SUNY Cortland's John Shirley retires after 36 years of service

John Shirley receiving an award of recognition for 35 years of service in May 2018. (Photo provided)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — John Shirley, Director of Career Services at SUNY Cortland for the past 36 years, has announced his retirement.

“I am excited to spend time with my wife,” Shirley said. “So I have been looking forward to that. However, I am a little sad, because I love my job here at SUNY Cortland, along with the students, alumni and staff. They are all great, so I will certainly miss them.”

Shirley has worked in career services for a total of 31 years, first as an instructor in the economics department where he taught courses on accounting and finance. Shirley was brought into the department after the college received funds from the federal government to start a corporate education program.

“The reason I moved to career services, was really because I had more of an interest in hands on learning, with internships opportunities and volunteer work for students” said Shirley. “My first job at career services was to coordinate the internship program. At one point, there were probably around 40 to 50 interns doing different things. Now for all of the different departments on campus, we roughly have about 800 students a year doing internships.”

One of Shirley’s most rewarding and enjoyable memories working at career services is when students send emails or letters of gratitude after landing their dream jobs.

Shirley will be replaced by Nan Pasquarello, who has been an employee at SUNY Cortland for 24 years. For the past four years, she has worked as the college's Title IX coordinator. Pasquarello also served as director of student conduct and worked as a career counselor.

“Nan is already familiar with career services and the college,” added Shirley. “I have been meeting with her for the past week or so. She is super skilled and a hard worker. She will do a really great job.”