Cornell Student Bios

Six Cornell students make up the second batch headed to Kotagiri this Spring.

FullSizeRenderWynne Hannan has grown up in a few different places, but feels most attached to the rocky coastline of Maine. She is an outdoor enthusiast who loves most activities that get her moving, especially mountain biking, rock climbing, backpacking, and running. In addition to adventuring on her own and with friends, she leads trips for Cornell Outing Club and Outdoor Education. Through this experience she has learned that being in a leadership role among peers not only allows her to develop confidence with her skills, but allows for the empowerment of the students as they realize their potential and influence in the outdoor community. Her frequent interaction with the natural environment lead to an interest in humans evolving role in nature, especially as related to climate change. She is currently a sophomore in the Environmental and Sustainability Sciences major and hope that through these studies she will begin develop an understanding of the relationships that shape our knowledge of the world.

IMG_2038Sinan-Saleh Kassam is a junior majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. Sinan is interested in the links between the Ecology and Biology of different environmental settings and how it relates to indigenous communities.

Sinan has a radio show on, plays saxophone, and enjoys making music. He also enjoys the outdoors such as snowboarding, biking, hiking, camping, and exploring. For the past two years Sinan has been doing research at the Arnot Forest looking at the broad topic of forest regeneration and at The Cornell Biological Field Station study Zebra and Quagga mussels in Oneida Lake.


AnastasjaAnastasja Moynihan is a sophomore studying Global and Public Health Science at the College of Human Ecology. She is interested in nutrition, health, and disease, particularly its interplay across communities and countries. In high school, she researched the role micronutrients play in the health of HIV-infected pregnant women.

She is an Ithaca native with great enthusiasm for the outdoors and our surrounding area. Anastasja teaches courses with the Cornell Outdoor Education department, works at the Lindseth climbing wall, and serves a guide for pre-orientation backpacking trips for freshmen. Additionally, she is very passionate about the Cornell Upward Bound program that is helping local low income, first generation high school students gain access to college education. Anastasja was a part of this program herself and now continues to work with them as an assistant.

jaqJacqueline Sepulveda is a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. Growing up near New York City and studying Environmental Science and Sustainability at Cornell, has led her to develop a passion for green cities and a desire to improve the lives of those living in urban areas. At Cornell, she volunteers as a member of the Nature Society and Catholic Community to help meet the environmental and spiritual needs of local communities. A lover of drawing and painting, she hopes to capture a bit of the beautiful Nilgiris in a sketchbook or two.
Her interest in understanding and combating environmental issues complemented by a passion for Indian culture led her to consider the NFLC. While abroad, she hopes to expand her knowledge of environmental science and engage with various communities through research, service, and art.

12162486_961434127247918_1235195432_o_FotorRachel Stein is a sophomore studying Urban and Regional Studies in the school of Architecture Art and Planning. Among other things, she is interested in the role and development of communities in the context of a globalizing country. She sees these communities as crucial to future development and hopes that this experience promotes a mindset that is aware of the subtle nature and interplay between the local, national, and global communities.

 When she isn’t in school or India, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends doing just about anything. She looks for beauty in everyplace she is and is excited to explore a place and people that are different from what she has previously been exposed to.

FullSizeRender(1)Rabin Willford is a junior majoring in Anthropology and Archaeology at Cornell University. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Rabin grew up in Ithaca, New York, but has made frequent trips to India and Southeast Asia. Through prior trips to the Nilgiris, he is researching historical changes in land and society during the British colonial period, and their connections to the present. He is looking forward to connecting these studies to the holism of the NFLC program to develop a deeper understanding of the region, in advance of his honors thesis.

Rabin also has a love for baseball, international foods, and music. He plays violin in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. He also enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking.