"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

33. Kevin Yelenik

Stavanger, Norway · Agriculture and Life Sciences

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.yelenik

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

I am a father of two wonderful boys soon to be 8 and 5. It leaves
me once-in-a-while proud, usually humbled, constantly learning and amazed, but mostly quite tired. I lucked out and found the most beautiful life-partner I could ever have dreamed of. She did drag me to Norway to grow old though, and things are really hard here with the world's highest quality of life. I teach Physics at the International School, and this is very fun. It doesn't have much to do with what I studied at Cornell, but neither have most of my other strange teaching and engineering jobs I've had. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, skiing of all kinds, snowboarding, traveling, collecting music, and lately attempting to play the guitar again. Nathalia thinks I am having a mid-life crisis with this hobby, but I plan to be a rock star by 50.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?
Cornell taught me how to work hard, how to start thinking deeply and critically, and certainly how it feels to be humbled. It prepared me well for my MS from another CU - Colorado, Boulder, and thus for my careers in both engineering and teaching. 

Cornell also taught me how to be more independent and more mature. I think I grew up a lot in those years; they left me with a sort of heady, mystical once-in-a-lifetime experience that could never be relived. 

Cornell also taught me how to speed-walk/wheeze/sweat my way up hills when late to classes.  

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Being surrounded by a truly spectacular academic atmosphere, living in the coolest little city ever, hanging out with friends at places like the Chapter House, swimming in the waterfalls, exploring the nature, seeing lots of live music, and chilling out on our terrace on East Seneca St.  

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means that I spent a good part of four years wandering around a beautiful campus and town filled with lots of intelligent, interesting, and creative people - and I tried to learn stuff from them.