Colman Leadership Program

In spring 2012, John and Jane Colman founded the Colman Family Endowed Fund for Leadership within Diversity Programs in Engineering (DPE) to establish the Colman Leadership Program for Ph.D. students in engineering and other related STEM fields. In summer 2015, the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement established a partnership with DPE to launch a June offering of the Colman Leadership Program open to all Ph.D. and MFA students from across all graduate fields.

Every January and June, the Colman Leadership Program seeks to enroll up to 30 students in an intensive four-day program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. Although students with the fellowships and affiliations listed below receive priority consideration for enrollment in the program, the Colman Leadership program has the capacity to serve a broader base of students. Therefore, students from all backgrounds (domestic and international) and disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Cornell Colman Fellowship
  • Cornell Sloan Fellowship
  • Cornell GEM Ph.D. Fellowship
  • Dean's Excellence Fellowship
  • SUNY Diversity Fellowship
  • McNair Graduate Fellowship
  • Mellon Mays Graduate Fellowship
  • Provost Diversity Fellowship
  • Bouchet Honor Society

Program Goals

The Colman Leadership Program introduces students to a range of practical skills, theory pertaining to leadership, and special topics relevant for application in both academic and professional contexts.  With a varied format including readings, interactive group activities, case studies, discussions, student presentations and professionally conducted workshop sessions, program participants will learn about leadership, develop practical skills for negotiation and conflict resolution, and discuss modes of translating collaborative teamwork and the positive, productive employment of the diverse perspectives and backgrounds students bring to the program. Specifically, program participants focus on the following:

  • Understanding self-awareness as a leadership skill
  • Extending self-awareness to effective interpersonal dynamics
  • Appreciating fundamental group dynamics
  • Understanding of how to create teams from groups
  • Appreciating diversity in all contexts
  • Differentiating between role authority and leadership in an organizational context
  • Learning skills of integration and synthesis

Program Schedule

The January and June offerings of the Colman Leadership Program are open to all Ph.D. and MFA students across all graduate fields. The online application for the January program opens in November while the online application for the June program opens in late April.

For more information or questions about the Colman Leadership Program, contact:

  • Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement, Cornell Graduate School:, (607) 255-5417 (Lead contact for the June offering)
  • Jami P. Joyner, Director - Diversity Programs in Engineering: office, (607) 255-6403 (Lead contact for the January offering)