Transitions… Navigating Graduate School for First-Year Students

As part of a continued orientation experience for incoming graduate and professional students, the Graduate School sponsors a special seminar series for first-year graduate and professional students. The purpose of Transitions is for students to gain valuable information and skills to make a successful transition into the role of a Cornell graduate or professional student. 

Registration Form

Register for all or some of the sessions here.

Transitions Workshops

Get the Mentoring You Need and Want

Monday, August 10 at 4:00 pm & Wednesday, September 9 at 10:00 am

Mentoring is the most critical relationship for a graduate student. Mentoring begins with understanding what mentoring is and what you hope to get out of the relationship. Through interactive discussion and case studies, we will discuss how to establish a positive relationship and communicate effectively with your mentors.

Presenters: Colleen McLinn, Director, Future Faculty & Academic Careers and Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement, Graduate School


Understanding and Overcoming the Imposter Experience (aka- You Belong in Grad School)

Tuesday, August 11 at 10:00 am & Tuesday, September 1 at 4:00 pm

Did you know that imposter feelings are normal and that most high-achieving graduate students experience these feelings at some point? Join us to better understand the Imposter Syndrome; learn where it comes from and how it can manifest. More importantly, understand how it can be a barrier to graduate student success and what you can do to overcome this. Dr. Wong will use theory, data, clinical practice, and his own experiences as a graduate student to paint a picture of the Imposter Syndrome with accuracy, helpfulness, and humor.

Presenter: Wai Wong, Assistant Director for Community Based Services, Cornell Health


Develop Your Strategic Plan for Graduate School Success

Thursday, August 13 at 4:00 pm & Wednesday, September 2 at 10:00 am

Graduate school may not be exactly what you expected…so what is a first-year to do? Make a strategic plan! Spend time with our Associate Dean discussing the value of strategic planning and how to take control of your academic future from the first day. This session includes practical strategies, illustrative stories, and cautionary advice on avoiding and overcoming obstacles.

Presenter: Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Graduate School 


Understanding Doctoral Funding at Cornell: An Introduction to Fellowships and Assistantships

Monday, August 17 at 10:00 am & Monday, September 14 at 4:00 pm

At Cornell, almost all Ph.D. students receive funding that pays tuition and provides a living stipend through a combination of fellowships, assistantships, and external scholarships. This presentation will explain how stipends are paid, what your responsibilities are, and provides insight on how to be an active participant in your own funding plan.

Presenter:  Jason Kahabka, Associate Dean for Administration, Graduate School


Navigating Relationships and the Environment as a Graduate/Professional Student

Wednesday, August 19 at 4:00 pm & Monday, September 21 at 4:00 pm

Learn about Cornell’s response to the national conversation regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment. Join us in this conversation as we paint a picture of what the environment is like for graduate and professional students at Cornell. Finally, learn about Title IX and Cornell’s commitment to address these matters in our community, and discover resources that are available to help individual students navigate relationships while at Cornell.  

Presenters: Theoria Cason, Training and Education Coordinator, Institutional Equity & Title IX and Nasser Saidat, Investigator, Institutional Equity & Title IX


Serious Scholarship and Responsible Conduct of Research

Tuesday, August 25 at 4:00 pm & Thursday, September 17 at 10:00 am

Navigating responsibilities for conducting research as a graduate student can be challenging. It is essential that graduate students understand Cornell’s regulations and expectations for science and scholarship. Discuss with our Associate Dean important issues related to ethics and integrity, obstacles and situations to avoid, what to do when faced with a challenging situation, and campus resources available to graduate students about research, collaborations, co-authorship, publishing, and mentoring.

Presenter: Jan Allen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Graduate School 


Maximizing Your Every Minute

Thursday, August 27 at 10:00 am & Thursday, September 10 at 4:00 pm 

While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to best manage your most precious resource, time management is a skill that can be learned! Given the many demands for your time and attention to support your many identities, roles, and relationships techniques can be learned to help you be able to consciously decide what you should do when. Join us for an interactive discussion that reviews commonly used techniques, how to make strategic decisions that support the whole you, and how to maintain relationships when setting boundaries. In addition, you will share with others what you have found works best for you.     

Presenter: Janna Lamey, Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life, Graduate School