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College of Arts and Sciences

Nivedita Vatsa: 'My classes helped me connect ideas and research methods across disciplines.'

April 21, 2017

Nivedita Vatsa

Economics & Statistical Science

New Delhi, India

What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?

As a high school student, I would get incredibly nervous meeting new people or initiating conversation. After coming to Cornell, I made a conscious effort to correct that. In my freshman and sophomore years, I regularly reached out to new students, working with environmental groups, service-oriented missions, mental health support communities and publishing organizations. In my last two years, I settled into a smaller set of clubs, but I am glad I was able to meet so many remarkable people along the way. So I would say that I feel most proud that I was able to identify situations that usually made me nervous and charge headfirst into them anyway.

What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?

I am currently working on a senior thesis in economics. My work investigates the effects of family income on child cognitive development, focusing particularly on how these effects are sustained over time. I have learned so much from working on this project. It’s also been a rather humbling experience, reminding me just how challenging and frustrating original research can be.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I value how a broad liberal arts education brought depth to my work. I am currently working on an economics thesis centered on child poverty and I find that so many other classes that I have taken – a class on adolescent development, a class about policy evaluation, a class on sampling methods – have enriched my work by helping me connect ideas and research methods across disciplines.