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Staff Graduate Reception

hand holding out a diploma with red ribbon

Each year, dozens of Cornell staff members graduate with degrees from Cornell and other colleges with the help of the Employee Degree Program and the Tuition Aid program offered by the University.

The Division of Human Resources and the Employee Assembly host an annual Staff Graduate Reception for employees who receive degrees through one of our educational programs. This event promotes the University's pride in those employees who achieve their educational goals while also maintaining their job responsibilities. If you will be graduating, please notify Michelle La Fave, met27@cornell.edu so that you can be included in this celebration.


2024 Staff Graduate Reception Event

Graduates from the Employee Degree and Tuition Assistance Program and a guest are invited to the Staff Graduate Reception.

Date: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Location: East Hill Office Building (EHOB), 295 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. Room: 102 HR Training Room & Atrium 

Time:

       Reception begins at 5:00 P.M.

          Virtual Webinar opens at 5:00 P.M.

       Program begins at 5:30 P.M. for all guests attending

*Invitations to complete a bio form have been sent out. Invitations to the event in which to RSVP will be sent out in May. Keep an eye on your email for communications.

Video Transcript

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[Christine] So good evening, 
everyone. My name is Christine Lovely,

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and I'm the vice President and Chief 
Human Resources Officer here at Cornell.

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and on behalf of the Employee

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Assembly and Human Resources, I would like to welcome all of you to the 26th

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Annual Staff Graduation Reception.

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All right. So I don't know who is going to shift the full gallery.

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Okay...

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So we're celebrating 18 staff members who have received

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college degrees this year.

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And we have some of these colleagues joining

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us online as well. Which is why I 
was asking for the gallery view,

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and I always enjoy these opportunities to celebrate with you and with your families.

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And before I go any further, I would 
like to read the University's Land Acknowledgment.

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Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands

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of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ, the Cayuga nation.

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The Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ, are members of 
the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance  

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of 6 sovereign nations with a historic 
and contemporary presence on this land.

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The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University,

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New York State, and the United States of America.

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We acknowledged the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ dispossession and  

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... honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ

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people past and present to these lands and waters.

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President Pollack was unable to join us this evening,  

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but she provided me remarks that 
I will be reading on her behalf.

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[Pollack's Remarks:] Good afternoon, everyone, and congratulations to all of our graduates.

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I am so sorry that I wasn't able to be with you  

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today to congratulate you in person for 
your enormously impressive achievements.

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This year we have about 34 staff members earning degrees,  

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either here at Cornell, through the employee degree program or at another institution.

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The tuition aid program.

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These programs we've offered at Cornell for many years for what boils down to one simple reason;

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we believe deeply in the power of higher education  

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to change lives and societies for the better.

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Each of you has chosen to take advantage of these programs  

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because you are a part of Cornell, part of our mission, and you believe in that power.

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And in doing so you've enriched our entire community.  

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Your degrees are a testament, not only to your academic achievements, but to your tenacity.

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And they are a testament... testament as well to those who have supported you along your  

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journey. The family, friends, and faculty 
who have motivated and encouraged you.

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Many of whom join us today.

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Thank all of you for all of the ways 
you have enriched our community and furthered  

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our academic mission. I am delighted to congratulate each and every one of you,  

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and to wish you all the best. So that 
concludes President Pollack's remarks.

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Commencement is such an exciting time. Many individuals have been 24/7 students  

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for the past several years, and are ready to transition to the next phase of their lives. Work.

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All of you here today, though,  

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have had a notably different experience than our more traditional students.

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And for that reason, it's truly my honor and privilege to recognize you for  

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reaching this milestone in your 
personal and professional lives.

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You manage to be a student and  

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an employee simultaneously. 
Give it up for you myself.

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That's impressive. I, honestly...

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I honestly could not imagine both holding down a full time job and  

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also being a student at the same time. 
So it's... I want you to all, to really

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congratulate yourselves and pat  

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yourselves on the back for what you've accomplished.

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For you, your degree stands for more than the mastery of a field of  

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study, as important as that is, it's a sign of your dedication and strength, and also your sacrifice.

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I know you had to make trade-offs to get to this point today.

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You should be very proud of your accomplishments.

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Today I, along with your Executive 
Co-Chair for the Employee Assembly, Marcy Benda,  

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right over there, and your 
Employee Elected Trustee,  

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Hei Hei Depew. Right over there will be 
presenting names of this year's graduates.

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We kindly ask that our graduates 
who are present with us in person today. Stand,  

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if you are able, if not, please, 
wave or indicate who you are,  

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so we know who we're clapping 
for when your name is called.

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There are two educational benefit 
programs that will be mentioned today.

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The Employee Degree Program and Tuition Aid.

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The Employee Degree Program helps 
staff to complete a degree with Cornell.

