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The College of Arts Sciences

Congratulations CAPS Class of 2017!

Mon, 06/12/2017

Dear CAPS Graduates

As Sherman Cochran, Hu Shih Professor Emeritus of Chinese History at Cornell, once said,

"It's inspiring to imagine what your futures will be like. Will you remain hooked on China for the next fifty years (as I have been hooked on China for the past fifty years)? May you find (as I have for fifty years) that China is never, ever boring. May you find (as I have for fifty years) that China is full of endless surprises--some good, some bad. May you learn from the painful surprises. May you enjoy the deep satisfactions of the good surprises. And as you move forward across the abyss of everyday life, may you stay open to surprises every step of the way."

group photo of CAPS Class of 2017

Congratulations and best wishes from the CAPS faculty and staff to the Class of 2017!! We wish you a bright future.





Max AlaghbandMaximiliano Alaghband    
Double major in CAPS and Economics. For the moment, Max's plans for the future include spending a few weeks at Zen monasteries in Japan and seeing where else the summer takes him (maybe back to China?). He is confident that, with the strong foundations provided by his studies, he will go on to find an interesting and fulfilling employment opportunity (that will hopefully also pay the bills).

Cole DeVoyCole DeVoy  
Double major in CAPS and Government. Cole graduated with Distinction in All Subjects from the College of Arts and Sciences and summa cum laude for his excellent CAPS honors thesis “Crossing the Strait: Taiwanese Students at Mainland Chinese Universities.” At the end of July he will leave for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to continue his work as an English teacher through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Sarah HarrisSarah Harris 
CAPS major. After graduation, Sarah plans to work as a paralegal at an Atlanta law firm and to later apply to law school. She is unsure of what, exactly, the future holds, but she has faith and confidence that experiences even more beautiful and exciting than those behind her lie ahead.

Anna KookHee Kyung (Anna) Kook 
Double major in CAPS and Government. Anna graduated with Distinction in All Subjects from the College of Arts and Sciences. She will be going off to Northwestern University in Chicago to pursue a master’s in broadcast journalism. While in the short run Anna hopes to become an international journalist, her long-term dream is to become a professor like the ones at Cornell who encourage and nurture students not only to become learners but also to become better people.

Derek MaseloffDerek Maseloff   
CAPS Major. Derek graduated with Distinction in All Subjects from the College of Arts and Sciences. This summer, Derek will travel to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou with the inaugural concert tour of the National Youth Orchestra of China as a resident advisor. In the fall, Derek will pursue his master’s degree in music at the University of Maryland as a member of the graduate fellowship wind quintet.

Matt McGeeMatthew McGee 
Double major in CAPS and Government. Matt graduated with Distinction in All Subjects from the College of Arts and Sciences, was the recipient of the 2017 Sherman Cochran Prize for his outstanding work in China studies, and was chosen by his classmates to give the Commencement student address. Matt will participate in the War Studies Program at the American Enterprise Institute and the Chinese Grand Strategy program at the Hertog Foundation before moving to California, where he will study counterproliferation in Northeast Asian special economic zones at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In May 2018, Matt will report for active duty in the world’s greatest Air Force at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas.

Amanda WilliamsAmanda Williams  
CAPS major, Communication minor. Amanda's goals are to maintain and perfect her Chinese language skills in order to run her very own “Chinese Table” (Zhongwen zhuozi 中文桌子).


Rachel Armstrong  Biology major; CAPS minor

Dora Zhuo Deng   Statistic Science major; CAPS minor

Nicole Schmit    Econ major; CAPS minor

Steven Selenik-Raccuia   Government major; CAPS minor. 
Steven will be based in New York City after graduation, working with Accenture Strategy as a retail strategy analyst. He will focus on product sourcing, a field where his language abilities can be put to use.

Marissa Train   Government major; CAPS minor

Fangfang Wan   Econ major; CAPS minor.
Fangfang will soon enter the University of Chicago for a master’s degree and plans to do research in international organizations and contribute to economic growth issues in developing countries.

Yishuo Yang   Econ and Statistic Science double major; CAPS minor


Read more about our 2017 graduates on our Alumni page.

Other articles about the 2017 CAPS Commencement:

When a Mango is So Much More: Reflections on the CAPS Class of '17 (remarks by Professor Andrew Mertha)

CAPS in Beijing: Growing Brighter Each Semester (remarks by Professor Allen Carlson, CAPS Director)

News about China Will Define My Future--and Yours:  The 2017 CAPS Class Address (by Matthew McGee)

2017 Sherman Cochran Prize Goes to Matt McGee

Taiwanese Student Identity in Mainland China: A CAPS Honors Thesis




Sarah Harris receiving diploma

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