Appel Fellowship for Humanists and Social Scientists

The Appels established the Robert and Helen Appel Fellowships for Humanists and Social Scientists in the College of Arts & Sciences in 1995. The Appel Fellowships enable recently-tenured associate professors to take a full year's leave at full salary in conjunction with their first sabbatical to write, develop new courses, conduct research or otherwise enrich their teaching and scholarship. In exceptional cases, assistant professors who have been recommended for a second three-year appointment are also eligible for the award and can take a semester's leave at full salary.

The fellowships not only recognize and reward faculty excellence, but also help retain the best faculty to ensure the university's ongoing strengths in teaching and research. Some of the university's most prominent professors carry the designation "Appel Fellow" and bring distinction to Cornell through the extraordinary quality of their professional work both in and out of the classroom.


Eligible Titles:

Professorial faculty in the humanities and social sciences


Recently tenured associate professors or, in exceptional cases, assistant professors who have been recommended for a second three-year appointment. Faculty must have an appointment in a humanities or social sciences department; the award is based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, as well as scholarly promise.

Available Awards:

One award. The Appel Fellowship will provide one semester of leave at full salary and fringe.

Nomination Process

All nomination packages must be submitted to the dean by department chairs. The 2024 nomination submission deadline is Monday, March 11th.

Required nomination materials:

  1. Chair’s nomination letter (may be derived from the promotion dossier or faculty performance appraisal)
  2. Candidate’s CV
  3. Evidence of distinction, including a substantive statement from nominee and teaching materials such as syllabi, etc. (may be derived from promotion dossier)
  4. Letters of support from students (may be derived from promotion dossier)
  5. Testimony from faculty colleagues that are based on actual observation or collaboration in teaching or on sustained exchanges about teaching (may be derived from the promotion dossier)

Email submission as a pdf attachment to:

About Robert and Helen Appel

Bob and Helen Appel have been among Cornell University’s most influential leaders and generous benefactors.

An economics major in the College of Arts & Sciences with an MBA from Wharton, Bob had retired in 2002 from a 33-year career at Neuberger Berman, a global investment and securities brokerage firm, but continued with his own investment business until his death in 2022. At Cornell, he was a longtime active trustee, an emeritus trustee and presidential councillor, vice chair of the Weill Cornell Medical College Board of Fellowes, Campaign Co-chair, and member of the Principal Gifts Committee; he served on the advisory council for the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and chaired the Class of 1953 Major Gifts Committee. During his tenure as a trustee, Bob served on the Executive Committee and chaired the Investment Committee. Outside of Cornell, Bob was the chair of the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center and a trustee at NY Presbyterian Hospital and Lincoln Center, and provided leadership for the Cancer Research Institute and the 92nd Street Y.

Helen, who met Bob while they were undergraduate students,  was a history major in the College of Arts & Sciences and received her masters degree in history from Long Island University. She taught social studies in the Great Neck school system for 30 years and has taught world and American history in the district’s adult program. She has also taught history in the Continuing Education Program at Hunter College. At Cornell, Helen is a presidential councillor and an emeritus member of the advisory council for the College of Arts & Sciences. She was a member of the advisory council for the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and with Bob, she was the national co-chair of the Tower Club. Helen remains an active and engaged Cornell leader, still teaches a very popular history course at Hunter College, and is on the board of trustees for the Hunter College Foundation and the New York Historical Society. 



  • Emily Fridlund, literatures in English


  • Jeffrey Palmer, performing and media arts
  • Malte Ziewitz, science and technology studies


  • Samantha Sheppard, performing and media arts


  • Naminata Diabate, comparative literature


  • Erin York Cornwell, sociology


  • Benjamin Anderson, history of art and visual studies
  • Saida Hodžić, anthropology


  • Roger Moseley, music
  • Lori Khatchadourian, Near Eastern studies


  • Sarah Murray, linguistics


  • Pedro Erber, Romance studies
  • Sarah Kreps, government


  • Jenny C. Mann, English


  • Thomas Pepinsky, government


  • Lawrence McCrea, Asian studies
  • Nick Salvato, performing and media arts
  • Alison Van Dyke, performing and media arts
  • Dagmawi Woubshet, English


  • Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, English
  • John Hale, linguistics


  • Jason Frank, government
  • Aaron Sachs, history


  • Andrew Chignell, philosophy
  • Francesca Molinari, economics
  • Samantha Zacher, English


  • Karen Bennett, philosophy
  • Laurent Dubreuil, Romance studies
  • Durba Ghosh, history
  • Masha Raskolnikov, English


  • Eric Rebillard, classics and history
  • T. Robert Travers, history


  • Tracy McNulty, comparative literature
  • Cynthia Robinson, history of art


  • Xak Bjerken, music
  • Bruno Bosteels, Romance studies
  • Kim Weeden, sociology


  • Mary Pat Brady, English
  • José Edmundo Paz-Soldán, Romance studies


  • Charles Brittain, classics
  • Ted O'Donoghue, economics
  • Amy Villarejo, performing and media arts
  • David Yearsley, music


  • Michael Spivey, psychology


  • Stephen Hilgartner, science & technology studies
  • Viranjini Munasinghe, anthropology


  • Ellis Hanson, English
  • Natalie Melas, comparative literature


  • Jane Fajans, anthropology
  • Andrew Galloway, English


  • Abigail Cohn, linguistics
  • Molly Diesing, linguistics


  • Maureen McCoy, English