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Faculty Spotlight

Two Faculty Honored with Annual Lettieri Awards

Going above and beyond in the classroom and for the students at Mount Ida College has resulted in two faculty being named as award recipients for the 2016-17 academic year.

Named in honor of the late and gifted Professor Lettieri, this year the coveted Ronald J. Lettieri Award for Excellence in Teaching is being presented to Sarah Stopyra, Instructor in the Funeral Service Education program. Sarah was particularly noted by students for helping them develop high-level critical thinking in an engaging and creative class environment.

And Mount Ida is pleased to present the Adjunct Award for Excellence in Teaching to Daniel Kornrumpf who has taught various courses for several years in the School of Design. Kronrumpf was lauded for the passion and creativity he brings to his classes and for consistently giving feedback that is helpful and motivating.

Read on to learn more about our deserving award-winners:

Sarah Stopyra puts her heart into her work

With more than a decade of experience in funeral service in the capacities of funeral director, embalmer and insurance agent conducting pre-need sales, Instructor Stopyra brings her passion for her work to her students. As one of the first licensed female funeral directors without family ties to funeral service in her area, she feels fortunate to have had the ability to work autonomously, gain practical, hands on experience in most every aspect of the field.

“I am a funeral director because it is what I love. I am teacher because it is my passion. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to do what I do. The opportunity to pass along my passion for this industry to my students is something I have always dreamed of doing. I feel I am doing as much, if not more for my industry in this position by helping to cultivate compassion, humility and knowledge in future funeral Professionals.”

Stopyra finds it an exciting time for her vocation. “Every day I am discovering a new service offering, a new way of doing something or a new product that can enhance the way we serve families. I challenge my students every day to embrace these changes as opportunities.”

In 2015, she was one of 50 funeral directors nationwide selected to participate in the National Funeral Directors Association’s “Meet the Mentors” program, supported by the Funeral Service Foundation.

Instructor Stopyra is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She is certified by both the National Funeral Directors Association and the Crematory Association of North America as a Crematory Operator and Provider and is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner and a Certified Preplanning Consultant.

Stopyra currently teaches Funeral Service Pathology, Funeral Service Merchandising and Management, Social Foundations of Funeral Service, Restorative Art and Funeral Directing I and II.

“Many people go through the motions to become a funeral director, whether they think it’s something unique to try out or their family connection is pushing them in that direction. To truly BE a funeral director, however, can only come from the heart.”

Professor Stopyra holds a Bachelor of Arts from Framingham State University and is pursuing her M.Ed., from Framingham State.


Daniel Kornrumpf – At Home in the Art Studio ” Classroom ” Garden

Adjunct Faculty in the School of Design, Daniel Kornrumpf grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where he studied painting and furniture design, earning a bachelor’s degree at Kutztown University. “That is where I developed a style of work that balanced both fine art and craft traditions.”

He earned his Masters degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and continued his pursuit to develop a visual language in paint, creating a series of large scale figurative painting as well as small, intimate embroidered portraits.

After graduation, Kornrumpf moved to Boston to teach Art Foundation and Design courses (Furniture Design, Architectural Drafting, Color Theory, Basic Drawing, and 2D Design) at Newbury College in Brookline.

“While teaching at Newbury College, I took a wood shop monitor position at Mount Ida. This soon expanded into teaching a furniture design course alongside the late Tommy Yamamato who exposed me to new ways of creating hands on learning experiences for my students.”

After teaching Furniture Design within the Interior Architecture + Design department, Kornrumpf began teaching Art Foundation courses (Color Theory and Basic Drawing).

“This is, after eight years, where I continue to develop my teaching style, providing the highest quality education in drawing, painting, and sculpture, affording students the scaffolding they’ll need for creative practices that may take them in any number of directions.”

In his art practice, Professor Kornrumpf has exhibited paintings and embroideries in numerous museums including the DeCordova Museum and the Ashville Art Museum, as well as many acclaimed galleries and institutions including Art Basel in Miami. In 2013 Professor Kornrumpf won the competitive Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for Craft.

His artwork is currently represented through Blank Space Gallery in New York City.

“As an educator as well as a working artist, I understand how important it is for students to develop the technical and conceptual skills necessary to support and inform their studio practice and career.”

Kornrumpf currently live in Berkley, MA which is where he has an art studio and an 18-acre farm. “When I am not making artwork or developing my course curriculum, I am out in my vegetable garden weeding and harvesting.”