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Andrea Bowring of Merion Station, Penn., studied materials science and engineering
Why did you choose Cornell?
I wanted a great engineering school, but I wanted it in the context of a great all-around university, so there would be a variety of students, classes, ideas and activities. I spent a week at Cornell the summer before my senior year in high school at College of Engineering's CURIE Academy. This experience, which introduces high school girls to engineering, convinced me not only that I did want to study engineering, but that Cornell would be a great place for me to do so.
Main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?
I never want to have to choose between sports and music. Playing on Cornell's club Ultimate Frisbee team, the Wild Roses, has brought me a great group of friends and allowed me to compete at a high level. Playing the viola in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and studying privately has given me a very different way to express myself and introduced me to a wide range of Cornell students. The orchestra also took a memorable winter break trip to New Orleans, where we played a benefit concert for the Haitian earthquake victims and helped construct houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Your most profound turning point while at Cornell?
With the help of the Cornell Career Services office, I got a summer internship at GE Energy in Greenville, S.C. Experiencing a bachelor's level job in industry made me start to question my plans to go directly into the work force after graduation. During my first two summers at Cornell, I had done research through the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program, one at Drexel University on the dispersion of liquid crystals into conducting polymer, and the other at the University of Pennsylvania, on zirconium-modified lead nickel niobate, a ferroelectric ceramic that has possible applications in microwave communication systems. These programs increased my interest in doing research and gave me great hands-on experience. Senior year I worked on a senior thesis in Professor Ulrich Wiesner's lab creating ordered nanoparticle structures using block co-polymers. All these research experiences, along with many meetings with my adviser, Professor Darrell Schlom, helped me realize that my future career path would start with graduate school.
What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I will be attending a Ph.D. program in materials science and engineering at Stanford University.
What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?
One great memory from Cornell is getting to play viola in a quartet at the engineering College Council dinners with Professor Graeme Bailey (a computer science professor and professional musician). The quartet was made up of other engineering student musicians and we had a lot of fun playing through our favorite pieces. After performing, we got to enjoy fascinating dinner conversations, including learning about the days when students used dance cards at Cornell from a former dean.