March 29, 2002

Alison Power Named Dean of Grad School

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After serving as the interim dean of the Graduate School as well as the school’s associate dean, Prof. Alison Power, ecology and evolutionary biology and science and technology studies, will don a new hat.


Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin recently announced that Power will begin a three-year term as dean of the Graduate School in July.

Power assumed the position of interim dean last July, when Walter I. Cohen, who now serves as vice provost, stepped down as dean after eight years.

“I am delighted that [Power] has agreed to serve as dean of the Graduate School,” Martin said in a press release. “She is a highly regarded member of our faculty and an excellent administrator, sensitive to the concerns of our graduate students and dedicated to quality research programs. She has been an important and educational contributor to the academic deans council and I look forward to working with her.”


After the faculty of the Graduate School endorsed Power’s three-year appointment on March 13, the Board of Trustees approved it on March 15.

Power has many qualities that will help her serve as dean, Cohen said.

“She has the best interests of individuals and the institution at heart. She handles difficult and contentious matters calmly and fairly,” he said, adding that Power is “intelligent, thoughtful and ethical.”

President Hunter R. Rawlings III, who fully supports Power’s appointment, said that her knowledge of the University and diverse intellectual interests will benefit her.

“Power is very experienced, and she is a great listener,” Rawlings said. “I admire how she listens to many different points of view.”

Power hopes to increase the number of fellowships available to graduate students, Rawlings said.

“I look forward to addressing some of the important issues facing graduate students, including funding, mentorship and career development,” Power said in a press release. “I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with Cornell’s outstanding faculty, students and staff to continue to improve graduate education at Cornell.”

According to Cohen, after Power assumed his position, he advised her about the time-consuming nature of the position.

“I told her that I enjoyed the job and thought she would too if she could do it without it allowing no time for anything else in her life,” he said.

In addition to her work in ecology and evolutionary biology and science and technology studies, Power is a member of the fields of entomology, international agriculture and rural development, conservation and sustainable development and the Latin American Studies Program. Her current research addresses the epidemiology of viruses in plant communities and the ecological risks of genetically engineered crops expressing transgenic virus resistance.

Archived article by Stephanie Hankin