Highlights from Announcements 11/16/20

Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Education Kathryn Boor

Message from the Dean

Dear Graduate and Professional Students,

On Friday, November 13, Cornell moved to COVID-19 Alert Level Yellow and is urging against travel for non-essential business, including holiday visits and celebrations.

For those who plan to remain in the Ithaca area after Thanksgiving break, please adhere strictly to all travel guidelines, including self-quarantine and testing. Many states and countries are imposing new travel-related quarantine and testing requirements, encouraging residents to stay home, and limiting business hours. This will make any travel challenging.

With cases surging nationwide, I encourage you to consider delaying any planned travel until the public health situation improves. Most airlines are allowing cancelations or rescheduling without penalty.

In addition, while most of us follow physical distancing and mask wearing guidelines, clusters have emerged locally due to COVID-19 fatigue and the desire to be with friends and loved ones without taking precautions. Unfortunately, it remains unsafe to gather with people outside your household when physical distancing and mask wearing cannot be maintained.

Students who live in Ithaca are required to continue participating in surveillance testing and must complete the Daily Check health assessment. All travel must be registered with the university before departing.

I understand these measures can feel burdensome, but only through being vigilant will we be able to keep the university open for research, teaching, and the activities that are so important to each of us.

Please be safe and well!

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Pollack Leads with Gratitude at GPSA Meeting

Cornell University President Martha Pollack“I’m enormously grateful to each and every one of you,” began President Martha Pollack during her comments to the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA) on Nov. 9. Over Zoom, she addressed the 87 participants, including 16 voting members, about 2020’s unique challenges and Cornell’s slate of initiatives in response to student needs.

“You really took on the challenges of this semester with determination and commitment. You voiced your concerns and you worked together to find solutions. You put your time and your energy into finding the best and most effective ways to move forward in this new reality,” she said.

Read the full story

Two Cornell Graduate Students Receive DOE Grants

Christopher Morrison Pierce, M.S. ’19, a doctoral candidate in the field of physics, and Brennan Hyden, a doctoral candidate in the field of plant breeding, have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

The SCGSR Program provides supplemental funds for awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory, in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. The research projects are intended to advance awardees’ overall doctoral research and training while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.

Read the Chronicle story

EA Passes Resolution 4 in Recognition of Cornell Students

In early November, the Employee Assembly (EA) voted unanimously to pass Resolution 4 (R4): In Recognition and Appreciation of Cornell University Students.

This resolution is a formal recognition of the Cornell University students’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to share appreciation for their efforts to protect Cornell’s Ithaca campus community.

The EA is impressed and grateful for how adaptable and quick to respond Cornell students have been in making massive and difficult changes for everyone’s protection, in such a short amount of time.

COVID Surveillance Testing for Thanksgiving Week and Beyond

Students who remain in Ithaca during the week of Thanksgiving or beyond are required to continue their regular COVID testing, as assigned in the Daily Check.

Special Testing Schedule for Thanksgiving Week – Graduate students who are normally tested on a Wednesday or Thursday should anticipate being reassigned to Friday, November 27 for testing during the Thanksgiving week. (Testing sites are closed on 11/25 & 11/26.)

Post-Thanksgiving Schedule Changes –  Beginning on November 30, we expect there will there will be changes to some students’ assigned testing day as the surveillance program shifts from a seven-day per week schedule to weekday-only testing. The downtown Ithaca test site will become available every day, Monday-Friday.

Monitor Daily Check for more information!

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Cornell Fitness Centers Group Fitness Class Survey

We want to hear from you! Tell us why you do or do not participate in virtual group fitness classes and how we can best support your fitness needs. Survey takes less than four minutes to complete. Take the survey by Wednesday, November 18.

Code of Conduct – Deadline for Feedback Nov. 17

The University Assembly (UA) is requesting feedback from the Cornell community on proposed revisions to a new Student Code of Conduct; the deadline for submitting feedback is Tuesday, November 17.

Student Spotlight: Yun Liu

Yun LiuYun Liu is a master of public health student from China. After attending the China Agricultural University and Rutgers University, she came to Cornell to study health equity and address the needs of all populations.

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.


Alumna Wins Georgia House Seat

Rebecca Mitchell, who graduated from the D.V.M./Ph.D. program in biomedical and biological sciences in May 2011, ran for Georgia House and won the seat. Learn more on her campaign Facebook page.

Doctoral Candidate Interning for Big Biology Podcast

Ajinkya Dahake, doctoral candidate in neurobiology and behavior, is interning for the podcast channel Big Biology. The podcast hosts are scientists in the U.S. and they invite guests who are well-known scientists and book writers for in-depth discussions on the biggest unanswered questions in biology. The podcast has over 50 episodes and listeners in more than 100 countries.