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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.

Kevin Iglesias ’17 awarded Fulbright to conduct research in Brazil

By Contributing Writer on April 3, 2017

Kevin Iglesias ’17, of Silver Spring, Md., has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to travel to Brazil to study public health.

Newsletter: Winter, 2017

By Contributing Writer on March 3, 2017

Female student with a Colgate teddy bear walks along the Great Wall of ChinaThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the winter issue here.

Ricky Fernandez ’18: Reflecting on the London Economics Study Group

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 24, 2017

1. What study abroad experience were you in?

I participated in the Colgate London Economics Study Group Fall 2016 led by Professor Kay Pollock and Professor Ted Hyett.

2. What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

The highlight of my study abroad experience was definitely having the opportunity to travel to other parts of Europe like Italy, Ireland, and Scotland. In addition, it was great getting to know my group and Professors Pollock and Hyett over the course of the semester.

3. What type of activities did you do while being abroad?

We definitely did a lot of different activities, but one that really stuck out to me was the weekly theatre show component built into our London theater class. Some of my favorites were AmadeusThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Yerma.

4. What type of classes did you take?

Three out of the four classes we took were economics classes like British Economy, Economics of EU, and European Economic Issues. What really set the curriculum apart from the one at Colgate was that it had different visiting professors and professionals lecturing on various topics from healthcare to monetary policy.

5. What advice would you give to someone who may want to go abroad in the upcoming year?

I would say that students considering studying abroad should be thoughtful about what they want to gain out of their abroad experience by setting goals that strike a balance between the social and academic. You will most likely have another opportunity to travel at some point in your life, but the degree to which you get the freedom to simultaneously have fun while making constructive mistakes will definitely be hard to come by.

Jonathan-Phillip (JT) Anderson ’17

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 17, 2017

1. How did you get involved in comedy?

I got academically dismissed after my junior year (spring 2015) for not handing in two final papers (no logical explanation, I just didn’t feel like doing academic work anymore), so I had to spend a year away. I was always into stand up, so being from NYC, I took the opportunity to dive into it. I took stand-up classes in the fall of 2015, started going to open mics, and just gradually made friends with a lot of comedians in the City.

2. What was academic dismissal like for you?

For me personally, academic dismissal was beneficial because it gave me the opportunity to realize how much I loved comedy and that I wanted to work in the field. Additionally, it gave me time to really understand what my life could be like if I didn’t graduate. Aside from doing stand up, I spent the year as a waiter in a restaurant. While I made good friends there, I knew that that wasn’t something I wanted to be doing long term. Consequently, I guess I’ve just taken my future a bit more seriously. I understand a bit more now that simply being accepted into Colgate isn’t the end of the road. You have to continue to work.

3. Any advice for students who may be going through similar feelings?

As for advice for not being dismissed, that’s tough. Most people accepted into Colgate have the potential to succeed. So when someone is on the verge of being dismissed, I feel like there could be various factors going into it. For me, it was laziness plain and simple. And I’m still pretty lazy, I just try a bit more academically I guess. For some, it takes dismissal to really put things into perspective. My advice for someone dismissed would just be to figure out what went wrong and understand that it’s not the end of the road. Keep working, keep trying. The opportunity to go to a school like Colgate doesn’t come to everyone, so you don’t want to take it for granted. Pretty generic advice, but that’s what I’d say.

4. How do you see comedy being used as a way of advocating/ educating others?

Most race-centered comedy is done problematically in my opinion, honestly. There are comedians that use race in their comedy in more positive ways. Trevor Noah is one example. He has this bit on colonialism on Youtube I highly recommend watching; it’s hilarious. Another comedian who’s great at using comedy as a way to promote political and social critical thought is someone we’re planning on bringing to Colgate at the end of the semester. The contracts aren’t signed yet though, so I can’t say who just yet.

