Longtime Professor Patricia Zimmermann dies Aug. 18

Photograph of Patricia Zimmermann

Patricia Zimmermann, Charles A. Dana Professor in the Department of Screen Studies, Media Arts, Sciences and Studies at Ithaca College and director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival died the morning of Aug. 18 after a short illness. 

The college notified the campus community of Zimmermann’s death Aug. 19 in an email from President La Jerne Cornish and Provost Melanie Stein that expressed great sadness and loss. 

“We ask that you continue to take care of yourselves and one another, and to keep Patty and her loved ones close to your heart as we grieve this tremendous loss,” Cornish and Stein wrote.

To celebrate Zimmermann’s life and support one-another, the college is holding a gathering at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 in Muller Chapel. 

Zimmermann had worked at the college for 42 years and accomplished much in her personal and professional life. 

Zimmermann has authored over 200 scholarly articles as well as several books like “Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film,” “States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies,” “Thinking Through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places” and “Open Spaces: Openings, Closings, and Thresholds of Independent Public Media.” Zimmermann has also co-authored many books and has curated media programming, exhibitions, festivals and film seminars. Each year for FLEFF, Zimmermann curates a series of multimedia, shown in Ithaca, that focuses on global issues.

Zimmermann received the Dana Professorship Award in 2021 for her teaching excellence and is a Fulbright specialist. She served as the Film and Documentary Envoy for the U.S. State Department. She was the editor-at-large for “The Edge,” the Park Center for Independent Media’s online magazine, and worked simultaneously on the editorial boards of “Film Quarterly, The Journal of Film and Video,”  “Annika,” and “The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.” Zimmermann was also on the board for Opera Ithaca and Cinemapolis, Ithaca’s nonprofit art cinema. 

Zimmermann’s wish was that instead of flowers, donations would be made to Cinemapolis and Opera Ithaca, according to the college’s letter.

A more extensive list of Zimmermann’s accomplishments and involvements can be found on her faculty page.

Students can make appointments for virtual or in-person sessions with Counseling and Psychological Services counselors by calling 607-274-3136 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students can reach counselors outside of these hours by calling 607-274-3136 and selecting #5. For immediate assistance call the Office of Public Safety at 607-274-3333.

Students can access grief resources by visiting the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life’s website or by emailing [email protected]. Members of the campus community can also submit an ICare referral if they are concerned about the well-being of a student or would like help navigating available resources.

Faculty and staff can call 1-800-327-2255 to access counseling services from the Employee Assistance Program. There will be more information coming soon from the college about an EAP representative that will be available on campus to help faculty and staff.

Individuals who are in crisis or are concerned about another individual can call the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988 to receive 24/7 free and confidential support and resources.

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