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OUS Student Athlete: Regine Cooper ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 12, 2016

Name: Regine (Ré) Cooper

Hometown: Fort Meyers, Florida

Major/ Minor: Political Science/Economics

Q1: Describe your Colgate experience so far in a few sentences?
Colgate has been “like a wake-up”. I have grown up so much. Although the school is challenging in multiple ways, it will pay off in the future.
Q2: What activities are you involved in on campus?
I am a Varsity Track & Field athlete, and I am also involved with TIA (Thought Into Action).
Q3: What is the most challenging thing about being a student-athlete?
Being a student-athlete means you are tired.  Those 6am lifts with those long nights mean you have to have great time management. It can be stressful at times. But I love Track & Field because it gives me the sports community and friends. It also connects me to more alumni. I also love to challenge myself.


OUS Student Athlete: Abu Daramy ’20

By Nali Byrd '19 on September 27, 2016

Name: Abu Daramy

Class Year: 2020

Q1: What was the highlight of your OUS experience?

The highlight of my OUS experience was when we went on a trip to the amusement park, Darien Lake. I had a lot of fun there and had a chance to bond with the other OUS kids more.

Q2:  What activities are you involved in on campus?

As of right now, the football team is the only thing I’m affiliated with. But after the season is over, I’m looking to try out for the dance group “Melanated”.
Abu at the Colgate field

Q3: What is the most challenging thing about being a student-athlete?

The most challenging part of being a student-athlete is trying to balance out school and sports. Because of the time-constraint, it’s hard to try and do the same amount of work as students who don’t play sports. There is lifting, meetings, and practices throughout the day that are mandatory, and then there is traveling for games. It is possible and has been done by many, but it is still very difficult.

Q4: Why do you love football?

This might sound very cliché, but I didn’t go out searching for a sport to play. Football found me at a very young age. All of my cousins played and my brother played. Ever since I was first introduced to the game at the age of 5, I couldn’t stay away from it. Being on a football field lets me let go of all of my worries in the world and makes me feel like I’m in a whole different world with my teammates whether in practice or a game. And it also gives me the opportunity to hit someone as hard as I can without getting in trouble for it.

Senior Reflection: Joe Aiken ’16

By Nali Byrd '19 on May 4, 2016

Name: Joshua (Joe) Aiken

Major: Philosophy

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

1. What type of activities are you involved in on campus?

I spent time on the Link staff, worked as an SGA campaign manager (my team was elected obviously), spoke in the In Your Company segment of freshman orientation, performed in This Is Not a Play About Sex (positive sexuality initiative on campus), acted as the Philanthropy Chair for Phi Kappa Tau, served as the Interfraternity Council President, and will graduate as a member of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society. 

2. What legacy/ idea are you hoping to leave at Colgate when you graduate? 

12662536_1103789526308076_7305669647273720627_nAll these accolades and involvements are fine, but I kind of lost steam by the end of my spring
semester junior year. It’s not that I was burnt out from the work. I think I just became unenthused by my surroundings. Colgate is a school of accomplishment and we even speak in a language of accomplishment: “I worked here last summer. I am working there next
summer. I just left (x) important meeting, now I am en route to a more important meeting.” These things become draining after a while, and I realized that I was working to prove a point that’s not worth proving to people that wh0 [for the most part] are of no consequence to my life. So, to end this long winded response, I’d like to leave behind the legacy of ‘doin’ you’ — whatever that may constitute. Make a way, make things happens, and grab a ‘yes’ in a room full of no’s.

3. How has being in OUS impacted your college experience? Do you see OUS impacting your life after Colgate?

OUS has already impacted my life after Colgate. During the summer program, I met four guys who will forever be my brothers. These are the individuals who will be the best men at my wedding. OUS has enabled me to acquire resources and friendships that I wouldn’t have been able to survive college without — and for that — I am forever indebted to the program. I do not get the chance to vocalize this often, but I attribute all of my success to Frank Frey, Frank Kuan, Andrea Finley, Professor Spires, and all of the other key players in the OUS family. 


