Wynne Williams-Ceci


Project title: How Social Media Influencers Affect Our Health

Project description: My project will research whether influencers have the ability to stop young adults from partaking in risky behaviors like vaping, engaging in unprotected sex, or texting while driving. Today, with widespread usage of social media platforms, messages on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter can reach tens of millions of people virtually instantaneously, and be hugely influential, whether beneficial or not. Young adults often look up to and even worship media influencers, seeking to emulate them and their lifestyle choices, thus giving these influencers substantial power, especially if they have a large fan base. I plan to learn how to design effective messaging and intervention campaigns in today’s social-media-saturated world, by researching what factors create more versus less effective sources of influence in the minds of young adults. After graduating, my hope is that my project will bring society one step closer to understanding how to protect adolescents from dangerous behaviors.

Most Important Accomplishment: My biggest accomplishment so far is being an executive member of the Cornell University Chorus. I worked very hard for the opportunity and I love getting to make music with my friends while also being a leader in the organization.

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: I have hoped to be a college scholar since before I even applied to Cornell, and I am so grateful to have been accepted into the program. Being a person with interdisciplinary interests can be really difficult in both high school and college, because students are expected to follow a relatively rigid and predetermined list of courses. I am ecstatic that I can now take classes from many different departments, and I am excited to learn how to strengthen my independent research skills.