Inside Rensselaer
Recent Staff Appointments

A number of people recently have joined Rensselaer or been named to new positions.
Be sure to congratulate them when you see them!

Sarah Clinton has been hired as the assistant strength and conditioning coach by Athletics. A graduate of Purdue University, she will assist Kyle Sottung, who is in his third season as the head of strength and conditioning. Clinton served as a sports performance coach at Velocity Sports Performance for the last four years, where implemented and led a new internship program. Clinton, who is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, earned a bachelor of arts in movement and sport science from Purdue University in 2005.

Janelle Fayette has been appointed to serve as dean of the first-year experience. In her new role, Fayette will manage and assess all aspects of the Office of the First-Year Experience, including first-year and transfer transitions, and other emerging first-year student needs. She also will serve as liaison with the five schools, academic departments, first-year student advisers, and other constituents. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Fayette held the position of assistant director of student life at Bennington College. She has an M.S. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University at Albany.

Richard Frederick, who serves as an entrepreneur in residence and adjunct faculty member in the Lally School of Management and Technology, has been selected to lead the new business incubator program, Emerging Ventures Ecosystem. In his role as adjunct faculty member at Lally since 2007, Frederick has taught entrepreneurship classes and lectured on various topics related to early stage business development and acceleration. He has founded or led a number of companies since 2000. Frederick earned a master’s in business administration from the University at Buffalo, and served as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Army in South Korea.

David Gaume, portfolio manager at the Kansas Farm Bureau, will join Rensselaer as the assistant treasurer of investment operations on April 4. Gaume will collaborate with Rensselaer’s outsourced investment firm to ensure compliance with Rensselaer’s investment policies and with external reporting requirements relative to reporting and on-going monitoring of endowment and pension funds and will oversee the investment aspects of Rensselaer’s charitable trusts. He will report to Rensselaer Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Virginia Gregg. For the past five years, Gaume has served as the portfolio manager at the Kansas Farm Bureau. Gaume received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kansas State University, and is a chartered financial analyst.

Mike McDermott, director of business operations and associate director of the Rensselaer Union, has been appointed acting director of the Rensselaer Union. In this role, McDermott will advise student leadership in their Union activities, and work to ensure that financial and purchasing transactions are in compliance with budget and Human Resource policy guidelines. He also will be responsible for managing the Union’s $8.5 million budget, and providing administrative support for all aspects of the Union. McDermott joined Rensselaer as manager of the Rensselaer Union bookstore in 1977, and was appointed as director of business operations and associate director of the Rensselaer Union in 1982. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY-Plattsburgh. He also received his certified store professional certificate from the National Association of College Stores.

Gary Porto has been named director of development in the Division of Institute Advancement. A veteran with nearly 38 years of experience in fundraising, Porto will work closely with Brenda Wilson-Hale, vice president for institute advancement, on Rensselaer’s fundraising campaign planning and execution. He is also responsible for leading the fundraising staff members in their efforts to reach new cash and new commitment totals annually, to build the Institute’s endowment, and to significantly increase the base of donors. Porto will oversee regional, annual, and planned giving, as well as a new series of constituent programs supporting a distributed model of fundraising within the Institute. Porto joins Rensselaer from Washington State University, where he served as the executive director of development for the College of Engineering, overseeing their $125 million objective within the university’s $1 billion campaign. Porto received a bachelor’s degree in speech, communications, and performing arts from Northeastern Illinois University.

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 6, April 1, 2011
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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