Finding Science in the Arts

This week, junior Kasey Han discusses how the depth and breadth of Arts & Sciences have allowed her to pursue unique opportunities as a College Scholar studying Developmental Circus Arts.

By: Kasey Han ’18, Biology and College Scholar double major

Life’s way better upside down!

Here’s a real piece of advice I’ve received: “Do a handstand before your exam.” Even if seeing me doing a handstand outside my prelim (Cornell’s version of midterms) warrants a few incredulous stares, the suggestion holds merit. While I’m upside down, blood flows with gravity down towards my head, bringing with it the oxygen, glucose, and nutrients my brain needs to function optimally during an exam.

This is merely one example of the many connections I form as part of my College Scholar project. Housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, the College Scholar program allows students to create an interdisciplinary major in an area of interest, design their own curriculum, and occasionally feed on chocolate-covered strawberries. As a College Scholar, I study how Circus Arts may be used as a form of therapy for children with neuropsychiatric disorders. Circus Arts is viewed through a range of academic lenses, but I am primarily interested in the physiological and psychological underpinnings of engaging in circus. The science of the art, if you will.

In circus, we lift each other up!

As part of my independent major, I choose classes that relate to my field from amongst Arts and Sciences’ 2,400 courses on offer each year. This past fall, I took Brain Control of Movement, taught by my favorite professor: Jesse Goldberg. In his class, we took an in-depth look at the neural circuits underlying movement and motor learning, and how dysfunctions of the circuit can lead to diseases like Parkinson’s, cerebellar ataxia, and basal ganglia disorders. Applying my newfound knowledge on the brain’s motor circuits, I can better understand how Circus Arts play a role in reinforcement and supervised learning and may ameliorate symptoms of physical disabilities.

This spring, I am currently enrolled in Adult Psychopathology, taught by the amazing professor and clinical psychologist Harry Segal. After blowing my mind with his unique take on Freud’s psychodynamic theory, he lectures on the etiology and treatment of everything from depression to schizophrenia. With his course, I have a greater grasp of various disabilities and how Circus Arts may be integrated into current treatments. These and many more courses give me the information, as well as the critical thinking skills, to direct how I train in and teach circus at Ithaca’s local circus school, Circus Culture.

Probably the greatest thing about Arts & Sciences is that my mashing of science with art isn’t that uncommon. It’s not the exception to the rule—it is the rule. It’s in the name! Without preaching too much, this is the beauty of the liberal arts degree. The arts and the sciences do not go simply hand-in-hand: there is art in science just as I study the science behind the arts.

What Do I Want to Do with my Majors?

This week, meet junior Suzy Park, an economics and psychology double major who was recently inspired by her experiences in Arts & Sciences to pursue a career in law. Suzy will be taking over the Ambassadors blog next year – see what she has to say below!

By: Suzy Ji Soo Park ’18, Economics and Psychology double major, Communications minor

When I introduce myself as an economics and psychology double major, 99 percent of people say, “Oh, that’s cool! So what do you want to do with it?” Until recently, my response was, “I’m not sure. Econ and psych are just fields that interest me!” But starting a couple months ago, I can confidently say, “I want to go to law school.”

A view of the beautiful Cornell Law School building on a March afternoon.

All throughout my life, the word “lawyer” was constantly thrown around in conversations with my dad. He had always emphasized the advantages that come with a licensed profession – accountant, doctor, actuary – and lawyer was on the top of his list. But honestly, the idea of becoming a lawyer was as scary as it was interesting, and I never truly considered it as a potential career until I took PSYCH 2650: Psychology and Law the fall of my sophomore year.

Taught by two distinguished law scholars – Professors Jeffrey Rachlinski and Valerie Hans – the course explores how psychology research helps us understand and improve the legal system. Delving into areas of constitutional law, criminal law, false convictions, jury decision-making, and more, the course not only confirmed my passion for psychology, but also instilled in me a newfound curiosity for the law. During one part of the course on children’s testimonies and their reliability, we read an article titled “Expert testimony in a child abuse case: Translating memory development research” coauthored by Maggie Bruck and Stephen Ceci, who is the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology here at Cornell. Incredibly excited by his body of research on children’s memory and its implications in the courtroom, I approached him to discuss working as a research assistant in his Child Witness and Cognition Lab. I am so grateful that he offered me the position, and over the last three semesters, I have worked on two exciting projects about intergroup relations in children and about linguistic analyses of juror deliberations. Although his lab is housed in the College of Human Ecology, I have been able to use the research credit hours towards my psychology major thanks to the flexibility of the Arts & Sciences curriculum.

