Climate and Diversity

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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 free and confidential Cornell resources. They will help determine what can be done and assist in navigating the many other specific resources we have on campus. 
  • Employment issues 
  • Tenure or reappointment 
  • Workplace disputes
  • Cornell policy 
  • Interpersonal conflict 
  • Ethics concerns
  • Graduate committees
  • Advisor/advisee issues
  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Violent/potentially violent relationships
  • Stalking or targeted vandalism
  • Harassment
  • Physical, emotional, or mental assault 
  • Bias-related incidents
  • Hazing
  • Related types of victimization
Jonathan Lunine (Department Chair), Mary Mulvanerton (Associate Director), or David Chernoff (Director of Graduate Studies) will be happy to assist with department related issues as well. 
A comprehensive list of resources Cornell offers to cover crisis, mental, physical, social, intellectual, financial, and family help can be found here.

Our Climate and Diversity Committee 

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.
One product of the committee is the Community Values Statement, based on extensive input from the Cornell astronomy community, adopted in February 2020.
We hold monthly meetings and all are welcome to join. Reach out to one of us for more information. 

Office Hours

Members of the committee also hold office hours to provide a space for students to speak with members of the astronomy community. We envision these hours as being a place where students can talk about issues they are facing with someone who wants to help, and as a way to maintain some interaction between students and members of the astronomy community, even as we are in different places. We understand that working virtually might present students with unique challenges, and we want to be able to connect students with resources to solve those problems.

Some potential reasons you might use our virtual office hours:
You need to vent about something going on in the department in a safe, supportive, and confidential environment
Your professor in an astronomy class is not accommodating your COVID-related circumstances and you want to talk with someone about it
You want help figuring out who to talk to in the astronomy department in order to solve a problem related to classes or research
You want to feel more connected to the department by having a conversation with someone

Office hours are currently held over Zoom: Contact Catie Ball for meeting details.

Schedule and hosts (beginning 6/1/2020):

  • Mondays 2 PM - 3 PM: Monica Carpenter 
  • Tuesdays 11 AM - 12 PM: Zoe Learner Ponterio
  • Thursdays 1 PM - 2 PM: Catie Ball 
  • Thursdays 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM: Nikole Lewis

Committee Members

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, Mary Mulvanerton and Catie Ball.