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Spotlight on Students: Chanel Casayuran

  • Affiliation: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: San Diego, Calif.

In high school, Chanel Casayuran knew she enjoyed math and chemistry and decided on studying chemical engineering to tie the two together. After spending a weekend at Cornell with a student during the Diversity Hosting Weekend, being lead around campus and sitting in on classes, as well as being sold on the endless possibilities of working with sustainable energy on campus, she chose to study at Cornell University.

While growing up in sunny San Diego, Casayuran was fascinated with the idea of solar energy. As one of her professors told her, “[the] key to energy is to unlock the sun and harness its energy so that it is affordable to nearly everyone.” She believes that the best way for her to make a prolific impact on people around the world is to help advance solar energy technology.

Mass and energy balance has been a particularly insightful class for Casayuran in her “ChemE” curriculum. The class included a series of group energy projects; her group decided to work with hydro powered turbines and eco-fuels. Although Casayuran is at times frustrated with the lack of grade inflation at Cornell University, she is happy that in her tougher classes generally curve to a higher mean grade. She advises incoming students to not get frustrated if they find the curriculum difficult because there are so many ways to get help if you need it.

One of those avenues of assistance is through her fellow students. Casayuran notes that out of the 50 people in her year, most people know each other because they struggle, go to offices hours, and virtually have all classes together. A t Cornell, the “competitiveness stays in the classroom,” she says.  Outside of class, everyone is helpful and agreeable. In her tightly knit major she even has built close ties with students in classes one and two years above her. Casayuran says that the older students are very helpful and give plenty of advice.

Apart from feeling at home among her peers within engineering, Casayuran has built a strong network of great friends in the various clubs and groups in which she is involved in on campus. As captain of her high school volleyball team, here she has donned the name “coach” of her intramural team. She is also very involved in the Cornell Filipino Association.  Casayuran also enjoys performing the hula dance with the Hawaii Club at events such as their annual luau at the Statler.

Overall Casayuran is grateful for the amount of exposure she has had to different cultures she’s received in her two years in Ithaca. She’s amazed by the weather here on the east coast, which was one of the reasons she was enthusiastic about applying to Cornell, and has never looked back on her decision to come here.

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