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Ibrahim Shah’15: Indulge in Your Education

By Timmera Whaley'15 on March 1, 2015

Brooklyn, NY

Awards and Leadership Positions:
Most Dedicated Student
Former Chief President of Brothers

What is the best advice you could give to a first year?
Don’t be afraid to branch out, meet new people, and try new things. College is the most beautifully selfish moment in your life. You should indulge yourself, find out who you want to be, take advantage of the opportunities, and the environment here to become that person.

One class that has shaped your opinion and how?

The most interesting class I’ve taken so far at Colgate is Philosophy of Mind with Professor Maura Tumulty. The course incorporates philosophical and scientific perspectives concerning the intersection of the mind, consciousness, and our overall mental lives. It has challenged both the scientist and philosopher in me.

Any leadership position you have had at Colgate or outside of Colgate you would like to expound upon?

I have always tried to be a leader in everything I do. At Colgate, I was the chief of Brothers, and I also served in other core positions within the group. I endeavored to continue the group’s mission statement of educating the community about issues men of color face through brown bags and guest speakers,  creating a support network for men of color on campus, and supporting other interest groups focusing on diversity on campus.

I also served as the supervisor for the first responders on campus, as well as performing my duties as an EMT. I was responsible for shift scheduling, payroll, inventory of medical equipment, day-to-day operations for all student first responders on campus, and I also functioned as a first responder for the men’s rugby team.

Each summer, I serve as one of the supervisors for staff members for the Oliver Scholar Program (of which I am an alumnus) during its summer immersion program. The non-profit organization seeks to provide inner-city students of color with the opportunity to attend elite independent/prep schools in the United States. The summer immersion program vets and prepares candidates for the rigor of the independent school learning environment. I am responsible for standardized test prep classes, tutoring sessions, community building, community activities, and supervising all counselors and teaching assistants for the duration of the program.

How was your host family in Madrid, Spain? 

I had a host mom. Her children were grown with kids of their own. My host mom was great. She gave me cooking lessons. I learned how to make traditional Spanish food like paella. She also took me to classical music concerts, plays, and theater. She is a patron of the Museo Nacional del Prado. Sometimes, she would take me as a plus-one, and the museum would give us private tours.

How has international education changed your perspective? 

I went to Munich, Paris, and Amsterdam; I also traveled throughout Spain. I think having the opportunity to study abroad gave me a different perspective on learning and life. When you travel, you get to see the world through a different perspective–politically and morally.  It forces you to question your beliefs, or it enforces them. Traveling gives you the opportunity to explore yourself.

Branden Lopez ’15: China Revisited

By Contributing Writer on February 25, 2015


Hometown: Bronx, NY

Majors: International Relations and Chinese

In 2013, I was able to travel to Shanghai for the purpose of improving my Mandarin and immersing myself within Chinese culture. I enjoyed that experience so much that I decided to return to Shanghai this past summer, interning for a consulting company in Shanghai that helped foreign companies enter the Chinese market and domestic companies grow.

I primarily worked in the marketing division of the company. Now, I could bore you with tedious details of what I did every day, but it wasn’t the usual busy work typical of internship. The first day I stepped into the office I was assigned to rebrand an image of a Taiwanese-based company that wanted to enter the Chinese market. It was challenging but with some help from my boss and a fellow intern, I was able to help the company establish operations in Shanghai and Nanjing.

This experience forced me to learn how to speak in Mandarin within a professional setting. I was taken to multiple business meetings in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and a few other cities. I was truly lucky to have the boss that I did.

One experience that made an impact on me from my time interning abroad would be the last project I worked on. I was given the task of promoting a Green China project. Besides learning and using marketing strategies on this project, I couldn’t believe that I was witnessing a green initiative in China because I felt that China lacked environmental consciousness. Being able to witness that turn, and being involved with it firsthand was an experience I thought to be truly special. In all, I found that my trip to China was very rewarding, and I am positive that working in China is in my future. 再见!

