Hazel Guardado: 'Anthropology has made me even more curious about the world'

May 24, 2016

Hazel Guardado


Miami, FL

What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?

I'm most proud of diving into other cultures through language study. In addition to studying French intensively throughout my four years at Cornell, I've also studied Russian since my sophomore year. I've been lucky enough to travel to both France and Russia, and I feel that I have a strong understanding of both cultures. I hope to use this knowledge in my career in international law to promote cooperation among different countries.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

My internship with the Committee on U.S.-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR) influenced my Cornell education the most, since it awakened my desire to study immigration and asylum issues and eventually international law. My time with CUSLAR also helped me learn more about myself, since my discussions with other interns helped me reflect on my own identity as an immigrant from Nicaragua.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I love that studying anthropology has made me even more curious about the world. I've learned to challenge assumptions that are usually taken for granted and to never take anything at face value. Rather than accepting things as they are and working from there, it's usually better to ask why they are that way in the first place. I think this approach gives primacy to human action and thus paves the way for change and progress.

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

Although I never had the honor of meeting President Garrett, the following advice she offered deeply resonated with me: "Be open to new possibilities that you cannot now imagine; develop skills and qualities that allow you to be resilient in the face of change and uncertainty. Do not dismiss unanticipated opportunities or adhere too strictly to a predetermined path. When you are presented with options, choose the path where you can make the most difference, and that will bring you the most happiness and fulfillment."

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