Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

CALS Diversity and Inclusion Committee

CALS has a standing faculty committee, elected by a vote of the CALS faculty, that identifies issues to be addressed and develops action plans related to diversity and inclusion within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Chaired by a faculty member and including two undergraduate students and one graduate student, this committee has developed initiatives addressing faculty recruitment, graduate student retention and campus climate, teaching to a diverse classroom, inclusion of contributions to diversity in annual reviews and issues of classroom climate on course evaluations. The committee supports CALS participation and engagement in campus-wide diversity initiatives, currently under the umbrella of Belonging at Cornell.

In 2015, the CALS Diversity and Inclusion Committee renamed our "Promoting Multicultural Diversity" award to become the "Kathy Druckman Berggren Diversity and Inclusion Award" to recognize members of the CALS faculty or academic staff who have made significant contributions toward creating and fostering a positive environment for people of diverse backgrounds.

Five Main Committee Responsibilities

  1. Gather information related to diversity issues of concern to CALS students, faculty and academic employees.
  2. Develop and oversee programs to address these concerns.
  3. Report findings to the administration and provide information regarding these issues to the CALS Faculty Executive Committee so that appropriate policies concerning the issues may be developed.
  4. Suggest areas that the CALS Faculty Executive Committee may want to examine in determining whether new or modified policies concerning academic human diversity and resources are needed.
  5. Recommend to the CALS dean the annual goals for the college's participation in Cornell's Diversity Initiative. Implement appropriate goals.


Ten faculty members (including the chair), two undergraduate students from different program areas and one graduate student. The associate dean for diversity and inclusion and the college student services diversity staff serve as ex officio members. The length of term is four years for faculty members and one year for student members.

Committee Members


  • Katja Poveda | kap235 [at]
  • Hale Tufan | hat36 [at] 

Faculty & Staff - End of Term

  • Hale Tufan – 2023
  • Rachel Bezner Kerr – 2023
  • Carlyn Buckler - 2023
  • Katja Poveda – 2023
  • Karim-Aly Kassam – 2024
  • Quirine Ketterings – 2024
  • Cedric Feschotte - 2025
  • Dan Luo - 2025
  • Zaneta Hong - 2026
  • Todd Schmit - 2026
  • Reza Moghimi - 2026
  • Sahara Byrne, ex officio
  • Esther Angert (Interim) – ex officio
  • Brandon Senior - ex officio
  • Tony Caudill - ex officio
  • Kurt Jordan - ex officio
  • Jennifer Majka – ex officio
  • Erin Treat (Admissions representative)
  • Erica Ostermann (Student Services representative) 
  • Josephine Martell (Research Development Office) 
  • Sara Hernandez (OISE) 
  • Melina Ivanchikova (CTI) 
  • Zebediah Hall (Student Disability Services)
  • Casey Moore (GFA representative) 

Student Members

  • Nyssa Sevilla Orr (Undergraduate, 2022/23)
  • Fath'Ma Marcelah Shabani (Undergraduate, 2022/23)
  • TBA (Graduate)
  • TBA (Graduate)