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Fellows program provides students a peek at careers

  Campus Digest  

Parker Reynolds, a junior theater and business major from Leawood, Kan., helped cast the summer season for a nonprofit theater in Creede, Colo. Adam Majeski ’05, a geology major from Prophetstown, Ill., planned a new section of a national scenic trail in Wisconsin. And Michelle Knowland, a senior history and politics major from Rochester, Minn., worked in the Governor’s Office in Minnesota.

The three had internships through the new Cornell Fellows Program, which introduces students to careers under the guidance of distinguished alumni and seasoned professionals. Seven off-campus internships will have been completed by the end of the summer. The program was suggested by trustee Dean Riesen ’79.

Riesen sponsored Knowland’s stint in the Minnesota Governor’s Office. She researched other states’ developments on myriad topics including energy, agriculture, education, health care, and transportation. The summaries she wrote for the administration’s Daily Digest could spark innovative ideas in Minnesota.

“This is the very front end of policy making and is taken quite seriously by the governor, who reads the Digest religiously,” she said. “It’s interesting to get on the inside of politics and see what’s really going on.”

Reynolds spent three weeks with the Creede Repertory Theatre, recognized by USA Today as one of the nation’s top 10 regional theaters. Reynolds traveled with CRT’s artistic director to audition hundreds of actors and technicians for the company’s 40th summer season. He also helped the development director pursue donations and grants. His internship was sponsored by Norma Thomas Small, honorary alumna.

“I can now see how every person in the theater fits together to make it all work. It has made several strong impressions on me about how a person should pursue a life in theater,” says Reynolds. At the end of his winter internship, he was hired as an actor for the summer season.

Majeski’s duties included restoring a prairie, researching the geologic and cultural history of an area, and manning a chain saw and an ATV in his assignment to develop a 1.25-mile section of the Ice Age Trail on Dane County, Wis., property owned by Lee Swanson ’60, who sponsored the fellowship. Majeski was responsible for writing the text and gathering pictures for signs along the trail, plus preliminary trail routing and clearing.

“I’ve had the chance to act as a leader and planner, a hired hand, and a product designer and manager,” Majeski said. He’ll attend Utah State in the fall, working toward a degree in geomorphology and perhaps a career in land use management and planning.

Cornell senior Michelle Knowland made frequent trips to the State Capitol in St. Paul during her work in the Minnesota Governor's Office.


Parker Reynolds

Adam Majeski '05 found an ATV was a useful way to travel while helping to build a section of the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

ACM's senior dean Moore retires

The first commencement address Dennis Damon Moore gave came at the end of his 37-year career in academia. He told Cornell’s Class of 2005 to value their family and friends, and their education, and to “be true to yourself.”

“Don’t be afraid. Fall back on yourself and everything that’s made you who you are,” he paraphrased later.

Moore retired after 18 years as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, the second longest-serving dean in Cornell history and the senior dean of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Among the notable changes on campus during his tenure, the representation of women on the faculty increased from 20 percent to 40 percent, Cole Library matured from a collection of books to a learning and technology center, and women’s studies and ethnic studies became majors. Over half of Cornell’s current faculty was hired by Moore.

Moore came to Cornell from Beloit College, where he was a professor of English and for two years also associate dean. “I was interested in this position because I saw that institutions like Cornell College were based in a wonderful mission on a manageable scale: It was all about teaching and learning, thinking and writing, art in the making and science in the doing, and knowledge becoming understanding in the end,” he said.

In the post-dean era, he’ll pursue his beloved hobby, photography, and possibly mount an exhibition of photos of Mount Vernon’s Nature Park at Cole Library—plus continue to write. In the mid-’90s he started a journal that now boasts more than 2 million words in 20 volumes. Some of those thoughts address his admiration for President Les Garner.

“When we look back at the history of Cornell College, in this era it will be clear that Les was the president who brought Cornell into the ranks of colleges to be reckoned with,” Moore said.

Dennis Damon Moore (center), dean of the college, received emeritus status at commencement in May. He is joined on stage by President Les Garner (left) and James Brown, special assistant to the president.


Heard on campus

“I was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, to the wrong religion...and I paid a price for it. ...I never knew anybody could be so mean.”

Houston businessman and Holocaust survivor Bill Morgan, at Cornell’s Holocaust Remembrance Lecture in April.

“You’d fall asleep at night and hear gunfire somewhere in the background. That was sort of your lullaby.”

Lee Bowie ’61, an expert on Middle East history who spent 10 months working with the Baghdad City Council to build a democracy after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He spoke in April on “Growing Democracy in Iraq.”

“The school of democracy is a long school; the school of suffering shortens the time you need for that.”

Michael Novak, conservative theologian and author who spoke on “Islam and Democracy” for the Earhart-Cornell Lecture in February.


Alums' daughter an Indy 500 pioneer

The first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 got her adventurous spirit from her parents, W. Lain Guthrie ’34, a pilot, and Jean Midkiff Guthrie ’34, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries who raised her in Brazil.

In her recent autobiography, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle, the racecar driver writes, “For my fourth birthday, they gave me a bicycle. It tickled my father greatly that I learned to ride it—no training wheels—within two hours.”

Her father, who died in 1997, arrived at Cornell with one of the cows from the family farm near Bloomfield, Iowa, and sold the milk to cover his college expenses. He was managing the Iowa City airport when Janet was born in 1938. In a few years the family moved to Miami.

In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500, just six years after women were finally allowed in the Speedway’s pits, garages, and press box. She raced in three Indy 500s, earning her best finish (ninth) in 1978 and paving the way for three other women who have raced at the Indy 500, including fourth-place finisher Danica Patrick this year.

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