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Rakow recognized for Nature Rx efforts

rakow flanked by two students walking through garden

Rakow strolls through Minns Garden outside Plant Science Building last year with Public Garden Leadership MPS students Trey Ramsey and Jessica Brey.

Associate professor Don Rakow was recognized for his innovative research with a 2020 SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) Award by the nonprofit Center for Jackson Hole.  The SHIFT Awards recognize individuals, initiatives, or organizations that make innovative, impactful and replicable contributions to the advancement of the health benefits of time outside.

Award organizers write that Rakow “has been one of the primary driving forces behind integrating Campus Nature Rx programs for universities and colleges in the US and Canada. He started the Campus Nature Rx network and has been collaborating with several researchers to look at how Nature Rx programs impact students’ mental and physical health. Through his research, Dr. Rakow highlights the significance of public gardens and parks as environmental, cultural, and social organizations. This focus bridges consideration of how campus landscapes can be leveraged for health and wellbeing of students, staff and faculty. He is committed to facilitating mental and physical health on university and college campuses through nature engagement that is inclusive of individuals of all ethnicities, abilities, and age groups.”

To learn more about Rakow’s work, see the Cornell Research article Nature, Our Intrinsic Healer.

NYS sanitizer, Cornell’s U-pick guide boost farm success

Cornell Chronicle [2020-07-21]:

Shed at you pick farm with two employees, flats and hand sanitizer

Two employees of Hand Melon Farms in Greenwich, New York, provide flats and pints for picking blueberries – and offer NYS sanitizer for safety.

Even in the coronavirus era, New York’s pick-your-own farms are flourishing.

“After months of enduring lockdowns, especially in New York, the pick-your-own berry farms around the state are booming this year,” said Marvin Pritts, professor of horticulture in the School of Integrative Plant Science, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Most of the pick-your-own farms are using our Cornell-developed guidelines that are very broad – they’re having an impact.”

The “Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic” guidebook offers detail on adjusting farm practices to reduce risk, and provides clarity on getting consumers safely through the farm and keeping farm employees healthy.

“Consumers are cooperating,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of Cornell’s Small Farms Program. “The pick-your-own farm customers are using masks and following rules, washing hands and using hand sanitizer. People are confident about being on these farms.”

Read the whole article.

Application open for Cornell Assistantship for Horticulture in Africa

Cornell University announces the availability of the Cornell Assistantship for Horticulture in Africa (CAHA), a doctoral position for a student from sub-Saharan Africa studying in the field of horticulture.

The doctoral assistantship is available to one student from sub-Saharan Africa who completes coursework at Cornell but conducts dissertation research in the region. The position is contingent upon the student returning to his or her home country after their doctoral degree is complete.

Applications are due September 15, 2020 for admission in 2021.

Successful candidates must already have a Master’s degree, originate from a country in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, and be of native African ancestry. Depending on the nature of the research and cost, it may be necessary for the student to secure additional outside funding.

The assistantship will require 15 to 20 hours per week of teaching and/or research responsibilities.

Application: Cornell Assistantship for Horticulture in Africa


  • Already have a Master’s degree
  • Originate from a country in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa
  • Be of native African ancestry

Application deadline is September 15, 2020

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