Courtney Carr: 'I value the flexibility in a liberal arts education'

Courtney Carr

Africana Studies

Queens, NY

What is your main extracurricular activity--why is it important to you?

My main extracurricular activity is my role as a resident advisor in Just About Music. It is important to me because I get to have an impact on students' first year experience. It is really amazing to see shy freshmen enter Cornell unsure of what may lie ahead in August, but then by May, they have blossomed into social butterflies, ready to conquer Cornell's terrain. It is awesome to know that I may have played a role in that development and helped to create a safe space for students to be themselves and express themselves when they come to Cornell.

What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?

An accomplishment that I am most proud of while at Cornell is becoming a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. It has furthered my commitment to education and diversifying academia. As a Mellon Mays fellow, I have been able to travel to different universities and South Africa to attend conferences and present my research. I am also proud to be a recent inductee into Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, an organization that was formed to recognize the academic achievements of students admitted to colleges and universities through non-traditional criteria, such as Educational Opportunity programs. These accomplishments have showed me that hard work really pays off.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

My mother definitely influenced my Cornell education the most. She is one of the most amazing and hard working people I have ever met. She set a high standard of what hard work looks like and every time I have felt incapable at Cornell, I always think of her, which reassures me that I can go that extra mile. She is also the type of person that would take the clothes off of her back to help those in need and that is a value that I have held very close to me throughout my time at Cornell.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I value the flexibility in a liberal arts education. Cornell provided me the space to come here thinking I was going to do one thing, but leaving on a completely different path. The liberal arts education allowed me to explore a plethora of educational options that were more suited toward my interests. I appreciated that I didn't feel stuck on one path because of the variation that my liberal arts education offered me.

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