Meet Undergraduate Coordinator Sharon Kaplan!

Sharon Kaplan

Welcome Sharon Kaplan!

sharon hiking pic
Kaplan enjoys hiking, especially to scenic views (pictured here in Virginia).

The Meinig School is proud to welcome Sharon Kaplan to our staff as the new BME undergraduate coordinator. Kaplan supports our students and faculty with course scheduling, affiliation to the major, and other essential undergraduate program functions.

Originally from Rochester, NY, Kaplan earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Cornell, and a Master of Science in human services counseling from SUNY Oswego.
Kaplan joined the Meinig School in October from the Cancer Resource Center in Ithaca, where she spent the past 14 years as director of volunteers. In this role, she managed 60-80 diverse volunteers and student interns to provide direct support services for people affected by cancer. While there she also established a partnership with Cornell’s PCAT (Person-centered Advocacy Team) program, and played a key role in the recruitment, training, and mentoring of Cornell and Ithaca College undergraduates interested in health professions (several Meinig School students participated in the program). Kaplan says she was especially inspired by these students who wanted to gain hands-on experience with patients before going into the medical field. These interactions, says Kaplan, are what ultimately led her to seek out the BME undergraduate coordinator position.
“We are excited that Sharon not only brings her leadership and organizational skill set to the BME undergraduate program, but also that her enthusiasm for patient advocacy and improving human health align with our Meinig School mission,” says Dawn Esposito, Meinig School Director of Administration. 

"Sharon’s enthusiasm and dedication to the role is already making a positive impact with our students,” said professor Steven Adie, Director of Undergraduate Studies. “I look forward to working with her to further improve our program.”

Kaplan’s first few weeks in the role were spent learning to use the MANY different systems at Cornell as well as grasping the BME curriculum. Getting to know students and the processes used to ensure success in their academic and personal lives is a key component of this position. She reports that the best part of the job so far is the people. “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. I couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues, faculty, and students.” 

In her free time, Kaplan loves hiking (especially to scenic views), gardening (veggies and perennials), swimming and kayaking in/on the lake on hot summer days, and in the winter, skiing through the Danby State Forest. She also loves spending time at home with family.

Kaplan has a passion for climate action and environmental justice and if she were to have a second career it might be in making EVs accessible for all and helping to build the infrastructure to sustain them. “I’ve been driving an electric vehicle for 4 years and love spreading the EV gospel.” 

Kaplan shared that her past experiences also include being a professional papermaker and a soapmaking instructor. Thanks to the Schaffer-Nishimura espresso lab in the basement of Weill Hall, she is also becoming a novice on-site cappuccino maker, and is looking forward to furthering her expertise in this field.

A favorite quote that helps inspire Kaplan at work and in life is: “The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature, but of ourselves.” --Rachel Carson

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