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Meet the RC Ambassadors!

Connect with experts on life as an RC student!

From Anthropology to Philosophy, and International Studies to Urban Studies, the RC Ambassadors are more than just the "typical" RC student! Whether it was four years ago or less than one, every RC Ambassador was once a prospective RC student and considering the RC just like you. Connect with RC Ambassadors during the University of Michigan Campus Days for admitted students. You can also email rescollege@umich.edu with a question - RC Ambassadors are here to help!

Emily Ripper

Year: First year
Hometown: Howell, MI
RC Language: Spanish
Major: Secondary Education and  Astronomy
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Ballet, reading, sketching
Future Goals: School of Music, Theater, & Dance
What first interested you in the RC? I was interested in the smaller learning community & the focus on language & the arts.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? I enjoy getting to know the people in my hall & having opportunities for discussion.
What challenges you the most about the RC? Meeting new people is a little challenging, but it's something I look forward to.
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? Trust yourself & trust your abilities. Stress never got anybody closer to achievements.

Brighton Banyai

Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Flat Rock, MI
RC Language: Spanish
Major: Communications and Spanish
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I'm in Gamma Phi Beta and currently in the application process for a few fashion magazines on campus. I'm very interested in music, journalism, and art.
What first interested you in the RC? I was drawn to the community aspect– smaller class sizes, living space w/ classmates.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? That I'm able to reside and work alongside some of my best friends, and know I always have a community for support. I also love that I was able to learn a language so quickly, as that was always an aspiration of mine.
What challenges you the most about the RC? The intensive language program was extremely difficult, but so worth it.
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? That there is a whole world of opportunity out there, and the things you are experiencing now will only better prepare you for your future.

Grace Tucker

Year: First Year
Hometown: Zionsville, IN
RC Language: Spanish
Major: Journalism and Spanish
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Women's Glee Club. I also hope to be a part of one of the acapella groups, college democrats, the UMich dance marathon, and either the RC Review or the Her Campus magazine.
Future Goals: Graduate with a Journalism degree and move to Chicago to work in media journalism (online or print). I am also considering Law School.
What first interested you in the RC? The "best of both worlds" philosophy the program offered because it provided a small, liberal arts community while also having access to the plethora of resources a large university like UMich offers. I really appreciate the way the RC emphasizes the importance of the arts in an education.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The intimate classroom experiences. I am only in my second week of classes and I have already experienced incredible academic growth. It is truly refreshing to have peers who are actually motivated to learn and care about what they're learning. I have found RC students to be a very driven, ambitious bunch and I have loved being in class with them.
What challenges you the most about the RC? Learning how to balance RC opportunities with activities offered across campus. Because the RC is built on such a strong community, there is a real abundance of academic opportunities and social activities offered through the RC and it can be easy to spend an entire day solely in East Quad. Though, I think it is really important to pursue opportunities outside of the RC in order to have a well-rounded social and academic experience. Nonetheless, East Quad is still my favorite place on campus and has become like a second home to me.
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? To simply "follow your instinct." While undergoing the college application process, I exercised the mentality that it's better to have too many opportunities than not enough. So, I applied to lots of colleges and every honors or scholarship program I could, which created a lot of unnecessary stress and turmoil once it came to making my final college decision. I think I always instinctively knew that UMich was the place for me but the type A overthinker in me wanted to entertain every single possibility before I made a final decision. I think choosing a college involves a lot more fate and instinct than I originally thought it did.

Morgan Palmer

Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Charlotte, MI
RC Language: Spanish
Major: BCN and Spanish
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Figure skating club, PALMA, possibly a pre med frat (currently rushing)
Future Goals: Med School
What first interested you in the RC? I wanted to take a more intensive Spanish class!
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The community and support form all of the teachers!
What challenges you the most about the RC? The professors definitely push you to be the best version of yourself since they do get to know you on a personal level
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? Self care is so important! Don’t combust your first year of college. It’s okay to struggle and to need to take time for yourself. You got this!

Jennie Wang 

Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Rochester Hills, MI
RC Language: Japanese
Major: Economics and Organizational Studies
Minor: Japanese Language and Culture
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Mentality Magazine, LSA Mentorship, RC Map, Society for Women in Economics
What first interested you in the RC? I graduated from a small high school and needed help with a smooth transition into college. The RC offers the "atmosphere of a small college with the resources of a large university."         
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? Being able to eat, sleep, learn, study, and hang out with friends in the same building! Also, having close relationships with my professors and classmates.
What challenges you the most about the RC? The intensive language program is a lot of work.   
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? It's okay to feel scared and unprepared for college, but you're gonna be okay. It's extremely easy to make friends! Everyone here is super welcoming and accepting.

