2006-2007 Distinguished Alumni Visitors

Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas '80
Associate Professor of Sociology
Kenyon College

A sociology major at Cornell, Dr. Thomas went on to receive M.A. degree in social services administration at the University of Chicago and Ph.D. degree in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research areas encompass issues about gender, inequalities, health and illness, family, social movements, and women sociologists.

During her visit to campus, Dr. Thomas presented her scholarly insights into social policy and maternity care in Sweden in her talk, ""What if social policy were based on equity?: The case of maternity care in Sweden." She also offered guest lectures in Medical Anthropology, Introduction to Women's Studies, and in Sociological Perspectives: Structure, Diversity, and Interaction. Receptions with students and faculty in the sociology as well as in women's studies also allowed Dr. Thomas to become engaged with the Cornell community.

Visit date: March 21-23, 2007

Steve Grummon

Stephen Grummon '69
Director of the Office of Near East and South Asian Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Stephen Grummon is the director of the Office of Near East and South Asian Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence Research at the U.S. Department of State. A history major at Cornell, Grummon went on to serve in the Peace Corps in Iran and then pursued his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Grummon has also served as the director for Persian Gulf/South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, and has worked in the Office of Counter Terrorism.

While on campus, Dr. Grummon delivered a public lecture entitled "Foreign Policy and Analysis: Career Reflections and the Cornell Linkage." He also visited two courses in the politics department--an introductory class and U.S. Foreign Policy. As part of his visit Dr. Grummon met with current members of his undergraduate fraternity, Alpha Chi Epsilon, and was the featured guest at a reception on career opportunities in the intelligence community and at the U.S. Department of State.

Visit date: March 20-21, 2007

 chris

Ralph "Chris" Christoffersen '59
Morgenthaler Ventures

Ralph “Chris” Christoffersen is general partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, a venture capital firm in Boulder, Colorado. After receiving a Cornell degree in chemistry and mathematics in 1959, he completed a doctorate in physical chemistry at Indiana University and served on the chemistry faculty and in academic affairs administration at the University of Kansas. He was president of Colorado State for two years before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1983, first as a senior researcher at The Upjohn Co. and SmithKline Beecham, and then as CEO of Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. He moved to Morgenthaler Ventures in 2001.

Dr. Christoffersen spent two days on campus visiting with students in Economics and Business, Chemistry, and Biology. His public lecture, "Biotechnolgy as the Next U.S. Economic Driver," offered insight into the rapid growth of the biotechnology industry and its impact on the global economy.

Visit date: November 8-10, 2006