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Alumni Association

About the Association

Started by Liberty Hyde Bailey himself, the CALS Alumni Association (CALSAA) promotes fellowship and leadership among alumni, students, and faculty and advances the teaching, research, and extension functions of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

CALSAA focuses on providing lifelong learning, networking, and engagement activities for alumni, students, and friends of CALS. Additional foci include highlighting alumni success stories, showcasing CALS academic priorities, and recruiting the best and brightest prospective students.

There are many opportunities to be more involved with the CALS Alumni Association, CALS, and Cornell. The involvement opportunities chart contains more detailed information and ideas on how to become more engaged in the Cornell community.

The Alumni Association has a long history, and its success depends on the dedicated, thoughtful volunteers that carry on a legacy of excellence.

There are many ways to get involved with the CALS Alumni Association whether it's serving on a committee (see below) or being a director. We have several open positions. Please check our listings on CUVolunteer.

CALSAA Committees

The CALS Alumni Association Constitution and Bylaws allows for the creation of committees, under the direction of the Board of Directors, in order to carry out the goals and strategies of the association. The following boards are currently active:

  • Executive Committee
    Oversees the business of the Association and conducts necessary business between meetings of the Board of Directors.
  • Alumni Engagement Committee
    Identifies needs, effective programs, and other activities to cultivate alumni engagement and works to develop campus and regional events and celebrations to move alumni into roles of partnership and advocacy with the College.
  • Nominations Committee
    Recommends Association members for appointment to the Board of Directors, a slate of officers for the Board of Directors, revised District boundaries, and builds a strong base of alumni volunteers.
  • Planning and Marketing Committee
    Develops, for Board approval, the Association’s goals and strategies outlined within its Strategic Plan and tracks progress toward achieving these goals. Deals with other issues related to marketing, policy, structure and governance.
  • Recognition Committee
    Selects and recognizes outstanding alumni, faculty, and volunteers through awards and public recognition.
  • Student Leadership Committee
    Encourages stronger relationships between current students, potential students, the Association, and the College.
  • Young Alumni Committee
    Mobilizes the opinions and advice of young alumni (those who graduated 10 years or less from CALS) for guiding Association activities, seeking to motivate them to become engaged as partners and advocates of the CALS mission.

President
Bret Richter ’92
New York City

Past-President
Rob Hardy ’85
New England

President-Elect and Vice President of Alumni Engagement
Carol Berman ’94
Philadelphia

Vice President of Planning & Marketing and At-Large Representative – Food & Energy Systems
Matt Ranieri ’06, MS ’09, PhD ’13 

Vice President of Recognition
Eliese Fisher ’88
Southeast

Treasurer
Ronald Prague ’85
Northern New Jersey

Image removed.Grants Review Committee
Martha Furie ’74
Long Island

Faculty Representative
Vacant

Senior Student Representative
Chenab Khakh ’20

At-Large Senior Student Representative
Chloe Mikles ’20

Junior Student Representative
Aminah Taariq '21

At-Large Junior Student Representative
Katie Thorsberg '21

Graduate Student Representative
Karl Kunze ’17

Boston
Tanya Merrill ’15 

Buffalo
Jack McGowan ’80

Capital District (NY)
Chris Jennings ’01, MAT ’02 

Central New York
Janet Fallon ’76

International
Robert Forness ’87 

Mid-West
Katie Schoenberg '03, PhD '10

Mountain States
Benjamin Sudduth ’07

New Jersey
Raymond Ortiz II '04

New York City 
Elise Jacobs Blanck ’11 (Chair, Young Alumni)
Lisa Berg '93
Kyle Scott ’11
Mahmudur Rahman ’17

Philadelphia
Jenee Chizick-Aguero ’96

Tompkins & Cortland Counties
Mary Maxon Grainger ’79, MPS ’87

Washington, DC
Grace Tucker ’17

Pacific Northwest
Deborah Feld '10

Westchester
Susan Joseph ’81

At-Large Representative - Agriculture
Laura Pedersen MPS ’81

At-Large Representative – Agro-Tourism & Life Sciences
John Graziano ’09 

Ex-Officio Chair – Digital Agriculture
Tim Vanini ’91