Dean's Message

Soccer Team
The "Wiedmann Booriers'': the soccer team comprised of the students and staff of Dean Kathryn Boor's lab.

The summer semester is anything but downtime for students, faculty, and staff in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Among many field days, events and classes, June, July, and August are the height of activity for research and outreach in our college. Research projects are planted and grown in fields on our Ithaca and Geneva campuses and on our field sites throughout New York State. From berries and cabbage to willow and alfalfa and much more, our faculty and field crews spent long hours planting, tending, and studying, working to get as much into the growing season as possible. The heavy rains at the beginning of the season in much of Upstate meant delays and slow starts, adding urgency to the waning weeks of the summer. Members of the CALS community engaged in the life sciences and social sciences also buckled down for projects in laboratories and in communities. Research and discovery do not take a vacation, and the change in pace away from a full-course load allows intensive focus in a way that the fall and spring semesters cannot.

In this, our third on-line only summer edition of PeriodiCALS, we take a multifaceted look at what some of our CALS students did with their summer semester. From internships to lab research to international studies, these students immersed themselves in new opportunities. Experiential learning is a fundamental part of the Cornell experience, as further evidenced in last year’s exciting announcement of the Engaged Cornell program. By embarking on adventures like those chronicled here, these students embody the college’s vision of leading science and education toward a resilient future. 

My summer was a full season as well. Cornell University, as you know, welcomed our 13th president, Elizabeth Garrett, on July 1. Talking with her about her vision for the institution as well as sharing the many remarkable accomplishments of our faculty and students has been inspiring. My schedule also included meetings and conversations with leaders in industry and in government about how CALS can and does partner across agriculture and food systems, for example, to support a healthy, abundant, and safe food supply for New Yorkers and beyond. I expect to have some very exciting news to share with you in the next several months, and I invite you to bookmark our homepage,, to stay updated on all that’s happening in CALS.

As the picture above shows, I did manage to get in some fun with my own lab group. My lab group comprises a soccer team -- The Wiedmann Booriers, a play on the expression “Weekend Warriors” – and we play outdoors and indoors throughout the year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to cheer one another on for hard work away from the bench.

I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful, busy summer as well. Thank you for your continuing interest in and support of our work in CALS.