Calvin Schuster: ‘Cornell has a commitment to creating a community that is diverse in every sense of the word’

Thu, 05/09/2019

Calvin Schuster

Biological Sciences

Sharon, MA

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell because of the beautiful campus, the engaging surrounding area (people joke about being in the middle of nowhere but I love Ithaca! there's always something fun to do), and, as cheesy as it sounds, because of the motto. When it comes to "any person, any study" I knew that this was the place for me. I had a lot of different interests coming into Cornell (and I still do) so I really appreciated that this university values offering a huge breadth of academic options; I felt limitless in what I could explore here. I'm also really interested in having conversations about social identity, power, and privilege in both interpersonal and structural settings, so I love that right in the motto, Cornell has a commitment to creating a community that is diverse in every sense of the word.

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

The organization I'm most involved with on campus is the Intergroup Dialogue Project. When it comes to why IDP is so important to me, I honestly don't know where to start. IDP has given me more opportunities to learn and grow personally than any program I've been involved with in the past. The ways in which I learn in IDP are also incredibly diverse; the emphasis on self-reflection, hearing about the personal experiences of others, and diving into academic papers on the topics we explore, keeps creating in-depth and nuanced learning experiences for me. I have also *never* met a group of people so genuinely committed to the work that they're doing, and who believe so wholeheartedly in their goal: using dialogue to build community across difference. The empathy, insightfulness, and strength that I encounter in IDP spaces on a daily basis continue to inspire me. I am so grateful for my IDP family; they truly changed my time here at Cornell.

How have you changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

I have gained so much perspective since arriving at Cornell about what is really important in my life. Now, I worry so much less about the little things, and instead I spend more time appreciating everything I have and all of the wonderful people around me.


  Calvin Schuster