About CTSA

Hi! We are the Cornell Tech Student Association. We aim to serve Cornell Tech by giving Master's students a voice, representing student opinions, and maintaining tradition to enrich the overall quality of student life. We give student interest groups funding, put on events, and serve as the liaison between you and CT administration. 

Meet our members!

Executive Board

   
Sandra Ebirim
Co-President, Technical
CM '20

 

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: Neuroscience @ The University of Southern California
Q: Who are some people you follow / read regularly?
A: Chrissy Teigen - because she's hilarious, successful, and never takes herself or others too seriously.
Q: Tell us something interesting. 
A:  I used to be an EMT during undergrad and worked on things that range from awards shows to a kids' cooking show.
Q:  If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?
A: Travel

  

   
Billy Grenis
Co-President, Professional
MBA '20

 

Hometown: Princeton, NJ
Education:  Materials Science & Engineering @ The University of Michigan 
Q:  What is your motto / personal strategy?
Maybe praise does something for your confidence, but your confidence has to exist without it.
Q:  Tell us something interesting. 
I created "A Technical Explanation of Bitcoin That Anyone Can Understand" http://billybitco.in/
Q: What is the most important relationship in your life and why?
Family First. Plus my Book Club. 11 Best High School friends who travel the world to pursue intellectuality and strengthen the bonds of friendship. Check us out at beyondbookclub.com

 

   
Noah Gaynor
Treasurer
MBA '20

 

Hometown: Princeton, NJ
Education: Hotel Administration @ Cornell University
Q: Who or what do you follow / read regularly?
A: waitbutwhy.com has blown my mind more than anything
Q: What is your motto / personal strategy?
A: Less is more
Q: Tell us something interesting.
A: I quit my job and backpacked Southeast Asia for 3 months, then spent the next 7 working in blockchain in Tel Aviv, Israel

  

 
   
Axel Calmet
Student Activities Chair
MBA '20

 

Hometown: Lima, Peru
Education: Economics + English Minor @ Lafayette College 
Q: Tell us something interesting. 
A:  Prior to moving to NYC, I lived in Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and Miami. Moving so much as a kid was hard at the time but shaped me into who I am today - someone who deeply appreciates diversity and experiential learning. I'm fascinated by all the different versions of "normal" that exist in the world and love leaning into new experiences that help me empathize with more people.
Q: Cool habits / practices that help you succeed?
A:  I love going for long runs around NYC (or other cool cities if I'm traveling) and always view them as adventures rather than as exercise. I bring my laptop with me almost everywhere I go, mainly to write down ideas and keep track of everything I learn about throughout the day. I use Google Maps probably more than I should, with 1,000+ places saved and carefully labeled on my custom world map. I also love making epic homemade omelets, singing and jumping into late-night dance circles.
Q:  If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?
A:  Travel the world to maximize my exposure to new environments and new people. This would not only be incredibly fun but also optimize my growth as a person and ultimately help me better understand the most pressing problems occurring in different parts of the world. Eventually, I would shift my focus to meeting with promising startups, entrepreneurs and world leaders to figure out how to best allocate my time and endless fortune to help make the world a far better place over time.

 

 
   
Anurima Sharma
External Relations Chair
HT '21

 

Hometown: Morristown, NJ
Education: Biomedical Engineering @ Washington University in St. Louis
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  Learn a new dance style! Top of my list right now is learning how to shuffle.
Q: What is your patronus? 
A:  Abu, the monkey from Aladdin (minus the stealing). He is such a vibe: so fun, a loyal friend, and a stellar wingman! Also, not to mention our names are very similar.
Q:  Cool habits / practices that help you succeed?
A:  I am a big fan of face masks and candles nights! Whenever I need to destress I light a candle, put on a face mask, and watch an episode of Brooklyn 99! After those 30 mins, I feel like a new person and am ready to take on the world.

 

   
Shreya Chandrasekar
Communications Chair
HT '21

 

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Education:  Computer Science, Pre-Health Track @ The University of Texas at Austin
Q:  What is your motto / personal strategy?
A:  There is something that you can learn from everyone you meet if you ask the right questions & treat them as if they are going to be in your life from here on out!
Q:  What do you want to know about people / what are the questions you ask people when you REALLY want to get to know them?
A:  Fun fact: I'm working a list of questions for this purpose :-) (e.g. What questions do YOU ask other people when you want to get to know them? What is something about your predicament/your situation/YOU that only you understand and want others to know?)
Q: Tell us something interesting. 
A: Really interested in data viz and creating tools that let people build custom, interactive visualizations easily. More broadly, I want to change the way people interact with computers so that it is more accessible and human! Check this out: https://dynamicland.org/
Q: What is your go to party trick? 
A:  The Dele Alli hand eye trick! Honestly, any hand trick freaks people out since I'm double jointed in my fingers and elbows.

Program Reps

Program representatives serve as the program-specific point of contact for students and the liaison between a program and CTSA & CT administration. 

