Student Highlights: Justin Anderson

Photo of Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson in the Old Grove Forest in Newfield, N.Y. As a Cornell Tradition fellow, Anderson puts in at least 75 hours of community service each year.

Major: Computer science
College: Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Toms River, N.J.

Why did you choose Cornell?
Looking for great physics and computer science programs ... The moment I stepped onto Cornell's campus, in the presence of its landscape and architecture, I told my parents that I was going here. I also felt that I would get more for every dollar that I would spend complementing Cornell's financial aid package, which was one of the better packages I was offered.

Main Cornell extracurricular activity – why is this important to you?
Pledging to Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a national co-ed service fraternity. As webmaster, I improved the chapter's Web site while automating several manual processes using Web technologies. Through the fraternity, I have made so many friends that it is unbelievable. As an Eagle Scout, I feel that everyone should give back to their communities when they can. Some of the service opportunities that have been most important to me were ushering at the Cornell Cinema (and later serving in many capacities, but now head house manager) and being scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 12 in Ithaca.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most?
Interacting with professors, instructors and fellow students. Learning how other people think and view the world in general has given me greater insight about different possible ways to think and approaching problems and situations. Facts and knowledge are readily available in libraries and on the Internet, but I believe the different ways to interpret and apply those facts and knowledge to situations and problems is the most important part of education.

Did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?
I have become much more open-minded about others' ideas and beliefs.

What Cornell-related scholarships did you receive?
In addition to a Cornell grant, I was awarded a Cornell Tradition Fellowship every year – up to $4,000 for students who exemplify a strong work ethic, commitment to community service and academic achievement. If I did not have this fellowship, I would have had much larger loans, and the fellowship has driven me to be very involved with community service, as the yearly service requirement is 75 hours.

While at Cornell, what other accomplishments/activities are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of my involvement with the APO, Boy Scout Troop 12 of Ithaca, Cornell Cinema, serving as Web master of the 2008 Class Council and Alumni Class Council.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
Going with friends to the Cornell Japanese Anime Society meetings to watch anime, earning my first A+ on a prelim in linear algebra, acting out skits with my APO family to teach pledges about the fraternity, and backpacking with my Cornell friends in Oregon and Colorado.

What are your plans for next year and beyond?
This summer, I will work as a software development engineer for Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, Wash. Then I plan to return to Cornell to pursue a Master's of Engineering in computer science.