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College of Arts and Sciences

Arts & Sciences Ambassadors

Dedicated and passionate students, proudly representing the College of Arts & Sciences

The A&S Ambassadors

About the College ambassadors

Arts & Sciences Ambassadors are dedicated and passionate students who serve as proud representatives of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Together, we provide the student angle on life at Cornell, help prospective students make the important decision of where to attend college, and then support them as they transition into life as an A&S student. We host lunches, information sessions, receptions, one-on-one meetings, and many more activities committed to answering all the questions that prospective students and parents may have about the college and the university as a whole. We also advise & support incoming students throughout the summer and into their first-year as they prepare to become Cornellians.

Prospective Cornellians: via this blog, we hope to share our Cornell experiences with you no matter where you live in the world, so that you may get a glimpse into the life of a Cornell student even if you don’t have the opportunity to visit campus.

Current Cornellians: interested in joining our team? Check out the Become an Ambassador link to the right!

 

Contact the ambassadors

Please email us with any questions!

cornell.as.ambassadors@gmail.com

2020 Executive Board Members
Name Major
Nile Jones ’20 Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics
Islam Elsaid '20 Chemistry
Hassaan Bin Sabir ’21 Government
Michelle Abramowitz ’21 American Studies
Austin Haycox '20 China Asia-Pacific Studies
Medina Keita '20 Psychology & Government
Shilpy Agarwal '21 Economics & Computer Science
Jenny Della Santina '21 Biological Sciences
Karen Jiang '21 Economics & Computer Science
Alyssa Bachmann, Advisor  
Jayla Greene, Advisor  

Meet the ambassadors

 A gathering of A&S Ambassadors

Name
Major and minor

About

Abby Dittmar '20

 Abby Ditmar

Major: Biological Science (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration)

Hobbies and Interests: I have been camping for longer than I remember, so many of my hobbies center around the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I have spent the last few years teaching myself calligraphy and I like to practice my handwriting to unwind. I try to do the New York Times crossword puzzle every day and I am very competitive (in a friendly way) so I love playing games and getting into random competitions with my friends.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell because when I visited its campus, I immediately fell in love. Everything from the natural beauty both on campus and in the Ithaca area to the drive and ambition that I saw in its students felt like it was calling to me. I met people that were not only unapologetically interested in their academic fields, but the people around them encouraged and supported them in their pursuit of knowledge. I realized that Cornell could give me something that I had been craving for years, a place to pursue my passions. I knew that Cornell was a place where intelligence was encouraged and welcomed. It was a place where intellectual conversation could flourish and I could finally feel like I truly belonged.

Alec Giufurta ’21

 Ambassador Alec

Majors: Government, History

Hobbies and Interests: On campus, I’m a reporter for The Cornell Daily Sun, the independent student paper, and I am on research team studying international security assistance. I am also the co-president of ConsentEd, leading engaging conversations about social responsibility, and I am a fellow of Pi Lambda Sigma, Cornell's pre-government society. Off campus, I love visiting the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, skiing, and (when home) surfing with friends. 

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell as a transfer student because of how many opportunities a school of this size had to offer; There is, quite literally, something for everyone on this campus. Arts & Sciences, in particular, has a strong community and makes the size of the campus seem a little less daunting. I also love Ithaca, and the amazing culture the city has to offer. 

Alexandra Glasgow ’22 

 Ambassador Alexandra

Major: Biological Sciences

Minors: Inequality Studies, Business

Hobbies and Interests: In my spare time, I get away from all things pre-med and science, and delve into the arts. I love to dance, whether that means in rehearsal, my room, or a salsa club. When I’m feeling creative, I write poetry and short stories, or find and listen to new music. Spanish is my favorite language, and while I’m trying to become fluent I’ve accumulated a long list of already watched telenovelas, and frequented Spanish playlists. I am passionate about cultures and meeting different kinds of people. In the future I plan on studying abroad, so I can experience more, and learn as I live.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell because it is a school that fully embraces the idea of learning as you live. Whether through research, friendships, classes, or obstacles you will constantly learn here. As soon as I visited I felt the open-minded, intellectually creative, and worldly spirit that drives this school. Cornell facilitates an interdisciplinary education which was very attractive to me. I didn’t feel as though my true potential could be expressed when choosing one passion over another. Only in a culture that nurtures diversity, like Cornell, could I truly see myself finding a home. 

Arminé Kalbakian '20

 Armine Kalbakian

Majors: Anthropology, Archaeology

Minors: Business, Global Health 

Hobbies and Interests: When I'm not surrounded by bones and artifacts in the arcane McGraw Hall, I spend my time attempting to frequent every restaurant in Ithaca, bartending with Cornell Catering, and watching re-runs of Keeping up with the Kardashians with the Armenian Student Organization. I'm also involved with the First-Generation Student Union, OADI's First-in-Class program, the Cornell Anthropology Exchange, and work as a research assistant at the Johnson College of Business.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell in an attempt to embrace the uncomfortable. With classes involving meeting old punk bands at Cornell's Punk Fest to digging up hotels from the 1800s at the nearby Treman State Park, my academic experience thus far has been far from normal, and I have loved every moment of it. I now find comfort in the unique culture at Cornell and in *gorges* Ithaca at large.

