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Executive Advisory Committee

The Executive Advisory Committee (ExAC) is comprised of members of the AdvanceRIT leadership team as well as representatives from key faculty and administrative units within the University. The Executive Advisory Committee provides guidance, input and insight to the AdvanceRIT team and assists with strategizing about key grant activities on the horizon. The Executive Advisory Committee is convened monthly. 

Executive Advisory Committee Members

Renee Baker

Renee Baker, senior personnel for AdvanceRIT, has been the executive director of faculty recruitment and retention at RIT since 2008. In this role she is responsible for talent acquisition of executive level administrators in the absence of search firms and of all faculty within the Academic Affairs Division and for broader participation through recruitment and retention of African American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA), and women faculty. Previously Ms. Baker held the position of manager of faculty recruitment at RIT, and prior to RIT she served as the human resources director for the city of Rochester (1994-2001), the director of personnel and labor relations for the city of Syracuse (1986-1994), and served in the Affirmative Action/Diversity Office at SUNY Brockport (1981-1986).

Ms. Baker holds an M.S. in counseling education from Brockport State University, an M.A. in public administration from Syracuse University, a B.S. in psychology from Brockport State University, and has completed the management development program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her professional affiliations include AALANA Faculty Mentoring Council; advisory board for Center for Women and Gender; diversity member of Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; and National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators.

Judy Bender

Judy Bender is the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at RIT since 2011. She comes from Eastman Kodak Co. where she served as human resources director for the Prepress Solutions business. Prior to this role, she held a number of human resource leadership positions within Eastman Kodak including director of America's Center of Excellence and human resources director for the Retail Printing Solutions business.

Prior to her work with Eastman Kodak, she worked for General Railway Signal as compensation and benefits manager and human resource generalist and at Rochester Community Savings Bank as a compensation analyst. Her areas of expertise include employee relations, performance management, change management, leadership coaching, succession planning, compensation, benefits, strategic staffing and employee development. She graduated from RIT's E. Phillip Saunders College of Business with a degree in business administration and earned her master's degree in hospitality administration from Cornell University.

Dr. Twyla J. Cummings

Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D. is the Dean of Graduate Education at the Rochester Institute of technology (RIT). Prior to this appointment she served as the Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Research in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) and a Professor in the School of Media Sciences at RIT.

Dr. Cummings came to RIT in 1999 as a tenure track faculty member. She was the Graduate Director for the MS degree in Print Media from 2002-2009 with oversight for the development of two new graduate programs. In 2006 she was appointed to the Paul and Louise Miller Distinguished Professorship. In this role she successfully supported the mission of the endowment to engage in research initiatives that would give recognition to news media/newspapers as a significant segment of the graphic communication industry.

Dr. Cummings' teaching and research is focused in the areas of media distribution, media business industry trends and women in graphic communication. She is a frequent speaker on critical trends in post-press, service diversification and other issues impacting the graphic communication industry as a whole. She is past Board member of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL; now EPICOMM) and the Board of Governors for the former R & E Council of NAPL. Dr. Cummings is a past member of the America East Advisory Board where she was the Chairperson for the 2014 America East Conference. She is a member of the prestigious Walter E. Soderstrom and Nonpareil Societies of NAPL and the R & E Council. In 2013 she was inducted into the OutputLinks Communications Group's Women of Distinction program. She was recently named the Printing Industries of America's 2015 Naomi Berber Memorial Award recipient.

Prior to coming to RIT Dr. Cummings had an extensive career at Eastman Kodak Company in Dayton, OH. The Dayton operations facility was a major producer of high volume digital printing equipment. While at Kodak she was rapidly promoted to levels of increasing responsibility throughout various divisions beginning with her first position as an ink chemist in R&D and quality assurance through a transition into marketing management, product management and strategic management.

In addition to her professional commitments, she has been actively involved in the Rochester community. She is the past Board Chair of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation. Previously she served as Board Chair for the YWCA of Rochester and as a Board Member for the Rochester Women's Network. She currently serves as a member of the YWCA Board Advisory Council.

