IDP Fellows

IDP fellows are graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty and staff who have completed IDP training. IDP fellows collaborate with IDP on various programs and initiatives within IDP, as well as within their own units. We are grateful to have a variety of partners across campus who work to create educational opportunities that are rooted in core intergroup dialogue processes, that move us closer to our vision of equity, dignity, and respect for all Cornellians.

Lisa Nishii

The ILR School,
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education,
Associate Professor of Human Resource Studies

I am half Japanese and half American and grew up in Tokyo until coming to the U.S. to attend Wellesley College where I majored in Economics. Going from a male-dominated culture to an all-women’s college created a big shift in my identity as a woman. Although I had every intention of returning to Japan after college, once I had a taste of how different my life would be in the U.S., I decided to stay. I pursued a PhD in organizational psychology at the University of Maryland and then came to Cornell to join the faculty of the Human Resource Studies department in The ILR School. The second big shift in my identity happened when I reached the point when I had been living in the U.S. longer than my time in Japan and my kids were born here as Americans. People often research topics that are core to some aspect of their identity. For me, that turned into a deep interest in cross-cultural psychology and diversity and inclusion. My core research and teaching has focused on the conditions that promote inclusion in organizations. A big part of that has to do with how leaders lead, and what delights me most about IDP is how participants are taught many of the core elements of inclusive leadership: self-awareness, other-awareness, active listening and dialogue, and expert facilitation. As our future leaders, our students are going into the world very well equipped and I am so excited for them. Now, as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, my portfolio is broad, but many aspects of my work keep me close to my passion for diversity and inclusion. One of the biggest joys of being VPUE has been the opportunity to support and grow IDP and to empower our awesome IDP team in every way I can. I also oversee the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI), the Student Veterans Initiative, our Living-Learning communities, the Learning Strategies Center, and work closely with the undergraduate colleges on issues related to academic policies, advising, and curricular innovation.

Aaron King

William Keeton House, House Assistant Dean

I currently serve as Assistant Dean in William Keeton House. Prior to Cornell Big Red, my academic and professional journey has been filled with many other colors (i.e., NYU Violets, Stanford Cardinal, & Harvard Crimson) and animals, including a full Wizard of Oz journey (i.e., Mount Holyoke Lyons, Princeton Tigers, & Central Arkansas Bears) – oh my! My research and professional interests primarily involve identity development (including multiracial and transracial adoptee experiences), purpose, and college access & inclusion. My current research explores the relationship between purpose and identity, particularly as it plays out within the context of college admissions and communications about diversity. I hold an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration, a B.S. in Psychology, and am currently (slowly) pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Aside from work and school, you might catch me playing basketball, aspiring to be a chimesmaster or part of Yamatai (partly kidding for both), running 5Ks to trail ultramarathons, thrift shopping like a pro, or enjoying the finger lakes area with my family. Other experiences have included driving tractors and hauling hay in Arkansas, landscaping and ranch work in Colorado, and making flaming onion volcanoes as a teppanyaki (aka hibachi) chef. I've had the honor and enjoyment of working with IDP as a teaching team member, coach, and facilitator and look forward to the continued work together!

Ben Martin

Engineering Advising, Assistant Director

Ben joined the College of Engineering and Cornell University in October of 2017 after spending more than three years as the Director of Field Experiences for the College of Education and Human Development (EDHD) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). Preceding the Director role, Ben served over six years as an academic advisor for EDHD. Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree, and a Master of Arts in College Student Personnel degree from BGSU. Ben particularly enjoys engaging students in various transitions as they pursue their Bachelor’s degree. He believes in providing support, strategies, and sound information in order to empower student decision making and affirm student dignity. Ensuring students are heard, connecting students to helpful resources, and seeing them make well-informed decisions is the goal for every meeting.

Catherine Appert

Music/Ethnomusicology, Associate Professor

I am an associate professor of ethnomusicology in the Department of Music and a Faculty in Residence in a first-year residential community on Cornell’s North Campus. I hold an M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a graduate certificate in Women's Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. My current research explores the intersection of migration, racial identity, and global white supremacy through a multi-sited ethnographic study of the circulation of Black musics throughout Africa and the diaspora. As a Faculty in Residence, I’ve collaborated with IDP to develop systemic and ongoing programming across residential communities that reinforces the lessons first year students learn in their orientation session on IDP. More broadly, my work as an FIR focuses on diversity and inclusion through a variety of programs, including a series of one-credit Learning Where You Live courses that employ the basic tenets of Intergroup Dialogue to address topics from encountering cultural difference (“Bridging Difference”), to race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary popular culture (“This Week in Pop Music”), to intersectional feminism (“The F Word”).

