The Dean’s Office

The Graduate School deans, in consultation with the General Committee of the Graduate School, establish policies for the graduate fields and administer resources in support of graduate education. The deans develop initiatives, advocate for students, increase the visibility of graduate education, and uphold the university’s mission as it relates to graduate education. 


Kathryn J. Boor
Kathryn J. Boor, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean and Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Kathryn J. Boor is the Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Cornell University. Dr. Boor is responsible for oversight of all Cornell University Graduate School administrative offices, serves as the institutional advocate for all graduate students, and oversees all research M.S. and Ph.D. programs across Cornell University as well as program assessment of graduate fields of study.

Previously, Dr. Boor served as the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University (July 1, 2010 – September 30, 2020).

Dr. Boor’s research focuses on identifying biological factors that affect transmission of bacteria in food systems, from farm to table. She established the Food Safety Laboratory at Cornell University; her group has published more than 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Among other discoveries, her team identified seminal evidence linking bacterial environmental stress response with virulence gene expression in the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Dr. Boor has served as major advisor for 27 graduate students and as minor advisor for an additional 22. She is a member of the graduate fields of food science and microbiology. 

Dr. Boor earned a B.S. in food science from Cornell University, a M.S. in food science from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis. She joined the Cornell food science department as assistant professor in 1994, became its first tenured female faculty member in 2000, and led as department chair from 2007-2010.

Dr. Boor serves on the Board of Directors for Seneca Foods Corporation, the United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Fund, and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  She serves on the Science Board for the US Food and Drug Administration and on the New York State Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, and the New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy.

Dr. Boor is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Dairy Science Association.  She received an honorary doctorate from Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom in 2016 and was named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the New York State Senate. 

Meet the Dean: Nine Questions for Dean Boor

Associate and Assistant Deans

Merry Riley Buckley
Merry Riley Buckley

Merry Riley Buckley
Assistant Dean for Communications

  • Comprehensive internal and external communications strategies to keep students, faculty, staff, and alumni informed and engaged
  • Development and delivery of all Graduate School digital and print communications
  • Coordination with Cornell’s colleges and schools to foster local and national attention for Cornell’s graduate education, programs, and students


Anitra Douglas-McCarthy
Anitra Douglas-McCarthy

Anitra Douglas-McCarthy
Assistant Dean for Access and Recruitment

  • Intentionally inclusive recruitment initiatives and programming
  • Graduate field recruitment customization and support
  • Student pipeline cultivation
  • Minority Serving Institution (MSI) partnerships
  • Graduate Student Ambassadors

Sara Xayarath Hernández
Sara Xayarath Hernández

Sara Xayarath Hernández
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Student & Faculty Engagement

  • Initiatives focused on addressing inequities, supporting social justice, and promoting systemic change
  • Programs focused on supporting scholar achievement, engagement, and sense of belonging
  • Holistic admissions and fellowships in support of diversity
  • Resources for inclusive mentorship in graduate education

Jason Kahabka
Jason Kahabka

Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration

  • Responsible for fellowship, assistantship, and funding policy
  • Admissions
  • Registration
  • Student status

Janna Lamey
Janna Lamey

Janna Lamey
Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life

  • Students in distress (also student concerns, mental and physical health)
  • Health, wellness, and resilience programming 
  • Information on resources/referrals on campus and in community

Josephine Martell
Josephine Martell

Josephine Martell (bio)
Associate Dean for Academics

  • Oversight and interpretation of academic policies
  • Faculty and student academic issues and progress
  • Graduate program registration process (for proposals that require General Committee review)
  • Programs and resources to support graduate student fellowships and grants and faculty grants to support graduate students
  • Academic integrity issues
  • Grievance process

Colleen McLinn
Colleen McLinn

Colleen McLinn (bio)
Associate Dean for Professional Development

  • Skill development and career exploration for non-academic and academic careers
  • Preparation for faculty career pathways, experiential opportunities, postdoctoral studies pursuits
  • Symposia, workshops and advising relating to career success

Bob Weiss
Robert S. Weiss

Robert S. Weiss (bio)
Senior Associate Dean

  • Organizational structure and administration of life sciences graduate fields
  • Policies, administrative support, and programming related to external training grants in the life sciences