Former co-hosts (from left to right): Anthony Sis, Sherron Brown and Cornell Woodson
Click on drop-down menu below to access the description, show notes, and transcripts for all episodes of the Inclusive Excellence Podcast. You can also find the description and detailed show notes wherever you access your podcasts.
Toral Patel and Bert Odom-Reed kick off season five by welcoming back Erin Sember-Chase (she/her/hers), who will be stepping into her new role as co-host of the IE Podcast. Erin shares a little about her professional journey and discusses the importance of creating inclusive spaces across Cornell's campus for staff, students, and faculty. She also teases the new season's theme, "What is inclusion and belonging...really?" Follow upcoming episodes that will explore with fellow Cornellians what it really means and looks like to be included and to feel a sense of belonging.
Tune into part one of the three-part mini-series that will feature members of Cornell's six Colleague Network Groups (CNGs). In this first episode, Erin and Toral talk with Crissi Dalfonzo (she/her/hers) and Victor Younger (he/him/his) about their experiences working at Cornell and participating in the LGBTQ+ Colleague Network Group and Men of Color Colleague Network Group. Crissi and Victor share their thoughts around workplace belonging and how CNGs help staff and faculty find community through creating a culture where employees can comfortably bring their whole selves to the workplace.
In part two of the "CNGs Mini-Series," Erin and Toral speak with Ashlee Cherry (she/her/hers) of the Disability CNG and Ten Van Winkle (she/they) of the Young Professionals CNG. Ashlee and Ten invite listeners to honor and acknowledge the unique experiences and identities that exist within the CNGs while leaving behind all assumptions. Their conversation also ponders the ever-evolving world of work and the importance of fixing the fallacies of the workplace machine rather than focusing on changing its individual gears.
Erin and Toral wrap up the "CNGs Mini-Series" with a conversation about the complexity of experiences and identities within the CNGs. Steph Cowling-Rich (she/her/hers) of the Women of Color CNG and Debra Howell (she/her/hers) of the Veterans CNG speak of the intricate and unique challenges that members of their CNGs face and how these groups help to find and foster throughlines that employees can use to connect across Cornell. Steph and Debra discuss how listeners can help cultivate a sense of belonging in both their personal and professional lives.
A reunion of friends opens up a conversation that digs deeper than nostalgia. Longtime Cornell employees, Anu Lyons and Ben Ortiz join Erin and Toral to dive into their shared past, discovering what exactly has contributed to them changing professional roles yet staying with the same employer for so long. From tapping into the local community, receiving support from mentors, and being transparent about work wants, needs, and goals, Anu and Ben reveal some essential keys for unlocking employee investment, inclusion, and belonging.
Radhika Nayak (she/her/hers) began her journey at Cornell by learning to navigate the university and her professional path on her own. In this episode, she joins Erin and Toral in her new role as a career development specialist, serving as a resource to guide staff to fruitful and fulfilling careers. While aiming to increase employee retention and a sense of belonging, Radhika shares the tools needed to supercharge a career at Cornell and stay satisfied with professional life.
In this episode, Erin and Toral are joined by Maria Wolff (she/her/hers), senior consultant for Talent Retention at Cornell, to unpack recent declines in employee retention at the university and in higher education. After exploring the top reasons why people are leaving Cornell, Maria shares ways to focus on creating and supporting an environment that purposefully and proactively retains its employees. She shares how engaging with the entire "employee experience" contributes to workplace belonging and strives to make Cornell a desirable employer for all.
Erin and Toral continue their conversation about employee engagement as they diver deeper into the challenges that new hires face with their guest Cassie Pierre Joseph (she/her/hers), the director for employee engagement at Cornell. Cassie reflects on her journey upon arriving at the university and how her current role serves as a crucial resource for new employees across campus. She offers advice in helping new hires get acclimated to the environment and encourages listeners to seek support in order to maximize their experience at Cornell.
