I have known Cornell through colleagues for about three years, but have only begun to with him professionally during the 2015 – 2016 academic year. I advise a peer-to-peer diversity and social justice education program at Ithaca College where students learn to facilitate a variety of different workshops on a number of topics. Cornell was hired to conduct a facilitation training for the DPE Program in August 2015 and his work was outstanding.
After I selected Cornell as our trainer, he reached out to me approximately two months prior to our training for a one hour consultation about my needs for the program, and how he can best prepare the students to go forward. What we got from Cornell was a first rate training experience that did well to prepare our students to become peer-based educators.
What I appreciated most was how Cornell was able to impact the participants so deeply with such a small amount of time (time, unfortunately, is something a lot of us cannot get in great quantities). When Cornell found out this was an overnight retreat and training, he elected to stay overnight at the retreat center with our students so as to take the opportunity to get to know them before the next day’s training. Every segment of his training encouraged our students to challenge themselves to learn more about themselves, their partners in the program, and new facilitation skills. Cornell manages time well and is always ready to be flexible and include more content if participants indicate that they need more time in a particular area. Said in another way, Cornell isn’t rigid in his training approach; he’s very flexible and pays close attention to cues from the participants. Cornell is extremely knowledgeable in the areas of social justice education; however, I also feel that there’s an art to Cornell’s facilitation approach that comes from somewhere beyond what can be learned in a classroom or read in a book. He exudes a high level of confidence and positive energy in front of a group of workshop participants while talking about challenging topics and the not-so-easy stuff. His training was such a success that we absolutely intend to invite him back again to work with our program in the future.