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‘Impostor Syndrome’ is subject of two lectures April 23

Dena Simmons, assistant director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will give two lectures related to tackling impostor syndrome, April 23 at Cornell.

“Historically defined, people with impostor syndrome do not believe their success is theirs. Somehow by fate or luck they think they’ve succeeded. They don’t attribute their success to their own skill set,” Simmons said.

The syndrome affects students, faculty members and administrators, who can suffer from the belief that they don’t belong in an institution and that someday someone will discover who they really are, Simmons said.

Simmons will use interactive exercises to demonstrate skills and practices students, faculty and administrators can use to develop emotional intelligence, overcome impostor syndrome and create welcoming communities. She will also explain how faculty members may contribute to students believing they are a fraud through their teaching methods.

Her first lecture, open to Cornell faculty members and academic staff only, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in 229 King Shaw Hall. Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. and registration is required.

Simmons’ other talk, for the Cornell and Ithaca communities, will run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in lecture hall 4/5 at the College of Veterinary Medicine. A reception will follow.

The events are sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity and the Center for Teaching Innovation. Support is also provided by the President’s Council of Cornell Women and the University Diversity Council through a Toward New Destinations grant.

For more information, email

Lori Sonken is the program coordinator for the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock