Highlights from Announcements 10/26/20

From the Registrar

Course Drop Deadline is this Wednesday!

Don’t forget that the last day to drop courses or change grading basis is this Wednesday, October 28. Students should check Student Center to verify that:

  • You are properly enrolled in all your courses
  • You have dropped any courses that you don’t intend to complete – including courses you are auditing
  • Your grading option is correctly set to letter grades, pass/fail, or audit
  • The credit option, if available, is correct

Changes will not be permitted after Wednesday. Be proactive and confirm your enrollment is correct!

Remaining Socially Connected While Physically Distanced

Students and Big Red Barn staff participate in online origami night
Origami Night participants show off their creations.

How do you make friends and connect with other students if you can’t meet in person?

For Jen Forbes, director of the Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center (the Barn), the graduate community always meant warm evenings at the Barn where students got together for trivia, chocolate tasting, TGIF happy hour, and many other events. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, finding new ways to build community and host fun events was a difficult problem frequently discussed at staff meetings.

“We wanted to find a way to build a community, even though we couldn’t meet in person,” Forbes said. The Barn staff brainstormed how to make remote events feel even more physical and how to bring new and returning students together, even if they are studying miles apart.

Read the full story

Cornell Startup Combplex Wins $500K in 76West Competition

Hailey Scofield pitches Combplex during the 76West Competition
Doctoral student Hailey Scofield, CEO of Combplex, pitches to a panel of judges at this year’s virtual 76West Clean Energy Competition in mid-August.

The latest achievement by a Cornellian-led startup dedicated to protecting honeybees – a $500,000 runner-up prize at the fifth annual 76West Clean Energy Competition – is creating quite the buzz in New York’s Southern Tier.

Combplex, founded by doctoral students Hailey Scofield and Nathan Oakes, former research fellows with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, was among 19 finalists selected from 183 applicants worldwide to compete in the virtual pitch competition in mid-August.

Read the Chronicle story

Special: Election-related Events and Information


Around Campus

For a complete listing, visit Cornell’s events calendar.

Special Wellness Workshops: Coping with Election Week

Monday, November 2 – Friday, November 6 — Register

For so many reasons, fall 2020 is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Acknowledging how stressful our upcoming election is for many of us, Cornell Wellness will facilitate daily events including mindfulness meditation and de-stress stretching workshops to help you cope with physical, mental, and emotional strain during the first week of November.

Workshops will include:


For teaching assistants:

For all students:

New Downtown Testing Site

On Friday, Oct. 23, the university opened a new downtown testing site at 130 E. Seneca Street (across from the Ithaca Commons at the intersection of Seneca and Tioga Streets). The new site is designed primarily to support testing for graduate and professional students living nearby or who are not regularly reporting to campus.

Scheduling for the site is available in the Daily Check portal and will operate four days per week, Friday to Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The university testing team will monitor usage and adjust operational days and times when necessary.

Complete the Daily Check!

Touchdown the Bear wears a face mask and gives the camera a thumbs up with McGraw Tower in the backgroundAny student in the greater Ithaca area needs to complete the Daily Check every day, including weekends, regardless of course modality.

Many students are completing the Daily Check regularly. Continuing the level of success seen on campus in terms of low transmission rates takes everyone logging in each day, in addition to wearing masks, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing. With the weather getting colder and time spent indoors increasing, it becomes even more critical to complete the Daily Check.

Complete the Daily Check and learn more.

Student-Parent Dependent Care Grant

Application deadline is this Friday, October 30!

If you are a student-parent, funds may be available to support you! Visit the Students with Families website for more information.

New in 2020-21: Student-Parent Dependent Care Grant. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grant program goal has changed to provide greater access to intentionally support more student-parents to provide financial support that allows student-parents more flexibility and autonomy to determine how best to use the funds to support their child(ren) and individual situations. All student-parents should apply as eligibility has changed: No requirement for funds to be used for child care expenses; no requirement that a spouse/partner be engaged in activity outside the home; if your family's AGI is under $150,000/year you are eligible for support. More information and application is available on the Students with Families website.

Student Spotlight: Jenna Hershberger

Jenna HershbergerJenna Hershberger is a doctoral candidate in plant breeding from Madison, Wisconsin. As a 2020 Borlaug Scholar, she is connecting with other scientists in her field and working to improve food security through enhanced nutrition and resilience in crops.

Read the full student spotlight

Interested in what other graduate students are doing both on and off campus?

Check out our student spotlights, Q&As with current students about their research, hobbies, and experiences at Cornell.


Emily ParkerPAM Doctoral Candidate Receives APPAM Award

The 2020 APPAM/Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis Award will be presented to policy analysis and management doctoral candidate Emily Parker for her paper, “Political Controversy, Partisanship, and Health Care for the Poor: A Comparative Analysis of U.S. Policies, 1965-1989.”

I-An (Amy) SuDoctoral Student Receives AP-LS MacArthur Grant

Human development doctoral student I-An Su received the Grant in Aid for Graduate Students MacArthur Award from the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) (APA Division 41) for her research on death row inmates’ adjunctive competency with John H. Blume, Samuel F. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Technique at Cornell Law School.

Adullah ShahidSociology Doctoral Candidate Presents in University of Dhaka Summit

Sociology doctoral candidate Abdullah Shahid presented in “The Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Summit” organized by the University of Dhaka on October 10, 2020. The presentation, “Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: 3 premises, 2 propositions, ∞ Promises”, was about the missing role of youth and women in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rene Crespin, Tatiana Padilla, and Grace Phillips
Rene Crespin, Tatiana Padilla, and Grace Phillips

PAM Doctoral Students Lead Ph.D. Program Preview Day

Policy analysis and management (PAM) doctoral students Rene Crespin and Tatiana Padilla and economics doctoral student Grace Phillips led a PAM Preview Day to raise awareness about the doctoral program as well as increase the number of underrepresented minorities within future cohorts. Read more.

Three Doctoral Students Win MAE Engineering Video Contest

Doctoral students Ida Ang, Zezhou Liu, and Jaemin Kim, who study with professors Chung-Yuen Hui and Nikolaos Bouklas, won a research video contest hosted by the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). Watch their winning video: “Effect of elastocapillarity on the swelling kinetics of hydrogels.”

MAE launched this competition for short research videos and lab tours to make sure incoming doctoral students felt included this year as in-person orientation events were canceled. Current students were encouraged to provide online material for new students to get to know both other students and labs in a safe way.