Things to Do, July 31-Aug. 23

Science on Tap

The July edition of Science on Tap, featuring presentations by early-career scientists at Cornell, is July 31 from 7-9 p.m. at Casita del Polaris at Northstar House, 1201 N. Tioga St., Ithaca. The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.

The topics are “Small But Mighty: Why We Use Worms to Study How Cells Work,” with Melisa DeGroot, a doctoral student in molecular biology and genetics; and “Science’s Next Top Models: Engineering Living Tissues in the Laboratory to Study Disease,” with Ana Marie Porras, a postdoctoral researcher in biomedical engineering.

Science on Tap aims to make science accessible and exciting to everyone. The monthly series, presented by Graduate Women in Science, brings scientists into the community to present their research in an authentic, engaging and understandable way. The next event is Aug. 28.

The series is supported by an Engaged Opportunity Grant from Cornell’s Office of Engagement Initiatives.

Free summer events

Cornell’s free summer event series continues through Aug. 2 with a lecture on advances in genetic research; an evening with author Joyce Carol Oates; and a reggae concert. All events are open to the public and presented by the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions. Parking is free at most locations on campus after 5:30 p.m.

Ailong Ke, professor of molecular biology and genetics, discusses the growing promise of gene therapies based on RNA research on bacteria, in “CRISPR Gene-Editing Moves Out of the Laboratory and Into Human Cell Testing,” July 31 at 7 p.m. in Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall.

Oates will read from and discuss her newest fiction, which deals with issues of identity, alternate lives and the evolution of personality, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. in Call Auditorium. The National Book Award-winning writer will engage in a Q&A session with the audience following the reading.

Roots reggae group Mosaic Foundation closes out the series Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. on the Arts Quad. The outdoor concert is family friendly; picnics, blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Cornell Dairy will sell ice cream, sorbet and bottled water during the performance. In the event of rain, the show will take place in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall.

Garden party

Cornell Botanic Gardens hosts Flowers After Hours: A Garden Cocktail Party, Aug. 1 from 5-7 p.m. in the Robison Herb Garden.

Cornell Botanic Gardens hosts Flowers After Hours: A Garden Cocktail Party, Aug. 1 in the Robison Herb Garden.

The party takes place rain or shine and will feature live music, herb-flavored cocktails and hors d’oeuvres made with fresh ingredients from the gardens. Proceeds from the event will provide essential support for programs and collections.

Tickets are $55 general, $40 for members. Registration/advance purchase is required; participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age.

Hurricane stories

The stories of fictional residents of New Orleans are set amid the actual events and news reports of Hurricane Katrina in “Katrina, A New Musical,” premiering Aug. 1-4 and Aug. 9-11 at the Kitchen Theatre, 417 W. State St., Ithaca.

Written by Elizabeth Bauman ’73 and musician David Frumkin, the musical remembers the shocking news coverage of the hurricane in 2005, the struggle residents faced during the storm and subsequent flooding, and the government’s slow response to the crisis.

Part of the Kitchen Theatre Company’s Kitchen Sink Series, performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m. A discussion with the audience will follow the Sunday, Aug. 4 performance. Tickets are general admission, available at the box office before shows, from Walking on Water Productions, the Kitchen Theatre website or by calling 607-272-0570.

Bauman, a former journalist, worked in communications and media at Cornell for more than 30 years. This is her first play.

The musical features 25 original musical numbers, a cast of 13 and a six-piece band. It is directed and choreographed by Walking on Water artistic director Priscilla Hummel.

Chimes sunset concert

The Cornell Chimes will host a themed chimes performance, the last in a series of Summer Sunday Sunset Concerts, Aug. 4 from 7:45-8:15 p.m.

McGraw Tower will remain open until 8:45 p.m. for visitors to enjoy the sunset over Cayuga Lake from the tower belfry.

Daytime 15-minute concerts in August are also scheduled for Aug. 6 at 8:45 a.m. and Aug. 15 at noon.

Staff Development Day

Cornell employees are invited to Staff Development Day, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Physical Sciences Building, Clark Hall and Clark Atrium.

The free event offers a variety of workshops and displays focused on personal and professional growth and well-being, including professional development, wellness and community in the workplace, exploring education, and retirement and investing. Supervisors are encouraged to participate and enable their staffs to attend.

The complete schedule and program descriptions are on the Staff Development Day website. To arrange or inquire about accommodations for accessibility, contact Deb Billups at

Following a continental breakfast provided by the Employee Assembly at 8:30 a.m. in Clark Atrium, the keynote address is at 9 a.m. in Physical Sciences Seminar Room 120, with Peter Paradise, associate dean of finance and administration in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The event features a resource fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the atrium; and more than 40 workshops between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. No registration is required but classroom space is limited; workshops are first-come, first-seated.

Bring a copy of your résumé, have it critiqued by a Cornell career specialist and receive feedback anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The keynote address, and eight additional sessions, will be livestreamed on Zoom and recorded for later viewing for off-campus employees and others who cannot attend.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith