Cornell senior receives inaugural award for leadership and innovation

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University senior Millie Kastenbaum has been named the inaugural winner of the Cornell Division of University Relations’ Campus-Community Leadership Award.

The honor will be presented on an annual basis to a graduating senior who has shown exceptional town-gown leadership and innovation.

Kastenbaum was instrumental in launching and chairing the Cornell Student Assembly’s City and Local Affairs Committee.

Among a variety of initiatives that promote town-gown connectivity – including the popular “Home Plate at Cornell” – Kastenbaum organized a well-attended “town hall” with City of Ithaca officials in Cornell’s Klarman Hall.

In addition to presentations and Q&A with city staff and elected officials on housing, law enforcement, planning, and other quality-of-life issues, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick described and took questions on the Ithaca Plan. As a City Hall intern, Kastenbaum worked on this new, high-profile approach to drugs and drug policy.

“Millie’s leadership and contributions to the City of Ithaca have gone far beyond inputs from an average student volunteer or intern,” said Myrick. “Her insights during the development of the Ithaca Plan, her steadfast approach on town-gown quality of life issues like rental housing, and her organizational skills, illustrated brilliantly at our campus ‘town hall’ meeting, represent the tenets of a strong leader with a very bright future. I am proud to be her friend, and look forward to working for her one day.”

“Millie’s efforts represent some of the best work Cornell students undertake in our shared communities, year-round,” said Cornell Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina. “Her work with and for the City of Ithaca, including service on the Rental Housing Advisory Commission, has been essential and appreciated.”

“Interacting and engaging with the Ithaca community has been one of the most rewarding parts of my time here at Cornell,” said Kastenbaum. “I hope that through my work and the efforts of the SA City & Local Affairs Committee more students continue to positively embrace the idea of a shared community. I am very grateful to those both on and off campus who have encouraged me, and helped me engage in town-gown life.”

Kastenbaum, a Los Angeles native whose family who now lives in Batavia, is a senior government major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Upon graduating May 29, she will work for her mother Diana Kastenbaum who is running for Congress in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

For more information:
Daryl Lovell
office: 607-254-4799
cell: 607-592-3925

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.