Dean Kotlikoff joins College community in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

iceDr. Michael Kotlikoff, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine joined Dr. Carolyn McDaniel and approximately 65 members of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine community accepted the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge after being nominated by Dr. Robin Davisson and the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become a viral campaign to raise funds and awareness of what is commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Once challenged, participants have 24 hours to donate to ALS research through the ALS Association or dump a bucket of ice water on their heads. However, it has become common for those who choose the latter to also donate to ALS research. The challenge at the College was organized by a student, Oneeka Barker ’18.

“We’re here today to dump ice water on ourselves not just for fun, but to give ourselves a numbing sensation to simulate the lives of what the people who have this terrible disease go through,” said Barker

Barker also nominated all other veterinary colleges who have not yet completed the challenge, along with Weill Cornell Medical College. Kotlikoff expressed his acceptance of the challenge not only to help raise awareness for the impact the disease has on humans, but also the impact of a related disease on dogs.

“There’s a lot that we don’t understand about the disease,” said Kotlikoff. “ALS research helps us learn about a disease that we can cure to help both dogs and people.”

Right before the water was dumped, Kotlikoff issued his challenge to Provost Kent Fuchs, Vice-Provost Judy Appleton, Paul Streeter, John Siliciano, Barbara Knuth, and Barbara Brown. With all of the fun had by the participants, Barker gave one final reminder to everyone about why they were there.

“We’re here to urge everyone to donate, donate, donate,” said Barker.

To donate to help ALS research, please visit