CHEM 3570: Organic Chemistry

By Shanna Smith ’18

My friends from other schools think I’m crazy when I say the best class I’ve ever taken is organic chemistry. Across the country, organic chemistry has been characterized by its “terrifyingly difficult” reputation, and generally feared by all students who know this infamous course is in their near future. I was also afraid when I entered lecture for the first day; however, my worries were immediately squashed in the first 15 minutes of class. My professor, William Dichtel, stood in front of the class and declared his love for organic chemistry, stating his seemingly-ambitious goal: by the end of the semester every single one of us would love organic chemistry as well. People generally dislike organic chemistry for its difficulty level; the subject matter alone is quite hard, and adding ambiguous lectures and unclear exam questions to the mix makes it virtually impossible to understand. While I can’t speak for the rest of my class, he definitely won me over.

orgo textbook

My orgo textbook (and a furry friend)!

Almost every day, Professor Dichtel – or his co-teacher, Professor Bruce Ganem – gives us examples as to why organic chemistry is so important. During many lectures, Professor Dichtel and Professor Ganem have a “Molecule of the Day” segment in which they show commonly-used organic molecules that many of us never knew involved organic chemistry. I had never before thought an organic molecule was responsible for the smell of oranges or understood why our tongues can distinguish between two molecules of the same molecular formula and same atomic connectivity. The professors make sure to state everything clearly in a non-arbitrary way, so as to prevent unnecessary confusion. Office hours are provided by both the professors and teaching assistants on a daily basis – for most hours of the day! – to make sure that everyone who is confused gets the help they need. Yes, the class is difficult, but only because the content is tricky. The lectures are interactive, exciting, and comprehensible. As a result, we are able to solve higher-level problems, contributing to our high-class organic chemistry education.

Organic chemistry is not alone; in my experience of classes at Cornell, the lecturer often goes out of his or her way to make sure everyone understands and is excited about the subject matter at hand. We then are able to solve more difficult problems and think on much higher levels, giving us the thorough education we desired when we chose Cornell University. This is one of the reasons I love Cornell; the professors here truly want their students to learn as much as possible and think as critically as possible.

Spotlight on: Palonegro

By: Braulio Castillo ’18

Coming from a Latino household on the West Coast, the move to Ithaca in upstate New York was definitely a big change for me. The transition was certainly challenging, but Cornell offers so many opportunities for students to remain in contact with their culture and feel right at home that I was quickly able to adjust.


Palonegro, a Latino music group, performed on campus on November 7th.

Two weekends ago, I was invited to a performance by a Latino group, Palonegro, on campus. The audience comprised faculty and local community members, their families and friends. Nostalgic but happy, I could not help but clap my hands and tap my feet to the beat of the music. Sergio R. Ospina, one of the musicians, directed us to dance along and participate with the performers. With such musicians that managed to engage their audience well, I fully appreciated the sense of community I felt.

The performance consisted of various bambucos, pasillos, cumbias, porros, danzones, merengue, and Latin jazz. The mix of instrumental, vocal, and even poetic pieces made for a diverse performance – I felt like I had gone back home to Tijuana, Mexico. The group even performed pieces by famous artists like Café Tacvba and Juan Luis Guerra!

After the concert I decided to learn more about the group, which consisted of grad students (among them David Miller, the graduate residence fellow at my dorm), and undergrads, though some professors like Alejandro Madrid, James Spinazzola, and Paul Merrill (the faculty in residence of my close friends’ dorm, Balch Hall) jumped in on the fun and helped the group out with their performances!

The whole crew

The whole crew together at Barnes Hall.

I got to speak to Sergio, a graduate student in musicology, and his wife Martha as they explained the program to me. A year ago they came to Cornell from Columbia and started this group spanning “traditional South American Andean styles to Afro-Caribbean music and Latin jazz”. Other students were attracted by the Latin beat prevalent in this genre and asked to participate in Palonegro. With a rhythm absent from any other music, people gravitated to it, and Palonegro has had several successful performances at Cornell and in Ithaca so far.

I am glad to know that the music that I grew up with has attracted so much attention in the United States and at Cornell (The concert hall, Barnes Hall, was full). This school offers every student many opportunities to be a part of a vibrant community, no matter your interests, background, or aspirations.

