Ana Smith has been welcomed into the latest cohort of Cornell's NextGen Professors, "a career-development program focused on preparing Cornell graduate students and postdocs for faculty careers across institutional types." Smith, who is a Graduate School Dean's Scholar, and the recipient of a Cornell Colman Fellowship and a Provost Diversity Fellowship, is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Computer Science department, where she is advised by Lillian Lee, Charles Roy Davis Professor of Computer Science and Information Science. Smith is training in Natural Language Processing with a focus on dialogue, group coordination, and constructive language.

The primary audience for [the NextGen Professors] program is doctoral students (in year three or beyond) and postdocs from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the professoriate, and/or those with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in academia. Participants are members of a cohort who, together, engage in a series of professional and career development activities including monthly NextGen Professors meetings, Power Mentoring Sessions with faculty, and the Future Professors Institute. Participants also engage in program offerings of Future Faculty and Academic Careers, which focus on effectively integrating research and teaching skills for career development.