Resources for Faculty Supporting Graduate Student Diversity, Inclusion, and Mental Health
- Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement
- Graduate School Office of Graduate Student Life
- Future Faculty & Academic Careers
- Center for Teaching Innovation
- Office of Faculty Development and Diversity
- Intergroup Dialogue Project
- Office of the Dean of Students, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Student Disability Services
- Cornell Health
- Office of Institutional Equity & Title IX – Responsibility to Report
- The Office of Postdoctoral Studies
The Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE) supports professional development programming and the advancement of the representation, inclusion, and success of graduate students from historically underrepresented and marginalized populations. This includes supporting faculty engagement in discussions and workshops on holistic admissions practices, diversity recruitment practices, establishing more inclusive research and learning environments, and developing greater understanding of the experiences and identities represented in the graduate population. Staff are also available for individual consultations. To learn more, visit the Diversity & Inclusion page.
Workshops/Panels on Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in Graduate Education
My Voice, My Story: Understanding the Untold Lived Experiences of Graduate & Professional Students
My Voice, My Story sessions pair video monologues constructed from real experiences of graduate students with facilitated discussions. The primary objectives of these sessions are to utilize the power of narratives to achieve greater understanding of the lived of experiences of graduate and professional students, and to develop and share strategies on how to create more inclusive and supportive research and learning environments. (Offered in partnership with Future Faculty and Academic Careers.)
My Voice, My Story sessions are available for faculty and staff and graduate student and postdoc audiences. To request a My Voice, My Story session, contact either Sara Xayarath Hernández at firstname.lastname@example.org or Colleen McLinn at email@example.com.
Exploring Diversity Strategies for Graduate Recruitment & Selection
Invited speakers and/or facilitated panel discussions on diversity recruitment strategies, reviewing graduate applications with diversity in mind, holistic review practices, and being aware of unconscious biases in the review of applications. A session on this topic is scheduled annually for the fall semester. For more information on diversity recruitment resources, contact either Sara Xayarath Hernández at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anitra Douglas McCarthy at email@example.com.
Equity-Based Holistic Review Workshop for Graduate Admissions
Equity-based holistic review is an evidence-based practice for identifying talent and increasing diversity. In this workshop, led by nationally recognized experts Professors Julie Posselt and Casey Miller, participants will learn the research basis for holistic review and practical applications to graduate admissions. Participants will come away with tools and resources to support the implementation of holistic admissions in their programs. The session is interactive and designed to encourage conversation among faculty and staff responsible for selecting new students; therefore, small groups from departments are encouraged to register together. (Offered in partnership with Future Faculty and Academic Careers.)
Workshop Facilitators: Julie R. Posselt, Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California, a nationally recognized expert in graduate education and author of Inside Graduate Admissions – Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping; and Casey W. Miller, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs and Professor in the College of Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology and nationally recognized expert in methods for transforming recruitment, admissions, and retention to increase the access and inclusion in STEM for underrepresented groups.
- Cornell community members can access materials from this workshop and other resources related to holistic admissions.
- Cornell community members can access a recording of the lecture portion of this workshop.
- Equitable Practices for Writing, Reading and Soliciting Letters of Recommendation
- Preparing Graduate Admissions and Recruitment for Effects of COVID-19
Culturally Attuned Mentoring Paradigms – Relationships in Community Context
Speaker: Sweeney Windchief (Fort Peck Assiniboine Tribe), Associate Professor of Adult and Higher Education at Montana State University
How do mentors learn to mentor? Professional mentoring in higher education typically mirrors higher education in the contemporary American context, meaning that we tend to mentor the way we were mentored. This presentation builds upon the implementation of a program designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of faculty who mentor American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students in the STEM fields and is recalibrated for current faculty in other fields as well as those considering academia as a career. The goal of this session is for participants to consider how they can become active in co-constructing their own, identity informed, professional mentor/mentee platform. We also will discuss the concept of self-authorship in order to activate one’s own agency in developing a “constellation of mentors”. Different Institutional types and the specific disciplines in which we work have their own unique cultures, geographies, infrastructure, and resources that need to be considered.
