The Cornell Quaranzine

Supporting Your Well-being - Spring 2021


Dear Community,

We’re excited to welcome you all back for the Spring 2021 Semester! Can you believe we’re already one month into the new year?

We ended last semester encouraging you (and ourselves) to lean into gratitude for the things that worked out during the fall semester. As the winter break wraps up, we hope you are physically, emotionally, and mentally replenished from the time you spent connecting with family and friends. Now, as we shift gears back into school mode, it’s easy to get swept up by everything occurring around us: new classes, COVID-19, quarantine, social media, politics, global issues. While all have a level of importance, it is equally important that we don’t forget our need for connection. We may be frustrated by the challenges we once again face trying to connect during the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances, but you’d be surprised what possibilities and opportunities still exist. In the words of Brené Brown, let’s focus on the things that we can actually influence or change. They feel small sometimes, but, in her experience, a critical mass of small changes can make a big difference.

Wishing you wellness,

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives

*If you were forwarded this newsletter and would like to receive the weekly Quaranzine in your inbox, sign up using this link.

But First: A Self Check-in

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A great opportunity awaits each of us as we start this new semester: the opportunity for connection and reconnection. Whether in Ithaca this semester or studying remotely, we’re likely to encounter familiar places with familiar faces. This could be a professor you previously had, roommates or housemates, classmates you used to study with, or members of a student organization you’re in. For those who are new to Cornell this semester (welcome to the Big Red family!), you have endless opportunities to connect with new people.

Connecting with people does not have to be transactional; our need for it comes from a genuine place. Did a past interaction with someone leave an impression on you? Send them a message letting them know! Did someone come to mind while you were going about your day, listening to a song or watching a show? Use the opportunity to check in and see how they’re doing. How about an article on a topic your professor is interested in? You could share it with them and ask for their thoughts on the subject. It may feel awkward at first, but when it comes to forming connections with others, we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.

As many students complete their travel related quarantine before the official start of classes

we realize it may feel lonely. You may also feel frustrated by limited opportunities for in-person connection and reconnection. This too shall pass. Let’s choose to take care of ourselves and others by focusing on the opportunities we do have instead. Today's Quaranzine is filled with these opportunities - we hope you will try a few.

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Simply Say Good Morning

Here on the pulse of this new day

You may have the grace to look up and out

And into your sister's eyes,

Into your brother's face,

your country

And say simply

Very simply

With hope

Good morning.

~ Maya Angelou

Dawn in the Alabama Hills of the Eastern Sierra (pictured above, by Mimi Ditchie)

Welcome Spring 2021 New and Returning Students!

Resources to help students with planning for the spring semester

During this unprecedented semester, students have found all kinds of creative ways to maintain connections and build new ones. The Cornell Buddy System presents yet another opportunity where you can get the chance to meet people based on similar hobbies, interests and compatible schedules. You can meet in the way that is most comfortable for you, whether virtual or in-person. This system was developed by Samantha Noland, a current student who also volunteers as a COVID-19 Peer Consultant.

Sign up HERE!

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Cornell Winter Service Fair Kickoff

Thursday February 4 from 10am-noon

Explore Service-related volunteer opportunities and internships with 50+ local organizations.

Click here to register for fair.

Sponsored by Cornell University Student Assembly-City and Local Affairs Committee, Public Service Center, Cornell Career Services, and the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

Soup & Hope 2021!

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Soup & Hope 2021: Starts on Feb. 4 with Hei Hei Depew

For more than a decade, dozens of Soup & Hope speakers have touched, inspired, motivated, and stirred the hearts of those who have gathered during the winter months at Sage Chapel prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stories come from a wide range of Cornell staff, faculty, students, alumni, and community members. Speakers reflect diverse personal, cultural, religious, political, and philosophical beliefs and experiences. Each story is unique.

This season, Soup & Hope will continue virtually on Zoom.

  • 12:00 Heat up your soup and settle in
  • 12:15 Talks begin
  • 12:45 Optional community connection via Zoom

Talks are open to Cornell staff, faculty, students, and community members. We invite you to heat up your favorite soup and join us for six more talks from the comfort of your home or office.

Life @ Cornell: A panel discussion with the student staff of the Tatkon Center for First-Year Students

Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Virtual Event

Get perspective and tips from the juniors and seniors who make up the staff of the Tatkon Center, a support and resource center for first-year and transfer students. Hear about how to make a smooth transition to college and maximize your Cornell experience. Tools for keeping organized, accessing faculty members, choosing courses, joining clubs, using health services, Ithaca’s winters, and much more will be covered. Don't miss it! Session will include Q&A plus time to meet other new students.

LSC can help match you with study partners for your Spring 2021 classes!

In the fall, over 1,100 matches were made for 800 students (from freshmen to seniors) in 375 courses (in every college and at every level)!

