CALS Charitable Trust

The CALS Charitable Trust, a 501(c) 3 organization, was established in 1990 by alumni of Alpha Zeta fraternity for the benefit of the NYS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University through the following means:

  1. To raise funds through gifts from the general public and in particular the Alumni of CALS.
  2. To support the educational purposes of CALS by providing scholarships, research funds and maintain student housing for CALS and in particular for CALS students qualifying as members of Alpha Zeta honorary agricultural fraternity.


The trust is administered by six trustees, Alumni of Alpha Zeta Fraternity, who serve at the appointment of the CALS Dean.  Annually, the trustees manage the allocation of CALS Charitable Trust funds in two signature Award Programs, Student Research Grants and Academic Enrichment Program.




Annual Research Grants Program:


The CALS Charitable Trust has a long history of directly supporting the academic pursuits of CALS undergraduates. The longest running of these efforts has been the Annual Research Grants program. Through financial support of the Trust, annual research grants are awarded to deserving CALS undergraduates through a competitive grant process administered through the CALS Office of Academic Programs under the leadership of Dr. Don Viands.  Any full-time CALS student may apply. These research awards, amounting to $5000 for the 2015-16 academic year (with no more than $1200 going to any individual), help undergraduates fund expenses associated with research projects for academic credit under the advisement of faculty mentors.


These research projects help students learn how to conduct good research, prepare them for graduate level work, provide valuable experience in applying for grant funding, and in some cases fulfill honors program requirements.


Research projects funded cover a wide range of topics. Grants fund undergraduate research expenses such as research supplies, services, and travel to professional meetings or conferences to present results.


Most recent Awardees:


FALL 2015

Joshua Goddard (AnSci'18)

– Nutritional value of housefly larvae as a protein-rich

   ingredient in aquaculture diets

Samantha Maloy (AnSci'2018)

– DMRT1 and sex determination in birds

Miranda Medrano (AnSci'16)

– Exploring the role of Pregnancy Associated Glycoproteins on

   uterine health of lactating dairy cattle

James Ryan (BioSci'16)

– Characterization of Hydrolytic Enzymes to Enhance the

   Nutrition of Livestock

Sarah Wright (AniSci'18)

– Microfluidic Sperm Sorting Chip


FALL 2014

Ann DiPastina (AnSci'15)

– Growth Performance of Orphaned Lambs

Mary Elizabeth Hannon (AnSci'2015)

– Characterization of Body Size Diversity in African Goat Breeds

   and  Relationships to Genetic Markers

Matthew Murphy (PlantSci/Viticulture & Enology'15)

– Impact Yeast Strains Have on Aromatic and Chemical

   Compounds of a Vidal Ice Wine

James Ryan (BioSci'16)

– Characterization of Novel Enzymes Responsible for Multiple

   Hydrolyses of Poultry Feathers to Improve Animal Nutrition and

   Environmental Protection


Academic Enrichment Program:


In the last four years, the CALS Charitable Trust has launched with incredible success, the Academic Enrichment (AE) program. This program, approved by CALS Dean Kathyrn Boor with an inaugural award round in January 2012, is designed to help CALS undergraduates access funding for short-term experiential learning opportunities that complement their interests and coursework yet are not part of a requirement.


Since 2012, there have been 62 grants awarded to 38 CALS undergraduates, providing $64,050 in support. The CALS Charitable Trust Academic Enrichment program has been soliciting competitive applications from AZ undergrads exclusively to date, which is a benefit for AZ members. As the program reaches a sustainable donation level, the program will open to all CALS undergraduates.


Most recent Awardees:


FALL 2015 - 10 grants totaling $7800

Natasha Bartolotta (BioSci’16)

– Travel costs to Patagonia with BIOEE 2525: Ecology & Conservation of wildlife

   in the Neotropics course.

Amber Bornt (AnSci/AgSci’16) and Mariah Goodwin (AnSci’18)

– Costs associated with CUDS (Cornell University Dairy Science Club) trip to Italy

   in January 2016.

Lauren Fessler (BioSci/PlantSci’17)

– Stipend during undergraduate research program.

Anya Gandy (AgSci/IARD’17)

– Travel to Australia for 2 semesters study abroad.

Emma Hallowell (AnSci’16)

– Costs associated with winter break volunteer internship doing lemur enrichment

   at Long Island Game Farm.

Danielle Harris (AnSci’16)

– Winter break and spring 2016 semester stipend while working on senior

   honors thesis.

Sierra Helmann (ESS/MarineBio’16)

– Travel to Washington, DC and living expenses for Environmental Policy Processes

   course work (NTRES 4300).

Victoria Houser (AnSci’17)

– Transportation costs associated with AFA (Agriculture Future of America) leadership

   conference in Kansas City, Iowa.

Bo Yang (EnviEng’18)

– Travel within China during winter break for internship in Beijing with Dali School.


SPRING 2016 - 9 grants totaling $8700

Anthony Arce (EnvirEng’18)

– Supplies, course and certification associated with internship with Syracuse

   University’s Center for Sustainable Community Solutions.

Felix Fernandez-Penny (PlantSci’18)

– Stipend & living expenses for 11 week unpaid internship with Orange

   county office of California Labor Federation & AFL-CIO.

Lauren Fessler (Bio&PlantSci’17)

– Expenses associated with summer internship with Essex/Clinton counties

   Cooperative Extension.

Anya Gandy (AnSci/AgSci’17)

–Expenses associated with unpaid internships on the Lees Valley Station

   sheep ranch and Savory Institute in New Zealand.

Mariah Goodwin (AnSci’18)

– Summer living expenses at CU while doing a research internship with

   Dr. Jessica McArt (dairy cattle ketosis/mastitis research).

Emily Green (AnSci’18)

– Expenses associated with 2 unpaid summer internships with veterinary

   clinics in Montana.

Jordan Moody (AnSci’18)

– Expenses associated with summer partial-pay internship in sheep

   production with Dr. Whit Stewart at Montana State University.

Alanna Staffin (AnSci’19)

– Summer living expenses at CU doing research internship with Dr. Mike VanAmburg

   studying effects of vitamin administration to calves during weaning.

Bo Yang (EnvironEng’18)

– Summer living expenses at CU doing paid research internship with Dr. Todd Walter

   evaluating green infrastructure for storm water.

© 2016 Alpha Zeta Cornell