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 and Academic Careers program.

Our primary goals are to: 1) improve the climate of graduate school for everyone, but especially for those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia, 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 predominantly 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.

This workshop is offered regularly at Cornell University and is also being piloted by trained facilitators at the University of Georgia and elsewhere through the CIRTL AGEP project and Sloan Foundation University Centers for Exemplary Mentoring. We encourage you to reach out to Sara Xayarath Hernández, Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement, Graduate School, Cornell University and Colleen McLinn, Executive Director for CIRTL at Cornell if you are interested in exploring use of My Voice, My Story on your campus. Learn more about My Voice, My Story.

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 MentoringDiscussions with faculty. Participants also engage in future faculty development through CIRTL at Cornell. Learn more about the NextGen Professors Program.

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 the Future Professors Institute.

Holistic Admissions Programs & Resources

Through this project, Cornell Graduate School has engaged Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs), other faculty, Graduate Field Assistants, and future faculty in keynote presentations, workshops, and discussions on best practices for holistic admissions and diversity recruitment strategies. Recently, we have 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). The Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement also hosts panel discussions for DGSs on perspectives of graduate students from marginalized communities. Learn more about the Graduate School’s holistic admissions resources and related programs and resources

Intergroup Dialogue Project

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