Faculty Roundtable Discussion Series on Graduate Student Mentoring
The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity and the Graduate School Offices of Inclusion and Student Engagement, Academic and Student Affairs, and Future Faculty and Academic Careers collaboratively host faculty roundtable discussions on topics related to graduate student mentoring practices. Topics for these discussions include defining and managing expectations, recognizing and managing power dynamics, productively managing conflict, matching workstyle preferences, and understanding motivation. Roundtables provide faculty with the opportunity to engage in candid conversations and to receive and exchange resources to support their mentoring practices. Access recordings of faculty roundtable discussions at the following links:
- Mentoring and Supporting International Scholars
- Communication Strategies to Support Your Graduate Student Mentoring Practices
- Mentoring Graduate Students Remotely, Recording
Building Allyship Series
Initiated by the GPSA Diversity and International Students Committee, the Building Allyship Series is a collaboration of the Graduate and Professional Student Diversity Council and the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE). This series provides an opportunity for members of the Cornell community to engage in productive dialogue focused on fostering a greater understanding of the many aspects of allyship and how we can better support one another through active, informed, and critical allyship. Each event seeks to create a safe space for critical dialogue where we can bridge gaps in knowledge, learn from each other, and create understanding without fear of judgment. Examples of topics explored through the Building Allyship Series include the following:
- Understanding the Fundamentals of Allyship
- The Dangers of Performative Allyship – Understanding Intent versus Impact
- Combating Anti-Blackness: A Virtual “Fireside Chat” with Cornell Bouchet Scholars
- Helping First-Generation Scholars Uncover the Hidden Curriculum
More information on upcoming and previous sessions in this series can be accessed on the Building Allyship Series page.
Gaining Insights – The Perspectives of Graduate Students From Marginalized Communities
Facilitated panel discussions with graduate students focused on providing faculty with candid insights on the perspectives and experiences of graduate students from marginalized communities and how they are navigating some of the challenges confronting them at Cornell. Panelists also share what contributes to or hinders their sense of belonging and the strategies and resources they are utilizing to help support their progression and success. For more information, contact Sara Xayarath Hernández at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This faculty luncheon hosted collaboratively by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and Graduate and Professional Students International will be a panel discussion with international graduate students whose identities have been marginalized within a U.S. context. This luncheon will provide faculty with the opportunity to gain candid insights on the perspectives of international scholars who have experienced new aspects of marginalization, and how they are navigating some of the challenges confronting them at Cornell. The panelists will also share what contributes to or hinders their sense of belonging, and the strategies and resources they are utilizing to help support their progression and success.
NextGen Professors Program
NextGen Professors is a career-development program focused on preparing Cornell doctoral students and postdocs for faculty careers across institutional types. The primary audience for this program is doctoral students (in year three or beyond) and postdocs from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the professoriate and/or those with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in the academy. Participants are members of a cohort who together engage in a series of professional and career development activities including monthly NextGen Professors cohort meetings, Power Mentoring Sessions with faculty, and the Future Professors Institute. Participants also engage in the future faculty development program offerings of Future Faculty and Academic Careers. (Offered in partnership with Future Faculty and Academic Careers.)
The call for applications for the NextGen Professor Programs is in early fall. The program runs from October – June.
The Office of Graduate Student Life develops and coordinates student life focused programs on topics related to maintaining a healthy student life, including mental health and stress management, sense of community, life-academic balance, and support for students’ personal development. Faculty can utilize this office to discuss navigating difficult academic/personal situations and resources available to support students with families. To learn more, visit the Office of Graduate Student Life page.
Workshops on Student Mental Health & Well-being
Promoting a Culture of Well-Being
Offered in partnership with Cornell Health, this session is designed to encourage discussion among graduate faculty about the value of promoting a culture of well-being for the graduate student community in your graduate field. With the Graduate Student Experience data to demonstrate the strengths and areas of improvement from the perspective of your students, we discuss your community environment. We review best practices as identified by external groups and our Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. Finally, actionable strategies to promote a culture of well-being are provided to stimulate discussion.
An Introduction to Mental Health
Created in partnership with Cornell Health, this session is designed to define and normalize mental health, along with serving as an introduction on how best to support personal mental health. Key concepts of resilience are provided with an emphasis on sense of belonging, along with an opportunity to reflect on knowledge and commitment to self-care practices. Graduate Student Experience data is shared to help provide context to what peers are experiencing. Both university and local resources are provided. Perfect for first-year students, but can be modified for all levels.
An Introduction to Mental Health is for graduate student audiences. To request a session, please contact Janna Lamey at email@example.com.
