Pathways to Success Symposium

Pathways to Success: A Professional Development Symposium for Graduate Students and PostdocsPathways to Success (P2S) is the Graduate School’s framework for helping graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars be successful in their research and scholarship, and establish the necessary skills for their future careers.

The annual Pathways to Success Symposium is a professional development opportunity focused on providing graduate and professional degree students and postdoctoral scholars with valuable career exploration and professional development learning and skill development opportunities. Participants may register for an individual session or all sessions offered within the symposium.

2024 Summer Pathways to Success Symposium

June 4, 2024
9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Registration now open!

Graduate School host contact information:

Registration (9:30 – 10:00 am)


Welcome (10:00 – 10:15 am)


Opening Plenary Workshop (10:15 – 11:45 am)

Leadership Visioning

Speaker: Dr. Theoria Cason, CEO at Theoria in Praxis, and Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Ubisoft for Global Publishing

Session Summary

The characteristics of leadership are not exclusive to the most senior ranking persons within an organization; they are characteristics that any person can embody. Establishing a sentiment of safety, requires authenticity and vulnerability. This can be achieved by stepping outside of oneself to learn about the lived experiences of others. Through reflective dialogue, this session will provide you with strategies you can employ in the future in order to strategically navigate organizational culture as part of your leadership practice. Additionally, you will develop an action plan for continued learning in aspects of inclusive leadership.


Networking Lunch (11:45 am – 12:30 pm)


Panel Discussion (12:30 – 1:45 pm)

Faculty Who Failed – Lessons Learned for Moving Forward 

Session Summary

Graduate school is a time for students to push themselves, try new things, and explore. It’s also a time when students are likely to experience what feels like failure.  Join a panel of faculty members who will share their stories of how they “failed” and overcame setbacks in graduate school and beyond. Through personal anecdotes, panelists will share how resilience can carry you through the tough times in your degree program and come out of the experience stronger and better prepared for future challenges.


Alumni Keynote (2:00 – 3:00 pm)  

From Books to Space: My Journey from an English Ph.D. and Public Humanities Fellow to a Career at NASA 

Speaker: Dr. Abram Coetsee, Ph.D. ’22 (Literatures in English), Project Manager, National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Roundtable Discussions (3:00 – 4:15 pm) 

Diverse Career Pathways in a University Ecosystem

Session Summary

Within the academy, a multitude of career pathways exist well beyond faculty roles on the tenure track. During these roundtable discussions, you will have the opportunity to engage in conversations led by staff with doctorates throughout Cornell University who significantly contribute to the vitality of the university, including technology and licensing, alumni affairs, publishing, student success, faculty development, and other key roles! You will also have the opportunity to learn about technology resources to connect you to additional alumni with graduate degrees willing to serve as career mentors.


Ice Cream Social (4:15 – 4:30 pm)

Session Summary

End your day with us by enjoying some of the best ice cream and sorbet in the world while engaging with peers, symposium organizers, and invited discussants!


Previous Symposia