Dr. Cynthia Cuffie

Dr. Cynthia Cuffie ’74 elected Cornell Trustee

Two new alumni representatives were recently elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Among those includes Cynthia Cuffie ’74 who begins her four-year term on July 1.

After obtaining her B.A. in Nutritional Sciences from Human Ecology, Cuffie completed medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now within Rutgers), followed by an endocrinology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

During her 26-year career, Cuffie led drug development within the pharmaceutical industry to treat conditions from hypercholesterolemia to brain tumors. She currently presides over Aspire Educational Associates Corporation, an organization she founded to offer career and leadership development.

“The College was very warm and the professors were invested in our success,” she recalled. “That type of environment was perfect for me to thrive.”

According to Cuffie, “As a world-class institution founded on the principles of “any study … any person,” Cornell has the opportunity to lead in translating cutting-edge research into practical applications that can be used to address societal issues.”

A first-generation college graduate, she has invested time and resources to help similar Cornell students navigate the daunting combination of academic, financial and social situations. The Cuffie Funds support the academic excellence and professional development of underrepresented minority undergraduate students in the College of Human Ecology.

Over the years, she has been extensively dedicated to alumni service at Cornell, including the Human Ecology Dean’s Advisory Council from 2008 to 2011, where she served as Chair of Diversity Initiatives from 2009 to 2011, and the President’s Council of Cornell Women between 2012 and 2018, among many other roles.

“Having the privilege to be a steward of the Cornell experience for the next generation [is] an honor,” she said.