MAHWAH, N.J. – An Ithaca College student from Mahwah died after a brief illness, the school announced Wednesday.
Junior Shannon Sakosits, an Integrated Marketing Communications major, died from unknown causes Wednesday.
The Ithaca College Hammond Health Center and Cayuga Medical Center are working with the Tompkins County and New York State Departments of Health to determine the cause of death, Benjamin Rifkin, provost and vice president for educational affairs, said.
Her brother, Ryan, wrote a tribute to Sakosits on Facebook.
"We are so heart broken and it is so difficult to find words in such a dark time for our beautiful angel Shannon. You're our everything. Shannon was our special light and touched the lives of everyone she met," he wrote. "You will be missed every single second of every single day for the rest of our lives. Shannon, I can't believe you've left us physically but I know you'll be watching us in spirit. Your big brother Ryan loves you so much Shanny. I'd do anything to have you back my sweet girl."
Preliminary testing has not indicated a bacterial infection as the cause of Sakosits' illness, Rifkin said.
"I know the entire campus community, and specifically the Roy H. Park School of Communications faculty, staff and students, joins me in extending our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies to Shannon’s family, friends, classmates and professors at this difficult time," Rifkin said in a statement.
"Out of an abundance of caution, anyone from the college community who shared drinking containers or eating utensils; exchanged oral secretions with Shannon (e.g., kissing, sharing cigarettes); or had any similar exposure between October 28 and November 9 should contact the Hammond Health Center to determine if they should receive preventive antibiotics."
The college is holding a remembrance for Sakosits Thursday night.
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