Info Sci Associate Professor Phoebe Sengers has been recognized as one of Cornell's leading voices who will help inform the most important conservations of our time – from racial unrest to income inequality to sustainability. Sengers was one of nine College of Arts and Sciences faculty picked for Cornell University's Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship program, an initiative aimed at increasing the public impact of top underrepresented thinkers in the U.S.
The yearlong fellowship is run by the OpEd Project, a nonprofit that attempts to diversify the demographics of public discourse, broadening its overwhelming reliance on Western, white and privileged voices who represent a decreasing fraction of an increasingly diverse society.
Public Voices’ master journalists meet with the Cornell fellows four times a year, challenging them to think more expansively not only about their scholarship but also their responsibility for sharing it. The faculty members also learn specific techniques on how to break their knowledge into understandable chunks, use their research to make strong arguments and take advantage of the appeal of the counterintuitive idea.
The fellows also receive ongoing support from facilitators and each other via an active Google group. Once a month, they have a conference call with a “media gatekeeper,” such as an editor with a major media outlet. When the program ends in September, fellows will have access to the Public Voices’ mentor-editor network, a pool of more than 100 high-caliber journalists and editors.
The fellowships began at Cornell in 2014 through the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity. They last one year and are granted to up to 20 individuals at a time.