'I feel prepared to learn how to tackle any new challenges'

By: Skyeler McQueen, 
Mon, 05/10/2021

Skyeler McQueen

German Studies and Mathematics
Franklin, Mich.

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

My Arts & Sciences education taught me how to learn. Studying for a math class is very different from a literature class: both require different styles of learning. You can learn from listening, researching or doing practice problems. At Cornell, I’ve had the chance to learn how to learn new things, which I plan on continuing to do for the rest of my life. Whether it’s a new language or a new concept, I feel prepared to learn how to tackle any new challenges that come my way. 

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

My main extracurricular activity at Cornell is the Association for Women in Math (AWM)! I’ve been on the executive board for two years and it has been so fulfilling. AWM has created a sense of community for me within my major. I’ve forged relationships with other amazing women in math, from undergrads to postdocs. There have also been opportunities to volunteer and expose young women to cool STEM topics, through events such as the Julia Robinson Math Festival. 

people ice skating

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I’m most proud of the moments where I’ve been able to cheer up a friend. Life and college can be stressful at times, but cracking jokes while staying up late to write a paper makes it all worthwhile. 

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

I discovered that I can be more than one thing. When I started at Cornell, I had always thought of myself as an introverted STEM person. Over the next few years, I learned that I could be many different things! I found a passion for German Studies and a lot of self-confidence. You don’t have to put yourself in a box at Cornell. You can be whatever and whoever you’d like. 

person with coffee

How has your Cornell education and experience prepared you to deal with the challenges and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic?

Cornell has provided me with a sense of community that has helped keep me grounded during the pandemic. From the toilet paper shortage to today, I have always felt supported by my peers, my professors and the staff at Cornell. 

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Every year, our faculty nominate graduating Arts & Sciences students to be featured as part of our Extraordinary Journeys series. Read more about the Class of 2021.


  Skyeler McQueen