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Meet Cotdell Tuning
Class of 2020, Biology and Pre-Health
What attracted me to curry was the small classes so I can get the one-on-one time with teachers.
I know that I want to be a surgeon, and my whole family they’re nurses, so medicine, going to hospitals has always been a part of the routine.
I was part of the multicultural student union, and we talked about having a black student union and we thought the idea was really good. So we’re two separate things but at the same time, of course I want to work with them because we all have the same focus and the same goal, which is to bring diversity to Curry. For Soul Fest, we wanted to really have a connection with the people we want to join our club, we want people to meet us as the Black Student Union. So, we’re like, ‘We’re going to serve them the food.’ And we’ll get to say hi to people, meet new people and encourage them to come to our meetings and that really went well.
It seems like I’m always doing something, which I am, I’m always busy, but I feel like there’s so much more that I can do. Not for just myself, I want to do things for the whole Curry College community. I want people to know, ‘Oh Cotdell is here.’ If you need help what certain things, if you need advice you can come to me.
I like leadership roles, so my goal for Curry is to do even more than what I’m doing now.
Cotdell Tuning, a Biology major and member of the Class of 2020 from West Hartford, CT, President of the Black Student Union (BSU), Vice President of Women In STEM, and contributor to both the Multicultural Student Union (MSU), and Student Government Association (SGA), keeps busy.
"I feel like there's so much more I could do," says Cotdell. A statement that when taken with her rigorous coursework and extracurricular activities, shows her motivation. Cotdell ultimately wants to become a surgeon, and has goals to accomplish along the way.
"I want to reach goals not just for myself, I also want to achieve things for the whole Curry College community." For example, talking about the creation of the BSU in 2017 she says, "It's all about discussion, learning new things, meeting new people and bringing them all together." One awe-inspiring fact is that after Cotdell and her friends conceived of the organization one night, she went and wrote out its whole constitution in one sitting.
"I don't like to sit on things. If we wait for someone else to do something in life, it might not get done."
This positive, self-starter trait can be witnessed as she talks about high school and how she discovered a calling, like the numerous nurses in her family, in the medical field. In her junior year anatomy and physiology class, she dissected a sheep brain. She's been hooked ever since.
"We talked about the different parts of the brain and I was really into it. I looked into what it takes to become a surgeon - how many years of school, what programs to take. I knew then what I wanted to do."
Cotdell has taken advantage of the options available in the natural sciences programs at Curry. Students wishing to pursue a career as a physician for example, can take part in the Pre-Health Profession Studies Program. "I know people in the program who are pre-med like myself, pre-dental, and some people who want to go to veterinary school."
"There's a lot of different career tracks and options, and the coursework caters to your specific path in medicine."
Cotdell's path is clear. Next stop. Medical school.
"Curry has prepared me for that next step by ensuring that I'm aware of and I complete all the necessary requirements needed to get into medical school. It's really helpful having dedicated professors to advise me and let me know that I'm on the right track with pre-requisites and my extracurricular activities. I really want to be a strong candidate."
Cotdell mentions two professors in particular that have helped her to become that ideal med school applicant: Dr. Marie Turner and Professor Shana Shields, both from the Department of Science and Math.
"They're both great teachers. Through their teaching they've really opened my eyes as to how we utilize our brains to work on and solve difficult problems."
Cotdell also shares that the Student Center, where she has a job on the "Stu Staff," is her favorite Curry spot because it serves as the "hub" of campus.
"That's where you meet everyone and that's where most events happen. My greatest college memories have happened at the Student Center." Memories such as Soul Fest in the fall and the Big Bang Fashion and Talent Show that MSU has put on every spring in the Katz Gymnasium since 2009, featuring dancers, music and the latest fashions from local designers.
Another campus building dedicated to community, active learning and student success is The new Curry College Learning Commons - a collaborative environment to benefit all students and particularly those majoring in the sciences and health fields.
"The fact that a new state-of-the-art Science building is coming soon is really exciting," says Cotdell who then brings up a great point about true "active learning."
"We don't only have teachers at Curry. A student doesn't just have to go to Dr. Turner or Professor Shields or Professor [Stephanie] Walker to get help, there are students here who are mentors. - students who are always ready to help you no matter what." I can think of one student in particular who fits that bill.
"I like leadership roles. I want people to know that if they need help with certain things or want advice, they can come to me." If you see her on campus take her up on it - she's just getting started.