Greetings from Cornell Food Science!
The 2013-2014 academic year was exciting, productive, and memorable for our Food Science Program. On May 25, we held our Department Commencement Ceremony in the new Stocking Hall, taking advantage of our beautiful new building to give our graduates a proper send-off with more than 400 people attending. Thirty eight students were awarded B.S. degrees in food science, an all-time record high. In addition, we honored 11 MPS, 2 MS, and 9 PhD graduates. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of our talented, dedicated, and enthusiastic graduates. We are confident that they will go on to make a real difference in providing a safer, more nutritious, and more accessible food supply for everyone.
July 1 of 2014 marks the first anniversary of our move into the new Stocking Hall. It is wonderful to finally have a facility that matches the excellence of our teaching, research, and extension programs. "Stocking West", the 4 story building on Wing Drive, is currently undergoing a complete renovation. It will house 3 new classrooms; a sensory evaluation center; a food chemistry teaching lab; a food microbiology teaching lab; a wine library; seminar rooms; and offices for graduate students, post docs, extension faculty and staff, and administrative faculty and staff. They even put on a new roof so we no longer have to worry every time it rains! Walkways on 3 levels will connect Stocking West to the new building. We are looking forward to moving into Stocking West in April or May of 2015. You are all invited to come back for the ribbon cutting, time and date to be announced later.
My term as Department Chair ends on June 30, 2014. It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as your chair for the past 4 years. Working with our wonderful students, staff, faculty, and alumni has made my time as chair truly enjoyable and very rewarding. I want to thank all of you for your support, understanding, and patience. You are the reason Cornell Food Science ranks among the very best programs in the nation and the world.
I will be taking an administrative leave for a year and then coming back to begin a "phased retirement". I plan to work ½ time and focus primarily on teaching. My wife Christine and I will be spending the fall semester at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden where Christine has an appointment as a visiting professor. I will be working on writing some papers.
I want to take this opportunity to announce that Professor Olga Padilla-Zakour will take over as chair of the Department on July 1, 2014. Olga is an outstanding leader, scientist, mentor, and extension educator. She is nationally and internationally known for her work on the safety and stability of plant-based foods and her leadership of Cornell's renowned Food Venture Center. I have every confidence that she will be a wonderful leader of our Department as we continue to pursue our mission of creating and applying knowledge for the purpose of ensuring a safe, appealing, and nutritious food supply for all, today and in the future.
With best wishes, Dennis