Audrey Kennedy ’20

 Ambassador Audrey

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Law & Society

Hobbies and Interests: Outside of the classroom, I spend time exploring my two main academic interests, chemistry and law, by doing research in a polymer chemistry group and assisting with psychology and law studies at Cornell’s Law School. During my free time I like to escape my daily routine by singing and beatboxing with my a cappella group, listing to the Stuff You Should Know podcasts on walks around Ithaca, and baking up unconventional flavors of cupcakes! I am also devoting some of my free time to learning how to arrange songs for my a cappella group and compose songs in general. When I’m not on campus, I love being close to the shore- I snorkel and scuba dive and love partaking in other water activities like swimming, canoeing and water tubing. I also love to travel (I would travel all the time if I could) and explore cultures and languages; I speak Spanish and Italian and I’m hoping to learn another language! I recently got to engage my passion for travel, languages and culture during my study abroad in London where I got to travel to Salzburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Inverness, Barcelona, and the Greek Island of Korfu!

Why Cornell: The way Cornell inspires, cultivates and nourishes its students is unparalleled because of its diverse and outgoing community. It is a unique and special feeling to be taught by incredible faculty members who are pundits in their fields of expertise and genuinely care about creating an enriching learning environment for their students. A similar support is found amongst the group of motivated and talented peers that you learn alongside of. This combination, compounded by the extensive selection of courses, extracurriculars, and events on campus, has helped me develop new skills, form meaningful friendships and explore myself as a worldly thinker. An added benefit is having all these features on a breathtaking campus that creates an ever-more inspirational energy to fuel the formative experiences Cornell grants its students.

Bella Somoza ’22

 Ambassador Bella

Major: Biological Sciences

Hobbies and Interests: When I'm not doing DNA extractions in the Vitousek Lab, you can find me around campus at various club meetings. Sometimes I'm hanging out with the my peers on the Dean's Student Advisory Council for Arts & Sciences, planning the annual spring fashion show with the Cornell Fashion Collective, or curating cute images for the Birds of the World Project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology! Off-campus, I love to bike, hike, camp, and backpack in the beautiful nature around Ithaca or in Oregon, where I'm from. I'm also an avid reader and tea-drinker!

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell because I fell in love with its motto: any person, any study. I thought it beautifully reflected the diversity of its students in their various identities and their academic and extracurricular interests. When I visited, I remember meeting person after person who studied things I had never heard of. One person was a double major in math and French, while also minoring in global health. On top of that, everyone was involved with a million cool things on campus, like the Tea Club or research on butterfly genetics. I was excited by the vast amount of opportunities Cornell offered, and by the unique ways each person decided to take advantage of them. Every day I am constantly surprised and inspired by the diverse interests of my peers! 

Cece Thieberger ’21

 Ambassador Cece

Major: Astronomy

Minor: Astrobiology

Hobbies and Interests: When I’m not studying, you can find me in Space Sciences doing research or working at my favorite cafe, Temple of Zeus. I love the outdoors, whether it be a hike, gorge swimming, or just walking around campus. I also volunteer through Alpha Phi Omega, a community service organization, and am President of the Cornell Nature Society. To relax, I love baking and reading books.

Why Cornell: I was drawn to the diversity of the Arts and Sciences curriculum; I loved the fact that I was encouraged to learn about any subject I was interested in, even if it was outside my major. Not only are there a great variety of classes, there’s also over 1,000 different clubs at Cornell. The wide range of classes, clubs, and people at Cornell foster an environment that supports you as you venture outside your comfort zone, and that was really important to me when choosing a school.

Courtney Harris ’22

 Ambassador Courtney

Major: Biological Sciences

Minor: Spanish

Hobbies and Interests: I am active in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) community, was a part of the Prefreshman Summer Program (PSP) 2018 and am currently a member of the Biology Scholars Program. I am currently an undergraduate research assistant in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and am a TA for both PSP and general chemistry. Outside of my academic commitments, I joined the Cornell Chorale during my freshman year as a soprano. I also love listening to a variety of music such as pop, oldies (think Motown and the Beatles) and reggaetón just to name a few.

Why Cornell: What really attracted me to Cornell was Diversity Hosting. I was able to stay overnight with a current student while also meeting those who would be my future classmates. It gave me great insight into the resources that the university has to offer. One of the experiences I am most excited about is doing field research in Santiago, Chile during winter break with my plant science class! Cornell has so many opportunities available, and what especially caught my eye were the A&S Career Development department and OADI programming, which really shows Cornell’s efforts to make sure that all students have the ability to thrive academically, socially and professionally.

Danny Shokry ’21

 Ambassador Danny

Major: Biological Sciences (Concentration: Neurobiology and Behavior Concentration)

Minors: Environmental Sustainability Sciences, English, Law & Society

Hobbies and Interests: I love to get involved in several ways around campus. You can find me in the Law School practicing for Mock Trial, volunteering for Alpha Phi Omega, or conducting research on seizures in flies. Otherwise, you can catch me watching (and getting too emotionally involved in) The Great British Baking Show and other competition shows.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell because I knew it would be an opportunity for me to surround myself with people of all types of intellectual interests, which would allow me to hone in on what I wanted to study. Cornell also offers many different classes, which has allowed me to pursue my interests in English, Biology, Law and the environment simultaneously. 

Dean Kim '20

 Dean Kim

Majors: Chemistry, Chemical Biology

Minor: East Asian Studies 

Hobbies and Interests: On campus I play the bassoon in the Cornell Wind Symphony, am a member of the Korean American Student Association, and am a brother of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. I'm also involved in research. In my free time, I like to juggle and take walks around campus (not necessarily at the same time though)!

