Graduate School Dean’s Scholars

Dean's Scholars

The Graduate School Dean’s Scholars are recipients of one of the following fellowships in support of diversity, or are nominated and selected scholars who have demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence and advancing aspects of diversity, access, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the academy and other communities.

The core purpose of the prestigious distinction of Dean’s Scholar is to develop a community of diverse scholars through which connections are established and maintained across all graduate fields. To help facilitate the establishment of community, Dean’s Scholars are invited to participate in a variety of professional and community development events sponsored or co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement (OISE).

Dean’s Scholars Summer Engagement Series

This is a four-part online program series that serves as an early opportunity for incoming Dean’s Scholars to engage with continuing Dean’s Scholars as one means to help establish a sense of community and belonging at Cornell. Featured in each session is an invited Dean’s Scholar alumni speaker. Our alumni speakers share insights on how they were able to establish community, navigate their progression through their graduate studies, work through moments of uncertainty, remain motivated, and find a sense of purpose.

Summer Success Symposium – S3

S3 is a pre-orientation event for new and continuing M.S./Ph.D. and Ph.D. students from across all graduate fields with a particular focus on bringing together recipients of graduate fellowships in support of diversity as well as all other doctoral students from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in the academy including, but not limited to those that identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color), first-generation college (FGC) students, LGBTQQ+ identified students, veterans, students with disabilities, women in STEM, students with DACA status, and others.

Through this symposium, participants have the opportunity to form connections and establish community. This symposium also provides participants with the opportunity to engage with successful alumni, faculty, and professionals with shared experiences and identities. Summer Success Symposium keynote and workshop content focus on providing participants with access to knowledge and insights that will help them navigate their successful transition into and progression through their graduate studies

Graduate Diversity & Inclusion Welcome Reception

All Dean’s Scholars are invited to attend the Graduate Diversity & Inclusion Welcome Reception to network with current students, staff, faculty, and other community members. This event also provides participants with the opportunity to learn about student organizations represented on the OISE Leadership Council. This family friendly event takes place every August the week of the Graduate School’s orientation activities.

Dean’s Scholars Pinning Ceremony

The inaugural pinning ceremony for the Graduate School Dean’s Scholars took place in September 2017. This event marked the beginning of an annual fall tradition where the Graduate School publicly recognizes and celebrates the Dean’s Scholars for their academic achievements, commitment to excellence, and potential for making meaningful contributions to their respective disciplines. The Dean’s Scholars pin has a round center of gold with the Cornell seal, which is surrounded by an outer ring of silver. The silver represents the persistence of the scholars whereas the gold represents their achievement. (View the 2020 Dean’s Scholars Pinning Ceremony.)

Colman Leadership Program

In spring 2012, John and Jane Colman established the Colman Family Endowed Fund for Leadership within Diversity Programs in Engineering (DPE) to establish the Colman 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 established a partnership with DPE to launch a June offering of the Colman Leadership Program open to Ph.D. students from across all graduate fields. The Colman Leadership Program seeks to enroll up to 30 Ph.D. students in an intensive multi-day program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. Dean’s Scholars receive priority consideration for selection for the Colman Leadership Program.

Future Professors Institute: Advancing Diversity in the Academy

The Future Professors Institute is a one-day event featuring workshops and guest speakers from multiple institutions discussing the topic of preparing for successful faculty careers. This event is aimed at doctoral students, postdocs, J.D. or J.S.D., and M.F.A. students interested in academic careers, with the primary audience being Cornell University students and postdocs who identify as students of color, first-generation college students, or who are diversity fellowship recipients. Dean’s Scholars receive priority consideration for selection for the Future Professors Institute.