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Phuong Mac ’19 Abroad

By Nali Byrd '19 on January 7, 2018
Name: Phuong Mac
Major/ Minor: Sociology and Asian Studies Double Major
Q1: Where are you studying abroad?
I am studying abroad in Manchester, England.
Q2. What has been your favorite part of being abroad?
I honestly don’t know how to begin when so many things about studying abroad have been wonderful to me. If I had to choose one, it would be the Colgate students that I was fortunate to share my abroad experience with. We became a small family as we often looked out for one another as well as doing almost everything together. I have become great friends with many and I am sure that these friendships will last beyond my time abroad.
Q3. What classes are you taking?
I am currently taking three courses from the University of Manchester (UoM) and two half-credit courses from our study group director, Professor Frank Frey. Within the three courses at UoM, I am taking two sociology courses and one Asian studies course. University of Manchester Courses:
  • Social Network Analysis (Fun fact: My professor was the co-founder of UCINET, a software for analyzing social networks)
  • Social Change in China
  • Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics

Professor Frey Courses:

  • ENST 233 – Global Environmental Health Issues
  • ENST 391 – Independent Study in Environmental Studies

Q4. What has been the most challenging thing about being abroad?

The most challenging thing about being abroad is being completely independent for the first time since I have entered college. Back at Colgate University, almost everything is provided for students to make their decision-making easier. These supports range from having easy access to meals for our first two years to professors consistently reminding us about upcoming assignments and examinations. With the case of being abroad, students are expected to manage their own schedule and make choices that would be best for them. This can be a challenge for many people to accomplish tasks without the same guidance and resources from our home institutions. On the other hand, I had to cope with other real-world problems that I have not yet experienced at Colgate. This can be something as small as planning when to cook my meals so that I would have time to meet deadlines to something like navigating my way around unfamiliar cities through different transportation methods. Nevertheless, although executing my own decisions were often nerve-racking, I am grateful that I have had the chance to experience what it is really like to be independent.

Q5. What advice would you give someone who is considering going abroad?

If you are considering on going abroad, I highly recommend that you take this opportunity that is offered to you as studying abroad is not commonly available at other institutions. While I love our home institution, studying abroad has been the best college experience for me thus far. It has enabled me to grow so much as an individual. I would encourage you all to arrive at your abroad destination with an open-mind and the determination to immerse yourself fully to all of the opportunities that will be available. No matter where you will be, you are capable of making some of the best memories in your life as long as you are engaged and are able to.

Alex Valdez ’19 First Gen Student Profile

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 13, 2017

Name: Alex Valdez

Major: Peace and Conflict Studies

Hometown: Ontario, California

What clubs are you a part of at Colgate?

I am a part of First Gen, Senate (EAC Chair), LASO (External Communicator), Quizbowl Trivia Team (Secretary), University Orchestra, SASS (VP), Link Staff, DU (SAPAS Chair).

What does being in the First Gen program mean to you?

First Gen has been one of the most important aspects of my college experience. For students like myself, coming from public high schools with more than 80% students of color, the transition to an elite, wealthy, white school like Colgate can be tough and scary. First Gen gave me time during the pre-orientation to settle in and meet other people in the same situation as me. Even now, the program provides many resources for its students, and I know I always have a community on campus to fall back on for support when I need it.

What has been your highlight of Colgate so far? 

The highlight of my Colgate career has definitely been the experience of navigating unfamiliar spaces. Knowing that I have spaces like First Gen and LASO has made me more comfortable trying things I’m unfamiliar with.

What advice would you give to younger students at Colgate?

Something I would say to younger students at Colgate is to find your balance. Find places, people, and communities that support you and make you comfortable, while also experimenting with new things. Know your limits. It took a while, but once I found my balance, my experience became much better day by day.

Jimmy Anim ’19 Abroad

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 13, 2017

Name: James (Jimmy) Anim

Hometown: Bronx, New York
Major/Minor: Economics/Political Science

Q1: Where are you studying abroad currently?
I am studying abroad in Manchester, England.