Why did so many of you sign up? Because you know that studying with peers is an effective way to learn complex and challenging material and helps you connect with each other – something that can be especially difficult with in-person physical distancing, online and hybrid courses, and when you are spread across the globe.

New for Spring 2021! Once you are matched up, your group may want to meet with an LSC study skills tutor to help facilitate introductions and get you launched. Self-enroll in the study skills tutors’ Canvas site to see when drop-in hours are held, you can show up any time that works for your group.

Are you ready to sign up for a study partner? Click here to visit the “Find Study Partners” page.

Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday February 7th- Safely!

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Grocery Store Bingo with Residential Student Congress. Join Residential Student Congress on February 7th at 5:00PM to play virtual Bingo and win essential grocery prizes! You can register on Campus Groups using this link or the QR code on the attached flyer.

Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count

How to Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count
Tuesday, February 9, 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
Register here
Every February people from around the world spend time watching and counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Join the count running from February 12-15, to celebrate the birds near you while contributing to science! To learn more about how to participate, tune in on February 9th with project coordinators from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Birds Canada.

2021 Spring Professional Fraternity Council Fair

Thursday February 11 from 4:30pm-6:30pm

The Professional Fraternity Council at Cornell is excited to host all 15 professional fraternity organizations and welcomes all students to attend to learn more about the community, culture, and recruitment process this Spring! Sponsored by Professional Fraternity Council.

Click here to register for the fair.

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Happy Black History Month!

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the pivotal role Black people have and continue to play in U.S. history.

Black History Month Trivia Question:

Who was the first African American to serve as a Supreme Court justice?

(Guess who????) received his law degree in 1933 and was ranked first in their class. They became a staff lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and were eventually named chief of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As a practicing attorney, they argued a record-breaking 32 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 of them. In fact, they represented and won more cases before the high court than any other person. During their 24-year term as Supreme Court justice that began in 1967, their passionate support for individual and civil rights guided their policies and decisions. Today, this esteemed judge is celebrated for helping to put an end to racial segregation and promoting various types of human rights. Their steadfast push for equality forever shaped the American justice system. Credit:

Celebrate Black History Month with Cornell Wellness

Join Cornell Wellness throughout the month of February as we celebrate the culture and traditions of our African-American brothers and sisters. Starting Monday, February 1st, begin to watch video releases of Jeremy Stewart (Wellness' Nutrition & General Health Outreach Educator), sitting down with a number of Black staff, faculty, and retirees from Cornell's Ithaca-based campus to discuss health-related topics that are primarily prevalent in the BIPOC community. Jeremy, and the people he interviews, will share with you insights into how they, and you, can proactively live a healthy lifestyle to reduce health risks and live your best life.

Interview of the day: Dr. Renee Alexander

Click here to watch today's interview with Dr. Renee, a Cornell alum, who she earned her bachelor's in American history and government from the College of Arts & Sciences. She earned her Master's in education and counseling from Hunter College, Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University and educational psychology.

Additional Resources for Your Health & Well-being

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How I Learned to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder in Grad School

By Stepfanie M. Aguillon, Cornell graduate student

I roll over in bed and reach for my phone to check the time. "It's 8:30 a.m.!" I say to myself. "How did that happen? I must have turned my alarm off and fallen back to sleep." After some deep breaths, I manage to drag myself out of bed, get dressed, and make breakfast. At work I try to focus, but most of the day I just sit in a fog, struggling to stay awake. When I head home, I lack the motivation to go to the gym, do errands, or hang out with friends. Instead, I fall asleep on the couch shortly after dinner, only making it to bed after some gentle prodding from my dog.

Early in my Ph.D., this felt like my near daily routine. I attributed my newfound difficulties to the stress of starting a Ph.D. program and being far from home. But it was odd: Before graduate school, I was an early riser and thought most clearly in the mornings. I couldn't understand why I was suddenly unable to get out of bed. I felt guilty about my lack of focus and frustrated that I was no longer capitalizing on my best working hours.

Read the full Science story

Feeling SAD? Consider talking with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) at Cornell Health to review your symptoms and identify strategies for relief. Appointments can be made online at myCornellHealth or by phone at 607-255-5155

Cornell Fitness Centers Pre-Recorded Classes - FREE to All

Welcome to the CFC's Pre-Recorded Fitness Class library. Pre-Recorded classes are free to the Cornell Community and can be viewed at anytime. These classes are recorded without music, therefore if you'd like utilize music during your class experience, please have that ready when you begin the class. Use this link to access to these free classes:

Wellness Resource from Cornell Health: Refresh

Sleep: Make it your super power

Want to improve your sleep? Enroll in Refresh, Cornell Health’s online sleep program, for evidence-based information and strategies proven to help you catch more high-quality ZZZs. Refresh is a free, eight-week self-help program open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Enroll in Refresh by Thursday, February 11, 2021 to participate in the program beginning February 15th. (Time commitment is only 15 – 20 minutes a week!)