I pose (second from the right) with my fellow research assistants at a poster forum hosted by the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board.

The best part of being an Arts & Sciences student is that the College allows the entire campus to become your field of exploration – your intellectual journey is not restricted to Arts & Sciences courses and professors (which are undoubtedly amazing) but rather, you are free to take advantage of the law school, the business school, other colleges, and more. Following Psychology and Law, I have continued exploring the discipline of law through courses such as LAW 4021: Competition Law and Policy, as well as through conversations with PhD and law students I have met along the way. By making available all of Cornell’s valuable resources, Arts & Sciences invites its students to build upon their strong liberal arts foundation through coursework and extracurricular experiences that span over all seven colleges and four graduate and professional schools.

Finding my Home in the “&” of “Arts & Sciences”

Happy March! You may have noticed that we at the Ambassadors blog took a quick break in February – we’ve been working hard to recruit new ambassadors, as well as find replacements for those executive board members who will be graduating in May (including me!). But rest assured, we’re back and as excited as ever!

For the next two months, we’ll be talking about “The ‘Who’ and the ‘What’ of Arts & Sciences.” Who studies the “Arts” and what do they study? Who studies the “Sciences” and what do they study? And what’s in between? I’ll be starting us off with a post about my experiences in the “in between.” I’ve tried to include links to as many relevant people, blog posts, and news articles as possible for those who would like to follow up on any of the things I talk about!

By: Emma Korolik ’17, Sociology and English double major, Education minor

When I meet new people at Cornell, they’re always surprised to learn that I attended a pre-engineering high school in central New Jersey. Why? Here at Cornell, I’m an English and sociology double major with an education minor, which is a far cry from my STEM-heavy high school experience – and a whole quad away from the College of Engineering:).

Joanna Weymouth (left, CAS ’17), Amanda Hellwig (second from right, HumEc ’16), Joy Hubbard-Wakayama (CAS ’17) and I pose at the Ithaca Farmers Market in fall 2016. We all lived together in Rome in the summer of 2015, and we’ve stayed close ever since!

Though I deeply appreciate my time in high school, I feel like I’ve truly found my home within the “&” of the College of Arts & Sciences. Throughout my four years here on the hill, I’ve been able to explore my passions for the humanities and social sciences through classwork; work and extracurriculars; an honors thesis (which is still a work in progress); fieldwork in Ithaca and in Taos, NM; and a study abroad experience in Rome, Italy. My Arts & Sciences professors, advisors, and peers have always been the first to encourage me to pursue these opportunities.

One of my favorite classes I’ve taken at Cornell is SOC 2710: America’s Promise: Social and Political Context of American Education, which I enrolled in for the fall of my sophomore year. While the class is technically housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), I was able to take advantage of the fact that the course is crosslisted in the sociology department in order to gain credit towards my sociology major in Arts & Sciences. At the time I took the class, I had never taken a sociology course; I barely even knew what sociology was!

Slater Goodman (CAS ’19), Deborah Glick (CALS ’19), Ebony Cadet (CALS ’17), and I pose after the annual SOC 2710 TA dinner hosted by our professor, John Sipple.

SOC 2710 explores the history of U.S. education and examines how schooling both reproduces and attempts to alleviate social inequalities, and it singlehandedly convinced me that I wanted to be a sociology major. For the past two years, I have had the privilege of being a teaching assistant for the course – I loved the class so much, I just couldn’t stay away! I even found my thesis advisor, Kendra Bischoff, through the class; we read a piece she had co-written on residential segregation by income about halfway through the semester, and I was so struck by her findings that I approached her a year and a half after first taking SOC 2710 to ask if she would oversee my research (thankfully, she said yes!).

President Rawlings (L), Professor Emeritus Ken McClane (R), and I pose for a photo at a reception in spring 2017.

While I discovered a new passion for the social sciences during my time here, I’ve also been able to further develop my love for the humanities. I copy edit for Ezra’s Archives, Cornell’s historical journal that publishes original undergraduate research, but what I enjoy most about the humanities at Cornell is creative writing, which is my concentration within the English major.