Thrive (Don’t Just Survive!)
Managing change and the multiple demands placed on a graduate student’s time, energy, and attention can feel overwhelming at times and affect physical and mental health. This session helps students learn ways to meet academic priorities, personal and social needs with skill and confidence. Participants explore 1) strategies to manage stress and build their resilience in order to successfully navigate the ups and downs of daily life and to maintain the ability to bounce back from challenging experiences and 2) the campus resources that help students thrive (not just survive) at Cornell. Workshops can range in time from 60–90 minutes depending on the group’s needs.
Thrive (Don’t Just Survive!) is available for graduate student audiences. To request a session, please contact either Janna Lamey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Catherine Thrasher-Carroll at email@example.com.
Additional programming opportunities for the entire graduate and professional student community are available through the Perspectives Series. (Please encourage your students to participate.)
Future Faculty and Academic Careers prepares graduate students and postdocs to excel as teachers, researchers, and as mentors. Through our membership in the CIRTL Network of nearly 40 institutions nationwide, graduate students and postdocs in all fields can prepare for academic careers in a wide range of settings. Future Faculty and Academic Careers programs are housed in the Cornell University Graduate School and offer both local and online professional development opportunities. To learn more, visit the Future Faculty and Academic Careers website.
Programs on Mentoring and Inclusive Teaching
In this series of lunchtime workshops, graduate students and postdocs will develop essential research mentoring skills, particularly in disciplines where research is conducted collaboratively in a laboratory or field setting. Effective mentoring of students is a key skill influencing everything from research productivity to personal satisfaction. Learn best practices for mentoring undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers, and develop advising and communication skills needed to lead a research team. Interested participants should apply prior to the start of the series with the expectation of attending all workshops. Building Mentoring Skills program completion certificates will be provided for fully participating in at least four of five sessions. Building Mentoring Skills is offered annually in the spring semester.
The Inclusive Teaching Institute is a two-day workshop offered every spring for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to explore strategies for engaging diversity and fostering inclusion in teaching and learning. Participants identify ways to increase accessibility and boost student engagement and belongingness, discuss inclusive course design, and create an action plan for future teaching. (Offered in Partnership with the Center for Teaching Innovation.)
The Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) supports Cornell University teaching community members with a full complement of individualized services, programs, institutes, and campus-wide initiatives. Their vision is a Cornell teaching community that embraces the research on learning, catalyzes innovative instructional practices, and creates learning environments where every student can thrive. To learn more, visit the Center for Teaching Innovation website.
The Center for Teaching Innovation offers instructors a range of individual and small group resources and consultation services related to teaching and learning in the inclusive classroom. Examples of these opportunities include:
CTI staff can provide faculty with confidential, formative consultations. CTI staff can also meet with your department to facilitate a discussion on a range of topics such as addressing student belongingness, increasing student engagement, creating more inclusive learning environments, and facilitating student concerns when they arise. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a consultation.
“Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom” Online Course
In Fall 2018, CTI launched a new online course, “Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom.” This course is open every semester and is open to any Cornell instructor, including graduate students and postdocs, with all disciplines and any level of diversity expertise welcome.
“Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom” explores a framework for inclusive course design centered on intersecting social identities in the learning environment, pedagogical practices that support active student engagement, curriculum design from a diversity perspective, and strategies for individual and institutional change. The course runs for four weeks. Register on the Center for Teaching Innovation website.
Faculty Institute for Diversity
Offered in January and June, this two-day Faculty Institute for Diversity offers an opportunity for an interdisciplinary peer-group of faculty to transform a course through the lens of diversity and inclusion. Explore a five-dimensional framework that invites entry from all disciplinary perspectives: consider who you are, who you teach, how you teach, what you teach, and how this influences the learning environment. By the end of this institute, participants create an action plan for next semester’s teaching.
The Office of Faculty Development & Diversity (OFDD) provides a range of resources, including training and support for deans, department chairs, and individual faculty members, in the areas of faculty development and diversity. To learn more, visit the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity website.
Resources for Engaging in Conversations About Race and Anti-Racism
This compilation of resources, adapted by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity from materials sourced from the University of Michigan, provides information on anti-racist literature and other materials that you can read, watch, or listen to educate yourself and others as you seek to engage in conversations about race and anti-racism.
