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Nov. 1, 2007, meeting

Mary George Opperman, vice president for human resources, discussed the challenges and opportunities of the next 10-15 years, when large numbers of staff and faculty are expected to retire. She also touched on efforts to improve people's satisfaction in working here.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Diamonds.

Oct. 4 , 2007, meeting

Tommy Bruce, vice president for University Communications, opened the floor to our questions, many of which centered around the university-wide audit of communications functions.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Cornell Catering.

Sept. 6, 2007, meeting

Robert Barker, director of University Photography, showed a sampling of photos -- highlighting the wide-ranging talent of the photographers -- and wove in stories of what it really took to get photos that only appear simple.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Aladdin's.

Aug. 2, 2007, meeting

Elissa Wolfson, communications coordinator and editor at the Cornell Plantations, gave us a look at Cornelll Plantations' publications, then led us through the botanical collections -- including the Robison Herb Garden, Young Flower Garden, Mullestein Winter Garden, Comstock Knoll, Peony and Perennial Garden -- sharing tidbits about the cultural and natural history of plants.

This was a bring-you-own-lunch event.

June 7, 2007, meeting

Mina Amundsen, the University Planner, discussed Cornell's Comprehensive Master Plan, reviewing the emerging campus planning framework, possible development over the next ten to sixty years, and where Cornell is in the overall planning
process.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Aladdin's.

May 10, 2007, meeting

Laura L. Toy, associate vice president for Alumni Affairs and Development, gave us an inside look at the "Far Above" campaign.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Word of Mouth.

Mar. 1, 2007, meeting

Chet Warzynski, director of organizational development services in the Office of Human Resources and a lecturer in the Department of Human Resources Studies at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, discussed various ways we can look at our roles, responsibilities, attitudes and values at work, and identify successful and unsuccessful ways of coping with work life issues.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Corner Store Catering.

Feb. 1 , 2007, meeting

Tracy Vosburgh, the director of multimedia content and development for Cornell's Office of University Communications, showed us how Cornell is using video and TV in new ways to promote Cornell, share our discoveries, and make new connections with the world.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Frugal Catering.

Jan. 11, 2007, meeting

Paul Miller, senior director for communications and marketing at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, gave us a engaging bird's eye view of the Lab's communications challenges, resources, and plans for the future.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Pizza Hut.

Dec. 7, 2006, meeting

Karen Brown, director for Campus Life Marketing and Communications, gave us insight into the challenges and fun of communicating effectively with students.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Aladdin's.

Nov. 2, 2006, meeting

Katherine Reagan, curator of rare books for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, led us on a fascinating tour of the library exhibit "Nevermore: The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane" (see it online).

Catering for the meeting was provided by Cornell Catering.

Oct. 5, 2006, meeting

Peggy Haine, former associate director of Cornell University's Office of Communication Strategies and director of the Cornell Summer College Programs for High School Students, presented a lively and funny (of course) show on Cornell's stories of romance.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Word of Mouth Catering.

Sept. 14, 2006, meeting

Tommy Bruce, Vice President for University Communications, highlighed some recent communications successes, and gave us a glimpse at upcoming communications initiatives for the fall.

Catering for the meeting was provided by New Delhi Diamonds.

Aug. 3, 2006, meeting

Peter Trowbridge, a professor in and former chair of Cornell's Department of Landscape Architecture, took us on a fascinating tour comparing what gardens used to look like, if they even existed, with the gardens as they are today, at our Aug. 3, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. Several of the sites were designed by students as part of the two-semester landscape architecture course "Creating the Urban Eden." The newest project is along the western wall of Malott Hall and is home to many plants relocated from gardens that were in the path of the Life Science contruction.

This meeting was a brown-bag affair, with an unexpected bonus of free ice cream on the Ag Quad!

June 1, 2006, meeting

Deirdre Nissenson Kurzweil, market research manager in the Office of Publications and Marketing, led us through some ways to figure out what our audiences need from our publications and whether our publications are meeting those needs, at our June 1, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. She outlined how to choose the methodology (web survey, telephone survey, focus groups, etc.) and make sure you're talking to the right people (and enough of them), how to ask the right questions, and how to correctly interpret and report the responses. Deidre also pointed out typical consequences of making the wrong choices in any of those areas.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Corner Store Catering.

May 4, 2006, meeting

Laurie Johnson, a Shoals Marine Lab staff member, spun a fascinating tale about the history of Appledore Island and its renowned garden at our May 4, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. The garden's creator, Celia Thaxter, grew up on the Isles of Shoals, off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, in the 19th century. Her father moved the family to lonely and tiny White Island when Celia was 4 years old. They later moved to the biggest island, Appledore, where her father built a resort hotel frequented by some of America's most celebrated artists, writers, and musicians.

