Jennifer Herzog bids goodbye to Ithaca College
Eleven years ago, I was hired to teach acting in the Department of Theatre Arts at Ithaca College. It has been a deeply fulfilling joy and a privilege to be a faculty member at my alma mater all these years. While I’m heartbroken and disappointed (on behalf of myself as well as so many brilliant colleagues who are in the same boat) that our school’s senior leadership & board of directors are not prioritizing seniority, diversity, or our current student body’s needs in their downsizing quest, resulting in the loss of so many deeply passionate educators (including many proud alumni like myself), I am beyond honored to have spent the past decade contributing my energy and whole spirit to the department that made me the actor I am. Easing into this shift has not been easy. I will miss teaching acting at IC more than words can describe. I will miss getting to know a brand new group of students each semester, and introducing them gleefully to the craft that is my beloved birthright, passed down from my parents, both of whom were Broadway actors. I’m saddened that “Ithaca Forever” means that non-theatre majors at IC will have very few, if any, opportunities to take acting electives moving forward. I will miss seeing the joyous faces in the Dillingham hallway of former first-year exploratory students who had found themselves in my intro class, perhaps as a fluke, then ended up falling in love with theatre and starting a career in our department as a result. I will miss hearing “Guess what, Jennifer!? I decided to declare a theatre minor!” I will miss expanding the minds of advanced acting students with complex scripts, exercises, and tools designed to help them crack open their own creative worlds. Outside of the theatre department, I will miss being a student org faculty advisor, which allowed me the privilege of working with some of the most compassionate and wise hearts on campus every year. I will miss the students. All of the students. So damn much. Next up for me is a “self-sabbatical”—a time for professional development, art, breathing, and reflecting with gratitude on everything my incredible students have taught me over these years. Thank you for being you.
Jennifer Herzog, Dept. of Theatre Arts, 11 years; class of 2000, BFA Acting
Art by Art Editor Adam Dee.