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OADI Honors Award Recipient

Misha N. Inniss-Thompson

Misha N. Inniss-Thompson is standing in front of a OADI backdrop and is smiling and holding her award.

1. What impact has OADI had on your professional and student experience?

As an undergraduate, OADI was one of my homes on campus. In addition to working at OADI from my sophomore through senior years, I was also involved in several OADI programs (e.g., McNair & P3 Scholar, first Posse program student assistant, Chi Alpha Epsilon member). I think most often about the impact OADI staff had on my ability to set a path with high expectations and be surrounded by OADI staff and students who offered loving and intentional support. As a OADI student, I was able to see that my dreams of becoming a researcher were possible. My dreams were realized through access to opportunities, financial support, and encouragement as I navigated unknown experiences. As a faculty member on campus, I think often about how I might show up for students in a way that signals my commitment to their success.

2. Why is it important for you to stay connected to OADI?

I find it important to stay connected to OADI because it’s critical to reach back and potentially pour into students who may otherwise think Cornell is not a place where they can thrive. 

3. What are you looking forward to in your career?

I am looking forward to opportunity to continue dreaming up and conducting research studies that elevate Black girls’ lived experiences from a strengths-based perspective. It’s a thrill to have the flexibility to do work that brings me joy.

4. Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

My first visit to Cornell was when I was 5 months old, when my mom (Human Development ’88) brought me to a Cornell Black Alumni Association reunion. I went on to be an Human Development major as well!