Faculty to share perspectives on Ezra Cornell’s vision

A panel discussion, “Celebrating 150 Years of Ezra Cornell’s Promise: Reflections on What ‘... Any Person … Any Study’ Means,” will be held Monday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. The event is open to the public.

“Cornell faculty will share how Ezra Cornell’s landmark founding declaration continues to ring in their research and experience today,” said Avery August, vice provost for academic affairs.

August will moderate the discussion featuring Eduardo Peñalver ’94, the Alan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law; Natasha Holmes, assistant professor in the Department of Physics; Gerard Aching, M.A. ’90, Ph.D. ’92, professor of Romance studies and in the Africana Studies and Research Center; and Melissa Ferguson, professor in the Department of Psychology.

Emphasizing “all,” Holmes tries to ensure equitable learning is occurring.

“Physics labs can sometimes seem like the antithesis of ‘… any person … any study,’” she said. “Students conduct experiments to verify the ideas from class that were discovered centuries ago by ‘brilliant’ scientists. We’re studying ways to bring Ezra Cornell’s vision to our instruction by giving students agency – handing over some of the control for students to make their own decisions and design their own experiments.”

Aching plans to address the discoveries that he began to make after arriving at Cornell as a graduate student in 1986.

“Ezra Cornell’s vision is as timely today as it was 150 years ago,” said Yael Levitte, associate vice provost for faculty development and diversity, whose office sponsors the event.

An ice cream social in the lobby outside Call Auditorium will follow the panel discussion. Email for more information.

Lori Sonken is communication and program manager at the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.

This article originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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