Cornell to Open Shanghai Office in 2016

Cornell’s first international office is expected to open in Shanghai in 2016, as part of a University-wide initiative to increase Cornell’s global presence and students’ accessibility of international programs to Cornell students, according to Laura Spitz JSD ’06, vice provost of international affairs. “Opening a University office in Shanghai, China will create important momentum and signal that Cornell is committed to expanding its international footprint in important and strategic ways,” Spitz said. The office will serve many roles, including convening conferences in Shanghai, recruiting students and maintaining connections with alumni, according to President Elizabeth Garrett. With almost 1,200 alumni living in China, Cornell has strong ties to China, according to Spitz. Additionally, approximately 1,600 Chinese students have studied at Cornell, including approximately 500 undergraduate students, according to Spitz.

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Cornellians Discuss Climate Change at Bailey Hall Panel

Cornell professors and climate change experts discussed the University’s role in environmental activism at the Climate Change Science and Policy Panel in Bailey Hall Friday. The event, sponsored by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and the EAS 1540: Introductory Oceanography class, drew hundreds of students and community members interested in learning more about climate change. The panelists — Prof. Bruce Monger, earth and atmospheric sciences, Prof. Toby Ault, earth and atmospheric sciences, Prof. Drew Harvell, ecology and evolutionary biology, Prof. Robert Howarth, ecology and evolutionary biology and Prof. Dan Kammen ’84, energy, University of California, Berkeley — answered questions submitted by Cornell oceanography students after a panel introduction by Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff. The questions, read by Emma Johnston ’16, addressed topics ranging from how the student voice has impacted Cornell’s climate change activism to geoengineering. Geoengineering can be a controversial topic, according to Prof. Chuck Greene, earth and atmospheric sciences.

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Students Explore Bones, Fossils in Snee Hall

Students and members of the Ithaca community stepped back in time Wednesday night at the “A Night at the Snee Museum” event, which transformed Snee Hall into an interactive museum featuring mastodon bones, dinosaur footprints and fossils. The event, which was organized by the Science of Earth Systems Student Association, engaged the Cornell community by allowing visitors to hold and take home fossils from Cayuga Lake and peer through microscopes in order to examine rock surfaces. “We wanted to show Earth and Atmospheric Science department’s unique collection of mineral and fossils,” said Tanvi Chedda ’16, president of the Science of Earth Systems Student Association. “We wanted to communicate its research in incredibly beautiful, powerful and complex natural systems.”
Snee Hall is home to Cornell’s earth and atmospheric sciences department and houses displays that include an extensive collection of fossils, a seismograph station and the Heasley Museum, which contains minerals and glow-in-the-dark rocks. The event was organized as part of an outreach effort from the department, according to Ming Khan ’18, secretary of Science of Earth Systems Association.

The S.A. deliberates adding questions about sexual orientation to Cornell’s common application in Willard Straight Hall Thursday. (Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer)

S.A. Proposes Adding Sexual Orientation Inquiry to Common App Supplement

Applicants may soon see a new question inquiring about sexual orientation on Cornell’s supplement to the Common Application. The change comes in response to complaints concerning the lack of demographic data on the LGBTQ+ population at Cornell available to the LGBT Resource Center. The Student Assembly voted to add questions on students’ sexual orientations to the Common Application and will send the resolution to the administration for a final decision. The resolution, which is titled Collecting LGBTQ+ Demographic Data, proposes adding two optional questions, specifically regarding a student’s gender identity and sexual orientation. This resolution, which was voted down last year in the face of questions about how such a questionnaire would be distributed, was represented this year with the addition that the questions be added to the Common Application.

Cornell Clubs Host Forum on Syrian Refugee Crisis

Several dozen students gathered at the “What’s Happening in Syria?” event hosted Friday by a coalition of Cornell clubs about the Syrian refugee crisis. The mass migration, first catalyzed by the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2010, has gained renewed media attention because of the recent influx of Syrians and migrants from other countries into coastal European countries offering asylum. The South Asian Council hosted the presentation and following discussion, bringing together many diverse organizations, including Cornell International Affairs Society, Arab Students Association and Cornell Organization for Labor Action. “Although the South Asian Council is not directly affiliated with Syria, we understand the global nature of the humanitarian crisis that is occurring right now,” said Caro Achar ’18, one of the students who presented information about Syria. “Ultimately, we are humans too.

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Student Wins Humor Prize for Bee Sting Research

Many people vividly remember their first bee sting, but Michael Smith grad will be sure to remember the more than 100 stings he experienced all over his body from his skull to his penis, which eventually yielded his Ig Nobel Prize. Last Thursday, Smith received The Ig Nobel Prize, which honors humorous scientific research that “first makes you laugh, then think.” The award presentations are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and often feature real Nobel Laureates awarding Ig Nobels to researchers. Clad in a honeybee costume, Smith received the Entomology and Physiology Prize along with his collaborator Justin Schmidt, the creator of the Schmidt Pain Index, which measures the pain of stings from different insects on a scale of zero to four. “Humor is really important in science,” Smith said. “Nobody should be taking themselves too seriously.