Why Cornell: I love that there's so much to explore at Cornell. There's so many different classes, clubs, and other activities to choose from that I never feel bored here. Sometimes I stop for a moment and take a look around and remind myself just how gorgeous the campus is. Take some time to explore Beebe Lake or the Gorge trails, and definitely stop by the Clock Tower and listen to one of their great Chime Concerts!

Dean Pucciarelli ‘22 

 Ambassador Dean P

Major: Psychology (Concentration: Evolutionary Neuroscience)

Minor: Business

Hobbies and interests: I’m extremely passionate about medicine and medical research, and as such am a part of Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity on Campus. I also conduct undergraduate research in the Enrique Rodriguez-Boulan Laboratory of Ophthalmology Weill Cornell Medicine over summer breaks. In addition to this, I love increasing awareness circa childhood health. For this reason, I’m involved with the executive board of Big Red Thon which raises money and awareness for the Children of Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. Aside from that, I love to read online publications (personally, the New Yorker is my favorite), cook, and hike! 

Why Cornell: When I was applying to colleges in high school, I knew that I not only wanted to be surrounded by academic rigor, but that I wanted to be able to learn from fellow classmates. The best way for me to do this was to be exposed to a plethora of different people, cultural backgrounds, languages, among other factors. During my time at Cornell thus far, I can personally attest to learning as much, if not more, about diversity and varied cultures from my peers, enhancing my perspective of the world around me. Other than that, Cornell is an extraordinarily interesting setting to be a part of from a variety of studies to almost monthly festivals in the Ithaca Commons. Cornell offers so many ways to get involved in the community in fun and exciting ways and I couldn't imagine having the same experiences elsewhere!

Diego Burga, ’21

 Ambassador Diego

Major: Biological Sciences

Minors: Anthropology, Global Health

Hobbies and Interests: On campus, I'm on the Global Health Student Advisory Board and am employed as a student assistant to the Global Health Program. I'm also involved in Partners In Health Engage, the Cornell Healthcare Review, and the Biology Scholars Program. In my free time I enjoy listening to new music, watching SNL, or visiting the 5th floor of the Johnson Museum!

Why Cornell: When deciding where to apply for college, Cornell initially caught my attention due to its renowned biology program. Aside from its great biology-related resources, Cornell's Ithaca campus houses several colleges and diverse graduate programs that allows for undergraduates to have a truly unique experience. The academic and personal curiosity at Cornell is one that I had never experienced before. I knew that I wanted to attend a college that was not going to just provide me with excellent resources to support my academic and professional success, but rather an institution that would spark more curiosity within me and, ultimately, teach me how to think.

Elena Lie-A-Cheong '21

 Ambassador Elena

Major: Government

Minor: History

Hobbies and Interests: Cornell International Affairs Review, Class Council 2021, Student Assembly Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Hong Kong Student Association

Why Cornell: Attending Cornell was the best decision I've made thus far. I chose Cornell because it embodied my ideal learning environment. Every Cornellian shares a high-level of intellectual curiosity and are encouraged by the collaborative culture to strive towards our maximum potential. Not only have I explored my interests at Cornell, but I have also discovered new opportunities that I would not have found if not for the wide array of resources, classes, and student organizations. Cornell is a place where everyone around you supports you and wants what's best for you!

Eric Shen '20

 Eric Shen

Majors: Physics (Concentration: Biochemistry), Music

Hobbies and Interests: I am always on the hunt for good food, photo ops, and flowers (which Ithaca has plenty of)! I love all kinds of music and am a violinist in the Cornell Orchestras and Eastern Music Ensemble. For the Chamber Orchestra, we play a wide variety of concerts and will each be mentoring a student from the Cayuga Heights Elementary School! I am also a part of the Society of Physics Students, which hosts Pizza Talks with researchers, and the Taiwanese American Students Association that holds events like Night Market, Little Formosa, and our culture show eCsTASy! In my spare time, I like to learn other languages by gaming, listening to music, and watching television.

Why Cornell: I think of Cornell as a spice rack. There's every type of person, activity, and idea to explore by itself or combine together and create a harmony of flavors that resonates specifically with you. Everyone and everything is welcoming and encourages you to try new things or even try something old in a new way. All the people that I meet are interesting and give me another glimpse of the world that makes me want to see and experience even more of what the world has
to offer. But above all else, I am in love with the climate! Cornell is in such a location that the warmth of the summer and cool fall are the perfect opportunity to be outside and see the vibrant colors of Ithaca. Meanwhile, winter is a wonderland that makes me want to prance through the snow and explore a frozen campus.

Eugene Kim '21

 Eugene Kim

Major: Biological Sciences

Hobbies and Interests: Satisfying my inner science nerd slash lab rat, I am involved in Debate in Science and Health as well as The Research Paper, an undergraduate research magazine. Whenever I need a study break, I love taking walks, especially enjoying beautiful nature-niches scattered around campus with a phone camera in hand. I also enjoy writing short stories that sometimes end up being not-short stories. On a lazy evening, you can find me in my dorm room or basement, probably singing along off-key to alt rock and/or gathered around a board game with my friends.

Why Cornell: Cornell truly is filled to the brim with interesting people and experiences. Instead of worrying whether I'd find a place I belong, I actually ended up finding several in my first semester – and still continue to meet fascinating people with diverse passions and stories. There's a niche for everyone and everything, big or small. The environment is just so stimulating, socially and culturally as well as academically and intellectually.

Gavin Clark '22

 Ambassador Gavin

Major: Biological Sciences (Concentration: Biochemistry)

My hobbies and interests: When I’m not pursuing my interest of biological sciences in academics, I can usually be found chatting with friends in Temple of Zeus Café and drawing some doodles in my sketchbook. I enjoy trips to the Johnson Museum, exploring downtown Ithaca, and the occasional night in (with Netflix). Frisbee and the service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega are two clubs I participate in as well, and I enjoy meeting new people in the Cornell community.

Why Cornell: When I first stepped onto Cornell’s campus, I was filled with a sense of familiarity. The environment felt very inclusive, warm and welcoming despite the cold winter wind. That was when I knew I wanted to come here. Cornell is one of the most accepting and inclusive communities I have ever seen, and their ability to accept people from all backgrounds was a huge appeal for me. In addition, I wanted a school that would challenge me and force me to grow as a person, and I am happy to say that Cornell still does both of those to this day.

Hassaan Bin Sabir '21

 Hassaan Bin Sabir

Majors: Government, History

Hobbies and Interests: Cornell Political Union, Pi Lambda Sigma Fellow, Cornell International Affairs Society, Cornell Cricket Club, Foreign Policy Analyst (Cornell Roosevelt Institute)

Ishini Gammanpila '22

 Ambassador Ishini

Major: Mathematics

Hobbies and interests: I love playing the violin, the piano and the ukulele. I also enjoy singing (I sing for The Touchtones all female a cappella group), so I guess you could say I’m an ardent fan of music in general. I’m really into stand-up comedy (I don’t know if I’m any good at it though). So much so that at one point I thought I’d not go to college and just pursue a career in it. As you could guess my VERY Asian parents wouldn’t let that happen. I also like graphics design and did a few internships in high-school (One of my designs even went up on a billboard in Sri Lanka!)

Why Cornell: For me, one of the great appeals of CAS is the sheer breadth of courses on offer. I love trying new things; it is perhaps what defines me as a person, and so Cornell’s flexibility matches my personality. The variety of different sub-fields especially in mathematics, like complex analysis, speaks to my inquisitive nature. I am greatly attracted to the Active Learning Initiative because it helps narrow the gap between mathematics taught in the class and mathematics applied in reality, a gap which is obvious in South Asian education. And of course, as a small-town Sri Lankan, CAS’ reputation and academic excellence gives my parents the bragging rights I have denied them by not becoming a doctor!

Islam Elsaid '20

Major: Chemistry

Hobbies and Interests: I love meeting new people and mentoring my peers, so in addition to being an Arts & Sciences Ambassador, on campus I am the VP of Academic Events for the Cornell Association of Medicine and Philanthropy, involved in the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association, an Orientation Leader and Arts & Sciences Peer Advisor. If I am not in class, spending time with my peers, or at work in my research lab in the Chemistry Department, you can find me playing basketball, listening to music (especially pop, hip-hop, and rap), and making people laugh!

Why Cornell: Cornell is an amalgamation of the some of the best and brightest young minds from all over the world. With this incredible mixture inevitably comes a great amount of diversity on campus, not only in regards to race, ethnicity, and religion, but especially with respect to diversity in thought, perspective, and opinion. Being exposed to new ideas, viewpoints, and attitudes each and every day has allowed me to grow both inside and outside the classroom. Cornell's continual
emphasis on personal exploration and discovery is something very few institutions in the world can rival.

Jack Liufu '21

 Jack Liufu

Majors: Chemistry, Classics

Hobbies and Interests: I love singing, whether that be with the Cornell University Glee Club or alone in my room, I rediscovered my love for dance through Hanchum: Traditional Korean Dance. My free time is spent watching movies or TV shows, or taking walks through nature. And of course, getting bubble tea with friends is something I never turn down.

Why Cornell: I grew up in a small town, and as much I do love cities, I love the feeling of being somewhere small, somewhere homely. The nature (and views!) here are simply stunning, and the community is so close-knit. As for Cornell itself, it's bigger than other Ivies, and that really lets every single person find where they belong. Everybody finds their niche, their group, and everybody succeeds together. Everyone here is also so driven and motivated, never settling, always striving for increasing greatness, and that is something I knew I wanted to be a part of and carry forth myself.

Jeremy Borden '20

 Jeremy Borden

Major: Physics (Astronomy Concentration)

Hobbies and Interests: I'm a bit of an astronomy nerd, so stargazing has always been one of my favorite activities. I love running, especially around the beautiful trails on and near campus. I enjoy visiting the Johnson Museum and the Cornell Cinema, and I'm also an embarrassingly avid fan of terrible shark movies (think Sharknado).

Why Cornell: Cornell combines so many wonderful attributes: a beautiful campus, a vibrant and diverse student body, incredible professors, great food, and so much more. I've met so many amazing people here, and I truly believe I have found a home within the Cornell community. I've been able to immerse myself in the subjects I already knew I loved, but I've also been able to find new passions to explore. Even though walking up the slope is still a challenge, I love this place and
I'm so grateful to be a member of this community.

Julia Kim ’22

 Ambassador Julia

Majors: Statistics, Economics

Minor: English

Hobbies and Interests: At Cornell, I'm the Finance Chair and Recruitment Chair of the Cornell Business Review and a part of Medium Design Collective's Experience Team.  This past year I also served as an Arts and Sciences peer advisor where I had the opportunity to meet new students and help them adjust to life at college.  In my free time, I love to take hikes with my friends at nearby falls in Ithaca, read Jane Austen novels, and journal.  

Why Cornell: When I first visited Cornell the summer before my senior year of high school, I fell in love with the beautiful campus.  At the time of college applications, I was very much undecided in what I wanted to study in college and I appreciated the flexibility Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences offered.  Being able to come into college with an open mind about declaring a major helped me explore my options during my first year and have now found my passion in Statistics and Economics.  I look forward to continuing to spend time and grow with other motivated and driven students in the coming semesters!

Julian Kroll '20

 Julian Kroll

Majors: Government, English

Hobbies and Interests: Though I've only spent one full semester at Cornell, I've become involved in the CU orchestra as a cellist, took a painting class to count towards an intended fine arts minor, joined several clubs as an activist for environmental and human rights causes, and joined a social fraternity. Looking forward, I plan on becoming more involved in long distance running and political/literary clubs.

Why Cornell: As an institution that is simultaneously elite and extremely egalitarian, I felt that Cornell was a perfect fit for me. Coming from a predominantly midwestern, working class family, I knew that I wanted to study at a place that accepted students from all walks of life and integrated global perspective into all courses of study. Ultimately, I wanted to gain a better understanding of the world around me in the company of people from across the world; I haven't been
disappointed.

Justin Ong ’22

 Ambassador Justin

Major: Biological Sciences

Hobbies and Interests: When I’m not in the library studying, I love to hang out with my friends on campus. One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to go try out local restaurants and explore the many different trails around Ithaca. During the week, I always make time to go to the gym or run to unwind after my classes. I’m also involved in research, community service, and a cultural fraternity on campus. I also enjoy just staying in my dorm and watching movies.

Why Cornell: Aside from its outstanding reputation in academics, Cornell’s campus was a large factor that influenced me to choose to go here. Coming from Las Vegas, Nevada, I wanted a chance to study in a new environment from where I grew up. Cornell’s beautiful forests and scenery was a great opportunity for me to expand my horizons. Despite being in a rural setting, the Cornell community has a plethora of activities constantly going on. In my opinion, the campus is small enough to build close connections while simultaneously big enough to constantly meet new people. My older brother also goes here and is two years older than me. Hearing about all the interesting clubs and people on campus was definitely another large factor that contributed to me picking Cornell.

Katie Fehrenbaker '21

 Ambassador Kate

Major: American Studies

Minors: Psychology, Law & Society 

Hobbies and Interests: Outside of Ambassadors, I am the Editor-in-Chief of Slope Media Group, a mentor for YOURS, a Cayuga's Watcher, and a member of a social sorority, Delta Gamma.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell because I believe this school offers everything one could hope to find in an institution of higher education. This school offers more courses than I ever could have imagined having access to, a huge variety of extracurricular opportunities, and a faculty driven to help better the academic careers of the future leaders of the world. I love being surrounded by such a diverse student body, with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. To top it all of, Ithaca is the quintessential college town, offering everything a student may need in a remote part of New York State. I believe that Cornell has encouraged me to push boundaries and become the best version of myself.

Kimberly Koh '20

 Ambassador Kim

Major: Comparative Literature

Minor: Computer Science 

Hobbies and Interests: If and when I have a free moment, I enjoy singing off-key while playing the ukulele, reading, and practicing yoga. I love eating ravioli in my friend's basement in my hometown while chatting about college and eating poke bowl in collegetown while chatting with friends about home. On campus, I write for the Cornell Book Review, am on staff for Rainy Day Literary Magazine, and live with a bunch of freshmen as a Resident Advisor on North Campus.

Why Cornell: Because of the sheer volume of resources and number of students at Cornell, anyone can find a club, class, or study space which suits them perfectly! The size of the campus forces me to take a relaxing (invigorating) 15-minute walk across the beautiful campus every day. Cornell, despite the winter weather, is such a warm and welcoming place. I've met so many kind people and have discovered so many unique opportunities which I hope to continue to make the most of for the rest of my Cornell career!

Kyle Abrams '20

Major: Government

Hobbies and Interests: Circle of Sisterhood, Kappa Delta Sorority (Soph. Club Chair), College Mentor for Kids

Matthew Chen '20

 Ambassador Matt

Major: Biology and Society

Hobbies and Interests: I love listening to and playing music – I play guitar and piano and am involved in a couple music-related clubs on campus. I also greatly enjoy playing and following sports – being from LA, I am a huge fan of all LA sports. I express my love for sports and for Cornell through my involvement in the Big Red Sports Network as a broadcaster and writer at times. Otherwise, I enjoy working out, surfing, research, enjoying nature, and studying away in Olin stacks.

Why Cornell: I chose Cornell initially because I wanted to get myself out of my “west coast bubble” and explore more of the country while I still could. However, I then completely fell in love with the school when I realized how diverse and welcoming everyone at Cornell is. There are people from all over the country and the world all interested in different things, and yet they all shared them same drive to succeed and willingness to help others that I craved when choosing a university. I believe the College of Arts and Sciences best epitomizes this diversity, and I have enjoyed being able to take so many different classes and learn so much! Having a beautiful campus and tons of things to explore around Ithaca is a great bonus, as well.

Melissa Yap '21

Biological Sciences (Concentration: Biochemistry)

Hobbies and Interests: I'm a huge fan of anything food related, so in my free time, I work towards my goal of visiting every eatery Ithaca has to offer. I also love all sorts of flowers and plants, and will take any chance I get to stroll around Cornell's greenhouses and gardens. On campus, I'm involved in community service and psychology research.