Senior Reflection: Elsa Gomez ’16

By Nali Byrd '19 on May 4, 2016

Name: Elsa Gomez Pena

Major/Minor: International Relations/Economics

Hometown: Sonoma, California

1. As a senior who is about to graduate, how would you sum up your last four years at Colgate?

It’s incredibly shocking to realize how fast these past four years have gone by.  I still remember OUS Summer Institute as if it were yesterday.  Over the past four years, I have taken incredibly stimulating courses, met brilliant professors, and have made life long friends.  I cannot condense my time here into a few sentences, but I know that I would not change my experience for the world.  If I had to use three words to describe my experience, they would be coffee, procrastination, and Google.

2. How has being in OUS impacted your college experience? Do you see OUS 10609576_10203629164121307_3302096161910072407_nimpacting your life after Colgate?

As a first-generation college student, I definitely think OUS was necessary to prepare me for what the Colgate curriculum would entail.  It helped me become acquainted with the workload and how to manage it, as well as constantly giving me the support I need in everything from job search to graduation logistics.  I will carry the experiences and friends I have made through OUS with me for the rest of my life.

3. What advice would you give incoming OUS freshman?

Honestly, as corny as this may sound, life’s way too short to sweat the little things.  Do what you are passionate about, be happy, and HAVE FUN.  Also, figure out what work technique works for you.  If you are a procrastinator, embrace it, enjoy your day, watch Netflix, and get it done. Ultimately, no one ever thinks back to the nights spent sleeping. Elsa out.

Kristy Saldana ’18: SRS Experience

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 29, 2016

Kristy Saldana ’18


Kristy in Istanbul!

Intended Major: History

Intended Minor:Educational Studies

Hometown: Trenton, NJ

1. What SRS program were you apart of and what was the class about?
I was a part of the Istanbul SRS group and the class was Challenges of Modernity. The class was about the formation of the modern world with a focus on Turkey. We talked about the struggles between the East and the West in setting a model for the modern world and how Istanbul, in particular, was stuck in the middle of this fight between the East and the westernization of Turkey. We also talked about the Turkish political struggles in deciding between a secularist or Islamic government.

2. What was your favorite part so far about being in SRS?
My favorite part about SRS is being able to live with the people that I have class with. It is a pretty amazing experience that I would not trade for the world; getting to know students that if it wasn’t for the program I wouldn’t have met otherwise. The trip was of course a great experience as well, but what made it better was the fact that I was able to go with people that I had gotten to know for over a semester.

3. What was your experience on the trip?
The trip overall was an extraordinary experience. Even though we were jet lagged for a few days, we were able to recover and enjoy our trip filled with many tours, lectures, visits to museums, and eating lots of delicious food. Although our last day in Istanbul was a bit scary, being that a terrorist attack occurred about 10-­15 minutes away from where we were staying, the people that were hosting us in Istanbul made sure that we were safe.


Mylah Chandler ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 12, 2015

Hometown: Albany, New York

How would you describe your OUS experience this past summer?

My OUS experience was pretty challenging. It was a big change from what I was used to in high school, but it was a very fun and helpful experience. Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.24.58 PM

What courses did you take during OUS?

I took Biology and Introduction to Creative Writing: Non-fiction. They were both great.

What activities have you been involved with on campus?

I am on the basketball team.

Why do you love basketball?

I started playing basketball in 7th grade and I was disgustingly horrible. Now, as a freshman in college, I can’t imagine my life without basketball. Depending on where my team needs me, I am able to play almost all of the positions and I really enjoy being on the team at Colgate.

Jia Bao Lei ’17: Abroad in Barcelona

By Nali Byrd '19 on November 18, 2015

Hometown: Berkeley, California

Major: English

What study group are you in?

I am in the London English study group.

What is your favorite part of being abroad?

One of my favorite parts about being abroad is that I got to visit my best friend, Claire, in Barcelona! I was able to go to Spain because we have three day weekends. She is half-Spanish, so she has been traveling to Madrid every other year growing up. It was so nice going to all the stores and places that she has been telling me about since freshman year of high school.

JB (left) and Claire (right) in Barcelona

JB (left) and Claire (right) in Barcelona

What activities have you done in Barcelona?

