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Commencement videos

If you missed the festivities this weekend — or want to relive them — you can view videos of the Class of 2019 Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony (recognizing students receiving degrees in Agricultural Sciences and Plant Sciences May 26) and the 2019 Graduate Degree Ceremony (recognizing students receiving MPS, MS and PhD students from each of the five graduate fields within SIPS).

New book a how-to for bringing stressed students to nature

Nature Rx coverCALS News, Cornell Chronicle [2019-05-22]:

Nearly two in three U.S. college students reported feeling “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year, according to a 2018 report from the American College Health Association.

While there’s no simple solution, copious scientific evidence backs up the notion that even short, semi-regular exposure to parks, gardens and other natural spaces can help with stress and depression.

A new book co-written by Don Rakow, associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, explores ways schools can use those spaces to address the problem.

Rakow has teamed up with co-author Greg Eells, formerly the director of the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services, to write “Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental Health,” which came out May 15.

“It’s basically a how-to manual for college administrators, faculty and staff,” said Rakow, one of the forces behind the NatureRx@Cornell program. “The goal is to get a group of people at a school to come together to support a time-in-nature program for students.”

With its gorges, Botanic Garden and other natural areas, Cornell is well-known as one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. But it’s far from unique in terms of natural beauty. “Every school,” Rakow said, “even urban campuses, has access to green spaces.”

Cornell serves as a case study in the book, along with three other schools. But Rakow said there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Each campus has to develop the sort of nature Rx program that best fits their school,” he said.

Toxicology expert Donald Lisk dies at 88

 

Lisk

Lisk

By Krishna Ramanujan. Cornell Chronicle | CALS news [2019-05-09]:

Donald J. Lisk, M.S. ’54, Ph.D. ’56, professor emeritus of soil chemistry and toxicology and a champion of graduate education, died April 27. He was 88.

A former director of Cornell’s Toxic Chemicals Laboratory, Lisk was known for his work analyzing pesticides – including DDT – in soils, plants and animals; the toxic effects of chemicals on occupationally exposed populations; and the effects of diet on inhibiting cancer.

“Although Don was primarily a researcher, he was committed to graduate students and, upon his retirement, left a substantial amount of unrestricted funds to the Department of Horticulture to support graduate education,” said Marvin Pritts, professor of horticulture. “Don was always willing to take time to learn about what others were doing and share exciting findings from his own work.”

Read the whole article.

Online organic gardening course starts June 1

Registration is now open for Organic Gardening one of the online courses offered by the Horticulture Section in Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science.

Raised bed vegetable gardenOrganic Gardening is designed to help new gardeners get started and help experienced gardeners broaden their understanding of organic techniques for all kinds of gardens.

Starting with a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, the course then explores tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants including food plants, trees and shrubs and lawn.

Participants read assigned essays and book excerpts, participate in online group discussions with other students, complete reflective writing/design work and take part in some hands-on activities. Most students spend about 5 hours each week with the content, though there are always ample resources and opportunity to do more.

View more information and full course syllabus for Organic Gardening.

Questions about either course? View FAQ or contact, Fiona Doherty: fcd9@cornell.edu.

Horticulture honor society inducts 27 new members

pax key

Phi Alpha Xi key

From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted  a near-record 27 new members at an April 30, 2019 ceremony held in the H. H. Whetzel Room in the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus. Only the best students in the plant sciences are invited to join this national honor society.

Pi Alpha Xi was founded in 1923 at Cornell University and Cornell is the Alpha Chapter. Originally, it was the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture. In recent years it has changed and now honors excellence in all aspects of horticulture.

Since its founding, PAX has grown to 39 chapters at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Its mission is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants. PAX was very active at Cornell University for many years, peaking in the 1970s. But the chapter went dormant for several years until its revival in 2013.

PAX inductees and officers with advisors  Neil Mattson (back left) and Mark Bridgen (right).

PAX inductees and officers with advisors Neil Mattson (back left) and Mark Bridgen (right).

 

Graduating PAX seniors received their honor cords.

Graduating PAX seniors received their honor cords.

 

Attendees at the PAX ceremony.

Attendees at the PAX ceremony.

 

 

 

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