Q2: What has been the most memorable part of your abroad experience so far?
The most memorable part of my experience has been visiting Amsterdam. It’s a gorgeous city and I wish I could live there in the near future.

Q3. What is one new thing you have learned while being abroad?
Once you mention you’re from the United States, people bring up Trump, gun violence, or the insanely high cost of college education in the United States. Basically, even the country that voted for Brexit without knowing what it’s about laugh at us.

Q4. Have you tried any new foods/ drinks?
I’ve eaten a lot of great Indian and Southeast Asian food during my time here. I’ve also had fish and chips (an English staple) about 3 times. However, I’m already tired of it because I am not into thick-cut fries.

Q5. What was one unexpected aspect about being abroad?
I feel less stressed while abroad. I thought I would have the same amount of stress, but I feel relaxed. Maybe too relaxed (lol). I’m ready to go back to Colgate, but I’ll certainly miss the pace that comes with being abroad.

Enrique Nunez ’19 First Gen Profile

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 13, 2017
Name: Enrique Nuñez
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Major: Educational Studies
Minor: Latin American Studies
What clubs are you a part of at Colgate:
I currently serve as the Intern for OUS and First Gen Programs. I am a part of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Link Staff, and a Bystander Intervention Intern.
What does being in the first gen program mean to you?:
Being a first-generation college student has been hard, my experiences in navigating Colgate without much support from my family is different in comparison to students whose parents did go to college and somewhat know what their child is going through. Being in the first- gen program means the world to me because it has given me a support system that I can lean on whenever I need to. I have been allowed to meet some of the most amazing people through First Gen and OUS who are now my best friends.
What has been your highlight of Colgate so far?
My favorite Colgate moments have been when I was able to travel abroad to Ecuador on a service-learning trip sponsored by COVE. On this trip, I was able to reflect on my past two years at Colgate and gain a better sense of what I want from my Colgate experience. Since the trip, I have dropped my International Relations major to major in Educational Studies because that department suited more towards my passions.
What advice would you give to younger students at Colgate?
Do what you are truly passionate about whether that be joining a club sport, majoring in Economics or wanting to become fluent in a language. I believe that if you pursue what you desire most only then will you be able to make Colgate yours.
What would you change about Colgate if you could?
The reason that I came to Colgate was due to the financial aid package that I was offered — something that I would not have known about if Colgate did not send an admissions counselor to my high school. I wish Colgate focused more energy on sending admissions counselors to underrepresented schools throughout the country, schools like my own that mostly consisted of low-income students of color who, if looked at, could also take part in the opportunities that Colgate has to offer.

Newsletter: Fall, 2017

By Contributing Writer on December 11, 2017

Cover of the newsletter featuring three students sitting on scenic stone stepsThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the fall, 2017 issue here.

This Is Not A Play About Sex

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 29, 2017

This Is Not A Play About Sex (TINAPAS) is a play written by Colgate alumna Poppy Liu ’13. She originally wrote this play as her senior thesis and conducted various interviews with students, faculty, and administrators on campus about their experiences and stories with regards to Colgate’s sexual climate. The play combines real experiences and words from the interviews she conducted as well as new voices! Many find the play as an important conversation starter amongst friend groups, classmates, and really, all people.

Many of the topics discussed

The TINAPAS cast!

in TINAPAS are deeply personal and hard to discuss, especially in front of a room full of strangers! All of the actors and actresses, crew, tech and directors deserve a huge applause for their hard work, bravery, and commitment to making an amazing show!


The OUS and FIRST GEN programs are lucky to have 12 of its members involved in the show. We want to offer a special shoutout to Eric Alvarado ’18, Jade Basem ’19, John Bermudez ’20, Sydni Bond ’18, Tenzin Dickyi ’20, Diana Dimas ’20, Patrick Grijalva ’20, Nicole Jackson ’18, Jeustin Navarro ’20, Enrique Nunez ’19,  Lücién Reubens ’18,  and Chelsea Santiago ’19 for their amazing roles in TINAPAS!

