Why did you choose Cornell?
As a NYC native, I wanted to continue learning and growing in a place filled with people from all walks of life, committed to diverse passions and dreams. The four colleges at Cornell offer the setting for me to engage with this community every day. Moreover, it offers a natural landscape that I knew would give me peace of mind as a student when times get stressful.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
Professor Andrew Willford, my faculty adviser, was immensely influential in my academic pursuits. He reoriented the way I viewed my college experience, encouraging me to pursue independent research to hone in on my personal passions and connect with like-minded individuals on campus. His advising throughout the years inspired me to be an active member of the community, seeing my potential to make a difference in my field of study through research.
How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
The research orientation of the biological and anthropology courses I have taken really instilled upon me that knowledge is a process. Things we were taught to be true when we were little, and images of life that have solidified in our minds, are all shaped by human beings who are shaped by cultures and biases. As a student, I have developed a deep sense of responsibility to note all that I learn and share it with the academic community, so that together we can build a truer truth.
If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?
Whether or not you know what career you want to pursue after graduation, take advantage of this opportunity to learn about anything and everything. A course may seem unrelated to your goals at first, but if you are interested in the topic, engaging with it will help you discover something valuable about yourself as well as your plans for the future.