"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

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

Monday, March 2, 2015

13. Steven Strell

San Jose, California · Engineering

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sllerts
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sstrell

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I live in Silicon Valley with my wife Rachel and our 3-year-old, Seth.  Besides our own house, we also own a 5-acre walnut farm!  I worked at Apple in the early 2000's, working on iBooks, and then, later, the 12-inch Powerbooks (before they all became MacBooks).  Now, I am a training engineer for Altera, traveling around the country teaching people how to use my company's software.  I do tech support for all of my family's tech; why not do it for my company's customers as well?

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

After the concert at Bailey during Senior Week, some friends and I went to McGraw Tower.  One of our friends was a chimesmaster and he was doing the concert that night.  It ended up being an extended concert, mostly just for us.  He played songs on his list and our requests for well over an hour.  Next to graduation, it was the perfect ending to 4 amazing years.

·   What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?
I wouldn't call it an extracurricular activity, but the opportunity to work for 3 of my 4 years at Cornell Cinema was a life-changing experience.  I enjoyed movies beforehand, but Cornell Cinema opened my eyes to films I had never even considered would be interesting to me: indies, foreign, documentaries, old classics.  And the friends I made through CC, people who weren't engineers, were just amazing.  I still keep in touch with some of them on Facebook.  I still love the movies, see them every chance I get, and enjoy making them myself (for home or work).

What does being a Cornell alumnus mean to you?

It means that for the rest of my life, I am connected to a place that I will never forget, a place that set the course for the rest of my life, a place where I had fun, worked hard, and discovered just who I was.  I don't think I can ever give back to Cornell what Cornell gave to me.