Soup & Hope

Over the past 10 years, over 50 speakers have touched, inspired, motivated, and stirred the hearts of those who gather during the winter months at Sage Chapel for this bi-weekly series. Stories have come from a wide range of Cornell staff, faculty, students, alumni, and community members. They are shared among friends and colleagues, over bowls of hot soup & bread. Read some Pawprint highlights from the series in years past. 

Soup & Hope talks take place at noon on six winter Thursdays in Sage Chapel. Mark your calendars now; plan to bring a soup bowl and a friend.

Print your own copy of the poster!

(it is 8.5 x 11 in size)

2018 Speakers


The Soup & Hope planning committee is proud to announce speakers for the 11th annual series of stories.

January 18

Pic of Liz Wehling

Liz Wehling


*Listen to talk*

February 01
place holder image
Laura Lewis

*Listen to talk*

February 15
Pic of Amy Kohut and Carol James
Amy Kohut & Carol James
*Listen to talk*

Carol S. James is the Director of Willard Straight Hall Programs and University Crisis Manager.  Amy Kohut is Director Emeritas of the Cornell Team & Leadership Center.  In 2016, they walked the 280-mile Pennine Way from Central England to Scotland, as a way for Carol to ‘walk back to her home and herself’.  Hear the heartwarming story of their journey from family exile into freedom and connection.

March 01
Pic of Jose Armando Fernandez Guerrero
José Armando Fernandez Guerrero
*Listen to talk*


José Armando is a senior in linguistics and anthropology at Cornell from the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. He is committed to working with native languages that are dying out in Mexico and to pursue a career in language maintenance. His experience crossing the border every day for high school is something he likes to bring into his studies and his communities.

March 15
pic of Grace Chuang
Grace Chuang
*Listen to talk*

Grace Chuang is a senior at Cornell majoring in chemical engineering.  She's far from your typical engineer.  Last fall she co-created Untold, an art exhibit sharing the stories of 18 individuals through photographs and audio.  She spent her summer directing a personal film, on a mission to understand the meaning of the messy in-between.  She was not always this way.  This is a story of self discovery by a girl who used to live in fear, who now chooses to live in freedom.

March 29
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Darnell & Darryl Epps
"Listen to talk*

Currently a government major at the College of Arts & Sciences, Darnell Epps is a former student of the Cornell Prison Education Program. Passionate about criminal justice reform, Darnell also works as a research assistant for the Cornell Center for the Study of the Death Penalty Worldwide, helping to bridge gaps in research and advocacy around the death penalty.

Darryl Epps Jr. is a member of the summer 2017 Justice in Education (JIE) cohort at Columbia University, and is a former student of the Cornell Prison Education Program. Darryl has counseled at-risk troubled youth for thirteen years. Darry's passion for youth intervention and advocacy has inspired him to pursue a degree in psychology.


Future Speaker Nomination

If you have a suggestion for future speakers who could speak to the idea of hope by sharing a personal story or perspective, please email a member of the Planning Committee and tell us:

  • The name of the person you'd like to recommend
  • How this person is connected to the Cornell community
  • Why you feel they have a great story to tell
  • Your name, and how we may contact you to learn more

You may also print and share our nomination form (pdf) with friends and colleagues.

Please feel free to contact a member of the Planning Committee if you would like to discuss your suggested speaker idea before submitting it in writing.

Soup & Hope Planning Committee

  • Dan McMullin, Chair—Cornell United Religious Work
  • Jennifer Austin—Cornell Health
  • Teri Baier—Office of Alumni Affairs
  • Tracey Brant - Cornell Engineering, Kessler Fellows Program
  • Karen M. Brigham—Cornell Health
  • Kelly Chan —Academic Technologies
  • Nancy Doolittle—University Communications
  • Linda Falkson—University Ombudsman
  • Janelle Hanson, Co-Chair—Cornell United Religious Work
  • Linda Mikula—University Communications
  • Doreen Silva—East Asia Program
  • Karen Williams—Cornell Health
  • Victor Younger—School of Hotel Administration, Cornell College of Business

Co-Sponsors and Supporters

Soup & Hope is sponsored by Cornell Dining, Cornell United Religious Work (CURW), and Cornell Health. Additional support comes from the Office of the Ombudsman, Engaged Learning + Research, Residential and New Student Programs, and Univeristy Communications.