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While the Tuition Aid Program supports

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staff who complete their degree through other higher education institutions.

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Names will be announced in alphabetical order by last name, and I will start us off.

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Our first graduate is... drum roll...

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Ben Adams, who received his master of business administration from Cornell's SC Johnson  

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College of Business through the Employee degree program. Let's give it up, for Ben.

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Ben has been working at Cornell for 3 years and currently serves as the associate director  

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for asset management and analytics in 
the division of financial services.

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Ben credits his wife...

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smart man...

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Anna, for making him feel supported during long weekend classes  

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and days. Ben would like to 
acknowledge his supervisor,  

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Simon Allen, as well for his support. 
Throughout Ben's academic journey

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Ben reflects on his residential  

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sessions as special moments quote; "It was great to get

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so many people together from so many different backgrounds

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and cultures." To stay inspired, Ben would remind himself how lucky he was to work  

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and study at a great institution 
like Cornell. Congratulations. Ben.

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Our next graduate, is Emily Anderson.

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Emily received her executive master of public administration from Cornell's Brooks School  

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of public policy through the employee degree program. Emily has been at Cornell for 4 years,  

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and she currently works as a program director for  

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Brooks School Institute of Politics and 
Global Affairs. Congratulations. Emily.

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Our next graduate, is Kristin L. Beierle

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Hi Kristin.

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Kristin received her Associate 
of applied Science and Business from TC3.

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Through the tuition Aid program. 
Kristin is the assistant director  

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in Conference and Events services, 
and has been at Cornell for 21 years.  

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Kristin states quote; "Everyone in my 
orbit supported me on this journey."

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She plans to celebrate her achievement with a special family dinner  

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and a semester off before before continuing on way to go Kristin, congratulations.

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We wish you all the best in your continued journey.

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Our next graduate is Leanna Caloros...

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Caloras, I'm sorry.

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Sorry.

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Leanna received a master of business 
administration from the Samuel Curtis Johnson,  

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Graduate School of Management Executive MBA Program to the employee degree program.

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Leanna is the assistant HR Director 
for the SC Johnson College of Business.

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She's been at Cornell for 3 years, and Leanna has chosen to pursue an  

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MBA. Because she believed the program was set her up for success in her HR Career,  

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where she aspires to one day be a leader in HR. Don't come from my job Leanna.

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Leanna celebrated her degree  completion with her entire family,  

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who made the trip to Ithaca for commencement weekend. That's wonderful. In addition,  

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her best friend booked a celebratory 
trip with a surprise destination.

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Quote; "I'm so grateful and appreciate everyone who supported me  

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in getting my MBA these past 3 years. I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my  

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career." I can't wait to hear where you went on a surprise trip. Congratulations, Leanna.

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Our next graduate, is Ascari.

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Ascari received a master 
of science in business analytics

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 from the Samuel Curtis Johnson, 
Graduate School of Management through the  

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Cornell Employee Degree program. Ascari is an administrative assistant in the office of  

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Vice Provost for international Affairs, and has been at Cornell for 4 years. Congratulations

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Ascari on this amazing achievement. We wish you success in your future endeavors.

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Claire Guevarra Concepcion is our next graduate,  

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who received a masters of public 
health. There she is in the back.

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From Cornell University's College of veterinarian medicine.

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Claire is a program assistant in ILR and has been at Cornell for 13 years.

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Wow!

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While going through her program,

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Claire felt most supported by coworkers, professors, and her supervisors. 

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Fellow employee degree program members were invaluable for providing empathy, support,  

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generosity and understanding what it is like to juggle work in school and raising teenagers 101.

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She was motivated by the knowledge 
that she was earning and mastering competitive  

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and valuable skills that she can bring back to the workplace, but also, importantly,  

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she was inspired by the dream of one day being able to have stability for herself and

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her family coming from a working class immigrant family. It was important to Claire to give back

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to her family for their work and sacrifices by completing this degree congratulations, Claire.

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Our next graduate is Laurie Conlon.

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Laurie received a Bachelor of 
Science Degree in business  

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management and Economics from Empire State University through the tuition Aid program.

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Laurie works on the Human Resources  

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information Systems team as a training and communication consultant and get this,

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she has been at Cornell for 38 years.

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She barely looks 38 to me, honestly.

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Laurie had two memorable moments that she wanted to share.

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First the connection she made with her mentor Anna,

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who always gave her encouragement each time they met, Anna's guidance was invaluable. Second,  

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after 18 months of Zoom Meetings with Jackie, a student service representative at Empire State,

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Laurie surprised Jackie by making the 
trip to Saratoga to meet and thank her in person.

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During her academic journey, Laurie felt supported by her family,  

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her manager, Amy, her Mentor, Anna,  

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and Jackie. Each person offers support in their own unique way. Congratulations, Laurie.

