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Mike Walter Wins the Award for Outstanding Service to the CALS Community

November 16, 2016

Dean Kathryn J. Boor and Mike Walter

On Monday, Nov. 7, Dean Kathryn J. Boor presented Mike Walter with the Award for Outstanding Service to the CALS Community. Walter is a professor in the department of biological and environmental engineering. He has been part of the Cornell community since 1974, serving in a variety of roles, especially that of department chair, which he held for a combined total of sixteen years. He proved himself to be a masterful steward of his unit during the radical evolution of the department from agricultural engineering to biological and environmental engineering.

His vision and commitment was equally instrumental in establishing the biological engineering research program that included the renovation of the laboratories in Riley-Robb Hall. These are just a few ways that his over forty years with CALS have been spent in sustained and exemplary service. Walter, who sent five children to Cornell, has the ability to foster a nurturing environment, whether it’s through smaller gestures like weekly breakfasts or his commitment to gender equality in a department with almost 400 students. BEE credits its over 50% female student body in large part to Walter's efforts.

Even after his retirement, Walter will continue to serve Cornell by working with students seeking to become Fulbright Scholars. His students know how lucky they are. One student said, “He is a constant reminder of where I come from and where I hope to go.”

The Award for Outstanding Service to the CALS Community recognizes an individual who has demonstrated sustained and exemplary leadership in a specific role, such as department chair or leader of a task force or program.

Walter joined 12 other CALS faculty and staff who received awards that night in different categories that highlighted the best and brightest of CALS. Learn more about the winners here.