Colman Inclusive Leadership Program

people standing together on a staircase smiling

The Colman Inclusive Leadership Program seeks to enroll 30-40 research degree graduate students for an immersive three-day virtual program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. The 2023 program includes doctoral students from Cornell as well as doctoral students from institutions affiliated with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s University Centers for Exemplary Mentoring and master’s degree and doctoral students from institutions affiliated with the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership programs.  

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Program Goals

The Colman Inclusive Leadership Program introduces students to a range of practical skills, theories pertaining to leadership, and special topics relevant for application in both academic and professional contexts. With a varied format including readings, interactive group activities, case studies, and discussions, program participants will engage in the following topics:

  • What is Emotional Intelligence?
  • Inclusion and Belonging – We All Want It, How Do We Get It?
  • Inclusive Leadership Frameworks
  • Conflict Management
  • Culture – Power, Awareness, and Humility
  • Leadership Visioning

Application & Program Schedule

Access the Application

Application Due Date: May 15, 2024 (note extended deadline)

Selection Decisions released by mid-May, 2024

Virtual Program Dates and Times: June 11-13, 2024, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET

*For Cornell students based in Ithaca, there is an additional in-person meeting on Friday, June 14, 11:30 am – 1:30 p.m. ET

Should You Apply?

You have a choice of leadership development opportunities within and beyond Cornell via multiple offerings of courses and programs. We would like you to choose the best of these options for yourself. If you are considering applying to the Colman Inclusive Leadership Program, you should know that it is an immersive learning experience. It is predicated on discovery, integration, and synthesis and not on prescriptive norms of leadership. We quote from former participants below to help you decide.

It is for you if you are seeking what these participants have described:

“Because of this program, I am more keenly aware of areas where I can be more prone to making leadership missteps. Because of this, I can now actively work on improving areas where I am far from where I want to be, and continue to put myself in situations that leverage my strengths as a leader. I especially enjoyed the visioning section and the lesson about putting up boundaries was something that I certainly needed to hear.”

“The program helped me to be more aware about myself and others. In addition, it helped me identify the areas of Emotional Intelligence in which I am strong and the ones in which I need to work more. It was also great to understand the ways on how I deal with conflict the best and the ones I need to work on more to be a better and more inclusive leader.”

The Colman Inclusive Leadership Program is for you if you are prepared to engage in intensive self-discovery with similarly committed peers from diverse identities, interests, and experiences. This program does not focus on the development and practice of specific managerial skills.


Cindy Mosqueda, Associate Director, Diversity Programs in Engineering:

Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion and Student & Faculty Engagement, Cornell Graduate School: 


In spring 2012, John and Jane Colman founded the Colman Family Endowed Fund for Leadership within Diversity Programs in Engineering (DPE) to establish the Colman Inclusive Leadership Program for Ph.D. students in engineering and other related STEM fields. In summer 2015, the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement (OISE) established a partnership with DPE to make the Colman Inclusive Leadership Program open to all Ph.D. and M.F.A. students from across all graduate fields at Cornell.