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Fresh wall of sustainability

To show the potential of design to respond to a burgeoning global population and dwindling arable land, Cornell students have created a thought-provoking solution: growing mint, chives and basil at a bar.

sustainability wall at Stella's restaurant

Photo: Carly Dean See larger image

It's not your father's wine rack. Using local and recycled materials, the students have created the Hydroponic Bottle Wall at Stella's restaurant in Collegetown. They mounted 24 wine bottles on a double-sided wall and fitted it with an exposed hydroponic growing system. The red wine bottles, specially cut and cantilevering from the wall, serve as growing containers; clay pellets replace soil.

detail view of sustainability wall at Stella's restaurant

Photo: Carly Dean See larger image

Grow lights softly illuminate the dimly lit bar. The students generated the wall's wavy surface pattern with 3-D software and had it made at the Rand Hall Fabrication Shop.

Cornell fourth-year architecture students Peter Gudonis, Carly Dean and Nicholas Cassab-Gheta designed and installed the wall. Gudonis and Dean are members of Cornell Sustainable Design.

Dean says the wall is a "microcosm of the growing trend of urban agriculture ... incorporating green space, green roofs, growing facades, hydroponics, aeroponics and other productive technologies in buildings."

Fredrik Logevall

Historian Fredrik Logevall See larger image

Logevall wins Pulitzer Prize

Historian Fredrik Logevall, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, won the Pulitzer Prize April 15 for his acclaimed 2012 book, "Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam."

"As an author, you dream about something like this, but you don't dare think it will really happen to you," Logevall said. "I feel deeply honored to win this prize for 'Embers of War,' and I'll never forget getting the news from two colleagues at the Einaudi Center who heard before I did."

The Pulitzer citation calls the book, which begins in 1919 and ends in 1959, "a balanced, deeply researched history of how, as French colonial rule faltered, a succession of American leaders moved step by step down a road toward full-blown war."

Logevall teaches courses covering the history of U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy, the international history of the Cold War and the Vietnam War. On July 1 he will become Cornell's vice provost for international relations.

Gretchen Ritter '83 named dean of A&S

Gretchen Ritter '83, professor of government and vice provost for undergraduate education and faculty governance at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named the 21st dean of Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences.

Gretchen Ritter

Photo: Marsha Miller/University of Texas See larger image

A third-generation Cornellian, Ritter is the college's first woman and first externally hired dean. Her Cornell appointment is effective Aug. 1.

"As someone who grew up in upstate New York and got a great education at Cornell, coming back to Arts and Sciences will be something of a homecoming for me," said Ritter. "I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of this great college. Cornell is a special place – as I know from my years of having been a student there."

Ritter has a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell and a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been on the UT-Austin faculty since 1992.

Ritter will succeed Peter Lepage, the Harold Tanner Dean of the college since 2003, who is returning to teaching and research.

Haym Hirsh to helm CIS

Haym Hirsh, professor and chair of computer science at Rutgers University, has been named Cornell's dean of Computing and Information Science (CIS), effective July 1.

Haym Hirsh

Photo: Provided See larger image

Hirsh was selected following an extensive national search, and he succeeds Dan Huttenlocher, who was appointed vice provost and founding dean of the Cornell NYC Tech campus in February 2012. Hirsh will head Cornell's college-level unit that includes three departments and more than 80 affiliated faculty, following the interim leadership of Eva Tardos, professor and senior associate dean of CIS.

Hirsh is an expert in artificial intelligence and data mining, with a focus on questions that integrally involve both people and computers.

Hirsh said he was particularly drawn to Cornell's Faculty of Computing and Information Science with its three departments – computer science, information science and statistical science – and engagement with all of Cornell's colleges, representing an organizational model that "reflects an appreciation of how computing is transforming all areas of scholarship and education."

Hirsh received a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science from Stanford University in 1989 and 1985, respectively, and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1983.

Kyle Dake

Photo: Lindsey Mechalik See larger image

Kyle Dake makes history

Cornell wrestling's Kyle Dake '13 made history March 23 when he became the first wrestler to ever win four NCAA titles at four different weight classes. Dake defeated Penn State's David Taylor by a score of 5-4 in the finals to secure the win. Dake was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Cornell finished the tournament in fifth place in the team standings. After the win, Dake was the lead story on ESPN's Sportscenter. Dake is just the third wrestler to ever win four NCAA titles.

Dake finishes his amazing Cornell career with a 137-4 record.

Red Ideas Festival

The second annual Red Ideas Festival, sponsored by CU Tonight and the Bezos Family Foundation, was held in the Clark Atrium in the Physical Sciences Building in early April. CU Tonight is a funding board that supports student-organized, late-night, nonalcoholic programming for social events on campus.

Red Ideas Festival

Photo: Jeremy Feinstein See larger image

At the Red Ideas Festival, contestants present proposals that aim to better either the Cornell community or the global community. The audience votes to decide who wins three prizes totaling $2,000.

The winners this year were:

  • $1,000: Giselle Malina '13, a project leader in Haiti, for implementation of mirror therapy for amputees.
  • $600: Jeremy Blum '12, M.Eng. '13, the creator of Sunn, a company that produces LED light bulbs that adjust brightness based on the light outside.
  • $400: Emma Court '15 and Anisha Chopra '13, co-creators of the ResCUer app for iPhone and Android of emergency numbers and resources at Cornell.

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