New Graduate Student Life Advisor to Provide Additional Support

Angela Yantorno

Graduate Student Life Advisor Angela Yantorno joined the Graduate School to support students’ health and well-being, help students work through problems, and provide connections to other offices across campus as needed.

Beginning August 31, she will hold office hours at the picnic tables outside the Big Red Barn from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn more about Yantorno’s background, goals, and interests in the following Q&A.

What is your educational and professional background?

I have an undergraduate education in music (violin performance) from Ithaca College and a master’s in social work (MSW) from Boston College with a focus on organizational change and systems thinking. Between undergraduate and graduate school, I craved something different than traditional music study and moved to Latin America, where I taught English as a second language (ESL), traveled, and learned Spanish. I then worked translating and advocating for undocumented Dominican teen parents in Roxbury, Massachusetts. After graduate school, I moved back to Ithaca to raise my family and ran a teaching and performing business. Recently, as my children are becoming more independent, I have made a pivot into higher education, where I feel strongly my MSW skills and work experience will transfer beautifully.

What is your role in the Graduate School?

My role is to help support the student experience at the Graduate School by providing individual case management and working collaboratively with students to problem-solve and provide referrals to appropriate offices on campus, such as Cornell Health, Student Disability Services, Global Learning, and other offices focused on student support, health, and well-being. 

What excites you about this new position?

I was born and raised by a low-income single mother who enrolled in a Ph.D. program when I was very young. The support we received along the way was invaluable and I’m happy to be here to offer graduate students similar support. Being raised around graduate students from all over the world, I feel energized when connecting with students from different perspectives, disciplines, cultures, race, interests, and backgrounds and am excited to help create community and a sense of belonging for the students at the Graduate School. 

What do you want graduate students to know about meeting with you?

I want students to know that I am a good listener and that I care about what they have to say. They can expect to feel supported and that I will collaborate with them to problem-solve, understanding each person and situation is unique.

What are your goals in this position?

My goals are to offer holistic support to each student and help them navigate the academy and to collaboratively problem solve, connect students to resources, and expand a sense of belonging and supportive community within the university.

Can you provide some context to your personal experience in graduate school?

My degree focus at Boston College’s School of Social Work (BCSSW) was in “macro social work.” Macro social work aims to affect change within large systems at the community, organizational, and policy levels. BCSSW’s macro specialization focuses on social innovation and leadership, emphasizing the development of ideas, mechanisms, and new social arrangements to enhance community capacity to address complex social challenges. Students train in the foundations of participatory community-based social work practice and research and learn recent advances in human-centered design, systems thinking, and other analytical tools to drive innovation, address complex social problems, and enable sustained social impact.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

As a musician by training and passion, I love playing with my Indie-rock band, Not From Wisconsin, along with my husband who is the song-writer. I enjoying composing and experimenting with my new looping pedal! I also enjoy hiking, cycling, travel, cooking with my family, and regular visits to my neighborhood coffee shop, Gimme! Coffee.