Outstanding Alumni Awards

The CALS Alumni Association and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences honor alumni who have achieved recognized success in their businesses, professions, or other avocational endeavors; have been actively involved in, worked for, and demonstrated leadership on behalf of the College and Cornell University; and have made significant contributions to the betterment of society through humanitarian and charitable endeavors.

Outstanding faculty and staff are also recognized for significant contributions in teaching, research, extension, or administration.

More information about the Outstanding Alumni Awards can be obtained from (607) 255-8711 or A list of past recipients is also available.

Nominations for these awards can be made through the nomination site.

2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards

Lorette Simon GrossLorette Simon Gross '89, '90

Lorette Gross began her career at the global advertising agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) where she served in the New York and Los Angeles offices. Her major clients included Procter & Gamble, Burger King, Kraft and Mars. She then went to work on Nestlé and Disney at Dailey & Associates. 

Natalis TeichNatalie Teich '65

Natalie Teich was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York and attended Lafayette High School. In only the second year that AP courses were offered there, she chose biology (which had not been taught before).

Teich went to Cornell to major in bacteriology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. A requirement for her major led her to pursue a National Science Foundation Fellowship for Undergraduates at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Michael ThompsonMichael Thompson '77

As president and chief executive officer of Fair Oaks Farms, LLC, Michael Thompson has championed the success of this Wisconsin-based supplier of par-cooked sausage, bacon and other meat and poultry products since taking ownership in 2003.

He is extremely proud that Fair Oaks Farms is considered to be the “gold standard” or target supplier for many of its customers. These companies represent some of the world’s leading food industry brands. The U.S. Department of Commerce has named Fair Oaks Farms the Export Supplier of the Year, and in 2014 he received the McDonald’s Shining Light Award for his persistence and determination through sharing and caring in the spirit of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ray Kroc.


David & Kimberly MullarkeyDavid '88 and Kimberly Gaver Mullarkey '88

David Mullarkey is president, CEO and board member of Omniome, a venture-backed, DNA sequencing technology start-up. Dave has more than 25 years of experience in setting business vision and strategy, developing new markets, executing business plans and driving significant value creation within small, private start-up and large, publicly-traded life science companies.  He also has extensive leadership experience operating across R&D and commercial settings and guiding product development, commercialization and launch to maximize commercial success and successful exits.  His passion is nurturing high performing teams to deliver breakthrough health care technologies and products that improve the lives of people around the world. 

2018 Outstanding Faculty Award

Christopher WatkinsChristopher Watkins

Chris Watkins was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and completed his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Auckland. In 1978, he was appointed to the newly formed Postharvest Science Group in the Plant Diseases Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). In 1981, he was awarded a New Zealand National Research Advisory Council fellowship and completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He returned to New Zealand in 1985, and the following year was asked to assume leadership of the Postharvest Science Group. 


2018 Rising Star Faculty Achievement Award

Lee HumpreysLee Humphreys '99

Lee Humphreys is an associate professor of communication at Cornell University. She studies the social uses and perceived effects of communication technology, specifically focusing on mobile and social media. She is the author of “The Qualified Self: Social media and the accounting of everyday life(MIT Press, 2018). Using qualitative field methods, she focuses on how people integrate communication technology in their everyday lives. 

2018 Young Alumni Achievement Award (to be awarded in 2019)

Daniel SchwartzDaniel Schwartz '01

Daniel Schwartz was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (the parent company of the Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes brands) and a director of the Company, in December 2014. From June 2013 to December 2014 Daniel served as CEO of Burger King. From April 2013 until June 2013, he served as Burger King Chief Operating Officer and prior to that, Daniel served as Chief Financial Officer of  since 2010. Daniel joined Burger King immediately following 3G Capital’s acquisition of company in 2010.