Home - Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research - Office of Undergraduate Studies - Office of Undergraduate Studies News and Updates
Office of Undergraduate Studies News and Updates

Latest Posts

Newsletter: October, 2014

By Frank Kuan on October 9, 2014

Student researcher descends from the rain forest canopy in a harnessThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the October issue here.

Gaining New Perspectives: OUS Scholars’ Summer Research Projects

By Frank Kuan on July 23, 2014
Natasha_Torres_Poster Session_071714_Copy_opt

Natasha Torres ’15, center, discussed her research project with fellow OUS scholars at the summer research poster session on July 17, 2014. (Photo by Tom Balonek)

OUS scholars, 17 in all, participated in the undergraduate summer research program working in concert with noted faculty members in all divisions at Colgate University. On Thursday, July 17, they showed off their work at a poster session in the Cunniff Commons at the Ho Science Center Atrium. Their research topics included the effect of nutrition labeling on alcohol consumption, zebra fish regeneration specifically in the lateral line system, nuclear export rate, and a qualitative study on the experiences of students of color studying abroad through a predominantly white institution.

At the poster session, OUS scholars were poised at explaining their research in relatable terms to anyone stopping by their stations. The energy in the room was positive, and with each conversation, the OUS scholars gained more confidence in talking about their projects. As Federico Elizondo ’17 put it, “Perhaps one of the most satisfying parts of conducting research is presenting it. From developing the research question to describing the research methods, the poster presentation allowed me to recreate the various stages of my summer experience.”

Yogita Telhu ’17 concurred: “At first I was nervous about presenting my experiment to folks that wouldn’t completely understand what I was talking about; however, after explaining my experiments and discussing my results I found it was easy to speak about a topic I am interested in. I found that the excitement from others encouraged me to speak about my work in the lab. It was a rewarding feeling to hear professors and fellow students share that they understood what I was saying despite not knowing the science behind my research.”

Such sentiment was also echoed by William Lam ’16: “It was a bit difficult explaining things in a short and concise manner, but it got easier as more people stopped by. People were interested, and talking about my project was a great way of reminding me what I was doing and how each day in the lab was one step closer towards understanding nuclear export.”

Natasha Torres ’15, who was recognized with one of the three awards for outstanding research at the poster session, summed it up well: “Participating in the poster session was a great experience, especially because I was able to share my research with a variety of students and faculty I’ve never interacted with. Prior to the poster session, I felt nervous and almost vulnerable having my work displayed. However, all the feedback and conversations I shared with everyone made me realize how important the implications of my research are in terms of Colgate’s community and higher education. Being recognized was the icing on the cake; I wasn’t expecting it. I’m just glad I had the support of my advisors, Professor Stern and Professor Ríos, peers like Melissa Melendez ’15, and the wonderful Department of Educational Studies. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Alicia Chitrani Gopi’14: Life Offers Unexpected Surprises

By Timmera Whaley'15 on July 11, 2014

Alicia'15 in London

Hometown: Schenectady, New York

Major: Sociology and Anthropology

Minor: Writing and Rhetoric 

How did you hear about Colgate?
I first heard of Colgate University from my guidance counselors during my senior year in high school. They advised me to apply through early decision. One day, I came home, and  there was a package from Colgate unexpectedly sitting on my bed unopened. My heart raced as I picked it up thinking about how this letter would affect my life. And so, here I am today. As I look back, it seems as though it all happened in the blink of an eye, but it happened for a reason.

How has OUS impacted your Colgate experience?
OUS introduced me to the rigor of coursework and variety of classes that Colgate has to offer. Without OUS, my freshman year would have also been more difficult for me to adjust to because of the social atmosphere at Colgate. I hope to see OUS continue to improve and make the transition easier for the incoming classes. The consistent support from OUS throughout the four years only continued to increase, and I will forever be grateful to OUS and all they have done for me.

Which professor has positively influenced your Colgate experience the most?
Freshman year, I took a class with Professor Suzanne Spring in the Writing and Rhetoric department. She is one of the most influential people I have met at Colgate because she has helped me grow academically and personally over four years. When I had rough days, she would have a solution that would automatically make me feel better. She helped me through the times when I thought I could not make it through classes, when I sucked at my time management, and when it all seemed too overwhelming. It is also because of taking classes with Professor Spring that I ended up really enjoying the classes and thus became a Writing and Rhetoric Minor.

What has been your greatest experience abroad?
I studied abroad the fall semester of my junior year in London with the English study group led by Professor Adrian Giurgea and wife, Simona Giurgea. When I was abroad, I traveled to Dublin, Ireland, and Venice, Italy. It was a phenomenal experience because I always wanted to go to London since I was a little kid. I enjoyed travelling in London and visiting museums. It gave me insight on what it would feel like to live on my own in a big city, which is definitely something I can do now. One of the perks of being on my own in the city was getting lost and having to find my way back which is something I love to do. It is someplace I hope to visit again one day, especially in the summer time.