Why Cornell: I came from a big high school (5000-strong!), and I knew I wanted a similar environment in college. The sheer amount of academic and social opportunities Arts & Sciences offered drew me in when I was on my college hunt—I've made so many friends in disciplines very different from my own, and we never run out of things to talk about. The fantastic Asian food in Collegetown is just the cherry on top.

Michelle Abramowitz '21

 Ambassador Michelle

Major: American Studies

Minors: Jewish Studies, History

Hobbies and Interests: Cornell Hillel Cultural Programming Committee Chair, Cornell Interfaith Council, Jewish Studies Club, Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi (Social Sorority).

Mollie Cramer '20

 Mollie Cramer

Majors: Government, Biology

Minor: Public Policy

Hobbies and Interests: I'm a writer for the news department of the Cornell Daily Sun and am the Vice President of Publicity for the Cornell Best Buddies organization. I also enjoy being apart of Greek life on campus. In my free time, I like to read (my favorite author is Jodi Picoult) and watch TV (my favorite shows are the Newsroom and Friends). I love exploring Ithaca restaurants and hiking trails.

Why Cornell: I think Cornell is such a big, beautiful, wonderful place. Ithaca has such a fun downtown area and beautiful scenery. I chose Cornell because of the diversity of opportunity here. I've taken a wide range of classes from many different departments and have found my academic passions. The people at Cornell are the kindest, funniest, most genuine people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Attending Cornell is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Natalie Zaba '20

 Ambassador Natalie

Major: Biological Sciences (Concentration: Neurobiology and Behavior)\

Minor: International Relations

Hobbies and Interests: Outside of class, I enjoy skiing, reading, playing the cello, and going to the Farmer's Market. On campus, I am an undergraduate research assistant in a Neurobiology and Behavior lab that focuses on understanding the genetic basis of individual recognition. I am also involved in a medical fraternity and was on the Willard Straight Hall Student Union Board of Directors.

Why Cornell: Cornell has been the perfect place for me to explore new interests, ranging anywhere from the brain to Chinese history to International Relations. The school's dedication to fostering learning for all people in all areas of study has provided a great environment for growth. You also couldn't ask for a better college town!Something is always going on here, whether it be the annual Apple Festival, Wizarding Weekend, or just a day lounging at the Gorges. I have loved my time at Cornell and, as a junior, wish I could slow down time!

Nick Smith '20

 Ambassador Nick

Majors: Economics, Business

Minors: Psychology, Leadership

Hobbies and Interests: In my free time, I play for the Club Lacrosse team and run with the Cornell Running Club, for which I serve as Treasurer. Around campus, I’m active in my fraternity and the Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars leadership training program. I’ve also put my life-long love of the movies into practice in writing for the Arts & Entertainment section of the Cornell Sun newspaper.

Why Cornell: Coming to Cornell has given me the opportunity to study what I love in a place that’s both profoundly different than where I’m from while still being familiar in some comforting ways. I’ve been able to hang on to my key extracurricular interests from high school and start new journeys like writing opinion pieces for the newspaper and becoming involved in various sustainability efforts around campus, not to mention receiving instruction from some of the most capable professors on the planet in the classroom, many of whom had a hand in writing the textbooks from which they’re teaching!

Nile Jones '20

 Ambassador Nile

Hobbies and Interests: Marching Band/Pep Band, Surgical Society, Society of Physics, Mathematics Club, CAS Pre-Professional Health Association

Palini Ramnarayan ’21

Major: Computer Science

Hobbies/Interests: Music is one of my biggest passions, and much of my involvement on campus reflects that. I play violin in Cornell Symphony Orchestra and I’m currently Musical Director of Cornell’s premier South Asian a Capella group, Cornell Tarana. Between rehearsals for both organizations, I make time for undergraduate research as a member of Capra Research group. I am also a consultant for CS 2800. I’ve always loved nature so one of my favorite things to do is sit on the slope and watch the sunset.

Why Cornell: I grew up with many interests and activities, so the last thing I wanted was to attend a college that forced me to pick one and drop everything else. Cornell is built on the idea that you should be able to do anything you are passionate about. This university has enabled me maintain all my interests while I work towards a degree. It was this flexibility that drew me to Cornell, and I’m constantly amazed by the people I meet at this school. I also spent my summers in Ithaca as a kid, so Cornell has always felt like home for me. I learn something new everyday and feel nothing but pride to be a Cornell student.

Rebecca Clark '20

 Ambassador Rebecca

Majors: Asian Studies, Art History

Minor: East Asian Studies 

Hobbies and Interests: As a member of the sport Taekwondo club team here at Cornell, I enjoy spending time both training and simply hanging out with my teammates. I'm also a student tour guide at the Johnson Museum of Art on Campus where I show guests around the museum and help out with various events at the museum.

Why Cornell: I feel as if there is no limit to what I'm able to study and the help I can get from fellow Cornell community members —faculty, staff, and students alike— in my academic pursuits. From researching the methods by which countries and organizations, such as the Japanese Ministry of Culture, seek to preserve important cultural properties, to looking toward the future and my hope to become a lawyer in cultural property law, I feel that there is always someone or some
organization that can provide me with assistance I need as I pursue my goals.

Renée Girard '20

 Renee Girard

Majors: Government, Law and Society, Public Policy

Hobbies and Interests: On campus, I'm a fellow of Pi Lambda Sigma (Cornell's pre-government fraternity), the Society for Women in Politics, the Cornell International Affairs Society, and Cornell Best Buddies. I am also a passionate skier and enjoy exploring the Cornell Botanic Gardens with my friends!

