Advisory Board

The Dean's Advisory Board of RIT College of Liberal Arts serves in a volunteer advisory capacity to support the vision and mission of Rochester Institute of Technology in education, research, and service. This group exists to advise and assist the Dean of the College, and its membership is comprised of business, community, and alumni/ae leaders. The Advisory Board provides the Dean independent, external perspectives on various College programs, initiatives, and strategic direction. Advisory Board members also provide leadership in philanthropic events and activities for the College, and serve as ambassadors in the community. Advisory Board members are advocates of the University and are integral to the success of programs and projects through work on development, appeals, and events.


Kathleen Anderson

Kathleen (Cole) Anderson is a Senior Media Planner/ Buyer at Quinlan & Company in Buffalo, New York, where she is responsible for developing the media strategy for key accounts including Northwest Savings Bank, Northwest Consumer Discount Company and Apple Rubber Products.  In addition, she plays a critical role in the Agency's new business development and client retention efforts. Prior to joining Quinlan & Company, Kathleen worked at Travers Collins, Ogden Entertainment & Granite Broadcasting in various marketing and media roles. An alumna of RIT's College of Liberal Arts, Kathleen is excited about the evolution of today's media consumer and the impact technology has on our daily lives. 

Susanne Carpenter

Susanne Carpenter is an alumnus of RIT. She has served on the Advisory Board for several years. Her continued interest in COLA is due to the college’s strong commitment to improving student & faculty excellence and the desire to build stronger relationships in the community. Giving back to the community is important to Susanne. Her past board experiences and affiliations include the Big Brother Big Sister Organization, Pirate Toy Fund, Oatka Residential Center, African-American Leadership Development Program (AALDP), and Habitat for Humanity. Susanne is employed by Wegmans Food Markets where she is a Human Resources Staffing Specialist.

Nancy Fiedler

Nancy Fiedler worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 20 years where she held a number of positions in information technology, market research, human resource development and corporate recruitment.  She played an active role in the transition from large mainframe computers to a distributed approach to information technology always with a focus on process improvement.  Since leaving Kodak, Nancy has done independent statistical consulting and has volunteered with a number of community organizations.  She is currently a board member for The Center for Youth and serves on the Development Committee.  As a graduate of the RIT College of Liberal Arts, Nancy welcomes the opportunity to use both her academic and professional background in process work to enhance the learning opportunities within the college.  Nancy holds a B.S. in Economics and an M.S. in Statistics from RIT.

Kara Halstead

Kara Halstead joined Highland Hospital at the end of 2010 as the Director of Service Excellence and Physician Liaison.  Her responsibilities include overseeing the planning, development and implementation of the Highland Service Excellence initiative to improve patient and physician satisfaction.  She serves as the primary resource and coach for staff, faculty and leadership on all aspects of service excellence.  She also oversees the Patient Relations Department. Kara joined Highland after spending 16 years working with Senior Staff Assistant to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.  Kara also managed and co-chaired the County Executive’s Children’s Advisory Committee. She is active on several local boards including the Mount Hope Family Center and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency. Kara has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technical and Professional Communication from RIT and earned a Master of Science in Health Systems Administration from RIT in 2009. Kara was honored as one of the Rochester Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” recipients in 2010.

John Parke

John Parke, Chair of the College’s Advisory Board, is retired after a career in marketing and sales with Procter & Gamble, Ralston Purina, Bausch + Lomb and the PPI Marketing Group where he was the founding Partner. In addition to his long standing interest in the College and RIT, he has served as Chair of its Nathaniel Rochester Society; he is on the Board of the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery and is Past Vice President of the Genesee Valley Club. A graduate of Dartmouth College, John also holds an MBA from its Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Peggy Savlov

Peggy, a native Rochesterian, is a lyricist and has an enormous passion for music. She was able to combine these interests by writing, producing and performing one-woman shows for corporate events throughout the country, a career which she has enjoyed for many years. Her experience with serving on several community boards (including the RPO, the Hochstein School of Music, U of R Friends  of the Library  Executive Board) will be of value in her tenure on the COLA board of Advisors. This mother of two children, both of whom are musicians, is an avid gardener, a dog lover, and a voracious reader. She finds the energy on campus here to be palpable and the students' creativity quite extraordinary! Peggy hopes to bring new ideas and continued support for the enhancement of student projects and entrepreneurship.   

Barry Strauber

Barry Strauber is founder and owner of Rising NY LLC, a branding, public relations and marketing agency in Rochester, NY.   He has previously worked as Director of Agency Services at Martino Flynn advertising in Pittsford, New York, where he played a key role in fostering collaboration among departments and focusing on process improvements.  He also focused on staff development, recruiting talent, staff training, and leading the internship program.  Barry is a 30-year veteran of the advertising agency industry, and he is excited about opportunities to integrate new technologies with liberal arts disciplines in order to expand student learning and success.  Prior to joining Martino Flynn, Barry worked at Young & Rubicam and Saatchi & Saatchi, Della Femina and Vicom/FCB in New York City.  Barry’s client experience includes Eastman Kodak, Citibank, Bausch & Lomb, Constellation Wines US, Delaware North Companies, Lactalis American Group Inc, UPS, Thule, Wegmans, Excellus/Univera, Shared Health, Friendship Dairy, and Nissan Motor Corporation.  Barry holds a degree in television/radio advertising from Syracuse University.

David Whitaker

David J. Whitaker is a retired financial services executive having served in senior management positions at Security Trust Company, Essex Investment Group, McDonald Investments and KeyCorp. His expertise is in marketing, business development, property management and securities compliance.  Whitaker has served on numerous community for-profit (Matrix Unlimited, Bearium Metals, Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad) and not-for profit (Al Sigl Center, Rochester Friendly Home, Valley Manor, Kirkhaven, Medical Motor Service, Family Service of Rochester, Sonnenberg Gardens, Otetiana Council, Easter Seals, Salvation Army, United Way, Landmark Society of Western New York, Historic Brighton and Brighton Historic Preservation Commission) boards. He recently served as Interim Executive Director of The Landmark Society for eight months.  Whitaker's involvement in RIT includes Co-chair of the

NRS membership committee (NRS was founded by his father, Gaylord [Gee] Whitaker) and serving on the NRS Awards Committee.  He attended Union College where he majored in Psychology and English. Whitaker and his wife Stephanie, also a member of the RIT/COLA Advisory Board, are life-long residents of Rochester and have two sons and six grandchildren, all living in the Rochester area.

Stephanie Whitaker

Stephanie S. Whitaker is managing partner of Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, a member of the exclusive Virturoso group of travel agencies. She has had 45 years of experience in the travel industry. She supervises development, training, seminars, marketing and consumer events, as well as her private clients.  Stephanie had been a member of the Junior League of Rochester, Women's Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, the Geva Theatre board, and the St. Joseph's Villa board.  She is also the foundation secretary at Sonnenberg's Arts At The Garden fine arts show and author of the RPO Women's Committee's newsletter.  Stephanie holds a BA degree in English from Hollins University. She is a strong believer in a liberal arts education. Stephanie's involvement at RIT includes Co-chair of the NRS membership committee and service on the NRS Awards Committee as well as being a current member of the RIT/COLA Advisory Committee.