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

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.



Learn 2 Earn and Fjordi Mulla ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on May 1, 2017

Name: Fjordi Mulla

Major: International Relations

Q1: What are you involved in on campus?

Current: Colgate Finance Club (President), Career Services Center (Investment Studies Program Fellow), Men’s Club Soccer (Member), Modern Greek (Tutor), and French Club (Member)

Past: Spring 2016 Theatre Production Actor, Puerto Rico Extended Study Course, India Extended Study Course, Business Ethics Participant, General Assembly Business Accelerator, Envestnet Institute on Campus, and Harvard Business School | HBX Program

Future: Spring 2018 Geneva Study Group Semester Abroad

Q2: I heard you are working on a new project called Learn 2 Earn! What is your project about?

The central goal of Learn 2 Earn is to provide college students with the chance to learn, practice, and understand how to budget, invest, and grow their money. We do this by incorporating tools and existing resources to draw on the importance of investing early and making financially healthy decisions in order to create a long-term plan for students’ personal and professional goals. It runs for two hours on two consecutive days – the first day is on budgeting and saving, and the second day is on investing and setting up an account.

Q3: What inspired you to do this project?

It is important to note that I did not “do” this project. Mike Sciola from Career Services has been the originator and idea creator, I have only supplemented his vision by providing my resources and external knowledge in any way I can. During the second semester of my senior year in high school, I took a class on Personal Finance with my, at the time, academic advisor Mr. Clifford. The class was a blast: I learned about stocks, bonds, the stock market, how to invest, the importance of diversifying, and many more concepts I never thought I had to know. My family never invested money. After taking the class, I decided to start investing for them. What is the point of taking a class when you cannot apply it to real life? I set up a 401K account through their employer and picked the asset classes – now, the account self-invests any profits created. That is the key to continuous wealth building – add more money as the years go buy. The more money you invest, the more money you make.

Well, what’s the point of all of this? Isn’t it just money? It sure is. But considering that my parents come from a lower-middle class, their social security and savings may not be enough for retirement. Learn 2 Earn and smart investing is not supposed to be quick and spontaneous. It requires personal reflection, risk assessment, and realistic expectations. The point of long-term investing is to have sustainable funds you can draw from when you retire. When you retire, you will not receive an income from your employer (duh), so where will you receive your income from? Social Security? That will probably be eradicated by the time we are in our 60s and 70s. Investing now, I thought, is the best way for me to secure my future after retirement. I know, it is a long way down the road, but considering how I want my lifestyle to be, I want to have a safe nest egg. And I want others to have one too. Money itself is not important. Using it to fulfill your goals and dreams – that’s more like it.

Q4: What are your long-term goals for the project?

I want as many people on campus to open up an investment account and put whatever money they can into it and start investing! They can even put $1 in one. The whole point is not to put a lot of money in right away – it is to build it slowly. I want the OUS and First Gen students to especially open up accounts and contribute to them regularly. We all have different passions and goals in life, but truth be told, some pay better than others. I believe a person can still do whatever he wants, without feeling financially unhealthy. The key is to discipline oneself and consider financial health just like you would think of your physical health. How do you ensure your kid will go to college with the cost of tuition skyrocketing more and more every year? How do you ensure you will buy a house in New York City with the ever-growing prices of the real estate market? Wealth building is important for everyone; teachers, artists, politicians, construction workers, entrepreneurs, presidents. We all need it because we all have goals. And those goals often come at costs. Well, investing and starting early is key – especially for us younger students who have never been exposed to investing.

Q5: What is the best way to get in contact with you if people are interested in this project as well?

Please feel free to contact me by email (fmulla@colgate.edu). Look out for an email next fall (September) – I will be sending out invitations so anyone from all grades, majors, and career interests. Everyone can apply to the two-day event and learn how to make millions by starting with just a single dollar.

Fjordi Mulla


Congratulations Class of 2018 Konosioni Members

By Nali Byrd '19 on April 27, 2017

Konosioni is Colgate’s senior honor society, recognizing outstanding leadership, dedicated service to the community, and the preservation of tradition”. This society is highly competitive and only accepts a limited number of rising seniors per year. Throughout the year, Konosioni Society holds many fun events that connect the members of Konosioni with the Colgate community as well as organizations in the greater Hamilton communities. These events include an Acapella Benefit Concert which supports Madison County Gives, A Senior Showcase which is a ball honoring the senior class, and an induction ceremony of new members which is open to anyone to attend.

