The Cornell astronomy climate and diversity committee has been established to set up and maintain a system for promoting an environment in the Department which promotes collaboration, inclusion, mentorship and respect. The committee is responsible for organizing educational opportunities, and examining our reporting, admissions, and workplace processes.
- Abigail Bohl (Undergraduate Student)
- Maryame El Moutamid (Academic Staff)
- Patricia E. Fernandez de Castro Martinez (Department Staff)
- Leslie Hebb (Faculty)
- Dylan Jackaway (Undergraduate Student)
- Dan Lalich (Academic Staff)
- Maura Lally (Graduate Student)
- Jonathan Lunine (Ad Hoc Faculty Member)
- Maddie Pettine (Graduate Student)
- Zoe Learner Ponterio (Academic Staff)
- Olive Ross (Graduate Student)
- Gordon Stacey (Faculty)
- Bez Thomas (Department Staff)
Anonymous Comment Form
If you would like to contact the committee anonymously you may do so using this form. This comment form should be used to bring concerns to the attention of the astronomy climate and diversity committee or make suggestions on how to improve the climate of the department and center. Comments will only be sent to the co-chairs of the Climate and Diversity Committee, Patricia E. de Castro Martinez and Maddie Pettine.
If you’re faculty, staff, post doc, undergrad, or a graduate student and feel like you need help or you’re unsure what to do about a problem, we recommend talking to one of these Cornell resources. They will help determine what can be done and assist in navigating the many other specific resources we have on campus.
Within the department:
Note: While the resources listed below will respect your privacy to the best of their ability, Cornell Policy 6.4 mandates some people as designated reporters who need to consult the Title IX Coordinator if they become aware of possible gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual misconduct. Note that this does not generally include faculty, staff or students in the department, but instead individuals in administrative or advising positions outside the department.
If you have experienced such a form of misconduct and wish to discuss it with the resources below, you are encouraged to do so, but also to be aware that if you talk to a designated reporter, they must report any such information to Title IX. This does not obligate you to pursue any further actions with the Title IX office, but they will contact you to make you aware of your rights and options (For more information see here).
If you would prefer to discuss your concerns or experiences with a confidential resource, see the next section which lists confidential resources.
Jonathan Lunine (Department Chair) Jonathan is willing to listen to anyone in the department about problems they are experiencing or concerns they have.
He can also help find solutions or direct you to other resources if this is what you want. As the department chair, Jonathan is also the best person within the department to contact regarding:
- Concerns about faculty within the department
- Concerns about the department climate in general
Lynda Sovocool (Interim Associate Director, Department Manager)
Lynda’s door is always open, or phone is always on, and is willing to listen to anyone in the department about problems they are experiencing or concerns they have, in or out of the Space Sciences Building.
She can also help find solutions or direct you to other resources if this is what you want. As the department manager, and our Human Resource Representative, Lynda is also the best person within the department to contact regarding:
- Procedures within the department
- University Policy
- Department and Center Policy
- External Resources Available
- Facilitating discussions with administrative staff
Nikole Lewis (Director of Graduate Studies)
Nikole is willing to listen to anyone in the department about problems they are experiencing or concerns they have.
She can also help find solutions or direct you to other resources if this is what you want. As the director of graduate studies, Nikole is also the best person within the department to contact regarding:
- Graduate student special and first-year committees
- Concerns about graduate studies; concerns of graduate students
- Facilitating conversation between graduate students and faculty
- Graduate student well-being
Outside the department: Confidential Resources
Note: the resources listed below are confidential resources that primarily offer support and advice, rather than intervention. If you want to report a violation of university policy, the two primary reporting avenues are listed in the next section. You can also seek advice from these confidential resources about where you can best find help within the university.
Primarily able to help with:
- Employment issues
- Tenure or reappointment
- Workplace disputes
- Cornell policy
- Interpersonal conflict
- Ethics concerns
- Graduate committees
- Advisor/advisee issues
Cornell Victim Advocates
Primarily able to help with:
- Sexual assault or rape
- Violent/potentially violent relationships
- Stalking or targeted vandalism
- Physical, emotional, or mental assault
- Bias-related incidents
- Related types of victimization
A full list of confidential resources is available here.
Outside the department: Reporting violations of University Policy
The Office of the Judicial Administrator handles violations of the Cornell Code of Conduct. This code of conduct applies to all individuals within our department.
This office handles violations of Cornell’s Policy 6.4. This is Cornell’s policy to ensure compliance with the federal law known as Title IX. Broadly, this policy prohibits:
- Gender-based harassment
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Domestic and dating violence
- Sexual exploitation
- Other forms of sexual misconduct
For more information about how these forms of misconduct are defined, see the list of policy documents here. Unfortunately as of June, 2020, there are no summaries available on the Title IX Office website.
Outside the department: Comprehensive list of additional resources
A comprehensive list of resources Cornell offers to cover crisis, mental, physical, social, intellectual, financial, and family help can be found here.
The Sophie Fund maintains a Mental Health Resources Guide with an extensive list for students, which can be found here.