In ‘Last Lecture,’ Professor Bruce Monger Tells Students to Dream Big

Think big and carve your own paths, urged Prof. Bruce Monger, earth and atmospheric sciences, in his “last lecture.”
The last lecture series, hosted by Mortar Board, brings speakers to reflect on his or her life experiences and share thoughts with students, as if it was the speaker’s last lecture. In his lecture titled “My Slightly Unusual Life-Journey And Some Important Things I Have Learned Along the Way…,” Monger recounted how he grew up in the small town of Shelton, Washington, where the two main industries were saw mills and logging. Despite his deep love for science as a child, Monger said in high school he “just mindlessly sort of followed what [his] friends were doing,” taking carpentry and woodshop instead of science classes. After high school, he continued to follow his friends and went into the logging business, “because that’s what everyone else did.” However, during one solo motorcycle trip to Colorado during a summer vacation, he had an epiphany that changed the direction of his life. While checking into a motel, he realized, “That’s what adults do…I’m totally an adult. I’m in charge of everything now.

With Gift, Lab of Ornithology Establishes Endowed Professorship

With a gift from Larry Fuller ’60 and Nancy Fuller ’62, Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology established an endowed professorship that supports ongoing research in evolutionary biology. Prof. Irby Lovette, ecology and evolutionary biology, is the first person to hold the title of Fuller Professor of Ornithology. The newly endowed position ensures that there will always be an associated faculty position in this area of inquiry, according to Lovette, who is also the director of the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program. This change will allow the University to reallocate resources to other academic programs and initiatives. The endowment “guarantees extraordinary stability of a major research program” at the lab, said John W. Fitzpatrick, director of the Lab of Ornithology.

Ithacans Flock to Revitalized Commons for Applefest

The recent renovation of the Commons created a more open and vibrant atmosphere for this year’s Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival, attracting large crowds of enthusiastic visitors to the new center of downtown Ithaca, according to business owners and festival goers. This year marks the 33rd annual Applefest and the first on the newly renovated Commons. The Commons, which officially re-opened in August after being under construction since April 2013, now features new paving, bike racks, gateways and a playground. The festival spanned multiple streets around the Commons, filled with vendors selling a variety of items — from handmade jewelry to Amish whoopie pies and funnel cake. Many vendors at Applefest said they felt that the completion of construction benefitted the festival, and as of Friday afternoon, some said they had experienced an increase in business from previous years.

Student Organization Adds Water Bottle Fillers to Five Buildings

Since receiving a $20,000 grant from the Student Assembly’s Infrastructure Fund in Dec. 2014, Take Back the Tap — a student outreach campaign that aims to spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastic bottle usage on the environment — has installed water bottle fillers in five new buildings across campus over the summer. As of April 2013, 33 water bottle fillers, which operate with motion sensors to fill water bottles, were installed in campus buildings that included Bailey Hall, Mann Library, Olin Library and Schwartz Performing Arts Center, according to a University inventory on bottle filling stations. Students can find the new fillers in Barton Hall, Helen Newman Hall, Bartels Hall, Kennedy Hall and Teagle Hall that were installed over the summer, according to former Take Back the Tap president Alexa Bakker ’15. Take Back the Tap’s current president Susan McGrattan ’17 said the installments this summer were concentrated in athletic buildings due to a high demand for water in these locations.