ASTRO 1195: Observational Astronomy

By: Isabel Caro ’18

As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, I am expected to take some math/science courses to fulfill certain requirements. I decided to choose these courses wisely and have some fun – so I enrolled in Astronomy 1195: Observational Astronomy. ASTRO 1195 is an introductory course that gives students (like me!) the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of outer space.


Fuertes Observatory on North Campus

The course is jam-packed with important and interesting information including the relationship between the moon, the sun and earth (namely, how it affects our lives), how stars exist, what they are made up of and how they die, plus much more! In addition, since it’s an “observational” class, we have the privilege to use Cornell’s very own Fuertes Observatory (since Cornell is oh so resourceful). We meet once a week on Wednesday evenings to observe the moon, other planets such as Saturn, plenty of stars, globular clusters and even other galaxies –it’s mind blowing!

The class has been particularly rewarding personally because I’ve found myself walking to class looking for the position of the sun and determining where we’re located in the solar system, what time it is, or even just appreciating how far away that big ball of gas really is. I feel much more cognizant of my surroundings thanks to this class. I know how to measure longitude and latitude and locate constellations that I could never see before. Sometimes I even have existential thoughts: what is our purpose here when we exist on such a small scale, compared to the massive universe? Plus, as Professor Stacey always says, we can bring up these cool topics and tools that we’ve learned at the dinner table to show off our knowledge!

The Super Blood Moon as seen from Fuertes on September 27th, 2015.

The Super Blood Moon as seen from Fuertes on 9/27.

On September 27th there was a total lunar eclipse i.e. super blood moon that we were lucky enough to witness! This phenomenon is very rare: the last one occurred in 1982 and the next won’t be until 2033. I’m very thankful to have been taking this class during a year it happened because I’ve conveniently been studying the subject!

This class is just one example of how special a Cornell University education can be, especially in a college as versatile as the College of Arts and Sciences!

Spotlight on Balch Hall: The Freshman Women’s Dorm

By: Solveig van der Vegt ’18

Balch Hall

The beautiful Balch Hall on North Campus.

During my freshman year at Cornell, I lived in Balch Hall, the North Campus dorm for first-year women. It is a beautiful, gothic building that also houses the Carol Tatkon Center for first-year students, Carol’s Cafe and some offices. Usually, when I tell people that I lived in Balch last year, they say some variant of: “Oh, I am so sorry!” But actually, it was great: I loved living in Balch!

Balch has the image of being a very quiet, non-social dorm. My experience, however, was the complete opposite. I hung out with my friends in my unit almost every day and we could get pretty loud! I made all of my best friends in Balch and I couldn’t imagine life at Cornell if I hadn’t met them.

That doesn’t mean that studying in Balch was impossible. If you needed some quiet, you could just close your door and study in your room, go to the Tatkon Center and grab a coffee, or sit in one of the study lounges in the building. I studied in my room most of the time; I‘m very sensitive to noises while I am working, but I never had any problems with people being too noisy.

My double room

My double room in Balch Hall!

Another great thing about Balch is that it’s a very active dorm – there are always a ton of programs going on. The Resident Advisors put on a lot of events like henna nights, karaoke and cookie decorating, and the Tatkon Center also hosts a lot of its own events.

Just like every other opportunity on campus, living in Balch is what you make of it. I had a fantastic time living there my first year. For me, it was the perfect balance between a place to be social – and a great study environment. I wouldn’t change my experience at Balch for the world.


Why I Love the Distribution Requirements!

As we move into November, our weekly blog posts will shift in focus. This month, our theme is “Academic and Residential Life at Cornell.” Samantha Briggs ’16 starts us off by explaining how the College of Arts and Sciences’ unique set of distribution requirements allows students to explore subjects they never would have considered otherwise!

By: Samantha Briggs ’16

As students in the College of Arts and Sciences, we must fulfill a series of distribution requirements in order to complete our Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. These requirements ensure that each student receives a diversified and well-rounded education, and there are a myriad of reasons to be thankful for that. But first things first, what are they?

Unlike other universities that have a core curriculum, or a series of specific classes that must be taken for degree completion, Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences has distribution requirements. So, instead of needing to take very particular courses, each student can choose between a range of courses that fall into categories such as the Physical and Biological Sciences, Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis and many others. The requirements are often broad and are very diverse: for instance, Arts and Sciences students must take a foreign language; take a course that focuses on a geographic area of the world that is not the United States, Canada, or Europe; take two first-year writing seminars and take several courses that focus on mathematics and the sciences, among others.

