Assistant to the Associate Dean
Jennifer Best joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Affairs and Development team in 2014 as the Assistant to the Associate Dean. Along with supporting the Associate Dean, Jennifer is responsible for planning and implementing the CALS Dean’s Advisory Council meetings, organizing the annual CALS TCAM Luncheon, and coordinating the AA&D travel for Dean Kathryn Boor. Prior to working at CALS, Jennifer worked at the Baker Institute for Animal Health in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine as a Program and Research Coordinator. Jennifer graduated from Ithaca College in 2006 with a degree in Recreation Management with a focus on program planning. She is very active with Tompkins Connect, a local young professionals networking and volunteering group in Ithaca. Jennifer currently resides in Ithaca, New York, where she enjoys hiking at the local parks and attending local festivals.
Associate Dean, Alumni Affairs and Development
Sharon Detzer is the Associate Dean of CALS Alumni Affairs and Development and has been with CALS since 2001. With more than 27 years of service in Cornell University Alumni Affairs and Development, she brings a wide range of experience to donors and assists them with their specific giving interests. Sharon also advises volunteer and alumni affairs initiatives. She graduated with a degree in business administration from Cayuga Community College and then transferred to Cornell/CALS, where she earned her degree in communication. Sharon was a Cornell Tradition Fellow as a student, and she personally values the philanthropy that donors provide in scholarships, annual fund, and endowment support. She grew up on a small dairy farm in the Finger Lakes region. She enjoys playing alto saxophone in two community bands.
Director of Development
Ross Evancoe joined the CALS Alumni Affairs and Development staff in 2014 and serves as the Director of Development. Ross is responsible for managing priority fundraising campaigns within the college, enhancing the annual fund and stewardship programs, and working with individual alumni to help them realize their philanthropic goals. Prior to joining CALS, Ross spent three years working for Alumni Affairs and Development at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, where he served in three roles of increasing responsibility. Ross is a 2010 graduate of Ithaca College and he lives in Ithaca with his wife and dog. He volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tompkins County and the Ithaca College Young Alumni Committee. Ross enjoys fitness, golfing, and outdoor activities.
Ron Van Ormer
Major Gifts Officer
Ron Van Ormer joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences staff in 2011 as a major gifts officer. He works with CALS alumni in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and California. He has more than 15 years of experience in higher education development at Thunderbird-Graduate School of International Management, Rocky Mountain PBS, University of Denver, and Alfred University. He was raised in nearby Cazenovia, New York and currently resides in Brooktondale, New York with his wife and two children.