Incoming 2016 Part One

POSTED ON: August 15, 2016

In this first of a three part series introducing the newest students to join The Cooper Union [see parts two and three], we meet Sophie Schneider, Javier Blancas and Tammy Wei. We asked them all how they got interested in their fields of study, what drew them to The Cooper Union and what they have been up to during their summer.

Sophie SchneiderSophie Schneider

San Francisco, California


Throughout high school I always tried to combine my interests in science and the arts through different projects and assignments. In my junior year, I realized that studying engineering would teach me to combine these interests in a way that would allow me to solve real-world problems — it was the perfect combination of problem solving, designing and building that immediately drew me to the topic.

I was focused on picking a school that allowed me to study engineering in a creative environment. The idea of being surrounded by architects, artists and other engineering students sounded very exciting and inspiring to me. After visiting Cooper Union and seeing all of the projects students were working on, I knew I wanted to be a part of the community.

I am looking forward to being in a challenging academic environment and learning from my professors and classmates. I am excited to be studying engineering in such a vibrant and dynamic city and am very eager to explore New York!

I have been living in London on my own this summer while working as an intern at a men’s clothing company called E. Tautz and a design company called Moving Brands.

Javier BlancasJavier Blancas

Austin, Texas & Palo Alto, California


I got interested in architecture from taking various art classes at my high school and from being a member of the Gunn Robotics Team.

I chose to attend Cooper Union because I fell in love with it when Adrianne [Greth, assistant dean of admissions] came to my school to explain to myself and various others about this Institution.

I look forward to growing into a more self-aware person, one who understands how to navigate the complexities of modern communication and expression and to explore the world and further my skills in architecture.

My summer has been relaxing with friends and family. Some of them are in Spain, where I spent two and half weeks.

Tammy WeiTammy Wei

West Windsor, New Jersey


I’ve always been interested in unprofound objects and experiences of the everyday world. Art became a way to investigate these mundane phenomena. I could explore things more intimately and gain an additional dimension to my particular viewing of the world.  

The Cooper Union is a place I am intensely curious about. There is something very different and interesting about the students that make up Cooper and the School of Art.

I most look forward to learning about how others create and think.

During the summer I am traveling and learning, perusing the web and consuming large amounts of media, practical and useless. I am enjoying the nostalgia of summer and thinking about this time of year in childhood. 


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.