1. What has it meant to be recognized for an award and as a recipient?
It is an honor to be chosen for this award above others whom I felt were more deserving of it, and I would like to emphasize the importance of all our work of which mine is only a small part. I feel the existence of this award is a wonderful step forward for student veterans at Cornell.
2. What is the best lesson you learned from your time in the service?
My most valued lesson from my time in the service is the value of discipline. No matter what work you produce, always make it your best and go above and beyond to complete it in due time. However, do not be afraid to ask for help, nor be afraid to admit when you've taken on too much to handle.
3. What advice do you have for incoming Veteran students?
My advice to incoming Cornell student veterans would be to live as an optimistic realist. Cornell is challenging and there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that, but instead of seeing its difficulty as a roadblock, see each challenge as an obstacle worth overcoming and know that you'll be better for doing so. One of the greatest challenges I've met at Cornell has been a difference in perspective between myself and many traditional students. Sometimes working with them can be a bit difficult but I've found I have just as much to learn from them as they do from me. I encourage incoming student veterans to recognize this early.
4. Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I can sing, albeit poorly, opera and swing jazz songs in three different languages.