Ferro credits hands-on experiences as vital to her success
Gabby Ferro ’18 did it all—theatre, sports, student organizations, and work—all thanks to One Course At A Time. Having the option to juggle a variety of activities was one of her main reasons for choosing Cornell.
“I chose Cornell because I was going to be able to do everything I loved: play tennis, participate in theatre, and explore a wide range of academic topics,” Ferro said. “The block plan was a huge plus—being able to focus on every subject individually, without interruption, and being able to travel abroad multiple times were exciting aspects to me.”
Ferro, from Gladstone, Missouri, majored in theatre and noted that the relationships she formed throughout her college career are one of the most valuable things she gained from Cornell.
“While I highly value all of the facts and tools I’ve learned here, I definitely value the relationships I’ve made here the most,” Ferro said. “I have loved every professor I’ve had, and I have made so many great friends each block.”
Q: What activities, clubs, organizations, or work-study positions were you involved in at Cornell and how did they add to your education and enjoyment of Cornell?
A: I played tennis for Cornell, participated in multiple theatrical productions, and worked for the Writing Studio and Quantitative Reasoning Studio. I am also a member of ACTION, Mortar Board, and Phi Beta Kappa. Everything I did at Cornell, in addition to my studies, was something I loved. Juggling sports, theatre, work, and classwork is not easy, but I couldn’t imagine my life at Cornell without all of those activities. I think the juggling act most importantly taught me how to utilize time to the best of my ability; though there were definitely some slip-ups here and there.
Q: What are your post-Cornell plans?
A: This summer I am working for a community theater near my home. I will be building and painting sets, hanging and focusing lights, and programming and operating the light board. I will also be a stage manager for a production of “Oklahoma!”. When the summer comes to a close, I plan on traveling with some friends to Ireland and Scotland. After my travels, I plan on applying to graduate programs.
Q: What Cornell experiences prepared you for this?
A: All of my theatre courses prepared me for my summer positions but hands-on production work has definitely been the most helpful. Working on shows is the best way to learn the tricks of the trade, and I’m so thankful Cornell allows students to work on theatre productions in every aspect. As far as traveling after this summer, I took three off-campus courses this year that furthered my interest in traveling before beginning my next chapter in life; one in New York, one in The Bahamas, and one in Great Britain. I fell in love with Scotland last block, so I am absolutely thrilled to explore more of it soon!
Q: Why did you choose Cornell?
A: I actually visited approximately 40 campuses before I decided on Cornell, so Cornell is pretty special! I chose Cornell because I was going to be able to do everything I loved: play tennis, participate in theatre, and explore a wide range of academic topics. The block plan was a huge plus—being able to focus on every subject individually, without interruption, and being able to travel abroad multiple times were exciting aspects to me. The beauty of campus and the quaintness of Mount Vernon were also bonuses.
Q: What surprised you most about your time at Cornell?
A: How time seemed to fly by faster every year. I added something new to my schedule each year, which I’m sure aided in making time seem to move more quickly, but I’m so glad I did. Every opportunity I have taken at Cornell has been fun and enlightening. I only wish I could’ve done even more!
Q: Who was your Cornell mentor, or what person on campus had the biggest impact on you?
A: I don’t think there is any one person I can say was my only mentor at Cornell. My coaches have had huge impacts on the way I approach tennis and life; all of my theatre professors and guest lecturers have helped me believe in my artistic ability and taught me the value of long hours of hard work; my biology and chemistry professors have pushed me to memorize amounts of information I didn’t know my mind could handle; my language and humanities professors have helped me learn to see beauty in the world; my data and statistics professors have helped me find the joy in contextual detective work with numbers; and my bosses have taught me to be a kind listener. I couldn’t rank those skills. One person who changed the course of my path at Cornell, however, was Professor Ann Cannon. I took Statistics 201 with her my sophomore year as a requirement, and I fell in love with the subject. In the middle of the course I changed my next block’s course so I could take more statistics. From there, I took every data/statistics course that could work with my schedule and I ended up earning one of the first statistics minors at Cornell. I feel as though I can talk to her about anything and everything, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every class I have taken with her. She’s one of the best cheerleaders at data competitions, and I know that support transfers to all academic and life events. Overall, everyone at Cornell has impacted my life greatly, and I couldn’t thank each person enough for the lessons they’ve taught me.