What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?
I have done two independent studies during my time at Cornell. One was a play I put on, called "This Is Our Youth," and the other was a short film I produced, starred in and composed, called "Lucius." Directed by Ian Rothweiler '18 and written by Adam Lurie '17, "Lucius" was a short film about a man who starts to question his reality. Ian, Adam and I all conducted lots of research on the psychological thriller genre to make the best possible film we could. Additionally, my senior year research project was my PMA honors thesis. For my thesis, I wrote a feature length screenplay that I plan to sell and act in after graduation. I was inspired to write the script because I had just turned 22, the same age my Dad was when he had his first child while being a full-time student at Cornell. I was dumbfounded by how difficult that must have been at 22; when I couldn't think of a movie that depicted a college student with conflicts of fatherhood, love and profession, I seized my opportunity to bring the story to life. It's called "The Life of Riley."
How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
Cornell completely changed the way I look at life by giving me an attitude that I am so grateful for: "If you want something, don't wait for it to happen — go do it." When I first arrived here as a freshman, I wasn't proactive enough about making my dreams a reality. Cornell gave me the motivation to take risks.
If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?
The best decision I made during my time at Cornell was deciding to major in the subject that I was most passionate about, the performing arts. To all incoming freshmen: Don't prioritize career paths that guarantee stable incomes, prioritize a major that makes you happy and excites you. I promise it will be worth it.