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Meet CALS Student Leader David Cox

David Cox
David Cox

This fall, David Cox ‘17 was elected to serve as the CALS representative to the Cornell Student Assembly. The senior majoring in biology and society with a double minor in infectious disease biology and science and technology studies hopes to one day become a doctor practicing internal medicine.

Before arriving at CALS, David served for four years as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. While in service, he was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA and Ft. Hood, TX, and performed mostly as a Radio-Telephone-Operator (RTO), a role that David said helped shape him into an effective and communication-minded leader. 

How have your experiences shaped you as a person and a student?

My experiences as a Veteran have greatly helped in my academic pursuits by instilling a strong and disciplined work ethic as well as exposing me to varying stressful situations that I was able to navigate successfully. These experiences allow me to draw from an inner reserve of strength to persevere during periods of academic rigor and lessen the anxiety of integrating with a large and complex community. Students in my classes often look to me for guidance or advice in their daily lives due to the life experiences that I share with them. Being able to help others instills a great sense of pride because I feel like I continue to make a difference by serving my community even though my service to my country is completed.

What do you enjoy most about Cornell?

David Cox
David Cox. Photo by Matt Hayes / CALS

Besides all of the hard work that goes into wearing many different hats and still attempting to gain entrance into medical school, I enjoy being able to have a lot of opportunities to socialize at Cornell. I am able to interact with many different groups, and also just spend time absorbing the vast natural wonders that surround the University.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I have a love for all things spicy, and have eaten the world’s spiciest pepper. While I love spicy food, it has often brought me tears while scrambling to find a water fountain or sink.

What do you envision yourself doing in five years?

As a freshly graduated medical student hot on the trail to become a physician in Internal Medicine, I have always been fascinated with the human body and the great complexities that it holds. Solving the mysteries of illness and guiding people to a healthful and wholesome life gives me a great deal of satisfaction and I often catch myself daydreaming about walking the halls of a hospital.

While I don’t look forward to leaving Cornell, I have great optimism for my last year and I know that I am well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The students of CALS and the faculty of Cornell have greatly shaped my character and opened many doors that I never considered when I was just another soldier in formation. The lessons learned in the classroom and those on the battlefield will certainly have a positive influence in achieving my dreams of humanitarianism and public service.