#IncomingElliott: Titus Cornell

#IE Cornell

Titus Cornell is an incoming student in the International Science and Technology Policy program in the Elliott School of International Affairs. He currently works as a Public Affairs Coordinator at CTIA, the wireless industry association. Previously, he worked and interned in the United States Senate, and also interned with Comcast NBCUniversal and McAllister & Quinn, LLC. Titus graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Titus graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is interested in federal technology policy ranging from wireless issues to technology innovation. In his free time, Titus enjoys traveling, live music and spending time with friends.

What made you interested in your undergrad field of study and how, if at all, did that contribute to your decision to go to grad school?

Every aspect of my undergraduate journey at the University of Georgia was one of self-discovery, including my major, which changed many times while I studied there. Although I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science, I spent my first few semesters preparing myself for a career in the medical field, and later, in business administration. As time went on, I discovered where my interests truly lied: literature, history and public policy. Thus, I changed my major to political science, where I could get a dose of all three.

I was interested in political science because my first year in college was a very political time in America during which an administration was coming to an end, and a new generation of voters would be eligible to vote in their first presidential election. It was during this time that I was first introduced to government and legislation as a topic of study in a college atmosphere, and the first time where I had to look at laws and politics not only from my own perspective, but also from an analytical one.

My undergraduate degree didn’t influence my decision to go to graduate school as much as the internships I was fortunate to complete while I was still a student. However, graduate school was something I knew I wanted to pursue for both my career and personal aspirations.

What are you most looking forward to about grad school? What are you most nervous about?

I am looking forward to the challenge that comes with learning new things. Although I have been interested in technology for a while, I know that there is still much to learn about technology policy and the creativity that helps the tech industry grow and flourish. The process of learning something new and being in a position to use acquired skills and knowledge in my professional career is something I am really excited about.

I am nervous about (but also looking forward to) meeting my future classmates. I am sure I will be surrounded by similar, like-minded students as I work to complete my graduate degree. All signs point to a class full of bright and ambitious individuals who have done great things in their academic and professional careers. I think this will put me in a great position to learn from both my professors and my fellow students while also making new friends and professional connections.

What activities do you hope to pursue outside of your graduate studies? 

While I study at GWU, I will continue working full-time at CTIA, so that I can supplement my work with what I learn in the classroom. In addition to my studies and work, I hope to return to my recreational soccer league once it is safe to do so. I also hope to invest more time in volunteering in the D.C. area. Being active and involved in my community is a great way to give back while also setting yourself up for personal growth. You can also meet new people along the way!

Why did you choose to commit to the Elliott School for your graduate program?

I chose to commit to the Elliott School because it is home to the best program for my personal and professional goals. From my friends and colleagues who currently attend GWU as graduate students, I have heard how remarkable the university is and how it sets its students up for success. Through the International Science and Technology Policy Program, I will be able to conduct research on how we can advance our society through technological innovation and public policy. Furthermore, this program facilitates an understanding of technology policy while encouraging students to supplement research and theory with practice. Additionally, as we become increasingly reliant upon technology, it is essential that technology firms and lawmakers are diverse in their ideas, practices and beliefs. I believe that GWU places me at the proverbial table, which can help foster a more representative technology community and ensure that technological advancement leaves no community behind.

How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

In my 23 years of life, I have always done my best to encourage people to be their true, authentic self. Love who you want to love. Travel where you want to travel. Read the books that you want to read. I believe that when we encourage others to be themselves, and lift them up as they pursue their personal interests, we help move our society in the right direction. Pineapple on pizza, however, is one of many passions that does not help us advance as a society. In fact, I believe it holds us back, with each order chipping away at the foundation of civilization. Like hard sprinkles on a soft sugar cookie, like spaghetti on a taco, pineapples do not belong on pizza.

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The #IncomingElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights newly enrolling students to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.