Daniel Waid Marshall '15
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Why did you choose Cornell?
Academically, it was the best school I got into. The finger lakes region is beautiful. I was also interested in applying to the Telluride House.
What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?
Political organizing and activism. They are important to me because my friends, my family, and my community are important to me. Caring about those around me requires that I care about what happens to them, which requires that I care about politics, and that I engage in politics alongside them.
What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?
Too many to pick one; maybe when I graduate?
What, if any, Cornell-related scholarships/special financial benefits did you receive?
The Frederic Conger Wood Summer Research Fellowship from the Einaudi Center. I went to Paris for a summer to study the memory of the protests, strikes, and riots of "May '68."
What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?
1) Contributing to the campaign to retain free bus passes for first-years and transfers, and then making sure that the revenue generated turned into wage increases for workers. While this was not my accomplishment alone, I was honored to be part of the group of students who organized around that issue and were able to help make a material impact in the lives of workers.
2) Winning the NIRSA National Tournament this year with the Cornell club basketball team.
What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?
I wrote my senior honors thesis on the memory of the Willard Straight Takeover. It is called "Emplotting the Crisis: Remembering Cornell '69."
What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
It is impossible to select one that will represent everything, so I won't try: Standing on the porch of Telluride House in the spring of my freshman year, watching the first thunderstorm of the year with the rest of my housemates.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
My experiences with political organizing and in the Telluride House most heavily influenced my education here. They mostly brought up the practical moral questions that lay in the unexamined cracks of my academic education.
How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
Academically, I became interested in the field of history, and specifically in historiography. I came into Cornell not knowing what I was interested in, and discovered political and critical theory.
What do you value about your liberal arts education?
I admire and value it for its stubborn relevance to my life. It allowed me to understand narratives, the threads of our social existence, and by extension, allows me to read the world around me as a text.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As of now, I will be attending Teacher's College at Columbia University to become a social studies teacher. In ten years, I hope to be coaching basketball somewhere, among other things.