DNS Students win the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) Academic Excellence Award

The Division of Nutritional Sciences is excited to announce that three of our students have won the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) Academic Excellence Award. This award is a solely GPA-based award pulled from the following criteria: 1) December 2020, May 2021, and August 2021 graduates and expected graduates and 2) cumulative GPA from the last three semesters. This year’s winners are Jaskiran (Kiran) Dhinsa (CALS/GPHS), Gabrielle (Elle) Orie (CALS/NS), and Adhirai Muthukumar (CALS/NS). We are proud of all our students and excited to see these three recognized for their hard work. Congratulations!

left to right kiran dhinsa elle orie and  adhirai muthukumar

Learn about these three remarkable students

Jaskiran (Kiran) Dhinsa, '20

My name is Kiran Dhinsa. I graduated in December 2020 and am working in the Emergency Department at Cayuga Medical Center right now. I grew up in a town called Bethlehem outside of Albany, NY. While an undergraduate, my goals were to take coursework and be involved in extra-curriculars that I was truly passionate about. I think I was able to accomplish these goals, as I pursued an Infectious Disease minor to explore my interests in microbiology and was involved in organizations like GlobeMed to combine my interests of social justice and global/public health. I chose Global & Public Health Sciences (GPHS) at Cornell because the major gave me a new perspective on treating health issues. I realized how health is connected to social justice and other factors outside of the hospital, which I hope to apply in a future career in medicine. In my free time, I like to be outside (running/hiking/playing soccer) and bake!




Gabrielle (Elle) Orie, '21

My name is Elle Orie. I'm from Buffalo, NY - home to the best buffalo chicken wings and proud member of the Bills mafia! For the past two years, I've been doing research with Dr. Laura Barré. Currently, I'm assisting with the development of a Patient Activated Learning System (PALS), a joint effort between Weill Cornell Medicine and the DNS which delivers information on health, medicine, and disease. Last year, I was also working with Dr. Jere Haas and Dr. Joanna Fiddler where I explored the role of iron metabolism on physical performance while validating an IronScan device. My passion for nutrition stems from my love for nourishing food that is sourced locally, seasonally, and sustainably. I'm hoping to use my education in nutrition to heal mind, body, and soul. When I'm not in the kitchen experimenting, you can find me outside running on the trails and roads. I'm a captain for the Women's Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Outdoor Track & Field teams  and compete in long distances. I'm also a member of the Cornell Catholic Community and Golden Key Honor Society. At home, I'm a volunteer for People Against Trafficking Humans (P.A.T.H.) of WNY, an organization with a mission to end human exploitation through education, prevention, and restorative services. 



Adhirai (Adhi) Muthukumar, 21

My name is Adhi Muthukumar. I grew up in NYC. I switched into nutrition during my sophomore year at Cornell. I came into Cornell as a pre-med like many of my peers, but did not have the intrinsic motivation just yet. After a huge health transformation right before sophomore year, I really started understanding the power of nutrition, and I wanted to learn more. As I kept learning, I started to appreciate the preventive properties and the role it has in chronic disease. This epiphany caused me to finally find my own niche within the huge world of healthcare and medicine. I want a strong foundation in nutrition because I truly believe that it is the basis of health, and I want to focus on preventive care through nutrition intervention in my pediatric practice in the future. I switched into the major, and I'm so grateful that I did. Nutrition at the school has really changed my life. My professors and classes have been so memorable and meaningful, and the department here is so supportive and passionate about what they do. I found myself continuously wanting to learn even outside of the classroom, and I really enjoy all facets of nutrition - the metabolism and biochemical components, as well as public health and psychological aspects. In my free time (and pretty much always) I love listening to music! I also sing and play the flute, and I love creative writing as well.

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