Workshops on Implicit Bias in Recruitment and Retention
It Depends on the Lens: Effective Search Practices
A workshop focused on establishing an effective search and addressing issues such as unconscious bias and active recruitment.
Best Practices in Academic Interviewing
A workshop on best practices in academic interviewing, issues of legality, setting an inclusive tone at interviewing, etc.
Viewpoints on Tenure and Promotion
Discussion of issues like gender and teaching evaluation, how to address tenure clock extensions, service, collaborative work.
The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) is an academic initiative grounded in theory and practice that creates community across difference through dialogue. IDP collaborates with individuals, departments, programs, and student organizations to develop and deliver offerings ranging from customized three-hour introductory experiences to intensive semester-long academic courses. These intimate, peer-facilitated sessions address topics of identity and communication across difference while providing participants with the skills to engage in productive conflict and create new shared meanings.
The IDP team provides individual consultation for faculty and staff on issues related to identity, communication across difference, and conflict. For more information about offerings and support for faculty and staff, contact the IDP team at email@example.com.
IDP Workshop Program
IDP offers workshops to members of the Cornell community including groups and organizations consisting of undergraduate students, graduate students, professional students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and/or staff. If you are interested in having a workshop provided by IDP, please fill out the Workshop Inquiry Form on the IDP Trainings and Workshops webpage.
IDP Short Course for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
This course provides participants with the opportunities to explore how their social identities shape their professional choices and teaching/learning styles, how to build capacity to have meaningful dialogue and effective collaborations across social, cultural, and power differences, and explore the power of alliances when seeking to create an inclusive environment. This short course is offered collaboration with the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and Future Faculty and Academic Careers. It is offered every July and December/January. To learn more, visit the IDP Course for Graduate & Professional Students and Postdoctoral Scholars webpage.
Intergroup Dialogue Skills in an Academic Context: Engaging in Challenging Conversations Across Difference
The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP), the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement (OISE), and Future Faculty and Academic Careers offer an annual workshop on Engaging in Challenging Conversations Across Difference for faculty and academic instructors who advise or mentor graduate students, undergraduate students, and/or postdocs at Cornell.
Faculty and instructors who attend this session will practice strategic questioning, a tool for communicating across difference. After this session, participants should feel better equipped to ask questions that facilitate thorough description and understanding of a situation or issue, in addition to fostering the collaborative generation of potential solutions. Strategic questions will be used to help attendees reflect on their own prior experience of a challenging situation with a student.
IDP Election Guide
The 2020 U.S. election is one that will impact all members of our community for at least the next four years. The strong emotions and memories from 2016 make addressing this election in classrooms, mentoring/advising conversations, and other educational spaces both more urgent and more difficult than before. The polarization of political discourse has also made it even more challenging to talk about the election, which makes acknowledging our own assumptions crucial. For this reason, the staff at IDP have put together a list of best practices that have worked for their team when discussing emotionally heavy topics that impact differently across social identity groups.
The IDP 2020 Election Guide is primarily written for staff/faculty who are unsure how to mention or discuss the 2020 election with their students. This guide is intended to be helpful in case a student unexpectedly brings up the election. This guide was created for a wide audience; therefore, considerable adaptation may be required to suit any particular group of students or discipline.
The Dean of Students Identity Resources include the Asian and Asian American Center, LGBT Resource Center, Women’s Resource Centers, Multicultural Student Leadership and Empowerment (affinity student organization advising support), the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making, Office for First-Generation and Low Income Support, and Office for Undocumented and DACA Student Support. The Dean of Students’ diversity and inclusion team offers a variety of workshops and training on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion; social justice; allyship and bystander intervention; and identity and belonging. While these sessions are available to all Cornell community members, priority is given to student groups and student organizations. Learn more about these offerings on the Dean of the Students website.
A program for faculty and staff to help create a more inclusive and supportive campus culture for undocumented/DACAmented students. Sessions reveal the lived experiences of undocumented students on campus, provide information on laws and policies and their affects, resources available on campus for undocumented students, and how to become an ally to this student population. For more information, visit the Undocumented/DACA Support Office website.
Student Disability Services includes resources for planning for accessibility, understanding accommodations, and universal design for instruction. For more information on their resources for faculty and students, visit the Student Disability Services website.
Cornell Health provides counseling and health services and training programs for students, faculty, and staff. More information available on the Cornell Health website.
