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Cornell University

CTLC Staff and Facilitators

A team of belayers on the challenge course
Interested in working with the Cornell Team and Leadership Center? Join the Team

 

Meet our staff!

Sylvie Froncek

Interim Director of the Cornell Team and Leadership Center

B01 Bartels Hall

Sylvie started working with Cornell’s Team and Leadership Center at the age of 15. Since then she has worked as an outdoor adventure guide for the Claremont Colleges in California, a rock climbing instructor in Colorado, a bicycle tour guide in New Zealand and the Northeastern USA, and a mountain instructor for the North Carolina Outward Bound School. Bicycling, canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing and organic farming are Sylvie’s primary outdoor activities.

Matt Kager

Challenge Course Coordinator

Matt Kager has been leading outdoor adventures for over twenty years. He has been a lead facilitator for CTLC since 2015. Matt enjoys paddling, hiking, sailing, skiing, snorkeling, fishing, games of any kind! Matt holds many certifications including facilitation for the EQi 2.0 Emotional Intelligence suite of assessment tools. He is passionate about bringing people together and motivating groups to work in unity.

Fedinard Nyanyo

Student Coordinator

Fedinard is a Computer Science major with a minor in Business. Originally from Ghana, he enjoys painting, playing video games, and sports. He is passionate about using technology to solve real-world problems.

Gavin Dutterer

Student Coordinator

Gavin is originally from South Carolina. He is majoring in Math and studying Computer Science and Japanese at Cornell University. As part of the Cornell Outdoor Education staff team, Gavin shares an interest in leadership and team dynamics. 

Carolina Montejo

Student Coordinator

Carol is originally from California. She enjoys spending time outdoors and biking, which goes along well with her focus at Cornell University, which is on Environment and Sustainability. Carol also works with the Latino Studies Program and she is a member of the Pep Band.

Lead Facilitators

Amy Kohut

Lead Facilitator, Former Director of Cornell Team & Leadership Center

Amy Kohut has been a manager, trainer, and consultant for experience-based programs for over 30 years, and has worked for top-rated organizations such as Outward Bound and Project Adventure. She has been offering Leadership Coaching since 2011 and is a certified facilitator/trainer for the EQi 2.0 Emotional Intelligence suite of assessment tools. Amy received the Excellence in Training and Consulting Award for Creative Leadership in the Art of Facilitation from Project Adventure, Inc.

Ben Mumford-Zisk

Lead Facilitator

Benjamin Mumford-Zisk grew up in Ithaca NY. He attended the University of Buffalo where he received a BA in English. Since 2018 Ben has worked with the Cornell Team and Leadership Center. He enjoys rock climbing, biking and rowing. He also likes the smell of dirt, water, and trees. He dislikes the smell of fast food restaurants, most perfumes and enormous box-store parking lots in summer. The book that best describes him is, distressingly, Ferdinand the Bull. 

Christa Downey

Lead Facilitator

Christa Downey is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) who is on a mission to support organizations and their leaders to bring their BOLDEST visions to reality toward a healthier, more equitable, more sustainable world.  She feels most alive when she is on the water, swimming or paddling, or when surrounded by trees, backpacking or snowshoeing. She enjoys challenging herself through running, triathlons, and ice hockey and appreciates the connection between the physical and mental. 

Dan Tillemans

Lead Facilitator, Former Director of Cornell Outdoor Education

Dan Tillemans served as second director of Cornell Outdoor Education, from 1984 to 1999.  Dan significantly grew the program with the additions of the Lindseth Climbing Wall, Phillips Outdoor Program Center, and Hoffman Challenge Course. Dan lives in Ithaca and in addition to being a senior consultant for professional groups and leadership, he still regularly facilitates and leads programs for COE.  The endowed Tillemans Director of Cornell Team & Leadership Center position was funded in honor of Dan’s 15 years of COE Leadership.

Emmett Mitterando

Lead Facilitator

Emmett Mitterando, a part-time student in Outdoor Recreation at the nearby SUNY community college, has continued to further his education through in person experiences facilitating CTLC programs and instructing snowboard, rock climbing, and backpacking classes. In working with the adaptive ski program at a nearby mountain, Emmett wishes to increase his repertoire in instructing participants of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds in new outdoor experiences.

