Marnel Desir, North Miami Beach, Fla.

Marnel Desir
Marnel Desir

My Roots/About Me

Both of my parents are Haitian immigrants. I spent all of my childhood in South Florida living primarily with my mother and sister. My parents divorced when I was age 10.

Areas of Study
Psychology and business

Cornell Activities
Football, Track and Field, Intercultural Life, Active Minds, Zeta Tau Psi fraternity

Long Term Goal
To obtain my master’s degree in counseling and psychotherapy and help the world smile a little bit more.

Did you have any concerns about fitting in at Cornell?
Living in South Florida all my life I wondered how I would be accepted in a different culture such as the one here in Iowa.

What were some of your initial impressions of the campus community?
I never had a chance to visit campus, so my initial trip here was quite shocking. At first glance I was impressed by the change of scenery–it was sort of refreshing. The campus and community gave off a small-town welcoming vibe. Being a part of Intercultural Life’s PALS program gave me the “inside scoop” from a student perspective and helped me slowly adjust to the unique Cornell College culture.

How have you grown at Cornell?
In my time being here I have formed many relationships with unique individuals including students from all over the U.S., students of varying ethnicities, and international students, all of whom I have learned a great deal from. Meeting and interacting with all these students has opened and broadened my view of human nature, a skill I believe to be vital in my line of study (psychology).

How would you describe the campus culture to other students of color considering Cornell?
The Cornell atmosphere allows you to be yourself, so my advice is to be yourself and don’t be afraid to branch out and hang out with people different from yourself. The college environment is a learning environment, so use it to your advantage.

Fun Fact
I can wiggle my ears.