Notice & Respond – Assisting Students in Distress
Notice & Respond – Assisting Students in Distress is a discussion-based bystander education program that teaches campus-community members 1) what to look for that might indicate that a student is struggling emotionally, 2) how to effectively talk about it, 3) how to gauge the severity of the situation, and 4) where to find assistance and support for various situations. Using a realistic filmed scenario, facilitated discussion, and a review of campus resources, participants are given tools and information to help them successfully navigate mental health situations they may find themselves in as members of our campus community. Participants also discuss common concerns that can make it difficult to reach out to others in distress, and how to overcome these potential barriers. To schedule a session, please contact Catherine Thrasher-Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Intervene workshop, students view a brief video demonstrating ways in which student bystanders can successfully intervene in problematic situations. Seven different situations are addressed, including: sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence (emotional abuse), an alcohol emergency, emotional distress, hazing, and racial bias. Following the video, there is an opportunity for students to engage in a facilitated conversation to reflect upon the attitudes and behaviors that influence the process of intervening as an individual or with assistance. To schedule a session, please contact Laura Santacrose at LBS65@cornell.edu.
Let’s CU Sleep/The Productive Sleeper
This session will cover the science of sleep to understand why sleep is so important for our being, strategies to overcome sleeping barriers, and tips to ensure that everyone is sleeping soundly. In this interactive session, students explore their own sleep patterns and consider incremental changes that can be used to support more productive sleep. To schedule a session, please contact Catherine Thrasher-Carroll at email@example.com.
Sexual Violence Awareness & Response
Interactive discussions are tailored for groups requesting programs on sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, healthy and unhealthy relationships, etc. Participants are given tools and information to help them understand definitions and concepts, available resources, how to be an active bystander, and how to respond to a friend, colleague, or student who has shared an experience of abuse or violence. To schedule a session, please contact Laura Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Cornell makes a concerted effort to ensure that our community can identify potential acts of sexual and related misconduct and knows who to contact and consult with if they learn about or experience sexual or related misconduct. Our aim is to make sure campus remains a safe and respectful academic and workplace environment focused on education. The staff of the Office of the Title IX Coordinator, together with our community partners, is available to provide in-person trainings to staff or faculty. If your department or unit is interested in a training, please contact email@example.com.
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Training
HR 200 “Respect@Cornell”
“Addressing Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” is required of all new employees at Cornell, replacing our previous program, “Building a Culture of Respect at Cornell.” This program, with an introduction from Cornell University President Martha Pollack, provides information on Cornell employee rights, responsibilities, and resources with respect to sexual and related misconduct and sexual harassment. It addresses how to respond should faculty or staff learn a member of our community has experienced any type of sexual violence or stalking and also lets faculty and staff know how to file a complaint.
Federal law requires all faculty and staff to receive information about sexual assault/violence, domestic violence, dating violence (also known as intimate partner violence), and stalking prevention and response. The Title IX Office hopes and expects all current faculty and staff to take this online course as part of their ongoing education and training mandates.
HR 201 “Maintaining a Harassment-Free Workplace”
HR 201 is a brief review of Cornell’s policy prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, including video examples of how to address and counsel employees subjected to workplace harassment and resources available to all Cornell employees on these topics.
“Duty to Consult” Training
There is a community responsibility for creating a safer, more caring campus culture in which bias, harassment, and violence have no place—and every member of our community is free to flourish. One of the many ways in which Cornell lives up to this commitment is through the “Duty to Consult” with the Title IX Coordinator, a responsibility set forth in Policy 6.4 and long incumbent upon all staff and faculty members (with the important exception of confidential resources), when they become aware of an alleged incident of sexual and related misconduct under this policy, such as dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, that involves a student as either the complainant or respondent.
This brief online training reviews the “Duty to Consult,” the importance of maintaining a student’s privacy, available confidential resources, and what does and does not happen when a member of the staff or faculty consults with the Title IX Coordinator, as well as providing information and resources for handling difficult conversations with students who choose to share experiences of sexual and related misconduct with you.
Sexual Harassment and Assault – Response and Education (SHARE)
SHARE offers resources and education related to sexual harassment and assault. Visit the SHARE website for more information.
The Office of Postdoctoral Studies monitors the status and needs of the postdoctoral campus community and serves as an advocate for postdoctoral issues to the Vice Provost for Research and Cornell’s administration. For more information, visit the Office of Postdoctoral Studies website.