Name: Kalani Byrd
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
1. What type of activities are you involved in on campus?
On campus, I have held a number of work-related positions. I worked as a Research Assistant
for Dr. Tomlinson in the Psychology Department for two years and as a Student
Caller for the Office of the Annual Fund. I also spent time working in the Merchandising Department of the Colgate Bookstore. I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and have served on its philanthropy committee throughout my membership. In my senior year, I was the Vice President of Colgate’s Panhellenic Council, which works closely with Colgate’s Administration and the Interfraternity Council to ensure that sorority life runs smoothly on campus.
2. What legacy/ idea are you hoping to leave at Colgate when you graduate?
I want people to see that a first-generation woman of color can be successful at Colgate. It was a blessing for me to have the opportunity to attend this university and I did everything I could to reap the benefits, enjoy my time here and set myself up for future success. Colgate is such a generous place and you definitely can find the right people here to help you do well and support you along the way. I also want to leave people understanding that despite some flaws in the system, there can be a place for women of color in Greek Life at Colgate, seeing as I have had such a positive experience and have found some of my best friends through it. Finally, I hope I leave people with an understanding that you do not have to study something “mainstream” or “expected” to be successful. You should absolutely only do what you want to do; I started out on the pre-med track, changed to Peace & Conflict studies because it’s what I truly loved studying, and still have a great job lined up after I graduate!
3. How has being in OUS impacted your college experience? Do you see OUS impacting your life after Colgate?
OUS has tremendously impacted my time here at Colgate. Although I was so annoyed back then to be spending my last summer before college taking classes here, I’ve come to realize that it was all totally worth it. Having those two classes and the experience of those two classes really prepared me for Colgate’s academic challenges. Having a family of faculty and professors who I can go to when I need literally anything at all, has been invaluable. Some of my very best friends who I know I will be with for life I also found from that summer and OUS. These are memories and people that are going to be with me for a lifetime – and for that, I am forever grateful to OUS