Pair of EAS alumni honored at CALS Outstanding Alumni and Faculty Awards ceremony

By: Patrick Gillespie

A pair of EAS graduates received awards at the annual CALS Outstanding Alumni and Faculty Awards Banquet held November 18, 2022. Dr. Gretchen Goldman ’06 will receive the Young Alumni Achievement Award, while John Toohey ’84 is among the recipients of the CALS Outstanding Alumni Award.

Goldman is currently serving at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy, and Justice. Previously, Dr. Goldman was the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

For more than a decade, Dr. Goldman has led research and communications efforts at the nexus of science and policy on topics ranging from air pollution health standards, federal scientific integrity, climate policy, and environmental justice. Dr. Goldman has testified before Congress and sat on the board of the nonprofit 500 Women Scientists. Her words and voice have appeared in Science, Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the BBC, among others. Dr. Goldman holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in atmospheric science from Cornell University.

She currently serves on the advisory council for Cornell’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Previously, she served as vice president of the Cornell Atlanta Alumni Association and volunteered with the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network and Cornell externship program.

“Getting into Cornell was my wildest dream. I was elated to attend, and I spent the next four years learning and experiencing as much as I could,” Goldman said. “Outside of the classroom, my Cornell experience was just as valuable for my future pursuits. I learned leadership, management, and facilitation skills through Cornell Outdoor Education, the CALS Ambassadors program, and the Cornell Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. I learned to be a research scientist at the Northeast Regional Climate Center on the 11th floor of Bradfield Hall.

“Importantly, Cornell taught me the value of service and using your skills to better the world. I took this lesson to heart and spent a decade at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, fighting for a healthier planet and a safer world,” said Goldman.

Toohey, known on TV as John Morales, is an atmospheric and environmental scientist with a long tenure as a widely respected broadcast meteorologist. He also founded and is the lead certified consulting meteorologist at ClimaData, a boutique firm specializing in forensic meteorology and weather consulting.

During his 38-year career, Toohey-Morales has been proud to participate in the public, academic, and private sectors of America's Weather Enterprise. Even though he retired this year from Florida’s legacy television station, NBC-owned WTVJ Channel 6 in Miami, he still functions as their first-ever hurricane specialist. John is also an influential climate communicator with a following in the hundreds of thousands on social media, and a climate change columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. John was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle for exceptional and exemplary contributions in broadcasting for over 25 years.

At Cornell, John serves on the Atkinson Center for Sustainability’s external advisory board, the CALS Advisory Board, the Cornell University Council, and is the president of his Cornell Class of 1984.

Toohey-Morales graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as an atmospheric scientist in 1984. Extracurriculars on and off campus included the Cornell crew, WVBR and countless afterschool hours at Bradfield Hall trying to win the student weather forecasting contest.

“I knew I loved Cornell from the moment I saw it. But never could I have imagined that Cornell would love me back,” said Toohey. “One of my greatest honors was being asked to serve this great institution. And now, I’m humbled to be recognized as an outstanding College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus.”

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