At first, these requirements can seem like a lot – they did to me! What I learned, however, was that there were many ways to fulfill each requirement and enjoy the process at the same time:

  1. Goldwin Smith Hall

    The Arts Quad is home to many of my classes as an Arts and Sciences student. Goldwin Smith Hall int he background hosts many of the First-Year Writing Seminars.

    Foreign languages were definitely not my forte in high school, so I was worried about having to study a foreign language here at Cornell, but I placed into an intermediate level French class, so I only had to take one class to fulfill my requirement. And between you and me, it was actually really fun! The class was conversation-based and my professor was very lively and encouraging, so even if my French was initially riddled with mistakes, I improved quickly.

  2. A 5 on either the AP English Literature exam or AP English Language exam will count toward one of the first-year writing seminars (FWS’s). I had a 5 on both exams so I only had to take one writing seminar, but I actually found that I was sad about that. My FWS was called Shakespeare: Stage and Screen. Throughout the semester, we would read a play, then watch a film adaptation and then compare and contrast the two in classroom discussions and written assignments. To this day, this was one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at Cornell. Each FWS is capped at seventeen or eighteen students, and they are – for the most part – filled with only freshman students. First-year seminars are a fantastic way to ease into college-level courses, with the added comfort of being surrounded by other freshmen. Moreover, your writing is quickly elevated to the university level through one-on-one discussions with your professor and peer editing. I almost wished that I had to take another seminar!
  3. Finally, many of the requirements will be unwittingly filled along with major requirements. I am a double major in History and Government, so, by just taking the classes I wanted to take as part of completing my majors, I filled almost all of my requirements (besides math, science, foreign language, and the writing seminar).
Class books

Some of the books I’ve accumulated over the years as I’ve worked to finish my history and government majors

And for all of you prospective students considering coming to Cornell to study the humanities, don’t stress about the math and science requirements; you won’t need to take discrete calculus or relive high school biology (though of course, that would do the trick). The College takes an expansive approach to math and sciences, and a slew of interesting and unique courses can be used to fill these requirements. For science, I took Introduction to Oceanography and the Physics of Musical Sound, and for math, I took Introductory Statistics and Linear Algebra (the real anomaly of my transcript – I took it in my first semester freshman year, during which I came to the realization that I had come to the end of the road in my math studies). With the exception of Linear Algebra, I sincerely enjoyed these classes. They forced me get out of my academic comfort zone without feeling at all burdensome, and offered a refreshing change from my major coursework. And if it weren’t for the distribution requirements, I probably never would have taken them!

McGraw Hall

Across the Arts Quad, you can spot McGraw Hall, which houses the History Department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Had I not been required to take science classes, I never would have been captivated by Professor Monger’s impassioned discussion of the effect of global warming on our oceans, and I never would have had the privilege of listening to Professor Selby play traditional Irish fiddle music as a demonstration of the physics of waves on a string. Each of these classes truly enhanced my college experience, and the distribution requirements gave me the impetus to enroll in them. So, yes, I love the distribution requirements, and you should, too!



A Night at the Museum: Masquerade at the Johnson!

By: Kathy Qingyu Xu ’16

Event poster

Where can you find elegant ladies dressed in ball gowns and spooky wizards casting spells on a Friday night? At Cornell University’s Herbet F. Johnson Museum of Art’s Night at the Museum: Masquerade Ball of course! The Museum Club at Cornell University hosts a variety of free events at the Johnson to promote the beautiful artwork on display, special collections, and creativity of the University’s students. The Masquerade Ball is always an annual favorite!

With over 35,000 works of art on exhibition, free tours, and accompanying technological displays, the Johnson Museum already draws thousands of annual visitors on a regular basis.

Johnson Museum lobby

The lobby of the Johnson Museum during one of its events!

During the Masquerade Ball, you can watch a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, make your own sparkling mask, or participate in the costume competition. I particularly enjoyed watching the cultural dances by Illuminations, Shimtah, and other Cornell student performance organizations. Illumination’s Flowers dance this year was phenomenal; the performers were elegant and poised!

