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The College of Arts Sciences

Zoe Jackson: Skills from my history major will help me after graduation


Zoe Jackson, Silver Spring, MD

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

My main Cornell extracurricular is dance. I take dance classes at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts and have choreographed and performed in Schwartz Center productions since my freshman year. Dance has always been an important part of my life, but it became even more important to me at Cornell, where it has been a valuable escape from the stressors of my academic studies. Performing in the Locally Grown Dance Festival every year has been a staple of my Cornell career, and the people involved in the festival, including the dance faculty and my fellow dancers, have been a crucial part of my Cornell experience.

What accomplishments/activities are you most proud of while at Cornell?

I am extremely proud of finishing my senior honors thesis in history, which I wrote about a female printer in seventeenth century England. I have spent the last year researching and writing, and I am very pleased with the final result. Last semester, I also directed and co-choreographed "The Counter-Factual: A Dance Concert." This concert was my first experience directing and helping to choreograph a 40-minute concert, and it was an invaluable experience in following a project from start to finish. I am so proud of the final concert and what I accomplished with my co-choreographer, stage manager and dancers.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

I know that the skills I have developed from my liberal arts education, and particularly from my history major, will help me in whatever I choose to do after graduation. I have learned how to examine and find merit in different viewpoints and how to judge different sources for particular biases. I have learned how to gather information coming from a number of sources and can more effectively articulate a coherent argument concerning these sources. I think these skills will make me more successful in my future occupation, but they have also made me a more well-rounded individual.

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