Director, Finance and Operations
Director, Finance and Operations
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Bachelor’s degree (2006): Advertising and public relations
- Master’s degree (2007): Communication and media technologies
Jess Small said she’s been in the “RIT world” most of her life. It started as a child when accompanying her mom to work during school closures or for bring-your-child-to-work days. At one time she even attended summer camp on campus as a middle school student. And when Small was old enough to attend college, she said she knew Rochester Institute of Technology was where she wanted to go.
Now, in her eighth year working for the university, Small oversees finance and operations for the K-12 University Center by providing financial guidance on programming. As it relates to budgeting and spending, she said she aims to be a good financial steward of grant, RIT and taxpayer funds through accountability and detailed documentation. This also includes managing finance for the Army Education Outreach Program (apprenticeships and fellowships), Kids on Campus, Liberty Partnerships Program, and Science and Technology Entry Program – all housed at RIT’s K-12 center.
“It was just so familiar to me and always liked the college environment,” she said. “People were happy to be here and it was exciting. There were always things going on and opportunities to get involved, and was such a different pace than being in a corporate setting. So, I wanted to get back into higher education, but didn’t really know what that looked like.”
Small graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2006 in advertising and public relations through RIT’s College of Liberal Arts. A year later, she completed her master’s degree in communication and media technologies. She worked in various positions at local companies, including Paychex, before landing a job at RIT in 2014 – first as a part-time, grant-funded staff assistant in the physics department at the College of Science. Finding a need for a web and social media presence within the unit, Small initiated the project, and worked her way to a full-time position and then as the senior staff accountant for K-12 in March 2018. Last year, she was promoted to the director of finance and operations.
“I love the college setting because there are so many exciting opportunities and activities, and you have people from all different backgrounds engaged in what they love,” she said. “It’s such a wide variety of students, faculty and opportunities to be involved, and I just love that.”
When not working, Small said she enjoys going to the beach, reading, spending time with family and traveling. She lives in Lima with her husband and two daughters.
In the News
March 23, 2023
RIT students use talents to support K-12 center while gaining experience in real-world work setting
Upward of 20 RIT student workers are hired each year to support the K-12 University Center at Rochester Insititute of Technology. It’s a way to utilize student talents in a variety of roles to help meet the mission of the K-12 center, while giving them the professional experience needed to be successful in the real world.
March 15, 2023
Burnette, AEOP nominated for RIT Presidential Award for Outstanding Staff
The Army Educational Outreach Program Apprenticeships and Fellowships team was nominated for a 2022 Presidential Award for Outstanding Staff at Rochester Institute of Technology. Awards will be announced at a ceremony on March 22. Its director, who is also the executive director of RIT's K-12 University Center, was nominated for an individual award.