Cornell Tech Starts Second Year and Hosts Public Events For All

October 4, 2018

Greetings Roosevelt Island! The fall marks our back to school season, and we’re so excited to begin our second full year on the Island. While I saw many of you this summer, with the energy and excitement back on the campus I look forward to reconnecting as programming ramps up with the school-year.


Community Conversations


At some of our community meetings, many of you expressed an interest in hearing more about the research and work that is happening on campus. We were thrilled to hear that Roosevelt Islanders want to learn more about us and we are excited about our new initiative to address this interest: a series of talks for the Roosevelt Island community from our world-class and award-winning faculty. These events are called, aptly, “Community Conversations with Cornell Tech Faculty.”


At these free and public events, faculty discuss their academic research and interests and take questions from the audience. Serge Belongie kicked-off our first conversation on September 25th and spoke about his work in computer vision and machine learning, followed by an enlightening and accessible conversation with those who attended. We’re hosting three more Community Conversations throughout the year: Nicola Dell, who specializes in tech that benefits under-served populations and low-income regions, on October 17th; Mor Naaman, who works at the intersection of technology and media, on November 27th ; and James Grimmelmann, who helps lawyers and technologists understand each other, on December 11th. All of the conversations will be held on the Cornell Tech campus.  If you are interested in attending, please email me at


 Jane Swanson, Community Liaison, Cornell Tech


We are thrilled to have this opportunity to give Islanders a behind-the-scenes look at the cutting-edge work happening on campus, and go introduce them to our faculty who are addressing some of the most pressing and relevant issues in society today.


Construction Updates


At our most recent Community and Construction Task Force meeting, Diana Allegretti, Cornell Tech’s Director of Design and Construction, provided an update on the Verizon Executive Education Center (VEEC) and the Graduate Hotel. As many of you have seen, the VEEC is above-ground, with work underway for the hotel. These buildings will create new state-of-the-art facilities to visit, study, and learn at Cornell Tech.


The 224 room Graduate Hotel will boast panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and will

serve conference attendees, families of students, and other guests. Diana presented renderings of the VEEC, which feature beautiful vertical wood and aluminum fins that will help regulate the solar gain in the building.  When completed, the VEEC will ensure that the campus is an innovation magnet by providing a venue for academic conferences, executive programs and academic workshops. The VEEC is expected to be complete by Winter 2020 and the Hotel late Spring 2020.


Let's Talk About Cancer


Over the summer, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medicine and the Roosevelt Island Senior

Association (RISA) partnered to present, “Let’s Talk About Cancer,” a free wellness seminar for the Roosevelt Island community. Held on the Cornell Tech campus and led by Dr. Onyinye D.Balogun, Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine, the seminar provided potentially life-saving information to guests. Dr. Balogun specializes in the treatment of breast and gastrointestinal malignancies and in her presentation focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast, prostate, liver and lung cancers. The event was well attended and received rave reviews.


My thanks to the RISA and Weill Cornell Medicine for organizing the event with us. The Health and Wellness Seminar Series, offered by Weill Cornell Medicine, is outstanding and we look forward to hosting more seminars in the future, continuing our efforts to bring the benefits and expertise of the wider Cornell University community to Roosevelt Islanders.

For more information on Cornell Tech, please visit, and feel free to get in touch with any questions!


Jane Swanson

Community Liaison, Cornell Tech


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