Meet Yitzy

Meet Yitzy

A photo of Cornell Engineering student Yitzy. Major: environmental engineering
Hometown: Miami, FL

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
When I began my educational journey I was essentially homeless and working a full time job. As someone who never went to high school, got a G.E.D., and went through the community college system, Cornell removed barriers like not requiring an ACT and SAT for transfer students, and so I truly felt that they were true to their motto of “Any Person… Any Study”. They gave me, “Any Person”, the ability to brush shoulders with students of the highest caliber and then combine that quality with a deep sense of community focus, like Cornell’s extension work or its engaged opportunities and you get a balanced, unique, and exceptional educational experience.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
The diversity of opportunity is incredible! I’ve had the chance to work in Honduras with the AguaClara program, study community decision making in rural Borneo, speak at a conference in Hamburg, and as a Kessler Fellow, sit in the C-suite of a mission based VC firm. All this while working on two project teams (Engineers Without Borders and AguaClara) and through them building friendships that are going to last a lifetime.

How do you get involved outside the classroom? 
I’m “Toasty”, which is my camp name at Camp Kesem; a free week long student led summer camp for local children whose families have been affected by cancer. I’m also the house manager for the Triphammer Co-Op which are my extended family here. In the time between, I’m active in Hillel as an engagement intern and as the VP for the Rotaract club, a community service organization on campus.

Meet Demola

Meet Demola

A photo of Cornell Engineering student DemolaMajor: environmental engineering
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Demola is a member of the Cornell chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World, the Cornell Chess Club, the Cornell Green Club, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

He is the son of Nigerian immigrants and is working on becoming fluent in Chinese.

Demola breaks the rules by challenging set expectations.

He wants prospective students to know that, “everyone can do engineering, if it is your passion, go for it!”

After Cornell Engineering, Demola hopes to develop sustainable energy systems that will combat climate change and minimize the effects of global warming. He wants to live in a world where engineers will create the future and inspire change. For him, the most incredible thing about being an engineer is making an impact in areas you did not believe you could make a difference.

Meet Adam

Meet Adam

Cornell engineering student AdamMajor: environmental engineering
Hometown: Lindenhurst, NY

Why you choose Cornell Engineering?
I chose Cornell Engineering because I wanted to surround myself with faculty and students who are leaders in their fields. The professors I work with inspire me as a student as well as push me to be a successful engineer every day.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
My favorite thing about Cornell Engineering is the cooperative environment mixed with the academic rigor, for only through a combination of these two can innovative, creative solutions be achieved.

What do you do outside of the classroom?
I am a part of AguaClara, a student-based engineering project team with worldwide impacts in providing safe, clean, drinking water. Additionally, I really enjoy taking full advantage of Ithaca’s beautiful scenery by hiking, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

Meet Barbara

Meet Barbara

A photo of Cornell Engineering student BarbaraMajor: environmental engineering
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Can you describe a highlight from your time at Cornell?
My highlight of my time in Cornell is finding a group of amazing and determined women in Environmental Engineering who have now become life-long friends. They have brightened my time on campus and we are strong advocates for studying Environmental Engineering!

Did you have any extracurricular activities or project teams that you enjoyed during your time here?
Extracurriculars were a huge part of my Cornell experience. I was on the executive board for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) where I was able to meet other black engineers in different majors within Cornell and across the nation. NSBE has shown me the importance of diversity in STEM, and how to be an available resource within my community to help underclassmen. Additionally, I was in the engineering project team AguaClara since my sophomore year. AguaClara has pushed me to the “edge of knowledge” when it comes to innovative thinking needed to design sustainable, gravity-powered water treatment plants. I had an unforgettable experience in Honduras this January with the AguaClara team, where I was able to see my research come to life through numerous water treatment plant tours and meeting the incredible engineers and operators working there. These two organizations definitely have created a remarkable impact on my engineering career!

Do you have any plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to return to Cornell to do my masters degree in Engineering Management. I’m looking forward to spending one more year in Ithaca!

What will you miss about your time here?
There are so many little things I’ll miss about Cornell, but I know I’ll miss bringing Willard Straight Popcorn back to Hollister and hanging out on the 4th floor student lounge where I admittedly may have done more socializing than actual studying!

Do you have any advice, parting words of wisdom for undergrads?
Never be afraid to ask for help and use all available resources! They are there for a reason. Be open to meeting different people! You have instant access to invaluable and diverse connections right in front of you everyday.

Meet Jacqueline

Meet Jacqueline

A photo of Cornell Engineering students workingMajor: environmental engineering
Hometown: Hong Kong

Highlight from your time at Cornell:
Getting involved with the Energy Warriors program as part of ESW. We worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension to develop and teach sustainability education lessons for incarcerated youth in Tompkins County. I learned a lot about the criminal justice system, especially the gender disparities that exist within their juvenile education systems.

Favorite Professor:
Prof. Damian Helbling! I took CEE 3510 with him, and really appreciate his approach to learning and great sense of humor. I also joined his lab sophomore fall – he and other members of his research group have been such wonderful role models these past 3 years.

Dream job:
Applying environmental engineering and human-centered design principles to build sustainable, affordable, quality water treatment systems for underserved communities!

What will you miss the most?
Living with 19 friends in a student-run cooperative, including other environmental engineers (such as fellow senior Ian, pictured)! I’ll also all miss the friendly faces of Hollister Hall, especially the second floor main office area.