The Northeastern IPM Center has welcomed three new staff members over the last few months, including a new director. Four other staff members are continuing in their roles.
Deborah Grantham, Director
Deborah Grantham assumed the directorship on September 16. She takes over for Mike Hoffmann, executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and professor of entomology, who had served as interim director for much of the previous year.
As director, Grantham will provide strategic leadership for the Center and work closely with its advisory council, state IPM programs, and IPM working groups comprising experts and stakeholders throughout the Northeast.
“I am honored and very excited about assuming the role of director. The Center has a vibrant history, an outstanding staff, and a tremendous network regionally and nationally. I look forward to advancing its mission,” said Grantham.
She comes to the Center after 25 years with Cornell Cooperative Extension, most recently as assistant director for environment and natural resources. She has conducted research and spearheaded outreach initiatives that intersect broadly with goals and principles of IPM.
“Integrated pest management crosses disciplines and audiences and encompasses a range of human activities and environments, urban through rural,” continued Grantham. “It is imperative that we step outside of our silos and recognize the need to broaden approaches and partnerships. The Northeastern IPM Center is well positioned to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and approaches that serve the region widely and comprehensively.”
Grantham holds an MS in geophysics from the University of Connecticut and a BS in geology from the University of Wyoming.
David Lane, Evaluation Specialist
David Lane assists and supports the evaluation of IPM projects. He was formerly a postdoctoral social scientist at the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, and his research bolsters understanding of farmer views and decisions around extreme weather and climate change in the Northeast. In addition, he did outreach, extension, and evaluation as a postdoc. He wrote a book, Reframing Environmental Problems (2012), and he is the managing member of Wild Nectar Mead LLC.
Lane holds a PhD in environmental sciences, an EdM (Master of Education) in adult education, a BS in environmental science, and a BA in Spanish from Oregon State University (OSU). His 17 years of teaching experience spans environmental education, Spanish, and English (TESOL) at OSU. Lane’s PhD research in environmental sciences uses applied linguistics to examine the importance of how we frame environmental problems. His book was based on this research.
Currently, Lane’s family owns a diversified farm in King Ferry, NY.
Mike Webb, Communication Specialist
Mike Webb develops and implements communication strategy and manages communication projects. He is an editor and writer with an extensive background in web and digital communications.
Webb comes to us from the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, where he was an editor/writer and project coordinator focusing on web and other digital content. He previously held a similar role at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, where he also handled media relations and wrote for the dean, until the school was subsumed under the new business college. Before that, he managed communications for Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County.
A lifelong Cornellian, Webb holds a BS in communication and a minor in information science from the university. He is a native of the area, having grown up in nearby Binghamton. After college, he spent seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area, honing his professional identity in and around Silicon Valley, before returning to Ithaca in 2010.
Nancy Cusumano, program/extension aide, plans for and meets the administrative needs of the Center’s staff.
Jana Hexter, grants and partnerships coordinator, manages all aspects of Center grants and proposals and coordinates the Center’s Partnership Grants program while monitoring progress and expenditures.
Kevin Judd, web administrator, maintains the Center’s website and is tasked with improving its design and functionality and managing databases.
Susannah Reese, program coordinator, coordinates the interagency effort on IPM training in Public Housing Authorities.