Jamie Carpenter

Summer Super Lead Facilitator

Jamie started indoor rock climbing in 1999 and since then, she has had some amazing vertical adventures, including being a part of a bat relocation project in Arkansas. Jamie has been with Cornell Outdoor Education since 2017. At COE, Jamie has taught everything from basic rock climbing to tree climbing. In 2018 Jamie joined the Cornell Team and Leadership Center and she has been the Super Lead Facilitator since 2022.

Joy Rutt

Lead Facilitator

Joy Rutt is originally from Lancaster, PA, and came to Ithaca for college. She received her BS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Clinical Health Studies from Ithaca College, and is currently a graduate student in the Physical Therapy department. Joy has been involved with COE since the fall of 2020, and has enjoyed teaching day hiking, backpacking, and working in Outfitting as a Wizard. She has a passion for creating a space on the course that fosters authentic learning and seeing people challenge themselves.

Karel Hilversum

Lead Facilitator, Former Director of Cornell Team & Leadership Center and Former Director of Cornell Outdoor Education

Karel served as the third director of the Cornell Team and Leadership Center from 2016 to 2024 and as the fifth Director for Cornell Outdoor Education from 2018 to 2024. During his tenure, COE experienced tremendous growth and set the foundations for a more inclusive organization. He is a proud native of Puerto Rico and still holds strong ties to the island. He has designed and delivered challenge course programs, outdoor adventure education courses, and leadership & team development workshops for over 30 years to hundreds of groups across the Americas and the world.

Laura Schoenle

Lead Facilitator

Laura is thrilled to support people on their personal growth journeys through engagement with the outdoors and facing novel challenges with CTLC. She has over a decade of experience leading and working on wildlife research teams around the world including in the Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona, wetlands in Ontario, Canada, and in southeastern Australia. Laura has BS from Cornell, MEd from the University of Arizona, and a PhD from Virginia Tech.

Madeleine Ulinski

Lead Facilitator

Maddie has been working with the Cornell Team and Leadership Center since 2018. She has a background in Environmental and Outdoor Education from SUNY Cortland. 

Marcus Brooks

Lead Facilitator

Marcus comes to us from New York City where he earned both his Bachelors degree and MBA from Columbia University. He uniquely combines his formal business skill sets in leadership, organizational development, entrepreneurship, strategy and finance with his deep passion for human development through the great outdoors and experiential learning. He is an accomplished wilderness guide having lead international trips to destinations as far away as Kilimanjaro. Marcus holds an AMGA-CWI and EMT certification.

Norm Pure

Lead Facilitator

Norm is a highly seasoned facilitator and leadership educator.  Formerly a faculty member with The Sanctuary Institute and Ithaca College, Norm is currently an independent trainer and a Senior Facilitator for the Energy Project, an organization that works to create professional workspaces that are healthier, happier, more focused and more purposeful.

Sandy Gregorich

Lead Facilitator

Originally from Michigan, Sandy holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Biomechanics, both from Michigan State University.  She came to COE with a long history in outdoor education through summer camps where she worked on the waterfront and led numerous trips backpacking and paddling with teens,  eventually going on to becoming a camp director.  Her experiences with youth outdoors led to a passion for helping people master new skills, experience nature and learn more about themselves in the process.  

Sarah Highland

Lead Facilitator

Sarah Highland is a talented educator and truly a developer in many forms!  Facilitating with CTLC since 2011, Sarah has made herself a scholar of experiential education and facilitation, and diligently mentors our staff each summer.   When she is not in Ithaca, she is a boatbuilding instructor at the Carpenter's Boat Shop in Pemaquid, Maine, and is the founder and principal of Highland Artisan, an educational home-building and timber-framing organization.

Tiff Ho

Lead Facilitator

Originally from the SF Bay Area, Tiff came to Cornell University for a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics. She mastered out of her PhD program, fell in love with Ithaca and stayed after graduation. She is a Wilderness EMT and was previously the fire chief of the Varna Volunteer Fire Company. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing and dragon boating.

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