I learned a lot about the Catalan independence movement and that abierta (open) is oberta in Catalan. During our shopping trip and walking around the city, Claire pointed out Antoni Gaudí’s constructions throughout the area. We went to the Museu Picasso that had many of Picasso’s early paintings on display. Neither of us were a fan of Picasso’s Pigeons collection. Then, we went to La Boqueria, where we split a special candy rope that you can only get in Spain before heading off to the beach. At the beach, there was a carnival going on, and we went on the Ferris wheel overlooking the city at night. I knew that as soon as I left, I would miss Barcelona and Claire terribly.



Providence Ryan’16: Conquering the Climb

By Timmera Whaley'15 on April 7, 2015

Providence Ryan '16 with Spread the Love protest signsYou are currently abroad in Australia. What are some of your expectations for the educational trip?

I’m so excited but also very nervous to be able to wholly immerse myself in an unfamiliar place. I think that one of the most amazing things about study abroad is that is gives us an opportunity to be in a place that, without study abroad, we may never have found ourselves in otherwise. So, I am so excited to be here, to be experiencing a place that is just so drastically different from anywhere else I’ve ever been. I’m also really anticipating taking Biology classes while I’m at the University of Wollongong. As a Biology major, I feel lucky to be able to study the biological sciences in an area like New South Wales, which has ecosystems and biodiversity that is exceptionally different than that of upstate New York.

Recently, you participated in a research project. What was your research topic?

Last summer, I participated in a research project that was initiated by Catherine Cardelus and Carrie Woods. This study looked at the effects of nutrient deposition on rainforest ecosystems, specifically on plants found in the rainforest canopy. While in Costa Rica, I climbed our experimental trees with Professors Woods, Professor Cardelus, and with three other student researchers. We also collected plant and soil samples and data on the plants from all of our experimental branches. Back at Colgate, we engaged in sample processing that allows us to look at the available nutrient content that was found in each of the plants at the time that we sampled them. Because this study was conducted over a five-year period of time, it will allow us to see what shifts there were in biodiversity, nutrient presence, and overall biological status of the canopy community.

What was your favorite part about the project?
Without a doubt, my favorite part was engaging in the field work that we did in Costa Rica. We woke up at 5:30 every morning, ate breakfast, and prepared 40 pounds of climbing gear. We would hike out to the experimental trees and put ropes on them. We climbed anywhere from 80 to 120 feet. We’d then spend 3-5 hours in the trees, while tagging plants, taking leaf and soil samples, and leaf measurements. It was intense, but it was also the most exhilarating experience of my life. It was amazing because at the beginning, it seemed impossible to climb these monstrous trees, and it took me almost an hour to get all the way up. By the end of the five-and-a-half weeks, I could climb a tree in 25 minutes. To be able to conquer that climb, and then spend hours sitting in a biodiversity hotspot in Costa Rica, surrounded by hundred of plants, animals and insects (including bullet ants and spider monkeys) was an unforgettable experience. It’s hard for me to explain how in awe I was every time I climbed a tree, and I feel so lucky to have had this incredible experience.

Nolan Gonzalez ’15: Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

By Timmera Whaley'15 on March 30, 2015

nolanHometown: Seattle, Washington
Major: Computer Science

What was your favorite part of Japan?

I really liked the space in the city–Kyoto especially. The space Japan creates is different from the United States. I like to explore a lot. So, it was really fascinating to me. For example, I went to a river next to where I was staying. It stretches pretty far–north and south, I think. I liked walking down it and finding a different part of the area I was living in. It was really cool because the river would change. It had a lot of characteristics to it. The river would morph itself according to its circumstances, and it is really beautiful at night. You can hear the splashing of the water.

What is one thing Japanese culture has taught you?

I think on like a really big sense, it taught me how flexible certain aspect of our culture is. This flexibility provides a more interesting perspective of our humanity. The people I hung around taught me to appreciate certain routines–the act of doing. We would go do many different things for no apparent reason. It was not to kill time, but it was to do something during the day. The culture is much more open to going to gardens, little festivals, and stuff like that for entertainment. It makes daily life more interesting and worthwhile.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a junior interesting in going abroad?

I think it would be great to go out of your comfort zone whenever you get an opportunity. I think it is important that if your host family or others you know invite you to go somewhere, it would be better to go. You don’t know what is really going to happen. For the times I decided not to go to certain places, I regretted it. The places my host family recommended were really memorable. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

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.