Colman Leadership Program

Colman Leadership Program

The Colman Leadership Program is an annually offered program that seeks to enroll 25-30 PhD* students for an intensive 3-day program focused on providing participants with skills and knowledge that will support their development as leaders in graduate school and beyond.

2020 Update: Due to COVID-19, the Colman Leadership Program offering originally scheduled for June 2020 has been postponed until January 2021. This site will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

Program Goals

The Colman Leadership Program will introduce a range of practical skills, theory pertaining to leadership, and special topics relevant for application in both academic and professional contexts. With a varied format including readings, interactive group activities, case studies, discussions, student presentations and professionally conducted workshop sessions, program participants will learn about leadership, develop practical skills for negotiation and conflict resolution. Participants will also discuss modes of translating collaborative teamwork and the positive, productive employment of the diverse perspectives and backgrounds students bring to the program.

Specifically, program participants will focus on:

  • Self-awareness as a leadership skill
  • Extend self-awareness to effective interpersonal dynamics
  • Appreciating fundamental group dynamics
  • Understanding of how to create teams from groups
  • Appreciating diversity in all contexts
  • Differentiating between role authority and leadership in an organizational context
  • Learning skills of integration and synthesis

Program Background

The Colman Leadership Program is made possible by an endowed gift to the College of Engineering from the Colman Family and is jointly sponsored by Diversity Programs in Engineering and the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement.

Art department MFA students are also invited to apply, given that the MFA is the terminal degree and the degree commonly held by faculty in your field.

Colman Leadership Program Details

Please note that due to COVID-19, the Colman Leadership Program offering originally scheduled for June 2020 has been postponed to January 2021. Continue to check this site for updates as additional information becomes available.


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Consideration will be given to applications from PhD* students from all backgrounds (domestic and international).

Admitted students who commit to enrolling in the Colman Leadership Program must commit to participating in the full program. The program does not permit late arrivals or early departures on any of the programs dates.

Priority Applicant Consideration:

Priority consideration is given to applicants who are PhD students with Cornell Colman or Sloan Fellowships and Graduate School Dean's Scholars with the following fellowships and affiliations:

  • Cornell Colman Fellowship
  • Cornell Sloan Fellowship
  • Dean's Excellence Fellowship
  • SUNY Diversity Fellowship
  • McNair Graduate Fellowship
  • Provost Diversity Fellowship
  • Bouchet Honor Society

How to Apply

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The online application typically opens 1-2 months prior to the next offering of the program. Check back later for a link to the application when it becomes available.

Online Application general contents:

  • Demographic information
  • Upload CV
  • Brief questions about your leadership experience, desired outcomes of your participation, and career goals
  • Supplemental questions to be used as a baseline for evaluating program impact