Hendryck Gellineau: ‘Organic Chemistry is essentially abstract art with a side of involved logic’

Hendryck Gellineau


Lives in Huntsville, AL

What was your favorite class and why?

I loved taking all of the organic chemistry courses here at Cornell. The subject just appeals the most to my visual style of learning. Organic Chemistry is essentially abstract art with a side of involved logic. I also loved hearing about all of its applications, especially in medicine.

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

I’ve been playing trombone in the Cornell University Wind Symphony for all four years I’ve been at Cornell. It’s provided me with a fun escape from classes, wonderful opportunities to play great music with world-class musicians and composers, and a really great group of friends. It even provided me the opportunity to tour in Haiti and the Dominican Republic where we played music with amazing collaborators. As a Haitian-American, it was a priceless opportunity to reconnect with culture that I had lost in my time in the U.S. I never thought I’d be given all these opportunities just for playing trombone.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

Dr. Stephen Lee is almost single-handedly responsible for all of my success at Cornell. When I first came to the Pre-Freshman Summer Program, I had no idea how I’d make it through the rigor of Cornell. Dr. Lee saw in me what I didn’t and helped me work on ways to be a better student and a better thinker. Without him, I might not have met Justin Wilson, my research advisor and mentor for whom I worked for all four years at Cornell. Without him I also might not have developed the relationship I have with Dr. Tom Ruttledge, who also helped me forge my career path with his mentorship and teaching. Dr. Lee has been one of my most ardent supporters and I really have no idea how my education might have turned out were it not for him.

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 Hendryck Gellineau