"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

Monday, June 30, 2014

48. Monique Carrero-Tagle

Valhalla, New York · Arts and Sciences

Name at Cornell

Monique Carrero


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am currently married to a fellow alum, Juan Tagle.  We'll be married 15 years this September and  have two children: Alejandro (age 7) and Sofia (age 5).  We live in Westchester County, in the hamlet of Valhalla.

Professionally, I am Project Director for a research center at NYU that conducts psychosocial research on issues related to health, aging, and the community.  I've worked with the same research team for over 15 years, moving from several research-based institutions to another as a team but have been at NYU for approximately 3 years.

I'm looking forward to being able to travel more in the near future and can't wait to see many of my fellow alums at reunion in 2015.  

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

My all time favorite memory of my time at Cornell goes back to Slope Day of my Sophmore year.  Aside from the drinking, I always remember Slope Day as the day when everyone finally let loose and just had a great time hanging out on the slope with friends and feeling like you were finally free.  We usually had great weather (which seemed rare back in the day) and it was just a fun time.  Slope Day of Sophmore year was most memorable for me because that was the year my husband and I connected.

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

I would tell that student that to a certain extent, your first year is the most important year so make it count.  It's really important to have a strong first semester because it's hard to bounce back.  Having a good GPA and scoring a great summer internship will set the tone for the remainder of your time at Cornell and make things easier in the long run.  Of course, it's always nice to have a good work - life balance, so it's OK to have a little fun along with way.  That's how friendships are built.  

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Cornell has such a beautiful campus and I love to go up and visit Ithaca.  Heading back for reunion always gives me the opportunity to reminisce about our college days with the friends who I created those memories with.  It's a great excuse for all of us to get together and I most look forward to seeing all of them.

Monday, June 23, 2014

49. Harry Surden

Boulder, Colorado · Arts and Sciences

Twitter: @HarrySurden

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I am a law professor at the University of Colorado Law School.  Prior to studying law, I was a software engineer for several years.  My current teaching and research focuses on the intersection of technology and law.

After stints living in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, I now live in Boulder, Colorado with my wife and daughter.

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

I took a few philosophy classes, and those seem to have made a big impression on me. I particularly remember courses in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of the mind fondly.  I also enjoyed Psychology 101 in my freshman year.  Finally, I really appreciated an undergraduate class entitled "The Nature, Functions, and Limits of the Law" at the law school.  That influenced my decision to attend law school and ultimately become a law professor.

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

I would advise an incoming student to take a wide range of classes in a broad array of substantive areas.   It is hard to know what subject areas are going to be of interest, or what topics are going to turn out to be useful later in life. I would also suggest studying abroad.

Finally, I would recommend that students take some time to appreciate the experience of being in college.   It is a comparatively short and rare moment in life to be able to devote one’s time to learning, self-improvement, and fun.  

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

My time at Cornell certainly influenced my career path.   I am currently a professor living in a beautiful university town that is similar, in many respects, to Ithaca.  As a student at Cornell, I truly enjoyed my classes and the setting of a beautiful college campus with a vibrant intellectual atmosphere.   This positive experience influenced my decision to become an academic.

I also studied abroad in France in my junior year and this experience gave me the confidence to subsequently live abroad on two other occasions (in Argentina and Australia) later in life.

Monday, June 16, 2014

50. Joshua Maloney

Richland, Washington · Arts and Sciences


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I started working as a winemaker in the Finger Lakes shortly after graduation. A couple years later my wife Lisa and I moved to California where I worked in Napa and then Monterey for a number of years. In 2005 I took a winemaking job in Washington (state) and we had two lovely daughters, Fiona and Daphne. While I continue to make wine for others as well as work as a consulting winemaker, this year I am launching a label under my own name—it's very limited production and focuses exclusively on single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. If anyone wants to learn more about the wines, please visit maloneywine.com.

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

The obvious answer is "Introduction to Wines," not only because it was a really fun course and a fairly popular one (looking through the other entries on this site), but also because it is directly responsible for setting me on my current path.

Either that or my Freshman writing seminars, because they teached me to write gooder.

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?
I wish I had done more. At the time I remember lots of hard work as well as lots of fun, but now when I think about the time and opportunities I had to learn about and experience new things and it seems like an enormous luxury that I didn't truly appreciate.

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

Did you know that you can earn a degree in Enology from Cornell? That wasn't an option in 1995. So here's my advice—get that degree and I'll hire you when you graduate and/or offer you a harvest internship.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Report from Campus - Reunion 2014

This past weekend our Class of 1995 Reunion Chairs, Lisa Powell Fortna and Michael Stroud, traveled back to Ithaca to attend Reunion. They and their committee are already hard at work planning for our 20th next year (take a deep breath, sit down if you need to – it HAS been that long). Here's their report from campus and some hints about what to expect in 2015:

Hey 95ers ...

This past weekend marked less than a year until our 20th reunion back on the hill in Ithaca. We had an excellent time – lots of fun with classmates and friends and a chance to see all the changes and improvements on campus. It looks great!  We even ran into one of our most distinguished "class members" – President Frank Rhodes, who said he would join us next year in Ithaca for his reunion year.

