Watt combines anthropology adventures with music outreach

“I first heard about Cornell in Loren Pope’s book, “Colleges that Change Lives.” I ultimately chose Cornell for OCAAT, but it wasn’t until I began to get really involved in activities on campus that I realized how flexible our schedule really is. It gives you the freedom to do lots of things you’re passionate about and excel academically at the same time.”

Ian Watt '11
Ian Watt ’11

Ian Watt’s Highlights

  • Favorite Course: Medical Anthropology, a course that explores the different ways people around the world understand illness and medicine. “It totally changed the way I think about health care and the very nature of illness itself.” Also Jazz Improvisation and Electronic Music Composition. “For a semester, one of my professors did one-on-one Electronic Composition lessons with me, so that was a very cool experience.”
  • Worked for AmeriCorp the summer after his freshman year to help flood victims in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A year later, inspired by his experience, he started OCTAVE Living and Learning Community for students who wanted to share their love of music and give free music lessons to kids in need at public schools. For this effort, he won Cornell’s Emerging Student Leader of the Year Award for Outstanding Service Programming.
  • Studied in Tanzania with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest for a semester. “It was an Indiana Jones-style trip. All of the lectures were at the beginning, such as learning Swahili and studying ecology and human origins with professors from the University of Darussalam. Then in the second half, we went to national parks, to famous archeological sites and then did an individualized research project. I did mine in cultural anthropology and used it to satisfy my credit for research methods at Cornell.”
  • Traveled to the Bahamas with Professor Alfrieta Monagan’s applied anthropology course
  • Member of the Performing Arts and Activities Council (PAAC) and volunteer for New Student Orientation
  • Trumpet player. Four-year member of Cornell Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo
  • DJ for Cornell’s KRNL-FM radio
Ian Watt '11
Ian Watt during his semester in Tanzania.

More about Ian


Tanzania: Ecology and Human Origins

Student Symposium Presentations