Sawako Suzuki ’20
Majors: International Agriculture and Rural Development
Minors: Nutrition and Health
Concentrations: Agricultural and Food Systems, Economics and Development
The issue of public concern I’m passionate about is … food insecurity. I am very interested in studying different food systems and researching how to increase access to financially accessible, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods by all people.
Engagement experience: Since fall 2016, I have been volunteering and working with Camp Kesem at Cornell University. Camp Kesem is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing a free week-long summer camp to children in the local Tompkins County area, who are impacted by a parent’s cancer, and free year-round support services and resources for these children and their families. I have served as a camp counselor, an outreach coordinator, a program counselor, and for the 2019-2020 school year, I have the honor of serving as one of the directors. Camp Kesem has introduced me to so many amazing people over the years. My experiences through working with Camp Kesem have been some of the most meaningful work I have done at Cornell.
As an Engaged Ambassador, I … hope to increase the Cornell community’s overall participation in community engagement, because I believe it is important that the Cornell community is working with the communities that it is serving.
I got involved because … I want to work towards increasing awareness of OEI’s amazing resources throughout the Cornell community, so that any Cornell community member can access these resources if they are interested. I strongly believe that some of my most valuable and formative experiences at Cornell have been through work I have done engaging with the local Ithaca community!
My friends would say I’m … ambitious, passionate and loving. You can always find me going on runs around campus or looking for new adventures. I am always down for a cup of coffee and a good conversation!
Best Cornell memory (so far!): After returning to campus for the start of my sophomore fall semester, three of my best friends and I drove from Ithaca to just south of Knoxville, Tennessee, to view the solar eclipse at totality. We found a spot just off of a hiking trail with a gorgeous view overlooking the Tennessee River. The solar eclipse at totality was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. However, looking back, the memory was so special largely because of my amazing friends.
Fun fact: In summer 2018, I ran across the United States, from San Francisco to Boston, to raise over $950,000 for support services and resources for young adults with cancer.
Future plans: After graduating from Cornell, I plan on doing research in clinical oncology to work towards increasing the quality of care for cancer patients and their families. In my free time, I would like to do more outdoor rock-climbing and running!
A cohort of students who have completed the Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership and lead a variety of special projects for the Office of Engagement Initiatives