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College garners Belonging at Cornell innovation grant


Dr. Melanie Ragin, assistant dean of inclusion and academic excellence, will be co-leading a program that has garnered a newly established Belonging at Cornell (BaC) grant.

As part of its mission to make Cornell a more diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students, the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE) have awarded three Belonging at Cornell innovation grants of $15,000 apiece for 2021 programming.

The grant program is one of the Belonging at Cornell (BaC) initiatives and aligns with the action-oriented response to issues identified through the BaC survey, sent in February 2020 to faculty and staff on the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses, which asked about their sense of belonging, fair treatment, willingness to recommend Cornell and experience with marginalizing behaviors.

The grant committee sought proposals that align with institution-wide objectives of improving the Cornell experience for students, faculty and staff, and foster a sense of belonging, promote fair treatment and support the environment of Cornell as a great place to study and work. Collaboration across colleges/units, and promise to drive sustained impact to the Cornell community, were key criteria for the grant selection.

Ragin and Cornell colleagues Chelsea D. Specht, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Michelle Duguid, associate dean for diversity, inclusion and belonging at SC Johnson College of Business, have received an award for a Summit on Entrepreneurship and Equity. Project organizers will plan a two-day virtual event that includes keynote speakers, workshops, discussions and other activities to allow engagement by participants. Objectives will include increasing the diversity of individuals who serve as entrepreneurial leaders; and redefining entrepreneurial success to focus on contributions to social, racial, environmental and climate justice. The focus of the event blends two of Cornell’s key priority areas, and includes collaboration between the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, CALS and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

An expanded version of this story originally ran in the Cornell Chronicle.