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Mentorship starts here.

This page offers a helpful collection of diversity and inclusion programs, workshops and literature for those who mentor graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

The article below provides a plant-inspired approach to both defining and engaging with practices that support the research and scholarly development of diverse students, academic staff and faculty. It is recommended reading as an introduction to and the practical application of the mentoring methods further outlined on this page.

In addition, the environment in which a student or postdoc is being mentored is critical to supporting your own personal efforts. This article provides detailed information on how to “…intentionally implement equitable and inclusive policies, set norms for workplace conduct, and provide opportunities for mentoring and networking” that will support you in reversing trends in marginalization and in building an anti-racist lab.

As part of the growing recognition of the critical need to address social justice and anti-racism as part of our graduate and post-graduate training programs, the resources listed on this webpage are intended to help support reflection, dialogue, and action by graduate education leaders, faculty, staff, and students interested in social justice in graduate education programs and institutions. Continue below to explore why mentoring is so important to building a robust and inclusive academia, to raise your own awareness as to policies and practices that center inclusive mentoring, and to identify opportunities for your graduate student and postdoc mentees at Cornell and beyond.


Mentoring Methods

Faculty Holistic Review Workshop for Graduate Admissions

Holistic review is an evidence-based practice for identifying talent and increasing diversity. First held in 2019, this workshop introduces participants to the research basis for holistic review and practical applications to graduate admissions. Participants are provided with tools and resources to support the implementation of holistic admissions in their graduate fields.

Workshop Facilitators: Julie R. Posselt, associate professor of higher education at the University of Southern California, a nationally recognized expert in graduate education and author of Inside Graduate Admissions – Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping; and Casey W. Miller, associate dean for research and faculty affairs and professor in the College of Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a nationally recognized expert in methods for transforming recruitment, admissions and retention to increase the access and inclusion of STEM for underrepresented groups

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

My Voice, My Story sessions pair video monologues constructed from real experiences of graduate students with facilitated discussions. The primary objectives of these sessions are to utilize the power of narratives to achieve greater understanding of the lived of experiences of graduate and professional students, and to develop and share strategies on how to create more inclusive and supportive research and learning environments. Offered in partnership with Future Faculty and Academic Careers, sessions are available for faculty and staff and graduate student and postdoc audiences. To request a My Voice, My Story session, contact Sara Xayarath Hernández at grad_assoc_dean [at] (grad_assoc_dean[at]cornell[dot]edu) or Colleen McLinn at futurefaculty [at] (futurefaculty[at]cornell[dot]edu).

Culturally Attuned Mentoring Paradigms – Relationships in Community Context

Speaker: Sweeney Windchief (Fort Peck Assiniboine Tribe), associate professor of adult and higher education at Montana State University

How do mentors learn to mentor? Professional mentoring in higher education typically mirrors higher education in the contemporary American context, meaning that we tend to mentor the way we were mentored. This presentation builds upon the implementation of a program designed to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions of faculty who mentor American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students in the STEM fields, and it is recalibrated for current faculty in other fields, as well as those considering academia as a career. The goal is for participants to consider how they can become active in co-constructing their own identity-informed, professional mentor/mentee platform. Windchief also discusses the concept of self-authorship in order to activate one’s own agency in developing a “constellation of mentors.”

Faculty Roundtable Discussion Series on Graduate Student Mentoring

The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity and the Graduate School Offices of Inclusion and Student EngagementAcademic and Student Affairs and Future Faculty and Academic Careers collaboratively host faculty roundtable discussions on topics related to graduate student mentoring practices. Topics for these discussions include defining and managing expectations, recognizing and managing power dynamics, productively managing conflict, matching workstyle preferences and understanding motivation. Roundtables provide faculty with the opportunity to engage in candid conversations and to share resources for supporting their mentoring practices.

  • September 14, 2020, Noon - 1 p.m. (lunch at 11:30 a.m.)
  • November 20, 2020, 9 - 10 a.m. (breakfast at 8:30 a.m.) 

Dialoging across Differences

The Intergroup Dialog Project (IDP) offers sessions specifically tailored to foster social identity development, develop dialogue as a tool for communication, and enhance group dynamics — while inspiring participants to explore avenues for social justice advocacy in their personal and professional lives. They tailor workshops to groups' needs and offer thematic workshops that include mentoring. If your department or field is interested in collaborating with IDP, you can complete a workshop application.

Resources for graduate and postdoctoral students

Awareness of and access to resources are part of a mentor’s responsibility. Learn about these resources and share them with graduate students and postdocs as part of their foundational career development.

The Pathways to Success programming is designed to help graduate students, professional students and postdoctoral scholars be successful throughout their time at Cornell and into their future careers. Programming is organized into the following focus areas: Navigate Academia, Build Your Skills, Create Your Plan, and Prepare for Your Career.

A professional and community development event for new and continuing M.S./Ph.D. and Ph.D. students from across all graduate fields who identify as belonging to groups historically underrepresented in graduate education.

A two-day workshop offered every spring for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to explore strategies for engaging diversity and fostering inclusion in teaching and learning.

Peer-led courses blend theory with experiential learning, and they are designed to facilitate communication across social, cultural, and power differences, in a critical and meaningful way. Sessions are available specifically for graduate students and postdocs.

First established for STEM students, the program enrolls up to 30 students in an intensive four-day immersion program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond.

Focused on advancing diversity and inclusion within the professoriate, with an emphasis on engaging doctoral students and postdocs from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia and/or those with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, access and equity in academia. Applications are due annually in September.

Aimed at doctoral students, postdocs, J.D. or J.S.D. and M.F.A. students interested in academic careers, the primary audience is Cornell students and postdocs who identify with backgrounds historically underrepresented in the academy.

Empowering Women in Science & Engineering (EWISE) is a one-day professional development opportunity for faculty, staff, postdocs, PhD students and professionals that provides participants with the chance to learn about challenges facing women in science and engineering and to discuss opportunities.

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