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Our next graduate, is Josh M. Cooley.

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We received an associate of occupational studies from SUNY Delhi,  

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with the concentration in electrical construction and instrumentation, sounds complicated.

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Josh completed his degree through the tuition aid program,  

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and Josh currently works as a senior zone facilities,  

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manager facilities and campus services, and has been working at Cornell for 6 years.

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Once Josh completed his five-year apprenticeship with the  

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International Brotherhood of electrical 
workers he enrolled at SUNY Delhi,  

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transferring his credits towards an associate degree.

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It was a challenge. It was challenge 
balancing his academics alongside his full time  

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job, being a father of two young children, and remaining involved in youth sports

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programs. I'm getting tired just reading that.

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There were many early mornings 
and late evenings, where Josh found himself  

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in front of the computer, completing his work. These journeys are never simple,

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and we congratulate you on your achievement Josh.

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Jeremy Cusker completed a certificate 
program in biotechnology from TC3

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through the tuition aid program.

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Jeremy has been working at Cornell for 14 years and works in CALS

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neurobiology and behavior and molecular biology and genetics as a technician... my.

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Jeremy shared that during his 
independent study he cultured the microbes living  

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on the steering wheels, seat belts and doors of ambulances in Tompkins County. How interesting!

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Jeremy recalls the staff at the EMS agency...

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agencies being very interested in 
this work, so he gave them their own experiment.

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Jeremy offered them additional 
culture place to leave on a radiator  

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for a few days. It's amazing how many 
microbes live, even on clean services.

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Hmm!

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Making a career shift from working in libraries to working in labs.  

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Jeremy enrolled in the certificate 
program, knowing it would open up  

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a world of opportunities for 
him. Congratulations, Jeremy.

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I will now invite Marcy Banda, Benda... 
I apologize, the executive vice chair  

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for the Employee Assembly to the podium to announce the next group of graduates.

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[Marcy] Thank you. That's going to be hard to follow.  

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I would also like to say, Leanna went 
to Tennessee as your surprise trip.

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So yay!

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Okay, thank you for Christine. It's an  

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honor to be here and able to recognize the amazing work of my fellow staff members.

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The first... the next graduate I 
would like to announce is Danielle Dean-Manzer.

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Danielle rec... Danielle receives an associates of science degree in Human Services from TC3.

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Through the Tuition Aid program. Danielle has been at Cornell for 25 years, currently works in  

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a Samuel Curtis Johnson, graduate school of management as a faculty support specialist.

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A traumatic personal experience led Danielle to choose her area of study

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In 2017, her husband was in an accident, paralyzing him from the chest down.  

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At the time they had no direction or guidance on how to handle the new challenges they would face.

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Danielle hopes that with her new degree,  

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she will be able to make someone else's experience a little less of a struggle.

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Danielle received tremendous support and encouragement from family  

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coworkers and her supervisors, Tory, Dennis, and Jessica Romero. Thank you, Danielle,  

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for taking your personal experience 
and paying it forward congratulations.

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Our next graduate is Laura Pineda-Bermudez.

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Laura received a master of science and for horticulture crop management from Cornell University  

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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Through the employee Degree program. Laura  

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is an extension aid for the CALS Agritech Department of Food Science. She's been working  

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at Cornell for 5 years. Laura would not have pursued this degree had it not been for the

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support and advocacy of her supervisor, Beth. She been... she has been a wonderful mentor, and  

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has helped Laura. Matt navigate barriers through during her professional growth and development.

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Her coworkers were a source of support with constant check-ins and patients,  

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while Laura juggled her many responsibilities,

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friends and study buddies held her accountable during her journey,  

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and her family provided unconditional love and affirmations from the very beginning. Lastly,  

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her partner Christian was her rock 
through it, out... throughout it all.

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As Laura said, it took a village, but 
you made it. Congratulations, Laura.

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The next graduate I'm going to 
announce, is Amanda Purington Drake.

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Amanda received...

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Amanda received a doctorate of Philosophy and communications from Cornell University's  

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00:19:19,980 --> 00:19:24,480
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, as part of the Employee degree program.  

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Amanda currently serves as a director of research and evaluation from the...

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Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

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She's been at Cornell for 19 years. 
Amanda has always been focused on promoting the  

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health and well-being of children and adolescents. She decided to pursue a PhD. To deepen her  

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understanding of communication, theory, research, and how it shows up in practice and in life.

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When asked how she manages classes, work and home, Amanda responded with honestly,  

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"I don't think balance is achievable 
with all of this on your plate."

