Where Are They Now - Hannah Stamler ‘12

In the Spring 2012 issue of periodiCALS, we featured portraits of 12 outstanding seniors. Student writer Andrea Alfano ‘14 has been checking in with these young alumni to see what they’ve been up to, and we will be posting some of their stories over the next several weeks as part of a special Where Are They Now feature.


Hannah Stamler graduated from Cornell in 2012, but she wasn’t one of the 12 CALS Senior Portraits—in fact, the French and history double-major wasn’t even a student in CALS. It was through her job at CALS Communications that Hannah got involved in the college, and it’s also how she ended up researching and writing all of the 2012 Senior Portrait profiles.

“My interests center more on the arts and humanities,” Hannah said. “Working at CALS and covering CALS-related stories exposed me to fascinating things my peers were working on in disciplines completely different to my own.”

 She spent some time in Germany after graduating, first on a DAAD Summer Course Grant in Berlin and then later studying art history in the university town Heidelberg on a Cornell-Heidelberg Exchange fellowship. While in Germany, she also interned at an arts magazine called frieze d/e and in Heidelberg helped out a gallery where a lot of her work involved writing and translating.

Hannah is now back in the United States working at Artstor, a non-profit image library for the arts and sciences that is stationed in midtown Manhattan. As a library relations assistant for the organization, her work includes event coordination, license and invoice handling, marketing outreach, and research projects.

“I really think my job at CALS Communications underscored how much I enjoy writing,” Hannah said. “It’s a hobby I continue to pursue, and really hope to do more of it in the future.”

Dairy pro is new CCE associate director

He’s been a top researcher into the metabolism, immune function, and nutritional physiology of cows, the go-to guy for farmers and others throughout the state dairy industry, and mentor to countless animal science students and Cornell Dairy Fellows. Now, professor Thomas R. Overton is taking on a new role: associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Overton will step into the shoes of Christopher Watkins, who became director of CCE in January, upon the departure of Helene Dillard.

"We are delighted to have Tom join the CCE team as associate director for agriculture and food systems," Watkins said.I have had the pleasure of interacting with Tom over many years, and have greatly appreciated his commitment to extension and the agricultural industry in New York. I feel fortunate to have a faculty member of his caliber helping to enhance the impact of Cornell University throughout the state”

As director of Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY program, Overton has worked extensively with statewide and regional extension teams to enhance the dairy industry in New York. He teaches numerous courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and helps lead the Cornell Dairy Fellows program.

He was awarded the Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award by the American Dairy Science Association in 2006 and the ADSA Foundation Scholar Award in 2007. In 2013, he was named a Faculty Fellow of the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Overton is a native of northern New York who grew up primarily in Massachusetts. He earned a B.S. at Cornell University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. He returned to Cornell in 1998 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2013.

Where Are They Now: Matthew Linderman ‘12

In the Spring 2012 issue of periodiCALS, we featured portraits of 12 outstanding seniors. Student writer Andrea Alfano ‘14 has been checking in with these young alumni to see what they’ve been up to, and we will be posting some of their stories over the next several weeks as part of a special Where Are They Now feature.


Matthew Linderman’s dedication to gaining experience in economics and management as an undergraduate at Cornell has certainly paid off. Between founding the student-run business magazine Cornell Business Review and internships with organizations like Citigroup and Deloitte’s technology consulting practice, Matthew had a standout résumé which landed him a job at McKinsey & Company, one of the largest global management consulting firms.

“My program, applied economics and management, prepared me very well for this path,” he said. “It’s always helpful to have a strong foundation in accounting and finance as well as a general ability to think analytically and communicate meaningfully with others.”

In October of last year, Matthew’s work for McKinsey took him to Germany, where he worked with a pharmaceutical company on acquisition strategy. Because his work at the client site typically runs Monday through Thursday, he was able to tour Europe over his long weekends, making trips to Barcelona, Naples and London.

These days, Matthew works in Florida during the week. He is a part of a small team that is collaborating with many others from McKinsey to lead a transformation effort focusing on marketing and sales, operations, and general strategy for a travel, transportation and logistics client. This work frequently calls upon the expertise of colleagues stationed around the globe, and his work integrates this knowledge with that of the client teams on the ground

“The most incredible thing about being a consultant at one of the big firms is that the people you work with are absolutely amazing,” said Matthew.

