Cornell LGBTQ+ Colleague Network Group banner; three diverse faces


Ithaca College has compiled a comprehensive page of resources and guidance for the LGBTQ+ community during the crisis.


The mission of the Cornell University LGBTQ Colleague Network Group is to raise awareness about workplace issues faced by LGBTQIA faculty and staff; provide networking opportunities for LGBTQIA faculty and staff and a forum to discuss topics of mutual interest and innovative solutions with senior leaders; and to support the recruitment and retention of LGBTQIA faculty and staff.


What we do:

Our group meets monthly for lunch and socializing. Our meetings usually feature a presentation or facilitated discussion. We also network with external LGBTQIA groups and organize events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities to support our community.

Have an announcement, info you'd like to share, or suggestions for topics or guest presenters? Let us know!


Join the LGBTQ+ CNG


Zoom background, purple with rainbow graphic. Text "Belonging at Cornell" "LGBTQ+ Pride Month" "Department of Inclusion and Belonging"

Download the Pride Month DEI Celebrations Zoom Background

Make sure to check out the great historical info and resources!



Coming up!


FRIDAY JUNE 11, 2021, 12:00 PM

Join us  at our monthly meeting, where we'll be celebrating Pride with a special screening of the short film "Lavender Hill: A Love Story," including a discussion with producer/writer Austin Bunn afterward! The film reveals a glimpse into the unique gay and lesbian commune that thrived just outside Ithaca from 1973 into the '80's. A fascinating and important piece of local queer history! And keep scrolling for more exciting Pride events  in June!


Register now


colorful graphic invitation; full text below image

  • Little and Often: A Memoir: Monday, June 21, 7:30-8:30 pm.  A special post-Father's Day and Pride book event - author Trent Preszler MS '02, PhD '12,  will discuss his book and take questions from the audience.  A story of self-discovery, perseverence and reconciliation -- click here for details and registration.
  • LGBTQ+ RESILIENCY IN THE AGE OF COVID: Friday, June 25, Noon-1:15 pm.    A multigenerational community conversation welcoming the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and allies. How did you find or create community during the pandemic? What helped you to be resilient amidst COVID-19? How does COVID, the LGBTQ+ experience and America’s racial reckoning impacting African American and Asian/Asian American communities intersect? Moderated by Hierald Osorto, Executive Director for Student Equity and Belonging, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at Ithaca College, and Kate Shanks-Booth, Director, Tompkins Co. Youth Services. Sponsored by the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights.



Meetings & Events


Monthly Meetups

We get together for lunchtime (12:00 - 1:00 pm EST) meetings on the second Friday of each month. Meetings are a time to socialize, network, and sometimes feature guest speakers or presentations. Join our mailing list using the red signup button above to learn what's coming up next!

2021 Monthly Meeting Schedule

  • February 12: Love is Love 
  • March 12: LGBTQ+ Movies, Books, & Media
  • April 9: Didja Know? Share your random knowledge!
  • May 14: Queer Dictionary - are you up to date?
  • June 11: Pride! Screening of "Lavender Hill: A Love Story"
  • July 9
  • August 13
  • September 10
  • October 8
  • November 12
  • December 10


Join our Giving Back Committee 2021:

One of the pillars of our work as a colleague network group is our commitment to giving back to our community. The LGBTQ+ CNG is seeking members who are interested in putting together a plan for this year’s community service initiative. If you have an interest in being part of this year’s committee, please reply to this email and Christopher Lujan ( will reach out to get your availability for our first meeting.



In 2020 our CNG hosted several virtual Pride activities, including a facilitated discussion about Intersectionality and Pride during our monthly meeting, Drag Bingo, and a Pride-themed trivia evening. We plan to represent Cornell at the Central NY Pride parade in Syracuse the next time it's held.

Pride Flag


Annual Fundraising Drive

In 2020 we held a sock and underwear drive to benefit local homeless youth through the Open Doors Program of Family & Children's Service of Ithaca. Thanks to the generosity of our Cornell colleagues, we were able to donate hundreds of articles of clothing. We're excited to be supporting them in their efforts.

Twitter ad for homeless drive



Join us in volunteering as a group for some of Cornell's big events: Employee Celebrations, Slope Day, Commencement, and more. It's always more fun when you know a few folks!



