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Benjamin Burgunder


Class Year

Major & minor

  • Major: Entomology 
  • Minor: Biology of Infections Disease 


  • Baltimore, MD 


I never expected to find myself slipping and sliding through a high-altitude Hawaiian rainforest in search of a miniscule fly with an enlarged front leg. I was fortunate to accompany the O'Grady lab to Hawaii because of the emphasis CALS places on student research. 

What has been an academic highlight for you within your major? 

Serving as a Teaching Assistant for Insect Biology, the first entomology class I took at Cornell, was especially important to me. It challenged me to reframe my own knowledge of insect taxonomy and biology to better communicate to newcomers to the field, improving my own understanding. 

What has been an academic highlight for you outside of your major?  

My sophomore year, I took a fascinating class on the history and challenges facing the Indigenous populations of North and Central America. As a primarily biology focused student, I appreciated the introduction to unfamiliar areas such as sociology, history, and Indigenous Studies. 

How have you found your closest friends at Cornell?  

I am privileged to have found the majority of my friends through my major. Taking classes, participating in the Snodgrass and Wigglesworth Undergraduate Entomology club, living with, and going insect collecting with my fellow entomology majors has created some of the strongest bonds I have known.