Academic journal article Human Ecology

Investing in Success: Cuffie Gift Boosts Research by Undergraduates

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Investing in Success: Cuffie Gift Boosts Research by Undergraduates

Article excerpt

After graduating from a magnet high school in Newark, Cynthia Cuffie '74, MD, (shown above) arrived at Cornell planning to major in chemistry. But when she took a nutrition course in Human Ecology her sophomore year, she switched to nutritional sciences. "The college was very warm and the professors were invested in our success," she recalls. "That type of environment was perfect for me to thrive."

As an undergraduate, Cuffie concentrated on research--a focus that would shape the span of her career. After Cornell, Cuffie completed medical school followed by specialty training in internal medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now part of Rutgers University), followed by an endocrinology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Following her studies, Cuffie rose through the ranks of the pharmaceutical industry, becoming vice president of global clinical development for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at Merck. During her 26-year career, Cuffie led drug development to treat conditions from hypercholesterolemia to brain tumors. In 2011, she retired and currently presides over Aspire Educational Associates Corporation, an organization she founded in 2004 to offer career and leadership development.

An active Cornell volunteer, Cuffie is mentoring committee co-chair of the Cornell University Council, grants committee co-chair of the President's Council of Cornell Women, and immediate past vice president of student relations of the Cornell Black Alumni Association.

"My Cornell education taught me perseverance. …

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