Newsletter: Winter, 2014

By Frank Kuan on December 15, 2014

OUS Newsletter featuring student modeling African fashionThe 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 2014 issue here.

Hashim Osaze Rainey ’15: Self-Discovery Through Involvement on Campus

By Christelle Boursiquot '15 on November 12, 2014
Hashim Rainey '15

Hashim Rainey ’15

Many OUS Scholars are known for their exceptional work on projects, in classes, for research and within student groups. The epitome of the working college student, OUS scholars work with a passion in their heart and glowing resumes filled with various skills, assets, leadership and qualities from various places on and off campus. One such individual that OUS Scholars will find at events, in student groups, and at Case Library is Hashim Rainey, Class of 2015. Rainey is no exception to the busy schedules that OUS Scholars keep at Colgate University. However, as a senior, Rainey has managed to chisel the skill of juggling various responsibilities into a finished system of steps. Finding that balance is an ever-evolving process, and Rainey shares with OUS the steps to discovering that mindset while finding yourself on campus.

First, let’s get to know Hashim.

Hashim Osaze Rainey, Class of 2015, is from Atlanta, GA and is a philosophy major with an intended minor in English. He is currently a member of Brothers, a campus ambassador for Venture For America (VFA), and a recent member of the Pre-Law Society. He is often the man working behind the curtains of these student groups – doing the logistical, foundational work that is essential to any group and every event. Rainey is known to want things to go as smoothly as possible.  This kind of individual is sought after by many groups, corporations and institutions in general. Knowing that, Rainey chooses involvement in those communities to which he feels he can offer his asset and implement his passions and beliefs as well. When asked how he is able to juggle it all these years at Colgate, he revealed a surprisingly simple system.

“I believe being involved on campus means being able to have any idea that pertains to Colgate as a whole, and being able to produce or fashion that idea in some way on campus. That idea can take any shape. It may big, small, personal, general etc.

I don’t look at my life inside/outside of Colgate and being involved on campus as two separate entities. What I do at Colgate is forever in the four years of me being here. My personal struggles are dealing with overload. I tend to try to take on so many tasks that I can overwhelm myself and thus I either sacrifice quality or I sacrifice my own personal well-being. I overcome these by admitting that I need help and go out and seek great counsel from a mentor, professor, or one of my wise friends. Once those tasks are completed, and done well, do I feel fulfilled about being involved on campus the most. A lot of the times less is more. It is about finding the few things you can do and doing them well.

As an OUS scholar, I try to get involved as much as I can because I understand that Colgate has a predominant viewpoint on the way society works and that, in turn, is projected on to certain individuals, such as OUS scholars. To better the Colgate community, it is important to teach and educate those of a viewpoint what they may have missed throughout the course of their life. It would be selfish of me not to spread my knowledge, my experiences – all of which compose of that viewpoint. Also involvement on campus is an amazing opportunity for myself to learn and continue to add to, renovate, and adjust my viewpoint. I see me being involved as an overall good source of knowledge for myself and the Colgate community at large.

Being involved on campus has helped me understand the very different mindsets of people as a whole. I see that being involved has also granted me a lot of social mobility that I would not have necessarily gathered just by staying to myself on this campus. I know that this school is small and everyone can truly make a difference to it one way or another. There are so many opportunities to do well at Colgate. All that is required is the will from your mind to go out and accomplish these grand opportunities. With these opportunities can you also see what you personally want to do in life after college. I personally believe that Colgate is for self-discovery. Since the nature of this university is of Liberal Arts, no true major will guarantee you a set career path after Colgate. Major does not equal job. What will help you in your career path is trying a variety of different things at Colgate and finding out what naturally seems fun and meaningful to you. Then you take those skills out into job market and find out, which career matches those particular skills you picked up on by being involved at Colgate.

Lastly as a piece of advice, specifically first years: “Do not get distracted with what you want to be when you leave Colgate. Be involved with your Colgate community because this place is temporary; you will not get these years back. Try and broaden your range of education so you can see what you are able to seriously accomplish as a career.”




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:

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