New Student Highlights

Cassondra Kelly

Cassondra Kelly is a 3/C Midshipman who transferred from Villanova University. She is majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences and minoring in both Astrophysics and Climate Science. MIDN Kelly looks forward to researching planetary climates and exploring the Finger Lakes during her time at Cornell.

Ian Moritz

Ian Moritz is an NROTC candidate from the Northern Virginia area. He plans to major in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Business or German. For sports, Ian particularly enjoys wrestling, paintball, and volleyball, and he hopes to take MMA classes in college. Ian is looking forward to his time as an NROTC candidate this year.

Katariina Alanko

I was born and raised in Arlington, Virginia. I grew up playing piano and oboe but also loved staying active. During high school, I joined the crew team as a rower, but eventually also became a coxswain and land coach to novices. Since I have always wanted to live and travel abroad, my interest in the military slowly grew as I learned about the opportunities that are offered. Thinking about my future, Naval ROTC seemed like a great choice. Before starting university, though, I wanted to get ahead on traveling and life experiences. I took a gap year to volunteer abroad in five developing countries and also traveled to an additional three. After this eye-opening year, I’m now ready and eager to start studying again, join the Navy, and include more adventures with a new military family!

Annika Gerlach

Annika Gerlach is from Nevada, Ohio. Annika graduated from Wynford High School in 2017. While at Wynford she was involved in golf, FFA, swimming, the Interact Club, the Envirothon Club, and National Honor Society. Upon graduation from Wynford, Annika attended the United States Naval Academy Prep School where she graduated in May 2018. Annika will be majoring in environmental and sustainability sciences in CALS.

Kingmin Lee

I have lived in Los Angeles for most of my life. I will be attending the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, concentrating in finance and agribusiness. Growing up near the coast, I developed a passion for surfing and swimming. However, my interests go far beyond the water: I love traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Much like my passions and course of study, Naval ROTC exposes me to new challenges and adventures constantly. I look forward to being a part of the incredible Cornell and NROTC community.

Lauryn Gibbs

Hello, my name is Lauryn Gibbs. I’m from Woodbridge, VA (near Washington DC). I’m a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. My passion and major is chemistry, and I am interested in figure skating. I chose to join NROTC for self improvement and family legacy. I am looking forward to a great first year at Cornell and in NROTC.

Michael Laumakis

I am from San Diego, California, and I am an Environmental and Sustainability Sciences major, with a focus in economics. I have been interested in the military and more specifically military aviation from a very young age. I went on a Tiger Cruise on the USS Boxer with a very close family friend (a Marine helicopter pilot) and it was during this trip from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to North Island, Coronado that made me want to be an aviator. In high school, I was active in student government and was a captain on the baseball team. I look forward to the opportunities Cornell and Naval ROTC will present me with and will make the most of them. I am the first person in my family to pursue a career in the military.

Frances Lee


My name is Frances Lee, and I’m from Whippany, New Jersey. I graduated from the Academy for Math, Science, and Engineering in 2018 and am currently a freshman at Cornell University. From 3D printing to metal/wood working, the hands-on experiences inside and outside of class sparked and developed my interest in engineering. In high school, I was a peer tutor for math and physics, captain of the fencing team, and an active member of my school’s technology club and science olympiad. At Cornell, I plan to major in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Aerospace or Civil Engineering. Joining Naval ROTC was a unique (no family history) decision for me, and I’m so grateful to have found a supportive community where I can dedicate myself to a cause larger than myself with similar positive, motivated NROTC Midshipmen. I can’t wait to see what these next four years have in store at Cornell and with NROTC!