ITHACA, N.Y. –– Cornell University sophomore and Ithaca High School grad Paul Benton Fisher-York passed away suddenly Christmas day from a ‘previously undiagnosed cardiac condition,’ while visiting with family.

Paul was studying computer science at Cornell, and was passionate about robotics since his days at IHS, and was an involved member of the campus community.

According to a statement released Sunday by Vice President for Student and Campus Life, Ryan Lombardi, “he was active on several student project teams, including Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team, of which he was a member of the software sub-team. He also held an internship at Vector Magnetics in Ithaca and had previously been part of Cornell University Chorale. Paul was from Ithaca and touched many people at Cornell and in the surrounding community.”

Lombardi’s statement went on to say, “on behalf of Cornell, I extend my sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and teachers. Please keep them in your thoughts as we all struggle to process this profound loss.”

Community support meetings will be scheduled when campus reopens in January. Until then, there are resources available for those in need of support.

Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155.

Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. An Ithaca-based Crisisline is available at 607-272-1616. For additional resources, visit

Photo Courtesy of the Fisher-York family. 

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at