Why Cornell: Cornell is unique in the way that it is both so large yet interconnected. Students have the ability to tailor their Cornell experience by exploring diverse courses, incomparable resources, and the great variety of student organizations available. Cornell's size has allowed me to develop a multitude of networks that I will carry with me beyond my college experience.

Ross Moseley ’21

 Ambassador Ross

Major: Government

Minors: Arabic, History of Art, Near Eastern Studies

Hobbies/Interests: Outside of class, I enjoy spending time with friends in a variety of different settings. I love hanging out in Libe cafe, going snowboarding at Greek Peak, or exploring and photographing the beautiful Ithaca scenery. Here on campus I am a member of a varsity sports team, a campus tour guide, a member of a social fraternity, and an ambassador for the College of A&S. I love involving myself on campus in different ways, and I enjoy meeting new people while sharing the many things that Cornell has to offer. 

Why Cornell: Initially I was intimidated by Cornell’s size, as it is significantly larger than the other schools I was interested in. I quickly saw the way that Cornell creates a community to counter that feeling. It was clear from my first moment on campus and even more so now, the many communities Cornell creates to make every student feel involved and included. Whether that is within your college, your major, one of our 1200 clubs, athletics, greek life, dorm-life, etc. There are seemingly infinite ways to meet people and engage yourself which is something that contributes to a tightly knit community that is difficult to find anywhere else. 

Serena Uliano ’21

 Ambassador Serena

Major: History

Hobbies and Interests: I am an avid reader, especially any novel that pertains to Regency fiction, and I also have a penchant for writing and editing. I am a passionate football fan and dedicate my Sundays during the season to watch as many games as I can. I love nature walks and taking photos of any flowers I see. At Cornell, I am an editor for the Cornell Book Review, a Speaking Groups Facilitator for the English Language Support Office, a member of my House Council, and a member of the Johnson Museum Club.

Why Cornell: The breadth of academic choices drew me to Cornell. I now have the opportunity to choose which classes fit me from a variety of subjects and across the different colleges. Not only was it the breadth of course selection that intrigued me, but also the overall size of the campus and community. That is, there is always a new place to take a class in, eat at, or explore. Every day, I have to chance to interact with people from all over the world. I believed that by attending Cornell, I would have the opportunity to grow as a student and as a person, and it certainly has been true. 

Siddharth Venkatesh ’21

Major: Biological Sciences

Hobbies and Interests: Around campus, I volunteer and tutor weekly with different groups. Although I am a biology major with a neurobiology concentration, I am involved with psychology research centered around attention and memory. I’ve also been involved with Cornell’s boxing club, where I try and bring out the Rocky within all of us. When I’m not volunteering, tutoring, or doing research, I love goofing around with friends, working out, watching action or comedy movies, journaling, listening to movie soundtracks, taking in scenic views around campus, and reading. 

Why Cornell: A main reason I chose Cornell was to be challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. With its incredible academic and research reputation, I was cognizant of the many academic opportunities that awaited me. Throughout my time here, however, I have become incredibly grateful of not only the challenges I expected, but also of the diversity of experiences, passions, and individual stories. By exploring different academic fields and traversing unfamiliar grounds, I’ve been able to cultivate a stronger mindset and a more worldly perspective. Thanks to Cornell’s plethora of opportunities and resources, among both the struggles and successes, I am constantly able to strive towards improvement in all areas of my life.

Sylvie Kuvin '20

 Ambassador Sylvie

Major: American Studies

Minor: History and Art History

Hobbies and Interests: In my free time, I enjoy reading and writing, and I'm involved with Slope Media. I also love to explore Cornell's beautiful campus and all that Ithaca has to offer with my friends.

Why Cornell: Cornell has the best of everything in one university. The opportunities for Cornell students are endless and I am constantly discovering new classes to take and interesting lectures or events to attend while on campus. Our campus is beautiful and there are always exciting activities going on in Ithaca as well. The people here are amazing, and I have learned so much from every individual I have met. I'm so proud to be a part of such an incredible community!

Tarangana Thapa ’21

 Ambassador Tarangana

Economics, Government, Minor: International Trade and Development Minor

Hobbies and Interests: On campus I am involved in Kappa Alpha Pi- Pre-Law Fraternity and the South Asian Mentorship Program. I also do research with the Government department, and am the organizer for Peace Action Cornell, a nuclear non-proliferation advocacy organization. In my free time, I am an avid podcast listener and enjoy reading and writing poetry.

Why Cornell: I was looking for an intellectually stimulating environment that offered opportunities of interdisciplinary studies with a strong base of liberal arts education. Cornell offered unmatched academic rigor, career exploration and professional development opportunities, and an environment that cultivates personal growth and responsibility. Especially being in the College of Arts and Sciences, I’ve gotten the opportunity to explore different fields of study and discover interdisciplinary linkages that match my areas of interest. Whether it’s in the classroom and through assignments, or discussions with peers and guest seminars, etc. Cornell has challenged me to grow and never stop learning.

Valerie Odonkor ’22

 Ambassador Valerie

Majors: Government, French

Hobbies and Interests: In my free time, I love learning about the world around me. I like keeping up with world news, reading, creative writing, discovering new music, taking long walks and being surrounded by nature, and, of course, taking pictures everywhere I go. Thankfully, I was able to hone this passion for photography through photojournalism, shooting for the Cornell Daily Sun and artistically shooting for Cornell Thread fashion magazine. I work as a barista at Carol’s Cafe in Cornell’s residential Balch Hall. I also love volunteering! Currently, I volunteer through the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies to teach kids in the local area the beautiful and historically rich language of French, the country of France and the diverse Francophone world. I am also a part of a social sorority in which I am able to also contribute to the nonprofit Service for Sight and give back to service men and women who have experienced vision impairment, eye trauma, or vision loss. And lastly, to keep active and continue pursuing a hobby I have had since I was 11 years old, I also play for the Cornell Club Volleyball team. 

