A portrait of Martha Pollack

Citizens of the World

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By Martha E. Pollack

A core part of Cornell’s mission is to educate new generations of global citizens: graduates equipped with the broad knowledge, the cultural competence, and the expansive outlook to understand the complexities and meet the challenges of a rapidly changing and increasingly volatile world—one in which both major societal challenges and opportunities have a global dimension.

Whatever our students’ future path, the ability to think globally, and understand local issues in their global context, is essential.

To build the skills a global perspective requires, Cornell provides and supports international experiences for our students, including semester-long study-abroad programs in which, increasingly, students learn side by side with local peers. Every Cornell college and school now provides opportunities for engaging in research and education abroad, and the University also offers both summer- and winter-session opportunities for students to pursue coursework, internships, and research with partners abroad.

Whatever our students’ future path, the ability to think globally, and understand local issues in their global context, is essential.

Here on campus, a wide array of international coursework and additional programming offer our community in Ithaca opportunities to deepen their global understanding and expertise—for example, through the weekly seminars from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, which alone reach some 16,000 participants each year.

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Developing a global outlook requires not only the knowledge gained through formal study and research, but also the experience of living, working, and learning alongside people of different backgrounds. Cornell’s academic excellence attracts stellar faculty, staff, and students from around the world, creating the extraordinarily diverse community that is essential to our ability to provide a global education in central New York State. We work actively to support our global community on campus, with a student-focused team in International Services offering assistance with everything from new-student orientation to post-graduation visa guidance.

Cornell hosts more than 1,000 international visiting students and scholars each year, including those at risk from other nations, and increasing numbers of students on reciprocal exchanges who come to Cornell from the peer institutions where our students are studying abroad. On the national level, we advocate consistently for international students and scholars, highlighting their many contributions and ensuring that our government is aware of the importance of this community to Cornell and to our nation.

Cornell hosts more than 1,000 international visiting students and scholars each year, including those at risk from other nations.

As a world-class research university, Cornell looks globally to foster the international collaboration that enables us to tackle complex problems. This year, to further build and strengthen that work, we began the launch of our Global Hubs: long-term, strategic, University-wide partnerships with peer institutions around the world that will bring new opportunities for all members of our Cornell community, in Ithaca and beyond.

Our Global Hubs will support a range of new international connections for Cornell, such as faculty research collaborations and student exchanges, while building connections to policymakers, NGOs, the private sector, and local communities. All of these connections will enhance Cornell’s academic distinction through its research and its education, and also help to build a stronger global ecosystem of higher education: an ecosystem which I see as increasingly central to the future of our society and our planet, and in which Cornell already plays a leading role.

Top: Photo by Jason Koski / Cornell University

Published January 17, 2023


Comments

  1. Chris Georgaroudakis, Class of 1986

    So, let’s get the word out -to all students- that we are increasing and expanding our world presence in research and design. From my side ‘ll talk it up!

  2. George William Bird, Class of 1967

    President Pollack

    I greatly enjoyed reading your excellent “Citizens of the World” article in “Cornellians”. As a university professor, I place a major emphasis on making sure students acquire an understanding of how the world is currently known to work in regards to their potential roles as citizens. My Cornell University Ph.D. experience of many years ago trained me especially well for this task.

    Arrival at the “study abroad” part of your article reminded me of a concern I have about this topic at my institution. It is my opinion that to optimize the benefits of “study abroad”, one needs to have a comprehensive understanding of “local”. I am not convinced that our educational system is currently achieving this imperative.

    Thank you for listening and keep up the good work!

  3. Bob Irvine, Class of 1975

    The university-wide Global Hubs initiative described by President Pollack holds the promise of major benefits for Cornell faculty and students and substantial transformative advances for institutions and individuals around the world. Bravo!

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