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  • Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture
Jacob Pucci joined the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture in May 2022.

Describe your role at the Center of Excellence: As marketing and communications coordinator, I'm in charge of sharing the COE's story with the world and expanding the reach of our vital work. I write and promote news and feature stories, manage social media, websites and newsletters; shoot photos and videos, coordinate events, handle media relations and lots more. 

What did you do professionally before coming to the Center of Excellence? Prior to joining the Center Of Excellence, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, specializing in food, dining and agriculture, in Syracuse and most recently, North Carolina. 

What excites you most about the work the Center of Excellence and Cornell AgriTech are doing to help grow the food and agriculture industries in New York? Having a first-hand look at the research and innovation that happens here every day is incredible. The results, whether it's a new variety of apple or a thriving new food business guided by the Center of Excellence, are tangible. I can see — and often taste — the product of all the work that goes on at Cornell AgriTech and it never ceases to excite me.

What’s one piece of advice you’ve learned over the course of your career? As someone who has done thousands of interviews in my career, I've learned that people love to talk about themselves and share their stories when given a chance. Just listen and recognize that everyone has something to offer.

What inspired you to pursue the career you have today? As a kid, I wanted to be a chef. At the very least, I knew I wanted to work with food. Being able to combine food, writing and storytelling has been a dream come true. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t working? I love to cook, read, eat and travel. I'm particularly passionate about discovering and writing about regional cuisines across America, as well as collecting church and community cookbooks. 

What's something most people don’t know about you? I worked as a private cook in college and cooked lunch for Shaquille O'Neal and snowboarder Shaun White, among others. 

Jacob, his partner, Megan, and their two cats, Tulip and Scooter, live in Geneva. 

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Graduate student David Hugel poses next to hemp and grapes

Field Note

David Hugel, a graduate student in the lab of Anna Katharine Mansfield , associate director of Cornell AgriTech and associate professor of food science, has been investigating how outdoor odors affect grapes in the vineyard. Aroma is a key...
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Food Science
Researchers in a field


  • Department of Global Development
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section