Maddie Collins

Williston, Vermont

I was drawn to the program because it offered me a course of study that would be both creative and intellectual.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

The day I toured Cornell was precisely 10 days before Early Decision applications were due and it was pouring rain. I remember my umbrella broke during my campus tour. Despite the weather, what I felt that day was an undeniable connection to the campus and the students that I met. While eating lunch at Bus Stop Bagels, I chatted with a student sitting next to me about what I was interested in — and I don't know if he knew that I was a prospective student and didn't actually go to Cornell yet. That day I began to picture myself at Cornell, having conversations like that one, for the next four years. At my AAP information session, Maureen Carroll described URS majors as those who just really wanted to change the world. That really stuck with me. I was drawn to the program because it offered me a course of study that would be both creative and intellectual.

What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?

Before our first American Cities exam, about 10 first-year URS students studied together in the Green Dragon Cafe. We had only been at AAP for a month, but I already felt that I had found a community in this group of people. More than a year later, we have studied for many exams together and remain close friends.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

I just committed to going to Rome for spring 2020, and I really can't wait to tackle that adventure. Completing meaningful fieldwork and learning about new communities by engaging with their members in person is exciting. I really appreciate the opportunities AAP provides for hands-on, interactive learning, and I can't wait to learn and grow from this semester abroad.