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Pets’ Angels

Register by April 1 to receive a reduced registration fee for the Pedal for Pets bike-a-thon on April 27.

Join the student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association on a 30- or 50-mile bike ride throughout Ithaca and neighboring communities. The race supports the Patient Assistance Fund at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. The Patient Assistance Fund helps clients with economic need cover medical and surgical costs for their animal companions.

ILR to the NHL

After his final collegiate ice hockey match – a dramatic double overtime duel won by top-seeded Quinnipiac University March 17 – Nick D’Agostino ’13 was struck by time’s incessant march.

“It seems like just yesterday I was just a little freshman and now it’s hitting me that my career here at Cornell is done. It was pretty emotional after the game. Just like that, we lost and the season was over,” he said. “What I’m going to miss the most is playing in front of the Lynah Faithful alongside some of my best friends.”

A team tri-captain, D’Agostino sparkled on the ice for four years. Now he is negotiating a contract with the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins for the next two seasons. “It’s an exciting time,” he said. “It’s obviously something that isn’t done overnight, and it’s a pretty unpredictable process.”

If he and the Penguins can’t reach an agreement by Aug. 15, D’Agostino becomes a free agent. His study of labor negotiations and collective bargaining at ILR might give him an edge.

After playing professional hockey, D’Agostino plans to pursue a law degree and stay involved in sports: “After all, sports is a business, and the presence and strength of professional league unions and management have created conditions where people with an expertise in labor relations are needed.”

– Mary Catt, ILR School

The ‘new Burma’

Cornellians can visit Burma without ever leaving Ithaca through a new photography exhibit in Mann Library.

Award-winning author Naomi Duguid and photojournalist Amanda Schwengel are the featured photographers in the exhibit; Duguid’s work specializes in food and agriculture and food as an aspect of culture, and Schwengel’s focuses on the conservation of culture in everyday environments.

Poetry springs up

The Plantations’ Mundy Wildflower Garden has the most variety of early-blooming wildflowers in the area and is a must see in early spring. To celebrate National Poetry Month this April, graduate student Emily Oliver matched her favorite poems to many of the garden’s wildflowers. Look for signs throughout the garden providing a number to call for information about each plant and a poem recited by the author.

Choose your college wisely

President David Skorton offers students advice about choosing the college that’s best for them in a CNN blog. Among his tips:

“First, the faculty …” he writes. “Check out the proportion of faculty who have a Ph.D. or the highest professional degree in their field. Faculty experience in a non-academic setting can be a plus, especially in professional fields like engineering, business, law and architecture, and in the visual, performing and creative arts.”

How may faculty have full-time appointments? What is the student-faculty ratio? “Large courses don’t necessarily lead to disappointing experiences – one of the most popular courses at Cornell, an introductory psychology course, had an enrollment of more than 1,200 year after year, but it also employed a small army of effective teaching assistants,” Skorton writes.

Look at the quality and diversity of the student body, acceptance rate and student demographics: “You’ll learn more if your peer group is as bright – or brighter – than you. You’ll also learn more by living and learning with people from a variety of geographic, ethnic, racial, political, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

“Finally, given the time and money likely to be invested in higher education, consider how the experience will enhance your prospects for employment. It is worth looking into the career services available at the institution, the number and kinds of recruiters who come to campus each year, the availability of co-op and internship programs and the willingness of alumni to take part in mentoring and job-shadowing programs,” Skorton writes.


Catch some of Cornell’s brightest science and engineering students at BOOM (Bits On Our Minds) April 3.

The 16th annual student research showcase features projects ranging from a Wikipedia-based “6 Degrees of Bacon” game to software that reads human emotion.

Also: a light bulb that emulates the changing intensity of the sun over the course of the day and year; robot planes, robot submarines and more pedestrian robots; a smartphone app to help you keep track of the time spent on tasks; and lots of games and grown-up toys.

Panama law

Members of the Cornell Global Law Brigade traveled to rural Darien, Panama, to provide pro bono legal consulting and immerse themselves in the local culture. Undergraduates from the Classes of 2016 to 2013 participated on the service trip March 16-22.

Family runs for homeless

Carolyn Edsell-Vetter ’98, her husband and her son, will run the Boston Marathon April 15 to fight homelessness. Their goal is to raise $20,000 for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.

“When we got married 10 years ago, we pledged to create a Jewish home committed to peace and deeds of loving kindness, a warm and welcoming home to all,” says Edsell-Vetter.

“If you think running 26.2 miles is hard, try being homeless,” says Edsell-Vetter’s husband, Jesse.

College behind bars pays off

Universities like Cornell that help inmates get degrees are saving society a bundle. So say President David Skorton and Professor Glenn Altschuler in their Forbes blog today, citing the success of The Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP).

CPEP  brings volunteer Cornell faculty and graduate students to teach a college-level liberal arts curriculum, in subjects ranging from genetics to poetry, to 100 men per year at Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility. CPEP had its first graduation last June.

“In New York State, 40 percent of all inmates who are released will wind up back in prison within three years,” Skorton and Altschuler write. “An inmate’s ability to make it on the outside depends on whether he is returning to a stable family, whether he has mental health or substance abuse issues and on his education and employment-related skills.”

Nationwide, they write, “more than 650,000 people were released from state prisons in 2010. By cutting the reincarceration rate in half, $2.7 billion per year could be saved. Former inmates with jobs also have less need for public assistance and contribute to society, in the form of taxes and purchasing power.”

Read more.


March madness photo contest

Starting today, you can vote for the image you think best represents Cornell. Go to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Facebook page, Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter to participate in “battles” as photos move through brackets in four categories: events, buildings, icons and nature.

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