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The Passing of a Veteran York College Colleague

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Susan Voll. Almost everyone knew Susan by face but many may not have known her by name. Those who knew her best share fond memories.

For more than 30 years Susan supported York College faculty and students with their technology needs, first as CLT for the Photography lab in the Department of Performing and Fine Arts; and then as a member of the Media Equipment Services team, formerly known as Ed Tech.  Before the age of digital photography, Susan was also the unofficial photographer on campus and took many of the images that appeared in the college’s publications, including the student newspaper “Pandora’s Box.”  Susan recently passed away in her home. Details are scarce, but we still wanted the college community to be aware of this sad news. 

The list of colleagues willing to pay tribute to Susan speaks to the quality of her work and her character. Library Professor John Drobnicki noted that Susan took the photos of Martin Puryear installing the “Ark” tubes hanging from the ceiling outside the Library Library’s windows down over the second floor, as well as Frank Stella’s work being installed over the student cafeteria. “But she herself rarely appeared in front of the camera,” Drobnicki said.

Dr. Wenying Huang-Stolte, who worked with Susan in the same unit for many years was shaken by the news of her death. “I'm shocked and saddened by the unexpected news of Susan's passing,” said Huang-Stolte. “I got to know her when I joined ACET (Academic Computing & Educational Technology) in 2002.  Susan was a very responsible staff member and always made sure to take good care of the College properties. She was also a caring person. I enjoyed talking with her. Although in some aspects we saw things differently, I appreciated the exchange of ideas with her.  I'll miss her.” 

Dr. Donna Chirico also had kind words to say about her former colleague, who seems to have touched everyone.  

“One of my fondest memories of Susan was an extended conversation we had in August 2019 at the remarkable Employee Appreciation Celebration held at the College,” said Dr. Chirico, a Professor of Psychology. “She did not take being honored at the event lightly; and was in tears at being publicly acknowledged after years of dedicated service. The festivities seemed to be just for her, and Susan enjoyed every minute. Newcomers to York, who may not have met Susan, and those who only knew her in her later years, cannot know the extent of the contributions she made as York was being established and an Ed Tech area was being imagined. She was a fixture in that unit and someone who unfailingly was there to assist faculty and staff at a time when many did not even understand the services available to them.” 

Dr. Chirico added, “If you needed an overhead projector or a screen or a film transferred to a newer format, Susan was there to guide you through the process. At a personal level, Susan was delightful. When you interacted with her, not only did she ask you how the family was doing. She asked by their names and she remembered what you told her the last time she chatted with you. . .‘so, how did the dance recital go?’ Plus, no matter what your frustration of the moment, Susan always greeted you with that smile. If you were lucky enough, you got to hear her irresistible laugh.”   

Philippe Chery who knew Susan when he started working with her in the Media Equipment Services in 2016, also weighed in on Sue’s unexpected death. “Susan Voll was full of life," he said. "She had stories for days and I always admired her for sharing her life experiences with me. I would say, her life was like a movie. She will be missed.” 

Imani Perkins also worked with the veteran tech wiz starting in 2016 when she too, joined Susan in the Media Equipment Services. 

“Susan was a kind and thoughtful co-worker who treated us as family," Perkins said. "She would share in our joys and encourage us when we fell on hard times. One of the things I will miss most about Susan is her stories. She was a great story teller.” 

Dr. Greet Van Belle, director of CTLET and supervisor of the Media Equipment Services team shared her memories of Susan too. "No one could supervise Susan," said Dr. Van Belle. Susan was Susan with the independent soul of an artist, always reaching out to the human being in us, beyond conventions and appearances.  I delighted in her wit and insight in human nature.  I also very much appreciated her unwavering dedication to serving our students and faculty, with kindness, a beautiful smile and, at times, tough love.  Thank you for having been with us, Susan!”




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