Highlights from Announcements 3/15/21

Message from the Dean

Anniversary of Cornell’s Official Shutdown of In-person Instruction

Dear Cornellian,

Saturday, March 13th, marked the one year anniversary of Cornell’s official shutdown of in-person instruction in response to COVID-19. This weekend, I reflected on the past 12 months. I remembered my worry, anxiety, and deeply unsettled feelings as I packed my computer and files and prepared for lockdown. I did not imagine that I would start a new job remotely or that my friends and family would still be gathering over Zoom a year later.

As the days stretched into months, our experiences differed. Our goals, expectations, and plans for this period were interrupted. Many of us experienced tremendous loss, and all of us worried as we physically isolated and mourned for the lives lost during the pandemic as well as for the loss of our own daily routines. I would like to acknowledge these challenges and losses, and I would like to acknowledge the bravery, adaptability, and perseverance of Cornell’s students, faculty, and staff.

Over the last year, Cornellians became master pivoters and problem solvers. University research facilities retooled to provide testing, allowing the campus to open for the fall semester. Some students’ research and scholarship continued with modifications; others were forced to explore new areas. Students defended their dissertations over Zoom, taking advantage of the remote format to invite more family and friends from around the world. Throughout it all, I saw Cornellians rise to the unexpected.

With vaccinations on the horizon, my hope is that we can begin to resume our lives cautiously. One in four Americans has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and it’s expected that by May 1 vaccines will be widely available. I am expecting a more normal fall semester and look forward to meeting many of my staff and the GPSA student leadership in-person for the first time. I anticipate hearing from all of you and seeing familiar faces on the quads.

This past year has proved what I’ve always known. Cornellians are strong, and our community is dedicated.

Best wishes,

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

Message from the Dean

Update on Vaccine Eligibility

Last Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced new expansions of the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and the addition of 10 more state-run vaccination sites in the next couple of weeks as distribution of the vaccine continues to ramp up.

Effective immediately, the priority group eligibility for higher education now includes graduate and professional students who have paid assistantships, fellowships, or hourly positions that require in-person activities.

This includes:

  • Graduate assistants who have on-campus responsibilities.
  • Students on fellowships who have on-campus research or academic responsibilities.
  • Hourly student workers who have on-campus duties.

This does not include:

  • Students who are only attending classes on campus.
  • Students who are conducting research or performing activities related to their academic requirements without an assistantship, funding, or hourly employment.

The new guidelines from the state and county only cover students if they have paid employment, fellowships, or assistantship appointments that require in-person activities. Students who are working 100% remotely are not included.

Please use the Cornell Vaccine Eligibility Attestation Tool to generate your eligibility letter. Then complete the state Am-I-Eligible Form and check the “in-person instruction” box to look for a site to make an appointment.

Cornell’s COVID-19 Support Center is processing requests and generating letters as quickly as possible. It may take a few days for a response. Also, eligibility has been expanded recently. If you are on a fellowship and were denied your request, please resubmit.

Tompkins County is offering free bus service to the SUNY Binghamton Vaccination Center.

Warm regards,

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

Student Spotlight: Dan Adler

Dan AdlerDan Adler is a doctoral student in information science from Yardley, Pennsylvania. After attending Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate, he chose to pursue further study at Cornell Tech due to the interdisciplinary nature of information science at Cornell.

Read the full student spotlight

Interested in what other 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.


Marysol LunaAlumna Profiled in Diversity in Action

Marysol Luna, Ph.D. ’20, was featured in the March/April issue of Diversity in Action. As the first Latina to earn a mechanical engineering doctorate from Cornell’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Luna shares her experiences leading to an interest in STEM, pursuing a Ph.D. at Cornell, and giving back through mentoring others. Read the full article.

Doctoral Candidate Wins AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award

Civil and environmental engineering doctoral candidate Chun-Yu Ke won an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2020.

I-An SuHuman Development Doctoral Student Receives AP-LS Diversity Award

I-An Su, a doctoral student in human development with a focus in developmental psychology, received the Diversity in Psychology and Law Research Award from the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41) BRIDGE Committee for her research on forensic interviewing of children during COVID-19 with Stephen J. Ceci, Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology.