Michael Sun

Class of 2016

Hometown: Santa Clarita, California

What was your College Scholar project?
My research concerned the relationship between the financial sector and the federal government. I took an Instrumental Marxist perspective to examine the mechanism through which the latter has aided the profitability of the former at the expense of the American public, with particular emphasis on the 2008 financial crisis and the shortcomings of Dodd-Frank. I also examined the role that norms and cultural capital have played in exacerbating income inequality, drawing upon the ideas of Foucault and Bourdieu. Ultimately, I argued that the federal government is merely a tool of financial elites, regardless of which party occupies Congress and/or the presidency.

I received a Lynne Abel thesis research grant last summer and was awarded First Prize in the Honors Thesis Contest for the Center for Inequality Studies.

What were your most important extra-curricular activities?
When I was a sophomore, I organized a panel on the Ukrainian crisis featuring my favorite journalist, Julia Ioffe. 300 people showed up and it was one of the leading political events of that entire year at Cornell.

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
I have interned in Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management Division and the United States House of Representatives Budget Committee.

What are you doing after this summer, and what are your long-term plans?
I am planning on a career in international development.   But first, I would like to experience living abroad; I will then attend graduate school in public policy.