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I'll say. While we can all relate, Amanda still took time to  

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plan and strive for balance, sitting down every Sunday to plan her week and asking  

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00:20:06,540 --> 00:20:10,320
for help when needed. This would have been impossible without an understanding, and in

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support of family supervisors, co-workers, and academic advisors. Congratulations, Amanda.

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Next we have Sara Eddleman.

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She received she received a master of science and communication from the Cornell University  

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00:20:35,940 --> 00:20:42,240
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as part of the employee degree program. Sara currently  

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serves as an administrator for the research division, has been with Cornell for 10 years.

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00:20:46,800 --> 00:20:51,780
Sara chose the communications field 
because she was endlessly curious about stories  

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that individuals and organizations organizations tell. To quote Sara; "I see important connections  

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00:20:57,720 --> 00:21:02,280
between my research and the administrative role I play at Cornell. Studying communication has  

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given me the tools to examine how we talk about our ideals, and how we put them into action."

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00:21:06,840 --> 00:21:09,540
What better way to celebrate than what with  

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some cake made by a lovely friend of 
her. Sara will share this delightful  

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00:21:14,640 --> 00:21:18,240
treat with her family to commemorate 
the occasion. Congratulations Sara.

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00:21:24,180 --> 00:21:28,500
Evan Swanhart Edwards is our next graduate,

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00:21:28,500 --> 00:21:37,680
who received a master of science 
and business analytics from St. Bonaventure  

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00:21:37,680 --> 00:21:42,180
University School of Business. Evan completed her degree through the tuition aid program.

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00:21:42,180 --> 00:21:46,080
Evan is the associate director of undergraduate admissions,  

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00:21:46,080 --> 00:21:47,940
and has been with Cornell for 6 years

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00:21:47,940 --> 00:21:52,260
pursuing a masters in business analytics, allowed Evan to maximize her

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00:21:52,260 --> 00:21:56,400
understanding of business practices 
and technical technical capabilities.  

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00:21:56,400 --> 00:22:01,560
Evan can now can contribute to enhancing productivity and efficiency in her current work.

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00:22:01,560 --> 00:22:06,300
Balancing a full time job and a Master's degree while being a mother of  

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00:22:06,300 --> 00:22:13,740
three young children, was undeniably challenging. Yeah, it required sacrifices and compromises,  

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but the motivation to set an example for her children in advance, her career and

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00:22:17,700 --> 00:22:22,680
academics for her driving forces. Evan hopes she has shown her children the importance  

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00:22:22,680 --> 00:22:26,700
of lifelong learning and investing 
in yourself congratulations Evan.

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00:22:32,220 --> 00:22:34,500
Our next graduate is Sarah Harrington.

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00:22:40,740 --> 00:22:44,460
Sarah received her master of professional studies and applied  

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00:22:44,460 --> 00:22:49,020
economics and management. Sarah completed her degree from the Charles H. Dyson School  

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00:22:49,020 --> 00:22:52,140
of applied economics and management through the employee degree program.

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00:22:52,140 --> 00:22:56,580
She's been at Cornell for 4 years. She currently works as the manager

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00:22:56,580 --> 00:22:59,880
of programs and administration 
at the Bronfenbrenner Center  

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00:22:59,880 --> 00:23:04,920
for Translational Research. Throughout her program Sarah was inspired by her partner,  

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who was working toward a PhD. She was also encouraged by the students in the MPS program,  

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who worked so hard to get her to get through the fast paced and challenging coursework.

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00:23:14,040 --> 00:23:17,760
Sarah will celebrate her accomplishment by taking time to enjoy  

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00:23:17,760 --> 00:23:22,680
the summer in Ithaca. She plans to swim and boat as much as possible while the weather is nice.

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Congratulations, Sarah.

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00:23:31,080 --> 00:23:33,420
Our next graduate is Tom Horton.

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He received a Bachelor of Arts and Science and Technology studies  

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00:23:44,040 --> 00:23:49,140
from Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences through the Employee degree program.

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00:23:49,140 --> 00:23:52,500
Tom works as the Associate CISO,

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00:23:52,500 --> 00:23:57,660
and he served Cornell for 24 years. Tom is interested in the study of ethics,  

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00:23:57,660 --> 00:24:02,940
politics, and social issues surrounding 
technology. He's eternally grateful for  

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00:24:02,940 --> 00:24:06,000
the support and encouragement 
of his wife, kids, and coworkers.  

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00:24:06,000 --> 00:24:09,780
If it weren't for them he's not sure he 
would have finished as quickly as he did.

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00:24:09,780 --> 00:24:15,540
Lastly, one of Tom's most memorable 
moments was taking his first STS class in  

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00:24:15,540 --> 00:24:20,340
2004, with distinguished Professor 
Trevor Pinch. Congratulations Tom.

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00:24:27,000 --> 00:24:30,660
Our next graduate is Denise F. LaLonde-Paul.

