Although no one could have predicted the events of 2020, what could be predicted is the ESF community rising to the challenge.
Beginning the fall of 2019, the College faced racial bias in our community and on our campus. Under the direction of Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Malika Carter, we united as a community to address the issue holistically. We created the Living Document, organized town halls, and planted the seeds for programs and initiatives to be unveiled with the 2020-2021 academic year. While there is still much work to be done, we have acknowledged the challenges, engaged in discussions, and are launching programs and initiatives to address the issues.
The coronavirus pandemic challenged ESF's faculty, students, and staff to show both their resilience and their commitment to their studies and research. As the College moved to distance education, faculty, and staff quickly pivoted to ensure students were able to complete their coursework and, in many cases, continue research projects. More information about the College's response to the global pandemic is included in the following report.
Amid these challenges, our faculty received numerous awards, grants, and recognition for their research. Dr. Hyatt Green and Dr. Brian Leydet quickly stepped to the fore as experts in the pandemic. Dr. Green was part of a multi-institutional team that developed the SARS-CoV2 Wastewater detection system now used statewide, and Dr. Leydet, recognized as an expert in epidemiology, was frequently cited by media and assumed leadership for the College's testing and contact tracing efforts, working in collaboration with John Wasiel, Environmental Health and Safety Officer.
The College entered into collaborations and partnerships that will further ESF's mission. Our partnership with Clarkson University on the Center of Excellence in Healthy Water Solutions will help ensure the preservation of one of our most vital natural resources. A partnership with Onondaga Community College gives future students a clear path from the solid foundation of an OCC education to ESF. And groundbreaking work on understanding the impact of the coronavirus on our planet and our health is vital to moving forward.
Please join me in recognizing the accomplishments of the ESF community.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry