Connecting Cornell with the World Global Cornell Year in Review 2022–23

Global Cornell is a community of belonging with a border-crossing spirit of exploration, learning, and shared discovery. Our internationally engaged units foster high-impact international research and collaborations, teach and mentor the next generation of global citizens, and support international experiences and cultural exchange for all Cornellians.

Global Hubs | Global Operations | Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Migrations: A Global Grand Challenge | Office of Global Learning: Education Abroad and International Services

Left, Wendy Wolford. Right, the first Global Hubs Network Meeting was held in Cornell in November 2023.

Message from Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost of International Affairs:

Cornell has partnered abroad for a long time—over 100 years. Our remarkable history of collaborating with the best universities, scholars, and practitioners in the world to advance research and address global challenges is part of what made this year’s achievements so exciting.

"With Global Hubs, Cornell has created a network of deep, reciprocal relationships built for the long haul."

In November 2022 Global Cornell welcomed 40 representatives of the new Cornell Global Hubs to campus. Our network partners traveled from top universities in Ghana, India, Thailand, Australia, Ecuador, and beyond to chart a shared course for high-impact global research collaborations and student exchanges.

With Global Hubs, Cornell has created a network of deep, reciprocal relationships built for the long haul. Hubs bring together students, faculty, alumni, and community members in strategic locations around the world—to think, research, learn, and work together to do the greatest good.

The rich conversations at the network meeting and campuswide symposium that followed are already bearing fruit—including 44 faculty collaborations jointly funded by Cornell and Hubs partners and a new Global Grand Challenge to be announced in fall 2023.

We are grateful for the generosity of nearly 250 donors who supported our internationally engaged units this year, and we look toward 2024 with energy, creativity, and resolve. Together, we have the power to imagine a better global future—and it’s our highest privilege and challenge to build that future with our Cornell students, staff, faculty, alumni, partners, and friends.

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Global Hubs Deepen Networks Between Cornell and World

Cornell Global Hubs—launched in fall 2022—expand international opportunities and infrastructure and pave the way for Cornell students, faculty, and alumni to engage with 19 network partners in 11 strategic Hubs locations. Global Hubs support Cornellians as they network, collaborate, teach, intern, and study internationally.

Julia Montgomery Poggi ’25, right, at the University of Ghana.

Australia • China • Ecuador • Ghana • India • Mexico • Singapore • South Korea • Thailand • United Kingdom • Zambia

Hubs are reciprocal: Cornell and Hubs partners benefit by exchanging students, faculty, and ideas. Exchange students from world-class Hubs universities bring global cultures and diverse perspectives to campus. Hubs give Cornell researchers a seamless way to connect with international collaborators and launch shared research—for faster solutions to the global challenges we all confront today.

Funding Research for Positive Change

Global Cornell supports faculty with grants to seed new international partnerships for research and teaching. Funding also helps faculty launch teaching innovations to internationalize the student experience.

Cornell Faculty Embrace International Collaborations Through Global Hubs Seed Grants

Forty-four Cornell-Hub faculty teams are developing cutting-edge research and teaching with seed awards from Global Cornell. Global Cornell awarded more than $200,000 in 2022, with matching funds from eight Global Hubs partners.

These Joint Research and Education Seed Grants bring faculty from partner institutions together to develop joint projects to strengthen Cornell and Hubs partner universities' strategic priorities and create academic and societal impact. A second call for research proposals is currently open.

A project led by Jenny Goldstein (CALS) with faculty at the National University of Singapore is studying ways seaweed can contribute to climate change mitigation in Indonesia and the world.

Polarization Research in Ecuador Underscores Risks to U.S. Democracy

Research by Kenneth Roberts (A&S) and evidence ripped from headlines worldwide shows that when political parties stoke partisan conflicts, actual democratic capacity may take a hit.

Roberts leads the Global Hubs partnership with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and the democratic threats and resilience research priority at the Einaudi Center.

Better Digital Tools to Help Immigrants Access Benefits

A constantly changing legal landscape can result in inaccurate information—with potentially serious consequences for immigrants unsure of which sources to trust.

