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College of Arts and Sciences

Katherine Lynch: ‘Finding a major I loved enhanced my Cornell education more than I could have imagined’

April 29, 2019

Kathrine Lynch 


Bryn Mawr, PA 

What was your favorite class and why? 

It's really difficult to choose what class is my favorite because I loved so many of my classes. However, I am especially glad that I took Oceanography with Professor Bruce Monger. This class gave me a deep understanding of the climate crisis and its wide-ranging consequences that, as a sociology major and law & society minor, I might not have otherwise acquired. I am grateful not only that I can use this understanding to inform my decisions but also that I can share this understanding with others.

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

I enjoyed the process of writing a thesis. It was an opportunity to use the skills and knowledge I gained throughout my time at Cornell to contribute to the conversation about educational inequality, a topic about which I am passionate about. For my thesis project, I interviewed teachers from both advantaged and disadvantaged elementary schools. I compared their perceptions of parent involvement to investigate the implications of the increasingly dominant perspective that improving the level of involvement among parents of lower socioeconomic status is essential to and capable of mitigating unequal educational outcomes.

How have you changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

Since arriving at Cornell, I have become comfortable with setting high expectations for myself and chasing them while at the same time realizing and accepting that I might not meet them. Inspired by the exceptional students, staff, and faculty with whom I came in contact, I kept trying to set new goals for myself, and while I certainly did not always meet them, I learned to accept that the chase can result in personal growth even if it does not end in the initially desired result.


 Katherine Lynch

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