Dean's Message

“I never thought of stopping, and I just hated sleeping. I can’t imagine having a better life.”
Barbara McClintock ’23, M.A. ’25, Ph.D. ‘27

I recently came across this quote from Dr. McClintock, a CALS alumna, professor, geneticist, and Nobel laureate recognized for her work with maize chromosomes, and it struck me how much her sentiment pervades the culture of the college’s faculty, students and staff. As dean, I have the opportunity to see firsthand how much effort and passion we put into each facet of our mission—teaching and learning, research, and extension. These three purposes distinguish who we are and what we do as an institution, and that dedication to excellence in each, respectively and combined, strengthens what we deliver as part of our Land-Grant Mission.

Dean Boor and President Garrett at the NYS fair
Dean Kathryn J. Boor (left) and Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett visited The Great New York State Fair on Dairy Day, Monday, August 31. There, they talked with growers, 4-H students, and policy and elected officials about how CALS' research, education, and extension activities deliver on Cornell's Land-Grant Mission. Photo: Robert Barker/University Photography 

This issue of periodiCALS provides fresh insights into the breadth and depth of our work across our four priority areas. The connections between our work in agriculture and the food we eat and beverages we drink are perhaps obvious, and so this issue’s look at innovations in the plant sciences in support of bioenergy takes a new perspective by illustrating how and why discovery and dissemination in these disciplines underpins many of the solutions to the great challenges we face as a global society. The initiatives led by faculty in the social sciences are also helping to improve our lives, individually and as communities small and large. Understanding how technologies, policies and media influence our thinking and offer the potential to inform healthier choices will help shape the world around us in new and ground-breaking ways.

As I hope you’ll see in the stories about our students and alumni in the opening and closing pages of this magazine, the dedication to knowledge with public purpose is central to who we are and what we do. With 15 departments, two schools, and 22 majors, CALS is unique, and our contributions have impact across the areas associated with an agriculture school and the life sciences, and well beyond into the environmental sciences, information and management sciences, social sciences, and more.

As Dr. McClintock intimated, a penchant for resting and CALS just don’t match. We have too much to accomplish, and on behalf of my colleagues, we appreciate your support and enthusiasm as we continue the essential education, research and outreach that are our legacy.

Kathryn J. Boor
Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences