Vice President of Institutional Advancement – York College/CUNY
Dear York College Community,
I am pleased to announce that after an extensive search process, Kathryn J. Cousins has been selected as the next Vice President of Advancement and Communications at York College. She is excited to return to CUNY, especially on such a vibrant campus as York, to enhance the total student experience from admission to graduation.
Kathryn is currently Director of Development for the Norwalk Community College Foundation, where she has focused on the role of campus in addressing pressing issues in the local community and beyond. In her role as CDO for the NCC Foundation, Kathryn worked in partnership with the President and CEO of the NCCF to provide leadership, direction and coordination of all fundraising and marketing strategies and activities that enable the foundation to support NCC students and faculty.
Prior to this appointment, she worked for Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, where she was Director of Development, overseeing development, marketing and communications. Additionally, she served as Executive Director of Alumni Development and Engagement at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and held various positions at the University of Saskatchewan, including Director of Major Gifts and University Campaigns, where she managed major gift programs at 13 colleges and 3 vocational schools and led a team responsible for raising approximately $25 million annually. Prior to the University of Saskatchewan, Kathryn was Director of Development for Junior Achievement of South Florida and Director of Development and Communications for the American Red Cross of Broward County.
Kathryn has raised and managed over $200 million in her 25+ year career in development and marketing, including overseeing record revenue growth and alumni engagement at higher education institutions. She is recognized as an expert in development strategy and major gift programs, and is highly regarded as a leader and mentor. She has given seminars on ethics in fundraising, major gifts, capital campaigns, special events, change management, board development and leadership. Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Canada, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and has held this title since 2006.
I want to take a minute to acknowledge the foundational work and record the overwhelming fundraising efforts under the leadership of Dana Trimboli, Acting Vice President since February 2020.
There was a major cleaning that needed to take place to get us to today’s hiring. We have undertaken a review of scholarships and endowment accounts for process, accounting and creating greater accountability. Our board is in a different place: we successfully onboarded 13 new board members who bring diversity, talent and commitment to our mission; we improved recruitment, appointment and board committee structure practices; implemented a board portal that allows directors, advisory committees and trustees to organize, securely share board documents and electronically collaborate on sensitive information. We worked with a foundation attorney to review and revise the board’s governance documents, including the bylaws.
The Day of Giving has traditionally raised $25,000 in previous years, but in 2020 we raised $80,781.20 and in 2021 $137,820. When COVID hit, the team raised over $50,000 and quickly distributed these funds to students affected by the crisis, Petrie funded technology for our health professions students were able to meet their requirements and despite the Covid, our “Virtual Mosaic” (2021) raised $236,317 thanks to the commitment of our friends on Broadway. This year, our TWA gala raised nearly $250,000 thanks to the generosity of many!
Working collaboratively with all divisions, we have raised the bar for promoting York on the web, marketing efforts and social media through stories, videos, photography and graphics.
I would like to thank the members of the search committee: Dana Trimboli (president), Cedric Dew (YMCA), Sheridan Abraham (faculty), Chris Hsu (foundation council), Sumaiah Ali (student) and Farley Mawyer (faculty), as well as the leadership teams and the campus community for participating in the site visit. Thanks to your comments, I was able to make this decision. Please join me in welcoming Vice President Cousins to campus this summer. While there is still a lot of work to do, the Advancement and Communications team has much to be proud of and I know that under Kathryn’s leadership, only better news is ahead!
Berenecea Johnson Eanes, President