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Lessons learned

Ella Diaz at Soup and Hope

At the Feb. 26 Soup and Hope in Sage Chapel, Ella Diaz, assistant professor of English and Latino Studies at Cornell, spoke of the lessons her struggles have taught her: 1) Live on life’s terms. “I am not the ruler of the universe and learning to breathe and accept life on life’s terms actually can be a relief … I am not in charge, it’s not all about me.” 2) Thine will, not mine. “I don’t think one has to be a religious person to trust in the idea of a power greater than one’s self … More than humility, this is about feeling connected to the world and its people.” 3) Be of service.

Celebrate 150 great years at Charter Day Weekend, April 24-27

Charter Day 150 logo.

Registration for Charter Day Weekend in Ithaca opened Feb. 24. Celebrations, commemorations and a festival of ideas and imagination will be held for four days, April 24-27. Events will be open to the public and require advance registration at Live streaming will be available for certain events.

Revised flexibility in the workplace policy released

woman with computer

Flexibility in the Workplace Policy, 6.6.13 has been revised to better describe flexible work practices, including working remotely or adjusting the times for arriving and leaving Cornell. A number of new resources to guide supervisors and employees in using the flexibility policy are available on the Web. The policy provides information on:

Procurement Services exceeds $30 million savings goal

Procurement Savings chart

By analyzing expenses, standardizing supplies, consolidating vendors and negotiating discounts, Cornell Procurement Services is saving Cornell more than $30 million annually.
Joanne DeStefano, vice president for finance and chief financial officer, recently announced that the Procurement Initiative has saved the university $30.1 million in annual non-salary budget dollars. These savings exceed the goal established during the Reimagining Cornell strategic planning initiative that began in 2009.

Upcoming financial workshops

Two workshops for pre-retirees (ages 50 and older) will be held in March:

• For contract college faculty and staff: March 4, noon-1:15 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1 (Murray Lecture Hall), Vet Research Tower
• For endowed faculty and staff: March 12, noon-1:15 p.m., G01 Biotechnology Building

Learn about your Cornell University and New York State retiree benefits. Also: download the Retirement and Beyond booklet and listen to the following webcasts:

MLK lecture features Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry

Author, scholar and political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry will discuss inequality in America as the featured speaker at the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Feb. 23 from 4:45 to 6 p.m. in Sage Chapel.

The lecture, “We Can’t Breathe: The Continuing Consequences of Inequality,” is free and open to the public.


Recyclemania has begun

Recylemania logo.

Cornell’s annual Recyclemania has begun and runs through March 28. Email and pledge to use a reusable mug through March 28 – you will be eligible to be randomly chosen to win a $20 gift card to the Cornell Store.

Nearly one million disposable coffee cups are used on Cornell’s campus each year: you can help reduce this waste by “kicking the cup.”

Applications for Perkins Prize accepted through Feb. 23

Applications are being accepted through Feb. 23 for the 21st Anniversary James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial Understanding and Harmony, established by Cornell trustee Thomas W. Jones ’69 in 1995.

The annual prize recognizes the Cornell student, professor, staff or program making the most significant contribution to furthering the ideal of university community while respecting the values of racial diversity.

The 2015 Perkins Prize will be presented March 17. The winner receives a $5,000 award.


Reminder: Call for award nominations

High Five logo

Nominations by any faculty or staff member are being accepted through Feb. 27 for two employee awards – an individual excellence award and a management excellence award. These awards were created by the Employee Recognition Team in response to feedback from the 2011 Employee Survey to develop programs that give Cornell staff members greater recognition for their good work. Individual Excellence Awards will be presented to two Cornell staff members; Management Awards will be presented to two Cornell staff supervisors, managers or directors.

Become a victor instead of a victim, DeRoller says

Rebecca DeRoller speaks at Sage Chapel, Feb. 12, on being a victor rather than a victim.

When Rebecca DeRoller had her third child in July, 1998, she had a normal delivery and went home the next day. In the weeks that followed, she felt tired and started coughing and spitting up blood. She saw her doctor, but the medication he prescribed did not help. Finally, one day she became nauseous. While she was bent over a bucket, a voice in her head said, “Rebecca, you’re dying,” and she went to an emergency room.

There, she was told her lungs were saturated with blood, her liver was three times its normal size and she was having heart failure. She was, indeed, dying.


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