Lissette Olmeda, a Fordham administrative assistant who was celebrated for her “sunny competence and determination,” passed away on March 4. She was 51 years old.
Olmeda, PCS ‘03, GSAS’08, began working at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) in 1994 as an administrative assistant in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching. Lissette supported faculty members, students, and alumni of the program throughout her career. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 17 at 3 p.m. at Saint John the Baptist Church, located at 293 Anderson Avenue, Fairview, NJ 07022.
Diane Rodriguez, Ph.D., a professor in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching, described Olmeda as a humanist who wanted people to be good to each other. Olmeda led by example, she said, especially in her interactions with students.
“She would go out of her way to help them fill out paperwork for their dissertations and transcripts,” Rodriguez said. “She made sure they were on the right path for graduation.”
For Olmeda’s sister-in-law Maritza Rivera-Garcia, a health insurance compliance administrator at the Rose Hill campus, Olmeda exemplified the University mission of cura personalis.
“She was a mediator [who was]always looking for solutions,” said Rivera-Garcia. “She inspired family and others to pursue their dreams.”
“Lissette always put things in perspective when anyone was having a bad day and always did it with a big smile,” said Anisa Torres-Sanchez, director of financial aid. “It didn’t matter how upset or worried you were about things in life; if Lissette was in your path, she changed your outlook and you always walked away feeling better.
Olmeda lost her first husband as a newlywed, said former colleague and friend Delores Pogue. From then on, she was determined to provide a wonderful home and consistent educational support for her son Alexis Olmeda, a Fordham PCS student.
“In all the years working with Lissette, her colleagues have found …