Messages from the CALS Community

The below notes are from the CALS community from August 3 to November 3, 2020.


Welcome Dr. Houlton, Look forward to meeting you. I am so fortunate to have attended the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. The College's faculty and staff has been a tremendous resource throughout my career. Every day there are opportunities to learn. The College has been a tremendous asset to New York State agriculture and all residents of this state. We are so very fortunate to have this wonderful College. Welcome and best of luck.

– Margaret (Kleeberg) Kelly, '84


Hi Dean Houlton - Welcome to Cornell and CALS!!! Please reach out if you think I can help in any way! Wishing you much success!!!

– Kevin Malchoff '74, Dyson


Congratulations & Welcome to the CALS family! I am looking forward to seeing the positive impacts that will come with your leadership at CALS.

– Lauren Kann '22, Environment & Sustainability


Congrats and welcome back to Cornell! My wife Lisa Powell Fortna CALS '95 and I are thrilled to have our daughters in CALS Class of 2024. I was an Ecology & Evolutionary Biology major at Cornell so this is extra special! Best of luck in the coming years.

– Matt Fortna '95, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


Welcome! So happy to have you leading the college in these interesting times.

– Susan Psaila '89


Welcome to CALS and central NY! My husband and I are both graduates of CALS (Animal Science, ‘90) and our daughter is currently a senior (‘21), also an animal science major. We are looking forward to all you you will do as the Dean and hope you love your time at Cornell as much as we did.

– Linda Lehr '90, Animal Science


Welcome to Cornell. Our team looks forward to working with you.

– Rose Hastings, CALS Office of Sponsored Research


Congrats and welcome back to Cornell! My wife Lisa Powell Fortna CALS '95 and I are thrilled to have our daughters in CALS Class of 2024. I was an Ecology & Evolutionary Biology major at Cornell so this is extra special! Best of luck in the coming years.

– Matt Fortna '95, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


Congratulations, and welcome back to the CALS family, Dr. Houlton! Looking forward to seeing more life-changing impacts from you and the college, especially in the life and social sciences!

– Kevin Lam '20, Communication


Congratulations Ben! As an alum at both the undergrad and grad levels, and a current CALS faculty member, I feel strongly vested in CALS and the importance of its land grant mission to serve the needs of New Yorkers. I really look forward to your vision and insights on topics like land use and climate change, which will help CALS address the big challenges our state, and the rest of the world, are facing. Thanks for your willingness to cross the country, move to our beautiful but cloudier part of the world (!), and take on this challenging role.

– Margaret Smith, Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station & Plant Breeding and Genetics


Congratulations Ben! It was so great to meet you last November in Davis at the Science & the Social License workshop. I look forward to continuing the work of the Cornell Alliance for Science under your CALS leadership as we expand our issue focus. Best wishes for a smooth move to our gorgeous town!

– Sarah Evanega, Cornell Alliance for Science & Department of Global Development


Welcome to the Cornell, CALS family. 

– Jack Wood, CALS Office of Finance and Administration 


Congratulations and welcome Dr. Houlton! I look forward to your leadership!

– Gretchen Rymarchk '00, Department of Global Development, Rural Schools Program


Welcome aboard, Dean Houlton! I'm writing as the director of the CALS-based American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIISP). We offer coursework on Indigenous issues, provide outreach to Indigenous communities in the state and more broadly, and provide recruitment and retention support for Indigenous undergraduates from all colleges as well as graduate students. I look forward to meeting you and discussing AIISP when the time comes!

– Kurt Jordan '88, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program


Congratulations! I look forward to meeting you soon, as I intend on attending classes at CALS Cornell University

– Kenya Atkins '24, Agriculture


Sending a warm welcome to Cornell and Roberts Hall! Looking forward to working with you.

– Allison Pelletier, CALS Deans Office


Congratulations Dr. Ben Houlton! The agriculture community looks forward to getting to know you and work with you as you continue the strong and long tradition of leadership at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Colleges' rich history of a close working affiliation with the agriculture community, and providing the essential programs and educational outreach to our community, is what has distinguished CALS throughout the northeastern U.S. We stand ready and willing to work with you to take this tradition to the next level.

– Rick Zimmerman '78, CALS Advisory Council


Welcome to Ithaca and congratulations. It is truly soul-warming to see your generation taking the helm with guiding principles of 'humility, cooperation, collaboration and the ability to engage in deep listening'. May those values become deeply infused and put wind in the sails of the generation to follow.

– Jana Hexter '95, Northeast IPM Center


Dr. Houlton - We are excited for your new journey with CALS. Welcome to the CALS family!

– Rebecca Tucker, Communication


Dean Houlton -- welcome to CALS! I grew up in New York State and attending Cornell was a dream come true. I'm proud to be an active Cornell alumnus living in Boston. I'm a new member of the CALS Alumni Association board so I look forward to seeing how you move the College forward. We're excited to have you as part of the CALS family. Wishing you all the best.

– Shane Dunn'07, Communication 


Dean Houlton, Congratulations on joining CALS. As an alumni of CALS and the father of a 2020 CALS/Information Science graduate I am excited to welcome you to CALS and look forward to working together with the CALS Alumni Association on many matters. Look forward to meeting you.

– Ron Prague '85, CALS Alumni Association Treasurer


Welcome to Cornell and CALS! CALSAA is looking forward to getting to know you and helping advance your plans for the college! We're a fun and spirited bunch! Go Big Red!

– Carol Berman '94, CALS Alumni Association President


Dr. Houlton, We very much look forward to welcoming you to CALS, Ithaca (you've checked the weather right?) and engaging in the diversity of HR for CALS.

– Laurie DeNardo, CALS Human Resources


Congratulations Dr. Houlton. I hope your arrival will make the department research more productive, efficient, and sustainable.

– Aakash Gill '21, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute


On behalf of the pilot Learning by Leading team at Cornell Botanic Gardens (a program which may sound familiar, we're a fan of UC Davis), congratulations on the new role! We look forward to your leadership in empowering the students, staff, faculty, and partners of CALS in fostering collaborative climate change solutions. Welcome to CALS, Dean Houlton.

– Jeannie Yamazaki '21, Environment & Sustainability


Hello Ben, I am so pleased that you have been selected as the Dean of CALS.  I look forward to working with you to continue to realize our Land-Grant mission.

– Jan Nyrop, Cornell AgriTech


Welcome to Cornell! We are looking forward to your leadership!

– Joanne Bicknese


Greetings from Bangladesh! I am Arif, CEO & Executive Director of Farming Future Bangladesh, to help improve awareness about modern agricultural innovations, including crop biotechnology, in Bangladesh. Based in Dhaka, it operates under the auspices of the Cornell Alliance for Science, an initiative of Cornell University with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Cornell University has significant contribution in Bangladesh’s agriculture and with this changed world condition and threat of climate change the country will continue suffering to ensure sustainable food security, better life and livelihood for those small holder farmers. I hope your kindness and leadership will keep supporting Bangladesh and all the stakeholders of Cornell CALS in this region. Wishing you a heartful welcome on behalf of Farming Future Bangladesh team and all the beneficiaries of Cornell in Bangladesh.

– Md. Arif Hossain, Cornell Alliance for Science


Welcome to the Cornell CALS family, Ben! Your climate change and environmental expertise will be a welcome addition to our community. Congrats on the new role!

– Samara Sit, Office of Marketing and Communications