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Bassuk named Weiss fellow


Nina Bassuk

Nina Bassuk

Cornell Chronicle [2015-01-15]:

Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture; Marie Caudill, professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences; and Rajit Manohar, professor of electrical and computer engineering, are the newest recipients of Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowships in recognition of their teaching of undergraduate students. President David Skorton announced the Weiss fellows Jan. 30 at a meeting of the Cornell Board of Trustees.

“Nina, Marie and Rajit exemplify the best that Cornell seeks to offer its students,” Skorton said. “They are enormously talented researchers and academic leaders, who inspire undergraduates through their example and boundless energy as teachers and mentors.” …

Bassuk, who marked her 34th year at Cornell in 2014, is known for her innovative teaching and for having a profound and lasting influence on her students.

Her two-course series Creating the Urban Eden incorporates not only a 300-acre campus as an extended classroom but several resources developed in her research on enhancing the functions of plants and trees in urban ecosystems. These include a textbook, “Trees in the Urban Landscape: Site Assessment, Design and Installation” (2004); a “Plant by Phone” service with her recorded descriptions of trees and plants; and a Campus Tree Identification mobile phone app with information on more than 200 plant species.

Bassuk brings tools, plants and soil samples into the classroom but ensures that much of her students’ learning occurs outdoors, leading them on weekly “plant walks” on campus and joining them in horticultural projects. She has enabled students across the university to understand the natural world and what it takes to be successful environmental stewards, adapting her teaching style to students’ individual needs.

“She helps and challenges students to develop their own methods of learning,” one of Bassuk’s students wrote. “Her time and expertise were invaluable.”

Read the whole article.

Bassuk instructs students before planting.

Bassuk instructs ‘Urban Eden’ students before planting Tower Rd. bioswale, September 2014.

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