What began as a vision in 2020 grew into a collection of stories that unravel many of the untold truths of Cornell's history. On this episode of the podcast, Erin and Toral invite Melina Ivanchikova and Rob Vanderlan from the Center for Teaching Innovation to share their digital exhibition "Any Person, Many Stories--Histories of Exclusion and Inclusion at Cornell." The pair discuss the impetus for the project and how understanding Cornell's past can actually help increase a sense of belonging throughout the community today.
In honor of this year's Women's History Month theme, "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories," Erin and Toral invite the editor of the Inclusive Excellence Podcast, Grace DePaull (she/her/hers), to discuss storytelling as a powerful tool to break down boundaries and construct identities. She shares how storytelling has taken her across the country, around the world, and has landed her at Cornell. Tune in to discover how Grace navigated both her identity and travels through writing and how audio editing the podcast allows her to continue to share the stories we tell.
In this episode, Erin and Toral are joined by Cyrus Hamilton-Ferguson (he/him/his), assistant director of Student Disability Services at Cornell, for a conversation about the increasing intersection of personal and professional lives. Cyrus opens up about his experiences with disability as a professional and a parent, speaks about the importance of honoring mental health, and shares how his sense of belonging is fluid and impacted by the navigation of new identities.
Erin and Toral welcome two members of the newly formed Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment team for a conversation about creating connection in a world where many employees are working remotely. Together, Jamie Doss (she/her/hers), talent acquisition partner, and Sonja Baylor (she/her/hers), recruitment manager, share how they have effectively sustained a positive and inclusive workplace on a team of primarily remote and hybrid employees. They also reveal how key behaviors, such as vulnerability and intentionality, exhibited by both employees and leaders can contribute to this sense of belonging.
Season five of the podcast wraps up with a very special guest. Coming up on her one-year anniversary at the university, Cornell's vice president and chief human resources officer, Christine Lovely (she/her/hers), joins Erin and Toral for a conversation about her first year at Cornell and in Ithaca, NY. Christine discusses the unexpected opportunities that emerged throughout her career and how she strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where all employees can connect through conversation. Tune in to hear Christine's journey and what she looks forward to in year two at Cornell.
Toral and Anthony have an in-depth conversation on disability with Zebadiah Hall (he/him/his), Director of Student Disability Services. We talk about the impact of ableism on the Cornell community, as well as the importance of intersectionality in addressing issues related to access and disability.
Toral and Anthony have a conversation about the importance of minority health in honor of National Minority Health Month with Jeremy Stewart (he/him/his), Nutrition and Health Outreach Coordinator at Cornell Wellness.
Toral and Anthony talk to their DEI counterparts at Weill Cornell Medicine: Jamal Lopez (he/him/his), Senior Director of Institutional Equity and Fanesse George (she/her/hers), Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement. They talk about how their work is similar- and different- while also sharing their hopes and dreams about the future of DEI initiatives.
Episode 39: "It's the Last Word...for Now" on Leadership, Legacy, and Inclusion with Angela Winfield
On this episode, we have a conversation with Angela Winfield (she/her/hers) on leadership, legacy, and inclusion as she transitions into her new role as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).
This episode is part one of a four-part special series celebrating AAPI staff members at Cornell. On this episode, Toral has a conversation about AAPI heritage and traditions with Perdita Das-Humphrey (she/her/hers), Assistant Dean at the Hans A. Bethe House, Jamie Hom (she/her/hers), Assistant Director of New Student Programs, Aaron King (he/him/his), Assistant Dean at the William Keeton House, and Carolyn Chow (she/her/hers), Recruiter and Inclusion Program Lead in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
This episode is part two of a four-part special series celebrating AAPI staff members at Cornell. On this episode, Toral continues the conversation with Perdita Das-Humphrey (she/her/hers), Assistant Dean at the Hans A. Bethe House, Jamie Hom (she/her/hers), Assistant Director of New Student Programs, Aaron King (he/him/his), Assistant Dean at the William Keeton House, and Carolyn Chow (she/her/hers), Recruiter and Inclusion Program Lead in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
This episode is part three of a four-part special series celebrating AAPI staff members at Cornell. On this episode, Toral has a conversation about AAPI heritage and traditions with Caleb Yu (he/him/his), Graduate and International Student Career Coach at Cornell Career Services, Christina Liang (she/her/hers), Interim Judicial Administrator in the Office of the Judicial Administrator, and Hei Hei Depew (she/her/hers), Financial Analyst in the College of Human Ecology and Chair of the Employee Assembly.
