Rosanne Drapcat

Longtime Employees: Meet Rosanne Drapcat, CUIMC Public Safety Pioneer

October 31, 2019

Rosanne Drapcat’s face is familiar to students, faculty members, and staff all over Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). After all, Drapcat has been a public safety officer here for nearly four decades.

In 1981, Drapcat became the first woman hired in the Public Safety office. Her tenure has spanned 38 years, five executive leaders of CUIMC, and six U.S. presidents. 

Born and raised in Queens, where she still lives, Drapcat earned a scholarship to the San Francisco Academy of Art, graduating in 1978. She pursued a career as a graphic artist and even co-owned an advertising firm for 11 years while working at Columbia. 

Some days as a public safety officer she is inside a building for much of her shift. Other days, she patrols buildings to conduct safety checks and search for fire hazards. She sees new faces every day. “I get to know all types of people, and every day is different,” she said.

According to Jeannine M. Jennette, EdD, MPA, executive director of the Department of Public Safety at CUIMC, Drapcat has mentored numerous guards, including many who have been promoted to supervisory ranks. “Today seven of our 36 guards are female,” said Jennette. “This diversity is important as students and staff sometimes look to speak with someone who may understand and empathize with them and may gravitate toward a female guard for certain types of questions or concerns. I am very proud to have Rose on our team and continuing to bring her years of experience to CUIMC.”

Keep an eye out for future profiles of long-serving employees—and read about an employee who has been here for more than 44 years.