Brogan’s first-year seminar solidified choice of major

Kate Brogan ՚18 credits her first-year seminar with Professor Aparna Thomas as critical to her decision to major in gender studies.

Brogan, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, majored in both gender studies and international relations with a comparative politics minor. She currently works at the Harriet Tubman Center in the Twin Cities as a Youth and Family Advocate.

“My mentor at Cornell would be Aparna Thomas. She was my very first professor and has been one of my biggest supporters,” Brogan said.

Brogan also traveled to India with Professor Thomas and her classmates for the off-campus study course, Women in Politics.

“We went to Mumbai, Pune, and Jamkhed, working with a number of NGOs and different organizations to look at ways to educate people about rights for women, domestic violence, and the ways in which policies and practices play a role in women’s everyday lives,” Brogan said.

Brogan is proud of her senior capstone project for gender studies. She presented her research at Cornell’s Student Symposium, called “The Double-Bind and Demagoguery of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Election”, which was inspired by her experience as a Cornell Fellow on the campaign trail. She credits the flexibility of the block plan for providing her with an agile learning experience.

“I truly believe that if I would have been on a semester plan, I would have had to take time off from classes to be as involved as I was throughout the whole process,” she said.

Kate Brogan '18
Kate Brogan ’18

Q: How did One Course At A Time impact your education?

A: Being on the block plan allowed me to be involved while still maintaining and achieving in the academic setting. I was able to apply what I learned on a daily basis.

Q: Why did you choose Cornell?

A: I chose Cornell because I realized that I could be as involved as I wanted to be in college while being just as academically successful. The block plan was the right decision for me because I was able to focus on one course at a time, allowing me to go in depth with the topic and have that be my sole focus.

Q: Is there someone else who has inspired you?

A: My grandmother is my role model and has been my biggest support system all throughout college. Without her, I would not be where I am today or the person that I have become. She inspires me to be better than I was the day before and I will continue to strive to be a better person because of her.

Q: What’s your favorite study spot?

A: Zamora’s Market. I love spending my time in between classes and meetings there! I also love getting my favorite coffee, an iced vanilla latte!

Q: Which part of campus has special meaning for you?

A: Throughout my time on the Hillary Clinton campaign, I was given the opportunity to be involved with a lot of the events on campus. This included being chosen as the person to introduce Bill Clinton when he came to campus, both times. The second time, I was standing in the entrance way of Armstrong Hall when I was preparing for the event. As the campus and community were waiting for the event to start outside, one of the secret service members informed me that Bill Clinton was going to be coming up the stairs to meet me before I introduced him. In that entrance, I had the pleasure of talking to him one on one before I went out and introduced him in front of a crowd of over five hundred people. I will never forget that moment!

Q: What would you tell another student interested in applying to Cornell?

A: I often tell students who are looking at Cornell that the block plan allows for a way of learning that you would not be able to experience elsewhere. By studying one course at a time, you are able to go in depth with the concepts while at the same time having a one on one experience with your professor and fellow students.