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Renée Roundy ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 6, 2018

Renée Roundy 

Hometown: Lewiston, Maine

Major/ Minor:Educational Studies Major and LGBTQ Minor

1. What has been your favorite OUS experience so far and why?
One of my favorite OUS experience has probably been the joy that was felt during the OUS/ First Gala! I loved and knew everyone in the space and it made me so happy to remember the love that this community has brought to me over my four years here. Also, my study group to Philadelphia was made of mostly OUS/ First Gen students. It was the healthiest and most content I’ve been in my four years and I really attribute that to the small community I was surrounded with.

2. What are you involved in on campus?
I am involved in Konosioni Senior Honor Society, Lambda, Shaw Wellness and Alana through Virtual Alumni Mentors (sign up for a mentor HERE), as well as some other things!
3. What is your most memorable internship/ work experience?
My most memorable internship would probably be during my Philadelphia study group, working with the Delaware Valley Fairness Project! They gave me a lot of say in how we 

interacted with the community, allowed me to be as involved as I wanted, and I made beautiful connections while also learning about the world of nonprofit organizations!

4. What is the best class you have taken and why?
Literally every Educational Studies class has been incredible. However, one my most challenging and critically engaging class has been Queer Outlaws! That course, Professor Barreto, and my classmates challenged me in every way imaginable– talking about my own identity, queerness, social constructs, and ideas of morality (even when it comes to murder). IT’S A WILD RIDE PLEASE TAKE IT.

5. If you could offer one piece of advice to younger students on Colgate’s campus, what would it be?
It’s not that serious. Actually. One grade is not life or death, your GPA does not run your whole life, and while this campus can feel isolating and simultaneously suffocating it’s important to remember that your mental, physical, and spiritual well being is far more important than anything else going on. Schedule that counseling appointment!! Also, people do genuinely care about you. Reach out, lots of people are secretly going through the same things as you.
6. Do you have any plans after graduation?
I will be at Colgate for one post-grad semester in order to student teach and receive my teacher certification! I will then (hopefully!) go to a Ph.D program or begin teaching elementary/ middle school students immediately.

Adam Pettway ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 6, 2018

Adam Pettway 

Major: Computer Science/ Japanese

Hometown: Princeton NY

1. What are you involved in on campus?

I’m part of sushi club. 

2. What has been your favorite Colgate experience?

My favorite Colgate experience was getting the opportunity to study abroad in Japan!

3. What lead you to choose to major in Computer Science and Japanese. 

I had a deep interest in Computer Science before even getting to Colgate. I chose Japanese because my interest really grew as I learned more about the language/culture!

4. What has been your favorite class at Colgate?

My favorite class at Colgate was Computer Algorithms.

5. Do you have any plans after graduation?

I will be working in the American branch at Nomura, a Japanese investment bank. 

6. If you could sum up your Colgate experience in 3 words what would it be?

Challenging, Opportunity, Ed Burger

Muna Gure ’21

By Nali Byrd '19 on November 12, 2018

Muna Gure

Question 1: What was your favorite memory from your OUS experience?

My favorite memory is taking trips on Saturdays, specifically to the amusement park and mall. These trips helped me enjoy my summer, and get to know the other students.

Question 2: If you could summarize your OUS experience in 3 words what would it be?

 An emotional rollercoaster.

Question 3: What is your favorite class you are currently taking or have taken?

My favorite class was my FSEM, Ethiopia, with Professor Etefa. I recommend taking him for any class if you are looking for a chill interesting class!!

Question 4: What do you do around campus?

I am involved in MAPS; I am a Senator on SGA, and I am also in the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Question 5: What are you most looking forward to throughout your Colgate experience?

I am mostly looking forward to finding a major that I am passionate about, and then I can start thinking about what life outside of college would look like.

Question 6: What advice do you have for first years?

You are not alone; everyone is here and rooting for you!!

Amarachi Iheanyichukwu ’21

By Nali Byrd '19 on November 5, 2018


Major/ Minor: Political Science/Economics

Hometown: New York City

Question 1: What was your favorite memory from your OUS experience?

My favorite memory from my OUS experience was the final presentation for my Creative Writing Nonfiction course in which each of the students in the class gave a reading of their most polished piece in front of the rest of the program. This exhibition allowed me to not only hear what my peers had been working on but also was a very liberating experience as it was one of the first times I’d read out my writing to a group of my peers.

Question 2: If you could summarize your OUS experience in 3 words what would it be?

Challenging, exciting, frustrating.

Question 3: What is your favorite class you are currently taking or have taken?

My favorite class I’m currently taking is definitely a tie between American School and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Question 4: What do you do around campus?

