Volunteer for Slope Day, May 11

April 27, 2017

Slope Day wants you

Cornell needs voluteers for Slope Day. Volunteers can select from among a variety of ways to help:

  • Gate crew – Welcome participants to Slope Day, check wristbands and distribute water at Cornell health, north and south gates.
  • SlopeFest - An alcohol-free activity fair on Ho Plaza; help make sure the event runs smoothly.
  • Gap coverage and check-point – cover the areas between the gates and make sure everyone is safe.
  • ID checkers and beer queue – ID checkers must attend a training prior to the day of the event.
  • Wristband distribution – Founders and Anabel Taylor – assist students and their guests pick up Slope Day wristbands.

If you are not required to work the event, consider talking to your supervisor and signing up to be a Level 2 volunteer for a four-hour shift to sign up. View the “Pay Guidelines for Staff” to see how to claim your time.

Students, staff, groups win sustainability awards

April 27, 2017

Jason Koski/University Photography

Making the world – and the Cornell campus – a greener place, the President’s Sustainable Campus Committee has awarded individuals and groups the 2017 Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards.

The Environmental Collaborative’s Environmental Justice Committee won in the student group award category for collaborating with community partners.

Building Care’s Julie Houston, who offers insight for students, faculty and staff by teaching responsible waste reduction and disposal, won the staff award. Houston also received accolades for her role as a “composting crusader” and for her part in a campuswide energy conservation program that saved the university more than $40,000.

For creatively finding ways to support student civic action, Bruce Monger, senior lecturer in the earth and atmospheric sciences, won the faculty award.

Elizabeth Chi ’18 and Katherine Bedding, MPA ’17, won individual students award. Chi has organized several events, panels and rallies throughout her undergraduate career, while Bedding has consulted on sustainability projects such as the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment facility and FUNDECOR, a Costa Rican conservation group.

Get Your GreenBack Tompkins won the community partner award for providing residents with pactical ideas to protect the environment, save money and contribute to good jobs for people in Tompkins County.

- Blaine Friedlander


Feed young minds - and your gardens

April 26, 2017


While you're reviving your own garden this spring, you can help fund school gardens around the country.

Throughout the month of May, Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsor Alaska fertilizer will donate five percent of in-store sales of its products at Lowe’s to support the lab’s Garden Grant program

Along with free lessons provided by the lab’s K-12 program, teachers will use school gardens to educate students about bird habitat, nesting and migration, and taking part in citizen science.

Climate change: It's what's for dinner

April 20, 2017

Blaine Friedlander
Mike Hoffmann, right, speaks with horticulture graduate students Juana Munoz and Isabel Branstrom, following his climate change lecture at the April 18 Science Cabaret.

To change the minds of people who deny global warming, go through their stomachs.

Mike Hoffmann, executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, and Gay Nicholson, president of Sustainable Tompkins, presented “Climate Change: It’s Personal and It’s Everybody,” at Science Cabaret April 18 at Coltivare.

With more extreme flooding and drought, added high-temperature stress and pests fortified by a changing agricultural system, Hoffmann pointed to worrisome impending adjustments in our diet. He noted that climate change has forced food production to markedly shift north from 1990 to now.

“Climate trends are complex,” Hoffmann said. “Longer growing seasons and longer frost-free periods aren’t necessarily good if farmers can’t plant, fertilize or harvest due to flooding.”

The U.S. gets many fruits and vegetables from around the world in winter. A prolonged drought in Mexico, for example, may have profound negative effects on our food supply, he said. “Growing food is no longer business as usual. International supply chains are changing, and the changing supply creates price volatility,” he said.

But there is hope. “Climate change is a grand challenge we can tackle, if we have the will,” Hoffmann said. “Accept the truth. Get informed, stay informed, make it personal and raise your voices. Act. Lead. Think food, think climate.”

Nicholson spoke on the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, a climate action and clean energy coalition of leaders from education, business, local government, nonprofit and youth organizations. Nicholson outlined the many ways Tompkins County residents can help cool a warming globe, including Go Solar Tompkins, Heat Smart Tompkins; the Finger Lakes Climate Fund, where citizens can offset carbon footprints; and Mothers Out Front, mobilizing moms and others to preserve a livable climate.

Blaine Friedlander

Gloria Chan-Sook Kim: predicting pandemics

April 20, 2017


The Society for the Humanities' annual Public Lecture on Sustainable Futures features David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future 2016-17 Fellow Gloria Chan-Sook Kim, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. in A.D. White House, cosponsored with the Atkinson Center.

In “Sightlines & Flightlines: Visualizing Uncertainty & Anticipating Avian Flu Pandemics,” Kim examines the use of migratory birds in data visualization technologies developed to foresee and forestall possible avian flu pandemics. Drawing on theories of risk, uncertainty, visualization and mediation, she tracks a shift in the making of scientific evidence in the 21st century – one that loosens the customary bind between sight and knowledge, establishing instead a relation between sight and foresight.