Meet Our Board

Sue Brightly (she/her)

I’m currently serving as our board chair. I work in HR Communications, mostly with the HR website and graphic design. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help make Cornell a more welcoming workplace and to support our LGBTQ+ community. I came to Ithaca via California about six years ago, and love being outdoors. I'm also an artist on the Ithaca Art Trail! Feel free to reach out with questions, suggestions, or just to say hi. Email Sue:


Joe Cannella

Joseph Cannella (he/him/his)

Greetings colleagues and friends,

My name is Joseph Cannella (he/him/his) I currently work in the Office of the University Registrar.  Further, I am privileged to serve on the Employee Assembly as the LGBTQ+ Representative at Large.  Representatives at large serve in a unique space where they keep the mission of the entire Cornell Community in mind while also representing a specific subset of—in this case—Cornell LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters on staff.

It is my great honor to work with other EA members to identify future campus-wide priorities, find opportunities for collaboration, and—of course—institute policies to bring about change for the betterment of present and future LGBTQ+ faculty & staff. 

For me, after serving in this position for several months, I see several needs emerging that could be addressed that would enhance the experience for all LGBTQ+ faculty and staff members: 1) I’d like to work with the CNGs to increase the activity of the Colleague Network Groups. I think that the CNGs are an important way for us to stay connected.   Further, 2) I feel a need to enhance our campus’ commitment to “Safe Zone” initiatives.  To that end, I will be working with the LGBTQ-RC and Chris Lujan and others to help shape how this initiative evolves.

I want to let every LGBTQ+ faculty and staff member know that I am at your service.  Please do not hesitate to contact me via email at   Again, if there is an issue, concern, comment, or idea that you feel will help our “Cornell community family”, I welcome you to reach out to me.

Warmest Regards,

Joseph Cannella

Employee Assembly LGBTQ+ Representative at Large


Marla Coppolino (she/hers)

Marla Coppolino is an online course developer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She likes to draw, keep goats and ducks, and appreciates life cycle diagrams.




crissi dalfonzo

Crissi Dalfonzo (she/her)

Crissi is excited to serve on the LGBTQ+ CNG board as the Historian. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of the LGBT Resource Center, and loves all things rainbow and unicorns and is thrilled to have a job that allows her to channel these things in her work on a daily basis. Crissi is passionate about creating opportunities for LGBTQ+ staff and faculty to connect with one another and form community. Feel free to contact her with questions or ideas!


david hiner

David Hiner (he/him/his)

Hi Everyone!  I work as a Business Intelligence Developer for the College of Human Ecology and have been with Cornell for over 12 years.  I enjoy conversing with other colleagues across campus and in the Ithaca community.  I am excited to be a part of the LGBTQ+ CNG and serve on its board. 

In my off time I can be found raising bees, gardening, and some various arts and crafts.  Speaking of crafts, I also enjoy brewing beer and making wine at home.

I look forward to meeting you at our monthly meetings.


christopher lujan

Christopher Lujan (he/him/his)

Greetings Everyone! I am the  Associate Dean of Students and Director of the LGBT Resource Center & Victim Advocate at Cornell. I have been doing LGBTQ+ work for the last 12 years in both the non-profit world and higher education. I joined the LGBTQ+ CNG to help build community among LGBTQ+ staff at Cornell.

I look forward to meeting each of you at our monthly meetings.  





Who can join?

This group is intended to support Cornell employees who identify throughout the LGBTQIA spectrum or who are questioning.  


Are there membership dues?

Membership is free and supported by Cornell University.


Do I have to go to meetings, or any other membership requirements?

We hope you'll join us at our in-person meetings and events, but there are no attendance or membership requirements.


Can I only join one CNG at a time?

You're welcome to join multiple CNGs.




LGBTQ+ Resources for Cornell Employees

Visit this page for information about:

  • Benefits - Marriage, Domestic Partnership, Parenting, Adoption
  • Name Change, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation Fields in Workday, Legal Name & Gender Marker Change Process
  • Cornell Policies
  • Guides - Transgender Guide to Transitioning & Gender Affirmation in the Workplace; Gender-Inclusive Pronouns; Restroom/Facilities Use Guidelines
  • Networking
  • Local & Regional Resources


Ithaca LGBTQ History Walking Tour
Did you know that Ithaca:

  • is the site of one of the 1st public declarations of the American bisexual movement
  • played a crucial role in marriage equality
  • was one of the 1st cities in the US to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • is where one of the 1st student-organized sit-ins for LGBTQ rights took place. ...and more!

Ithaca and Tompkins County hold unique and meaningful roles in local LGBTQ history and culture, as well as in the national LGBTQ rights movement and for communities across the globe.