Hometown Alumni Award winners connect at Homecoming

Barbara Mix, D.V.M. '82, was honored at a special recognition ceremony Oct. 4 during Cornell's Homecoming Weekend. The ceremony recognized the first six recipients of the Cornell New York State Hometown Alumni Award, which Mix won earlier this year.

The event brought the alumni and their families together for a lunch, panel discussion and Q&A with university leaders, faculty, trustees and current students.

The Hometown Alumni Award was launched in 2018 by Cornell’s Division of University Relations, in collaboration with Alumni Affairs and Development, to honor Cornell graduates who have returned to their home counties to start or enhance a business or nonprofit, and who regularly volunteer and are deeply engaged in their communities.

Mix said much of her inspiration and passion in her veterinary work and teaching is rooted in wanting to pay forward the mentorship she received from local teachers and veterinarians when she was a teen and from her Cornell professors.

The six awardees are:

  • Tsiorasa Barreiro ’00 (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), an Akwesasne native and executive director for tribal operations of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. Barreiro previously worked for Cornell’s American Indian Program (now the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program);
  • Nate Chittenden ’00 (CALS), a third-generation dairy farmer who co-manages Dutch Hollow Farm in Columbia County with his brothers and parents. Chittenden is a local 4-H dairy leader and member of the Columbia-Greene Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors;
  • Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte ’72 (College of Human Ecology), director of community relations and the family and youth development program leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in New York City. Davis-Manigaulte has developed and enhanced programs that impact New York City residents, particularly youth, for more than 45 years;
  • Christa Glazier ’01 (CALS), vice president of communications and marketing for the Syracuse-based CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. Glazier previously worked in the district office of U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh, R-25th Dist., on environmental and immigration-related issues;
  • Barbara Mix, D.V.M. ’82 (College of Veterinary Medicine), a veterinarian at the Chemung County Veterinary Clinic who also runs her own large-animal practice. Mix developed the animal science program curriculum at the Greater Southern Tier BOCES and volunteers to foster and rehabilitate dogs; and
  • Matthew Nagowski ’05 (ILR School), a group vice president at M&T Bank who also teaches statistical programming at Buffalo State College. Nagowski is a board member and former chair of Buffalo’s Partnership for the Public Good and former president of the Cornell Club of Buffalo.

Barreiro was unable to attend in person, but joined the panel via videoconference on a large screen.

“It is hard to imagine a more fitting event for Homecoming,” said Cornell President Martha E. Pollack, who welcomed the honorees. The award initiative is unique, she said, and also completely “consistent with who we are at Cornell. We want to recognize these wonderful alumni who have gone back to their communities and are having a positive impact there.”

“We talk about impact – this is the model that we should all be trying to follow,” said Joel Malina, vice president for university relations. “Giving back when and where possible for the common good. It’s the quintessential Cornell trait, and it’s embodied here in these six individuals.”

An important element of the recognition ceremony, Malina added, “is for the stories of these wonderful alumni to inspire our current students to pursue similar paths after graduation.”

By Joe Wilensky

A version of this story appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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