Cornell researchers, including Migrations faculty fellows Gunisha Kaur (Weill Cornell Medicine) and Stephen Yale-Loehr (Cornell Law School), authored a study on U.S. asylum seekers’ informational needs and how to design digital tools to help them access public benefits. The team also developed the Rights for Health website to share accurate information on health and legal benefits available to immigrants, who make up about 14% of the U.S. population.

Migrations: Cornell Faculty Explore a World in Motion

Launched in 2019 as Cornell’s first-ever Global Grand Challenge, Migrations brings together faculty from colleges across Cornell to study how living things—humans, animals, insects, microorganisms, plant life—migrate from place to place on our planet. The Migrations initiative has seeded 38 faculty research teams with approximately $1.9 million in funding.

Planning Cornell's Next Global Grand Challenge

Rachel Bezner Kerr (CALS), speaks during the Health: An Integrated Global Perspective panel at the two-day Global Grand Challenges Symposium. Also pictured, left to right, are David Erickson (Cornell Engineering), Isabel Perera (A&S), and Peter McCormick (Queen Mary University, London).

Einaudi Seed Grants Find Fertile Soil

Einaudi Center seed grants helped faculty across Cornell tackle issues ranging from the health of endangered wild dogs to the spread of social media misinformation.

Workshop: Amazonian Aquaculture in Brazil’s Rondônia State

Alexander Flecker (CALS): A workshop that brought together U.S. and Brazilian researchers and government officials led to the creation of a multidisciplinary team exploring environmental and human health implications of fish farming in the Amazon basin.

Global Survey of City Leaders

Victoria A. Beard (AAP): Nearly 250 city leaders completed the Global Survey of City Leaders. Those in poorer countries tended to identify a lack of capital funding and access to core urban infrastructure as their top priorities, while public transportation, affordable housing and worker shortages were most urgent in cities in developed countries.

Critical Conversations

The Einaudi Center brings world leaders, preeminent scholars, and public figures to Cornell to foster conversations about the global questions and conditions that shape our lives. These annual signature events spark engagement on campus, in national debates, and around the world.

Fighting for Democracy and the Planet

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica (2018–22)

“Even if you tend to feel small, good ideas can encourage, have the power to change the world in a positive way.”

Alvarado spoke at the Bartels World Affairs Lecture on how he dealt with challenges to democracy and the environment during his presidency and started Costa Rica on track to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Democracy and Its Opposites

Damon Wilson (National Endowment for Democracy) and Thomas E. Garrett (Community of Democracies)

Left to right: Wilson and Garrett, with Einaudi Center Director Rachel Beatty Riedl

The Lund Critical Debate examined the threats democracies around the world are confronting, both from external forces and from within—and what governments and citizens can do to fight back.

Can Small States Make a Difference?

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland

Jóhannesson discussed his country’s commitment to peace, diversity, and science-based climate solutions during a sold-out lecture in Klarman Hall, livestreamed to an audience of hundreds. The event was moderated by Peter Katzenstein (A&S).

Funding New International Courses

Global Cornell awarded five International Cornell Curriculum grants to support faculty developing courses that feature international experiences for students.

  • Think Globally, Act Locally: Comparative Perspectives on Community Engagement in the U.S. and Ecuador, in partnership with Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Rethinking Bamboo: A Material and Architectural Study of Southeast Asian Bamboo Construction, in partnership with Chulalongkorn University and Zhejiang University
  • Global Health and Environmental Justice, in partnership with King's College London
  • Experiential Writing in Mexico: Environmental and Cultural Communication, in partnership with Monterrey Tec and Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca
  • Race and Racialized Groups in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, in partnership with Koç University

Student Impacts

Cornell offers a range of international experiences for Cornellians to learn more about a place or culture, contribute to research, sample a new learning environment, or explore a career path.

Laidlaw Scholars Gain Global Perspectives

The Laidlaw Scholars Program, hosted at Cornell by the Einaudi Center, trains early undergraduates in international research and leadership and sends them out into the world for hands-on experiences.

Brenda Umwali '25 (pictured above) researched xenophobia and misogyny in summer 2022. Dana Oshiro '24 (pictured center right) spent six weeks working with Supporting Community Development Initiatives and VinUniversity on projects to combat adverse childhood events.

