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Newsletter: Winter, 2017

By Contributing Writer on March 3, 2017

Female student with a Colgate teddy bear walks along the Great Wall of ChinaThe 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 issue here.

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/ First Gen House: A Home Away From Home

By Nali Byrd '19 on October 26, 2016

This past summer, the OUS/ First Gen house was completely renovated including new floors, computer labs, a lounge with a television and video game area, homework space, a group study room and printers! Upstairs are the offices of OUS Directors Frank Frey and Frank Kuan, Graduate Residential Fellow Salote Tenisi ’15 and  Assistant Dean and Director of First Generations Program Drea Finley ’13. The house is open to all OUS students, First Generation students and their friends. Students are constantly found using the space to work on homework together, cook dinner for one another or just hang out and watch a movie.

Students serving food at a family dinner!

One first-year student was asked where his favorite place on campus was, and he replied “my favorite place on campus is the OUS/ First Gen house. Sometimes it gets hard to be so far away from your family when you are at college and the house became my home away from home”.

Two biology students agreed that they have no idea what they would do without the group study room in the house. “We are always meeting here before exams with our peers to go over notes and study together”.

Students have even utilized the house to host performances and get-togethers. Often times, different themed nights occur in the house such as poetry night, where students gather and recite different work and share new ideas with friends.


For everyone, family dinners in the house are a very cherished time. Students from all four years as well as Frank Frey, Frank Kuan, Drea and Salote come together to enjoy a great meal and just catch up with one another.

The OUS house is a place for students to unwind, get work done, relax, and have fun with one another. Many students cannot imagine their time at Colgate without having the house as their sanctuary!

The house is also equipped with an extensive library!

The house is also equipped with an extensive library where students can often find their textbooks!

Valeria Felix '18 working in the living room

Valeria Felix ’18 working in the living room.

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.

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.