On campus, I am a part of SGA as a senator for my class, Link Staff, an assistant editor for the Yearbook, a student representative on the Multicultural Recruitment Committee, and a member of KKG. Additionally, I occasionally write articles for the Colgate Magazine, formerly the Scene.

Question 5: What are you most looking forward to throughout your Colgate experience?

I am looking forward to continuing my political science studies abroad, perhaps in South Africa or the United Kingdom.

Question 6: What advice do you have for first years?

College can be a frightening and isolating place but at the same a wonderfully liberating experience so it is so important to put yourself out there and attempt to get out of your comfort zone but also be careful about spreading yourself too thin. Two things I’ve learned in since my first year have been the importance of doing things that scare you as well as learning to practice self-care.

Meet OUS/ First Gen Intern: Enrique Nunez ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 9, 2018

Name: Enrique Nunez

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Major: Educational Studies

1. What is your job title? How long have you had the job?
Currently, I am employed through the Dean of the College as an Intern for First Generation Programs and OUS, a title I have proudly held since the beginning of my junior year.
2. What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job has been the friendship I have created with Drea, b, Frank, Romelia, and the students in both scholars’ programs. It truly has been a blessing to be able to get to know this vast community and to also share a part of me with everyone else. These relationships have allowed me to better support students because of that comfort that both the student and I may feel knowing that it’s just a check in with the “fam.”

Enrique welcoming the First Gen c/o ’22

3. How do you feel you are most helpful in this position?
The fact that I currently am a student taking classes and participating in extra-curricular activities while holding this position allows me to further empathize with the students I am helping because I hold that student perspective of understanding what students mean when they say they are having trouble with time management, getting enough sleep or which courses they should take for their CORE requirements or major.
4. What advice do you have for the class of c/o ’22?
Advice that I would give the c/o ’22 is to continue to be your awesome and most true selves, I would advise you to always trust your gut in any situation you find yourself in during your time here at Colgate, I’ve done it and it has not let me down. Lastly, I STRONGLY recommend reaching out to the amazing support systems that you have at the OUS-FIRST House because we’re family and want nothing but the best for you.

Newsletter: Spring, 2018

By Frank Kuan on May 1, 2018

A student in snorkeling gear prepares to enter the ocean from the rear of a boatThe OUS Newsletter highlights the achievements as well as activities of our OUS scholars, faculty, and staff around campus and beyond.

You can download the spring, 2018 issue here.

D’Jonita Cottrell ’19: Welcoming the Konosioni Class of 2019

By Keyra Jimenez '19 on March 30, 2018

Earlier this semester, the Colgate community celebrated the induction of twenty-six new students as members of Konosioni Senior Honor Society. This historic association of students which has been around since 1934 recognizes “outstanding leadership, dedicated service to the community, and the preservation of tradition.”

Last year, Konosioni welcomed six Office of Undergraduate Scholars (OUS): Lücién Reubens, Valeria Felix, Shemuel Malave, Tasnim Ali, and Bobbie Howie. This year, they are joined by fellow OUS peers Renée Roundy, Jimmy Anim and Maximillian Michael, as well as members of the First Generation Initiative (FIRST), Chelsea Santiago, Enrique Nuñez, D’Jonitta Cottrell, and Keyra Jimenez.

DJonita Cottrell looks off to the right, smiling, as she stands in front of a multi-colored glass mosaic

D’Jonita Cottrell ’19

I asked FIRST scholar, D’Jonita Cottrell to tell me about the honor of being selected. D’Jonita, class of 2019, is an Educational Studies and Psychology double major who calls Boston, MA home. She has been diligently dedicated to her participation in the hip-hop dance group DDT, as a member of Link Staff, and as a student employee for Career Services. In fall of 2017, D’Jonita also traveled with Professor Mark Stern as a member of the Ed Studies Philadelphia Study Group. She is proud of being an independent and outgoing person who is not afraid to be herself.

What does being a first generation college student mean to you?

Being a first generation college student means a lot to me. Not only does it demand being extremely independent and not necessarily having family you can go to for help, guidance, or understanding, but it also means I’ve become a stronger student and overall person on this campus. Being a first gen student has pushed and prepared me academically, socially, and financially in ways I don’t believe other college students get to experience.

What inspired you to apply to be a member of Konosioni?

I guess the biggest things that inspired me to join Konosioni were the people I knew (currently or previously) in the organization, and the commitment to community that the organization has. Given that Colgate as a whole is a community that isn’t always welcoming or representative of all its students, I see Konosioni as a space for expanding and transforming who and what counts as community at this university.

How did it feel to be recognized by your peers at induction?

Induction was a little uncomfortable, not gonna lie, but that’s only because I don’t really like being “highlighted”- whatever that word means. I understand why we’re recognized but I also just think work happens on this campus in everyday life, by everyday students, not just those being “recognized.” I’d love to shine more light on those peoples, organizations, and efforts that go unrecognized rather than put myself in the spotlight. I hope that I can do that as a member of Kono.

