In their own words: Students from Ghana on the first snow during Winter Session

by Shelley Preston,
SCE News, February 15, 2024

Isaac Lamptey Nii Lantei, a biochemistry, molecular and cell biology PhD student from Accra, Ghana:

“It was a cozy Sunday afternoon. Being international PhD students, we wanted to walk around and enjoy the snowy campus while refreshing our minds. We met people on the hill skiing and made some friends.

“The first time I saw snow was last winter, but it was the first for Samuel. Samuel was jumping. I guess [it could be symbolic] for the dawn of new age for growth, innovation, lessons and all the challenges the new year comes with. But more importantly, the chance to contribute to the success of humanity and our community through the opportunity Cornell has offered us.

“Winters in Ithaca feel serene, calm, nostalgic—knowing the year ends whilst another begins—but importantly, transformative, watching as the routines, waterfalls and landscape change. A change that helps you embrace reality and the possibility of new and amazing things in our academic journey as international PhD students.”

Samuel Baffour, a chemical and biomolecular engineering PhD student from Kumasi, Ghana:

“For me, after completing a grueling first semester, this period was a time for reflection and planning ahead for the next semester.

“This winter is the very first time I am seeing snow, so I was filled with a lot of excitement. I simply couldn't resist the urge to jump! It was an opportunity for me to turn the gloomy look of the winter into a gleeful adventure. As for the jump in the picture, I thought, ‘If a walking bear is unstoppable, then how about a flying bear?’ That is why I was ‘flying.’"

(Thanks to Isaac and Samuel for sharing their reflections and to photographer Simon Wheeler, who captured their glee while on assignment for Cornell SCE Winter Session.)