'I uncovered a passion for subjects I hadn't previously explored'

Rania Ahmed

Biological Sciences
Staten Island, N.Y.

What was your favorite class and why?  

I have taken a handful of unique and interesting classes that have allowed me to become who I am today but my favorite by far would be ARAB 3687 Kalila wa Dimna for Students of Arabic. This class allowed me to further develop the language that I grew up with at home. Not only has this class given me the opportunity to refine my Arabic skills, but also to meet some of my closest friends on campus.

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

people standing with Touchdown

My main extracurricular activity was being a study group leader in the Biology Scholars Program. Through student-run study groups and mentorship, BSP aims to support underrepresented students majoring in biological sciences. I  was responsible for teaching and facilitating a class of eight students weekly for organic chemistry. I have become more confident teaching in front of students as I practiced owning up to my mistakes. Through teaching, I learned to empathize with my students and adapt to recognize their needs to become a more effective teacher and mentor. During my time as a SGL, I have come to understand that, though at times uncomfortable, negative feedback is an opportunity for me to look for areas to improve, and it is what ultimately betters myself and my students.

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

I am an undergraduate researcher in the Cohen lab and my experience with participating in research at Cornell has been surreal. It is such a unique experience being able to do the experimental techniques that we learn in our various classes. Designing and conducting experiments in the lab has provided me with the chance to practically apply what I've learned in my classes, enhancing my ability to think and work like a scientist.

a group of people

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

a group of people

Since arriving at Cornell, my beliefs and perspectives have evolved significantly. Exposure to diverse viewpoints and rigorous academic challenges has broadened my understanding of the world and deepened my intellectual curiosity. Personally, I've discovered resilience in myself, an ability to adapt to new environments and overcome challenges. I've also uncovered a passion for subjects I had not previously explored, highlighting the importance of remaining open to new experiences and learning opportunities. I recently got a job in intramural sports, and never thought I would have the time to take a job on campus.

Where do you dream to be in 10 years?

I aspire to be a practicing dentist spending my weekends in free clinics if possible.

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 2024.

More News from A&S

Rania Ahmed