Meet Reina

Meet Reina

A photograph of Cornell ENgineering student Reina in front of a paintingMajor: biomedical engineering
Hometown: Shizuoka, Japan

Why did you choose Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
I loved the enormous opportunities Cornell offered such as meeting with friends from various background, attending clubs, joining in research project, etc. Also, all of the students I met during virtual visit were very supportive and welcoming.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
I love the people here! Many professors here are so dedicated to teaching and helping students. Students are also so passionate about their study and extracurricular activities.

How do you get involved outside the classroom?
I participate in research, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, and Engineering Ambassador.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
It wasn’t easy but many people offered me help including an Engineering Advisor, an orientation leader, RA, etc.

Meet Makaya

Meet Makaya

A photograph of Cornell Engienering student MakayaMajor: chemical engineering
Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia

Why did you choose Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
I chose Cornell because I knew that it would provide me with an experience that would allow me to develop not only as an engineer but also as a person. I knew Cornell would the place where I would explore my interests in depth and interact with inspiring, dedicated and ambitious people.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
My favorite thing about Cornell Engineering is the opportunity to take classes outside my major. As someone who is also interested in the social sciences, I value this because I get the best of both worlds!

How do you get involved outside the classroom?
I work with Engineering Learning Initiatives as an Academic Excellence Workshop (AEW) Facilitator, teaching Math 1910 and 1920. I am also involved in research about wine and grape chemistry and I am part of the Zambia Community Education Initiative (ZCEI) club that seeks to improve education in Zambia.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
As an international student, it was difficult in the beginning but as I immersed myself in the community by joining clubs and being more involved, my sense of belonging was fostered. My transition was made easier by the various resources that were available and the amazing people who were always willing to help.

Meet Temesgen

Meet Temesgen

A photograph of Cornell Engineering student TemesgenMajor: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Why did you choose Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
I choose Cornell Engineering because that was the only place I got into! In hindsight, I feel pretty blessed to have had the opportunity to be a Cornellian. It has pushed me both academically and socially. It has not only broadened by view of the world but also I find that my lens can be narrowed down to things I want to focus on.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
The people are definitely my favorite thing about Cornell. The people are so awesome; they’ve made me, a self-proclaimed introvert, social. Cornell has also given me the chance to meet professors who have ended up being amazing mentors.

How do you get involved outside the classroom?
Along with a few friends, I was able to work on a seminar to introduce high school students in Ethiopia to the benefits of robotics and AI. Additionally, I am also involved in research with Professor Ruina on improving motor response while taking into account backlash and friction.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
It was hard but also exciting. There were lots of assumptions I had about people that were not accurate and coming here really gave me an opportunity to come out of my bubble and interact with people that had different backgrounds from me.

Meet Deniz

Meet Deniz

A photo of Cornell Engineering student DenizMajor: chemical engineering

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
I chose Cornell Engineering for the nearly limitless options it offered me. From starting to do research from my very first year to leading project teams and becoming a teaching assistant, CoE allows each of us to learn as much as we can in the time we are here.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
I love the fact that although we are undergraduates, the doors are open for us to try out new experiences and fields.

What do you do outside of the classroom? Reaching out is the key here!
There are so many opportunities I would have missed if I just didn’t take a shot at them. Through professors, your teaching assistants, peer advisors, and all those people that CoE put you in contact with signed up for their position to help you; use that.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
I have to be honest as an international student I didn’t have much of a chance to come to campus to see if Cornell was good for me. So, I had to deal with that question in my first semester here. As time passed and I adjusted to the time difference and had a routine I realized I was adjusting. Also, if I could give one piece of advice to upcoming freshman, it would be: don’t put pressure on yourself to find the perfect friend group on your first week here. Friendships take time to build and new friends also tend to pop up out of nowhere.

Meet Stavrini

Meet Stavrini

A photo of Cornell Engineering student StavriniMajor: engineering physics

Hometown: Nicosia, Cyprus

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
Because of the great feedback from people who attended Cornell and the potential opportunities that I could have by being part of this community!

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
The amazing opportunities you have to work on side projects in addition to your academics, as well as the opportunity to meet people in your fields through Cornell’s Engineering alumni.

What do you do outside of the classroom? 
I am doing undergraduate research which is exciting and there are so many amazing teams at Cornell that you can always find the one that fits you best.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
Adjusting to life at Cornell was good. There are a lot of smaller communities that you can get involved in that let you have friends from many different smaller communities like clubs, classroom, campus work etc.

Meet Samuel

Meet Samuel

Cornell Engineering student SamuelMajor: civil engineering
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
I knew Cornell was a wonderful place, a place that’s vast, with immense opportunities. A place known for it’s academic rigor and it’s rewarding programs.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
At Cornell Engineering the professors are personable and supportive. Classmates are go-getters and friendly. It really makes for an inspiring community of like-minded individuals. You will certainly make friends.

How do you get involved outside of the classroom?
I have been part of multiple student organizations on campus such as S.O.S.A. (Scholars in Our Society and Africa) and EAST. I was also part of a project team which was quite an experience!

Meet Anuj

Meet Anuj

A photo of Cornell Engineering student AnujMajor: biological engineering

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
The main reason I chose Cornell University was because of its biological engineering program which would allow me to explore areas like agriculture and health combined with engineering. There are abundant research opportunities and resources that I could rely on to learn about any topic that I am interested in. Cornell University also has one of the finest engineering programs in the world with the most distinguished faculty which would be a wonderful learning environment.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
I enjoy the way Cornell Engineering fosters my curiosity and I enjoy learning from people around me. Every individual has a unique story to tell and a fascinating culture to share.

What do you do outside of the classroom?
I work in Prof. Jung’s Lab in the BEE department where I do research about drop dynamics. Similarly, I am also a member of a professional fraternity, Theta Tau, and treasurer for the International Students Admissions Ambassador.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
Being an international student, it was very interesting learning about college culture in a new country. The transition was mostly learning about the way things are here and getting used to the college lifestyle. I am glad I was accompanied by several other domestic as well as international students to help with my transition here.

Meet Tao

Meet Tao
A photo of Cornell Engineering student TaoMajor: materials science & engineering
Hometown: Zhoushan, China

Tao, a MSE senior recently received the Bill Nye ’77 Award in Undergraduate Research, for his work on the HI-light project under the guidance of Ph.D. Candidate, Elvis Cao in the Erickson Lab. This work focused on the modification of a glass waveguide surface for uniform light refraction inside a optofluidic photoreactor. This project has challenged Tao to learn and apply his interdisciplinary knowledge to solve realistic engineering problems. Tao has had a variety of research experiences including work in the Xing group on the surface characterization of Ga2O3 single crystal.  Tao is excited about the new technologies enabled by novel materials and says, “The development of the new materials is like magic to me, and I want to be one of the magicians.”.

Tao came to Cornell because of the beautiful summer views in Ithaca.  He also enjoys the lovely and lively people on campus and the many opportunities for him to explore and develop his interests in a variety of areas. One of which is his practice of Shinto Muso Ryu Jo and Kendo, two Japanese martial arts. Tao is the current Vice President of the Kendo Club at Cornell University.

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.