   
Willy Lin
ORIE '20 Rep
wl677@cornell.edu

 

Hometown: Houston, TX
Education: Electrical Engineering @ Georgia Tech
Q:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
A:  A professional rock climber
Q:  What is your motto / personal strategy?
A: Lean on your friends :)
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  Rock climbing, play basketball, call my mom

 

   
Yuxin Zhang
ECE '20 Rep
yz2579@cornell.edu

 

Hometown: Beijing, China
Education:  Electrical Engineering @ Georgia Tech
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A musician or a sound engineer who can help musicians with live sound mixing.
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A: Forget everything and find a good restaurant to have a bowl of ramen.
Q:  If you were a type of pasta, which type of pasta would you be and why?
A: Fusilli! Because I'm not a very straight forward person and I used to have a lot of inside-talking/debates before deciding on one thing. Hope I can be more like Penne one day XD

 

 
   
Shobhna Jayaraman
CS '20 Rep
sj747@cornell.edu
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Education: Computer Science
Q: Who are some people you follow / read regularly?
A:  A R Rahman because he makes magical music and is really humble.
Q: What is your motto / personal strategy?
Just keep on going! All is temporary.
Q: What is your patronus? 
Bird. Relate to their freedom

 

 
   
Pargol Gheissari
HT '20 Rep
pg463@cornell.edu

 

Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Education: Biomedical Engineering @  Imperial College London
Q:  What is your motto / personal strategy?
A:  Always be open to change. I believe my journey through three different continents and multiple cities, from Tehran to London to San Francisco, has helped me to become a stronger individual and has made me more confident in taking risks. Throughout this journey, I strived to diversify my learning experiences and to undertake challenges. I believe that with patience and perseverance, I will set and meet personal goals of my life.
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  I would grab a book that I have been wanting to read and go to a beach.
Q:  What do you want to know about people when you meet them? 
A:  I want to learn their background and their story. I would like to learn about their life journey and what made them choose certain paths. I also want to learn about their passion and what inspires them in life.

 

   
Dan Witte
HT '21 Rep
dw592@cornell.edu

 

Hometown:  Burbs of Philly
Education: Economics @  Hamilton College
Q:  Who are some people you follow / read regularly?
A: Ben Thompson writes a ridiculously good newsletter called Stratechery, it's all about strategy and tech companies. As a past liberal arts student I can't help but to enjoy it. His writing has definitely changed my view of tech, but also has broader commentary on life generally. Peter Attia has a podcast that's mostly focused on medicine, but he has some general interest topics as well. His interviews are super interesting and a great way to learn more about the health industry.
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  Take a nap, go for a run, make pasta from scratch
Q:  What is your go to party trick?
A: I tell people I'm colorblind. Without fail they're entertained for at least 5 minutes asking me what color different objects are.

 

   
Ben Dobkin
CM '20 Rep
bld64@cornell.edu

 

Hometown:  Marblehead, MA
Education: Economics @ Harvard
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  Go big mountain skiing out West and take time for some elaborate cooking and wine tasting.
Q:  Cool habits/practices that help you succeed?
A:  Always listening to music - classical and hip hop are more complementary than people often realize.
Q: What is the most important relationship in your life and why?
A:  My sister - role model, confidant, and best friend.

 

   
Hortense Gimonet
CM '21 Rep
hg332@cornell.edu

 

Hometown: Paris, France
Education: Mathematics @ Cornell
Q: Who are some people you follow / read regularly?
A:Not sure about people, but I've read pretty much every recent Star Wars novel that's come out in the new canon, and some of the now legends novels.
Q: What is your motto / personal strategy?
A: Break down everything into smaller components until it makes sense.
Q: Tell us about your pets!
A:  One grumpy Brittany Spaniel Carla, who I'd go cry to when I was 12 and reading the saddest part in Les Miserables at 4am, an English Cocker Spaniel Elvire who is the most precious thing in this world, a Jack Russel Maggie who pees whenever I come visit her, and a Dachshund Nino who's a little shit.

 

   
Risa Israeloff
MBA '20 Rep
rmi22@cornell.edu

 

Hometown:  Woodbury, NY
Education: Information Science and Statistics @ The  University of Michigan
Q:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
A:  A singer!
Q:  Who are some people you follow / read regularly?
A:  I love Gary Janetti, he just published a book of personal essays and he is HILARIOUS!
Q:  If your to-do list was magically cleared, what would you do?
A:  Watch Netflix in bed all day, go out for dinner, and then sleep for 12 hours.

  

Interested in joining CTSA? 

At the beginning of every academic year (September), Program Representatives are selected by the student bodies of each respective degree program. This process remains at the discretion of each individual degree program and is self-organized. Then, applications for the Executive Board positions will be opened to the student body and evaluated by the Program Representatives. 

Please contact Hortense Gimonet (hg332@cornell.edu) or Dan Witte (dw592@cornell.edu) if you have any questions regarding applying for positions in the next application cycle (September 2020). 

Executive Board Position Descriptions:

Communications Chair

  • Record CTSA meeting minutes
  • Make CTSA meeting minutes available to the Council
  • Create and distribute a student newsletter periodically to notify the student body of CTSA activities and events
  • Create new pathways for communication with the student body and Cornell Tech community at large

Treasurer

  • Plan and present appropriation of Student Activity budget to the Council on a semesterly basis
  • Make budget available to the Council
  • Prepare and present financial reports and documents of the student activity fund at each CTSA meeting
  • Tracks student activity expenditures by keeping a record of all transactions - deposits, checks, and adjusting entries accordingly.
  • Acts as a liaison between the Council and the Administration’s Finance staff.

Student Activities Chair

  • Plan and present schedule of student social activities to the Council on a semesterly basis
  • Manage a Social Events Committee (e.g., recruitment, organizing periodic meetings)
  • Oversee budget and planning social activities agreed upon by the Social Events Committee

External Relations Chair

  • Acts as a liaison between the Council and Cornell Tech Alumni Committee
  • Coordinate and plan gatherings with the Cornell Tech Alumni Committee
  • Coordinate and plan gatherings with the Roosevelt Island Community.

 Co-Presidents

  • Two Co-Presidents shall serve primarily as liaison with the Cornell Tech and broader Cornell administration. As such, they shall keep the CTSA aware of any issues brought to them for the Council’s action. To ensure effective communication, Co-Presidents shall be required to have knowledge of all CTSA activities. To promote the acquisition of this knowledge, Co-Presidents shall draft and propose CTSA meeting agendas and serve as meeting facilitators.