Faculty, staff win 2024 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

Twenty faculty and staff in Cornell’s contract colleges were awarded the 2023-24 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. The awards, which underscore SUNY’s commitment to advancing knowledge and serving the public good, are presented annually to acknowledge those who consistently demonstrate superior professional achievement.

“Their work reflects the core values of our land-grant institution,” said Eve De Rosa, dean of faculty. “The dedication, breadth of knowledge and expertise within Cornell’s faculty is prominently displayed through their efforts.’’

Honors for faculty in service:

  • Harry Kaiser, the Gellert Family Professor of Applied Economics and Management and associate dean for academic affairs, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management – part of both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business – for his service and contribution of time and expertise at the departmental, school, college, university, professional and industry levels. He has served on more than 20 committees at Cornell and 17 industry committees and editorial boards.
  • Tashara Leak, associate professor and associate dean of Cornell Human Ecology in New York City, College of Human Ecology (CHE), for her contributions to her department, college, the university and the broader community. She has served on multiple search and nominations committees, acted as faculty mentor for student organizations and given a wide range of community presentations.
  • Maurine Linder, professor of molecular medicine and department chair, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), for leadership of the Department of Molecular Medicine since 2009. She has mentored new faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, professional students; maintained a research program; and serves on more college and university committees than any other CVM faculty member.

Honors for classified service:

  • Kelli Carr, assistant to the chair, Department of Communication, CALS, for consistently working beyond her job description. Her responsibilities include drafting high-level communications and co-chairing the department’s award committee.
  • Suzanne DeSanti, director of the CUHA Animal Care Attendant Team, CVM, for having a vested interest in employee well-being by actively listening to her direct reports and offering help wherever she can while maintaining a “can do” attitude to find solutions.
  • RuthAnn Rushmer, outreach executive administrative assistant, ILR, for understanding the strategic goals guiding the work of the ILR Outreach unit and linking them to everyday logistics and interactions.
  • Sienna Torbitt, administrative assistant, CHE, for serving as a team lead for Human Centered Design and providing guidance and direction to other support staff and serving as a valuable resource to internal and external constituents with strong technical skills.

Honors for librarianship:

  • James DelRosso, assistant director, Catherwood Library, for developing expertise in digital repositories, scholarly communication, open access publishing and author rights; sharing his expertise with other professionals through networks, presentations and publications; and leading local, regional and national organizations.
  • Ashley Shea, associate librarian and head of instruction initiatives, Mann Library, for building strong relationships with faculty and students and developing new ideas to assist students and other library patrons.

Honors for professional service:

  • Christy Agnese, director of development, CALS, for her team leadership, mentorship and frontline fundraising.
  • Martha Holden, senior extension associate, Residential Child Care Project, CHE, for applying scientific knowledge to guide new models of therapeutic care for children. She has provided education and support to professionals who serve children, improving the quality of care for vulnerable children in residential, foster, juvenile justice and school settings.
  • Susan Ruland, director of finance and business enterprise performance, CVM, for facilitating effective management and decision-making across the college, and for mentoring and coaching.

Honors for scholarship and creative activities:

  • Adam Anderson, professor of psychology, CHE, for his work at the forefront of psychology and the neuroscience of emotion. He has been awarded early career awards, is cited and published in journals, and has trained mentees aiming to become scientists, engineers and clinical practitioners.
  • Natalie Bazarova, professor of communication (CALS) and associate vice provost for research and innovation, for her productivity in the communication field through publications in journals and professional society awards; her grant record; and her leadership of the Department of Communication’s largest and most active research lab.
  • Charles Danko, associate professor in Life Science and Technology, CVM, for leadership in his field and development of novel tools and techniques in genomics, obtaining external funding for his studies and collaborating with colleagues and trainees.
  • Rebecca Kehoe, associate professor of human resource studies, ILR, for research in human resource management strategy, human capital and the management of star employees, and her productivity and emerging leadership in her field.

Honors for teaching:

  • Kelia Dhondt, senior lecturer, CVM, for her leadership in the veterinary teaching community and activity in college efforts that strengthen the teaching mission; preparation of teaching materials and assessments; her student evaluations; and her positive impact on her students’ personal and professional futures.
  • Reza Moghimi, senior lecturer, Dyson School, for teaching programming and database management. He developed three new courses using innovative, hands-on and case-based teaching methods designed to prepare business students for their future careers.
  • Anthony Ong, professor of psychology, CHE, for his commitment to educating students about the complex interplay between stress and emotional experiences in mental and physical health outcomes. His contributions to education, both in courses and beyond formal teaching obligations, illustrate his dedication to educating future researchers and creating global citizens who can engage in dialogue across differences.
  • Evan Riehl, assistant professor of economics, ILR, for helping students who are not economics majors understand economic concepts and apply them to labor market issues.

 Becca Bowes is a freelance writer for the Office of the Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs.

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