The mission statement of Konosioni Honor Society is copied below:

We, as members of Konosioni Senior Honor Society, seek to:
Preserve and promote a greater appreciation and understanding of Colgate’s honored heritage and celebrated traditions;
Serve as responsible and respected leaders of Colgate, whether on campus or off;
Inspire a connection to Colgate’s campus and the surrounding community by seeking to provide an interface between the community and students;
Promote the charitable and philanthropic efforts of area organizations as peer-selected stewards of the greater Colgate community.

Our OUS family is so blessed to have six of our rising seniors inducted into the Konosioni Senior Honor Society!



Ricky Fernandez ’18: Reflecting on the London Economics Study Group

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 24, 2017

1. What study abroad experience were you in?

I participated in the Colgate London Economics Study Group Fall 2016 led by Professor Kay Pollock and Professor Ted Hyett.

2. What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

The highlight of my study abroad experience was definitely having the opportunity to travel to other parts of Europe like Italy, Ireland, and Scotland. In addition, it was great getting to know my group and Professors Pollock and Hyett over the course of the semester.

3. What type of activities did you do while being abroad?

We definitely did a lot of different activities, but one that really stuck out to me was the weekly theatre show component built into our London theater class. Some of my favorites were AmadeusThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Yerma.

4. What type of classes did you take?

Three out of the four classes we took were economics classes like British Economy, Economics of EU, and European Economic Issues. What really set the curriculum apart from the one at Colgate was that it had different visiting professors and professionals lecturing on various topics from healthcare to monetary policy.

5. What advice would you give to someone who may want to go abroad in the upcoming year?

I would say that students considering studying abroad should be thoughtful about what they want to gain out of their abroad experience by setting goals that strike a balance between the social and academic. You will most likely have another opportunity to travel at some point in your life, but the degree to which you get the freedom to simultaneously have fun while making constructive mistakes will definitely be hard to come by.

Jonathan-Phillip (JT) Anderson ’17

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 17, 2017

1. How did you get involved in comedy?

I got academically dismissed after my junior year (spring 2015) for not handing in two final papers (no logical explanation, I just didn’t feel like doing academic work anymore), so I had to spend a year away. I was always into stand up, so being from NYC, I took the opportunity to dive into it. I took stand-up classes in the fall of 2015, started going to open mics, and just gradually made friends with a lot of comedians in the City.

2. What was academic dismissal like for you?

For me personally, academic dismissal was beneficial because it gave me the opportunity to realize how much I loved comedy and that I wanted to work in the field. Additionally, it gave me time to really understand what my life could be like if I didn’t graduate. Aside from doing stand up, I spent the year as a waiter in a restaurant. While I made good friends there, I knew that that wasn’t something I wanted to be doing long term. Consequently, I guess I’ve just taken my future a bit more seriously. I understand a bit more now that simply being accepted into Colgate isn’t the end of the road. You have to continue to work.

3. Any advice for students who may be going through similar feelings?

As for advice for not being dismissed, that’s tough. Most people accepted into Colgate have the potential to succeed. So when someone is on the verge of being dismissed, I feel like there could be various factors going into it. For me, it was laziness plain and simple. And I’m still pretty lazy, I just try a bit more academically I guess. For some, it takes dismissal to really put things into perspective. My advice for someone dismissed would just be to figure out what went wrong and understand that it’s not the end of the road. Keep working, keep trying. The opportunity to go to a school like Colgate doesn’t come to everyone, so you don’t want to take it for granted. Pretty generic advice, but that’s what I’d say.

4. How do you see comedy being used as a way of advocating/ educating others?

Most race-centered comedy is done problematically in my opinion, honestly. There are comedians that use race in their comedy in more positive ways. Trevor Noah is one example. He has this bit on colonialism on Youtube I highly recommend watching; it’s hilarious. Another comedian who’s great at using comedy as a way to promote political and social critical thought is someone we’re planning on bringing to Colgate at the end of the semester. The contracts aren’t signed yet though, so I can’t say who just yet.