While I’ve been interested in creative writing since I was little, I took my first college creative writing class with Professor Ken McClane, an incredibly talented and prolific poet and essayist who I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with over the past few years. Because the class was seminar-based, we all had the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions about assigned readings, and to critique each other’s work. I was so empowered by my experience that I decided to take a narrative writing class the following summer in Rome, Italy, and I’ve since taken several other creative writing classes in the English department. Each of these classes has allowed me to interact with and receive feedback from my peers and well-known writers like Robert Morgan and Helena Viramontes.

Perhaps what I appreciate most about the College of Arts & Sciences, though, is its openness and flexibility. I have been able to combine my studies in sociology of education with my work in English to craft my own unique Cornell experience that will serve me long after I graduate and start my job as an English teacher in New York City. I’ve been able to take classes in other colleges and count them for Arts credit, and sit in Arts classes with students from across the other six colleges. I’ve developed relationships with professors and maintained and deepened those connections throughout my time here. As a second semester senior looking back, I can safely say I made the right decision choosing the College of Arts & Sciences, and I know I’ve made the most of my experiences here.

The Beauty of Cornell: “In the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of everything”

In this last “Cornell Love” post, junior Jendayi describes two of her favorite places on Cornell’s campus – one of which is quite literally off the beaten path!

By: Jendayi Brooks-Flemister ’18

It’s important to take tests and write papers, but it’s also important to have time to unwind. One of the most amazing things about Ithaca and Cornell really is how naturally beautiful they are. We’re in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of everything.

A view from the top of Libe Slope. Below is West Campus, and Cayuga Lake peeks up from the right.

There are so many times where I’ll meet with friends on warm afternoons and lay out on the slope. It’s such a relaxing place to feel the sun and take a moment to de-stress. It’s even better when you can see the leaves changing color, not just in Ithaca, but everywhere around us. If you look out from the slope, you can see thousands of trees and so many amazing colors; Cayuga Lake is also incredible to look at in the fall—it gets so blue!

 

There’s one spot, however, that I absolutely love escaping to after a prelim or a paper (it’s a secret, so don’t tell!). Next to Willard Straight Hall, there’s a huuuge staircase. Go down the steps, but before you get to the bottom, turn to the left and find a little path. If you follow the path, you’ll find a beautiful hidden oasis. I’ve never gone to this spot and found other people there—it’s that secluded! There’s a nice bench where you can sit and watch dozens of chipmunks and birds playing. One of the campus creeks also runs through it, so if you go at night, all you hear is the trickle of the water. It really is my favorite place on campus.

WVBR: One of Cornell’s 1,000+ Clubs (and Arguably its Best)!

Welcome back! Today marked the beginning of the first full week of classes for the spring semester (we started classes last Wednesday!. Here in Ithaca, we’re battling some brutally cold weather, but sophomore Charles stays warm working as a DJ on WVBR, “Ithaca’s Real Rock Radio.” Check out what he has to say about finding your niche outside of the classroom!

By: Charles Cotton ’19

When I arrived in Ithaca as a freshman, I immediately knew that I wanted to get involved with as many student organizations as I could. One of the greatest things about Cornell (up there with the beautiful campus and the delicious food) is just how many opportunities there are for students to pursue, no matter their interests and hobbies. Cornell has over 1,000 student clubs and organizations, and there truly is one for everyone – whether it’s the Bowling Club, the Rubik’s Cube Club or the Rock and Roll Club, just to name a few.

At the beginning of each semester, the university hosts an event called Clubfest – an all-day fair for organization leaders to promote their clubs and for students to find the ones that best align with their interests. These fairs are admittedly a bit hectic, and it’s not unusual for students to sign up for upwards of fifteen different dance groups, club sports teams, service organizations, and on and on. While most students won’t stay involved with every group they sign up for, they are usually involved with at least one or two that they really enjoy.

For me, the decision to join the Cornell Media Guild has been one of the best I’ve made since I arrived on campus. The Guild is composed of three separate groups: WVBR, an FM radio station; CornellRadio.com, a more freeform online radio station; and Electric Buffalo Records, Cornell’s first-ever student-run record label. While the Guild is independent from the university, each of its three groups are run exclusively by Cornell students.