Reunion Chair Lisa Powell Fortna with Frank Rhodes and Rosa Carlson

Besides the variety of great ways for alums to reconnect with classmates and Cornell, there were a ton of fun activities for families and kids. The Fun in the Sun event featured jugglers, moon bounces, cotton candy, and even a sighting of the Big Red Bear. The Cornell Creamery tours were popular for anyone, especially those who happen to like Cornell ice cream (everyone) – and the weather was perfect for it.  Those activities and more are on tap for next year as well. We'll see what we can do about the weather. When you make your plans for 2015, make sure to bring your family - you may end up with a future Cornellian or two.

Reunion Chairs Michael Stroud and Lisa Powell Fortna

Get excited and ready to have a great time next year, June 4-7, 2015. Put it on your calendar now and keep an eye out here, on the class Facebook page and Twitter account, and the email list for lots more information in the months to come.

And if you're interested in helping, please contact cornell95faces@gmail.com.

Monday, June 9, 2014

51. Gilbert and Mara Chan

Rochester, New York · Engineering and College of Human Ecology

Names at Cornell
Gilbert Chan and Mara Cooper

Email: gac2@cornell.edu and mlc10@cornell.edu  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gilbert.chan.9 and https://www.facebook.com/marachan

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
We live in Rochester, NY. We have been married for nearly 17 years. We have two daughters, Julia (11) and Jenna (8). They keep us busy with school and other activities they are involved in.

Gilbert has been working as a mechanical engineer in the plastics industry since graduating Cornell. I work for a company that designs and builds plastic injection molds: "I wear many hats: designer, customer support, IT support and process development of our new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, playing volleyball and baseball (especially following the Baltimore Orioles)."

Mara has been working in fundraising: "I work at a nursing home and am responsible for gift processing. I am fortunate to have found flexibility in my work that allows me to also be with our kids. In my free time, I enjoy scrapbooking and reading."

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?
Gilbert: My favorite memories of my time at Cornell involved my time in the marching band. There were great memories from night practices, band parties, road trips, and of course, marching on the field during football games. My first date with Mara was during a band semi-formal sophomore year.

Mara: My favorite memory of my time at Cornell was working at Olin Library. The job was locating books for barcoding in the vast stacks. When I started the job sophomore year, Gilbert trained me. We worked together for 2 years.

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

Our advice for a student starting Cornell this year is to take a break and have fun! Take time to explore all the different things you can do at Cornell, there is something for everyone. Take a walk and explore the campus, find your favorite place. Explore Ithaca, it's a great town and there is so much to do away from campus. Attend a hockey game, especially the big game against Harvard. Order a PMP at the Hot Truck and the fries at Louie's Lunch Truck. Take some classes outside of your comfort zone.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
Gilbert: Being in the Big Red Marching Band was the most meaningful activity I was involved in at Cornell. I've made a lot of friends being a member of these groups and met people that I wouldn't have otherwise. This also allowed me to get back into performing music after taking a break from music in high school.

Mara: I spent a semester in Washington, D.C. through the Cornell in Washington program. I liked living and exploring a big city, walking and taking public transportation and going to my internship.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?
We are looking forward to reconnecting with our friends and classmates that we don't get to see very often. It will be exciting to be there during the Sesquicentennial Celebration. It will be fun to show our girls some of our favorite places around Cornell, including the re-opened Dairy Bar and the spot where we got engaged. It's too bad the U-Halls are no longer there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

One-Year Countdown!

As of today, our 20th Reunion is only one year away!

Make sure you mark June 4-7, 2015 on your calendar and watch for more information here, on the class email updates, and on the official Cornell Reunion site: http://alumni.cornell.edu/reunion/.

And check back soon for a special post by our Class Reunion Chairs, Lisa Powell Fortna and Michael Stroud for a report from this year's Reunion and some hints about what might be on the schedule for 2015.

Monday, June 2, 2014

52. Meghan Hayes Kirchner

Sacramento, California · Agriculture and Life Sciences

Name at Cornell

Meghan Hayes


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am a mother, wife and physician. 

After Cornell, I went to medical school at Syracuse, then internal medicine residency at Travis Air Force Base in California. My husband, Mike, was in my residency class. We were stationed in England for four whirlwind years, and our daughter Brooke was born there. In 2006, we returned to civilian life and pursued fellowship training at Brown. I trained in obstetric medicine, focusing on medical problems in pregnancy. Our son Colin was born in Rhode Island. In 2010, we happily settled in Sacramento, California, doing our best to balance busy practices, family fun and adventure.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Crossing the finish line to win gold at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta in 1995-I was coxswain for women's crew.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

During fellowship training at Brown, it was a little hard to keep the "what's the color of....?" chant out of my mind at certain times.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?
It will be my dad's 50th and my 20th reunion! My brother John '98 and sister-in-law Micaela Chadwick Hayes '99 will hopefully join in the celebration weekend so all of our kids will be inspired to attend Cornell.