5. Do you have any goals involving comedy either at Colgate or post-Colgate?

At Colgate, I just want to keep Colgate Stand Up progressing. For a club only in its second semester, we’ve been pretty successful so far. My goal is just to keep that up. One exciting show we’re planning that I’ll mention now is that we’re doing an all-women lineup on February 25th, hosted by Sydney Schultz ’19. I think that will be dope. Obviously, stand up is so male-dominated, having an all-women lineup should be refreshing.

After Colgate I definitely want to work in comedy in some capacity. I’d love to write for a TV show like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show, or Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Shows that use comedy to convey progressive political and social messages. Besides writing jobs, other goals are to just keep improving with stand up, and start producing my own shows in the City, just like we’re doing here at Colgate.

JT also encourages everyone interested in trying stand-up comedy on campus to reach out to him, and he recommends that people like the Facebook page for videos and photos from all comedy events facebook.com/colgatestandup.

Harpreet Kaur ’18

By Nali Byrd '19 on February 13, 2017

1. What study abroad experience were you in?

I was a part of the Colgate London Economics Study Group.

2. What was the highlight of your study abroad experience?

While I was abroad, I took a trip to Athens, Greece on my own for four days. It was my first time traveling (and organizing) a trip on my own, and it happened to be a place I’d wanted to visit since I was a kid. I got to see all sorts of historical sites and spent a lot of my time at the Akropolis, old temples, and museums. The whole trip was amazing, and the fact that I did it on my own is something that I deeply value.

3. What type of activities did you do while being abroad?

I visited local Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), went to markets with my friends, attended weekly plays, and traveled to various cities.

Harpreet in England

4. What type of classes did you take?

I took one theater course and three economics courses (The British Economy, Economics of the European Union, and Global Economic Issues). We had terrific guest lecturers for our economics classes. For the theater course, we had the amazing opportunity to attend various plays throughout London while learning about the history of London’s theater scene.

5. What was the biggest surprise to you about being abroad?

I was surprised by the extent of my independence and my ability to settle into a more natural way of my life in another country. It was surprisingly easy to get used to!

6. What advice would you give to someone who may want to go abroad in the upcoming year?

Do things that challenge you, even scare you a bit (within reason, of course). Take trips on your own, try to immerse yourself into the place you are visiting. If you’re on a Colgate study group, it is easy to latch onto the group and avoid interacting with the people who live in the place you have a chance to visit. That’s a huge disservice to yourself!

Also, appreciate the chance to travel and be open-minded about the places you will see and the people you’ll meet. Not everyone has the privilege to travel, and the fact that you are able to go to another country and call it home for a semester means a lot! Studying abroad isn’t a break from life- meaning it’s going to have the regular ups and downs you might experience during your average semester at Colgate. It may not be all sunshine all the time, but it will be something memorable.

OUS Student Profiles: Larissa Grijalva ’17

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 15, 2016

Hometown: Imperial, CA

Major: Educational Studies

Class Year: 2017

Larissa Grijalva '17

Larissa Grijalva ’17

How are you involved on campus?

Other than OUS, I’m a part of Link Staff, Konosioni, Greek Life, This Is Not A Play About Sex and Vagina Monologues!

As a senior, what advice would you give younger students on campus?

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Being at Colgate is not easy, but there are tons of ways to make it a little more bearable. I started doing at least one major thing I want to do a day (although lately it’s been more like 3 per day). No matter how much work I have, at the end of the day, I make sure I’ve done something I chose to do whether it’s watching a movie or going for a run or baking something.

In what ways have you felt OUS has impacted your time while at Colgate?

There’s a reason why OUS is a family. Having people who can both call you out on your bull but also be there for you at 3 a.m. is incredibly hard to find at a place like this, but it’s super necessary!! I’m so lucky to be part of my amazing ’17 OUS class. Also, shout out to Frank Frey and Frank Kuan who have been there for us since Day 1.

What has been the highlight of your Colgate experience thus far?

