Ita Fischer leaves memorabilia but no answers

The day before the College announced that Ita Fischer was leaving her position as the director of the Career Development Center at Wheaton, Fischer informed her friend Rodney Sisco, director of the Office of Multicultural Development, of the news. She gave him three action figures as a parting gift. Eleven days after July 11, when the Career Development Center announced her resignation, Fischer was gone.
Since Fischer and Sisco are both Star Trek nerds, Fischer gave Sisco a Captain Picard action figure and a Data action figure from Star Trek. Fischer also left him with a small bobble head of the first Doctor from Doctor Who. Sisco placed these memorabilia on his office desk. She did not leave him with any answers, however, and the has not provided any.
Sisco said he and Fischer “connected” quickly after Fischer began working in the Career Development Center ten years ago. They both enjoy science fiction and comic books, and Sisco said Fischer has a “brilliant” and “fast-firing” mind.
Fischer’s sharp mind introduced Strengthsfinder, which the Career Development Center called “one of her enduring contributions to Wheaton” and explained as a “self-assessment … tool to assist students’ vocational exploration and professional development.”
“She moved us in a good direction,” Sisco added. “I pray that as we move forward, we’ll build upon it.”
Sisco continued, “There are a number of things that (Fischer) built in the Career Development Center, but what I think of the most is the fun stuff we would laugh and do together. A healthy sense of play reminds us of a healthy sense of work.”
Fischer and Sisco’s offices were only a room apart until last year when the OMD moved buildings, so they would often stop by each other’s offices to chat and laugh. If she were still here, Sisco said Fischer probably would have headed up a group to see the new movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Sisco was uncertain if Fischer left on good terms with the College. However, he did know that whatever the reason for her leaving, she did not leave because of moral misbehavior.
“I think we’ve been going through a challenging time as an institution. We’re in a place of change. And sometimes in change, we are trying to address ways of supporting that differ,” Sisco said.
During an interview, Sisco said that he was “lost in speculation.” He was saddened by Fischer’s departure, although he plans to keep in touch with her. Sisco said that despite not working close to each other any longer, “What will never change is (my) care and concern for her and love for a sister in Christ.”
The declined to comment, saying that as a rule, the college does not comment in detail on personnel matters.
The Career Development Center underwent additional staff changes two weeks ago on Friday, Sept. 5 as well, adding three temporary, part-time career counselors who plan to serve through the end of the spring semester. These staff members were added as part of President Ryken’s strategic initiative.
The Career Development Center asked Nancy Lewis, Dave Thomson and Mark Ramirez to join the staff to help manage the flow of appointments. Lewis, Thomson and Ramirez are all experienced in either career development or student development.
“I believe that these are people who are here because God touched their heart to help us respond to the increased demand,” Billye Kee, interim director of the Career Development Center, said.
According to Kee, the new staff will assist students with career planning, professional development, personal strengths assessments, internship and job opportunities, developing search skills, resumes, cover letters, personal statements and statements of purpose for graduate school.
Kee said that the new staff members are temporary because “the funds (to pay the new staff) have not yet come in yet. It’s more of an act of faith that we at least have added the temporary people so that we can at least meet our commitments to serve the students better even as we wait for additional funding.”

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