The governance of the Upstate Institute includes an Executive Board of Colgate faculty, staff and administrators, and a Community Board of community and government leaders, local businesspeople, and school administrators.

Executive Board

The Executive Board includes representation from each division of the university. Board members work as community ambassadors to the Upstate Institute and participate in the institute's long-term strategic planning efforts.


Community Board

The members of the Community Board are from area non-profit organizations, local government, economic development organizations, and school districts. Community Board members offer input into new project development and help bring about community conversations that can be facilitated and supported by the Upstate Institute.


  • Joanne Borfitz, Colgate University
  • Karin Bump, Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Britty Buonocore, Flour and Salt Bakery
  • Maureen Campanie, BRiDGES
  • Suzanne Collins, Hamilton Food Cupboard
  • Michelle Connelly, Earlville Opera House
  • Mary Dinski, Fiver Foundation
  • William Dowsland, Hamilton Central School
  • Eric Faisst, Madison County Department of Health
  • Michael Fitzgerald, Madison County Department of Social Services
  • Wyatt Galusky, Morrisville State College
  • Mark Golden, Golden Artist Colors
  • Kipp Hicks, Madison County Industrial Development Agency
  • Harvey Kliman, Southern Madison Heritage Trust
  • Jamie Kowalczk, Madison County Planning
  • Brian Latella, Madison Central School
  • RuthAnn Loveless, Village of Hamilton
  • Jennifer Marotto-Lutter, Partnership for Community Development
  • Samanthi Martinez, Mid York Senior Homes
  • Jeff McArn, Hamilton College
  • Antara Mitra, Community Action Partnership
  • Chris Rossi, Town of Hamilton
  • Joanne Smith, Liberty Resources
  • Simon Solomon, Rogers Environmental Education Center
  • Dot Willsey, National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Leigh Yardley, visual artist and educator


Professor of Art & Art History and Film & Media Studies; Director, Upstate Institute

Lynn Schwarzer is Professor of Art and Art History and Film and Media Studies at Colgate. Lynn grew up in Central New York and has resided in rural Madison County for 35 years, working as an artist and teaching printmaking and drawing at Colgate. She served as director of Colgate's Film and Media Studies program from its inception in 2003 until 2013. Lynn has shown her own work in and also curated a number of exhibitions and events at Colgate and throughout the Upstate region. Lynn has a long-standing connection to Utica's Munson Williams Proctor Institute Museum of Art, exhibiting her art there in 2010 and 2013, and serving as Chair of the Institute's Museum Advisory Committee from 1996-1999.

Julie oversees our Field School and facilitates research by faculty and students on community-related projects. She also handles the institute's communications and online presence. In addition to her work with the Upstate Institute, Julie is an active participant in many local and county-wide initiatives, such as the Village of Hamilton Planning Board, the Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SOMAC), the Hamilton Community Chest, and the Literacy Coalition of Madison County. She has a BA from Depauw University, an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, and has previously worked for the Partnership for Community Development.

Project Consultants

Rachel works with students who are engaged in semester-long field school projects and oversees the Foreign Language Program. She also administers Colgate's Lifelong Learning Program. She has a B.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from Cornell University, and has worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Anchorage, Alaska.

Sara works with students and community partners in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She has a B.S. degree in Accounting from LeMoyne College, and has many years of experience working as an accountant for New York and Connecticut based businesses.

Susan M. Conn, Esq. is a project consultant with the Upstate Law Project. She supervises the Consumer Bankruptcy Law Project and teaches SOSC 405: Social Security Benefits for Disabled Children. A member of the Colgate class of 1979, she joined the Upstate Institute in 2005 after 22 years as a staff and managing attorney at the Utica office of the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.