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The College of Arts Sciences Search

Mike Sosnick: Say 'yes' more than 'no'

May 23, 2016

Mike Sosnick

Linguistics

New Canaan, CT

What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?

I founded Electric Buffalo Records with my friend, Jacob Grossfeld ’17, and watching our little experiment grow into a student-run nonprofit label that supports some of Cornell’s amazing musicians has been extraordinarily rewarding. Also, being arts and entertainment editor of the Sun (and being a writer) surrounded me with an incredible group of people, let me explore my love of music writing and allowed me to undertake the daunting task of helping put out a daily newspaper while balancing school and other commitments.

What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?

I’m currently writing my senior honors thesis on linguistic construction and representation of gender and sexuality in Morrissey’s lyrics, which has allowed me to bridge my academics with music I love. Also, through my various linguistics courses, I’ve researched the geographical border dividing users of the terms “soda” and “pop” in Western New York, assessed the deep power that microaggressions have to cause harm and subordination simply by being uttered, and documented the phonetic structure of Bengali.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Say "yes" more than "no." Don’t close yourself off to experiences because you think you won’t like it or there’s too much on your plate, because you may stumble into a new passion. There are infinite interesting things happening at Cornell and in Ithaca, so there’s bound to be a passion and community for you. There will be rough patches – everyone has them – but sometimes it’s just a matter of optics. Reflect on your blessings as often as possible because it’s easy to take them for granted – you’re at an incredible university surrounded by incredible people who care for you and want to see you succeed.

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