'I feel a sense of community and family as part of the track and field team'

Kuunemuebari Donovan Mini

Science & Technology Studies
Atlanta, Ga.

What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class was Women's Writing the Mediterranean and the topics that were talked of within the course. Professor Wittelsbach was a great lecturer who was able to expand my thinking regarding a lot of topics in social justice and about the Mediterranean that I was not previously aware of. I think she was the spark that I needed to start evolving not only my writing, but the way I approached social justice issues and the empathy that was required to understand both sides' perspectives.

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

man in hat and backpack

I am a part of the Cornell Track and Field Men's team, and I believe that the most important part of being a member of the team was the sense of community and family that I felt. I have a close relationship with the alumni, recent graduates and current members of the team and there is a lot of love there which makes me constantly persevere in order to succeed for the team.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of?

Two of my favorite accomplishments had to do with winning Heps (the Ivy League indoor track and field championships) my freshman year in the 4x100. I remember how hard that season was and the constant ups and downs with injuries and bad races (sometimes because of me and my being a freshman). So, when we were able to win, it felt like a big sigh of relief. I had the exact same energy when working in my lab, when I finally became a co-author on a paper regarding biosorption of rare earth elements. I remember the late nights during the summer, trying to come up with various ways to make the experiment work and ways of altering the gene deletion protocol. After, when the professor told me that I was going to be a co-author, I was incredibly happy that my work was amounting to something and that I was able to properly help my team, who were incredibly supportive of me.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Learn not to try and do everything all at once, especially when you see all of the various interesting programs and organizations that Cornell has. Find a few that you would be most passionate about and fully immerse yourself in that community, because that is a thousand times more gratifying than trying to spread yourself too thin.


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