On Monday, Tara Atluri ’24 was pronounced dead at Cayuga Medical Center after being found unresponsive in her apartment off campus that morning.
Atluri was a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who had a “deep love for plants and nature,” CALS Dean Benjamin Houlton wrote to the CALS community, and Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life, later wrote in a University statement Monday evening.
“Tara was described by her faculty as a brilliant scientist adept at solving the most challenging problems in innovative ways,” Lombardi wrote.
Before coming to Cornell as a student in the fall of 2020, she had already participated in summer internships with the University Herbarium twice, according to Houlton’s email. Upon joining Cornell as a CALS undergraduate, where she was studying biological sciences, she started independent research in the Gandolfo and Specht Labs, working on 3D constructions of inflorescence branching, the email read.
This is the first death of a student reported during the fall 2021 semester, after four student deaths in the spring.
The University will host a support meeting for the Cornell community on Wednesday Dec. 8 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the International Lounge (414) in Willard Straight Hall.
Students in need of professional mental health support can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 607-255-5155 and employees can call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CAPS and FSAP services are currently being delivered via telehealth. Whenever these services are closed, calls are answered by Cornell Health’s on-call mental health provider. The Ithaca-based Crisisline is also available at 607-272-1616. A wide range of supportive resources is also available at caringcommunity.cornell.edu.