DNS SUNY Chancellor's Award Winners

Two members of the Division of Nutritional Sciences have won State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence during the 2018-2019 academic year. The statewide award recognizes faculty and staff at SUNY colleges who have consistently demonstrated professional achievements that sustain intellectual vibrancy, advance the boundaries of knowledge, provide the highest quality of instruction, and serve the public good.

This year’s winners from DNS are Associate Professor Saurabh Mehta and Francoise Vermeylen, Director, Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit (CSCU)

saurabh mehta and rachel dunifon

Saurabh Mehta, ScD, MBBS
Dr. Mehta, awarded for Scholarship and Creative Activities, focuses his work as a physician and epidemiologist with expertise in infectious disease, nutrition, maternal and child health, and diagnostics, centering on the interplay between nutrition and infection, and his interdisciplinary approach includes the development of field-friendly methods to assess both nutrition and infection.

Dr. Mehta’s cutting-edge program leverages modern technological approaches leading to research that is elucidating how nutritional status can be modified to improve outcomes for mothers during pregnancy and for their infants in the period of early childhood. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator on two large randomized trials to determine the effect of delivering micronutrients through biofortified crops on nutrition and immune function in infants in India.

Rachel Dunifon
Interim Dean, College of Human Ecology
francoise vermeylen and rachel dunifon

Francoise Vermeylen, PhD, Director, Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit (CSCU)
Since its inception in 2006, Vermeylen had lead the Human Ecology based CSCU, a professional service group that helps scholars across the University optimally employ statistical methods in their research. The unit provides statistical expertise through consulting services, instruction, workshops, training, instructional materials and contract services.

She is a dedicated leader, innovator, colleague and steward of the institution. Through her leadership the unit has increased annual consulting hours from 1,409 in 2006 to 3,356 in 2018, a 239% increase.

Rachel Dunifon
Interim Dean, College of Human Ecology

State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence during the 2017-2018 academic year:
Pat Cassano, PhD, Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences

Professor Cassano, interim director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the time of this award, won the Award for Faculty Service. In various leadership roles, she has spearheaded the development of the division’s new strategic plan, worked to develop a new division web site, and is working to develop a portfolio of online degree and certificate nutrition programs. She teaches courses in epidemiology and nutrition policy, including one course that is offered at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Cassano is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on nutrition and genetics, and specifically the nutritional foundations for respiratory diseases. She directs the annual University Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making, a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Cochrane Collaboration and Cornell.