As the first woman of color CEO of AT&T Business, Anne Chow B.S. ’88, M.Eng. ’89, MBA ’90 manages more than 30,000 employees and helps lead a $37 billion business group that serves customers worldwide. But alongside the daily challenges of being a CEO, it also means navigating gender and racial biases.
In just a little more than 24 hours, four Student Assembly members — all of whom voted “no” on the contentious disarmament resolution — have been either removed from committees or the assembly as a whole.
Dr. Avery August , Cornell’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and leader of the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, shared his optimism with The Sun that the past six months offered an opportunity for higher education to change for the better.
Dean of Students Vijay Pendakur is leaving Cornell after more than three years, which he spent working on diversity initiatives, helping Cornell respond to COVID-19 and providing financial support through the Access Fund.
Each Cornellian brings nearly two decades worth of life experiences to the Hill before we begin to change and be changed by Cornell. In those formative years — spent oceans, state-lines or maybe just a TCAT ride away from our collective home on campus — our communities decided for us whether we wear tennis shoes or sneakers, whether you see actual culinary value in a CTB bagel and whether we deem it acceptable to wear anything thicker than a windbreaker in September. But the places we call home before we arrived on campus, equipped with red lanyards and the identities we brought from those homes, also shape how we react to meeting our often wealthy, artistically talented peers. They affect how absurd we find “a portrait of Jesus with condoms taped to his nipples” in our living space. They determine how desirable we feel in the dating-verse of Cornell.
Cornell’s College of Engineering has more than a few crowning jewels to stake its pride and reputation on — like its extensive set of project teams, its cutting-edge research with world-renowned professors and, of course, the fact that 53 percent of its incoming class is now female. In fact, the college’s website lists the latter number first, even before the fact that the college hosts one of the top 10 undergraduate engineering programs in the country. But why care so much? Why even bother working so hard to get that even male-female ratio in a male-dominated field? The reason — as anyone in engineering admissions can recite by heart — is to make it so that anyone, regardless of who they are, feels welcome, as though who they are and what they look like isn’t an obstacle to be overcome in their success there.
I am one of the lucky ones, right? Being able to come to an Ivy League university despite coming from a low-income community and a single-parent first-generation household. I am one of the lucky ones. Being able to completely forget the reality of home in my little ivory tower. I am lucky to have an unlimited meal plan, even though it was forced and the food is poorly seasoned.
On Sept. 27, nearly a month before The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering defining transgender out of existence, the University published a new 15-page guide for transgender people at Cornell, outlining tips on coming out and transitioning in the workplace.
Cornell announced a series of diversity and inclusion initiatives targeting subjects such as mental health treatment, diversity education, retention of minority faculty members and regulations of student organizations, in particular Greek letter organizations.
“The purpose of the Dyson Students of Color Coalition was to empower students and get the message out there that we support and accept diversity,” said Michelle Reiss ’20, a founding member of the Coalition.