Of the three, I am most involved with WVBR, serving as a late-night DJ on the station. Being a part of WVBR is truly one of the coolest things I think you can do at Cornell. The station is a rock station – its tagline is “Ithaca’s real rock radio” – and it is broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 93.5 FM and can be heard across much of central New York. We broadcast out of a brand new studio right in the heart of Collegetown, and it’s just a ten-or-so-minute walk from campus.

I host a show with a friend of mine from freshman year, and we are on every other Friday night at 11PM. We play some classic rock, some blues, and some soul, and we take requests from real life callers in and around Ithaca! Every time I’m on, my Cornell friends always make a point of tuning in, and friends and family back home often listen in via the station’s website as well. Having the opportunity to play the music that I love for two hours and talk to a live audience about it is really unique and something I didn’t want to pass up during my college years.

Getting involved is really easy as well. Once you sign up, you go through some quick training to familiarize yourself with the DJ software, the station’s equipment, and some FCC regulations, and you can be on the air within two or three weeks. Being a part of WVBR has also introduced me to some of my closest friends in my first year and half here.

Although Cornell has so many great clubs out there, joining the Cornell Media Guild – specifically WVBR – is something I can’t imagine anyone regretting.

Spotlight on: North Campus

This week, Ellie Schmucker ’19 describes her love for North Campus, which houses all Cornell freshman. North Campus provides a unique community where first-year students live and learn together. Ellie’s message to freshman and incoming Cornellians is clear: don’t take your experience on North Campus for granted!

By: Ellie Schmucker ’19

Looking back on freshman year, many of my favorite memories occurred right where it all began: North Campus. Every Cornell freshman lives on North, which creates the unique concentration of a couple thousand teens looking for new friends while kicking off their college career. Although many upperclassmen now prefer the allure of West Campus or Collegetown, I often think back on all the friends I made by living on North. Many people form a tight group of friends on their dorm floor; while I met many of my friends through different classes and activities, we were able to maintain these friendships because we all lived together on North.

Hanging out with friends

Here I am (bottom center) hanging out with friends in Clara Dickson Hall!

I lived in Mews Hall with my awesome freshman roomie – shout out to Shelly! Mews, along with Court-Kay-Bauer are the newest dorms on North; it boasts air conditioning and brightly painted hallway walls. Even though I lived in Mews, I had friends in the Low Rises which, although infamous for their 60s architecture, foster a tight-knit community. I had friends in massive Dickson, social Donlon, and surprisingly my favorite: Balch Hall, the all-women’s residence hall. Although many are initially wary of the all-female aspect of Balch, its gothic architecture and homey lounges won my heart.

Not only does North allow one to hang out in various dorms, it also affords three dining halls which are ideal for large group meals. From made-to-order omelets (and fried eggs which are basically a secret) every morning in Appel to the Mongo Grill in RPCC to the sandwich bar in Risley, North dining is something to be remembered. Of course, one cannot forget late night Bear Necessities (affectionately nicknamed “Nasties”) runs. My favorite indulgences are their mozzarella sticks and buffalo chicken wings – talk about comfort food! Although I enjoy living on West Campus this year as a sophomore, I’m definitely looking forward to moving into an apartment right off North next year.

Cornell Dining: 29 Eateries and Endless Options

This week, junior Dylan Van Duyne discusses part of the reason he loves Cornell so much: the food. For those of you who are visiting campus and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the variety of options for finding a meal or a snack on campus, here are 10 recommendations for the best items and the best places to eat!

By: Dylan Van Duyne ’18

Cornell University was recently ranked #3 in the country by the Princeton Review for college dining, and with 29 on-campus eateries, there is unbeatable quality and diversity of food on campus. Here are just some of my recommendations:

  1. Open Face Salmon Club and the Tofu Sandwich from Café JennieCafé Jennie, located at the top level of the Cornell Store, has some of the best ambiance on campus. It’s home to an affordable and delicious salmon sandwich (which is certainly hard to find anywhere else on campus!), and its new tofu sandwich addition is a solid vegetarian option as well.