Despite the ways in which Colgate has failed me, it has also given me so so much. I am mostly thankful for all the people I’ve gotten to know over these past 4 years. I’d have to say that the highlight of my Colgate experience is getting to share it with my brothers.

OUS Greek Life Nali Byrd’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on November 25, 2016

Greek Organization: Kappa Kappa Gamma

1. What inspired you to rush?
I was inspired to rush for many reasons! My sister was in Kappa as well, and it was in Kappa that she met her best friends and made some of her favorite Colgate memories. Hearing all of those stories made me pretty excited to go through the process and see if there were a house and a group of women that stuck out to me. I was also pretty excited to meet a lot of new women my age and older and make lasting connections!

Nali Byrd ’19

2. What has been your favorite thing about being in your organization so far?

My favorite thing about being in Kappa so far has been the amount of support and love that is felt around the room when we are all together. It was a crazy process to go from not knowing most of the girls in the organization to knowing them all within a matter of a few weeks! Being from Los Angeles, I am constantly homesick when I am at Colgate, and through Kappa, I gained amazing friends and even more importantly so many new sisters.
3. What advice would you give to students who may be considering rush next fall?
Don’t lose yourself in the process! It is really important to not try to change who you are to try to fit what you think a certain organization may be looking for. If you are the right fit for an organization and you are true to yourself, it will work out in the end! Also, try not to stress. It can be an intimidating process; I know I was SO nervous. Remember to try to just have fun. Enjoy getting a little fancy for the events you’ll attend, and treat yourself to the free food you’ll be served.
4. What challenges have you faced, if any, and how have you handled these challenges?
The biggest challenge I have faced is convincing my parents that I am not involved in greek life solely for the social reasons! My parents were the type that freaked out a little when they heard I was rushing and thought my grades would suffer as a result. However, with a lot of communication, I proved to them that joining a sorority has only positively added to my Colgate experience. Not everyone was hyped about my decision to rush a sorority and that was hard, but I knew it was my decision to make and I have absolutely no regrets!

OUS Greek Life: Kaine Brown’19 and Max Michael’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on November 17, 2016

Greek Organization
: Phi Kappa Tau
1. What inspired you to rush?
Kaine: I was inspired to rush because of the connections that I could make post-Colgate. I also wanted to meet more guys that would become my brothers.
Max: My friends and I thought it’d be a fun thing to do.

2. What has been your favorite thing about being in your
organization so far?

Max: Everyone in my organization. When I walk into the house, I feel like I’m somewhere where I am 100% welcome. It’s not a space where I look like everyone or have had the same experiences but at the same time I can feel that my brothers do genuinely care about me.

Kaine: My favorite thing about joining Phi Kappa Tau is all of the strong bonds I have developed. I have really enjoyed attending family dinners at the house, watching movies, and doing homework with my brothers.
3. What advice would you give to students who may be considering rush next fall?
Kaine: I would advise students who may be considering rushing to fully explore all of the options. It can be a time-consuming process, so I would say it is really important to get your work done early so you can just focus on having fun at night. While the process is stressful, it is also really fun, so just remember to enjoy yourself.
Max: Definitely do it. Like even if you’re not 100% sold on the idea it’s just a fun experience to go through and if you find a place on campus where you can find additional support then that’s lit!
4. What challenges have you faced if any and how have you handled these challenges?
Kaine: There are a lot of negative stereotypes about fraternities and what they represent. Dealing with people making assumptions about you when you say your in an organization can be hard, but at the end of the day you know what your organization represents and it is something to be proud of!

Max Michael’ 19


Kaine Brown’ 19

OUS Student Athlete: Regine Cooper ’19

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 12, 2016

Name: Regine (Ré) Cooper
Hometown: Fort Meyers, Florida
Major/ MinorPolitical Science/Economics

1: 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.


2: What activities are you involved in on campus?

I am a Varsity Track & Field athlete, and I am also involved with Thought Into Action (Colgate’s student entrepreneurship program).

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

Being a student-athlete means you are tired. Those 6 a.m. lifts with those long nights mean you have to have great time management. It can be stressful at times. But I love track and field because it gives me the sports community and friends. It also connects me to more alumni. I also love to challenge myself.