Cornell’s CIRTL AGEP project is situated within its Graduate School, under the leadership of Dean Barbara Knuth. Programs are carried out in partnership with the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, and CIRTL at Cornell Future Faculty Program.

Our primary goals are to: 1) improve the climate of graduate school for everyone, through workshop and panel discussions for graduate faculty and staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars, and 2) develop and test new models of group mentoring and support for aspiring faculty from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia. Cornell programs carried out under this project include:

My Voice, My Story: Understanding the Untold Lived Experiences of Graduate & Professional Students

My Voice, My Story uses the power of story to achieve greater understanding of the lived experiences of graduate and professional students. Through video monologues – derived from actual Cornell student experiences, but delivered by actors – and facilitated discussion, participants engage with issues related to the intersection of social identity and graduate school experience (e.g., whether to disclose mental health struggles, how to handle being the only person of color in your research group, struggles with impostor syndrome and social isolation). Sessions end with encouragement to think more about the roles we all play in creating inclusive and supportive research environments. In 2017-2018, we offered 11 My Voice, My Story workshops, split nearly evenly between student/postdoc and faculty/staff audiences.  Learn more about MVMS

NextGen Professors Program

Through the AGEP project, we have launched a new career-development program focused on preparing Cornell doctoral students and postdocs for faculty careers across institutional types. Participants are members of a cohort who together engage in series of professional and career development activities including monthly NextGen Professors cohort meetings and closed-door Power Mentoring Discussions with faculty. Participants also engage in future faculty development through CIRTL at Cornell. Learn more about NextGen Professors

Meet the scholars:

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 on the topic of preparing for successful faculty careers. This event is aimed at doctoral students, postdocs, JD or JSD and MFA students interested in academic careers, with the primary audience being Cornell University students and postdocs who identify with backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy. We launched this event in 2016 and have offered it on a biennial schedule since then as part of AGEP grant programming. Learn more about Future Professors Institute

Holistic Admissions Programs

Through this project, Cornell Graduate School has engaged Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs), other faculty, and Graduate Field Assistants in keynote presentations, workshops, and discussions on best practices for holistic admissions and diversity recruitment strategies. In 2018-2019, we hosted sessions with Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University professor and founder of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, and Julie Posselt, University of Southern California professor and author of the book, Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (2016, Harvard University Press). We also hosted a lunchtime panel discussion for DGSs on perspectives of graduate students from marginalized communities. Learn more about the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement

Intergroup Dialogue Project

The Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP) seeks to transform the campus climate by facilitating communication across social, cultural, and power differences in a critical and meaningful way. In partnership with Cornell’s IDP office, we piloted a short training in 2017-2018 for faculty and academic staff about applying IDP practices to enhance mentoring and advising. Since summer 2016, we have also worked with IDP to offer short courses for graduate and professional students and postdocs at least twice a year as part of grant-sponsored initiatives. Learn more about Intergroup Dialogue

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