    Café Jennie

    Café Jennie

  2. Salad and Pasta from Atrium Café: Prepare for leftovers! Atrium Café, located in Sage Hall, offers one of the best deals on campus. You’re sure to be very full after you’re done with either of these meals!
  3. Chicken Panini from Goldie’s Café: This sandwich has it all: pesto, grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, and roasted tomato on crispy warm Panini. Yum!
  4. Pollo Loco from Cornell Dairy BarIf you’re out by the Dairy Bar, consider picking up this sandwich along you’re your ice cream! It’s got chicken, cheese, chipotle garlic aioli, and cole slaw on ciabatta bread.
  5. Chicken Quesadilla from Trillium CaféIn what is undoubtedly the busiest café on campus, the quesadilla line is one of the shorter waits. Trillium is located in Kennedy Hall, just below one of the newly opened eHub collaborative spaces.
  6. Panera Mac & Cheese from Libe CaféFor all of the students spending late nights in Olin Library, especially during finals, the recent addition of the mac and cheese has been a real game changer.
  7. Egg Sandwich from Temple of ZeusTemple of Zeus offers the best egg sandwich I’ve ever had, hands down! This space, located in newly finished Klarman Hall, is a great spot to camp out and study while enjoying a meal with friends.

    Temple of Zeus

    Temple of Zeus

  8. Fresh Fruit Smoothie from Mac’s CaféMac’s Café in the Statler Hotel makes the best smoothies on campus by far!
  9. Sunday Brunch at Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC)Dim sum + pancake bar + breakfast sandwiches = everything a freshman (or a nostalgic upperclassman) could ever wish for from a brunch. If you’re on campus visiting and want to experience a dining hall over the weekend, I suggest you get there early to beat the rush for the dim sum line!
  10. Taco Tuesday at Flora Rose HouseIf you’re on West Campus exploring upperclassmen housing, try Rose House’s Taco Tuesday offerings – it’s the best dinner option for anyone on West Campus!

How I Came to Love Cornell

Here in Ithaca, we’ve just finished classes for the semester and are hard at work studying for final exams. For high school seniors interested in Cornell, however, December means something a bit different. While some are waiting to hear back about their early decision applications, many other seniors are polishing their own applications to submit for the January 2nd regular decision deadline. Here at the Ambassadors blog, we’re focusing on why we love being at Cornell so much. Enjoy sophomore Mitchell Lee’s piece this week – and good luck to those of you applying to Cornell this year!

By: Mitchell Lee ’19

My current roommate and I (right) celebrate the first snow of the season.

My current roommate (left) and I celebrate the first snow of the season.

When I was accepted to Cornell, my emotions were running wild. I felt a mixture of excitement, happiness, apprehension, and anxiety – basically any and all emotions. I felt this all the way up until I arrived on campus last year. All my rampant emotions have relaxed, except for one now ever-present feeling: love. From the rigorous yet rewarding classes to the amazing people, I have come to love everything about Cornell. There is so much that I can write about, but I really wish to emphasize a few aspects that I find truly amazing about Cornell.

Here's a picture of the lab I work in!

Here’s a picture of the lab I work in!

One of first things I fell in love with is Cornell’s prodigious academics. There are so many different classes that cover a wide variety of topics, and the classes that I have taken are very stimulating. For example, I took a small freshman writing seminar entitled Magic in Arthurian Legend, and although it was a class designed to improve my writing, the content was fascinating. I enjoyed learning about something completely new to me. Larger lectures can be awesome as well; l really enjoy GOVT 1818: Introduction to International Relations, a class I’m taking this semester, and I loved BIOEE 1610: Introduction to Ecology & the Environment, a class I took last year. No matter the type of class or the style, my classes have been impressive and rewarding.

Here I am (far left) with my co-workers this past summer!

Here I am (far left) with my co-workers this past summer!

Not only are my classes interesting but they’re applicable as well. As a biology and government double major, my academics have a lot of real-world applications.. GOVT 1818 and BIOEE1610 have both enabled me to think critically and assess problems inside and outside the classroom. From BIOEE 1610, for example, I gained basic knowledge and analytical skills that I applied to my job this past summer as a field technician at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. Currently on campus, I work with an ecology and evolutionary biology professor doing both lab work and field work.

