Skip to main content

Cornell Heroes

Spotlighting Cornell teams who serve the Cornell community as unsung heroes everyday!

graphic of bright red flyer

Cornell Heroes Recognition Campaign. Recognizing and celebrating teams for exceptional commitment and work well done! Sponsored by the Division of the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (VPCHRO) Recognition Team. Working at Cornell: Pursue Excellence, Discover Success.

What is the Cornell Heroes Recognition Campaign?

Great work happens everywhere, everyday at Cornell that often goes unnoticed during daily operations. Cornell Heroes is an annual campaign designed spotlight working groups or teams outside a formal awards process. Team recommendations are recommended by HR partners from colleges and units as well as suggested by any colleague across campus.

Groups being recognized will be celebrated with a customized event, a small gift on behalf of central HR, exciting raffle prizes, and promotion of their achievements to the Cornell community. 

Read the "Meet Our 2023 Cornell Heroes" article in Around Cornell

Recommend a team! Email our recognition team at, and tell us about your group's exceptional work and how it impacts the Cornell community!

Meet the Cornell Heroes of 2023!


College of Veterinary Medicine Facilities Team

Your team is being recognized for your ongoing and creative problem solutions to space planning. For day-to-day activities that keep safety and scholarly activities at the highest priority. For your remarkable efforts made during the fire at the Vet Research Center in July and for your quick and decisive action in early January when a generator failed to ensure the safety of the community. Finally – the time and dedication you have given to the nights, early mornings, and weekends to address the myriad of unforeseen immediate needs.

CVM Facilities Team posing with their Cornell Heroes tshirts
CVM Facilities Team posing with their Cornell Heroes t-shirts

Alumni Affairs and Development - Office of Prospect Development Team

Your team is being recognized for working behind the scenes to support frontline fundraising, strategic research, pipeline analysis and portfolio management to over 80 gift officers in Alumni Affairs and Development. Within the last year they have discovered 391 new prospects, completed over 1,000 gift officer portfolio changes and completed 75 portfolio reviews per year. This team’s efforts serve the community by identifying the Cornell donors of tomorrow and providing insights for future fundraising strategy. This group successfully keeps their eyes on a wealth of information that is imperative to the division. They are, unsung heroes.

Center for Animal Resources and Education (CARE)

Your team is being recognized for your daily commitment to the highest level of quality animal care and veterinary services, even while dealing with the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your contributions to the education, training and support of researchers, staff and students for their animal experimentation. Promotion of best practices for the responsible use of animals in research. The merging of quality science and animal welfare for the benefit of human and animal health and your continued high-quality service and support to the animals and research community especially during short staffing challenges.

Environment, Health, and Safety Team

EH&S is being recognized for the efforts made everyday to keep this campus safe. From research safety, to fire protection, Environmental Compliance to Emergency Services and Occupational health and safety your team covers it all. All day, every day you are the unsung heroes that keep us safe. Thank you!

Digital Design and Fabrication Studio

The Digital Design and Fabrication Studio (D2FS) provides a suite of state-of-the-art equipment for constructing and modeling projects and is available for use by students and faculty for instruction and research activities. Resources include a wood shop, electronics studio, assembly studio, paint room, laser studio, and 3D print studio. The D2FS Team is being recognized for playing a critical role in transforming students’ creativity and faculty scholarship to the forms of fashion, art, and interface that we can see, touch, and interact with. For helping students realize sophisticated, interactive, and intelligent prototypes by providing expert guidance and technical support. Also, assisting with material selections, sourcing of materials, and manual and digital fabrication and finishing of interactive prototypes. Lastly, this team went above and beyond in response to the pandemic by laser-cutting mask fabric and 3D printing face shields when PPE was not readily available.


This team is being recognized for the unnoticed and nonstop attention and foresight it takes to ensure Cornell's information technology services enable faculty, staff, and students to teach, learn, do research, and work. Their scope is vast! To name just a few: Designing high-speed Wi-Fi networks that stand up under heavy use. Equipping classrooms and conference rooms with easy-to-understand audiovisual technology. Supporting multiple ways to communicate... email, Canvas, Salesforce, Zoom, Teams, phones, and more. Making sure payroll gets processed on time, every time. Helping find students in distress. Protecting the university from security attacks. Enabling data-driven university decisions by bringing together different systems to generate all-in-one reports. Thank you, unsung heroes!


CLASSE is being recognized for their daily expertise, ingenuity, discipline, and flexibility - resulting in a laboratory that performs world-class research 24 hours a day, seven days a week, both on-campus and at sites around the world. When the world abruptly locked down to combat the coronavirus, CLASSE, too, was required to interrupt all research and abort the operation of its particle accelerator.  They engineered innovative tools to enable remote research, bringing the accelerator back online in three months, further contributing to COVID-19 research and vaccine study along with continuing research identified as essential by federal guidelines.  CLASSE is comprised of exceptional and uniquely special individuals covering all shifts throughout the day and night. Time and again, they shine by example in their compassion, dedication, hard work, and eagerness to lend a hand. 

Benefit Services Administration

From the beginning of the pandemic, the BSA team has seen dramatic increases in workload due to the extremely high volume of  people leaving Cornell, people joining Cornell, people transferring within Cornell, people requesting leaves and in general people asking for our help. During the past two years alone, one-third of the BSA leadership (Director and AD positions) has seen new members joining the team. This team has seen major changes (mergers, acquisitions, major regulatory and legislative changes) that have affected their day-to-day work. The Benefit Services team encompasses the Human Resources Transition and Service Center , Medical Leaves Administration, Retirement, and Health and Welfare.

Revisit the Cornell Heroes from 2022

Cornell Health

For their heroic efforts in taking care of our students during the pandemic: delivering food, medication, checking on mental and physical health, transporting students to hotels and all their efforts to help our students during the pandemic.

College of Veterinary Medicine

For their commitment to animal health: The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) and Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) staff continued coming into the hospital and diagnostic lab every day to care for the animals of our community.

The COVID19 Testing Labs and Testing sites: for their commitment and dedication to rapidly creating and implementing testing procedures for our students, faculty, and staff. Their heroic efforts served our entire community and provided insights that successfully guided Cornell to continue our mission through an unprecedented crisis.

Facilities and Campus Services

Although many employees worked from home during the past two years,  our campus still needed maintenance and attention. In addition to regular maintenance, facilities teams took on new challenges, changing air filtration systems in buildings, conducting floor-to-ceiling sanitation protocols, and then preparing campus for students to return.  CUPD continued to maintain the safety of our campus, students, faculty, and staff through every up and down of the pandemic.

Cornell Dining

In addition to quickly transitioning ways to provide meals to our students safely during the pandemic, they moved forward to open new dining facilities in our new residence halls. As our campus jumped from hybrid to in-person our dining team nimbly pivoted to accommodate changing food service protocols.

Cornell Housing

Already providing a home away from home for students, this group saved the day and provided mental, emotional, and physical support to students through every step of their journey leaving and returning to campus. They filled the gaps with other units that accommodated new COVID projects, support, and protocols being put in place.