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00:24:37,800 --> 00:24:43,020
Denise received a master of Public Health and Food Systems and Health from Cornell  

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00:24:43,020 --> 00:24:48,000
University's College of Veterinary Medicine through the employee degree program. Denise  

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00:24:48,000 --> 00:24:52,500
has been working at Cornell for 16 
years. She currently works as as a  

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00:24:52,500 --> 00:24:55,980
licensed veterinary technician for 
the Cornell Veterinary, Biobank.

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00:24:55,980 --> 00:25:00,540
To quote Denise; "this work is dedicated to my children. Destin,  

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00:25:00,540 --> 00:25:06,420
Leila and Lucian", says Denise, "when finishing this degree, felt insurmountable. Their unconditional  

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00:25:06,420 --> 00:25:09,960
love pushed me to exceed. My greatest hope is that I have been a role model,  

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00:25:09,960 --> 00:25:13,500
so they feel empowered to reach for 
their own highest dreams in life.

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00:25:13,500 --> 00:25:17,700
They have sacrificed. So much for 
me to continue my own education. I hope to

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00:25:17,700 --> 00:25:22,260
repay them with many years of fun and laughter together as a family. I hope I have made them

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00:25:22,260 --> 00:25:26,880
proud." I'm sure you did. I work with with Denise at the Vet College, and we're proud of you.

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00:25:33,540 --> 00:25:38,965
Gissela A. Mera Louirdo is our next graduate.

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00:25:41,480 --> 00:25:47,040
She received her masters of business 
administration from the Samuel Curtis Johnson,  

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00:25:47,040 --> 00:25:51,780
Graduate School of Management through the employee degree program. Gissela 

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00:25:51,780 --> 00:25:56,220
is an administrative manager for Cornell Tech. She's been with Cornell for 5 years.

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00:25:56,220 --> 00:26:00,420
Gissela received support from her family, friends, supervisors,  

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00:26:00,420 --> 00:26:04,740
and colleagues. They were her every step of the way from the idea of pursuing her degree  

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00:26:04,740 --> 00:26:09,540
through commencement weekend. They encouraged her celebrated milestones, helped her achieve  

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00:26:09,540 --> 00:26:15,300
a good work, school life balance, and were invested in her academic success during her  

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00:26:15,300 --> 00:26:20,580
journey a memorable moment for Gissela was participating in the global trip to Germany.

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00:26:20,580 --> 00:26:25,440
It was a true privilege to have the opportunity to be extraordinary business leaders,

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00:26:25,440 --> 00:26:29,640
and have exclusive access to some of the most prestigious companies in the world,

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00:26:29,640 --> 00:26:33,840
says it was the perfect way to mark 
the end of two years of hard work,

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00:26:33,840 --> 00:26:40,185
learning, and friendship. What an amazing experience! Congratulations Gissela.

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00:26:43,980 --> 00:26:46,620
Our next graduate is Max Mandeville.

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00:26:52,320 --> 00:26:57,420
Max... Max completed his Bachelor 
of Arts Degree in Sociology from Cornell

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00:26:57,420 --> 00:27:02,160
University's College of Arts and Sciences, through the Employee Degree program. Max has  

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00:27:02,160 --> 00:27:06,360
been at Cornell for 8 years, currently 
works as a senior conference and event  

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00:27:06,360 --> 00:27:11,340
planner and student in campus life. Max chose to study sociology to help develop  

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00:27:11,340 --> 00:27:15,900
his knowledge of society, critical thinking, and quantitative and qualitative evidence.

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00:27:15,900 --> 00:27:20,100
This area of study exposed Max to a better understanding of social differences,  

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00:27:20,100 --> 00:27:24,060
behavior and hierarchies, and in 
group opportunities and outcomes.  

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00:27:24,060 --> 00:27:28,860
Max... remembers enrolling in two winter session courses that were each three weeks  

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00:27:28,860 --> 00:27:33,480
long. It was quite daring. For those ten weeks he was in class from 9:30  

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00:27:33,480 --> 00:27:36,420
in the morning to 4:30 in the 
evening Monday through Friday.

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00:27:36,420 --> 00:27:39,840
Max says he couldn't have made it throughout the support of his friends  

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00:27:39,840 --> 00:27:41,820
and partner, who cooked him dinner every night,  

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00:27:41,820 --> 00:27:46,320
and encouraged him every assignment. Your hard work paid off congratulations, Max.

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00:27:53,580 --> 00:27:58,980
I will now invite Hei Hei Depew. The employee elected trustee to finish presenting our final graduates.