Cornell’s academics are amazing in their own right, but another aspect I love about this university is the dedication to sustainability and environmentalism. Originally, when I arrived last year, I did not know what I wanted to study or what clubs I wanted to join. Cornell, however, exposed me to so many different clubs on campus, through which I fell in love with sustainability. While I cared about the subject in high school, I’ve now developed a complete passion for it. I am honored to work with so many like-minded individuals to advance our mission of sustainability on campus. I love how Cornell has allowed me to explore my passions and supported me as I found one that I want to make a career out of.

Posing with a couple of friends I made on the floor of my freshman dorm:)

Posing with just a couple of friends I made on the floor of my freshman dorm:)

The best parts of Cornell for me, however, are the people I meet and the community we create. The first semester of freshman year, I was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends in a place so far away from my hometown. That fear was totally unfounded! We are so diverse that there is a group for everyone, and I have definitely found my group. My friends have helped me grow personally, and they support me in all my endeavors. I know that if I’m having a hard time, I have them to fall back on. I know that I can banter with them and talk about anything. I know that I can ask for help when I need it. I know that in ten years, I can call them and it will be like nothing has changed. They are the reason why I love Cornell so much, why I have so much Big Red pride, and why I know I’m going to cry when we go separate ways after graduation. Together all Cornellians, students, faculty, and staff work to bring out the best in all of us. We grow together and support each other. I could not love this school more.

Celebrating the Cornell Community’s Passion for Learning

One word sums up this post and its author’s message about Cornell’s intellectually diverse community: passionate. In this last November post, junior Carlee Moses describes how the spirit of interdisciplinary inquiry first drew her to Cornell. Enjoy!

By: Carlee Moses ’18

The first time I ventured down Libe Slope I took this picture. The sun was just hitting the Slope in the most amazing way!

I took this picture the first time I ventured down Libe Slope. The sun was just hitting the Slope in the most amazing way!

To me, the spirit of Cornell is defined by the diverse and varied passions of its students, faculty, and staff. When I first arrived at Cornell a little over two years ago, I was so impressed and intrigued by the conversations I overheard as I wandered around campus. I remember people were discussing American politics, the human body system, books and articles they had recently encountered, foreign affairs, research studies they had either read about or participated in, the future of our planet Earth, and the scientific reasoning behind how Tums help to better stomach ailments. As a self-proclaimed Tums addict, overhearing that specific conversation was truly life-changing. Cornellians do what they love and love what they do, and they are always willing to share their particular academic passion with others.

The spirit of Cornell has definitely shaped my own college experience. In my classes, my peers always bring a diverse range of academic backgrounds to class discussions. Through this, I am able to gain new and different perspectives on class material. For example, in Politics of Public Policy last semester, Professor Michener often had us break into groups and discuss specific policies or policy areas. One day, she asked us to brainstorm a policy that we believed would better the American prison system. One of my group members, a student in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), had worked on a project that created a plan to put former prisoners to work in environmentally friendly businesses. She shared with us her plan, and the knowledge she had learned in ILR. Because of her different academic background and viewpoint, she was able to provide me with a different perspective and a new idea. In my personal life, my friends also represent a varied range of passions: from the social sciences to the physical sciences, American studies to Near Eastern Studies, Hotel Administration to Urban Planning, Architecture to Industrial and Labor Relations, and economics to Earth science and sustainability, each of the friends I have made at Cornell has their own unique passion. The commonality is that each of my friends, and every person in the larger Cornell community, is equally passionate.

My friends and I took a break from finals studying to watch the sunset on a warm December evening.

My friends and I took a break from finals studying one year to watch the sunset on a warm December evening.

As a current junior, Cornell has pushed me to strengthen my passions, and also discover new ones. When I arrived on campus in August 2014, I knew that I loved history – specifically, American history. I need to dive deeper than the textbook synopsis versions of historical events. I want to know the stories behind the people I study. Who and what made these people who they were? It wasn’t until I met one of my now closest friends here at Cornell, a Near Eastern Studies major, that I decided to take my studies outside of the Western world, and enrolled in a course on Iran. This course made me want to know more about the Middle East, encouraging me to pursue more classes in the Near Eastern Studies department, and igniting within me a new passion.

When I sit in some of my favorite places on campus, I still can’t help but listen in to the conversations I overhear. It’s been more than two years since I arrived at Cornell, and my peers continue to blow me away. This spirit of Cornell – the diverse and deep passions of the Cornell community and the drive to pursue them – initially drew me here, and it’s what has made my college experience so absolutely transformative.