Christopher Krieg’14: Be Determined

By Timmera Whaley'15 on July 11, 2014
Christopher Krieg' 14 Track

Hometown: Naples, Florida

Major: Biology

Honorable Recognition: TriBeta Biological Honor Society

Which professor has positively influenced you the most?
Evolutionary Biology with Professor Frank Frey. This course changed my perspective of life and science. It encourages healthy skepticism of scientific literature and offers crucial context for biological observations.

What is your greatest experience abroad? 
I went to Wales, UK and studied at Cardiff University. No one experience trumps another; the entire time spent abroad was without a doubt one of the greatest things I have done with my life.

What is some advice you would give to a 1st year student? 
College is not about partying, and it is not about drinking. It is an investment in your future so buckle down and be serious about it.

Describe a Colgate experience that is dear to you. 
I am the captain of the Colgate Track and Field team. I have a great team, and I feel that athletics enhance the Colgate experience.

Yuliya Karashel’14: It’s Never Too Late To Learn New Things

By Timmera Whaley'15 on July 11, 2014
Yuliya Karashel'14

Born in Izmail, Ukraine
Lives in Utica, NY

Major: International Relations

Minor: Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilizations

Utica Refugee Tutoring
Colgate Christian Fellowship
SGA Committee Member on Information Technology
Mock Trial
International Relations Committee

Award and Scholarships:
Multiple-time recipient of Dean’s List
Frederick W. Doescher ’26 Scholarship

How did you hear about Colgate?
Since I live in Central New York, Colgate University is a well known educational institution among prospective college students and a university to which several of my peers were applying. An admissions representative from the university visited my high school during my senior year. When I spoke with her, I decided that Colgate would be a good fit for me. I really did not think I would be accepted to the school, let alone be hand-selected as an OUS Scholar. I still remember the confusion and surprise I experienced as I read and re-read my acceptance letter. The years I have spent here since then have been the most memorable and challenging years of my life.

How has OUS impacted your Colgate experience?
Going through the OUS program has taught me to develop a good academic work ethic, manage my time wisely, and to immerse myself in the realm of learning. It helped refine my writing, reading, and critical thinking skills. It also helped me be more confident about my abilities as a student. I have met a handful of incredible faculty and have built friendships that will last a lifetime. My OUS family has seen me through very good times and very bad times, and I am glad to have such wonderful people in my life and during my time at Colgate.

What was one of your greatest experiences abroad?
During my winter break in 2014, I visited Enschede, Netherlands for one week as a participant in EuroSim, which is a simulation of the European Union where American and European students debate a hot-topic issue. It was a fantastic experience because I got to apply my classroom knowledge of the European Union through highly intellectual and stimulating debate. I also got the chance to meet some amazing people, tour the country, and experience Dutch culture.

Describe a Colgate experience that is dear to you.
Since my first year at Colgate, I have been working as a computer consultant for Information Technology Services. This has been a very valuable experience for me during my time at Colgate because I gained a myriad of technical and practical skills. I went from having very little understanding about technology to gaining extensive knowledge about various devices, operating systems, and networks. This experience has taught me that, regardless of my major and my career goals, it is never too late to pursue an interest and learn something that is outside of my comfort zone.

Chad Johnson ’14 – Student, Athlete, Scholar

By Salote Tenisi '15 on April 8, 2014

Home Town:

  • Atlanta, Georgia



  • Jack Bruen – Most Improved Player Award (2012-2013)

Extracurricular Involvement:

Read more

Newsletter: March, 2014

By Frank Kuan on March 31, 2014

March 2014 OUS Newsletter CoverThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the March issue here.

Jia Zheng ’14: Be An Overachiever

By Timmera Whaley'15 on March 7, 2014
Jia Zheng'14 Australia

Jia Zheng’14 Australia

Born in Fujian, China
Raised in the Bronx, NY

Educational studies
Environmental studies

Awards, Honorable Recognition, and Scholarships:

  • Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence: Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011
  • Stephen ’80 & Gretchen Hoadley ’81 Burke Endowed Scholarship
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • Educational Studies Honor Thesis Candidate


Read more

Newsletter: February, 2014

By Frank Kuan on February 24, 2014

Cover of the February OUS NewsletterThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the February issue here.

Manuel Heredia-Santoyo ’14: “What if?” – an Unexpected Journey

By Salote Tenisi '15 on February 24, 2014

Art and art history with an emphasis in architecture

Women’s studies

Why did you choose Colgate?
I was a member of Summer Search, and I was advised to apply to Colgate. The deadline to apply for Colgate had passed, but I was urged to contact Dean Scott Brown to ask for an extension. I really didn’t want to, but all I remember was this gut feeling of “What if?” The next day, I contacted him thinking I’d be shot down, but I was surprised when he agreed to let me do it. I didn’t want to fill out my application to Colgate – but then I got that “What if” feeling again. I finished my application and sent it away, not thinking much about it. Then the acceptance letters started to come in, and I had completely forgotten that I applied to Colgate. One day, I got a call from FedEx telling me that they had a package from Colgate University. I didn’t want to go get the package because it was a lot of work to get to the post office – but then I started thinking “What if?” The rest is history. Read more