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00:28:05,700 --> 00:28:10,680
[Hei Hei] All right. thank you, Marcy. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this really amazing  

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00:28:10,680 --> 00:28:16,080
day to recognize my fellow Cornell colleagues on their achievements. I'm really proud of you all,  

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00:28:16,800 --> 00:28:21,180
and let's continue on. The first 
graduate I will present is Sean

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00:28:21,180 --> 00:28:24,820
Mansfield. Sean received his masters of...

323
00:28:28,920 --> 00:28:32,040
Business administration from 
the SC Johnson College of Business,  

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00:28:32,040 --> 00:28:36,480
through the employee degree program. 
Shawn is a visiting lecture with ROTC  

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00:28:36,480 --> 00:28:40,440
and has been with Cornell for 3 years. 
As we've heard from past graduates,  

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00:28:40,440 --> 00:28:45,420
it's not easy to balance work school and a personal life. We hope this experience and  

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00:28:45,420 --> 00:28:49,200
new skill set will contribute to your next goal. Congratulations on this achievement.

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00:28:55,080 --> 00:28:57,840
The next graduate, I will announce, is Julie McGee.

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00:29:04,620 --> 00:29:09,120
She received her Associate Arts degree from Syracuse University's College of Professional  

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00:29:09,120 --> 00:29:14,400
Studies, Julie utilize the tuition Tuition 
Aid program to complete her degree. Julie

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00:29:14,400 --> 00:29:19,500
has been with Cornell seven years and works at the cal... at the Veterinary college as a registrar  

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00:29:19,500 --> 00:29:24,120
and curriculum support specialists. Julie shared that it was quite stressful at times,  

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00:29:24,120 --> 00:29:28,800
balancing a full time job and two career advancements. All during the pandemic.

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00:29:28,800 --> 00:29:32,520
Through this experience she  discovered a new love of hard work and  

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00:29:32,520 --> 00:29:34,680
dedication that she will forever be proud of.

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00:29:34,680 --> 00:29:39,420
Julie is extremely grateful for the support of her supervisor and colleagues,  

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00:29:39,420 --> 00:29:42,960
and thanks her husband and son for 
their motivation. Their belief in  

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00:29:42,960 --> 00:29:45,420
her was unmatched. Congratulations. Julie.

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00:29:51,060 --> 00:29:54,780
Our next graduate, is Andrea Marie Rose.

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00:30:00,360 --> 00:30:04,200
Andrea completed a masters of 
science in legal studies from  

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00:30:04,200 --> 00:30:06,480
Cornell's Law School through 
the employee degree program.

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00:30:06,480 --> 00:30:09,060
Andrea is the coordinator of program  

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00:30:09,060 --> 00:30:13,440
operations for the SC Johnson College 
of Business Executive MBA programs

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00:30:13,440 --> 00:30:16,260
and has been at Cornell for ten and a half years.

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00:30:16,260 --> 00:30:19,860
Andrea chose this area of study to better understand law.  

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00:30:19,860 --> 00:30:25,020
The MSLS program provided a solid 
bond foundation in all areas of law

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00:30:25,020 --> 00:30:30,660
and complemented Andrea's research 
which began as a journalism student at NYU.

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00:30:30,660 --> 00:30:32,700
Being a first-generation student

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00:30:32,700 --> 00:30:36,060
was Andrea's inspiration to keep 
moving forward through the program.

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00:30:36,060 --> 00:30:40,080
Andrea says that; "although my parents were not here to watch me walk  

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00:30:40,080 --> 00:30:44,880
down the aisle. They always wanted me to get a Master's degree or go to law school. Being in  

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00:30:44,880 --> 00:30:50,460
the MSLS program has fulfilled their dream and mine." We're all so proud of you, Andrea.

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00:30:50,460 --> 00:30:51,600
Congratulations.

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00:30:58,260 --> 00:30:59,820
Our next graduate is Chris Savinio.

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00:30:59,820 --> 00:31:12,420
Chris received his executive master 
of business administration from the Samuel Curtis  

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00:31:12,420 --> 00:31:16,740
Johnson Graduate School of Management through the employee degree program. Chris has been at  

357
00:31:16,740 --> 00:31:22,500
Cornell for over 7 years and currently works as a financial specialist with CALS. Chris felt  

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00:31:22,500 --> 00:31:27,300
unending support and encouragement from his wife, Serena and their kiddos, Ryan and Leah.

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00:31:27,300 --> 00:31:30,300
Chris shared that a memorable moment for him happened  

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00:31:30,300 --> 00:31:33,600
at the Cornell Tech campus during a 
New York City residential session.

361
00:31:33,600 --> 00:31:38,280
He shared a midnight toast in an open, uninhabited field on Roosevelt Island  

362
00:31:38,280 --> 00:31:43,920
with a 360 degree panoramic view of the city as a nighttime backdrop. Pretty nice!

