"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

44. Sanjoy Biswas

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Agriculture and Life Sciences


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanjoy73

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

Been in Philadelphia since graduation and have worked in various roles at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals since 1997. Currently I'm an internal auditor for the company and am responsible for evaluating risks throughout our R&D organization. One of the perks of the job is being able to globetrot to our many facilities around the world. 

Extracurricular-wise I've been very active in the local music scene promoting North Indian Classical music thru a non-profit that I've run since 2006. Last year I helped organize the Raga Samay Festival showcasing 24 hours of Indian Classical music, which hasn't been done in the past 30-some-odd years in North America.

I've recently become a shutterbug since the birth of my son Anikh, who keeps my wife Mita, and I very busy and always laughing. We're currently getting him to learn how to sing "Eye of the Tiger" before he starts pre-school in the Fall.

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

Hands down, for me it was Cell Biology Lab. Taught me enough molecular biology skills to hit the ground running as soon as I started graduate school. That in turn translated into my first research job in the Dept. of Microbiology at what was then SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. I continue to be employed by the industry (and hopefully for some time to come!) and have that lab course to thank for getting my foot in the door.

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

Join a club, organization, or activity on campus that reflects something you're passionate or just want to learn more about. It may very well become an oasis for you when the academic stress is kicking into high gear! You'll form valuable relationships, carry unique experiences, and have something more to show on your resume. And speaking of resumes, start building your professional network...NOW!

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Cornell Concert Commission for sure! Taught me invaluable lessons in teamwork, organization, leadership, etc. I picked up a lot of audio and lighting expertise along the way both in CCC and with Cornell Productions by running shows on and off campus. As a result, that helped me when I came to Philly as a stage hand for concerts in town, as a DJ for private and corporate gigs, and running PA for various shows (including my own wedding!)

Monday, July 21, 2014

45. Patricia Grant

Arlington, Virginia · Arts and Sciences

Name at Cornell
Patricia Louison

Twitter: @eddrisin

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I'm living life to the fullest, personally and professionally.  Since graduating, I have worked in higher education and enjoyed being at five institutions of various types.  For the last four years, I have worked at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business as the Senior Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. In addition to my work, I enjoy working on other projects and community service.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

How can I choose just one memory?  For sure, I vividly remember the first time I went to The Plantations.  I thought I was on vacation instead of campus.  It reminded me how awesome and unique the experience was to be a student at Cornell!  It almost made me forget about prelims.

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

I would tell a new Cornell student to break the mold.  Before attending Cornell, I didn't know how to swim and had never been bowling.  Similarly, it is important to meet as many people as you can and take some wacky classes you didn't go to Cornell to take.  You only have four years and it goes by faster than you can imagine. So why not get out there and expand your horizons in all areas of student life- personal, academic, and professional.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

I can't wait to see everyone I knew and have met since Cornell, as well as make new friends from our class.  I tend to think we are the coolest of the 90's classes.  In June 2015, we will remind everyone else why.

Monday, July 14, 2014

46. Katherine Vega Stultz

Warren, New Jersey · Engineering

Name at Cornell

A. Katherine Vega


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
Since graduation I have built a career in the pharma/biotech space.  For the past 9 years I have been at Celgene Corporation and focused in cancer drug development.  I've spent time in various commercial roles and for the past year plus as a project leader for one of our solid tumor medicines.   The intellectual horsepower in this field is fascinating and will hopefully advance our quest to tackle cancer one patient at a time.  

My husband, Michael and I, are the very proud parents of 3 energetic and active kids - ages 11, 9 and 4.  We've been in New Jersey for 9 years now after starting our family in Indianapolis.  When not on soccer fields or at cheer competitions,  we enjoy vacationing as a family.  This summer we are headed to Ecuador, including a train ride through the Andes.  

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

Enormous pride.  It is wonderful to share the bond of Cornell with spectacular individuals.  Whenever I meet a Cornell alum, it is so easy to engage quickly in conversation and relate.  I am always fascinated how diverse the Cornell network expands.  It is truly an honor to be associated with such an influential group of people. 

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

Cornell and the 'survival' of the engineering program have absolutely prepared me for my professional growth.  Amazing that no matter how big the project or critical the presentation at work, I think the hardest I have ever worked was still my time at Cornell.  It certainly has prepared me professionally to take on challenging assignments and not shy away from hard and complex work.  

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

The time I spent in SWE (society of women engineers) truly shaped some of my very early learnings on leadership.  Being a volunteer in a student group with key goals and a mission had a bigger impact on me than I appreciated while at Cornell.  Although my classes were important, some of my biggest learnings came from the time involved with SWE.  Even though my engineering career lasted a whole 18 months, the leadership skills and the work needed to advance a mission has had a big impact for me.

Monday, July 7, 2014

47. James McCloskey

Westborough, Massachusetts · Human Ecology

Twitter: @paddygreenfield
Facebook: jamesmccloskey3

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

I work in the mutual fund industry, interfacing with clients and advisors of multiple mutual fund firms.  I also test computer systems.  In my spare time, I swim, kayak, hike, engage in social media, politics, and charity, maintain close friendships and family relationships, exercise, meditate, pray, and read.  

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

Get organized quickly so you don't get overwhelmed.  Maintain interests outside of class.  Exercise a lot.  Be very giving to the people around you.  Develop deep friendships and stay close to your family.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

The political scene.  I went against the grain politically, being the chairman of the College Republicans, and writing op-ed columns for the Cornell American and Cornell Review.  Took a stand on the issues of the day, and met many great people doing so.  

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

Reconnecting with (and making new) friends.  Doing as many outdoor activities as possible, like kayaking, canoeing, bungee jumping, and perhaps the 2-mile run.  Hope we score a good band to have a concert with.  Rush would be my first choice!