Elizabeth Martinson: 'I have been able to satisfy my curiosity exploring a range of subjects.'

Sun, 04/09/2017

Elizabeth Martinson

History and Archaeology 

Pittsburgh, PA

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why? 

Every professor, TA and friend that challenged me to work harder, defend my views and changed my mind. Without their encouragement or disagreement, I would not have become who I am today. While I cannot pinpoint an exact moment or person, I know that, in their own way, each has had a great deal of influence on my Cornell education.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

Thanks to the liberal arts curriculum of the College of Arts & Sciences, I have been able to pursue my varying interests by taking classes such as Observational Astronomy and The Iconography of Greek Myth. I have even had the opportunity to take a technical art history course listed under Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Rather than being narrowed into one subject area alone, I have been able to satisfy my curiosity exploring a range of subjects while also becoming well-versed in those areas of history that are of particular interest to me. The most enjoyable aspect of my liberal arts education is the wide-ranging breadth worked into the curriculum that complements the depth of my field of study.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first-year student, what would you say?

First and foremost, join a club. It's important to do something other than academics and the numerous clubs on campus — ranging from beekeeping to the squirrel club — offer something for everyone. Clubs offer a wonderful break from the normal academic pressures and stresses of Cornell. I know that at the end of every week no matter what exams, papers or projects I have, there will always be one band event or another where I can go to relax, have fun and forget about my homework.