Ellen Hong: 'The liberal arts education gave me the freedom to explore music while taking a challenging course load that the biology major requires.'

April 28, 2017

Ellen Hong

Biological Sciences

Rockville, MD

How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?

One of my most favorite classes here at Cornell was BIOMG 3310, taught by Dr. Feigenson. It was after this class that I realized I would also love to teach at an academic institution, whether that be at a medical school or at an undergraduate institution. Dr. Feigenson's passion for being a teacher, and his absolutely spectacular way of presenting material and testing it, opened my eyes to the importance and necessity of wonderful teachers in higher education as well. I now know that I also want to teach, giving back to a younger generation of scientists, and hopefully inspiring them to love biology as much as I do.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I value my liberal arts education because it allowed me to pursue my interests in music as well as biology. Through my minor in music, I was able to take classes such as music theory and history that gave me a deeper understanding of the music that I play and listen to. The liberal arts education gave me the freedom to explore music while taking a challenging courseload that the biology major requires.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

I would encourage incoming first year students to step outside of their comfort zone and try taking an interesting class that they might not have thought of taking. I took Brazilian Culture Through Its Music even though I had no experience or background in Brazilian music, but it has been one of my favorite classes at Cornell. Not only did I get to learn about a whole different culture, I got to learn about Brazilian music and perform in a samba band.

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