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Cornell University Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship

The Fellowship applications have closed for 2022.
Please check back in Spring 2023.

The Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship is a one-year program open to Cornell University graduate and undergraduate students designed to accelerate career and executive-leadership advancement in sustainability-related fields.  

The Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship is a program supported by the Cornell University Campus Sustainability Office designed to empower leaders to action with a three-part professional development experience. 

Fellows will engage in personal leadership development, mentoring & networking with acclaimed women leaders in sustainability, and be provided with a paid internship focused on designing and implementing a strategic project for climate and sustainability impact at Cornell University.  The Fellowship is open to all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers on the experiences of women. 

The Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of the President’s Council of Cornell Women Frank H.T. Rhodes Leadership Fund. 

Meet the 2021 Fellows



Amelia-Juliette Demery
Amelia-Juliette Demery, 2021 Fellow
Amelia-Juliette Demery, (PhD Candidate) Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project: Low-Carbon Travel & Carbon Offsets
Supervisor: Sarah Brylinsky, Assistant Director, Campus Sustainability Office

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Amelia focuses on the genetics underlying color in bird beaks, the evolution of Australian finches, and the evolutionary patterns of iris color across all birds. Her research, combined with her service work in her professional societies and public policy forums, inspired her to pursue work in policy and policy messaging to make science more equitable and inclusive. She co-wrote a paper in Nature about policies that can make field work safer for researchers using a universal and tiered lens, helped secure voting representation of the 900+ student body in the American Ornithological Society, and is currently working on legislative policy as a member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. Amelia's hobbies include dungeons and dragons, soccer, and reading.


Chun Xu
Chun Xu, 2021 Fellow
Chun Xu (MRP Candidate) City and Regional Planning, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning 

Project: Living Laboratory Program Development
Supervisor: Sarah Brylinsky, Assistant Director, Campus Sustainability Office

Chun grew up in China and witnessed China's economic take-off and rapid urbanization in the past twenty years. Her passion for urban space and development was fully inspired after five years’ studying at Tongji University for her undergraduate degree in Architecture. She then joined the Cornell AAP community to figure out what is going on in the urban space in a macro and systematic perspective and its vulnerability due to climate change. She is an energetic and enthusiastic doer, urging to figure out preemptive, strategical, and practical solutions for potential environmental degradation, and make some real progress for anticipating climate challenges. She recognized herself as a designer, to organize and mediate cross-disciplinary research and practice when addressing challenges in the built and living environment.


2021 Fellowship Application and Program Details

Fellowship Details

The Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship is a program supported by the Cornell University Campus Sustainability Office designed to empower leaders to action with a three-part professional development experience. 

The Fellowship is open to all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women.  Applicants from any College or program enrolled as full-time students through the end of summer 2022 are encouraged to apply. 

The WLS Fellowship is designed to accelerate candidates' leadership potential with three program components.  Fellows receive a financial compensation package for the completion of all components of the work and development outlined here.  
 

  • Internship and Sustainability Solutions Project 

  • The main component of the Fellowship is advanced project design and implementation in a real-world setting. Fellows will join the staff of the Campus Sustainability Office for a paid position totaling 10hrs/week during Fall and Spring semesters (August-May), and 20hrs/week during the summer (May-August). 

  • Fellows will work with a professional mentor to design and implement a real-world solution to a sustainability challenge at Cornell University in one of three focus areas:

    • Community Engagement
      Climate Leadership
      Sustainability Change Management
  • Candidates may express interest in one or more areas during application.
  • Women in Sustainability Networking  

  • Virtual coffee chats with a series of high-profile women in sustainability executive leadership from across New York State and international sustainability and climate programs.  Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in small groups and 1:1 time with leaders in career fields, creating valuable networking connections and an opportunity to be inspired by diverse career trajectories.

  • Personal Leadership Journey 

  • Fellows will gain a deep sense of strengths, passion, and vision through leadership development experiences designed to empower your path to executive leadership and meaningful change agency. Personal leadership activities will include reflection, outdoor or hands-on team building (as allowed by University policy regarding in-person activities during COVID19), and strengths-identification.
     