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00:31:43,920 --> 00:31:47,580
What an amazing experience you must have had,  

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00:31:47,580 --> 00:31:49,500
Chris. Congratulations on your achievement.

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00:32:06,347 --> 00:32:11,220
Daniel Schied is our next graduate who received a bachelor of business management,  

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00:32:11,220 --> 00:32:16,140
economics and finance from Empire State through the tuition aid program. Daniel  

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00:32:16,140 --> 00:32:20,820
is the director of FCS-FM Grounds, 
and has been at Cornell for seven years.

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00:32:20,820 --> 00:32:24,960
As a director, Dan spends 
significant time running the business  

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00:32:24,960 --> 00:32:29,460
of grounds. He combined his experience as a business owner with his grounds and  

370
00:32:29,460 --> 00:32:33,600
facilities profession making his business degree through Empire State possible.

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00:32:33,600 --> 00:32:37,680
Dan felt especially supported 
by his hiring supervisor at Cornell,  

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00:32:37,680 --> 00:32:42,900
who asked him if he had ever considered continuing his own education. Dan took  

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00:32:42,900 --> 00:32:45,780
the challenge, and with one course 
at a time completed the necessary  

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00:32:45,780 --> 00:32:49,620
credits for his degree. What an amazing journey. Thank you, Dan. Congratulations.

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00:32:56,280 --> 00:32:59,221
Our next graduate is Pooja Sen.

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00:33:05,880 --> 00:33:12,660
Who received her master of public health and her masters of public Health in infectious disease and  

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00:33:12,660 --> 00:33:16,440
epidemiology. From Cornell University. 
Through the employee degree program,  

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00:33:16,440 --> 00:33:20,520
Pooja has been working at Cornell for 
for 6 years and currently works in  

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00:33:20,520 --> 00:33:26,280
the Hospital for animals as an INC section coordinator and license veterinary technician.

380
00:33:26,280 --> 00:33:31,260
Pooja chose this degree because she saw it as a way to combine her undergraduate degree  

381
00:33:31,260 --> 00:33:38,160
in wildlife science and her veterinary technician license. During her journey Pooja felt supported  

382
00:33:38,160 --> 00:33:44,580
by her supervisor, who supported her adjusted her work schedule to accommodate her school work. The  

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00:33:44,580 --> 00:33:48,960
professors in the MPH program were amazing. They always made sure to check in with her,  

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00:33:48,960 --> 00:33:54,480
to ensure she was finding balance between school work and her personal life. Congratulations Pooja.

385
00:34:01,440 --> 00:34:03,630
Our next graduate is Karen T. Siewert.

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00:34:03,630 --> 00:34:14,400
Karen received a masters in human 
resource management from Cornell University  

387
00:34:14,400 --> 00:34:18,120
School of Industrial and Labor Relations through the Employee degree program.

388
00:34:18,120 --> 00:34:21,120
Karen is the director for the center of Advanced HR 

389
00:34:21,120 --> 00:34:25,020
Studies in the ILR School and has 
been at Cornell for 10 years.

390
00:34:25,020 --> 00:34:28,920
Karen chose this area of study because she was always drawn to the ability  

391
00:34:28,920 --> 00:34:33,780
to work with business leaders to solve problems and grow healthy and inclusive organizations.

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00:34:33,780 --> 00:34:37,860
When Karen came to Cornell's ILR school she had the opportunity to  

393
00:34:37,860 --> 00:34:42,060
work with amazing faculty in the HR 
Studies department and motivated her  

394
00:34:42,060 --> 00:34:45,360
to want to become a student, and deep in her HR expertise.

395
00:34:45,360 --> 00:34:49,980
A memorable moment for Karen occurred while attending Cornell hockey  

396
00:34:49,980 --> 00:34:53,040
games while soaking in the chants from the crowd she realized that  

397
00:34:53,040 --> 00:34:56,940
she had joined a community that is 
strong, vibrant, and full of pride.

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00:34:56,940 --> 00:35:01,620
"It made me realize how lucky I have 
been to be a part of this master's program", she  

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00:35:01,620 --> 00:35:06,660
said, "the connections I have made with my cohort and the faculty will be lifelong. Go Big Red."

400
00:35:14,280 --> 00:35:18,175
Congratulations. 
Natasha Steinhall...

401
00:35:23,580 --> 00:35:28,560
received her master of public administration from Cornell's Brooks School of Public Policy  

402
00:35:28,560 --> 00:35:33,000
through the employee degree program. Natasha has been at Cornell for nine years, and currently  

403
00:35:33,000 --> 00:35:38,220
serves as the Academic DEI Education Program Manager for the Intergroup Dialogue Project.

