'The College Scholar program helped me dig deeper into fields I am really passionate about'

Anuli Ononye

Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Government and College Scholar
Orange County, Calif.

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

I was very privileged to serve as a College Scholar through the College of Arts & Sciences. As such, I had the opportunity to take advantage of a very diverse course load as an undergraduate – without the limitations of the traditional core requirements. The College Scholar program helped me dig deeper into the courses and fields that I am really passionate about and explore diverse coursework and areas that I was unfamiliar with. The College Scholar program further provided me the opportunity to write an extended thesis where I have studied Instagram verification and the intersection of gender and social media. Through that project, I am also recognized as a Hunter Rawlings III Presidential Research Scholar. 

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

woman standing in front of sunflowers

I had the opportunity to serve as Cornell’s 2021-2022 Student Assembly president, which was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time as a Cornellian. This was an incredible opportunity to serve the undergraduate student body and create relationships with so many people on our campus. During my term, the Student Assembly supported students in resolutions related to mental health and wellbeing, engaged with national and international political issues, and increased undergraduate representation to our organization. In my role, I had the opportunity to oversee – alongside my vice president of finance – the byline process and designate funding (~$9 million) to student organizations, speak as a keynote at the 2021 new student convocation ceremony and present at the board of trustees’ meeting. 

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

Take a class each semester that you are very excited about. There are a lot of classes at Cornell that you have to take to meet various requirements. Some people focus on getting those out of the way quickly, without taking the time to take courses that they’re passionate about early on in their academic career. Taking classes with professors that you admire in subjects that you’re interested in makes for an enjoyable semester and opens the doors to incredible opportunities (e.g. research positions,  good relationships with professors, internships, TA positions). 

What are your plans for next year?

woman sitting in office

I will be working as a News Associate at CNN’s D.C. Bureau. The rotational program provides budding journalists with the opportunity to pitch and write stories for CNN.com, assist with social media teams, and support news coverage and show production. 


Every year, our faculty nominate graduating Arts & Sciences students to be featured as part of our Extraordinary Journeys series. Read more about the Class of 2022.

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