"I felt elated that I had finally been exposed to work written by people who look like me"

Where are you from?

Grew up in Ontario, Canada. Living in the Atlanta region now.


Why did you choose the Africana Studies minor?

After taking Professor Derrick Spires’ class on African American Literature I felt elated that I had finally been exposed to work written by people who look like me. This experience served as a catalyst, inspiring me to pursue an Africana curriculum, aiming to deepen the scope of my knowledge and forge stronger connections with my community. My hope is that through this endeavor I’ll become a better physician in the future.


What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was a seminar I took during my final semester called "Negrismo, Negritude, and Surrealism." This course was monumental for me due to its content and the sense of community it fostered. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful individuals who encouraged passionate conversation and critical analysis of the media we engaged with. Moreover, through the exploration of Caribbean texts, I expanded my understanding of the artistic history of the Caribbean, allowing me to delve deeper into my Caribbean heritage.


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

When reflecting on my Cornell education, I can identify several influential factors. However, if I were to pinpoint the one that had the greatest impact, it would be the amazing community of students at Cornell. The students here played a vital role in fostering a collaborative and supportive environment, encouraging me to push the boundaries of my own understanding and inspiring me to achieve my full potential.


What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

My Arts & Sciences education equipped me with a diverse range of valuable skills that have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth. But I think the most valuable one is adaptability. As a result of my Arts & Sciences education, I feel equipped to take on any challenge I might face with poise, critical thinking, and an open mind.


What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I think my most notable accomplishment was successfully maintaining a work/life balance while completing a rigorous curriculum. I recognized the importance of taking care of myself amidst the academic workload, and I actively dedicated time to activities that nourished my mental and emotional health.


What are your plans for next year?

I will be taking a gap year and working in New York City while I go through the medical school application process.

More news

View all news
Keziah Smallhorne