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Byline: Susan Kelley

Four people walk along together


Afghan women scholars find safe haven at Cornell

The nine undergrads will be arriving on campus through December, thanks to robust international and cross-campus collaborations. Cornell has pledged support until they graduate.
student sifting through rocks


A 'freedom church' unearths its Underground Railroad history

Church members and a multidisciplinary team of Cornell faculty and students are learning more about St. James A.M.E. Zion Church by doing an archaeological dig.
statue of Ezra Cornell against red background


Cornell launches $5B campaign ‘to do the greatest good’

A newly launched, major fundraising campaign aims to shape Cornell as the model university for the 21st century and beyond, building on its foundation of world-class academics, research and engagement.
St. James AME Zion Church


Excavation to explore church’s role in Underground Railroad

A multidisciplinary team of Cornell students and faculty and local schoolchildren began an archeological dig Sept. 18 at St. James AME Zion church in Ithaca.
Derrick R. Spires


July Fourth and early Black Americans: It’s complicated

Black people in early America used July Fourth to argue that they should be freed from enslavement and had as much right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as white people.
Jamila Michener
Lindsay France/Cornell University Jamila Michener, associate professor of government, says when enslaved people gained their freedom, they lacked the political and socioeconomic power to influence their lives. In many ways, Black people still lack that power, she says.


Juneteenth reverberates with triumph, pain, past and present

The holiday celebrates the day enslaved people gained their freedom. But they lacked political power then, as Black people too often do today, says associate professor Jamila Michener.
View of Cornell campus from above; under a blue sky


Cornell shares land acknowledgement

The university’s acknowledgment states that the Ithaca campus is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ', also known as the Cayuga Nation.
 Sihouette of a bear against a blue background


Filmmaker Jeff Palmer tells Native Americans’ untold stories

Jeff Palmer grew up taking long walks with his father in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma. Palmer’s father, a linguist and a native Kiowa speaker, told him ancient Kiowa stories about the granite-capped peaks and rolling hills around them.

 Nicholas Sturgeon


Philosopher Nicholas Sturgeon dies at age 77

Nicholas Sturgeon, Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus in the Sage School of Philosophy and an expert in the foundations of ethics, died Aug. 24 of complications from Parkinson’s disease at a local hospice. He was 77.

Sturgeon was a professor in the Department of Philosophy, in the College of Arts and Sciences, from 1967 until his retirement in 2013.  

 Two people in a screen shot of a Zoom session


McNair Scholars lobby DC virtually for more higher ed funding

This summer was going to be crucial for Areion Allmond ’21.

With a major in biology and society, she had planned to live on campus in student housing to continue her research on the effect of the nutrient choline on children’s cognitive development. This kind of research can make or break a student’s chances of getting accepted into a M.D./Ph.D. program – which is Allmond’s goal.

 Two people in military uniform, facing each other


With help from family, friends, ROTC seniors become officers

Navy Ensign Emily Ortwein ’20 had “one of the most special and exciting experiences of her life” May 22, the culmination of four years of rigorous military training.

 Barry Strauss


COVID-19 impact: Barry Strauss on the historical perspective

Historian Barry Strauss, who specializes in ancient and military history, notes that plagues and epidemics have often been linked to wars. The current pandemic will accelerate the use of computer models and big data in the field of history; however, he says, COVID-19 has taught us that models are only as good as the assumptions on which they’re based.

 Diagram of figure wearing face mask


Student team designs smart mask that monitors vital signs

In February, Longsha Liu ’21 was well aware that COVID-19 was coursing through China and around the world.

His mother had been giving him regular updates about the virus’s spread in China, where most of his immediate family live – including his 77-year old grandmother, who continued to practice as a physician.

 Rachel Beatty Riedl


COVID-19 impact: Rachel Beatty Riedl on Africa’s response

Rachel Beatty Riedl, an expert in international studies, says Africa is the first place to look for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, given Africa’s success in dealing with the Ebola virus.

 Lawrence Glickman


COVID-19 impact: Lawrence Glickman on crisis at hyperspeed

Historian Lawrence Glickman says the simultaneous public health disaster and economic meltdown may lead us to rethink the country’s values. However, “given … how rare it is for fundamental transformations to happen, my money would be on this pandemic not fundamentally altering our basic structures of society,” he says.

 Gustavo A. Flores-Macias


COVID-19 impact: Gustavo Flores-Macías on economic, political consequences

Political scientist Gustavo A. Flores-Macías compares the economic consequences of COVID-19 to the 2008-09 recession. The pandemic, he says, will result in a poorer and more unequal U.S. society, and it highlights the importance of solutions that require collaboration across borders.

 Noliwe Rooks


COVID-19 impact: Noliwe Rooks on representing oneself online

Interdisciplinary scholar Noliwe Rooks discusses how people curate their home spaces, now that much of work and school is conducted from home via video conferencing. The pandemic has also underlined our need for human contact, she says. Rooks is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences.

 Jamila Michener


COVID-19 impact: Jamila Michener on the federal government

Jamila Michener, assistant professor of government in the College of Arts and Sciences, discusses COVID-19 and potential changes in the role of the federal government. The pandemic may prompt people to re-examine investments in institutions, such as the public health system, on which we now rely, she says. Disinvestments in these institutions include the steady closure of rural hospitals for the past five years, she says.

 Student showing a science poster


Students face pandemic disruption with resilience

“When you give support, I find that it always comes back.”