Spirituality & Social Justice CURW Care Group

Find support for your spiritual well being through a CURW Care Group. These groups are not therapy groups, nor are they seminar-style study groups; rather, they are chaplain-facilitated community groups that help you give and receive spiritual support and care.

Group Name: Spirituality and Social Justice

Host: Oliver Goodrich, Associate Dean of Students for Spirituality and Meaning-Making

Start/End Date: 1st week of March (6 weeks); meeting time to be set by group members

Open to: All students regardless of religious identity

Meeting format: 75-minute weekly zoom meeting

Description: “Spirituality and Social Justice” will be a support group for activists, advocates, and those who aspire to put their values into action. This weekly meeting will invite students of all or no religious backgrounds to consider what spirituality has to do with social justice. We will consider the spiritual attitudes that have played a role in shaping unjust actions and systemic oppression, and we will also explore what spiritual practices will sustain us for the work ahead. Particular attention will be paid to racial justice and other pressing topics of social justice.

Sign-up to join the group here.

Cornell Health Let's (Tele)talk Spring 2021

Let's Talk is currently being provided by Zoom.

How it works: Let’s (Tele)Talk is available during the times listed in the current schedule (see link below). Click on the relevant link to access a Zoom meeting with a counselor. Students are seen individually on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be a wait in the virtual waiting room if the counselor is seeing another student. Please wait and we will be with you as soon as we can.

> See the Spring 2021 schedule below

> Meet our Let's Talk counselors

Group counseling is one of the most effective tools for addressing issues common among college students. For many students, it can be more effective than individual counseling.

Our support groups and group therapy offer a safe environment to discuss problems with others who are dealing with similar concerns. Most students – although somewhat apprehensive at first – report that they find the group experience to be helpful far beyond their expectations.

  • Currently, groups are being offered by secure Zoom platform.
  • Group counseling via telehealth is open to students currently residing in New York State; we regret that licensing restrictions prohibit us from providing clinical services to students outside New York
  • Each group is led by one or more professional counselors
  • Groups usually meet weekly for a 90-minute session
  • Participation is FREE for registered Cornell students
  • Groups are private and confidential; all members must agree that what is disclosed in sessions cannot be shared outside of the group

A few groups are listed below. To join or learn more about Group Therapy for Spring 2021, visit:

Men of Color Support Group

Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom, beginning February 23rd

Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are residing in New York State during group sessions
Weekly semester group – no drop ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Maurice Haltom, LCSW-R and Wai-Kwong Wong, PhD

The Men of Color Support Group provides a supportive space for self-identified men (cisgender and transgender) of diverse cultural backgrounds (including but not limited to Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Native American and Multiracial) to connect and share experiences as men of color at Cornell. We hope to foster community and engage members to explore and discuss various topics, including notions of masculinity and gender, racial and ethnic identity, intersectionality, marginality, relationships, sexuality, academic/career concerns and mental health.

ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) for Anxiety & Depression

Tuesdays, 3:00 – 4:30 pm via Zoom, beginning February 23rd

Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are residing in New York State during group sessions
Weekly semester group – no drop ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Cory Myler, PhD and Thaddeus Bates, LMSW

This group will focus on "getting better at feeling" rather than "feeling better," how to best have pain rather than get rid of pain, and how to accept internal experiences (e.g., thoughts and emotions) rather than control them. We will work on the identification of personal values and how to engage in action/behavior that is congruent with those values, even while uncomfortable internal experiences persist.

The format of the group is a mixture of "didactic" and "process"; the group will start out very class-like, with facilitators using slides and a book, "The Happiness Trap", to explain concepts and principles. As the group progresses, it will become more like a traditional therapy group, with more opportunity for interaction between group members and sharing personal experiences.

Graduate Women's Process Group

Wednesdays, 5:15 – 6:45 pm via Zoom, start date to be announced soon

Open to self-identifying graduate women who are residing in New York State during group sessions
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required

Counselors: Jennie Bernstein, PhD and Eve Abrams, LCSW-R

The Graduate Women's group is a weekly support group that will provide a safe space for women pursuing graduate degrees to share and explore challenges, stressors, and successes in managing life as it is. In support groups, the group serves as a safe and confidential space to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and support from other graduate women.

Grief Support Group

Thursdays, 5:00 – 6:30 pm via Zoom, beginning February 18th

Open to undergraduate and graduate students who are residing in New York State during group sessions
Weekly semester group – no drop-ins; group orientation required

Counselors : Ken Cohen, PhD and Zehra Kaya, PhD

This is a weekly, confidential support group for enrolled Cornell undergraduate and graduate students who have suffered the death of a family member or other significant person. The group is open to those whose loss occurred some time ago as well as those for whom the loss is more recent. The focus of group will vary depending on members' needs and preferences.

Talk/Text Resources

If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone. The following resources are here to support you:

Cornell Resources

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386

  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564

  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a counselor of color)

  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678

National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

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