Developing Leadership Skills at CIPA

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards is a first-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Government, Politics and Policy. (more…)

A Momentous Start to the Spring Semester

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards is a first-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Government, Politics and Policy. (more…)

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards on Why She Chose CIPA

Jacquelyn Chyrell Richards is a first-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Government, Politics and Policy.


Welcome to CIPA and Cornell!

Move-in Day 2017 is upon us. Freshman and Graduate Student Orientation is occurring simultaneously this weekend, so both the City of Ithaca and the Cornell campus are swarming with lost-looking new students and their families driving vehicles piled high with gear.

If you’re an incoming CIPA graduate student, I want to welcome you! And if you’re a prospective student following the CIPA 101 Blog to learn more about the program, I encourage you to read on, as this introduction will give you the flavor of what it’s like to transition to Cornell.

Recognizing that this weekend will be a little overwhelming for those of you who have traveled long distances to be here—and that some of you are navigating a new culture, as well—I thought I would offer some information and suggestions to help ease your transition.

CIPA Orientation Starts Tomorrow!
Yes, that’s right. Our opening session begins tomorrow—Saturday—at noon in 401 Warren Hall on the Ag Quad. CIPA staff will be on hand to offer you some basic How-To’s for managing the next few days and weeks, as well as to outfit you with some CIPA gear!  This is the fun part. Among other things, you’ll receive your new CIPA t-shirt, which we hope you will wear to the Amazing Race next Friday.  Our Admissions staff—including Jennifer Evangelista and Jamaica Brown, with whom you’ve undoubtedly corresponded many times these past few months—are just a few of the staff members you will meet tomorrow. We will be on hand to answer any lingering questions you may have after the session is over, and we all look forward to putting your name to a face!

Where to Purchase the Necessities: Stocking up your Apartment
Regardless of where you’re coming from, I’m sure you will need items to make your new home more comfortable. If you’re looking for housewares (dishes, small appliances, towels, shower curtains, small furniture pieces, etc.), then Target or Walmart might be your best bet. Target is most popular with Cornell students because it’s located at the mall, which is a short bus, taxi, or car ride away. Walmart is located on the other side of town and is doable with the right transportation.

Shopping on a Budget / Shopping the Sustainable Way!
Any way you slice it, going to grad school is expensive.  If frugality is important and/or if sustainability is important to you, then you might be interested to know that Ithaca is a mecca for reuse!

  • To begin with, the Cornell Dump and Run sale is this Saturday and Sunday in the Helen Newman Gym on North Campus. This is a huge sale, consisting of items that exiting students left behind in the spring. You’ll find furniture, home goods (dishes, hangers, appliances, lamps, laundry baskets, school supplies, clothing, winter outerwear, etc.). It opens at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, but folks line up EARLY, and you would want to, as well, since you need to be at Orientation by noon. Alternately, you can go on Sunday when they’re almost giving items away.
  • If you’re in the market for used furniture/home goods, then Mimi’s Attic is the place for you. This shop is located downtown, not far from the Commons.
  • The Salvation Army Thrift store is located on the other side of town, but has lots of deals as well.
  • Finger Lakes Reuse is another option, and there are now two locations in town—check out their website for more information.
  • The online website Craigslist offers a forum for local folks selling everything under the sun from furniture to cars.
  • If you’re looking for lightly used clothing, then try Trader K’s on the Commons or Plato’s Closet on the other side of town.

Eating in Ithaca: Grocery Shopping and Restaurants

Ithaca offers food options to please just about any palate. With more restaurants per capita than New York City, you shouldn’t be at a loss finding a nice place to eat out. Feel free to ask locals for referrals or check out the Visit Ithaca website for a searchable list.  And, if you’re worried about finding a grocery store that offers specialty items from nearly every corner of the globe, you can relax. Ithaca has a Wegmans—which is pretty much the best grocery store chain in the Unites States. It’s massive, offers a broad range of Ethnic food options, wonderfully fresh produce, as well as eat-in dining options.

This is a lot to process, so I’m going to stop now. The bottom line is that the CIPA staff is here to help, as are the faculty and our returning, second-year students. So, if you’re feeling lost or confused about anything, I hope that you will reach out to one or more of us and let us know how we can make your transition to graduate school and to Ithaca easier!


Welcome to Ithaca!

Getting ready for your next big move? We are here to welcome and help you on your journey to Ithaca and provide some tips and tools for your adventure. Not sure what to do for housing? Take this quiz to see what option best fits your budget and lifestyle!