Panel Addresses Diversity Challenges in Work Force

The Cornell Diversity Council hosted a forum on goals and challenges yesterday afternoon in Sage Hall. The forum, “Tales from the Front Line: Three Perspectives on Diversity Goals and Challenges,” featured presentations by three experts in the business, military and human resources fields.
Moderated by David Harris, deputy provost and vice provost for social sciences, the forum featured speakers who not only discussed ways to make diversity more inclusive, but also methods to facilitate open communication as well as retention of diversity training.
Anne R. Erni, managing director and chief diversity officer for Lehman Brothers, Inc. spoke about the importance of including diversity in company policies.

Stereotypes Affect Female Math Scores

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, women in high-level math courses face a phenomenon called stereotype threat. Stereotype threat occurs when a behavior confirms an existing stereotype; in this case, the stereotype is that women do not perform as well as men on mathematical assessments.
The study, “Problems in the Pipeline: Stereotype Threat and Women’s Achievement in High-Level Math Courses,” was conducted by Catherine Good of Barnard College, Joshua Aronson of New York University and Jayne Ann Harder of the University of Texas, Austin.

Studying Abroad Popular Despite a Weakening Dollar

Study abroad is often considered to be a big part of the undergraduate experience with roughly 20 percent of Cornell students taking an international semester before they graduate. Within the past year, however, the value of the dollar has declined dramatically relative to other currencies, potentially having an impact on the study abroad program at Cornell and at other universities.
The dollar has fallen about 30 percent in value compared to the euro over the last 12 months. Currently, one euro is estimated to be about $1.47 and one pound is estimated to be about $1.99. The dollar is weak, especially in Europe, which is a popular destination for travelers and students who want to study abroad.

C.U. Fields Team for Online Game

With social networking at its peak, a new type of “object-oriented” networking has surfaced in the form of online games. GoCrossCampus, an online game supported by the Cornell Class Councils, was created by Yale and Columbia students. Similar to Risk, the object of which is to gain territory by attacking enemies, GoCrossCampus can be played inter-campus or intra-campus between college students.
Currently, the Ivy League Championship Tournament is underway. Played between the eight Ivy League universities across a map of New England, the game allows players to position two to three troops everyday. Although players can make their moves individually, the best method of capturing territories is by deciding on the positioning of troops as a team.

Study Finds Median Grade Reports Lead to Inflation

In 1996, the Cornell University Faculty Senate voted to implement the “Truth in Grading” policy, which would involve publishing median grades online and on transcripts. More than 10 years later, the University will begin to include median grades on transcripts for the incoming class in 2008. These median grade reports have had unintended consequences. According to a study recently conducted by three Cornell professors, students are influenced to choose classes with relatively high median grades, which consequently leads to grade inflation.

The Man Behind the University

It is hard to miss the bronze statue immortalizing Ezra Cornell that stands across from Goldwin Smith Hall in the Arts Quad. Daily, hundreds of students pass by the numerous tributes to Ezra Cornell spread around the campus. This year marks his 200th birthday, yet many students here know little about Ezra Cornell. Who was he? Why is Cornell named after him?
He was born on January 11, 1807 in Westchester New York; Ezra Cornell would later found Cornell University. The oldest of eleven children, Ezra Cornell only attended school for three months a year, in order to help with his father’s pottery business. Cornell developed an interest in carpentry as a teenager and traveled considerably as a carpenter. He was charmed by Ithaca and Cayuga Lake and moved to Ithaca permanently in 1828.

Angela Davis Presents Paradox of Prison and Democracy

Angela Davis, a scholar and an activist of social justice and equality, presented a lecture on Tuesday evening entitled, “The Prison: A Sign of U.S. Democracy?” to a large audience in Sage Chapel. Presented by the Africana Studies and Research Center, Davis’ lecture discussed the paradoxical relationship between incarceration and democracy and examined the role of the prison system in the United States.
Davis, currently a professor of history of consciousness and feminist studies at U.C. Santa Cruz and the author of eight books, spoke about the institution of prison as a form of punishment as well as the lack of liberties present among the incarcerated. Prison, according to Davis, is a negative affirmation of democracy.