'I accomplished things that freshman-me would have never guessed'

Annalisse Eclipse

Environment & Sustainability
Orange County, Calif.

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

woman outside Monterey Aquarium

I can thank my Arts & Sciences education for activating my intellectual curiosity and teaching me how to form connections across disciplinary boundaries, apply knowledge practically and communicate to diverse audiences. I’ve always disliked limiting myself to just one subject, and A&S never made me feel like I had to. In my classes, I’ve explored everything from anthropology and marine biology to Latinx studies and linguistics. Rather than distracting me from my goals, this variety of perspectives helped to enhance my understanding of environmental issues.

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

One of my favorite accomplishments at Cornell has been organizing a project addressing period poverty. The project came about in my Climate Solutions class, where I learned that one of Project Drawdown’s solutions for climate change was educating women and girls, and that a lack of information or supplies surrounding menstruation is a major barrier to many girls’ education worldwide. Intrigued by the connection between social and environmental issues, I designed a campaign to raise awareness on campus, which culminated in a movie screening to raise money for a non-profit providing girls in Tanzania with menstrual health resources. This experience was my first time organizing a campaign and fundraiser on my own, and I learned so much about how to connect with people and share an important message.

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

woman standing by fountain

Since I first arrived on campus, I have had so many opportunities for personal and professional growth. I’ve discovered a new career path, a new passion for environmental justice and a greater sense of purpose and responsibility to use my education for good. My time at Cornell has also taught me not to limit or stereotype myself as “not the kind of person who does x” or “not the kind of student that succeeds at y.” Here, I’ve been able to accomplish and experience things that freshman-me would have never guessed.

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

Being a part of the Environment & Sustainability major has greatly enriched my Cornell experience. The E&S cross-college program was brand-new my freshman year, and changing my major to Environment & Sustainability was one of the best decisions I’ve made at Cornell. Colleen and Suzanne from the E&S office have been invaluable sources of support and guidance throughout my Cornell experience. Through E&S, I’ve discovered new career possibilities, a tight-knit community of inspiring faculty and students and exciting interdisciplinary freedom in my classes. 

twin sisters

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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