Chan-Sook Kim’s research analyzes the political, cultural, ecological, technological and economic projects that take place around emerging infections. She is writing a book on the premediation of emerging infectious diseases and is conducting research on the mapping of the global microbiome.

- Daniel Aloi

Take 4-H's Cayuga Challenge 5K

April 19, 2017


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County's 4-H Youth Development Program and the Ithaca College Sport Event & Networking Club are hosting the 5K Cayuga Challenge race Sunday, April 30, at 10 a.m. at Cass Park.

Cornell Cooperative Extension's 4-H program is part of a community of 6 million 4-Hers nationwide who explore the power of youth and young adults through hands-on learning in a supportive environment.

The race is open to everyone in the categories of individual, corporate, student or friends and family. There will also be a 2K kids' fun run.

Registration is $20 for individuals, $15 per person in groups of four to six participants, $13 for groups of seven or more and $5 for children. Register here.

Animal science students win Dairy Challenge

April 11, 2017

From left, Mike Van Amburgh, Clyde Sammons '17, Lauren Hill '17, Jamie St. Pierre '17, Grant Feldpausch '17 and Ed Facer '16 at the 2017 North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.

Cornell animal science students are on a winning streak, earning first place at the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge for the second year in a row.

Seniors Grant Feldpausch, Lauren Hill, Clyde Sammons and Jamie St. Pierre competed with 34 other university groups March 30-April 1 in Visalia, California. Animal science professor Mike Van Amburgh and Ed Facer '16 coached the team, drawn from students in the Cornell Dairy Fellows Program. Seniors in the program choose the team to represent them at the competition.

“Our Dairy Fellows Program prepares our students to compete in the challenge while at school and then, once they graduate, to be leaders in the technologically advanced and complex U.S. and global modern dairy industry,” Van Amburgh said.

The challenge allows students to integrate their understanding of management, nutrition, facilities and economics to develop thoughtful, forward-thinking solutions to improve dairy farm profitability and productivity. Teams were evaluated on the quality of their farm analysis presentation by a panel of five judges, including dairy producers, veterinarians, finance specialists and seasoned agribusiness personnel.

Dairy students from the U.S. and Canada competed to improve their dairy management skills in reproduction, nutrition, cow comfort and milking protocols. The competition provided networking opportunities with other students and industry experts, and is sponsored by agribusinesses that support the dairy industry.

Last year, a Cornell team took first place at the competition held in Syracuse, New York.

- Melanie Cordova

We Are Weill Cornell Medicine: Dr. Praveen Raju

April 7, 2017

As a child, Dr. Praveen Raju and his family raised coconuts in a small village in India. He soon learned that his calling was in the United States, helping children with brain tumors. Raju knows the weight of this responsibility and the importance of giving hope to patients and their parents. 

“Parents give me the responsibility to take care of their children,” said Raju, an assistant professor of pediatrics and of pediatrics in neurology. “People look for hope or answers. The pediatric service at Weill Cornell Medicine has the infrastructure to address those difficult and challenging problems, and I treasure that.”

Student wins scholarship to Irish university

April 7, 2017

Robert Barker/University Photography

On March 30, Elizabeth Bach ’19 got a big surprise.

Bach thought she was going to a routine meeting with her Cornell Abroad adviser in Caldwell Hall. Instead, she was greeted by a representative of University College Dublin (UCD), who told her she had won a full-tuition scholarship and free airfare for her study-abroad semester in Ireland this fall. The room, full of her friends and advisers, applauded their congratulations.

“Cornell Abroad only had 48 hours to put together the surprise for Elizabeth, so we had to work hard and fast,” said Alayne Prine, Cornell Abroad program adviser for Ireland, who told Bach about the scholarship opportunity. For the past several months, she has helped Bach negotiate the logistics of her upcoming semester abroad, including the differences in academic systems, cultural adjustments, the application process and living arrangements.

Bach is the first chemical engineering student and only the second engineering student to enroll in the UCD study abroad program, a long-standing partner of Cornell Abroad. UCD is a top university with a rigorous curriculum. It is also among Ireland’s most international universities, with more than 6,000 international students from more than 120 countries.

Bach is interested in sustainable energy design. “From leading engineering project teams at Cornell, I learned that success is more likely with open-minded collaboration,” she says. “Dublin is one of the most inclusive and culturally diverse cities in the world – it will give me the opportunity to study with people from many different backgrounds and expose me to new perspectives and problem-solving approaches.”

Linda Copman

Cornell ranks No. 4 in U.S. for international students

April 5, 2017


Cornell University ranked No. 4 of 1,183 U.S. colleges and universities for international students, according to

"These rankings were developed to help students from Outside the USA find American colleges and universities that will offer quality educational outcomes and a supportive community to students from other countries," collegefactual writes.

The site continued: "Cornell University is the second of three universities on this list located in New York. With a highly diverse student population including students from 120 countries, Cornell is very welcoming of international students. Top majors for international students at Cornell include business administration, multi/interdisciplinary studies and electrical engineering."

Read the methodology.