Undergraduate students

Humans of IDP #26: Cole ’20 & Maya ’20

By April 8, 2019 October 11th, 2021 No Comments

It’s time to highlight our facilitators of Spring 2019!

Our first pair is Maya Cutforth ’20 and Cole Johnston ’20.

Here’s what they have to say about IDP:

Why IDP?

Maya: IDP has challenged me to grow and develop. I have learned so much from my participants and my co-facilitator, and their humility, vulnerability, and eagerness continually inspires me. I often feel overwhelmed with campus climate issues and the broader political environment. It is easy for me to feel hopeless or powerless when I think too much about these things, but I leave each IDP session feeling optimistic that personal interactions, especially with people different from myself, can help solve these larger issues.

Cole: I first encountered IDP my freshman year when some of my peer mentors began helping me explore my identity. I ended up crying on the second floor of EHub as they asked me questions because it was the first time I had ever felt heard and understood in my short time at Cornell. Since then, IDP has given me the tools and confidence to embrace my own identity, as well as ask meaningful questions and productively engage in conflict. I use intergroup dialogue practice and theory throughout my everyday life, from dialoguing with my mom about why my room isn’t clean to generating institutional reform and identity-based programming for the Interfraternity Council. I am so grateful for the ways the program has enriched my life and friendships and look forward to continuing to teach and learn this semester.

What is your favorite thing about your co-facilitator?


Maya: I think I would get in trouble if I wrote as much as I want to about Cole! He is the most lovely, genuine, and caring person that I know. He encourages me to be more emotionally open, and he models the type of self-reflection for which I strive. Cole has an incredible level of self-awareness, and he is constantly striving to learn from other people’s experiences. On campus, he actively spreads the knowledge he has from being a facilitator to his numerous other leadership roles, and the campus changes he has made are immense. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to be his co-facilitator this semester, and I cannot thank him enough for his friendship.

Cole: Maya is wickedly intelligent, deeply perceptive, and has a sterling work ethic. I appreciate her ability to recognize and adapt to the needs of our participants at a moment’s notice. She is a tried and true friend and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with her.