On the weekends, Matthew flies back up to New York City, where he has reconnected with many friends that he met at Cornell. During his free time in the city, he enjoys playing soccer and bringing different groups of people together for brunch, dinner and various events - frequenting Smorgasbord in Williamsburg whenever he gets the opportunity.

Check out Matthew’s original senior portrait.

A host of golden daffodils has been greeting visitors to the Cornell campus. There are 50,000 flowers in bloom below the bell tower, as part of a unique horticultural art installation conceived by plant sciences student Justin Kondrat ’14. The plants spell out the word “ROOTED” in 10ft letters along the steep side of Libe Slope. The installation also glows red and white at night, thanks to solar-powered lights that have been woven between the flowers. There’s a great short video of planting day, as well as a time lapse and video of the April 17 ribbon cutting ceremony. Marvin Pritts, chair of the Department of Horticulture, also made a moving tribute to Justin’s work at that event, which we’ve shared in full below.

"As we stand here on one of the most beautiful spots on earth, let us appreciate the rich, fertile soil that we have in this place. Not the literal soil under our feet, but the metaphorical soil that is Cornell University and the surrounding area. Soil is composed of minerals, organic matter, microorganisms and water. The mineral elements of our metaphorical soil are the geologic features of this region with its hills, lakes, gorges and waterfalls. The organic matter is the lush vegetation and bountiful fruit, vegetables, dairy and wildlife we find here. The soil’s moisture represents the sweat of our forbearers who risked life and limb to sustain themselves in this place and build an institution that is the envy of the world. And no living soil is complete without its biological component. Our living Cornell soil contains thousands of faculty and staff who care deeply about the success of students, and work hard to make this place special. There is no better soil anywhere in the world.

It is into this soil that we invite each of you to establish your roots. Sink them deeply into the medium that is provided to you for the taking. Drink the moisture that is contained in the soil, suck up the nutrients, and grow and develop into a beautiful flower that brightens the world and brings joy and pleasure to others. Like these flowers, we each have different colors: black, white, brown; Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist; gay and straight; young and old; rich and poor. And just as this display will be all the more beautiful from its diversity of colors and shapes, so too will this place be richer from those of us who dare sink our roots into this soil that we call Cornell.

As we move through the coming weeks of exams, term papers, interviews and possibly graduation, look upon this intersection of art and science with the knowledge that whatever comes our way, we will not simply cope, but we will blossom. We are strong. We are rooted. We are Cornellians.”

How does your garden grow?

Tips on planting seeds with Missy BidwellNow is the time to get your garden growing, and starting your plants from seed at home is a great way to do so. View a two-minute video for tips from greenhouse manager Missy Bidwell to learn how. Or, join Missy at the Plantations plant production facility at 397 Forest Home Drive this Saturday for a special workshop, “Sow it and Grow it! Starting Seeds at Home.”

Whetting appetites for food science


It’s a cool lesson for high school students: how to create an ice cream flavor and commercialize it into a product for sale.

Alicia Orta-Ramirez, a lecturer in the Department of Food Science, has taken one of the most popular parts of her Science and Technology of Foods course to 17 students in Maryland as part of a partnership with TIC Gums, a Baltimore-based company that supplies ingredients used as texture in many foods, including ice cream.

The outreach effort is designed to entice teens into food science and encourage their entrepreneurial endeavors. “Ice Cream University” was hosted by TIC Gums at the TIC Gums Texture Innovation Center in White Marsh, MD.

Tim Andon, business development manager at TIC Gums and Cornell alumnus, led the six-week course. The first weeks of study focused on scientific principles such as emulsions, overrun calculation, ice crystal formation and statistical know-how for tracking and maintaining quality. The attention then turned to flavor selection and inclusions like nuts, chocolate or fruit, before finalizing the product packaging and marketing. 

The winning flavor: Campfire Delight, the creation of Sarah Ermatinger, Bel Air High School; Shayla Graves, Bel Air High School; Rebecca Jones, Bel Air High School; Monica Richmond, Eastern Technical High School; and Kevin Vickery, Havre de Grace High School.

“Our ice cream is a modern interpretation of a s’more. Since it is a classic treat, we think this is a good flavor for any demographic,” said a team representative.

