"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

18. Scott Lajoie

Mashpee, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) · Agriculture and Life Sciences

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ScottMLajoie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scott.lajoie.1

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I live and work on Cape Cod with my wife of nearly 10 years, Wendy, and three children, Willow, 7, Miles, 5, and Sawyer, 1. After a career in magazines, in which I worked for publications as disparate as Forbes magazine in the Bay Area during the dot-com boom and Cape Cod Magazine, I now write and edit for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, a global non-profit located here on Cape Cod. I do some freelance articles from time to time for some local publications, from the Boston Globe to the Cape Cod Times, and I tutor local students to prepare for the SATs. I am on the board of the Cornell Club of Cape Cod and the Class of 1995 Council. I have for years participated in CAAAN as well.


I keep in touch with former roommates Steve Miller, Dean Bowles, Steve Paul, and Jen (Pierson) Logan, as well as Dave Grubman, Mith Niles, and a slew of Big Red Band and Cornell Daily Sun friends.


Any time I put a lot of effort into an endeavor, I am reminded how it pales in comparison the hard work I put into everything I did at Cornell.


The Cornell Daily Sun was definitely that for me. I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had that learning experience. It's as if my career started three years sooner.

Monday, January 19, 2015

19. Kosha Brightwell Massal

Toronto, Canada · Industrial and Labor Relations

Name at Cornell

Kosha Brightwell


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

I'm an in-house lawyer for a pharmaceutical company.  I negotiate agreements with our customers- which are the  entities that actually purchase products-  like wholesalers and distributors.

Which Cornell classmates do you keep in touch with?

Too many to name!  My very best friends are Cornell alumni-- we've stood up at each others' weddings, share parenting advice, travel together, give career advice, are god-parents to each others' kids.  They are my family. 

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

Cornell made my current life possible.  I was a poor kid from a bad neighborhood and I was able to start experiencing the world. I lived in Akwe:kon, language house, and Ujamaa. I studied abroad.  I gave rowing crew a try.  I worked for the public service center, the Olin archives and Sibley library.  I'm now married to a Frenchman, have visited more than 20 countries on four continents, speak 3 languages, sew, ice skate & ski--and I'm nowhere near done learning, exploring and "becoming."

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

I always think of Cornell as the "blue collar Ivy."  It begins with Ezra Cornell's stated intention to found a University where any man can study any subject and follows through with the true embodiment and realization of that intention. From admitting African-Americans from very the first years of the University to continuing to study and support veterinary medicine, agriculture, textiles, hospitality management.  I'm very proud to be an alum of an institution with such an egalitarian legacy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

20. Lindsay Monge

San Juan Capistrano, California · Hotel Administration


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am currently the SVP-Treasurer at Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.
(NYSE:SHO), where I work along with six other Cornell Hotel School alums. I currently live in San Juan Capistrano with my amazing wife, Ali, and my two awesome boys (who will be turning 7 & 5 shortly). I am the Den Leader for my oldest son's Tiger Cub Scouts Den. Since the boys are such great travelers, my wife and I make travel plans every year to introduce them to new cities around the world and the experiences each city has to offer. I also travel back to the Cornell Campus every year to recruit four summer interns for Sunstone's annual summer internship program. Always great to be back on campus!

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

Many great memories of my time at Cornell, but the two memories that rise to the top are those morning lightweight crew practices when we were able to see the sun rise up & over the campus and spending the summer after my sophomore year on campus taking classes, relaxing and having a lot of fun.

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

Savor every moment of your time at Cornell and immerse yourself within as many experiences as you can. Take professors (no matter the subject) rather than just taking classes.

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

The four years I spent on the Lightweight Crew Team was the most meaningful experience for me. It instilled a strong sense of determination, self-motivation and teamwork that continues with me today. The memories from many of the practices and races remain fresh in my head even through today.

Monday, January 5, 2015

21. Stephen Church

San Salvador, El Salvador · Agriculture and Life Sciences


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
After graduating from Cornell, I joined the Peace Corps and served as a Volunteer in southern Ecuador. I met my wife Katy there, and we married towards the end of my service. After Peace Corps, we came to the US so I could work on a master's degree in development economics. In 2001, our son Joshua was born, and soon after we moved to Washington, DC, where I worked for an international development organization for two years before heading back to Ecuador. By the time Joshua was in kindergarten, we thought it was time to lay down some roots somewhere in the US, and we settled (at least temporarily) in Tampa, Florida, where I worked in international education for seven years. Eventually the travel itch came back, and we are overseas again with Peace Corps, but this time in El Salvador where I am Director of Programming and Training.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

I have lots of great memories from my time at Cornell, but my favorite comes from the night before graduation. Holland Foote and I were spending one last night with friends at the Royal Palm Tavern, and we had heard that it was tradition to sing the alma mater sometime before closing. Last call came and went but no alma mater, so when the lights came on and the bouncers started herding people out, we began to sing (shout?) the alma mater, and before we got to "waves of blue," the whole place was singing. It still gives me goosebumps!

What random or surprising encounters with Cornell or Cornellians have you experienced since you left?

When I arrived in Ecuador for training as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I met Jenny Weisent, a fellow Cornellian from the CALS Class of 1995. Despite studying in the same college for all four years and having quite a few friends in common, we had never met! Sometimes the world can be a strange place...

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

Cornell has always been a part of my life. My parents both went to Cornell, my father spend much of his career there, and my sisters both went there, too. But being an alumnus of Cornell doesn't just give me another connection to my family, it connects me to a much bigger family that has made and continues to make so many positive contributions to the world. Go Big Red!