Total Fellowship Award:  Graduate Fellowship Award: $11,200*, Undergraduate Fellowship Award: $8,200*  

*Approximate total compensation for hours worked during Fellowship, paid as hourly rate 

Commitment and Dates 2021-2022

The Cornell Women’s Sustainability Fellowship represents a unique opportunity to accelerate applicants’ professional careers. As such, applicants must be able to commit to the full fellowship from August 2021 – August 2022 as outlined above, and additional professional development opportunities.   

  • The Fellowship will begin the first week of classes in August 2021 and end early August 2022. 

  • Fellows will join the staff of the Campus Sustainability Office for a paid internship position totaling 10hrs/week during Fall and Spring semesters (August-May), and 20hrs/week during the summer (May-August). 

  • Other program experiences entail an additional 4-6 hours/semester.  

  • Due to ongoing changes to University policy regarding in-person activities and work during the COVID19 pandemic, the Fellowship will likely include both in-person and remote opportunities.  The program will work with applicants to ensure a strong experience as opportunities and changes to University procedure continue to evolve.


Commitment and Dates 2021-2022

The Cornell Women’s Sustainability Fellowship represents a unique opportunity to accelerate applicants’ professional careers. As such, applicants must be able to commit to the full fellowship from August 2021 – August 2022 as outlined above, and additional professional development opportunities.   

  • The Fellowship will begin the first week of classes in August 2021 and end early August 2022. 

  • Fellows will join the staff of the Campus Sustainability Office for a paid internship position totaling 10hrs/week during Fall and Spring semesters (August-May), and 20hrs/week during the summer (May-August). 

  • Other program experiences entail an additional 4-6 hours/semester.  

  • Due to ongoing changes to University policy regarding in-person activities and work during the COVID19 pandemic, the Fellowship will likely include both in-person and remote opportunities.  The program will work with applicants to ensure a strong experience as opportunities and changes to University procedure continue to evolve.


Eligibility 

 

Preference will be given to applicants who are entering or currently enrolled in a graduate-level program with some demonstrated sustainability experience.  However, applications from highly skilled undergraduate candidates with exceptional leadership potential, relevant experience, and background will also be considered.  

  • This Fellowship is for all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women. 

  • Candidates are welcome and encouraged from all programs and Colleges. 

  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States and enrolled as full-time students at Cornell University for the 2021 - 2022 academic year and through summer 2022. 

  • Due to grant restrictions, students graduating in May 2022 are not eligible to apply. (You must be enrolled as a full-time student through the end of August 2022.)

  • Applications from underrepresented communities including LGBTQ+, black, indigenous, and persons of color and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged. 


Eligibility 

 

Preference will be given to applicants who are entering or currently enrolled in a graduate-level program with some demonstrated sustainability experience.  However, applications from highly skilled undergraduate candidates with exceptional leadership potential, relevant experience, and background will also be considered.  

  • This Fellowship is for all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women. 

  • Candidates are welcome and encouraged from all programs and Colleges. 

  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States and enrolled as full-time students at Cornell University for the 2021 - 2022 academic year and through summer 2022. 

  • Due to grant restrictions, students graduating in May 2022 are not eligible to apply. (You must be enrolled as a full-time student through the end of August 2022.)

  • Applications from underrepresented communities including LGBTQ+, black, indigenous, and persons of color and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged. 

Application Requirements 

 

The deadline for application to the 2021-2022 Fellowship is Friday May 28th, 2021. 
Please submit your resume and letter of recommendation in the same email if possible.  

  • Women Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship Applicant Form  

  • The application includes demographic questions and 2 short essays to help us best identify your potential and interest for the Sustainable Solution Projects. Note that this form replaces a traditional cover letter. 

  • Application Form 

  •  

    Resume or CV with subject “Women Leaders in Sustainability Applicant” 

    Email to sustainability@cornell.edu with letter of recommendation 
     

    1 Letter of Recommendation

    Supporting candidate’s leadership potential and interest in career opportunities related to sustainable development and climate leadership. Email to sustainability@cornell.edu with resume or CV.

Contact

Questions about this program?  Email sustainability@cornell.edu.