Campfire Delight will be produced and sold in early May at Broom’s Bloom Dairy store located in Harford County.

“This is a great opportunity to expose students to the field of food science and possible career paths within the industry,” Andon said. “Students not only created the ice cream but they worked together to develop a winning marketing campaign.”

Orta-Ramirez hopes it will also attract students to Cornell when it comes time for them to apply to colleges. In that way, it’s already been a success - a student who participated in a similar program last year will be joining the Cornell freshman class next Fall.

"It is an excellent preview of team collaboration and group work at the college level since it was modeled after the 101 course," Orta-Ramirez added.

Orta-Ramirez is also helping to coach current students as they prepare to head to New Orleans in June and Kansas City, MO in July to compete at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists and the joint meeting of The American Dairy Science Association®, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Canadian Society of Animal Science. Five Cornell University Product Development Teams will be going to the finals:

Dairy Research Institute

Product: Cranberry Mookies

Co-leaders: Chris Aurand and Dongjun Zhao

IFTSA Disney Team

Product: Finding Dori

Team leader: Meagan McKeever

Team members:  Delia Hughes, Benjamin Majkszak, Jiani Shen, Adam Wolford

IFTSA Disney Team

Product: Donald Duck Quinoa Quackers

Co-leaders:  Camille Kapaun and Sam McDermott

Team members:  Haley Finnerty, Sophia Schertzer, Jake Smith

IFTSA Discovering Solutions for Developing Countries

Product: So-Sweet

Co-leaders:  Neaz Noor and Christine Akoh

IFTSA Mars Product Development Competition

Product: Popples

Co-leaders:  Kyle Clark, Shan Huang, and Rebecca Mangona

Team members:   Lee Cadesky, Rochelle De Loach, Michael Freund, Margaret Geary, Angira Jhaveri, Susana Jimenez, Charles Lee, Sara Piano, Rebecca Phillips, Jade Proulx

One of last year’s teams took top prize - for the second year in a row - for its product, Squashetti.

Even if you don’t clean the mushrooms, it’s probably fine.

— Kathie Hodge, associate professor of mycology, explains why you shouldn’t worry too much if you can’t scrub all the schmutz off store-bought mushrooms.

Where Are They Now: Janet Nwaukoni ‘12

In the Spring 2012 issue of periodiCALS, we featured portraits of 12 outstanding seniors. Student writer Andrea Alfano ‘14 has been checking in with these young alumni to see what they’ve been up to, and we will be posting some of their stories over the next several weeks as part of a special Where Are They Now feature.


Janet Nwaukoni cares about life. When she first came to Cornell, she thought the biology major would be a good fit for her, but she soon realized that her interests extended beyond the purely biological sense of life—she is passionate about improving the lives of others.

In her sophomore year, she switched her major to biology and society, and also started a student group called Project Lansing. The group visited the Lansing Residential Center weekly to engage, teach and inspire the 13- to 17-year-old girls who had been incarcerated there for committed petty crimes or misdemeanors.

For Janet, health care is a natural way for her to combine her passion for helping others with her interest in biology, and she will be applying to medical schools in the fall. She now works as a clinical research coordinator at the New York University Langone Medical Center, where her work includes coordinating visits for study subjects, as well as processing blood samples and taking vital signs. Janet is also working to create a Systemic Lupus Erythematosus database.

“I am absolutely in love with this job and believe that it is definitely preparing me for medical school,” Janet said.

While still at Cornell, Janet traveled to Tanzania, where she worked with a local NGO called KINSHAI Health Cluster, conducting research on health care access for the nomadic Maasai people. She has remained in close contact with KINSHAI, and continues to assist with fundraisers for the organization remotely.

This summer, Janet will be traveling to the Philippines with her church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, to lift the spirits of those affected by Hurricane Haiyan.

As much as Janet is enjoying her latest endeavors, she still misses Cornell and is glad that she took advantage of as many opportunities as she did during her time here.

“I definitely miss the support from Cornell,” she said. “When I had crazy ideas, there were people available to help me think through the logistics and make my visions come alive!”

Check out Janet’s original senior portrait.


SpringFest and Ag Day unite on the Ag Quad


Join Touchdown for an afternoon of food, fun and prizes as we celebrate SpringFest, Cornell’s annual sustainability festival! This year’s event has been scheduled to coincide with the biannual Ag Day celebration sponsored by Cornell Alpha Zeta.

