Recruitment Resource Fair Informs Admitted Students

Spring resource fair for admitted chemical engineering students at the Big Red Barn

By Sally Kral

Knowing exactly what resources are available at a large institution like Cornell can be a challenge. For prospective graduate students who have been admitted and are in the process of making their decision about where to attend graduate school, showcasing Cornell’s resources can help students make the best choice based on their individual circumstances.   

To help inform these students, the Graduate School’s recruitment office partnered with the graduate field of chemical engineering to pilot a resource fair at the Big Red Barn. The resource fair for admitted graduate students introduced them to representatives from 20 different offices and organizations across campus and from the Ithaca community ranging from offices that support future faculty to local tourism and relocation services.   

According to Anitra McCarthy, senior director of recruitment at the Graduate School, “being able to host this resource fair specifically for students who have been admitted actually gives them an advantage if they choose to matriculate here since they will already be acquainted with a variety of offices, student organizations, and programs available to them once they arrive.”

In addition to helping accepted students learn more about Cornell, the resource fair was designed to increase yield for targeted populations, including those who may be historically underrepresented in higher education and the sciences.

“This year’s recruitment efforts—specifically the resource fair—were hugely successful, as evidenced by our incoming student body,” said Susan Daniel, associate professor and director of graduate studies for chemical and biomolecular engineering.

According to Daniel, the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering is bringing in a record high number of both female and underrepresented minority students for the 2018-19 year, which is only the third time since 1996 that women have outnumbered men in the incoming class. The school increased its enrollment of first-year underrepresented minority students by 50% this year.

Daniel is “thrilled about this historical success in bringing the best and brightest to Cornell while honoring the ‘Any person, Any study’ motto.” With this large incoming class, she expects an even more vibrant and active graduate field, which will translate to increased recognition for their field, their research, and the University as a whole. 

McCarthy wants to build on the tremendous success of this year’s event and plans to partner with Daniel and additional graduate fields to host this accepted graduate student resource fair again next spring.

Offices and organizations represented at the resource fair included: the Graduate School Offices of Inclusion and Student Engagement , Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST), and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CU-CIRTL); campus partners like Cornell Outdoor Education and the LGBT Resource Center;  student organizations like the Graduate & Professional Women’s Network (GPWomeN) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics and  Native Americans in Science (SACNAS); as well as off-campus resources like Maplewood Apartments and Visit Ithaca.

Sally Kral is a communications and outreach assistant in the Graduate School