As an RIT faculty diversity is integral to every aspect of her role. Diversity and inclusion impacts her teaching, research, recruitment/retention, mentoring and programming. Twyla is the recipient of the 2013 RIT Changing Hearts, Changing Minds Award and the 2014 Isaac L. Jordan, Sr. Faculty Pluralism Award. Twyla possesses both a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and a M.S. Degree in Business and Industrial Management from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She earned her Doctoral Degree in Management from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Anne Haake

Dr. Anne R. Haake is currently the interim dean of the Golisano College where she has previously served as associate dean for research & scholarship, and professor of graduate studies and research. Dr. Haake’s current research, as director of the Human-Centric Multimodal Modeling Lab, is focused in the areas of biomedical informatics and human-computer interaction, Her cross-disciplinary expertise and research resulted in her being selected to serve as a National Science Foundation (NSF) program director in the NSF’s Division of Biological Infrastructure.

In addition to her work at Golisano College and with the NSF, Dr. Haake has co-authored a bioinformatics textbook, served as co-director of the Multidisciplinary Vision Research Laboratory in the science college’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and founded a usability consulting company. Dr. Haake holds a doctorate in developmental biology and a master’s in software development and management from RIT. Prior to joining RIT, Dr. Haake worked as a cell and developmental biologist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, researching molecular biology and genetics leading to her interest in biomedical informatics.

Dr. Keith Jenkins

Since coming to RIT in 1992, Professor Jenkins has served as RIT Faculty-in-Residence (1993 - 1995), RIT's first Assistant Provost for Diversity (1999 - 2002), Director of Undergraduate Degree Programs in the School of Communication (2011 - 2016), and Interim Vice President and Associate Provost, Divison for Diversity & Inclusion (2016 - present).

Professor Jenkins is the recipient of many awards. Among the RIT awards are the 2010 Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, the 2005 Isaac L. Jordan Pluralism Award, the 2004 RIT Diversity Trailblazer Award, the 1993-94 Provost's Excellence in Teaching Award, the 1996 and 1997 Higher Education Opportunity Program "Community Professor" awards which recognize a professor who has made a difference in the lives of HEOP students at RIT, and NTID's (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) 1995 Pluralism Award.

Professor Jenkins' scholarly publications and presentations center around studies in intercultural communication, political and visual rhetoric, and the rhetoric of gospel song. Most recently, the focus of his research has been on pragmatism and the rhetoric of inclusion in Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign.

Dr. Sophia Maggelakis

Dr. Sophia Maggelakis was appointed dean of the College of Science in 2010. She holds a Ph.D. in computational and applied mathematics from Old Dominion University and was elected among the Faculty for the 21st Century for the Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL). In her 20-year tenure at RIT, Dr. Maggelakis founded and led the School of Mathematical Sciences (SMS).

Dr. Maggelakis' research area is mathematical biology, specifically the mathematical modeling of biological mechanisms and processes, such as tumor growth, capillary growth, wound healing, and retinopathy. She is a recipient of the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching and is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She has led and implemented a program that revamped the delivery of the science and engineering calculus curriculum and significantly increased student success rates.

Dr. Maggelakis is the founder of the Women in Science (WISe) program at RIT and servers as a mentor for the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Group of Rochester. She was appointed by President Destler to lead the RIT effort for the development of an articulation agreement between RIT and Nazareth College of Rochester to enable qualified undergraduate students from science, mathematics, and engineering programs to pursue concurrent course work in the Nazareth College master of science in education degree. Dr. Maggelakis is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honors Society, the Society for Mathematical Biology, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the American Mathematical Society, and serves on the board of trustees of the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Dr. Lynn Wild

Dr. Lynn Wild, senior personnel member for AdvanceRIT, joined RIT in 2002 as the assistant provost for teaching and learning services, a newly created position. In 2009 she was appointed associate provost for faculty success to encourage and emphasize faculty development and thus enhance RIT's initiatives for excellence.

In 2009 Dr. Wild guided the merger of Teaching and Learning Services and the RIT Libraries, forming The Wallace Center, which provides academic support and service for students and faculty. Her experience in higher education includes the development of teaching and learning centers at RIT, Rutgers University, and Buffalo State College. Her 20 years of experience in faculty development are complemented by 15 years in director-level management positions in education and corporate environments.

Dr. Wild holds a doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her bachelor's degree in English education from Buffalo State College and her master's in educational communication at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She currently teaches several online courses through RIT's Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.