Eugene Law

Soil and Crop Science, PhD Candidate

Eugene Law is a PhD student in the field of Soil and Crop Science studying sustainable cropping systems with the goal of contributing to a food system that is more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable from the ground up. Through his life experience, including work as a teacher and mentor for inner-city youth, he has come to appreciate the importance of work that furthers diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. After participating in an IDP course for graduate students in January 2017 he was immediately interested in continuing his involvement with the program due to its ability to raise awareness of social inequity and empower individuals to be the agents of change that our society needs.

Hadas Kress-Gazit

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Associate Professor

I am an Associate Professor at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. I received my Ph.D. in Electrical and Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and have been at Cornell since 2009. My research is in robotics and I have received an NSF CAREER award in 2010, a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2012 and the Fiona Ip Li '78 and Donald Li '75 Excellence in teaching award in 2013, the senior faculty champion award in 2019, and the Kenneth A. Goldman '71 Teaching Award in 2019. I live in Ithaca with my partner and two kids.

Janani Hariharan

Soil and Crop Science, PhD Candidate

I am a PhD student in the field of Soil and Crop Sciences. I study microbes in the soil, and the complex histories of their evolution and interactions with each other. However, bacterial communities aren’t the only ones that captivate me. As an international student and voracious reader, I find human culture and social narratives fascinating. IDP has lent voice and vocabulary to these experiences, and I am excited to continue the good work.

Jeff Godowski

Flora Rose House, House Assistant Dean

I serve as the Assistant Dean for Flora Rose House in Cornell’s West Campus House System. I earned a M.Ed in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont in May of 2015. I also received a B.A. in Classics, with minors in Visual Art History and Italian from the College of the Holy Cross. I have served in various roles in residence life and student affairs throughout my professional career. My passion for exploring issues of social justice in connection to critical pedagogy, Restorative Practices, critical theory, and educational philosophy strongly influences my research interests.

Jennifer Majka

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Director of Diversity & Inclusion

I am honored and excited to be an IDP Fellow. I currently serve as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. I've been at Cornell for 13 years and most recently was an Assistant Dean in the West Campus House System. Prior to Cornell, I worked in higher education and non-profit management in California, and taught English in South Korea. My time outside work is spent doing family activities with my husband and two young children. I am also moonlighting as a PhD candidate studying education and social justice where my research focuses on high impact transformative educational initiatives that help build and strengthen capacity for social justice. I look forward to partnering with IDP!

Jessie Mancilla

The ILR School, Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs

I grew up in the rural community of Decatur, Texas just northwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. After graduating from high school I attended the University of North Texas and received a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film. Shortly after, I began working at FUNimation Entertainment- a Japanese animation company, as a video editor for roughly ten years. While working at FUNimation, I volunteered with various marginalized populations and was learning to become a servant leader. I then moved to Minnesota to follow my passion in serving others and continued my education by receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Winona State University. I began working in higher education to be an advocate for the historically marginalized populations in southern Minnesota. I continue to learn more about others as they share their own narratives and strive to create a pluralistic environment for students. I am currently part of the ILR Student Services team that advises and supports all ILRies as the Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs.

John Proios

Philosophy, PhD Candidate

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Sage School of Philosophy. My research focuses on how features of classification, particularly the idea of a ‘natural kind’, bear on questions about value and human life in ancient Greek philosophical thought. I enjoy teaching my first year writing seminar on ancient ethics of dying, and I’m also interested in views about identity in Buddhist philosophy and philosophical debates about the nature of race. I value IDP as an opportunity to learn about people’s lives and practice important skills at communication. I was born in Sag Harbor, New York, and grew up in the nearby town of Port Jefferson.

Juhwan Seo

Sociology, PhD Student

I am a PhD student in Sociology. My current research project seeks to explore how the U.S. immigration system functions to actively regulate the family formation of queer immigrant couples. My research interests include ethnic enclaves, racialization of Asian Americans, and queer and nonnormative family formation. I also work at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. I hope to use the knowledge and skills from IDP for facilitating meaningful conversations among social scientists and in the classroom.

Luis Nieves Rosado

Chemical Engineering, PhD Candidate

I’m a PhD Student in Chemical Engineering, studying the proteins at the surface of cancer cells and how they influence metastasis. My first experience with IDP was during the summer 2018 graduate workshop, and the message of empathy and communication across difference connected deeply with me. I believe that for science to have societal impact, scientists need to be socially conscious. The tools that IDP provides are indispensable for this. I look forward to continuing my scientific and outreach work through the IDP office.

