The body of Edline Chun, an adjunct professor in the School of Media Sciences (SMS), was found shot to death on Wednesday in a local park near her home in northeast Rochester, according to a police statement.
The Rochester Police Department today publicly identified the body and began to release details of the ongoing homicide investigation, in which a person of interest has been taken into custody, police said.
Chun, a 73-year-old woman who had taught in SMS (formerly the School of Print Media) for nearly 20 years, was found by maintenance workers at a Monroe County water processing facility in Tryon Park, several miles from her home on Hazelwood Terrace in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester.
“She was well-liked and it’s an absolute shock to everyone,” Ron Goldberg, director of alumni relations for the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, said by phone. “[She was] one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
Chun taught Professional and Technical writing, a required course for many in the school. Marcia Carroll, a senior staff assistant in the school, said that students were always Chun’s first priority.
Goldberg, who often ate lunch with Chun, said she often worked long hours from early in the morning until late at night — not because she had many classes, but because she was dedicated to the school and her students.
“She was more full-time than some of our full-time faculty,” Goldberg said.
“It’s so sad and crazy,” said Joseph Schember, an ‘08 Graphic Media Publishing alumnus, who took Professional and Technical Writing with Edline in his first or second year at RIT. “She was so awesome in terms of being supportive of students.”
Edline worked with Schember to improve a report on document security — correcting his grammar, suggesting sources — then suggested he submit it for publication by the student-run Technical Association of the Graphic Arts.
The experience helped teach Schember how to research effectively and communicate clearly, he said, skills which now help him as a project manager at Mohawk, a printing company in Cohoes, N.Y.
Edline was also active in her community, volunteering at organizations that promote literacy and help people find shelter, according to Kim Brumber, chief executive officer at NeighborWorks Rochester — a non-profit that provides assistance to first-time homebuyers, where Edline served as a board member for over 20 years.
“She was one of the most caring and committed people I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with,” Brumber said by phone.
Students, staff and faculty were informed of the death in a meeting today in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. They were told that counseling is available if they need it, according to a statement from Provost Jeremy Haefner.
Alexis Austin, an adjunct professor and graduate student in SMS, shared an office with Chun this quarter. Chun helped coach Austin on how to teach at a university level.
Austin first heard about the discovery of an unidentified body two days ago via YNN.com. When she checked again the next day she found little new information. Today, she arrived at work to the concerns of professors who had not seen Chun in a week. Later that day, Austin learned the terrible news.
“She will be missed,” Schember said. “She was a great educator.”
Reporter will continue to follow this story and provide updates as more details become available. Last updated Friday, February 8 at 11:33 p.m.