Short-term Programs: Study Abroad Students Taste Cambodian Culture

Seven Cornell students and five students from peer institutions dove deep into the cultural heritage of Cambodia, both past and present, in January as part of the Cornell Winter Program in Cambodia, a two-and-a-half-week intensive study abroad experience facilitated by the Office of Global Learning.

Students enjoyed a “floating lunch” after a visit to Banteay Srei temple in Angkor.

The three-credit course was taught by Magnus Fiskesjö (A&S) and sponsored by the Einaudi Center's Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) in collaboration with the Center for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap.

13 Cornellians Receive Fulbright Awards

Thirteen Cornell students were selected to research and teach English abroad with funding from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. They join the ranks of over 500 Cornellians who have traveled across the globe as Fulbrighters since the 1940s.

Study Abroad at Global Hubs

Study abroad exchange programs are now available at seven Global Hubs locations: Australia, China, Ecuador, Denmark, Mexico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. These opportunities embed Cornell students at world-class partner universities. Each Hub connects all of Cornell—students, faculty, and international alumni—with one or more universities and their communities, countries, and regions.

During summer 2022, students studied and interned at Global Hubs locations, including (from left) Lauren Pappas in Australia, Piper Sullivan in India, Sara Hishinuma '24 in Singapore, and Maggie Maynard in Zambia. Bottom right: Winter 2023 study abroad students in Ecuador went "maize'ing" with Terra Genesis.
“My time in Singapore has influenced my future plans by expanding my worldview and widening my career choices. My experience working in a lab and meeting people of varying backgrounds and career paths has allowed me to realize my love for both research and intercultural exchange.”

Sara Hishinuma '24 (CALS), National University of Singapore

Allison Lee '25 (CALS), University of Sydney

Scholars Under Threat

Global Cornell leads campus and community support for international students, scholars, and human rights defenders whose work puts them at risk in their home countries. The cross-campus collaboration has welcomed dozens to campus since 2016, including students, academics, writers, journalists, and artists from seven countries.

“Seeds of Peace,” by Sharifa ‘Elja’ Sharifi, a visiting scholar at Cornell. “The woman in this painting is blowing dandelion seeds to send to different parts of the world. She says, ‘I am an Afghan woman. I can be part of the world. Please receive my voice,’” Sharifi explained.

Afghan Students Look Toward the Future

As the Taliban seized Kabul, Cornell launched an effort to provide relief. Nine Afghan women arrived at Cornell in December 2021 to continue their education, and all were admitted in 2022 as Cornell undergraduates with full financial aid—thanks to support from generous Cornell donors.

For Afghan Scholar, Cornell is a Step on a Longer Journey

Sharif Hozoori is an expert on Afghanistan politics and foreign policy and former vice chancellor of the University of Afghanistan. Now a visiting scholar at the Einaudi Center’s South Asia Program and an Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund fellow, he is seeking a permanent U.S.-based position as an academic, researcher, or analyst.

Celebrating 2023 International Graduates

More than 150 Class of 2023 international students came together to celebrate their achievements at Cornell.

Hosted by the Office of Global Learning International Services team, this year's International Graduation Reception featured addresses from distinguished international alumnus Alexander Ponomarenko '94 and Global Citizen Award recipients Teni Akeju and Megan Cabaero, who shared thoughts on their journeys as international students at Cornell.

Listen to Vice Provost Wolford’s congratulatory remarks.

Global Cornell Connects with Alumni Worldwide

Vice Provost Wendy Wolford and other Global Cornell leaders had a busy spring meeting with alumni and institutional partners around the world. Visits included India, Asia, and Africa.

Top left and center: Wolford and Provost Michael Kotlikoff visited Hong Kong, following stops in Taiwan and Hanoi. Top right: During a visit to the University of Ghana, Einaudi Center director Rachel Beatty Riedl connected with Cornell alumni. Bottom: 200 Cornellians gathered in Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference, held in person for the first time in four years. The conference was followed by a trip to India, where the Global Cornell delegation met with partners and alumni.