Maps to everywhere

Sure, One Course At A Time (OCAAT) is a hallmark of Cornell College and its success stories. For recruiting students though? OCAAT is, admittedly, something that "requires a leap of faith," said Vice President of Enrollment Jonathan Stroud. But now, he said, the college is not just delivering academic programming, it's "enriching the academic student opportunities."

What once was a leap of faith proposition is now being seen by prospective students as a chain of stepping stones with unlimited destinations and unfettered possibilities.

Aaron Reykdal '06
(Photo by RJ Holmes-Leopold '99)

Aaron Reykdal '06 became a Target Corporation Fellow and was offered a full-time job before he even completed his degree. Danielle Bowen '07 worked at the Translational Genomic Research Institute in Phoenix doing diabetes and obesity research. Aspiring lawyer Kasun Wijegunawardana '10 created his own fellowship in international law at D. L. & F. De Saram, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

"There is a tangible difference between what you learn in a textbook and what you learn in real life, a real difference between what a professor can teach you and what you can gain from real world experiences," said Wijegunawardana.

Cornell is awash these days with such high-level, real-world programs. The Berry Center is promising and delivering real-world applications for lessons in economics. Dimensions is deftly guiding students aiming for careers in health care. Off-campus study programs are sending a record number of eager learners across the country and the world. And the Beta Omicron Distinguished Alumni Visitors program is bringing now-worldly alumni back to campus, to show and tell how life after college can best be navigated. 

In the near future there will even be a Cornell presence in downtown Chicago, giving students—and alumni—a metropolitan home base.

These programs, seeds from the campaign, sprouted and wrapped vine-like across curriculum lines and, then, around the globe. You'll find Fellows in the Dimensions program, Dimensions co-sponsoring a Berry Center initiative, Cornell pre-law students beating Yale in mock trial competition, and so on and so forth.

See-yin So '10 spent one Dimensions-sponsored summer in New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the next summer as a Cornell Fellow, conducting biotech research in Baltimore. 

She chose Cornell specifically because of Dimensions: The Center for the Science and Culture of Healthcare, an initiative that's giving Cornell students headed to health care careers a rich bank of resources and mentors to help them navigate the complex routes needed to get there. 

"I'm very grateful to the donors and alumni who have given to Dimensions. I know they've made me the woman and student and future doctor that I am today," So said.