In her day, Celia was noted for her poetry and prose, which was regularly published in The Atlantic. Today, she is best remembered for the flower garden she started at age 5, which expanded over the years into a 50x15-foot shower of color and fragrance. Using the details in Celia's book, An Island Garden, and other sources, the Shoals Marine Lab and its volunteers reconstructed the garden in 1977. Learn more about Celia's remarkable life and garden.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Cornell Dining.

Apr. 6, 2006, meeting

Gary Stewart, a deputy director in Cornell's Office of Government and Community Relations, described a variety of ways he promotes accessibility to Cornell at our Apr. 6, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. Among them were connecting community members to Cornell experts or to a particular resource Cornell has; involving the university's neighbors in its plans for construction; helping community groups find volunteers; and serving on several local nonprofit boards. We also heard about an adventurous year Gary spent in Moscow shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, where he helped launch the Moscow Times.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Aladdin's.

Mar. 2, 2006, meeting

Elizabeth "Betsy" Grigoriu, Susan Lang, and Stevi Mittman gave us three different, inspiring, realistic, and funny perspectives on what it takes to publish a book at our Mar. 2, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. Braving one of this winter's only storms to attend was well worth it.

  • Betsy is just starting on her first book. She spoke about how her interest developed in the stories she will be capturing about the people, things, and events that characterize small airports in upstate New York.
  • Susan shared the stories behind her 13 nonfiction books and some of the many articles she has written, and gave some insight into how to get started in nonfiction. (Hint: Accept assignments even if the topics aren't what you want to write about and the pay is low. That's your stepping stone to the good stuff.) You can download her book proposal sample from the Notes page.
  • Stevi started by saying everything Susan said about nonfiction was completely different for fiction, then led us through her journey from stained-glass artist to romance novelist, punctuated with vignettes of her editors and agents.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Word of Mouth.

Feb. 2, 2006, meeting

Joe Zappala, director of marketing and communications for Alumni Affairs and Development, gave us insight into the university's upcoming capital campaign at our Feb. 2, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. Joe spoke about how the campaign's case statement and messaging are being shaped, and outlined plans for the marketing communications that will be used to develop broad-based campaign awareness and build interest in supporting the campaign among alumni and donors. You can download his PowerPoint presentation from the Notes page.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Corner Store Catering.

Jan. 5, 2006, meeting

Robert Barker, director of University Photography, presented the new Cornell image library web site (registration required) at our Jan. 5, 2006, communicators@cornell meeting. Over 10,000 images were in the site at that time. The goal is to have the most recent 5 years of production and enterprise images available for browsing and ordering. University Photography seeks feedback on ways to improve the usability of this database.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Frugal Catering.

Dec. 1, 2005, meeting

The dynamic duo of Martha Fitzgerald and Lisa Cameron-Norfleet discussed how to write content for and design more effective web pages at our Dec. 1, 2005, communicators@cornell meeting. You can download their PowerPoint presentations from the Notes page.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Word of Mouth.

Nov. 3, 2005, meeting

Being a public information officer can be tough job, but imagine doing it for the American Red Cross while in the midst of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. At our Nov. 3, 2005, communicators@cornell meeting, local resident Darla Van Ostrand gave us a behind-the-scenes look at that effort, as well as what it's like to go on assignment in general.

The Blood Services Director for the Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Darla spent two weeks at shelters and service centers in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, helping to get the word out, through local and national media, about Red Cross relief efforts. She worked closely with media crews to arrange interviews and collect evacuee stories, as well as to develop articles for the media and the Red Cross web site. Darla also assumed various volunteer roles in order to assist evacuees. Darla noted that the American Red Cross can always use more volunteers who are communications professionals (hint, hint).

Catering for the meeting was provided by Corner Store Catering.

Oct. 6, 2005, meeting

The next time you have trouble with printers, remember James Joyce's experiences! We learned more about that, and all things Joycean, during our Oct. 6, 2005, communicators@cornell meeting, which featured a tour of the exhibit "From Dublin to Ithaca: Cornell’s James Joyce Collection," led by Margaret Nichols, Head of Cataloging, Metadata, and Collection Management for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The exhibit, which closed Oct. 12, celebrated Cornell University Library’s spectacular collection of letters, manuscripts and books documenting the life and work of James Joyce.

Catering for the meeting was provided by Cornell Catering.