What do you think is Konosioni’s biggest challenge/s moving forward?

One of the biggest challenges for Konosioni lies within the group itself. We need to understand and embrace that we were chosen as one group that represents the student body; and because of this, we’re all coming in with different backgrounds, experiences, and opinions. It’s important to acknowledge that we’re not always going to be on the same page about things in the same way and that the entire student body won’t agree with a decision or opinion Kono has. This is the second biggest challenge I think Kono faces moving forward: a lot of students don’t feel like they’re represented in Kono at all. I’m not entirely sure how to fully address this issue (or even if it can be addressed) but, to me, remaining in conversation with our community, both in a Konosioni run/sponsored space and outside of that space, will be essential.



Newsletter: Winter, 2018

By Frank Kuan on February 15, 2018

Cover of the winter 2018 newsletter, featuring four students at a historical site abroadThe 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, 2018 issue here.

Phuong Mac ’19 Abroad

By Nali Byrd '19 on January 7, 2018
Name: Phuong Mac
Major/ Minor: Sociology and Asian Studies Double Major
Q1: Where are you studying abroad?
I am studying abroad in Manchester, England.
Q2. What has been your favorite part of being abroad?
I honestly don’t know how to begin when so many things about studying abroad have been wonderful to me. If I had to choose one, it would be the Colgate students that I was fortunate to share my abroad experience with. We became a small family as we often looked out for one another as well as doing almost everything together. I have become great friends with many and I am sure that these friendships will last beyond my time abroad.
Q3. What classes are you taking?
I am currently taking three courses from the University of Manchester (UoM) and two half-credit courses from our study group director, Professor Frank Frey. Within the three courses at UoM, I am taking two sociology courses and one Asian studies course. University of Manchester Courses:
  • Social Network Analysis (Fun fact: My professor was the co-founder of UCINET, a software for analyzing social networks)
  • Social Change in China
  • Modern and Contemporary Japan: Social Dynamics

Professor Frey Courses:

  • ENST 233 – Global Environmental Health Issues
  • ENST 391 – Independent Study in Environmental Studies

Q4. What has been the most challenging thing about being abroad?

The most challenging thing about being abroad is being completely independent for the first time since I have entered college. Back at Colgate University, almost everything is provided for students to make their decision-making easier. These supports range from having easy access to meals for our first two years to professors consistently reminding us about upcoming assignments and examinations. With the case of being abroad, students are expected to manage their own schedule and make choices that would be best for them. This can be a challenge for many people to accomplish tasks without the same guidance and resources from our home institutions. On the other hand, I had to cope with other real-world problems that I have not yet experienced at Colgate. This can be something as small as planning when to cook my meals so that I would have time to meet deadlines to something like navigating my way around unfamiliar cities through different transportation methods. Nevertheless, although executing my own decisions were often nerve-racking, I am grateful that I have had the chance to experience what it is really like to be independent.

Q5. What advice would you give someone who is considering going abroad?

If you are considering on going abroad, I highly recommend that you take this opportunity that is offered to you as studying abroad is not commonly available at other institutions. While I love our home institution, studying abroad has been the best college experience for me thus far. It has enabled me to grow so much as an individual. I would encourage you all to arrive at your abroad destination with an open-mind and the determination to immerse yourself fully to all of the opportunities that will be available. No matter where you will be, you are capable of making some of the best memories in your life as long as you are engaged and are able to.

Alex Valdez ’19 First Gen Student Profile

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 13, 2017

Name: Alex Valdez

Major: Peace and Conflict Studies

Hometown: Ontario, California

What clubs are you a part of at Colgate?

I am a part of First Gen, Senate (EAC Chair), LASO (External Communicator), Quizbowl Trivia Team (Secretary), University Orchestra, SASS (VP), Link Staff, DU (SAPAS Chair).

What does being in the First Gen program mean to you?

First Gen has been one of the most important aspects of my college experience. For students like myself, coming from public high schools with more than 80% students of color, the transition to an elite, wealthy, white school like Colgate can be tough and scary. First Gen gave me time during the pre-orientation to settle in and meet other people in the same situation as me. Even now, the program provides many resources for its students, and I know I always have a community on campus to fall back on for support when I need it.

What has been your highlight of Colgate so far? 

The highlight of my Colgate career has definitely been the experience of navigating unfamiliar spaces. Knowing that I have spaces like First Gen and LASO has made me more comfortable trying things I’m unfamiliar with.

What advice would you give to younger students at Colgate?

Something I would say to younger students at Colgate is to find your balance. Find places, people, and communities that support you and make you comfortable, while also experimenting with new things. Know your limits. It took a while, but once I found my balance, my experience became much better day by day.