  • When: Friday, April 25, 2014 from 12-4pm
  • Where: Ag Quad
  • Why: It’s fun, and we’ll be observing Earth Day, too!

If you’re a Cornell student, don’t forget to bring your full SpringFest punch card to redeem it for a prize. And if your punch card isn’t full, there will be plenty of opportunities to get your remaining punches on the Ag Quad!


Peaceful afternoon at #Cornell


Peaceful afternoon at #Cornell

Where Are They Now? Won Joon Seol

In the Spring 2012 issue of periodiCALS, we featured portraits of 12 outstanding seniors. Student writer Andrea Alfano ‘14 has been checking in with these young alumni to see what they’ve been up to, and we will be posting some of their stories over the next several weeks as part of a special Where Are They Now feature.


Beauty is not enough for Won Joon Seol ‘12—in his work, utility is important too. While studying landscape architecture at Cornell, Joon strived to create designs that were relevant in real-world contexts. In order to gain a greater understanding of what this means in practice, he participated in the student group DesignConnect, through which students work with local communities to design and plan projects.

Joon continues to approach projects with this mindset as he pursues dual masters degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard.

“I originally came for a landscape architecture degree, but various projects that I had done have influenced me greatly in terms of shaping my interest,” he said.

So far, his projects have focused on designing resilient landscapes that are responsive to environmental phenomena such as sea-level rise and flooding.

“I think landscape, especially within built environment occupied by humans, should have adaptive capacity in social, economical, and ecological aspects,” said Joon.

This past summer, Joon interned at the Miami architecture company Arquitectonica, where he participated in all levels of design for various landscape architecture, architecture, and interior design projects.

“I wanted to learn more about the finer grains of cities, which are mostly, I think, architectural fabrics,” he said.

Fascinated by the characteristics of cities, Joon takes advantage of his proximity to historic Boston. In his spare time, he enjoys driving into the city to explore its many interesting sites.

Check out Joon’s original portrait here.

Where Are They Now: Lee Carlaw ‘12

In the Spring 2012 issue of periodiCALS, we featured portraits of 12 outstanding seniors. Student writer Andrea Alfano ‘14 has been checking in with these young alumni to see what they’ve been up to, and we will be posting some of their stories over the next several weeks as part of a special Where Are They Now feature.


As a child, Lee Carlaw ‘12 found the awesome power of the sky above him fascinating. As a student at Cornell, Lee was amazed by the power of the tight-knit community within his earth and atmospheric sciences major to enable exciting opportunities for him to gain experience in his field. Now, as he works to complete his master’s degree in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, he is staggered by the rapidly increasing power of the computers he uses to analyze the atmosphere.

Weather enthusiasts like Lee sometimes construct weather stations in their own backyards. These weather stations, as well as those built on places like schools or stadiums across the country, can provide valuable information to meteorologists. Lee is working at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms to determine the effects of integrating data collected from these “non-conventional” surface observations with high-resolution analyses and forecasts.

This work is made possible by powerful computers that crunch billions of numbers on grid points describing the atmosphere. Lee is amazed that some programs are now able to process data on grid points that are a mere 25 meters apart—a tiny distance on the scale of the Earth’s atmosphere.

“This is an incredible feat considering that only 10 years ago, resolutions of 100 km were more commonplace,” Lee said.

Working in Oklahoma, Lee is frequently reminded of the incredible power of weather that got him hooked on meteorology in the first place. Oklahoma is in a unique position - rich, tropical moisture often moves northwest out of the Gulf of Mexico and clashes with cold, dry air that sweeps southwest across the plains.

“This volatile battle of air masses can result in some tremendous storms that drop softball-size hail, produce wind gusts in excess of 70 mph, and occasionally spawn tornadoes,” said Lee

Lee has chased a few of these violent storms during his time in Oklahoma, and has seen the damage they can cause up close. Last year, one of his colleagues had her own home destroyed by an EF-5 tornado. For Lee, tragic events like this remind him of the importance of his work.

“This is added motivation to continue the work we’re doing here to one day get it to the point that no one dies during events like this,” he said.

Check out Lee’s original portrait.