New well-being program director sets sights on increased programming, resources for college community

On February 16, Kate Buckley ’01 will join the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as the community’s well-being program director.

“As well-being program director, Kate will bring her talents as a community-builder to develop a program that has the interests of the college community at heart,” says Lorin D. Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Well-being is a key priority of the college and I look forward to Kate leading our efforts to expand and further develop our initiatives that the CVM Well-being Committee, the Office of Human Resources, student organizations and faculty have pioneered.”

In this role, Buckley will create and promote initiatives that support the well-being of the college and its community of students, faculty, staff, interns and residents. Working with the broader Cornell community, the CVM Well-being Committee and industry experts, Buckley will bring awareness of and access to resources, as well as coordinate well-being activities and opportunities across the college. She will also work closely with veterinary, master of public health and graduate program leadership to help with the design and delivery of the college’s well-being curricula and co-curricular activities, as well as offer similar, complementary initiatives for faculty, staff and house officers.

“I am most looking forward to working with a community whose mission-driven work fills important needs in society,” Buckley says. “I hope to help foster an environment in which individuals at CVM can flourish in every area of their lives.”

“Kate is a creative, collaborative well-being professional. Her resourcefulness, resilience and empathy will greatly serve the people of CVM,” says Dr. Susan Fubini, senior associate dean for academic affairs, who will oversee Buckley.

Buckley joins CVM from the Office of the Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs, where she has worked as administrative manager since 2016. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell in human development, with a focus on human bonding and developmental, adolescent and abnormal psychology. Her M.Ed. from Harvard University is in higher education, specifically student development and the economics and history of higher education. Buckley returned to Cornell and held a variety of roles within Alumni Affairs and Development, where she worked for seven years. She is no stranger to the college, however, most recently having served on a part-time basis as CVM’s well-being liaison for the last two years, and as an administrative assistant at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists from 2014-2015. Buckley is also a trained New York State Citizen Public Health Leader.

“My return to CVM is a real full-circle moment,” Buckley says. “I’m most looking forward to giving back to a community that has meant so much to me in a way that leverages my lifelong passions and what I perceive as my greatest strengths.”

Buckley hopes to build on the foundation of initiatives already established at the college and help foster an academic and work environment that actively encourages well-being at the individual and institutional level. Though this will take time and constant attention, she says, “there is already momentum and I’m eager to build on it.”

Buckley says she is grateful to return to the CVM community. “It means a great deal to bring my truest, whole self to work that I know I can continue to grow in, all for a community that means so much to me. I think we’re going to achieve great things — and hopefully have some fun together, too.”

Written by Melanie Greaver Cordova