Student spotlight: Yuxin Zou ’26

Stewart Park is an Ithaca gem, and Yuxin Zou ’26 spent the summer deepening the connections between the park and its visitors. A human biology, health and society major in the College of Human Ecology, Yuxin worked as a community connection liaison with Friends of Stewart Park.

The position was part of the Community Work-Study Program, facilitated by the Einhorn Center.

Yuxin says: “Friends of Stewart Park helps to maintain and revitalize Stewart Park and the Waterfront Trail. My work primarily involved surveying visitors to gather information on how they heard about the park, the reason for coming to the park, the amenities they use, what they like, and areas for improvement. From conducting surveys, I was able to interact and connect with the Ithaca community and also people from many parts of the world.

“Another part of my job entailed passive counting of the visitor demographics and high-traffic areas. This helped me assess which amenities were used the most, and I was able to discover that playgrounds and pavilions on sunny weekends are often packed with people and cook-outs.

“Throughout my job, I also photographed the scenery and people to keep everyone updated on social media. Brochures were also provided about upcoming operations such as the  Wharton Studio, a new museum and café. Interesting events I encountered included free concerts, movies, and  WaterMusic and Dancing along the Trail. I also recorded an inventory of the signs and mile markers along the Waterfront Trail.

“In this job, I especially enjoyed the intersection of nature and my lively and vivid experience with the surrounding Ithaca Community through the Friends of Stewart Park.” 

Learn more about the Community Work-Study Program.