ORIE Moves to Strengthen Alumni Ties
In an emailed letter to ORIE alumni and friends throughout the College of Engineering, interim Director Shane Henderson summarized the news in the School and introduced several initiatives aimed at alumni - an Alumni Notes web page, a mentorship program for graduate students, collection of alumni information and comments, and the solicitation of profile information and recollections from Cornell's Operations pioneers.
In the 1990's, the late Professor Lionel Weiss compiled an annual OR&IE News that was sent to alumni and included several pages of Alumni Notes. The Notes were compiled from return postcards included with the paper newsletter. This tradition has been revived and moved to the web, as an ongoing Alumni Notes web page. Alumni are encouraged to submit their own Alumni Notes online. Submitted notes are reviewed and posted within a few days.
ORIE is also undertaking to establish an activity by which alumni can mentor graduate students, through email, telephone and possibly direct contact, and has begun collecting data about alumni through an online alumni information form. Cornell Career Services has a general alumni mentor network through a third party service. ORIE plans to complement this activity through a capability designed to maximize the potential for a good fit between students and alumni mentors who have the shared experience of an ORIE education. Students will be able to search for alumni in specific industries, business functions, and locations, and to request contact information (which is not displayed) from ORIE program administrators.
Alumni are encouraged to provide updated information and provide comments through the online alumni information form even if they are not currently interested in serving as mentors. The comments provided through the form provide valuable feedback on ways in which ORIE's programs have influenced alumni careers and what alumni would like to see ORIE do in the future.
Cornell has been a pioneering school in the field of operations research and related disciplines. With the imminent publication of a history of the College of Engineering, with a chapter that tells the story of ORIE and its predescessor units at Cornell, UCLA professor and M. Eng. alumnus Arthur Geoffrion suggested supplementing the history with profiles from the operations research pioneers from the school. In his letter to alumni, Interim Director Henderson urged early graduates of the School to contact Mark Eisner (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have profiles to contribute.