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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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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


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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

Rossy Brito Trinidad ’14: Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions

By Timmera Whaley'15 on February 10, 2014

Rossy'14: Dancefest

Sociology and Spanish

Kent, CT

Carribean Student Association (CSA) and Colgate Dance Team

What is one piece of advice you would give to a first year student?
Never be afraid to ask questions in any circumstance in life, not just in college. It’s completely fine to be confused about something but always ask for clarification. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away.

What is one class that has significantly altered your perspective?
I took Basic Acting with Simona and Adrian Giurgea, during the Office of Undergraduate Studies’ Summer Institute program. I believe it truly allowed me to be myself. Basic Acting took me out of my comfort zone, which is something I have had to do many times here at Colgate since that class.

What is a leadership position you have at Colgate?
I’m the dance choreographer for a Caribbean dance group on campus (CSA). I have been leading the group for a year and a half now. We practice once a week to prepare for Dancefest, which happens at the end of each semester. Being the choreographer for this group is a wonderful experience, and I hope to continue leading this wonderful group of dancers.

Manuel Medina’17: Growth and Empowerment Through Brown Bags

By Christelle Boursiquot '15 on December 21, 2013
Manuel Medina '17

Manuel Medina ’17

Meet Manuel Medina ’17: for those who know him, he goes by Manny, and in some cases, “Little Manny” (to avoid confusion with another OUS Scholar, Manuel Heredia – Santoyo ’14). As a first-year, Manny is already very  involved in a variety of campus activities. Originally from Washington Heights in New York City, NY, Manny is a student scholar, the Alumni Affairs Coordinator for Brothers, and an intern for the Africana and Latin American Studies (ALST) Program. He is also an active member in the Latin American Student Association (LASO), Caribbean Student Association (CSA), and Sisters of the Round Table (SORT).

On October 10, 2013, Manny brought to fruition his involvement on campus by hosting, through Brothers, his first Brown Bag: The Hispanic Heritage Month Brown Bag. This event was the result of hard work, leadership, growth, and empowerment. Read more

Melissa Gámez ’14: “Above all else, listen”

By Christelle Boursiquot '15 on December 20, 2013
Melissa Gámez '14

Melissa Gámez ’14

On October 4, 2013 at approximately 7:12 p.m. the Coop TV room began to fill with the low hum of conversation, laughter, and anticipation. The Black Student Union (BSU) was hosting its first Speak Easy in collaboration with students from Hamilton College. The event attracted many different students who were excited to either perform, share a slice of pizza, or simply listen. A hush filled the space as 25-30 students settled in their seats to take in the words, emotions, and experiences of those who approached the microphone. One of the individuals who performed was OUS Scholar Melissa Gámez ’14.

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Samantha Lee’14: Immersed in Culture

By Timmera Whaley'15 on December 20, 2013
Harvesting rice in Xizhou Village

Samantha Lee ’14


Sociology and Anthropology


  • 2010 Freshman Senator of the Semester
  • ALANA Award
  • Beijing, Chinese speech competition: 3rd place
  • Dean’s Awards


Gilman Scholarship
Lampert Fellowship (2013)

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