Highlights from Announcements 10/5/20

Meet the Dean: Nine Questions for Dean Boor

Kathryn Boor, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, in front of the Big Red Barn Graduate and Professional Student Center

Welcome, Dean Boor!

On October 1, Kathryn J. Boor became Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Cornell. She is also a professor in the graduate field of food science. Prior to her appointment at the Graduate School, Dr. Boor was the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University. She earned a B.S. in food science from Cornell University, an M.S. in food science from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis.

Recently, Dean Boor spoke with the Graduate School about her interest in food science, her leadership experiences, and her top priorities at the Graduate School.

Read the interview

Seven Postdocs Honored with Achievement Awards

Andy Borum Yoon Choi Chase Mayers Manuela Ramalho Sarah Sachs
Left to right: Postdoc Achievement Award recipients Andy Borum, Yoon Choi, Chase Mayers, Manuela Ramalho, and Sarah Sachs. Not pictured: Rachel Cheng and Erin Soros.

Seven postdoctoral scholars have been honored with Postdoc Achievement Awards, as part of Cornell’s celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, celebrated Sept. 21-25.
The recipients are:

  • Andy Borum (mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences) and Yoon Choi (communication, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) for Excellence in Community Engagement;
  • Rachel Cheng (food science, CALS) and Sara Sachs (science and technology studies, A&S) for Excellence in Leadership; and
  • Chase Mayers (plant pathology and plant-microbe biology, CALS), Manuela Ramalho (entomology, CALS), and Erin Soros (Society for the Humanities, A&S) for Excellence in Mentoring.

Read the full story

Advocacy Opportunity on Proposed Visa Rules

On September 24th, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule that could dramatically change the visa process for international students and exchange visitors. The Graduate School and Office of Global Learning have been following this news closely and are working with Cornell’s Federal Relations team and other offices to understand possible implications for Cornell’s graduate students. The Federal Relations office is in close communication with staff from congressional offices who are very concerned about these issues as well.

Proposed rule changes:

  • Require most international students to finish their studies in four years, rather than the time it should take to earn a degree (e.g., five to seven years for Ph.D. students)
  • Limit stays for some international students to two years if more than 10% of students from that country have overstayed their visas
  • Bar extensions for international students who the agency decides in its discretion are not making progress toward their degree

Learn more about the rule by reading the fact sheet developed by the Presidents’ Alliance and the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law School.

Commenting open to all, including international students.

If you are interested in this issue, comment on this proposed rule on or before October 26, 2020 (If this link were to change, you can go to www.regulations.gov and search for DHS Docket No. ICEB-2019-0006 to find where to submit a comment.) You may also contact your house or senate representative.

Your comments could offer your perspectives on the following:

  • Impacts you foresee on students completing degrees, as rigid time frames are not typical for many graduate degrees
  • Any possible risks for students who might be unable to finish after years of investment
  • How this proposed rule may change perceptions on whether international students feel welcomed in U.S. educational programs, future collaborations, and more
  • The financial impacts this change could impose on students

Student-Parent Dependent Care Grant

Application deadline is 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: Yingying Zhang

Yingying ZhangYingying Zhang is a doctoral student in biophysics from Zhengzhou, China. After attending the University of Science and Technology of China as an undergraduate, she chose to pursue further study at Cornell due to the research resources available to graduate students.

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.


La Mata book coverRomance Studies Student Publishes Book

“La Mata,” a book of poetry by romance studies doctoral student Eliana Hernández, was just published by Cardumen Libros y Laguna Libros with illustrations by María Isabel Rueda.

Alumnus and Research Featured in Time

John Wyatt Greenlee, Ph.D. ’20, his dissertation research, and eel-history Twitter account were featured in a Time article: “Keeping it Eel: How One Historian is Using Twitter and Medieval Factoids to Help Endangered Animals.”