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Highlights of My First Semester at CIPA

Jacquelyn Richards is a first-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Government, Politics and Policy Studies To find out more about Jacquelyn, you can read her bio here.

Hello Everybody!

I cannot believe I have just completed my first semester at CIPA! The time here flew by so quickly. As you all read from my last blog, I have had the chance to be a part of some incredible events here on campus. Through them, I have been exposed to people and situations beyond my norm. Because of this, I can honestly say, I walked away from this semester the most confident I have ever been in my entire life. I feel satisfied with the skills and background that I’m developing, and the professional woman I am becoming. I can just imagine what the next semester will bring!

My involvement with the Splash program was very meaningful to me this semester. Splash! is a one-day event where high school and middle school students come to Cornell’s campus to learn anything! Splash! Teachers, administrators, and volunteers are all Cornell students. I held three classes on the subject of, How to Get Involved Politically. The course allowed teens to understand the importance of civic participation and the tools which enable individuals to engage in the political process.

Another event that was very special to me was being elected President of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA) at Cornell University.

BGPSA is a network that addresses the needs and concerns of graduate and professional students who identify with groups such as, but not limited to, African-American, African, Caribbean, Latin American and other ethnicities of the diaspora that identify at Cornell University. BGPSA involves itself in social, academic, and cultural activities deemed relevant as determined by the electoral body. BGPSA works closely with underrepresented faculty and staff and is involved in issues that affect Ithaca’s Black community.

But the highlight of my entire semester was the people CIPA introduced me to. I have been able to develop meaningful bonds with my classmates. Now more than ever, in a time where we are all facing acts of hatred and bigotry; I’ve found a family here which is more important than all other things.

Cornell Public Affairs Society hosts an annual gala for CIPA Fellows. Here I am pictured with friends I have made this semester. The beauty of CIPA is the diverse backgrounds each student has; their unique attributes, make the entire cohort better.

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