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Victoria Schwanda Sosik, InfoSci PhD

Victoria Schwanda Sosik PhD Student

Research Focus: how technologies can support physical and psychological wellbeing; social media tools for positive psychological interventions

Hometown: Stanton, NJ

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell primarily because of the people here. Many of the schools that I looked at were strong academically and had many interesting courses and research projects, but when I visited Cornell I felt like these were the people that I wanted to be surrounded with for the next five years.

What did you want to know about Cornell before you came here?

I wanted to know whether I would fit into the program and be able to thrive here as a researcher. It's hard to make that call based off of just a few days' visit, but the conversations that I had with faculty and students helped me to make my decision.

Where and what did you do for your Undergrad?

I did my undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania where I earned a dual degree in Computer and Cognitive Science and Psychology and minored in Fine Arts.

What research projects are you working on?

I'm mostly focusing now on projects related to my dissertation. My overarching research goal is to design and evaluate technological interventions that make use of social media content and platforms to increase feelings of social connectedness, and therefore psychological well-being, in individuals.

How has your advisor influenced your educational experience?

My advisor, Dan Cosley, has had a significant impact on my time at Cornell. He has been supportive of me as a researcher as I came to find the topic that I will focus on for my dissertation, and as a person in realizing that there is more to life than just grad school.

What other activities are you involved in around campus or around Ithaca?

My main extracurricular activity at Cornell is synchronized skating. I've been competing in the sport for over fifteen years and it's great to be able to continue that throughout grad school.

What has been your greatest moment or accomplishment so far at Cornell?

Probably when I found out I received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. That has had the most impact since it provided me with three years of funding for my PhD. Defending my A Exam was also pretty great, but also very anticlimactic!