September 7, 2011

From Lehman College, where she was coordinator of SEEK Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring, to LaGuardia Community College, where she previously taught writing, friends and colleagues still speak of the passion and commitment of Jennifer Fasulo.

Her causes spanned education and political activism, feminism and filmmaking. She built educational programs and relished the advocate’s role whether she was supporting students or fighting for the rights of marginalized groups.

“She was one of those people the world is going to be missing,” SEEK Program Director Annette Hernandez said of Fasulo, 43, who died suddenly  in a car crash, just prior to the start of the 2010-2011 academic year.

Fasulo, a Lehman College Higher Education Associate, worked two years with SEEK, which assists students in need of academic and financial support to attend college. She supervised about two dozen people, including instructors and tutors.

“She was a person of strong convictions, a strong believer in education, very committed to giving our students the best education we could give,” said Hernandez. “Her enthusiasm and dedication were contagious.”

Fasulo worked as an educator and activist in Massachusetts, and held positions at Hudson County Community College and LaGuardia before moving to Lehman in April 2008.

Fasulo “began her LaGuardia Community College journey” in December 2004 as Developmental Writing/Adult Education instructor for the Bridge to Allied Health Careers project, impressing colleagues with her dedication to students. In February 2007, she was hired as coordinator of the Adult Learning Center’s GED Bridge to Health Program, exhibiting “seemingly limitless energy in launching the project,” they said.

She also co-founded SOWFI (Solidarity Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq) and sought financial support of the first shelter for women victims of violence in that country.

On its website, SOWFI president Yanar Mohammed called Fasulo “a dear friend and ally,” adding, “Our hearts ache for the loss of Jennifer Fasulo … one of the first women in the U.S. to hear us when we cried out about women’s agonies in the post-invasion Iraq.”

Fasulo’s video “Women’s Struggle for Freedom in Iraq,” co-produced with documentary filmmaker Liz Miller, was selected for the 2003 World Social Forum Film Festival. She also co-produced with Manauvaskar Kublall, “PRIMETIME: Fighting Back Against Foreclosure,” a short film explaining subprime mortgages, which premiered in 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight. She was an assistant producer for Joy of Resistance:Multi-Cultural Feminist Radio at WBAI Community Radio, and

contributed to various publications.

One of five children, Fasulo was born in Schenectady and grew up in Richland, Wash. In 1996, she graduated from the University Without Walls program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She earned a Master’s degree in education at the university. She studied Spanish at CETLAC, a work-study center in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

In a tribute to their “friend and comrade,” Fasulo’s fellow leaders in the Graduate Employee Organization at her alma mater wrote on the GEO’s website: “Her commitment to humanity, equality, social change and union democracy should be examples for us all.”