"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, March 10, 2014

64. Stephen Friedfeld

Boston, Massachusetts · Arts and


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I received a Ph.D. in engineering from Rice University and then returned to Cornell from 2000 to 2004 as an assistant dean of admissions and academic advising. I became the associate dean of graduate affairs in the engineering school at Princeton University from 2004 to 2010.

I co-founded AcceptU (www.AcceptU.com) in 2010. AcceptU is a college, grad school, and MBA admissions counseling group. We have 30 former admissions officers who work virtually (Skype, phone, email) with prospective applicants. I attended Teachers College at Columbia University, where I received an MA in higher education in 2013.

In personal news, I got engaged late last year! We have a bulldog named Zoe (who is very sweet) and a miniature dachshund named Killer (who is not).

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

I loved my Freshman Writing Seminar called Medieval Aspects of Culture: From the Madonna to Madonna. I learned so much about writing, critical thinking and analysis. I am always writing or editing or teaching writing. (I also liked Quantum Physical Chemistry—admittedly less useful than writing, but still an excellent class.)

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

I would advise a new CU student to stay in Ithaca for at least one summer. I never lived in Ithaca during the summers as a student but spent four great summers there when I was working in Arts & Sciences. I would also advise students *not* to stay during winter break.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I regret that I did not study abroad. It was considered fairly difficult for a chemistry (or any science major) to study abroad because of the sequential courses, but I still wish I had done so. I also took three P.E. classes (instead of the required two), but wish I had taken more—they were fun and easy.