For Staff

Staff Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee

Our Mission is to honor our college's commitment to upholding the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility through ongoing action, intentionally cultivating a sense of belonging for all identities and intersections of these identities.

Through open and civil dialogue, work together with the university diversity council, university diversity officers, the Office of Human Resources, and other stakeholders to promote and inform Cornell's diversity initiatives and goals within the College of Arts and Sciences, with a specific focus on staff but in collaboration wherever possible with other community initiatives. 

Promote the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all College recruitment, retention, and programming activities with the goal of parity for all College employees.

What Do We Mean?

Diversity – “All The Ways We Differ”

The College of Arts and Sciences believes that diversity encompasses all the ways in which people differ. We embrace a broader definition that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education, marital status, language, physical appearance, geography and any other identifiers that make one individual or group different from another.

Equity – “All Can Fully Participate”

We are committed to providing an environment and resources where all will have the opportunity to fully participate. It encompasses the policies and practices used to ensure the fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time working to identify and eliminate barriers that have historically prevented the full participation of some individuals or groups.

Inclusion – “All Feel Welcomed and Valued”

We are intentional about creating environments in which any individual or group can be, and feel welcomed, respected, represented, supported, and valued to fully participate.

Accessibility – “Of Any and All Abilities”

Our commitment is to create an environment where everyone can have access to and is included in all programs and activities.

Why is it important?

  • Improve engagement where people are involved, developed and empowered.
  • Foster an inclusive environment where individuals feel they belong.
  • Counteract unconscious bias environment.
  • Create a diverse environment where we have the opportunity to learn to embrace differences.
  • Increase rates of employee retention.
  • Improve institutional reputation.
  • Enrich the professional experience of staff.
  • Better opportunities for creativity, innovation and problem-solving.

DEIA Initiatives AY 2023-2024

  • A&S Staff Welcome Back and Resource FairThursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m. in Baker Portico
  • Creation/revamping of onboarding program for College
  • Identify relevant and effective DEIA trainings for A&S managers and staff
  • Share DEIA Success Stories for Website 
  • A&S International Day
  • Establishment of a DEIA Book Club
  • Identify/Recognize Unit DEIA “Champions”

Staff DEIA Committee




Zora Blitz 2023-2025 Performing and Media Arts

Alexis Boyce


Asian American Studies

Donna Lynch-Cunningham

ex officio

Human Resources

Elly O'Brien 2023-2025 Math
Katrina Overton 2023-2025 Literatures in English
Melissa Totman (Co-Chair) American Studies

Tara Wilder


Human Resources

Contact the committee

Your feedback matters! We want to hear from you!

See something you think we should be doing? Want to provide anonymous comments, suggestions or feedback?

Let us know by visiting: A&S DEIA Staff Committee Survey

For questions, contact our DEIA Staff Committee directly (



    Filmed live on April 5, 2023, “Can You Hear My Voice? The Impact of Untapped Marginalized Groups in the Talent Management Space” is a day-long conference offering creative, actionable ideas for anyone who makes hiring decisions or who has an interest in creating a more inclusive workforce.

    Colleague Network Groups

    The Colleague Network Groups (CNGs) are organized identity-based groups that help their constituents build community, share strategies for navigating the university and serve as support networks. The university sponsors Colleague Network Groups as a way for traditionally underrepresented minorities and their allies to find support, both at Cornell and beyond.

    Colleague Network Groups

    Online Resources and Support