As a student docent, I was able to take a more active role in the Masquerade this year. During the event, I showcased one of the beautiful Chi Wara headdresses in the Johnson Museum’s collection.

This headdress was made by the Bamana people from Mali. In fact, the Bamana people would wear this headdress and perform a special dance during the Chi Wara masquerade – very fitting for our event!

I especially enjoyed presenting the Chi Wara headdress during our Masquerade because it’s usually not on display for the public. On Friday night, however, students were even able to touch the Chi Wara (with gloves of course!), which was a rare and special treat.

If you come to Cornell’s Ithaca campus, definitely stop by the Johnson Museum! Even if there isn’t an event going on at the time, you can always explore a special collection or climb up to the fifth floor and bask in the breathtaking views. I’ll see you at the Johnson Museum – maybe I’ll even give you a tour!

Fall Break At (or Away from) Cornell

By Anna Ravenelle ’17

Columbus Day weekend at Cornell offers a much-needed break from schoolwork as students have both Monday and Tuesday off from classes. Some students take this time to catch up on schoolwork, others head home, and still more travel to new destinations for new experiences. Some might say that Cornell is in the middle of nowhere, but being only four hours from New York City and four-five hours from the Canadian border means that a short break is a great time to explore some major Northeast cities.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was beautiful!

Having never left the country (besides a brief family vacation in third grade), I decided to go to Toronto and Niagara Falls this year with four of my friends from school. We stayed in a hotel on the edge of Toronto’s Chinatown, which put us right next to Queen Street W, a small shopping hub that mirrors the Ithaca Commons.

Casa Loma

My friends and I pose by Casa Loma.

We shopped, ate, and embarrassed ourselves by asking every small, independently owned shop, “Do you accept American money?” (Hint: the answer was no, unless you don’t care about losing money to the exchange rate).

The next day, we headed off to Casa Loma, a castle in the middle of Toronto, where movies like X-Men and The Vow, among others, were filmed. While exploring the twentieth century castle, we actually bumped into another group of Cornellians – the Big Red reaches far and wide!

Burger's Priest food joint

The Burger’s Priest!

On Monday, we explored the other half of Queen Street (East) and got the best burgers I’ve ever experienced in my life at a small Canadian chain called The Burger’s Priest. Unfortunately for us, it was the day of observation for Canadian Thanksgiving so many businesses and independent shops we would have otherwise liked to visit were closed. Regardless, we still had a great time taking photos in front of the “TORONTO” sign and cheering on the Blue Jays with the natives (on an outdoor screen airing the game).

Posing in front of the Toronto sign

The Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square was the perfect photo op for first-time tourists like us.

Our ride home Tuesday we stopped at Niagara Falls for sightseeing, food, and souvenir shopping. The weather was beautiful, like it had been all weekend, and there were vibrant rainbows over the falls. Finally, we got back to Ithaca and (after a quick stop at Purity Ice Cream for a snack) were back home at Cornell. Toronto was great, but nothing beats sleeping in your own bed again.

Spotlight on Ithaca: Apple Fest

By: Julia Montejo ’17

Every October, during the first weekend of the month, the Great Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival takes over Ithaca Commons. For the past three years, this has been one of my favorite times of the year! Colloquially known as Apple Fest, this event brings together students from the city’s three colleges (Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College), surrounding area visitors, and local residents to enjoy a celebration of the abundant apple harvest in the Ithaca area.

Apple chips!

Apple chips!

This year, food and crafts vendors lined the newly redesigned Commons and two adjacent blocks of Downtown Ithaca to showcase local products. As I walked through Apple Fest, I snacked on a local farm’s delicious “apple chips,” which are sliced apples covered in caramel, chocolate, and toppings of your choosing.

My friends and I couldn’t help ourselves – this year, we brought home fresh apples, an apple crisp tart, a peach pie, applesauce, and tomato garlic sauce.

My friends and I bought a lot of food this year - clearly, it didn't last long!

My friends and I bought a LOT of food this year.

As we stopped at different tents, the vendors were happy to talk to us about their favorite recipes and their production practices, which was a great way to connect to the Ithaca community on a deeper level.

A variety of musical acts, from cultural dance groups to cover bands and a cappella groups, also performed on the Commons’ new performance pavilion. I especially liked watching the DixieKats, a local, upbeat concert band, perform. Everyone seemed to have a smile on their face as they walked through the Commons and danced or just listened to the music.