5. Do you have any goals involving comedy either at Colgate or post-Colgate?

At Colgate, I just want to keep Colgate Stand Up progressing. For a club only in its second semester, we’ve been pretty successful so far. My goal is just to keep that up. One exciting show we’re planning that I’ll mention now is that we’re doing an all-women lineup on February 25th, hosted by Sydney Schultz ’19. I think that will be dope. Obviously, stand up is so male-dominated, having an all-women lineup should be refreshing.

After Colgate I definitely want to work in comedy in some capacity. I’d love to write for a TV show like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show, or Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Shows that use comedy to convey progressive political and social messages. Besides writing jobs, other goals are to just keep improving with stand up, and start producing my own shows in the City, just like we’re doing here at Colgate.

JT also encourages everyone interested in trying stand-up comedy on campus to reach out to him, and he recommends that people like the Facebook page for videos and photos from all comedy events facebook.com/colgatestandup.

Harpreet Kaur ’18

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 13, 2017

1. What study abroad experience were you in?

I was a part of the Colgate London Economics Study Group.

2. What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

While I was abroad, I took a trip to Athens, Greece on my own for four days. It was my first time traveling (and organizing) a trip on my own, and it happened to be a place I’d wanted to visit since I was a kid. I got to see all sorts of historical sites and spent a lot of my time at the Akropolis, old temples, and museums. The whole trip was amazing, and the fact that I did it on my own is something that I deeply value.

3. What type of activities did you do while being abroad?

I visited local Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), went to markets with my friends, attended weekly plays, and traveled to various cities.

Harpreet in England

4. What type of classes did you take?

I took one theater course and three economics courses (The British Economy, Economics of the European Union, and Global Economic Issues). We had terrific guest lecturers for our economics classes. For the theater course, we had the amazing opportunity to attend various plays throughout London while learning about the history of London’s theater scene.

5. What was the biggest surprise to you about being abroad?

I was surprised by the extent of my independence and my ability to settle into a more natural way of my life in another country. It was surprisingly easy to get used to!

6. What advice would you give to someone who may want to go abroad in the upcoming year?

Do things that challenge you, even scare you a bit (within reason, of course). Take trips on your own, try to immerse yourself into the place you are visiting. If you’re on a Colgate study group, it is easy to latch onto the group and avoid interacting with the people who live in the place you have a chance to visit. That’s a huge disservice to yourself!

Also, appreciate the chance to travel and be open-minded about the places you will see and the people you’ll meet. Not everyone has the privilege to travel, and the fact that you are able to go to another country and call it home for a semester means a lot! Studying abroad isn’t a break from life- meaning it’s going to have the regular ups and downs you might experience during your average semester at Colgate. It may not be all sunshine all the time, but it will be something memorable.

OUS Student Profiles: Larissa Grijalva ’17

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 15, 2016

Hometown: Imperial, CA

Major: Educational Studies

Class Year: 2017

Larissa Grijalva '17

Larissa Grijalva ’17

How are you involved on campus?

Other than OUS, I’m a part of Link Staff, Konosioni, Greek Life, This Is Not A Play About Sex and Vagina Monologues!

As a senior, what advice would you give younger students on campus?

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Being at Colgate is not easy, but there are tons of ways to make it a little more bearable. I started doing at least one major thing I want to do a day (although lately it’s been more like 3 per day). No matter how much work I have, at the end of the day, I make sure I’ve done something I chose to do whether it’s watching a movie or going for a run or baking something.

In what ways have you felt OUS has impacted your time while at Colgate?

There’s a reason why OUS is a family. Having people who can both call you out on your bull but also be there for you at 3 a.m. is incredibly hard to find at a place like this, but it’s super necessary!! I’m so lucky to be part of my amazing ’17 OUS class. Also, shout out to Frank Frey and Frank Kuan who have been there for us since Day 1.

What has been the highlight of your Colgate experience thus far?

Despite the ways in which Colgate has failed me, it has also given me so so much. I am mostly thankful for all the people I’ve gotten to know over these past 4 years. I’d have to say that the highlight of my Colgate experience is getting to share it with my brothers.