Tara Atluri ’24 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.
Robert “Bob” Parker, a beloved professor in the College of Human Ecology, Division of Nutritional Sciences, passed away in Nov. During his 38 years in DNS prior to his retirement in 2018, he earned tenure, full professorship and was an integral member of the DNS administration. Parker served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum Committee Chair, where he helped shape the undergraduate program and led the development of two critical majors. He taught courses in Nutrition and Food Science and mentored countless undergraduate and graduate students, including myself. Over the five years Parker mentored me, he taught me so much more than just science; he instilled in me the love of learning that was so prominent in his own life.
Now that the world’s gone nuts, quarantine has led us all to confront problems we’ve been putting off for far too long. Loveless marriages, dislike of children and a lot of tequila are driving Americans over the edge. Since we’ve all had to deal with our own issues, I figured Cornell should do the same. The university’s undergraduate college structure doesn’t make a ton of sense. Why are there three business schools?
Following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many on-campus organizations, programs and facilities were forced to close their doors. Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill, was among these many organizations heavily impacted. Each year, four to five student managers are hired to prepare for the planting season in early spring. They stay through the summer and fall to grow, harvest and distribute food produced on the 12-acre farm plot near the Cornell Orchards on Route 366. Unfortunately this year, because of the sudden undergraduate hiring freeze and other newly-introduced COVID-19 restrictions, Dilmun Hill stayed silent for many of the normally hectic growing months.
In a university that boasts seven undergraduate colleges, students are neatly sorted into their collegiate home before even arriving to Cornell. But for students who decide their academic interests lie beyond their chosen school, internal transferring helps keep that from being a permanent assignment.
From fish sperm viability to food security in India, 25 students tackled a trove of topics at an annual College of Agriculture and Life Sciences showcase on Thursday. These students — as fellows of the highly competitive CALS Global Fellows Program, which accepts only about 25 students every year — spent their summers conducting research in every corner of the globe. The showcase emerged their opportunity to share their findings from their internships with the rest of the Cornell Community. “It is literally a celebration and the achievement of these students who had these experiences around the globe. The whole point is sharing and understanding the joys and challenges of traveling someplace else,” said CASL Dean Kathryn J. Boor ’80.
2019 marks the 10th anniversary of a uniquely Cornellian spat, a weird, manifestly pointless, partially televised dispute between pundits Ann Coulter ’84 and Keith Olbermann ’79. The tussle concerned the Ivy League legitimacy of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which Coulter questioned in an attempt to discredit Olbermann, a CALS alumnus. New York Magazine called the tussle an “awesome college catfight,” The Washington Examiner dubbed Coulter’s comments “schadenfruede-licious” and Jordan Fabian ’09, editor-at-large of The Cornell Review, the conservative student publication Coulter helped found, told The Sun he found her instigation “pretty funny.”
The story of the “catfight” is an entertaining one, but it’s also a cautionary tale of two alumni who exposed toxic Cornell attitudes to a national audience. We should not follow the example they set. Coulter, a right-wing provocateur, is a defective product of Ezra Cornell’s noble institution.