Coco Torres ’17, MEng ’18 graduated from the College Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in 2017 with a degree in operations research and industrial engineering before receiving her Master of Engineering at Cornell Tech in 2018. Coco has stayed deeply rooted in the Cornell community of New York City since graduation. This double-Red alumna makes double the impact while serving as the co-president of the Cornell Tech Alumni Council (CTAC) and as the Cornell Tech and Young Alumni Co-Chair for NYC Cornellians.
Tell us about your journey to Cornell and Cornell Tech.
When I was applying to schools, I learned that my great-grandfather attended Cornell for his PhD nearly 100 years earlier. As a first-generation Filipino, I was fascinated that my great-grandfather made the trip all the way from the Philippines to attend Cornell. Naturally, I was determined to follow in his footsteps and ended up graduating exactly 100 years after him. From there, I realized that I wanted to hone my technical skills, which led me to Cornell Tech. After a fun and challenging year there, I was able to pivot my career into something that I enjoyed more and I still do today.
How did you get involved as a Cornell Tech Alumni Council (CTAC) and NYC Cornellians volunteer?
After graduation, I was approached by CTAC with a fun opportunity to help run their monthly alumni happy hours. I fell in love with the community, and one thing led to another and now I’m a CTAC co-president and represent them in the NYC Cornellians Board.
What has been your favorite volunteering moment?
Earlier in the fall, we restarted alumni happy hours after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. We hosted it at the brand-new Panorama Room at The Graduate Hotel on Cornell Tech’s campus. It was great to see a bunch of familiar faces and how much the campus has evolved in just a few short years. Highly recommend the Panorama Room—best view in all of NYC!
How has Cornell impacted who you are today?
Cornell has never left me—I’m still active in the alumni community as both a member of CTAC and NYC Cornellians. Staying in this network has given me more opportunities than just the degrees alone.
What makes you feel most connected to Cornell and Cornell Tech since graduation?
The little things—it’s nice to walk around NYC and spot a stranger wearing a Cornell hat or sweatshirt. Going to the Madison Square Garden hockey game and seeing old friends will always be a special memory.
Do you have a favorite class or extracurricular from your time at Cornell or Cornell Tech?
My favorite extracurricular activity was singing in an a cappella group. It’s a great party joke being able to say I graduated from Cornell and sang a cappella like Andy Bernard. Go Absolute!
Do you have a message for newly graduated alumni looking to volunteer?
Cornell has so many different opportunities that you can get involved with after graduation. If you’re unsure about the time commitment, don’t worry—we understand that everyone is busy, so even a small amount of time is better than nothing.
If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering or giving at Cornell, please fill out this short form and a member of the Northeast Corridor Team will reach out to you.