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Soup & Hope

Soup & Hope logo in front of photo of church

Soup & Hope 2024

The 17th annual Soup & Hope speaker series returns to Sage Chapel on Jan. 25, featuring six Cornell staff, faculty and student storytellers sharing their experiences of overcoming life’s challenges while attendees enjoy a free meal of soup and bread.

The series is open to the public and spotlights speakers and stories of hope. Events are free and do not require registration. While the series is held in Sage Chapel, the events are not affiliated with a religious organization.

Soup & Hope takes place in person on Thursdays from NOON to 1PM at Sage Chapel

  • Noon to 12:15  Gather and enjoy soup

  • 12:15  Talks begins
  • 12:45  Event concludes

Those who cannot attend in person can watch via Zoom. Some events will be recorded and later posted on this website.
Soup & Hope Zoom
Passcode: soup

This year's speakers will share candid, personal stories through the lens of their wide range of identities and experiences, such as cultivating inclusive communities from an intersectional perspective; acting as legal counsel in a case involving detentions at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Station; overcoming mental illness during the pandemic; growing up far from family during a political revolution; supporting mental health within Indigenous communities; and immigrating to the U.S. to become an Olympian and one of the only Black head coaches in the Ivy League.        

2024 Series

  • January 25 – Foula Dimopoulos, senior adviser and first-generation program coordinator at the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives
  • February 8 – Joseph Margulies, professor of practice of government in A&S
  • February 22 – Joanne Wang ‘24, a biological sciences major
  • March 7 – Subash Bhandari, doctoral student in biomedical engineering
  • March 21 –  Adrian Durant, the George Heekin ’29 Head Coach of Men’s Track and Field
  • March 28 – Wahieñhawi “Hawi” Hall, an assistant director for Cornell Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

Download the event poster here

Learn more about our speakers here:

Foula Dimopoulos Foula Dimopoulos

Foula Keagan Dimopoulos, LMSW, (ze, hir, hirs | he, him, his) is a seasoned Senior Advisor and First Gen Program Coordinator at the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI), where ze leverages hir three decades of expertise in non-profit, higher education, and youth development.

Foula's commitment to fostering inclusive spaces and driving meaningful change is evident throughout hir career. With a focus on intersectional perspectives, community organizing, and thoughtful agitation; Foula has consistently championed social change. Ze navigates life through a three-dimensional lens, recognizing interconnected throughlines that have shaped hir experiences. Within Cornell University, Foula serves in multiple ways, including as the co-chair of the LGBTQ+ CNG, contributing to a more inclusive campus environment.

Foula's talk will delve into these throughlines, providing insights gained from hir rich professional and personal journeys.

Joseph MarguliesJoseph Margulies

I don't really know why, but academic bios are conventionally written in the third person, as though drafted by someone else. I think that's silly and, as befits a contrarian civil rights lawyer, refuse to conform.

Like most people, I wear a lot of hats, and like most people, often feel that none of them fit me very well. I practice law, teach, and write, probably not in that order. Many years ago, I decided that all my work for the last four decades—in court, in class, and on the page—has been dedicated to demonstrating the apparently radical proposition that there is no them, there is only us. I don't know if I've had any success but I keep at it all the same, which is the ultimate tribute to the power of hope over experience.

Joanne Wang ‘24Joanne Wang ‘24

Joanne Wang is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry and minoring in Data Science.

Having dealt with anxiety and depression in high school, the symptoms of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and discovering that the outdoors and movement in nature helped with her healing tremendously, when she came to Cornell during the height of the pandemic, she found herself enrolled in the Trail Running PE course. After taking this course, seeing how much it had positively impacted her mental health during what was an incredibly difficult adjustment period into a new academic and social environment, she knew she wanted to become an instructor for this course so that she could give back to her peers at Cornell and offer them the same opportunity to find an oasis within running on all the beautiful trails that Ithaca has to offer.

Fast forward a few years, Joanne continues to be a Trail Running PE instructor and is also the co-president of the Cornell Running Club. She hopes to utilize her positions of leadership to provide Cornell students with opportunities to engage in outdoor movement that will benefit both their physical and mental health.

Subash BhandariSubash Bhandari

Subash is a third year PhD Student in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering.

Born and Raised in the foothills of Nepal, Subash came to the United States to pursue his undergraduate education at Wichita State University in Kansas. For Soup and Hope, Subash will share his experience growing up in a boarding school in Kathmandu, far away from his family in the rural village of Nepal, for 8 long years. He believes his unique upbringing in the boarding school set him up with bigger aspirations in life. Subash will further reflect upon his struggles being in a land far away from his family during his undergraduate years in America and the tenacity that led him to Cornell.

Adrian DurantAdrian Durant

An Olympian and former world-class sprinter, I specialize in coaching the sprints, hurdling events, and relays. As a coach, my philosophy is to provide athletes with the tools they need to take ownership of their training and learn throughout the process.

Currently I'm the Cornell Men's Track and Field head coach and served as head coach for the U.S. Virgin Islands track and field team at the 2016 Olympic games. I believe coaching is more than providing training advice, but the ability to teach athletes to develop a better understanding of the movement, the mentality, and the skills to maximize their potential.

Wahieñhawi “Hawi” HallWahieñhawi “Hawi” Hall

Wahieñhawi “Hawi” Hall (she/her; Cherokee/Mohawk) is one of the Assistant Director’s for Cornell Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

She has worked the majority of her career as a mental health therapist within Indigenous communities, guiding and supporting individuals and families towards spiritual, emotional, and mental healing and growth. Throughout her career, Hawi has gained significant experience and deep passion for working with folx impacted by trauma.

Out of her own adverse childhood experiences and subsequent rocky adolescence, Hawi developed a strong passion for supporting others through their own dark times – leading to her pursuit of her chosen career in mental health. She will talk about her personal lifelong process of recognizing, accepting, and healing from trauma, while simultaneously accompanying and facilitating the healing of others.

Soup & Hope Planning Committee

  • Joel Harter, Chair - Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making

  • Jennifer Austin - Cornell Health
  • Kelly Chan - Center for Teaching Innovation
  • Laura Gallup - SCL Communications
  • Kristine DeLuca - Cornell Commitment
  • Ashley Fazio - Human Resources Communications
  • Linda Falkson - University Ombuds
  • Toral Dhiru Patel - Human Resources Diversity and Inclusion
  • Saorsa Wissman - Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making
  • Victor Younger - Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration, Cornell College of Business


In the spirit of a health-promoting campus, this series is co-sponsored by the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making, Human ResourcesCornell Health and Cornell Catering.

Nominate someone to be a future Soup & Hope speaker