Bonnie Comella has been named the new director of advising for the College of Arts & Sciences. In her role, she is responsible for comprehensive and collaborative advising and student support for all students in the college, including providing vision, leadership and guidance for the advising deans, as well as faculty advisors.
Comella, currently the director of advising for the Office of Undergraduate Biology, will begin her position next February.
“I'll be examining ways to enhance pre-major advising and first generation college student support through consultation and collaboration with our faculty, as well as with our students,” Comella said of some of her early priorities. “Having been a first generation college student, I'm intimately familiar with the challenges these students and families face as they navigate the college experience.”
The appointment is the next step in a restructuring of the college’s admissions and advising office, which is undergoing a reorganization this year to better serve the needs of current and future students. Under the new plan, the college created positions for a director of advising and a director of admissions, hiring John Morganelli Jr. to fill the admissions role in September. Both of these positions will report to the new associate dean of undergraduate education, which will be a tenured faculty member.
Current Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education David DeVries has announced his retirement, but has agreed to remain through AY 2016-17 to help lead this transition and reorganization.
“We feel quite fortunate that Bonnie has agreed to lead our advising efforts in the college,” said Gretchen Ritter, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “She is well known and respected by faculty and advisors around the university. Good advising is critical to providing excellent educational opportunities for our students.”
As director of advising, Comella said she will work closely with other college leaders to strengthen the overall student services model for the college.
“I'm honored to be serving in this role for the College of Arts & Sciences and fortunate to be working with a dedicated team of advising deans and administrative professionals who care deeply about A&S student success,” she said. “I look forward to contributing to and promoting the unique value of a liberal arts education.”
Prior to her position in Cornell’s Office of Undergraduate Biology, Comella served as associate director of admissions in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and held admission roles at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. She holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from SUNY Cortland, a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Ball State University and a doctorate degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.