Janet Shortall

House Fellow
Assistant Dean and Director
Empathy Assistance and Referral Service (EARS)
Office of the Dean of Students Willard Straight Hall, Room 207B

Janet likes to remember how she arrived in Ithaca in the middle of a snow storm in the beginning of February to begin a job at Cornell as the Associate Director of Cornell United Religious Work (CURW). That was the year they finally gave in and bought snow tires in May because they feared winter might truly not end any time soon. Well, that was in 1994 and not surprisingly, with that inauspicious beginning, life has gotten only better! Janet came to Cornell as an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, with a passion for interfaith engagement and pastoral care. In January 2011, with the encouragement of colleagues, she embarked on a new career at Cornell in the Office of Student Support and Diversity Education within the Office of the Dean of Students where she now works as an Assistant Dean and Director of the EARS program (Empathy, Assistance and Referral Service).  

When making this recent career shift herself, she was reminded again of that wonderful line from a Mary Oliver poem, "What do You plan to do with your one precious life?" (hopefully many things!). As a fellow of Becker House she hopes to take part in conversations with Becker residents where all can explore the choices we are each making in our lives as scholars, in our engagement in community life, and as citizens of the world within and beyond Cornell.  

Janet shares her life with her spouse, Bryan, two teenage sons, Gaelen and Aidan, and two rescued miniature poodles (Shelby and Togepi) who love to masquerade as their other two children! Passions in her life include reading, yoga and weight lifting (!) and singing in a local world music choir.