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Brian Caldwell honored for adaptability

Dean Boor shakes hands with Brian Caldwell

Brian Caldwell, during more than 30 years of service at Cornell, has played a critical role in many projects and has helped numerous growers, students and researchers.

On Monday, Oct. 30, Dean Kathryn J. Boor presented Caldwell with the Core Value Staff Award for Adaptability at a ceremony celebrating research, extension and staff excellence.

Caldwell joined Cornell in 1987 and has served the university through several positions including research technician and extension educator. He is currently a research support specialist in the Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab and the Cornell Small Farms Program for the School of Integrative Plant Science.

His passion for agricultural research and science in general is acknowledged and appreciated among growers, who rely on his balanced perspective and thoughtful approach. Caldwell works to build trust and facilitate open and constructive dialogue between researchers and growers. 

In developing effective management practices for organic crop production, Caldwell has displayed adaptability throughout his career and contributed to the university's national and international recognition. For example, as project manager for the Organic Cropping Systems project, Caldwell managed two field experiments and served as the primary liaison with farm collaborators. Conducting long-term field research like this requires constant adjustments in plot management to reflect changing conditions. Caldwell excelled by consistently assessing conditions and identifying potential problems before they could undermine the experiment.

The Core Value Staff Awards recognize staff whose performance has gone far beyond the standards defined by Cornell’s Skills for Success, recognizing performance that surpasses expectations and makes a significant and/or unique contribution to the college. The award for adaptability is given to a team or individual who is flexible, open and receptive to new ideas; adapts to multiple or changing priorities and demands; shows an ability to modify his or her preferred methods of operation; and focuses on long-term vision rather than short-term gains.

At the event, Boor thanked Caldwell for modeling a can-do attitude in every aspect of his work and for dedicating his career to Cornell and CALS. He plans to retire at the end of this year to enjoy time with his family and to tend to his home orchard.

► Meet all of our 2017 Research, Extension and Staff Award winners