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  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Department of Entomology
Benjamin Z. Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean, has announced the appointment of Corrie S. Moreau as the inaugural senior associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion for CALS. Her three-year appointment is effective Jan. 2, 2023, and will run through Dec. 31, 2025. 

“Cultivating a nurturing community that embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is prioritized in the college’s new strategic plan, and the position of senior associate dean reflects our increased and forward-looking investment in DEI as a way to bolster world-leading advancements across CALS’ teaching, research, innovation and extension programs,” Houlton said. “I am delighted to have Corrie leading our efforts in CALS.”

Moreau, the Martha N. and John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity at CALS, said she is eager to support CALS’ institutional goals to recruit diverse students, staff and faculty and to emphasize retention of the college's world-class and increasingly diverse talent to ensure faculty have a lasting, positive and productive career.

“Data show that diverse teams produce the best science and scholarship, and I feel honored to be in a position to foster these priorities while we continue to create a vibrant, world-class college,” Moreau said. “This is a landmark moment in CALS with DEI centered in all aspects of the college. I am proud to be a member of an institution that is willing to take active steps to make lasting transformative change and ensure that ‘Any person … any study’ remains a reality at Cornell.”

Moreau will continue the momentum set by Chelsea Specht, the inaugural associate dean for the college’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Appointed in 2019, Specht completed more than her two-year term, during which she initiated and implemented a broadminded mission of DEI in CALS. 

“CALS is eager to lead in diversity and inclusion, and prioritize freedom of expression and speech, as the college seeks to tackle the incredible challenges of our time with new creative solutions that leave no one behind,” Houlton said.

Moreau, who is also director and curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection, earned her Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Harvard University and was a Miller fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at San Francisco State University.

In addition to her work as a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and entomologist, Moreau is an experienced leader in diversity and inclusion. Her work to champion increased diversity in STEM has received several awards. At Chicago’s Field Museum, Moreau created a women in science program that grew to offer monthly seminars, annual networking panels, paid summer internships for high school and undergraduate identifying women, and a postdoctoral program. She has also been invited to speak about the importance of DEI in STEM across the country and around the globe. 

At Cornell, Moreau has served on several diversity, equity and inclusion committees and was appointed to the university’s Anti-Racism Initiative, where she focused on anti-racism learning requirements for students.

A first-generation college student from a low-income family, Moreau knows how important it is to feel supported and welcome, especially as a woman in the sciences. “I never want anyone to experience feelings of not belonging or, even worse, exclusion, which is why I have centered diversity, equity and inclusion in my work since the beginning,” Moreau said.

As senior associate dean of diversity and inclusion, Moreau will set the strategy, vision and direction of collegewide DEI activities as they relate to faculty recruitment, retention and cross-cutting initiatives, and she will coordinate activities across the college and with the broader university. In addition, Moreau will work with CALS’ Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion program, which supports department DEI committees and colleagues in establishing best practices in faculty recruitment and retention, graduate admissions and mentoring, and inclusive pedagogy and curriculum development.

She also will supervise the CALS director of diversity and inclusion, a newly established position designed to help lead efforts that further the college’s DEI initiatives and sustain a climate of belonging. Stella Hein, who was diversity, equity and inclusion program director and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, began her new role Sept. 16.

In addition to coordinating DEI activities across units and in collaboration with all of Cornell, including the new Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures announced by President Martha Pollack, Moreau will work with the “inclusive excellence” cohort and NIH FIRST faculty, among others involved in diversity, equity and inclusion, to empower new faculty as they work to establish their programs and foster belonging in the college.

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