Leadership Transitions in 2015

Three leadership transitions are bringing new perspectives and experiences to the college’s associate deans. This team reports to and works closely with the dean.

Susan Brown
Susan Brown

Susan Brown became an associate dean in CALS and the Goichman Family Director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) on Jan. 2. Brown had served as associate director of NYSAES since July 1, 2013. Among her responsibilities was stewarding the NYSAES strategic planning process, in concert with a faculty committee and community input. As a faculty member in the section of horticulture in the School of Integrative Plant Science, she runs one of the largest tree fruit breeding programs in the world. Her professional achievements have been recognized with a 2013 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service and a 2012 CALS Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award. The New York State Senate named her a Woman of Distinction in 2014.

“Implementation of our new strategic plan is my highest priority, as it provides new ideas, including efforts to better inform consumers and the industry about what we do at NYSAES,” Brown said. “Another priority is growing our funding sources and bringing greater visibility to our campus.”

Beth Ahner
Beth Aher
Photo: Lindsay France

The other two transitions are related: On July 1, Beth Ahner will become a senior associate dean in CALS, as current senior associate dean Jan Nyrop will become director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) on Sept. 1.

Ahner is currently chair of the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Her research explores basic science in pursuit of better engineering solutions. In particular, she seeks to understand how organisms adapt to the stress of trace metals in the environment and in turn, how they influence the form of metals in the environment. In her courses, she teaches students to recognize the complexity of environmental problems and to implement efficient and environmentally sound solutions to them.

“I look forward to the challenges of a new role in CALS,” Ahner said. “It will be rewarding to work closely with the department chairs and leadership team to support the amazing work that goes on throughout the college.”

Jan Nyrop
Jan Nyrop
​Photo: Robyn Wishna

Nyrop has served as a CALS senior associate dean since January 2007. In that role, his responsibilities have included faculty affairs, department and program reviews, sponsored research oversight, management of core research funds, and academic aspects of facilities and human resources. His academic appointment is in the Department of Entomology with responsibilities for research, teaching and extension. The goal of his research is to develop concepts and tools that support biologically based management of arthropod pests.

“CUAES plays a crucial role in providing facilities and resources that enable faculty and staff to contribute towards nutritional security, food safety and sustainable development of communities in New York, the region and the world,” Nyrop noted. “I look forward to working with faculty and staff to identify how this important mission should continue to evolve in response to a rapidly changing world.”