Uncovering success

Samantha Nadel '19, Cornell College Archaeology and Chemistry majorSamantha Nadel ʼ19 knew even in high school that her future ambitions would involve both archaeology and chemistry. Her interest in the study of ancient societies led to her interest in chemistry, specifically, how the chemical analysis of objects can lead to the discovery of information about the past.

When Samantha learned about the block plan, her analytical mind was piqued.

“I was intrigued by the unique block plan, encouraged by the discussions I had with the faculty who seemed very engaged in student success,” she said. “And I was given a large scholarship that made attending possible.”

All of which added up in Samantha’s mind towards her decision to attend Cornell.

Samantha acknowledges that her greatest challenge was social.

Samantha led Cornell’s Food Recovery Network, a project that focuses on food waste reduction. She counts the project’s success as one of her biggest achievements.

Yet, Samantha’s success doesn’t end with her strong leadership skills. She completed her capstone as a Cornell Fellow in Ayacucho, Peru, participating in excavations at the ancient city Huari. She conducted research of Huari’s ceramics.

“That project taught me, among other things, how a large scale archaeological project is conducted,” Samantha said.

Her capstone couldn’t be more perfectly designed for her future ambition—graduate school and a Ph.D. in archaeology.

Samantha’s Hilltop Favorites


“The library—it’s a good place to study and I like working on the puzzles.”


“Food Recovery Network.”


“Fried pickles and mozzarella sticks. They’re just good.”