This is the final episode of a four-part special series celebrating AAPI staff members at Cornell. On this episode, Toral has a conversation about with Caleb Yu (he/him/his), Graduate and International Student Career Coach at Cornell Career Services, Christina Liang (she/her/hers), Interim Judicial Administrator in the Office of the Judicial Administrator, and Hei Hei Depew (she/her/hers), Financial Analyst in the College of Human Ecology and Chair of the Employee Assembly.
WARNING: This interview contains a brief conversation on the topic of suicide, which may be upsetting to some listeners. For resources on this topic, please view our show notes for this episode.
Anthony Sis interviews the first guest for the "Beyond Binaries" special series, Sue Brightly (she/her/hers), in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Anthony Sis (they/them) interviews the second guest for the "Beyond Binaries" special series, Cole Johnston (he/him/his), in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Anthony Sis (they/them) interviews the third guest for the "Beyond Binaries" special series, Christian Balmaseda (he/him/his), in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Anthony Sis (they/them) interviews the fourth guest for the "Beyond Binaries" special series, Michelle Wescott (she/her/hers), in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Anthony Sis (they/them) interviews the fifth and final guest for the "Beyond Binaries" special series, Foula Dimopoulos (ze/hir/hirs | he/him/his/), in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
Anthony and Toral reunite for another "Let's Talk..." episode to discuss the history and impact of National Disability Independence Day on their lives. They also share a number of resources and ways that you can celebrate this day on July 26.
Episode 53: What Can I Do to Make a Difference? - On Academia, DEI, and Culture with Dr. Avery August
Toral and Anthony have a great conversation with Dr. Avery August (he/him/his). Avery is a Professor of Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He's also a member of the Presidential Advisors for Diversity and Equity (PADE). Toral and Anthony talk to him about his journey into academia and get a glimpse into his perspective about why issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion should matter to faculty at Cornell.
Toral Patel and Bert Odom-Reed take the lead as co-hosts on this episode with a very special guest from the Cornell community. There's also a special announcement at the end of the episode that you won't want to miss.
Toral Patel and Bert Odom-Reed have a great conversation with Erin Sember-Chase (she/her/hers) and Andrea Haenlin-Mott (she/her/hers) regarding disability employment. Erin works in Student Disability Services and serves as one of the co-chairs of the Disability Colleague Networking Group at Cornell. Andrea is the ADA Coordinator for Facilities and Campus Services and serves as the executive vice chair of the Employee Assembly this year.
Episode 56: Journey Back To Cornell - A Conversation with Sonia Rucker, AVP of Inclusion & Belonging
Toral and Bert have an engaging conversation with Sonia Rucker (she/her/hers), the new AVP of Inclusion and Belonging and member of the Presidential Advisors for Diversity and Equity (PADE). Sonia worked at Cornell 2003-2011 and rejoined in 2021. Toral and Bert talk to Sonia about her journey back to Cornell and how issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion impact all staff at Cornell.
This month's episode explores the complexities of code-switching and how it affects us at work and beyond. Code-switching is a well-documented term that highlights the common practice of switching languages and forms of expression in our everyday actions. We’ll be having a conversation with a very special guest- one that you’re all familiar with...
This month, Toral and Anthony have an honest conversation with Financial Analyst and Employee Assembly Chair Hei Hei Depew (she/her/hers) about xenophobia and racism towards Asians and Asian Americans that has increased due to the presence of Covid-19. They talk about bias, leadership, the bamboo ceiling, the model minority myth, and how to demonstrate allyship towards the community during these challenging times.
