Highlights from Announcements 5/4/20

Assistantships for Students Who Left the U.S. in March and April

In the hectic days of mid-March when the campus was closing, some students chose to leave the U.S. and return to their home countries. Now, with borders closed and travel restrictions in place, it’s unclear when those students might be able to return to the U.S. Although students who are outside the U.S. are not normally permitted to hold assistantships, the university will be able to offer assistantships to students who are outside the U.S. during the summer or fall semesters if students left the U.S. prior to May 1st, 2020 and travel restrictions prevent a return. There are several important eligibility criteria described on our website.

Students who choose to leave the U.S. after May 1st will not be eligible to hold assistantships if they don’t reenter the country prior to the start of the appointment.

Extensions of Degree and Milestone Deadlines

If you are approaching a milestone such as your A exam, defense (Master’s exam or B exam), or the deadline to form your special committee, and you need more time due to COVID-19 disruptions, please know that you can use the fully online petition tool to easily submit your request. 

Just include a short explanation of the barriers you have encountered and the academic plan and the modified timeline you have developed with your committee.

Graduate Student Town Halls

Graduate Student Town Hall on Teaching Reactivation

Cornell University is closely examining options for reactivating campus and President Pollack has established four committees. Two of those committees directly address teaching: 1) the Committee on Teaching Reactivation Options and 2) the Committee on Preparation for Online Teaching. Graduate student voices are central to conversations about resuming instruction, particularly from the perspectives of those that serve as Teaching Assistants. Please join us for a Graduate Student Town Hall on Thursday, May 7th from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. via Zoom.

This Town Hall is being organized by the Committee on Teaching Reactivation Options (Rebecca Harrison is the Graduate Student Representative and Shorna Allred is the Faculty Representative) and the Committee on Preparation for Online Teaching (Courtney Roby is the Faculty Representative) in collaboration with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GPSA).

Graduate Student Town Hall on Research and Operations Reactivation

The Provost’s Committee on Research and Operations Re-activation (C-ROR) aims to develop plans for phased reactivation of campus research and operations activities, with an extraordinarily tight timeline (May 15) for an extraordinarily weighty set of decisions. Graduate student input is greatly valued on this. 

There is a scheduled Zoom discussion 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. The objective at this meeting is to hear and understand any and all suggestions and concerns that you have. There will be great value in a broad discussion. If you cannot make this time or find your views were not heard in the meeting, please send a note to Chris Schaffer either with your thoughts or with times that would work for you to talk.

Registrar: COVID-19 Deadline Extensions

  • Spring 2020 Drop Deadline & S/U Grading Option: The last day to drop courses or change grading basis has been extended to Tuesday, May 12. See the message, “Changes in Course Grading Policy for Spring 2020“, for detail on S/U grading options. Students can drop courses with a W and petition to change the grading basis to S/U between May 12 and May 23.
  • Thesis/Dissertation Submission Deadline: The thesis/dissertation submission deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15. Refer to the Thesis & Dissertation Planning Timeline for detailed information on deadlines and submission requirements.

Due to the rapidly evolving situation, students should continue to monitor their email and the university websites for future updates.

Cornell Tech Students

We know some of this information is only relevant to Ithaca based students. For other information, please refer to the Cornell Tech weekly Student Services Newsletter sent on Wednesdays and check the Cornell Tech COVID-19 Updates page.

Teaching Assistant Award Winners Champion Inclusivity

Sri Lakshmi Sravani Devarakonda Cheyenne Peltier

Doctoral students Sri Lakshmi Sravani Devarakonda and Cheyenne Peltier have been named winners of the 2019-20 Cornelia Ye Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

The award is given annually to two outstanding TAs – one domestic and one international – who have demonstrated dedication and excellence in their teaching responsibilities. The award includes a certificate and a $500 prize.

Read the Chronicle story

Alumnus Spotlight: Nick Horvath, Ph.D.

Nick HorvathNick Horvath is an alumnus of the chemical engineering program at Cornell from which he holds a Ph.D. Now, as a computational scientist at Synlogic Therapeutics, he uses mathematical modeling to understand the mechanisms of diseases in the human body and the way that engineered therapeutics can make an impact for patients.

Read the full alumnus spotlight

Interested in what other alumni have accomplished since leaving Cornell?

Check out our alumni spotlights, Q&As with former students about their current work, experiences, and skills learned at Cornell.


Melissa DeRosa ’04, M.P.A. ’09 is Leading Cuomo’s Coronavirus Response

Melissa DeRosa with Governor Andrew CuomoAs secretary to Governor Cuomo, alumna Melissa DeRosa ’04, M.P.A. ’09 is leading the coronavirus response in New York state. DeRosa has managed state decisions about restaurant closures, voting by mail, executing the governor’s public messaging strategy, and chairs the COVID-19 Maternity Task Force.

Read more about her role in the coronavirus response in Elle Magazine: How Secretary To The Governor Melissa DeRosa Is Leading Cuomo’s Coronavirus Response.

Read more about DeRosa’s history in politics in Cornell Alumni Magazine: Corridors of Power.

Doctoral Student Highlighted in Video on Remote Lab Instruction

Meagan Sundstrom on ZoomMeagan Sundstrom, a doctoral student in physics and a teaching assistant, is highlighted in a video where instructors and students discuss the adaptations made to support remote lab work. Read more in the Cornell Chronicle story.

Master’s Students Win Second Place in Impact Investing Competition

Li Xuan Amanda Tang, Shang-Chi Liu, and Ryan Christopher SequeiraLi Xuan Amanda Tang, design and environmental analysis, and Shang-Chi Liu and Ryan Christopher Sequeira, real estate, won second place in the University of Miami Business School Impact Investing Competition 2020. They proposed a 290-unit senior housing development for low and very-low income residents of Miami-Dade.