Judy Liu ’21 began her undergraduate journey at Cornell in the College of Arts and Sciences with an undecided major, but transferred after learning more about the interdisciplinary approach of the College of Human Ecology. As a human development major with minors in education and gerontology, one of Judy’s favorite parts of her Human Ecology experience has been getting the chance to apply some of the more abstract concepts learned in the classroom. More specifically, Judy has been able to explore her interests in an interdisciplinary approach to youth development through fieldwork and capstone courses, engaged work, leadership roles, and translational
For instance, as a teaching assistant for Infancy and Childhood, Judy co-led an engaged project that introduced over 300 students to a total of 17 organizations that support youth and their families in the Ithaca community. Judy was also a teaching assistant for the Art of Teaching, where she acted as the lead instructor for multiple lessons and provided support to her students. Through the education minor, Judy has enjoyed her fieldwork placements as a classroom aide at Belle Sherman Elementary School, as a buddy in a semester-long weekly story writing program with a student in Groton Elementary School, and as a learning partner with an adult learner through the Community Learning and Service Program (CLASP). Furthermore, under the supervision of Professor Maureen Waller, Judy was part of a team of students that developed a summative report of the Parents Apart program.
Outside of her coursework, Judy’s passion for youth development and community engagement is also demonstrated through her leadership experiences. As a Pre-Orientation Service Trip leader, Judy led new students through various service sites in the Tompkins County community each year. As the President of CU Bigs, Judy and her fellow team members served as the liaison between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ithaca and Cornell through recruitment, fundraising, and activity building efforts. Judy has also been a mentor in Ballet and Books and Big Brothers Big Sisters and has had the pleasure of being with her match’s family for three years and counting.
Judy further explored her interests through translational research by joining Professor Tamar Kushnir’s Early Childhood Cognition lab as a Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) Scholar. During her time in the lab, she worked on projects that looked at free will beliefs in children and co-led a research study that looked at how children aged 7-11 years old are understanding themselves, the people around them, and the world during the pandemic.
Judy is constantly inspired by the collaborative mission of Human Ecology, her peers, professors, mentors, and the community organizations that have shaped who she is today as well as who she aspires to be. She would like to specifically express gratitude for the Human Ecology Alumni Association, her incredible mentors Professor Tamar Kushnir, Renée Farkas, Professor Jeffrey Perry, Dr. Kristen Elmore, Professor Maureen Waller, and Dr. Annalisa Raymer, her friends, and her family for this honor.