Markeisha Miner

Law School, Dean of Students

I am the Dean of Students at the Law School where I have the privilege of supporting law students in every aspect of their Cornell experience from Orientation through Commencement. My office is responsible for academic support, wellness, personal and academic advising, enrollment services (Registrar), student activities and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, bar exam licensure and certification, and a host of other programs and services. I also interact regularly with undergraduate students as a House Fellow at Keeton House and as the advisor for the Black Ivy Pre-Law Society. As a licensed attorney, I know first-hand the importance of communicating effectively across lines of difference. Participating in IDP's transformative work on the Cornell campus provides an opportunity to equip and empower classmates and colleagues with that critical professional development tool.

Melina Ivanchikova

Center for Teaching Innovation, Associate Director of Inclusive Teaching

I’m the associate director of inclusive teaching in the Center for Teaching Innovation at Cornell University. During my nearly 20-year career in higher education, from Massachusetts, to Alaska, to New York, I have worked to support reflective and inclusive teaching, global and intercultural learning, culturally-responsive teaching, and intercultural competence. I am a poet, former faculty member, bicultural and fluent in Spanish, and an organizer and activist in Geneva, NY. I have been a friend of IDP since I first walked into the office in 2016 and felt the vibrant energy of change and learning in action. I will remain ever-grateful for my own learning and personal transformation, jump-started in IDP, which has led to all sorts of exciting commitments, ideological clarity, better listening skills, emerging courage, ongoing actions to change the system and support others’ learning, and getting to be part of a robust and ever-growing community of teachers and learners committed to social justice through the practice of dialogue. So glad to be a part it!

Natoshia Spruill

Johnson Graduate School of Management, Associate Director of Leadership Programs

I'm the associate director of leadership programs at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. I came to Johnson after 10+ years of active duty service as an officer in the United States Army, specializing in human resource management, and after graduating from Johnson's MBA program in 2014. I'm passionate about helping leaders become more aware and inclusive leaders, and enjoy watching the ``a-ha`` moments when students realize they are capable of showing up as their authentic selves in all contexts, both personally and professionally. Not only do I get to participate in these transformative conversations daily, but I also have a unique opportunity to be a witness and experience the growth in our students with Rachel Sumner, an associate director in IDP. As co-facilitators for our course Leading Across Difference: Understanding Identity, Dialogue, and Influence (NBA 6870), Rachel and I have the privilege of collaborating with graduate students in meaningful dialogue to increase our awareness and capabilities in effectively leading and communicating across our differences. It's been such an amazing experience, and I look forward to my continued partnership with IDP.

Natalie Hofmeister

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, PhD Candidate

I am a Ph.D. Candidate studying bird evolution in Irby Lovette’s lab at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. My research focuses on how birds evolve in changing environments, and I am currently studying range expansions in the invasive European starling. I was part of the first graduate IDP course in 2016, which motivated me to engage more with social justice on campus. I am involved with Graduate Women in Science, EEB’s Graduate Student Assembly, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, and other groups, in addition to facilitating IDP Workshops. Long-term, I hope to integrate IDP’s mission with my scientific work by building a more diverse and inclusive scientific community.

Sam Lagasse

English, PhD Candidate

I’m Sam. I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of English. I work on anti-colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a focus on the the Anglophone Indian novel. My research explores formations of modernity and realist aesthetic practices, especially as they relate to issues of temporality and the politics of time. When I’m not writing or reading, I spend most of my spare time running. I compete in local cross-country, track, and road races all throughout the year and recently ran my first marathon. I work as a live-in Graduate Resident Fellow (GRF) in Cornell’s West Campus House System. I’ve been lucky to call Flora Rose House my home for the past three years.

Trevor Donadt

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, PhD Student

I am a PhD Student studying bacteria-surface interactions as part of Rong Yang’s lab in the Smith School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. My research focuses on designing materials using a vapor deposition technique to manipulate the behavior of bacteria that grow on those materials, and harness the advantageous potential of bacteria. Long involved and interested in equality in access to higher education, I was excited to partake in IDP and work towards furthering that mission at Cornell. Along with my leadership of the Diversity & Inclusion Program at the Smith School, I hope to use the tools of IDP to promote engagement in difficult issues that work towards the greater good at Cornell, in engineering communities, and beyond.