Toral and Anthony have an amazing, intimate, and vulnerable conversation on wellbeing with a focus on families and caregivers with Michelle Artibee (she/her/hers), Director of Workforce Wellbeing.
On this show, we talk about the differences and similarities between religion, faith, and spirituality, and how we make meaning of all three terms with Oliver Goodrich (he/him/his), Associate Dean of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Director of Cornell United Religious Work (CURW).
We continue our conversation with Oliver Goodrich (he/him/his), Associate Dean of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Director of Cornell United Religious Work (CURW). We go in-depth on how religion, faith, and spirituality can be a part of the problem- and solution- in addressing current social issues such as racism, fundamentalism, and Covid-19.
On the season three finale, we have an intimate conversation where we get to learn more about Mary Opperman (she/her/hers), Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Cornell University.
Sherron Brown kicks off a new season of the Inclusive Excellence Podcast with a new co-host, Anthony Sis, and a new segment called "What Going On?" This week, Sherron and Anthony talk about hair discrimination and their experiences related to this topic.
Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis introduce a new segment called "More of What Going On?" with special guest Trisica Munroe (she/her/hers), program manager for feminist, gender, and sexuality studies and LGBTQ studies. This week, Sherron, Trisica, and Anthony continue to talk about hair discrimination in the workplace and their experiences related to this topic.
Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis kick off the month of July by providing a brief recap of the Inclusive Excellence Summit back on June 11. This week, Sherron and Anthony talk about the benefits of working with veterans, as well as provide ways to support them here at Cornell.
This week, Sherron and Anthony continue talking about the strengths and advantages that veterans bring to the workplace with two special guests: Craig Wiggers (he/him/his) and Amber Alpizar (she/her/hers). Craig is the Director of Administration in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He served in the U.S Marine Corps. for 25 years. Amber is the Human Resources Director for Alumni Affairs and Development. She served 10 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.
On this episode, Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis participate in a lively conversation around how to engage multiple generations in the workplace. Sherron and Anthony bond over many cultural and historical events and share their suggestions on how people and teams at Cornell can look across difference when it comes to working in a multigenerational workplace.
On this episode, Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis participate in a lively conversation around how to engage multiple generations in the workplace with two special guests. The guests on this episode are Dane Cruz (he/him/his), Director of the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble and Clayton Covington (he/him/they/them), Research Aide for the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.
Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis engage in a conversation about some of the challenges faced by international populations, as well as the benefits of hiring and working with them here at Cornell. They also share some responses to two "Question of the Day" prompts that were asked at Staff Development Day back in August 2019. Be sure to listen to the end for a special announcement as well!
Sherron Brown and Anthony Sis are excited to continue the conversation on supporting and engaging the international workforce with two special guests, Lily Rice and Pilar Thompson. Lily Rice (she/her/hers)is the Assistant Director of Student Services in the College for Architecture, Art and Planning. Pilar Thompson (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director of International Affairs & Professional Programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
On this episode, Anthony Sis introduces their new co-host, Toral Patel (she/her/hers) to the podcast. Anthony and Toral then engage in an honest conversation on the topic of imposter syndrome and how they've experienced it in both their personal lives and professional settings.
Toral and Anthony continue talking about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it with two special guests: Jennifer Majka and Jessica Krom. Jennifer (she/her/hers) is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Jessica (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Johnson Graduate School of Management.
On the season finale of the podcast, Anthony and Toral have a candid conversation with Angela Winfield (she/her/hers), Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Workforce Diversity. She shares some information about her upbringing and her journey into diversity and inclusion (D&I) work. She also shares some valuable information regarding upcoming D&I initiatives for Cornell staff to look out for in the next few months.
Introducing Sarah Jefferis, Visiting Lecturer in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and Mike Bishop, Director of Student Leadership in the Office of Engagement Initiatives on a conversation regarding white privilege.