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Alumni Stories

At ILR we are proud of all that our alumni accomplish. They represent diverse fields, including human resources, business, finance, law, labor, nonprofits, and entrepreneurship. They are leaders and innovators in their communities, nationally and globally.

Endowments Honor Bettman ’74

The NHL is celebrating Gary Bettman’s tenure as commissioner through ILR scholarship and sports management funds.
Gary Bettman
Endowments Honor Bettman ’74

Wagner '92 Gift Honors Lieberwitz

In appreciation for teaching that welcomes differing views, Eric Wagner ’92 is supporting the Worker Institute Undergraduate Student Research Fellows Program.
Eric Wagner
Wagner '92 Gift Honors Lieberwitz

Scheinman Institute Helps Launch Arbitration Career

The Labor Arbitrator Development Program helped Sarah Miller Espinosa '95 move to a profession that sets a high bar for newcomers.
Sarah Miller Espinosa ’95
Scheinman Institute Helps Launch Arbitration Career

Accelerated MILR Degree Hits the Mark for ILR Graduates

Three ILRies discuss how the MILR degree enhanced their careers.
BJ Siascoco
Accelerated MILR Degree Hits the Mark for ILR Graduates

Student Support Fund Honors Scheinman

Internships, study projects and other learning experiences, as well as other programs, will benefit from fund.
Martin Scheinman
Student Support Fund Honors Scheinman

Avgar Named David M. Cohen Professor

The professorship in labor relations was endowed this year through a generous gift from David M. Cohen ’73 and Abby Joseph Cohen, A&S '73.
Missing alt
Avgar Named David M. Cohen Professor

Longtime Educator Is an Advocate First

Over a half-century career that spans the worlds of labor relations, futuristics and Holocaust studies, sociologist Arthur Shostak ’58 has championed the role of the “upstander.”
Arthur Shostak ’58
Longtime Educator Is an Advocate First

Beloved ILRie Remembered

Jerome “Jerry” Alpern ’49, MBA ’50, inspired loyalty across the ILR community.
Jerome "Jerry" Alpern
Beloved ILRie Remembered

Weingarten '80 Reelected to Union Presidency

ILR alumna leading 1.7million-member American Federation of Teachers for eighth term.
Randi Weingarten
Weingarten '80 Reelected to Union Presidency

ILR’s Worker Institute Helps Guide a Newly Energized Labor Movement

Cornellians logo
Led by Patricia Campos-Medina ’96, MPA ’97, it conducts research and outreach on today’s rapidly changing employment landscape
Patricia Campos-Medina ’96, MPA ’97
ILR’s Worker Institute Helps Guide a Newly Energized Labor Movement

Finger Lakes Land Trust Led By ILRie

Cornell Chronicle logo
Andy Zepp ’85, M.P.S. ’90, executive director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust, began the organization as his Cornell master’s degree project in 1989.
Andy Zepp ’85, M.P.S. ’90
Finger Lakes Land Trust Led By ILRie

Like Father, Like Daughter

Thirty-one years after Marty Schmelkin ’91 graduated from ILR, Hannah Schmelkin ‘22 joins her father in the ILR School’s alumni ranks.
Hannah Schmelkin ‘22 and Marty Schmelkin ’91
Like Father, Like Daughter

Student Research Yields Findings on Women Coaches

Eliza Sherman ’21 researched WNBA and NBA gender-based coaching barriers with guidance from Associate Professor Emily Zitek.
Eliza Sherman '21
Student Research Yields Findings on Women Coaches

Benamram Named to Forbes “30 Under 30”

An ILR statistics course piqued an interest in data, and he became a software company CEO rather than a lawyer.
Josh Benamram ’14
Benamram Named to Forbes “30 Under 30”

Alumna Sees Potential in Data

The Executive Master of Human Resource Management graduate says she particularly valued the on-campus residencies, where “you get to know people on a deeply personal level. We were such a diverse class.
Jackie Czaplinski, EMHRM ’18
Alumna Sees Potential in Data

Alumni Pay it Forward

Two alumni from the 1990s establish scholarships honoring a beloved professor.
Sam Bacharach
Alumni Pay it Forward

Graduate’s Story Reflects Versatility of ILR Degree

The career of Nicole Goodkind ’11 is emblematic of how the ILR curriculum supports many different paths.
Nicole Goodkind '11
Graduate’s Story Reflects Versatility of ILR Degree

ILR Learning Helps Propel Tech Research

Ishan Sharma ’20 studies issues at the intersection of innovation and foreign policy. His journey is an example of how skills and ideas developed at ILR develop into real-world impact.
Ishan Sharma '20
ILR Learning Helps Propel Tech Research

Big Red Lessons

Cornellians logo
A fortuitous chance meeting with Cornell President Frank H.T. Rhodes marked the beginning of David Hackney’s collegiate experience. At ILR, he studied collective bargaining with Professor Harry Katz, who he credits with teaching him how to write well, said Hackney, whose story is celebrated in "Cornellians" magazine.
David Hackney '87
Big Red Lessons

A Talent for Recruiting

Marjorie McFarlane Lucas, MPS ’17, learned how to move an agenda as an ILR graduate student, and that skill has helped her advance diversity, equity and inclusion in her workplace. Read more.
Marjorie McFarlane Lucas, MPS ’17
A Talent for Recruiting

Woman of Many Firsts Makes Lasting Contribution

Harriet Morel Oxman ’48 joined ILR the year it opened, and became a high school teacher and principal. Beginning with a $10 donation in 1957, she went on to become a leading ILR benefactor. Read more.
Harriet Oxman ’48
Woman of Many Firsts Makes Lasting Contribution

Alumna Explores the “Inner Mammal”

Loretta Graziano Breuning ’75 studies evolutionary psychology.
Loretta Graziano Breuning ’75
Alumna Explores the “Inner Mammal”

Friends and Family Establish Steven Spencer Memorial Award

Funds will provide an annual award of $1,000 to a rising or current senior in the ILR School.
Steven Spencer ’75
Friends and Family Establish Steven Spencer Memorial Award

Unwavering Commitment

A champion for the unemployed, Harold Oaklander ’52 has introduced students to the struggles of the jobless through classroom learning and opportunities to help people who are rebuilding their work identities.
Harold Oaklander
Unwavering Commitment

HR Executive Master’s Program Builds Lifetime of Support

Students who can learn from one another and who have similar levels of experience and expertise in HR, but who come from diverse industries and geographies, form each year's cohort.
EMHRM Summer Cohort 2021
HR Executive Master’s Program Builds Lifetime of Support

Making Incremental Change

ILRie Jim Miller supports students through internships, scholarships and career opportunities.
James E Miller ’88 Cornell Graduation 1988
Making Incremental Change

Pandemic Reaffirmed Power of Education

Dustin Liu earned a Harvard degree in isolation, but it didn’t slow him down.
Dustin Liu ’19
Pandemic Reaffirmed Power of Education

Katie Falb DeNitto ’15

Katie Falb DeNitto ’15 took the lessons she learned at ILR and used them to help the Big Red men’s lightweight rowing varsity eight win consecutive IRA National Championships.
Katie Falb DeNitto '15 holding the Platt Cup
Katie Falb DeNitto ’15

John Frinzi, MPS ’21

MPS student John Frinzi used the skills he learned at the ILR School to help his company adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Frinzi, MPS ’21
John Frinzi, MPS ’21

Barbara Loreto Peltz ’55

A graduate shares the experiences of the mid-1950s ILR, including the bus rides, Quonset hut classes and May Day singing.
Barbara Loreto Peltz photo
Barbara Loreto Peltz ’55