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The good Cornellians can do: Debra Howell MILR ’06

Debra Howell MILR '06 received a 'Plank-owner' award in 2023, in honor of her service to the Cornell veterans' community.

Debra Howell MILR '06, director of IT operations for Cornell University Library, chaired the Cornell Veterans Colleague Network Group (VCNG) for six years. The VCNG's mission is to connect with all of the more than 400 veterans who work or go to school at Cornell.

During Debra's tenure as chair, she helped create an annual award for veterans: the VCNG Continuation of Service Award. She also served as veterans representative to the Employee Assembly and University Assembly.

“During my term on the assemblies, I drafted a resolution designating Cornell as a Purple Heart University. We were the first Ivy League institution to do so,” Debra explains. “I also hosted numerous events for veterans, arranged for guest speakers and training, and spoke on behalf of veterans.”

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