"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

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.