The first woman to be nominated for and elected into office as mayor of Auburn, N.Y., in 1999, Melina Carnicelli serves now as the new Board of Trustee member for Cayuga Community College. She was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 5 of this year. She will serve the regular seven-year term until June 30, 2018.
The Board of Trustees comprises 10 members that meet on a monthly basis to discuss budgets, personnel decisions, and capital projects. The Governor appoints four trustees and the Cayuga County Legislature appoints five trustees, leaving one elected student to serve as a trustee for one year.
Carnicelli said she hopes to bring to the board her enthusiasm to serve the community in a meaningful way and her passion for “thoughtful governance and decision making.” She looks forward to using a collaborative leadership style to help guide the campus community to successful outcomes.
Carnicelli graduated from SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1970 and continued on to receive a master’s degree in education from SUNY Brockport in 1980. She also completed the SUNY Oswego Superintendent Development Program in 2003. Since then, she has had numerous experiences within the field of education. She worked as an educator for 16 years at the Auburn Enlarged City School District (CSD) and as the assistant superintendent of schools for four years at the Ithaca City School District.
Carnicelli’s political skills and community-based orientation led to her winning the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction award in 2000. She served as a city counselor and mayor of Auburn, N.Y., from 1996 to 2003. A short time later, she founded the Mayor’s Social Justice Task Force in Auburn, for which she was the first recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award.
Carnicelli said that she accepted the Board of Trustee member position “to be an integral part of one of our community’s best assets, CCC.”
Carnicelli has dedicated her time to numerous community organizations over the years, including the Auburn Public Theater, the Cayuga County Arts Council, and the Zonta International Club of Auburn. She is also a retired member of the NYS Association of Women Administrators and a founding board member of the Auburn Enlarged CSD Education Foundation.
Married for 42 years, Carnicelli enjoys paddle boating on Owasco Lake in Auburn, playing tennis, and spending time with her grandchildren.