'My professors went the extra mile to connect with me on an intellectual and personal level'

Kyle Castellanos

Government, History of Art and History
Miami, Fla.

What was your favorite class and why?

student sitting on sand dune

It would be impossible for me to choose just one favorite class, so I will name just a few: Latin American Modernisms with Professor Fernandez, The Late Medieval Devotional Image with Professor Robinson, China-Africa Relations with Professor Grovogui, History and Politics of Modern Egypt with Professor Fahmy, Law and Society in China with Professor Du (Mara) and The Search for Historical Muhammad with Professor Powers. Without these stellar professors, these courses would not be as near and dear to my heart as they are. To me, these professors are what make Cornell worth it, as they wholly embody Cornell's values. Beyond having near-encyclopedic knowledge on their respective areas of study, they went the extra mile to connect with students on an intellectual and personal level. I feel privileged to have shared personal connections with these professors who have undoubtedly shaped me into the person I am today. 

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

My main extracurricular activity at Cornell is the Cornell Business Review (CBR). I joined CBR as a sophomore and had the pleasure of serving as the managing editor in 2021. As a triple major in the social sciences, I wanted to supplement the theoretical framework I was developing with an opportunity for practical application. The CBR has allowed me to explore and analyze topics from the global art market to a simulated "European Union-style" unification of South America. Engaging with many of my personal academic curiosities through a business lens has broadened my intellectual understandings. In addition, I have made several life-long friends in CBR that have made the difficult research and editing process so much fun. 

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

man holding paper at table

As the son of two Cuban refugees, my parents' experiences shape me into the person I am. Ever since I can remember, my mother would tell me: "Reading is the key to success." Living under a communist regime, certain information, especially pertaining to books, was suppressed from the public. Thus, when my parents raised me, they encouraged me to read and explore all types of information, not just those with perspectives that were convenient to me. I believe that these values allowed me to take on three different majors and find ways to interweave them into a greater global outlook. 

Where do you dream to be in 10 years?

As a native Miamian and Latin American/Cuban activist, my goal is to pursue public office in Florida and continue ensuring that the American Dream is attainable to all those who flee dangerous environmental circumstances and oppressive political regimes in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Whether that be through the office of attorney general, congressman, or senator, I pledge my absolute best to fight for those who need a voice!


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 2022.

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