Alumni Newsletter Summer 2020
Kathryn Boor Named Graduate School Dean, Vice Provost
Position to include new role of vice provost for graduate education
Kathryn Boor ’80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and a professor of food science, has been named dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced June 8.
Boor’s term will begin when her successor at CALS is in place and will run through June 30, 2025. The Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees approved Boor’s appointment June 5.
Cornell Plans to Reactivate Ithaca Campus for Fall Semester
Mix of virtual and in-person classes set to begin Sept. 2
The suspense is over: Cornell plans to welcome students back to its Ithaca campus for a fall semester blending in-person and online instruction, confident that decision best serves public health, President Martha E. Pollack announced June 30.
From classrooms to residence halls to dining facilities, no aspect of campus life will be quite the same as before the coronavirus pandemic abruptly forced a shift to virtual instruction in early April, Pollack said in a message to the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses.
The Graduate Community Responds to COVID-19
Stories and News
- Zoom Fatigue? Not for This Graduate School Staff.
- Degrees in Hand, New Alumni Discuss Remote Defenses
- Expanding Opportunities while Expanding Horizons
- Access Fund Eased Pandemic’s Burden on Students
University COVID-19 Information
- Cornell University COVID-19 Information
- Graduate School COVID-19 Information
- Cornell Chronicle COVID-19 Stories
Leadership Makes Statements Against Racism
University President Martha Pollack:
- July 16: Additional Actions to Create a More Just and Equitable Cornell
- June 17: Cornell Marks Juneteenth with a Day of Reflection
- June 5: Statement on Prof. David Collum’s Tweets
- June 3: Immediate Actions to Support and Strengthen Our Community
- May 29: Statement on the Recent Killings of Black People in America
Graduate School Dean Barbara A. Knuth:
- Statement on June 17, 2020: University to Observe Juneteenth
- Statement on June 1, 2020: Statement and Resources on Recent News
Resources for Action and Understanding About Race and Anti-Racism
- Resources for Faculty Supporting Graduate Student Diversity, Inclusion, and Mental Health, compiled by the Graduate School.
- Resources for Engaging in Conversations about Race and Anti-Racism posted by Cornell’s Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.
- Anti-Racist Resource Guide posted by scholar Victoria Alexander, who works on racial and social equity in education.
- Cornell Prof. Zamudio’s lab provides an example of how members of a research group have committed to action.
- Academics for Black Survival and Wellness provide resources on taking action, educating yourself about anti-racism, and supporting Black activists/organizations.
- The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture provides resources on Talking About Race and related topics.
Supporting All Students
- New Group Supports First-Generation and Low-Income Students
- Workshops Offer Judgement-free Zone to Learn How to be an Ally
- Becoming Better Mentors Through Workshop Series
- A New Name for a Long-Running Career Program
Graduate Students Help Drive Cornell’s Research Mission
By Dean Barbara A. Knuth
I am inspired daily by the scholarly work of our graduate students. Their innovations and intellectual energy are vital to Cornell’s research productivity.
Their inquiry and scholarship span the globe, tackling topics from using the human body’s own immune response to fight diseases such as osteoarthritis (Tibra Wheeler, biomedical engineering) to gene sequencing grapevine diseases to improve plant health in Finger Lakes vineyards (Breanne Kisselstein, plant pathology), to applying scientific dating methods to reconstruct the sociocultural history of the prehistoric Caucasus region (Annapaola Passerini, anthropology).
Arts & Humanities
Exploration of Sight and Sound
Piyawat Louilarpprasert is a D.M.A. student in music from Bangkok, Thailand who explores sonic arts and visual studies to create new compositions with musical creativity and cultural diversity.
Tribe Freedom Through Energy
Michael Dunaway is a doctoral candidate in natural resources who finds ways for Native American tribes to determine which renewable resource technology is best suited for their reservation.
Physical Sciences & Engineering
New Therapeutic Targets for OA
Tibra Wheeler is a doctoral student in biomedical engineering from Bluffton, South Carolina whose research focuses on understanding the role of the immune response in osteoarthritis.
Cooperation in Financial Crises
Aditi Sahasrabuddhe is a doctoral student in government from Goa, India who studies the politics of international finance with a focus on cooperation for financial crisis management.
Vaccine Discovery for Coronavirus
Javier Jaimes, Ph.D., is an alumnus of the microbiology program at Cornell. As a postdoctoral scholar in microbiology and immunology, he is studying virology with a concentration on coronaviruses.
Program Creation and Education
Brooke Zanetell, Ph.D., is an alumna of the natural resources program at Cornell. Now, she is an assistant professor in the natural resources program at the University of New Mexico-Taos, which she helped to create.
‘Speak and Be Heard’: Communication Tips from Eliza VanCort
Eliza VanCort, a motivational speaker with a focus on communication, offered graduate students and postdoctoral scholars tips on lifting idea to become better communicators during a Pathways to Success Symposium.
‘Connectedness’: Cayuga Health Joins Fight Against COVID-19 in NYC
More than 50 doctors, nurses and other health care professionals from Cayuga Health in Ithaca have joined their Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center counterparts to care for New Yorkers diagnosed with COVID-19.
The team from Cayuga Health, which operates Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, arrived April 8 by Cornell’s Campus-to-Campus bus. Team members have since been receiving on-the-job training in preparation for working in an expanded intensive care unit – one of several that collectively have more than doubled NewYork-Presbyterian’s normal ICU capacity – to care for the sickest patients.
Photo Gallery: Ithaca Farmers Market, From a Distance
The Ithaca Farmers Market (IFM) has been open, with some significant rule changes in place, to help serve the food needs Tompkins County residents during the COVID-19 outbreak that has paralyzed the world.
“Overall, it seemed like people got in, got the groceries, and went on their way, which is a success for us and our vendors,” said Laura Gallup, marketing and events coordinator for IFM. “This is totally uncharted territory for us — just like everyone else — but we feel proud and happy to be able to stay open and be a grocery outlet for our community. Many customers noted that the market felt much safer than crowded grocery stores.”
Startup’s Contact Tracing Tech Tracks Workplace Distancing
Cornell Chronicle, 7/28/20
Alumni: Jason Guss, Ph.D. ’18, and Apoorva Kiran, Ph.D. ’17
Study Finds Food Safety Practices Benefit Small Farmers
Cornell Chronicle, 7/7/20
Alumni: Elizabeth Bihn, Ph.D. ’11
Coffman Highlights Cornell Efforts to Protect Wheat Worldwide
Cornell Chronicle, 7/1/20
Alumni: Ronnie Coffman, Ph.D. ’71
Cornellian’s Dairy Waste Startup Wins NSF Phase II Funding
Cornell Chronicle, 6/17/20
Alumni: Juan Guzman, Ph.D. ’17
NYC Mayor Appoints McComas to Climate Change Panel
Cornell Chronicle, 6/12/20
Alumni: Katherine McComas, Ph.D. ’00
Film by Alum-owned Media Studio Wins Webby Award
Cornell Chronicle, 6/8/20
Alumni: Jennifer Moslemi, Ph.D. ’10, and Marita Davison, M.S. ’06
Food Science Professor’s ‘Instant Ice Cream’ Gains Patent
Cornell Chronicle, 5/28/20
Alumni: Michael E. Wagner, Ph.D. ’15
Have you seen a Cornell Graduate School alumnus or alumna featured in the news recently?
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