Cornell University

April 26 2011

Clete Daniel Memorial Medal

Bing '12 first recipient of award named for ILR professor

Professor Clete DanielEvelyn Bing '12, receiving the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal on Friday, was tense when she interviewed for the Semester in the Dublin Program.

"I had been a little nervous … and worried that I wouldn't be eligible for the program because I had recently switched my major to ILR," she recalled this week.

Bing quickly relaxed as she met last year with Professor Daniel, professor of labor history, director of ILR Off-Campus Credit Programs and founder of the ILR /University College Dublin program.

"His explanation of the program was peppered with jokes and laughter, and he assured me that my qualifications were adequate, as long as I was willing to work hard," said Bing, who spent this past fall semester in Ireland.

At 11:30 a.m. Friday in Room 229 of the ILR Conference Center, Bing receives the Clete Daniel Memorial Medal. Daniel was 66 when he died in 2010.

The coin-shaped sterling silver medallion will be given annually by the School of Business, University College Dublin, to the outstanding student of the semester-long program it sponsors with ILR. ILR’s Off-Campus Credit Programs will also make a $250 cash award each year.

Bing's grade point average qualified her for the award, said University College Dublin Professor Roland Erne, visiting ILR through early May. Erne, whose research focuses on European unions, developed the program's curriculum with Daniel and Professor Bill Roche, head of the University College Dublin Industrial Relations Unit.

Erne is the academic liaison for the program in Dublin and teaches "European Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management," a required course for participating students.

The medal celebrates Daniel's work in the establishment and development of the program, and his academic and personal achievements, said Brigid Beachler, managing director of Off-Campus Credit Programs.

His "vision and commitment to making international experience and education available to students led to the genesis of the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program," Beachler said.

The program began in 2007 and enrolls about a dozen ILR students every fall semester.

Books written by Daniel include Bitter Harvest: A History of California Farmworkers 1870-1941, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

"The connecting thread found in all of Clete's research was his exploration of the ideas of power and powerlessness and of efforts to reconstruct American society 'at long last along the lines of the nation's professed democratic ideals,'" Beachler said.

Daniel taught at ILR for 37 years. He won several university and ILR teaching awards.

Former students, Beachler said, "would invariably comment during return visits to campus that his class was their favorite … and their lowest grade."

"Clete firmly believed in the transformative power of education which he experienced in his own life, and made a conscious effort to make his lectures academically enriching, but also entertaining and memorable," she said.

Bing said her semester in Dublin "was more than just an opportunity to study in a new environment; it was an opportunity to travel the world … I was able to meet people from different countries and listen to different viewpoints. Studying abroad has improved my understanding of the world in ways that a textbook never could."

"Professor Daniel put a lot of effort into creating and maintaining this program so that these opportunities would be available to students like me," Bing said.

"He was unquestionably an extraordinary person, and his passing was a great loss to the Cornell community. I accept this medal with extreme gratitude for the opportunity that he gave me."