Coming in as a transfer student, particularly as a junior, is tremendously difficult both socially and academically. The amazingly dedicated staff in AAP Academic Services made me feel a little less hopeless.
Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?
I accidentally stumbled into local politics through an internship in my district's congressional office. It made me feel the way I had hoped congressional work would. Eventually, a really contentious issue came up in my city, and the chief of staff essentially forbade me from continuing with any local work. That's when I realized how much I enjoy cities. I quit my job with the local congressional office, and I was lucky enough to get a full-time position working on Laredo's comprehensive plan for urban development. I soon realized that city planning was what I want to do with my life, but I would have to go back to school. When I researched the best urban planning schools in the country, Cornell consistently came up. I still remember sitting in the architecture and urban design firm where I was working when I opened up my letter of acceptance to Cornell. It was one of the most surreal and joyous moments of my life.
What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?
The AAP staff played a big role in my sense of belonging at Cornell. Coming in as a transfer student, particularly as a junior, is tremendously difficult both socially and academically. The amazingly dedicated staff in AAP Academic Services made me feel a little less hopeless. We have probably spent hours together at this point, and I will always be grateful for their support.
What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?
Design Connect was one of the first and certainly one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at Cornell — both serving on a team and leading one (go Team TUrbO). I currently sit on the Student Assembly as the AAP representative, and on the University Assembly as the undergraduate representative. I'm also on the Campus Planning Committee, as well as the President's Sustainable Campus Committee. I had the enormous honor and privilege of being chosen as a 2017 Truman Scholar as well.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?
I will be doing a Truman-Albright Fellowship in Washington, DC, continuing my record of talking about how exhausting politics is while simultaneously involving myself in politics.