'I co-founded the Biology Undergraduate Research Program'

Hannah Robins

Biological Sciences & Music
Winston Salem, N.C.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

My favorite memories center around the friendships I have made in my time at Cornell. It’s no secret that Cornell academics can be stressful and trying at times, but having a strong support network has turned the challenging times into positive experiences. Whether it was playing a 24-hour game of capture the flag, building a giant snowman on the Arts Quad, or trying to complete as many of the 161 Things to do at Cornell as we could in 24 hours, we always found a way to relieve stress and appreciate our time together.

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

The range of perspectives I’ve gained allowed me to approach a variety of challenges from

person playing the marimba

different angles. The opportunity to take courses across multiple disciplines has equipped me with skills from scientific literacy to creative thinking. I’ve been able to take courses on topics ranging from neurophysiology to minimalist art to maple syrup production, and each has been interesting and enriching.

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

Co-founding the Biology Undergraduate Research Program (BURP) has been one of my proudest achievements at Cornell. Another student and I started the club to teach research skills to students with minimal research background to help them feel more confident and prepared for applying to labs. In my first year at Cornell, the advising and teaching of several upperclassmen students made a big difference for me, boosting my confidence in my academic abilities and future goals. In my last few years at Cornell, I have tried to pay that mentorship forward, and I have found being able to work as a student advisor, teaching assistant and club leader to be fulfilling experiences.

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell?

The greatest changes I have seen in myself during my time at Cornell have come as a result from

person sitting on a hill

exposure to new experiences and ideas. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by faculty members and friends who support me but also challenge me to grow and to be the best version of myself. I’ve been lucky to have many unique experiences during my time at Cornell, including participating in neurobiology research over the summer in Hungary and traveling to Indianapolis for an international percussion convention with fellow music students. These opportunities not only allowed me to gain hands-on experience, but to also meet people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. As I prepare to graduate, I feel that I have a better understanding of my interests and have gained perspective on how to apply what I’ve learned as I navigate new experiences.


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 2023.

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Hannah Robins