Graduate School Alumni Newsletter Spring 2016

Ambassador Program Sees Results

As the first person in her family to pursue a doctoral degree and a research career, Katherine Herleman did not know exactly what to expect.

During her first year at Cornell as an M.S./Ph.D. student in the field of geological sciences, she found herself “doing a lot of trailblazing” and often relying on informal mentorship from her peers to find her way.


ELSO: Supporting International Student Success

In a classroom on the Ag Quad, a group of Ph.D. and masters students practice their English-language pronunciation skills. Across campus, on the Arts Quad, a group of graduate students talk through drafts of their literature reviews.
These free classes, offered by Cornell's English Language Support Office (ELSO), provide English-language writing and speaking support for Cornell's large international population of graduate and professional students.


Preparing PhDs for a Range of Career Paths

Traditionally an academic career appears like a ladder, with each rung representing a stage in academic development.

The first rung often happens in youth, when a teacher, parent, or natural curiosity inspires you. This first rung may ignite further thirst for knowledge and excellence in high school, where you might be encouraged to pursue an undergraduate degree. 


Research Travel Grants Awarded in Fall 2015

The Graduate School has awarded 30 Research Travel Grants for research-related travel occurring during the fall and winter of 2015-2016. Recipients represented 24 different fields traveling to locations around the globe, including cities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.


Spotlight on Research Travel Grant Recipients

Mackenzie Pierce, Poland

I’m a musicologist and my research focuses on a generation of Polish-Jewish musicians born near the turn of the 20th century. I’m examining how wartime experiences forced these musicians to reconsider their identities and to look anew at Polish society, leading some toward a faith in the redemptive power of communism while pushing others to seek refuge abroad.


Jiai Zhang, Kenya

My area of research is food science, focusing on dairy chemistry and processing, with a minor in marketing. My research is to develop a novel snack made of milk and soy protein for the Asian market and to study how critical processing parameters affect the final product.



Future Faculty Learn Inclusive Teaching Practices

Effective teachers engage in a practice known as reflective teaching. Through a process of self-observation and self-evaluation, making incremental improvements in their teaching practice.
Cornell's future faculty are learning how to be better teachers by asking critical questions such as:
  • How do my experiences and backgrounds shape my teaching?
  • How do I meet the diverse learning needs of my students?
  • How do I create an environment where students feel safe and free of prejudice so they can engage in critical thinking and deeper learning?



Campus and Local News

Maplewood to Close; Cornell Announces New Plans for Development

With Maplewood Park Apartments set to close at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, graduate and professional students were concerned about the reduction of affordable university sponsored housing.


Chapter House Reconstruction Plan Approved

After a fire destroyed the Chapter House last April, plans to rebuild the beloved Collegetown bar have been finalized. The Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the reconstruction plans...


Student Spotlights

Michael Smith, neurobiology and behavior

Michael Smith works on sociogenesis: how colonies of social insects change as they develop. His research focuses on puberty in honey bee colonies, and how individual bees are able to determine that their colony can begin to invest in reproduction.
Smith's peer-reviewed paper, "Honey Bee Sting Pain Index by Body Location," was published on PeerJ and led to Smith being named a winner of this year's Ig Nobels, which honor humorous scientific achievement. 

Tonia Ko, music

Tonia Ko, a graduate student in music, for the performed her piece "Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide" at Carnegie Hall in
March. The performance was reviewed in the New York Times.
In 2013 Ko received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award and in 2015 she received a BMI Student Composer award.