Fellows prepare for trips to South Africa, Ethiopia

Cornell Fellows are gearing up for trips across the globe during Blocks 6 and 7.

These fellowships are the college’s premier opportunity for high-level internships and professional mentoring, and it comes with a sizeable stipend to help students afford expenses like transportation and housing. Approximately 20–25 students participate in fellowships across the United States and internationally each year, the majority of them taking place during the summer.

Talitha Mcguire ’19 and Camden Grundeman ’19 are two students who proposed new sites to the Cornell Fellows program and will be heading out to complete international experiences during the second semester.

Camden Grundeman ’19 

 Camden Grundeman ’19
Camden Grundeman ’19

Grundeman is traveling to African Campus in Mossel Bay, South Africa for his fellowship. The senior from Naples, Florida, is looking forward to learning more about marine conservation, which is what he wants to do when he graduates.

“While in South Africa, I will be working on a number of projects, from studying populations of white sharks and humpback whales to looking at the population structure of benthic catsharks,” he said. “Assistant Professor of Biology Tammy Mildenstein told me about the opportunity, and I was able to get in contact with one of the directors with the program.”

Grundeman is an environmental studies major with a minor in biology. He has participated in Mildenstein’s monarch butterfly research and has high expectations for what he’ll learn in South Africa.

“I hope I learn how to become a better marine conservationist, as well as to learn more about how to tell the general public about why this matters to them,” Grundeman said.

Talitha McGuire ’19 

Talitha McGuire ’19
Talitha McGuire ’19

McGuire is studying up on Ethiopian culture prior to her trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, during Blocks 6 and 7.

“In addition, I’m reading up on the biodiversity of Ethiopia and recent literature on botanical conservation,” McGuire said. “I’ll also be tackling some basic Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, over winter break.”

The religion major and biology minor from Flagstaff, Arizona, will have an internship at Gullele Botanical Garden where she’ll conduct habitat surveys and collect herbarium specimens. One of McGuire’s religion professors and one of her biology professors teamed up to help her make contacts and work out the details of this fellowship.

“I expect my time with Gullele to be challenging but rewarding—learning more about botanical conservation while in a new culture will certainly be different, but I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Gullele’s staff and learn from their expertise,” McGuire said. “I’m excited to learn more about conservation work in Ethiopia as well as to experience Ethiopian culture.”

After graduation, the senior says she hopes to gain more field skills in conservation through a job with an agency such as the Forest Service or an international non-profit that specializes in biodiversity conservation work.


Cornell Fellows engage in a range of experiences that connect classroom theories with real life. From this experience, Fellows develop a sharpened sense of their personal abilities and values which prepares them for a lifetime of professional service and leadership. With the support of a strong alumni and professional network and from exceptional faculty sponsors, a Cornell Fellowship is a distinctive and highly regarded aspect of a Cornell College education. For more information about the Cornell Fellows program, contact Rebecca Sullens at RSullens@CornellCollege.edu.