The DixieKats, a local band, entertain the crowds in the Commons during Apple Fest.

The DixieKats, a local band, entertain the crowds in the Commons during Apple Fest.

As a freshman, I discovered my love for Ithaca at Apple Fest, and this year’s Fest reaffirmed that love and appreciation. Seeing the community come together to celebrate not just for apples, but local culture as a whole, always brightens my fall semester. It’s amazing to see so many locals be so welcoming of college students, and vice versa. With a full tummy and a grin from ear to ear, I always leave Apple Fest happy to be a part of such a vibrant, inclusive community.

“Ithaca is Gorges” in October

Hey everyone! The Arts and Sciences Ambassadors will be adding new content to our blog at the beginning of each week throughout the school year. Each month will feature blog posts that center loosely on a theme related to that time of year. As we settle into our semester, we thought a nice theme for October would be “Campus and Community Activities.” For this week’s post, check out what sophomore Dylan Van Duyne has to say about outdoor activities around Cornell and Ithaca!

By: Dylan Van Duyne ’18

Dylan Van Duyne '18 (me!), Kelly Albanir '15 and their team of freshman students during POST (pre-orientation service trips) enjoy Ithaca Falls

Dylan Van Duyne ’18 (me!), Kelly Albanir ’15 and our POST (pre-orientation service trips) team pose against the backdrop of Ithaca Falls.

The arrival of October means that fall is finally here! One of the most beautiful times of the year in Ithaca is definitely the fall, when you can take an enjoyable walk by North Campus (where all the freshmen live) around Beebe Lake or take a stroll downtown through the Ithaca Commons and enjoy the brisk, clean air.

“Ithaca is Gorges”

Any Cornell student or Ithaca resident has certainly seen a t-shirt (or owns one – or several) around campus or town with the phrase: “Ithaca is Gorges.” This phrase, which is horribly overused but totally accurate, really shines in the month of October, as the leaves on the trees start to change color. The gorges on and off campus are a popular destination for students year-round, but they’re extra beautiful at this time of the year.

A friend visiting campus and I stand on a familiar message by Ithaca Falls.

A friend visiting campus and I stand on a familiar message by Ithaca Falls.

Personally, one of my favorites is Ithaca Falls, a gorge accessible behind West Campus. This spot is the perfect place to enjoy a great overlook of the area – I recently took one of my high school friends there when he visited campus, and he loved it! As the days become shorter in Ithaca, I would highly recommend taking a moment to watch the beautiful sunset from one of the many gorges near campus.

Off Campus Spotlight: Taughannock Falls State Park

A couple weekends ago, I traveled about 20 minutes off campus to Taughannock (Tuh-GAN-ick) Falls State Park. The park features a lower trail that is about a one-mile flat hike, which ends with an iconic view of the Falls.

Aubrey Hiebert '18 and I enjoy a trip to Taughannock Falls State Park.

Aubrey Hiebert ’18 and I enjoy a trip to Taughannock Falls State Park.

Besides Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Treman State Park are other awesome off-campus areas to visit with family or friends, walk around and enjoy the scenery.

Enjoy the Beauty of Cornell’s Campus

You never have to go far to find a spot that’s “gorges.” Here on Cornell’s campus there are numerous places that highlight the beauty of this time of year. Lying on the slope at night overlooking West Campus is one of my favorite things to do. At night, West Campus looks a lot like Hogwarts from Harry Potter, and the sunset over Cayuga Lake provides a perfect picture opportunity.

The Arts Quad is another popular spot to take a nap or just hang out with friends on a sunny day. With a flannel and hot apple cider in hand, you can lie down on the Quad and listen to the Alma Mater playing from the chimes in McGraw Clock tower. This is my favorite time to live in Ithaca and be a part of the campus community – just walking around Cornell reminds me every day of how lucky I am to live in such a special place.

An October sunset over West Campus

An October sunset over West Campus

When in Rome: Summer Study Abroad

By: Emma Korolik ’17

This past summer, I spent a month in Rome, Italy studying abroad through the College of Arts and Sciences. As a double major (English and Sociology) with a minor (Education) and a deep love for Cornell’s Ithaca campus, I wasn’t sure about going abroad. Yet, when I heard about a four-week creative-writing summer program in the heart of Rome, I knew I had to apply. Italy seemed like the perfect place to feel inspired, and I was right.

