Graduate Students

Humans of IDP #5: Eugene & Natalie

By December 1, 2017 October 11th, 2021 No Comments

In Summer 2016, IDP created and offered its first course for graduate students and postdocs. One of this week’s Humans of IDP, Natalie Hofmeister was a student in our Inaugural Graduate Student Course! Our other Human of IDP, Eugene Law took the course over this past winter session and will be one of the facilitators for our upcoming course this winter session!

Natalie is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Fuller Evolutionary Biology Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Eugene is a Ph.D. Candidate in Soil and Crop Sciences.

 Graduate Facilitators Natalie and Eugene

A fun fact about Natalie:

“I’m afraid of heights, so I decided the best way to get over that fear was to take a circus class (h/t Circus Culture in Ithaca!). I actually met another Graduate IDP facilitator, Rachel Sumner, in our aerial silks class! Rachel’s far more agile and brave than I am, and I spent most of the class giving myself pep-talks on the safer ground.”

A fun fact about Eugene:

“Uh, there’s not much that’s fun about me. I have two cats named Excalibur and Tanlladwyr, after King Arthur and Sir Lancelot’s swords. The names are appropriate I guess because they’re supposed to be friends but they fight a lot. The fact that the most interesting thing I can think of is my cats is a very good indication of how boring I am.”

Natalie’s IDP Story:

“I discovered IDP when I participated in the first graduate course in Summer 2016. Since then, I’ve become an IDP evangelist. I spend most of my time talking to other scientists, and we usually have little to no training in how to talk about thorny social issues. So, last year, we piloted our first STEM-only short course for grad students, where we focused on issues of justice in STEM fields. I think of ‘IDP’ as this well of energy I can tap into when I feel depleted, and I’m so grateful for everyone who fills it up!”

Eugene’s IDP Story:

“I participated in the January 2017 IDP course for graduate and professional students. It was a very beneficial experience for me mostly because at the time I was feeling very out of place as a new student at Cornell and IDP introduced me to a community where I felt more comfortable and confident in expressing myself and being who I am. IDP was a significant part of my process of a sense of purpose and belonging on campus, and as a result, I feel more empowered in my research, teaching, and social justice work.”