Denisse Gayosso-Lucano ’19
Hometown: Bedford Hills, New York
Major: Plant Science, with a concentration in human health
Minor: Global Health
I work with my community(ies) … to bring attention to the health benefits of spending time outside in nature. It is remarkable to see how all life is connected because we are all one in the same.
My friends would say I’m … perky, humorous and grounded.
Fun fact about me: I danced Thriller for my high school lip-sync graduation performance, am quite versed in Mexican cuisine and was featured on a radio station.
The best part about the Certificate in Engaged Leadership … is meeting other people who have a purpose that drives them to bring about change. I strongly value connecting with different communities. It’s enlightening to be part of the constant inflow and outflow of knowledge from various groups. This knowledge has taught me a lot about my peers, the communities around me and myself.
For my Stage 2 committed project, I … Conducted qualitative research on the impact of emotional health in diabetics from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with the support of the Cornell Global Health Program and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. Through this research, we found that many diabetics struggled with the emotions that followed after their diabetes diagnosis. Some were convinced that they couldn’t have done anything to prevent getting diabetes and it was what God wanted for them. This research definitely brings new information about this community so that solutions can be executed.
My community partner(s) taught me … that the small steps are the ones that count the most when contrasting what has already been done. However, these changes are brought to fruition when they are done with compassion, attentiveness and care. Also, with active listening and humility we can discover more truth and freedom.
I’ve also learned that engaged leaders … are skilled at creating an emotional connection with their groups. Getting an emotional reaction leaves a more dynamic impression of the issue at hand.
Other projects and organizations I’m committed to include … the Committee of U.S.-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR), a Cornell organization that speaks and writes about how the U.S. affects the social, political and economic affairs of Latin America and the Caribbean. I’m also involved in the Latino Ivy League Conference, NatureRx Club, Cornell Environmental Collaborative, Cornell Cooperative Extension summer internship, Cornell Upward Bound, Public Service Center, Center for Engaged Learning summer project and Cornell’s Adult University, and I took part of remodeling the plant science lounge.
I plan to continue my journey, as an engaged leader by … raising awareness of what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, how it can affect a college student and ways to manage it from personal experience.
Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership
Build on your interests and apply your experiences (from courses to extracurricular activities) to this program to develop the skills you need to be a community-engaged leader.