One of the actors, Enrique Nunez ’19, discussed his feelings after TINAPAS concluded. “It’s more than just a play; the words said in TINAPAS are words actually said by people who were once Colgate students. It’s a little daunting to think about the student I portrayed in my own monologue, “To Creep or Not to Creep” because I wonder who they were, how they identified, why they said those words and what they thought about the hookup culture at Colgate”.

This Is Not A Play About Sex runs for one week every Fall semester at Colgate in Brehmer Theatre!


Valeria Felix ’18

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 11, 2017

Valeria Felix

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Major: Sociology and Psychology

Q1. How did you pick your major? What drew you to these concentrations?

For me, it was pretty easy settling into my majors since I knew what I wanted to study beginning my first-year. I love studying people and patterns, so what would be better than my two majors!

Q2. As a Senior, I know you are writing a thesis! Can you talk a little about what you are writing it on?

I am currently working on my Sociology senior thesis in which I am looking at post-undergraduate success after graduating from Colgate. Specifically, I am measuring whether or not there is any differences between first-generation college students and continuing-generation college students. At the moment, I am looking for any Colgate alumni to take my survey and help me find some interesting results!

Q3.  Did you go abroad? If so, where did you go and what was your experience like?

During my time at Colgate, I’ve had multiple opportunities to travel abroad and nationally. I took a Sociology/ Environmental Studies extended study, “Environmental Issues and Environmental Activism in China,” to different regions in China. I then studied in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester. These two experiences along with others I’ve had have been so enriching and important for my learning journey regarding immigration and the movement of bodies.

Q4. What activities are you involved in at Colgate?

At Colgate, I am currently involved with Link Staff, Konosioni Senior Honor Society, and Spanish Language Debate Society!
Q5. What are your plans after graduation?      After graduation, I am hoping to work in higher education. I would love for my work to revolve around equal education opportunity programs and specifically target disadvantaged students.

Q6. What is your favorite thing about Colgate?                                                                                        My favorite thing about Colgate is how much room it has given me to grow as a person. Being a college senior now, I reflect to who I was as a senior in high school and I feel as if many of my aspirations and values have completely changed. I’ve never been as happy with who I am as I am now.

Q7. Congratulations on being a senior! What advice would you give to underclassman? What do you know now that you wish you knew as a freshman?

I would tell first-years to know that life at Colgate is going to throw many challenges their way but they need to make sure to not spread themselves thin and always remember why they are here. Take it a day at a time and before you know it, you’ll almost be graduating!

If you are interested in contacting Valeria you can email her at: vfelix@colgate.edu

Learn 2 Earn and Fjordi Mulla ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on May 1, 2017

Name: Fjordi Mulla

Major: International Relations

Q1: What are you involved in on campus?

Current: Colgate Finance Club (President), Career Services Center (Investment Studies Program Fellow), Men’s Club Soccer (Member), Modern Greek (Tutor), and French Club (Member)

Past: Spring 2016 Theatre Production Actor, Puerto Rico Extended Study Course, India Extended Study Course, Business Ethics Participant, General Assembly Business Accelerator, Envestnet Institute on Campus, and Harvard Business School | HBX Program

Future: Spring 2018 Geneva Study Group Semester Abroad

Q2: I heard you are working on a new project called Learn 2 Earn! What is your project about?

The central goal of Learn 2 Earn is to provide college students with the chance to learn, practice, and understand how to budget, invest, and grow their money. We do this by incorporating tools and existing resources to draw on the importance of investing early and making financially healthy decisions in order to create a long-term plan for students’ personal and professional goals. It runs for two hours on two consecutive days – the first day is on budgeting and saving, and the second day is on investing and setting up an account.

Q3: What inspired you to do this project?

