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.

Every January and June, the Colman Leadership Program seeks to enroll up to 30 Ph.D. students in an intensive four-day program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond. Ph.D. students with the following fellowships and affiliations receive priority consideration for enrollment in the program:

  • Cornell Colman Fellowship
  • Cornell Sloan Fellowship
  • Cornell GEM Ph.D. Fellowship
  • Dean's Excellence Fellowship
  • SUNY Diversity Fellowship
  • McNair Graduate Fellowship
  • Provost Diversity Fellowship
  • Bouchet Honor Society

The Colman Leadership program has the capacity to serve a broader base of students; therefore, consideration is given to applications from Ph.D. students from all backgrounds (domestic and international). 

Program Goals

The Colman Leadership Program introduces students to a range of practical skills, theory 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, discussions, student presentations and professionally conducted workshop sessions, program participants will learn about leadership, develop practical skills for negotiation and conflict resolution, and discuss modes of translating collaborative teamwork and the positive, productive employment of the diverse  perspectives and backgrounds students bring to the program. Specifically, program participants  focus on the following:

  • Self-awareness as a leadership skill
  • Extend self-awareness to effective interpersonal dynamics
  • Appreciating fundamental group dynamics
  • Understanding of how to create teams from groups
  • Appreciating diversity in all contexts
  • Differentiating between role authority and leadership in an organizational context
  • Learning skills of integration and synthesis

Program Schedule

The January offering of the Colman Leadership Program is open only to Ph.D. students in Engineering and related STEM graduate fields. The online application for the January program opens in November. The June offering of the program is open to all Ph.D. students across all graduate fields who will have completed their third year of graduate school by the commencement of the program. The online application for the June program opens in late April.

For more information or questions about the Colman Leadership Program, contact:

  • Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement, Cornell Graduate School:, (607) 255-5417
  • Jami P. Joyner, Director - Diversity Programs in Engineering: office, (607) 255-6403