In 1998, a six-year-old girl visited the Mid Island Animal Hospital on Long Island with her dog. She told Dr. Mitchell Kornet that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Through the years, Mitch encouraged her dream, eventually employing her as a veterinary assistant and writing letters of recommendation for her admission to Cornell. In 2019, Jacqueline Pino ’15, DVM ’19 became a Cornell-educated veterinarian. Her story is just one of the positive outcomes of Mitch’s devotion to his profession, his loyalty to Cornell, and his passion for supporting the next generation.
A consummate volunteer and leader, Mitch finds particular meaning in connecting with young people, and mentoring has been a guiding force in his volunteer roles. “Always modest but proud to be a Cornellian, Mitch has had an enormous impact on many students’ lives, yet he is quick to point out the profound impact they have had on him,” says Luanne Prosperi Stefanucci, associate director of engagement and volunteer management at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
Mitch has contributed extensive volunteer work to both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and CVM. For CALS, he was a member of the Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Association executive board from 2005 to 2009, then served as president and immediate past president from 2007 to 2009.
As a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine Advisory Council, he was thrilled to work on the college expansion project during his 2015-2018 term. He is now the advisory council chair. He also served on the vet school Dean’s Leadership Committee from 2010 to 2014, including three years as chair. Between the vet school and CALS, Mitch has worked as a volunteer with five deans, past and present, who inspire him as models of service.
Mitch has also been inspired by serving on the Cornell Alumni Trustee Nominations Committee, he says, because he meets dedicated people from every college and constituency at Cornell. He is serving a term on the Cornell University Council from 2011 through 2019, and is now, because he is receiving the Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award, a life member. Mitch served on the board of the Cornell Club of Long Island.
He runs a thriving veterinary practice and is active in his community, especially where he can teach people about caring for animals. He recently volunteered as a guide at the Westminster Dog Show. In September 2001, he coordinated a response team of veterinarians to the World Trade Center site, providing care for the working dogs for three months. For his outstanding leadership during this time of crisis, he was awarded the Veterinarian of the Year award by the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association.
“I’m so proud to be a Cornellian and a veterinarian,” he says, “and I just want to spread the word.”