It is important to note that I did not “do” this project. Mike Sciola from Career Services has been the originator and idea creator, I have only supplemented his vision by providing my resources and external knowledge in any way I can. During the second semester of my senior year in high school, I took a class on Personal Finance with my, at the time, academic advisor Mr. Clifford. The class was a blast: I learned about stocks, bonds, the stock market, how to invest, the importance of diversifying, and many more concepts I never thought I had to know. My family never invested money. After taking the class, I decided to start investing for them. What is the point of taking a class when you cannot apply it to real life? I set up a 401K account through their employer and picked the asset classes – now, the account self-invests any profits created. That is the key to continuous wealth building – add more money as the years go buy. The more money you invest, the more money you make.

Well, what’s the point of all of this? Isn’t it just money? It sure is. But considering that my parents come from a lower-middle class, their social security and savings may not be enough for retirement. Learn 2 Earn and smart investing is not supposed to be quick and spontaneous. It requires personal reflection, risk assessment, and realistic expectations. The point of long-term investing is to have sustainable funds you can draw from when you retire. When you retire, you will not receive an income from your employer (duh), so where will you receive your income from? Social Security? That will probably be eradicated by the time we are in our 60s and 70s. Investing now, I thought, is the best way for me to secure my future after retirement. I know, it is a long way down the road, but considering how I want my lifestyle to be, I want to have a safe nest egg. And I want others to have one too. Money itself is not important. Using it to fulfill your goals and dreams – that’s more like it.

Q4: What are your long-term goals for the project?

I want as many people on campus to open up an investment account and put whatever money they can into it and start investing! They can even put $1 in one. The whole point is not to put a lot of money in right away – it is to build it slowly. I want the OUS and First Gen students to especially open up accounts and contribute to them regularly. We all have different passions and goals in life, but truth be told, some pay better than others. I believe a person can still do whatever he wants, without feeling financially unhealthy. The key is to discipline oneself and consider financial health just like you would think of your physical health. How do you ensure your kid will go to college with the cost of tuition skyrocketing more and more every year? How do you ensure you will buy a house in New York City with the ever-growing prices of the real estate market? Wealth building is important for everyone; teachers, artists, politicians, construction workers, entrepreneurs, presidents. We all need it because we all have goals. And those goals often come at costs. Well, investing and starting early is key – especially for us younger students who have never been exposed to investing.

Q5: What is the best way to get in contact with you if people are interested in this project as well?

Please feel free to contact me by email (fmulla@colgate.edu). Look out for an email next fall (September) – I will be sending out invitations so anyone from all grades, majors, and career interests. Everyone can apply to the two-day event and learn how to make millions by starting with just a single dollar.

Fjordi Mulla


Congratulations Class of 2018 Konosioni Members

By Nali Byrd '19 on April 27, 2017

Konosioni is Colgate’s senior honor society, recognizing outstanding leadership, dedicated service to the community, and the preservation of tradition”. This society is highly competitive and only accepts a limited number of rising seniors per year. Throughout the year, Konosioni Society holds many fun events that connect the members of Konosioni with the Colgate community as well as organizations in the greater Hamilton communities. These events include an Acapella Benefit Concert which supports Madison County Gives, A Senior Showcase which is a ball honoring the senior class, and an induction ceremony of new members which is open to anyone to attend.

The mission statement of Konosioni Honor Society is copied below:

We, as members of Konosioni Senior Honor Society, seek to:
Preserve and promote a greater appreciation and understanding of Colgate’s honored heritage and celebrated traditions;
Serve as responsible and respected leaders of Colgate, whether on campus or off;
Inspire a connection to Colgate’s campus and the surrounding community by seeking to provide an interface between the community and students;
Promote the charitable and philanthropic efforts of area organizations as peer-selected stewards of the greater Colgate community.

Our OUS family is so blessed to have six of our rising seniors inducted into the Konosioni Senior Honor Society!



Newsletter: Spring, 2017

By Contributing Writer on April 13, 2017

Newsletter cover featuring a male student in a baseball cap giving the peace sign while kayakingThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the spring issue here.