'Arts and sciences are inherently intertwined'

Heather Martin

Psychology
Scarsdale, N.Y.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

girl singing

One of my most treasured memories was my first concert performing with The Chordials, the all-gender a cappella group that I joined during my first semester at Cornell. I had never experienced anything remotely like it, and I had definitely never expected that I would feel comfortable getting up on a stage to sing for an audience. Aside from being one of the most fun, rewarding experiences I've had, that first concert also helped me gain confidence, connect with others and step out of my comfort zone.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of?

I am really proud to have conducted original social psychology research on the impacts of sexist humor. I learned about so many aspects of the research process, including creating research questions, applying to grants, recruiting participants, and effectively presenting results. I am deeply appreciative of the incredible support and mentorship I've received from Minghui Ni, Professor Vivian Zayas, and the rest of the PAC (Person and Context) Lab. 

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

I used to believe that everyone was either a math/science person or an English/history person. When I first heard of "Arts & Sciences" at Cornell, I believed students fell into either the "arts" or "sciences" category. Arriving at Cornell quickly led me to realize that many subjects don't neatly fall into one category, and many areas of study are interdisciplinary. My education in Arts & Sciences helped me discover that I didn't need to choose between the two, as arts and sciences are inherently intertwined.

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

I would say to try out as many things as possible. Try joining a bunch of student organizations, try taking classes that have nothing to do with your major, try meeting as many people as you can – Cornell has so much to offer, and if you really devote your first year to exploring everything, it is more than likely that you will find your niche.

 

Every year, our faculty nominate graduating Arts & Sciences students to be featured as part of our Extraordinary Journeys series. Read more about the Class of 2022.

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