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December Graduate Celebration

Congratulations to our graduating seniors! Over the past four years, you thrived within Cornell's educational environment - both inside and outside of the classroom - in pursuit of your academic and personal goals. Some of these outstanding seniors who have been a part of Cornell's Student & Campus Life, in a variety of ways, reflect on their time at Cornell and transformational impacts on their experiences. Read more below. 

Lucy Burgoyne

Lucy BCornell Outdoor Education

Graduating from the College of Engineering

"Since my freshman year, I have been heavily involved with Cornell Outdoor Education. This started by participating in an Outdoor Odyssey trip the summer before coming to Cornell, and the trip made me feel like I immediately found a safe and welcoming community at Cornell. Since then, I have guided my own Odyssey trips and have become an instructor for COE. It is such a gratifying  experience getting to introduce so many Cornell students to all the beautiful places of Ithaca, no matter the season!  

COVID-19 broke out my freshman spring semester, and while it dampened so much of my college experience, it also provided me with an incredible opportunity to take a semester off to hike the Appalachian Trail. In no other conditions would I have taken a leave of absence the middle of sophomore year in order to spend five months in the woods hiking from Georgia to Maine. I got to experience this wonderful adventure with three of my closest friends I had met through Cornell Outdoor Education, and it truly was a semester we will never forget.  
As a biomedical engineer, I aspire to apply the knowledge I have gained at Cornell in order to directly help patients. Following graduation this December, I am hoping to begin a job in clinical research exploring new biotechnologies. Ultimately, I plan to continue my education and apply to medical school, bringing a unique perspective to the field as an engineering major. 
Without a doubt, I will miss my friends the most when I leave Cornell this December. The university has provided me a platform to meet so many wonderful people, and I managed to find a community that consistently brings out the best in me."

Evan Hammer

Einhorn Center for Community Engagement
Translator-Interpreter Program 

Graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community and help those facing inequity and discrimination. In TIP, I have made many good friends and enjoyed working with everyone on the board. Additionally, working with TIP has facilitated personal growth in many ways, unveiling inequities that people face daily and allowing me to engage with individuals who come from many different backgrounds. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community and help those facing language inequity and discrimination.”

Emily Wollmuth Emily Wollmuth

Treasurer of Cornell Graduate Women in Science and the President of Field of Microbiology Students

Graduate School

"My favorite experience was planning our annual Empowerment Month events with Cornell Graduate Women in Science. It was always very rewarding to meet with the speakers who visited to talk to our groups about strategies to empower ourselves and our communities! Another favorite experience was participating in the Microbiology Department Halloween costume contest! It was always a lot of fun to come up with a group costume. In 2019, our coral reef themed costumes won the contest! 

At Cornell, I learned how to feel confident and comfortable with public speaking. By giving annual seminars, presenting at conferences, and giving lectures to classes of all sizes, I now feel much more confident speaking in front of groups of people than I have in the past. 

My time at Cornell has helped me to grow as a researcher, a teacher, and a mentor. I have gained so many skills from mentoring undergraduate students in the lab and the classroom that have prepared me for my job after graduation."

Isabel Hou

Isabel HouAsian and Asian American Center

Graduating from the ILR School

"I have worked with the Cornell Asian and Asian American Center (A3C) as a Communications Intern since my junior year (Fall 2022). A3C promotes advocacy, education, identity, and community-building through regular programming, community events, and its interns; one of our primary responsibilities is to facilitate an open, supportive, and welcoming environment for all students at 626 Thurston Ave. I learned about A3C through former Director of A3C and Associate Dean of Students, and friend and mentor Nancy Martinsen, who was a monumental pillar of support throughout my years at Cornell; A3C is a testament to her success, and I am proud to say that it has served as a source of solace for me more times than I can count, and I can only hope I have given back as much as it has given me.

During my final semester, I found myself working three on-campus jobs at Cornell: at A3C; as a Teaching Assistant role for Kasey Tarantino, a former professor and current mentor in the Hotel School; as a Media Assistant role for Cornell Project Teams in the College of Engineering; and was accepted into an ILR Credit Internship for LabourStart, an international news and campaigning organization, through the ILR School. It is far from the “typical” final semester I imagined at the start of my Cornell career. But, as I look back on my time here, it is exactly the kind of uncommon semester that I couldn’t imagine anywhere other than Cornell.

Cornelians are exceptional, dynamic students with a myriad of talents and interests, and I am grateful that I have had the honor of reflecting that through my curriculum this semester.

I will miss the Slope the most. Since my sophomore year, I have hosted picnics for my friends on the Slope at the commencement and conclusion of the academic years. They were as extravagant as my friends would allow, and often required two or more cars to transport all the people, food, and drink. In between September and May, when it was warm enough, I would sit on the stones at the top of the slope, outside of McGraw Hall, and either call my parents, listen to music, or catch up with friends (one time we even painted out there). From the winter, too, I recall several fond sledding memories; the bitter Ithaca chill would barely permeate our senses, for we were too busy racing down the Slope and sprinting back up, sweating and laughing the whole time. The Slope is omnipresent in any Cornelian’s life— see: West Campus dorms, Slope Day festivities— but it has especially played a large role in mine."

Kelli WilliamsKelli Williams

Residential Advisor at Ujamaa Residential College, Treasurer of Mu Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Treasurer of Building Ourselves Through Sisterhood and Service

Graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences

"One of my favorite experiences at Cornell was working with Dean Sharifa Wip, Director of Black Student Empowerment, to host an Empowering Space program at Ujamaa for Black students to share their grievances and hopes. I hope there continues to be room for similar conversations in the future to provide a sense of belonging and to academically empower students further.

I will miss the community that I created at Cornell. I found my place through living in Ujamaa, taking classes in the Africana Department and other areas of inequality, and being a part of and attending the events of various Black affinity organizations."

Ju Hee Kim

Einhorn Center for Community Engagement
Cornell Elderly Partnership

Graduating from the College of Human Ecology

“My favorite part of this program has been learning to work with elders, acknowledging my privileges, and advocating for the social justice of elders. The Cornell Elderly Partnership (or Elderly Partnership at Cornell) enabled me to develop on various levels, from professional to personal.

I learned how to collaborate with local agencies, university staff, other students within and outside the club, and elders at Beechtree. While there were stressful times when things did not go as planned, the amount of energy I received from the CEP was overwhelming. The moments I spent working for and with the CEP will remain one of the most unforgettable experiences.

After I graduate, I work in clinical areas, and hopefully, go to medical school. But regardless of those future career plans, I will remain committed to bettering the local community through service!”

Brian LuBrian Lu

Cornell Recreation Services
Personal Trainer and Fitness Monitor

Graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences

"After graduation I'm planning to continue my writing journey through an MFA in Creative Writing or go into teaching. One of my favorite experiences as an undergrad at Cornell was competing and the Ivy League Powerlifting Championships with the Cornell Barbell Club!

What will I miss most about Cornell? My friends, the views, and Okenshields curly fries on Monday lunches"