Biological Sciences and Government
Boca Raton, Fla.
What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?
As a double major in government and biological sciences, I believe that the most important skills I learned were being able to apply concepts I learned in one area to another and see connections that I didn’t realize previously existed. I’ve always been interested in both medicine and policy, and taking classes in the sciences, government, and a variety of other courses helped me realize how much overlap there is between those two fields. Learning how to think across disciplines will give me the skills to devise solutions to real-world problems in my career.
What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?
Part of why I loved my Cornell experience so much was all of the different extracurricular activities that I took part in. Since freshman year, I have been on the Cornell Women’s Club Lacrosse team and a health policy analyst for the Cornell Roosevelt Institute. Playing on the lacrosse team gave me a second family at Cornell and teammates that I knew I could always rely on. It was a fun way to stay involved with the sport I grew up playing while also meeting new, interesting people. The Cornell Roosevelt Institute gave me the opportunity to see what brainstorming, researching, and developing policy proposals and blog posts on health policy topics important to me was like. I delved into the intersection of medicine and policy, and was able to understand that creating health policies aimed at combating health disparities is something that I want to incorporate into my career.
What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
Spending my second half of junior year and all of senior year in a pandemic has allowed me to appreciate the simple times with my friends appreciating the outdoors. One day that stands out in my mind is Nov. 8, 2020. It was a sunny, warm day in the beginning of November, something rare for Ithaca. I was hiking around Robert Treman Park with a couple of friends when we got the news that Biden won the election. When we got back to campus, you could just feel the positive energy in the air. All across campus and Collegetown, students were celebrating (masked and socially distanced, of course) with roommates and friends, and just enjoying the beautiful November weather. Days like those when the energy of the Cornell community is so apparent are the ones that I will treasure most.
If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?
My best advice would be to find a healthy balance between academics, extracurriculars, and time for yourself! College isn’t only about what you learn in classes; you can learn so much from trying new activities, exploring Ithaca, and making connections with other students and faculty who have such interesting and unique backgrounds and perspectives. Enjoy the little things, whether it's a long walk around Beebe on a sunny day with a friend, listening to the daily chimes concerts, or getting free popcorn at WSH (fingers crossed this makes a return shortly), and remember that you will get through each and every prelim. You were accepted for a reason, and know that you are able to make it through and succeed at Cornell.
Where do you dream to be in 10 years?
In 10 years, I’m hopeful to be finishing up my residency program on my journey to become a physician. While I have an open mind on what speciality that I will pursue, I know that I want to incorporate combating health inequities in my career as a physician. The pandemic reinforced the importance of physicians helping to create government policy that directly pertains to them, and I am hopeful to be splitting time between seeing patients and contributing to research and policy making that will close the gap in health disparities.
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.