'Explore your interests and passions even if they are outside your major'

Joshua Johnson

Africana Studies and Classics
Bronx, N.Y.

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

The most valuable skill I've gained has to be communication/networking. The College of Arts and Sciences has given me the freedom to truly explore my interests academically and professionally. I've been encouraged to talk to professors from different fields, explaining my interests or research goals. This has translated to my professional network outside of Cornell.

man on road

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

My main extracurricular activity is being a member of the Men's Varsity Track and Field Team. I walked on the team the fall of my sophomore year and being a student athlete has been an integral part of my identity here at Cornell. The team not only gave me a sense of community/belonging on campus, but it also pushed me to be the absolute best student I could be.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I am most proud of the digital exhibition I curated for the final project of the class Curating Fashion Exhibitions. The exhibition is titled "A Fashionista's Guide to the Galaxy" and it is available on the Cornell Library Online Exhibitions website. I came to Cornell aspiring to be a curator and this project allowed me to fulfill that dream.

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

man by Greek statue

I would say explore your interests and passions even if they are outside your college or major. Exploring my passions and interests have allowed me to have so many unique experiences and opportunities. This has allowed me to get the best out of my Cornell education.

What are your plans for next year? 

I will be attending American University's M.A. in history with a concentration in public history. I also will be a fellow at the White House Historical Association working primarily on their initiative "Slavery in the President's Neighborhood."

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 2021.

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