Eliza Kornfeld ’23 on Growing into a Leader at Scripps

By Emily Glory Peters

During The Giving Season at Scripps, we’re highlighting student leaders as they share how their Scripps experience helped them use their voice and act on daring ideas.

When Eliza Kornfeld ’23 began looking at colleges, she knew one thing for certain: Bigger was not necessarily better.

Her search included the five colleges within The Claremont Colleges, but Scripps ultimately captured her sole attention.“I went to a very large, very competitive high school and I knew I didn’t want that,” she says. “The resources of the consortium were a big draw, but Scripps’ collaborative environment attracted me.”

Once on campus, Kornfeld began to fully grasp the Scripps difference. Here, she says, students encourage and push each other to reach their full potential—reflecting a “culture of togetherness” she feels is distinctive to Scripps as a women’s college. She leaned into the freedom of a multidisciplinary curriculum, majoring in biology and minoring in Spanish while continuing to pursue her love of music and singing. With the College’s emphasis on discussion-based courses, even her relationships with professors have differed from her past experiences.

“Faculty let us drive the conversation in a way I haven’t seen in my other courses,” she says. “The emphasis is on the students.”

Coming into her own at Scripps

Possessing a quiet personality, Kornfeld describes herself as the kind of person who needs more time to make friends and get involved. But after COVID-19 hit and sent Scripps students back to their respective corners of the world, she knew she needed to find a way to stay connected and engaged with the community. A position through the Sallie Tiernan Field House—the College’s main hub of fitness and wellness—afforded an opportunity to do so.

“During the pandemic, I became a peer health educator (PHE),” says Kornfeld, referring to Scripps’ trained student leaders who support their peers through holistic wellness programming. After observing a dip in digital student engagement with Tiernan since the campus shut down, she questioned how they could better uplift students as their needs shifted under the weight of the pandemic.

She pitched a few new ideas, and, with the support of Tiernan staff, overhauled their social media marketing and online content. Kornfeld and her PHE collaborators reduced Zoom sessions, created more do-it-yourself wellness projects on Instagram, even mailed recipe kits to students’ doors—and the changes worked.

“I have a lot of control over the content I put out into the Scripps community, and I really like mentoring other students. We’re using science-backed research to teach students about alcohol, drugs, stress, and nutrition, so it also ties in to what I love about human health,” she says. “I’ve changed so much since my first year, and being a PHE has helped me grow into myself.”

In stretching her leadership muscles, Kornfeld’s confidence has likewise evolved, as has her interest in wellness. She plans to pursue a career as a physician, and is especially passionate about making sure her future patients—like the students she’s touched through her work with Tiernan—feel safe, informed, and empowered.

With Scripps’ emphasis on community, relationships, and collaboration, the junior says the College will leave her well prepared for the task. Donors, she adds, help make growth like hers possible for many.

“[Giving] is so important, because when you invest in higher education for women and those with marginalized identities, you invest in a more diverse and vibrant future,” she says. “Scripps is ahead of the game in looking toward a more inclusive world; by giving, you help more students step into the workforce with confidence.”

Now through December 31, we invite Scripps College alums, parents, and friends to make a gift to set students like Eliza up for success in 2022. To give today, please click here. Thank you for your support!