Inside Rensselaer

Recent Appointments and Promotions

A number of people recently have joined Rensselaer or been named to new positions.

Colleen O’Byrne, associate director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, has been appointed acting director of the center, following Tom Tarantelli’s retirement June 30. In her new role, O’Byrne will assist the vice president for student life with the implementation of FY ’12 Performance Plan initiatives. She also will serve as a member of the leadership team and advise the vice president on trends related to student career and professional development. O’Byrne joined Rensselaer as an admissions counselor in 1988. She was appointed career counselor in 1988 and served as an assistant director in 1993. She was appointed associate director in 1997. She received her bachelor’s in psychology from the State University of New York, College at Oswego, and her master’s in counselor education from Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Annette Chism, the former interim director of environmental health, safety, and risk management for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), has been appointed director of environmental health and safety. The director reports to the vice president of human resources and is responsible for developing and implementing a short- and long-term strategy for the Environmental Health and Safety Department. The director designs, coordinates, oversees, and implements a comprehensive program designed to establish Institutewide partnerships and engage faculty and staff as well as the external community to improve awareness of Rensselaer health and environmental safety programs. Chism received her bachelor’s degree in applied communications from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. She earned her MBA from Norwich University in Vermont.

Maria Mike-Mayer, the former executive director of corporate and foundation relations for Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been appointed director of corporate and foundation relations. The director reports to the vice president for institute advancement and is responsible for leadership in strategic management of corporate and foundation relationships and partnerships, with the goal of maximizing significant philanthropic and research investments. Mike-Mayer will play a key role in increasing private funding resources for Rensselaer, as well as serving as an external and internal voice in advancing relationships with these entities, raising the Rensselaer profile in corporate and foundation arenas. While at WPI, Mike-Mayer led an effort to rebuild and strengthen the corporate and foundation relations office in preparation for the school’s capital campaign. Prior to joining WPI, Mike-Mayer served as director of corporate and foundation relations at Tufts Medical Center. Mike-Mayer received a bachelor’s degree in English from Hunter College and a master’s degree from City University of New York, Graduate Center.

J. Louis Trzepacz has been appointed Class Dean for the Class of 2014. Trzepacz will be engaged in the ongoing implementation of the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) initiative, which aims to transform the student experience by elevating the quality of support for students throughout the undergraduate years. In his new role, he will work with people across campus to provide programming opportunities for students. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Trzepacz served as assistant director of residential life and assistant director of the first-year experience at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Most recently, he was the director of first-year student development at Western New England College. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and a master’s in higher education administration from Suffolk University.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 15, October 7, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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