Student Conversations

Nicole O’Connell ’16
Corning, N.Y.

Major in international relations and minor in biology; Student Trustee; student representative to Fraternity Review project and Judicial Review Board; participated in Clinton Global Initiative University; orientation leader; member of William Smith Congress, Women’s Collective, Koshare Dance Collective and Sexual Violence Task Force; marketing intern at Corning Inc.; studied abroad in Australia; member of Hai Timiai and Laural Society; worked in Admissions and Career Services; recipient of the Congressional Recognition for Youth Leadership and Service Award; Chair of Relay for Life; volunteer for numerous local organizations including Community Lunch Program, Geneva Assisted Living Center and the Boys & Girls Club, among others

I went to a Catholic elementary school and wearing a flower in my hair was a way to differentiate myself. When I got to college, I thought – you know, I’ll be meeting 2,000 new people and there’s no way they will remember my name. But they will remember the girl with the flower in her hair. I think that helped me in the trustee election. Students knew me.

I have taken advantage of every possible opportunity here. I’ve been in dozens of clubs and community outreach programs. I spend my day in classes and meetings. As a campus leader, there’s pressure to always be on. I am careful because anything I say in a meeting could cause an inadvertent ripple. This year, I got into running half marathons and it’s been a lifesaver. Running by the lake relaxes me.

On campus, we are in a transition period. The conversations among students are as wide-ranging as what you see on the news – politics, social justice, sexual violence, terrorism. We have spent time talking about the coordinate system and the equity of our traditions and diplomas. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the semester, but I think that students are tired of talking, of having conversations, and instead want action. The question is – what action do we want?


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.