404
00:35:38,220 --> 00:35:42,240
Natasha gives a big shout out to her supervisor and friend Adi,  

405
00:35:42,240 --> 00:35:45,840
who has encouraged her since day one. Natasha claims she could not  

406
00:35:45,840 --> 00:35:49,380
have made it here without her support. 
You made it, Natasha congratulations.

407
00:35:56,340 --> 00:35:58,440
Our next graduate is Amy Stewart.

408
00:36:05,760 --> 00:36:10,200
Amy completed a master of science in 
organizational behavior from Cornell's  

409
00:36:10,200 --> 00:36:14,580
University School of Industrial and Labor Relations through the employee degree program.

410
00:36:14,580 --> 00:36:18,420
Amy is a tech events manager for entrepreneurship at Cornell,  

411
00:36:18,420 --> 00:36:23,340
within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and has been at Cornell for 18 years

412
00:36:23,340 --> 00:36:28,320
studying microorganizational 
behavior has helped Amy improve the  

413
00:36:28,320 --> 00:36:32,340
impact of hackathons on students through creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.

414
00:36:32,340 --> 00:36:35,880
Amy prepared a year in advance with a balanced balancing  

415
00:36:35,880 --> 00:36:39,840
act of completing her program. She spent many early mornings doing school work.

416
00:36:39,840 --> 00:36:44,880
getting her kids to school, and then 
transitioning to her regular work day. Amy says;  

417
00:36:44,880 --> 00:36:48,600
"this degree was not completed quickly. But what's important is that it was completed,  

418
00:36:48,600 --> 00:36:50,940
and that's something to be 
proud of." Congratulations.

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00:36:59,040 --> 00:37:01,440
Our final graduate is Darby Warf.

420
00:37:08,460 --> 00:37:13,380
Darby completed a master of public health in infectious disease. And it's epidemiology from  

421
00:37:13,380 --> 00:37:17,580
Cornell University. These Samuel Curtis Johnson graduate school of management  

422
00:37:17,580 --> 00:37:22,260
through the employee degree program. Darby is a licensed veterinary technician at the  

423
00:37:22,260 --> 00:37:25,800
small animal, intensive care unit, 
and has been at Cornell for six years.

424
00:37:25,800 --> 00:37:29,640
When asked how she managed classes, work and home. Darby said  

425
00:37:29,640 --> 00:37:33,540
that time management was the number one thing that helps her balance everything.

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She allowed herself one day a week to relax and not do any school  

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work. This was extremely important 
to Darby. Throughout her journey  

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Darby commends the support of the faculty and staff of her MPH program as well as  

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her supervisors. You've made it to the 
end of the day, Darby congratulations

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Before we wrap up. We also want to acknowledge the following graduates, who have not

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been able to be in attendance 
today. They are Caitlin Baldwin.

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Vin Ciamplillo.

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Keri Greenberg.

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Adam MacDonald.

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Omyia Olson-Damaj.

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Tyler Trainor.

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Please join me in a final round of  

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applause for all of our graduates. We applaud your amazing achievement.

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I will now ask Christine to 
get back up here for closing.

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[Christine] Graduates congratulations again,  

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and it's truly a unique opportunity to be 
able to experience Cornell to the lens of

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both an employee and a student. I hope that you find ways to weed the new experiences  

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and empathy into your work. As we continue to... continue to support our educational mission

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today is proof that the best staff, choose Cornell,  

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and use their benefits to expand themselves and their opportunities. Congratulations on a job  

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well done as a token of your accomplishments. You will find a gift on the back table that you  

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can grab on your way out. Please feel free to stay and mingle and enjoy the reception.

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If you have not already done so, you can take a picture in front of  

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a little banner right outside the front 
door. And on behalf of President Pollack,  

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the Employee Assembly and myself, we thank you for all for coming tonight  

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and for joining us online, and that includes concludes our program. Enjoy your evening.

Submitting Bio

During this event graduates have the opportunity to share a little about their experience in completing their degree. Staff graduates who have not already done so, can submit their photo and bio information by Monday, June 3, in order to be included in the event program. Those who do not submit a bio will be mentioned in the program by name, degree of completion, and university of completion only.

If you have not done so, and wish to complete your bio, please click here to access the bio form through qualtrics.


RSVP

This event is by invitation for staff graduates from academic year 2024 (including December 2023 graduates and summer 2024 graduates). If you meet this criteria and did not receive an invitation please contact Michelle La Fave, met27@cornell.edu.

If you would like to make a change to your RSVP please contact hrevents@cornell.edu.


Attending In-Person

We encourage all our staff graduates to attend in person if you are in close proximity to the Ithaca Campus. A virtual option will be available for graduates who are outside the proximity of the Ithaca campus. 


Parking

For those who do not currently have a parking pass, Daily Decision Parking Options are available. 


Contact

If you have any additional questions, please contact hrevents@cornell.edu.