison for many initiatives and committees both on campus and off, such as the First-Year Experience committee, College Orientation committee, Cornell Days, First-Year Family Weekend and many others.

Renee works closely with students and community partners and also serves in a variety of capacities in the local community including offering trainings for students and community partners, and helping to coordinate the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event.

Rayan Hage, Program Advisor, Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP)

(607-255-9382
rh645@cornell.edu

Ray brings his experience as a high school science teacher and non-profit work as an academic and career counselor to STEP. He is excited to combine his experience to advise Ithaca's STEP students on their parths to STEM related majors and careers.

Ray has a B.S. in Secondary Education (7-12); Biology from Western Connecticut State University and is certified to teach Biology and Chemistry. He also enjoys mentoring and coaching sports including football, boxing, track, and weight training.

Sandy Hickey, Administrative Assistant
(607) 255-7882
sh36@cornell.edu

Sandy provides administrative support to staff members of the Public Service Center in addition to assisting the Associate Director, Renee Farkas, in the day-to-day operations of the Community Work-Study Program.

Sandy has worked at Cornell for 30 years, spending 25 years in the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment before moving to the Public Service Center. She has a B.A. from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell.

 

Pius Kayiira, Program Coordinator for Upward Bound

(607) 255-0094
mkk85@cornell.edu

Pius has over 11 years experience working in the non-profit field. His titles included Senior Youth Care Worker, Assistant Family Teacher, Behavior Interventionist and Care Coordinator for Boys Town New York City. During his tenure he was adept at working with a culturally diverse population of adolescents from all five boroughs of New York City. Pius was able to coordinate programs and events for students, by collaborating with external partners, including state and local agencies, active community organizations, local business owners and faculty, in order to facilitate an environment that encouraged students' academic and personal growth. He has an unbridled passion for fostering relationships with young adults, providing them with necessary skills to succeed, and overcome challenges they faced, while creating a path for a successful future.

Kristin P. Kurz, Events and Office Coordinator
(607) 255-0144
kk544@cornell.edu

Kristin helps coordinate the Public Service Center's major events. She also oversees the day-to-day operations for the office. 

Kristin has a background in event and theatrical production stage management. She came to Cornell 4.5 years ago and has a M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in Theatre Arts: Stage Management.  

Matteo Lundgren, Program Advisor to Upward Bound

(607) 255-5814
mcl336@cornell.edu

Matteo is enthusiastically dedicated to helping students develop life skills and to help them gain perspective as they transition from High School to College. Matteo has a Masters in Counseling Education from St. Bonaventure University. He has worked in a variety of educational settings; as School Counselor at New Roots Charter School in Ithaca NY, as Camp Director of Steve and Kate's Summer Camp in Seattle Washington, as a Mental Health Counselor at St. Bonaventure University Counseling Center, as a teacher in South Central Los Angeles Charter Schools, as Coordinator of Student Recruitment at Front Range Community College in Boulder Colorado.  

Matteo has also volunteered abroad and here in the United States; disaster relief work after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, disaster relief work after the Earthquake in Haiti, disaster relief work after Hurricane Sandy in New York City. He also volunteered and worked with adults with disabilities in Torino Italy and in Rhodes Greece.  

Matteo's great personal passion is within the art of natural building, as the owner of "Cob Therapy" (www.cobtherapy.com) he teaches workshops across the country.

 

Liz Millhollen, Assistant Director of Upward Bound

(607-254-8240
eam53@cornell.edu

Liz, CALS '05, has been with the Public Service Center as the Assistant Director of the Upward Bound Program since 2018. Previously, Liz directed staff training and development, safety, risk, and program design with Outward Bound in Baltimore City and various wilderness areas in the US. In Baltimore, she created the Chesapeake Bay Sea Kayaking program that builds character and stewardship in students as well as a Police Officer and Youth pairing program whose objectives is to change negative perceptions to positive ones and build trust. Thrilled to shift disciplines from the "out of doors" to "opening of doors" for young people she brings a lot of enthusiasm and support to the successful and growing Upward Bound program. As a Finger Lakes native and Alumna of Cornell and the University of Buffalo (M.Ed. School Counseling) Liz is so happy to be back home and making a positive impact in her community.

Joyce Muchan, Assistant Director, Student Programs
(607) 255-8851
jdm1@cornell.edu

Joyce, ILR '96, has been with the Public Service Center since 1999. Her focus is student program leadership development and co-circular project management, evaluation, student leadership trainings, student-run grant allocation, curriculum based service trips, as well as the coordination of Cornell's largest student-run service projects.

Joyce has been a Tompkins County Human Rights commissioner and has served on several community boards task forces including, the City of Ithaca Rental Housing Commissioner 2004-2012, Ithaca City School District Affirmative Action Committee 1993-1996, Ithaca City Drug Task Force 2000, and Ithaca City Community and Police Conflict Management Task Force 1996.

Jennifer RudolphDirector, Pre College Opportunity Programs
(607) 255-5364
jlr343@cornell.edu

Jen directs three college access grants and supervises the K12 Outreach efforts in the Public Service Center.  The Upward Bound Program is a free college preparatory program for qualifying students funded through the US Department of Education’s TRIO Programs on their path to success in college and the Science Technology Entry Program (STEP), funded through the NY State Department of Education to support qualifying students on their path to higher education and careers in the STEM fields and licensed professions.

She has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Indiana University, and an M.A. in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Jen has spent the last 20 years working with youth helping them maximize their potential and plan for their futures.

Kurt Sarsfield, Assistant Director of the Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP)

(607) 255-1309

kss226@cornell.edu

Kurt comes to the Public Service Center having worked as a teacher and administrator in schools dedicated to preparing all students for college.  In his role at the PSC, Kurt will work to support Ithaca middle and high school students on their path to higher education through the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP).  

Kurt has a B.A. in English Language and Literature and Secondary Education from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Education from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Amy Somchanhmavong, Associate Director, Service-Learning and Partnership
(607) 254-8072
ayk3@cornell.edu

As Associate Director of Community Service-Learning and Partnership Amy has dedicated herself to purposeful work that produces lasting impact. Amy's programs encompass student-centered programs such as the Public Service Scholars, to faculty engaged scholarship via action research in teaching and practice, to delivering collective empowerment initiatives for improved community health and wellbeing. Most recently she launched the Patient Care Advocacy Team (PCAT) program  in collaboration with Cayuga Medical Center and Cornell Career Services to expose students interested in the field of medicine to a direct service partnership with Cayuga Medical Center for what Amy refers to as a process of instilling and building a "culture of care” into healthcare for future practitioners.