With a little maneuvering, we managed to fit everyone in the program into our Cenci common room for some big, family-style dinners!

With a little maneuvering, we managed to fit everyone in the program into our Cenci common room for some big, family-style dinners!

Once I arrived in Rome, I moved into an apartment (called “Cenci”) with seven other students. Our apartment was massive – we had two bathrooms, a full kitchen, enormous bedrooms and a common room that frequently hosted Cenci “family” dinners, debates, card games and writing frenzies. Almost every morning, the eight of us would walk out our front door, turn the corner, and grab a coffee and a pastry from Bar del Cappuccino. Then we’d hurry to creative writing class, which was housed in Palazzo Lazzaroni, a beautiful old building just five minutes from our apartment.

We didn’t spend every day in the classroom. At least some of the day – or the whole day – was often spent traveling. We visited churches designed by Borromini and Bernini with Jeffrey Blanchard, an expert in Baroque art; sketched sculptures around Rome with Professor Taft, a Cornell art professor; walked through the ruins of Ostia Antica with Dr. Jan Gadeyne, an expert in archaeology and ancient art history; and wrote in the home of John Keats and the cemetery where he was buried with Michael Koch and Stephanie Vaughn, our two English professors.

Duomo di Orvieto, one of the many magnificent churches we visited on our trip

Duomo di Orvieto, one of the many magnificent churches we visited on our trip

We spent two days traveling to Tivoli and Orvieto, where we got to try wild boar, an assortment of prosciutti, all different types of homemade pasta, puff pastries with cream and black currants (oh, if only I could go back in time and eat that dessert all over again) and some truly excellent red and white wines.

In our free time, we visited Vatican City, where I sat in on my first ever Catholic mass at St. Peter’s Basilica (imagine that!), the Pantheon, and the Colosseum, all of which were within walking distance of our classroom and our apartment. We walked through the Borghese Museum, swam in the Mediterranean, took the train to Naples and ate in view of Mt. Vesuvius, and even explored Pompeii, fulfilling my dreams from seventh grade world history:).

The most perfect dessert: a puff pastry filled with cream and black currants

The most perfect dessert: a puff pastry filled with cream and black currants

I remember so much from this trip – so many names and places and experiences, and a lot of this is due to one of the defining parts of the Cornell in Rome summer program: each student is required to keep a journal for the whole month. Every day, we wrote three journal entries. What we wrote was almost completely up to us – we responded to prompts from the professors, updated Ovid’s myths for modern times, quickly jotted down details on a train ride back from the beach or wrote nonsensical sentences with our housemates on the Ponte Garibaldi as the sun set over the Tiber (8:33, the time the sun set that evening, has since become a rallying cry of sorts for all of us who lived in Cenci). Beyond that, we wrote several short stories (or poems), which we workshopped in small groups, and at the end of the trip, we read our favorites in front of the whole program before enjoying a final dinner together at our professors’ favorite restaurant.

The Cenci Eight: Amanda, Esther, Emma (me!), Joanna, Joy, Eily, Kai and Nigel on one of the many bridges crossing the Tiber River

Of course, this trip wouldn’t have been as special without the people experiencing it with me. In total, there were 17 students and three professors who flew over from the United States for the program. Fifteen of us were Cornell students, and some were rising sophomores, some rising juniors and several were rising seniors. We were split into three apartments, of which Cenci was the largest, and our class was split into narrative and verse writers, so within our 17-person program, we worked with an even smaller group for reading, writing and workshopping.

My Intermediate/Advanced Narrative Writing class with our professor, the incomparable Michael Koch

My Intermediate/Advanced Narrative Writing class with our professor, the incomparable Michael Koch

I’ve become amazingly close with everyone on that trip – one of my first nights back in Ithaca this fall, I went out for dinner with almost everyone from Cenci. Every time I run into someone from the program on campus – whether we’re at the homecoming football game, at a café, on the stairs on our way to class or out in Collegetown – we stop, say hi, hug and chat.

Everyone always talks about how, as cheesy as it sounds, college is the time when you make friends for life, and now I’ve definitely found my group – from all over the U.S. to Rome, Italy and back to Ithaca, we’ve stuck together and we’ll share those Rome memories forever.