Why Cornell: The first thing about Cornell that really caught my attention was the beautiful campus. As someone who loves taking pictures and loves taking long walks, Cornell never fails to supply me with new paths to take and picturesque sceneries to shoot. I also really loved how large Cornell’s campus and population is because it just presents so many new opportunities to experience new things and meet new people. The College of Arts and Sciences offers so many niche and interesting classes that caught my eye when choosing a place to further my knowledge in any and all aspects of life. There is truly no other university like Cornell, and experiencing such a unique culture is an opportunity I will never regret taking advantage of. 

Victoria Watson '21

 Victoria Watson

College Scholar

Hobbies and Interests: Besides sharing my passion for Arts & Sciences with others, I am part of a team in the Government Department researching International Security Assistance, as well as a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity. In my spare time, I love attending events sponsored by the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, running, and listening to BBC Arabic to practice my language skills.

Why Cornell: I chose the College of Arts and Sciences because I wanted flexibility with my education. I have always been intellectually curious about the world, and I knew I wouldn't be able to take a plethora of courses in other schools without jeopardizing time for my major. I've wanted to take classes in an array of disciplines without spending my time in a lot of requirements, which was why Cornell was such a clear choice. Further, the departments I am interested in – Arabic, Government, Anthropology, and History – are particularly strong at Cornell, and I knew I wouldn't have time in other schools to explore other disciplines while simultaneously taking on a challenging curriculum.

Vishal Sundaram '21

 Vishal Sundaram

Majors: Chemistry, Chemical Biology

Hobbies and Interests: Outside of the classroom, I am the musical director of Tarana, Cornell's only South Asian a cappella group, and I play the cello for fun in my spare time. As such, I have a great love for all things music (singing it, playing it, listening to it, talking about it, etc). I am also a part of a research lab on campus working to develop synthetic antibiotic alternatives. Some other hobbies of mine include hanging out with friends, playing basketball (with average success), and supporting my hometown professional sports teams (go Cavs/Indians/Browns!).

Why Cornell: Besides the obvious appeal of its stellar reputation and academic rigor, Cornell offered me an opportunity for academic flexibility in an excellent learning environment. As the name implies, the College of Arts and Sciences lets me satisfy my appetite for the intricacies of chemistry, biology, and mathematics while broadening my present outlook and future prospects with offerings in such areas as foreign languages, music, economics, and government. A beautiful campus and a fantastic community of friends and peers make for a complete package that is both fulfilling and inspiring.

Youssef Aziz ’22

 Ambassador Youssef

Major: Sociology

Minor: Inequality Studies in Health Equity

Hobbies and Interests: Some of the things I do around campus include Alpha Phi Omega, BSU, the 2Gen Scholars Program, and an on-campus job. I also play the flute in a quartet to keep my musicality in check. I'm also a First Generation Student Union mentor to help FLI students on campus feel more comfortable navigating Cornell. In my free time, I hang out with friends, listen to music, and explore new restaurants around Ithaca.

Why Cornell: Coming from California, I wanted to explore something new. Being surrounded by the warm sun, beaches, cities, and everything anyone can want, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. Ithaca's nature and Cornell's beautiful campus took my breath away and allowed me to explore a different side of myself. The tight-knit community and long-lasting friends I found here allowed me to grow in ways I never thought I could.

Yunyun Wang '21

 Ambassador Yunyun

Majors: Government, Biological Engineering

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy using my engineering skills to maximize the time I spend in Zeus cafe, and listen to lots of NPR while sipping on iced chai. One of the most meaningful organizations I have been a part of here is Cornell University Bridges, a student-driven project team committed to building sustainable infrastructure in rural communities. In addition, I also serve on the University Hearing and Review Board and enjoy living out my SNL dreams by writing and performing in a sketch comedy group.

Why Cornell: My time here has truly been a formative experience. Not only did I venture out of a comfort zone I didn't realize I had, but Cornell's supportive learning community allowed me to combine my wide-ranging academic pursuits and gave me the courage to pursue a rather non-traditional career path. As a third year student, I still find myself learning more about this school everyday, whether it's a new campus eating spot or a niche club that I'll probably sign my net-id away to, and these small discoveries keep me charged up for my next find here at Cornell!

Ask an ambassador

Interested in becoming an ambassador?

Are you interested in applying to be an A&S Ambassador? Would you like to join a uniquely talented and diverse team of Cornellians who represent the College of Arts & Sciences at outreach events throughout the year? Do you also want to support newly matriculated students in the summer and early fall as they join our Big Red family?

As the Ambassadors and Peer Advisors programs have recently become one organization, all of the members of our organization will now be helping prospective students make the important decision of where to attend college AND supporting new students when they arrive on campus. A&S Ambassadors engage in outreach by meeting with prospective students for informal lunches, facilitating online chats, speaking during information sessions led by Admissions staff, advising new Cornellians, and more! Applications to be an A&S Ambassador are accepted at the beginning of the spring semester every year... join our team!

Thank you,

A&S Ambassadors Executive Board