What is your main extracurricular activity? Why is it important to you?
I work as a Student Career Ambassador at the Arts & Sciences Career Development Center. I began working in Career Development as a sophomore and have worked in the office ever since. This job has allowed me to interact with my fellow students and assist them in the job search, while learning a lot of helpful career advice along the way. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to help students by reviewing their resumes, giving them interview tips, or motivating them to continue the job application process even when they feel discouraged. As a student, I know how nerve-wracking the job search is and how often students underestimate their own talents. I am very happy to work at a job where I get to help students identify the qualities that make them stand out and help them attain their dream job or internship.
What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?
I am currently conducting independent study under the supervision of Professor Kenneth Roberts. I began my independent study in the fall and have continued my research into this semester. My dissertation focuses on democratization in Nicaragua and assessing whether the country is currently a consolidated democracy. My entire family is Nicaraguan, and I grew up hearing many stories about the 1979 revolution and the Contra War. Even though I’ve only visited Nicaragua once, it felt like more of a home than where I am originally from. My family’s struggle and the strength of the Nicaraguan people are why this project is so important to me. During my summer interning at Freedom House, I had to keep track of current events in the politics of many Latin American and African countries. Freedom House’s Latin America director released a statement halfway through the summer concerning Nicaragua and the decline of democracy in the country. I greeted this press release with a mixture of disappointment, anger, and motivation to bring light to the issue. My mother’s story of living in Nicaragua and the lack of democracy in the country have motivated me to complete this dissertation. The story of the Nicaraguan people deserves to be heard and I have made it my goal to raise as much awareness about their history as I possibly can.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I would like to be working at a think-tank, particularly one that focuses on issues of democracy. My dream is to conduct research into how government institutions can be improved in order to promote democracy. I particularly want to focus on authoritarian regimes and countries in Latin America. Another goal that I wish to accomplish through my work is to make politics more accessible to Americans. Many people state that they can never get fully involved in politics either because they do not have the time or they do not fully understand the issues. I feel that many political conflicts in this country arise due to a lack of knowledge or information on political subjects. I want to make politics more accessible and understandable for the average American so they can fully comprehend the issues that affect their lives.