At Cornell, I could fast-track my career with the five-year B.Arch. degree and enter the workforce with strong alumni connections all over the world.
Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?
It was something like fate. I found Cornell on a list of top architecture schools when I was working on a seventh-grade assignment. I remember thinking, "I think that’s a good school," and then ambitiously writing it down as my college of choice. Over the next few years of researching colleges, the more I learned about Cornell, the more I liked it. At Cornell, I could fast-track my career with the five-year B.Arch. degree and enter the workforce with strong alumni connections all over the world. I could receive one of the best architectural educations in the country, as well as in any other subject I ever dreamed of studying. This Ivy League institution offered endless libraries, competitive hockey, and mysterious secret societies. AAP had semesters in Rome and New York City. On top of that, there was Dragon Day, good food, thousands of clubs, and a four seasons climate similar to home in Madison, Wisconsin. In my heart, Cornell felt right, but I knew that it was a formidable and far-away choice for a cheesehead.
When I stumbled across the Introduction to Architecture Summer Program, I knew I had to go. After applying, I road-tripped to Ithaca with my mother that spring of my junior year for a sneak peek, and immediately fell in love with the stunning gorges, friendly students, and Harry Potter libraries. Spending that summer in Ithaca cemented the decision. After six weeks of making models and memories with friends from all over the globe, I knew that Cornell architecture was where I was meant to be.
What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?
During orientation, Architecture Chair Andrea Simitch (who was then the B.Arch. director) told our class that we were here because the department wanted us and that their goal was to grow 60 different architects, not one automatous robot. Those words made it real for me.
Dragon Day was an unforgettable experience and a unique opportunity to design, build, promote, and fund something from scratch with 60 other designers. The class bonded over every stage of the project, and we each got a chance to shine by contributing our own talents and skill sets to the project. After Dragon Day, I have had several other important experiences like becoming an AAP Ambassador, winning second prize in the Baird Competition in the second year studio, studying abroad in Rome, and being asked to host Thumbnail (a biannual, multidisciplinary event for sharing ideas to incite, enliven, and inspire students and faculty alike).
What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?
I have been racing on the alpine ski team since my first year at Cornell, and I have been a member of the Cornell Catholic Community. Within AAP, I am very involved in AAP Ambassadors, and I have served for the past three years as a class representative of B.Arch. '18. I also worked as a member of the Student Assembly Dining Committee to launch the reusable container program last year. I am pursing a Spanish minor and live in the Latino Living Center, where I started a house composting program last year.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?
I plan on taking some time off to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity before pursuing my architectural license. In the long-term, I hope to move to Latin America to practice sustainable, social design.