Katie Wiatrak

Year: Sophomore 
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
RC Language: Spanish
Major: Pre-Health
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Women's Glee Club (Wellness Chair), OEC (Opportunities to Educate Children, currently tutoring in Pediatric Dialysis), CGIS Exchange Buddies program
Future Goals: Graduate school in a medical field
What first interested you in the RC? My high school was very small (approximately 300 students) and is a liberal arts school. I have loved Umich ever since I was born, but coming to a giant public university can be daunting, no matter how many Michigan t-shirts you wear. The RC is perfect for me because I can have the big school experience while also fitting into a small liberal arts community. Best of both worlds!
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The language program is probably my favorite thing about the RC. I took Spanish in high school, but I never really cared about it. But after 16 credits of Spanish in my first year of college, it became a core pillar of my life. It pushed me to study abroad in Barcelona, which I would have never considered if not for this language requirement.
What challenges you the most about the RC? Branching out of the RC community can be a challenge sometimes. It can be easy to become enveloped in this wonderful liberal arts community, but that has its pros and cons. I pushed myself to discover other student orgs and get involved outside the RC, but it is definitely tempting to hide away in East Quad!
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? Try EVERYTHING! There are SO many amazing opportunities in college, so read every pamphlet, skim every email, and make yourself try new things, no matter how outlandish they may seem!

Anna Tropiano 

Year: RC Junior and UM Transfer
Hometown: Katonah, NY
RC Language: French
Major: Political Science
Minor: Writing
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Sopranos a cappella, volunteer with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, co-leader of Eco Forum, and  ambassador for the Opportunity Hub.
Future Goals: Law School or a Public Policy Graduate School
What first interested you in the RC? I chose the RC because I wanted to experience small classes where professors knew my name, and live in a smaller community on campus.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The special events, programs, and opportunities that the RC puts on for its students shows how much the faculty of the RC really care about engaging with students and creating a living learning community.
What challenges you the most about the RC? The language requirement is a big commitment (I am in the French readings course right now, which is the last class of the program) but the professors are there to support you the whole time and make the experience one of the most valuable language opportunities on campus.
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? Find a balance that works for you, and don't take on too much because it seems like the thing to do. Here at Michigan there is a "work hard play hard" ideology that means students are usually very busy and involved in lots of different things. This is great, but it's also important to make sure you are finding time for yourself, and prioritizing your mental health and wellbeing.

 

Madison Krumins 

Year: RC Sophomore & LSA Honors College
Hometown: Waterford, MI
RC Language: Russian
Major: Cognitive Science & Linguistics
Minor: Russian
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Music, Outdoors (hiking), Greek Life
Future Goals: Law School
What first interested you in the RC? I became interested in the RC when I heard about the RC's "liberal arts" school vibe. I was originally searching for a smaller liberal arts school, but the RC provided me the opportunity to get this experience while still getting the experience of going to an amazing BIG 10 university.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? I enjoy the smaller class sizes and the selection of classes specifically available to me as an RC student. Especially in my first year, I think having the small class sizes was so beneficial to me--I got to form great connections directly with my professors, something some first-year students don't get to do. The Intensive Language program accelerated my studies and opened up doors for scholarships and fellowships this year that I didn't think possible before.
One of my favorite aspects of the RC, though, is the team of advisors just for RC students. The fact that they have less students to manage means that they have more time and energy to devote to my schedule and my questions. RC students, for each RC class they take, receive not only a grade on their transcript, but basically a recommendation letter from their professor. It's definitely a huge benefit, not only for applying for internships and study abroad programs during school, but for whatever I plan to do afterwards!
What challenges you the most about the RC? I think some of my favorite parts of the RC are the ones that have challenged me the most. The Intensive language track is definitely intense, and going through Intensive I and II was exhausting and difficult. However, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Being able to say that I went from not being able to speak a word of Russian to passing Proficiency with Level 5 abilities in roughly 8 months is pretty amazing. I don't know where else you would get a similar experience, unless you were in a study abroad or summer program dedicated to just this. As a student in Readings now, I can tell that I'll miss the RC language classes next semester when I go into the regular LSA program.

Grace Meinke

Year: First Year RC & LSA Honors College
Hometown: Howell, MI
RC Language: French
Major: BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience)
Minor: Medical Anthropology
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I plan to join the RC Review, PitE club, Third Space, and to attend the mass meetings of a number of RC forums and a few other on-campus literary magazines
What first interested you in the RC? I loved the idea of making a large school feel small!
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? I particularly love the close, family-like relationship that has already begun developing between myself, my peers, and my professors. This place feels like an instant home. The diversity, kindness, and passion in the RC is unique and incredible.
What challenges you the most about the RC? There are so many activities and events! The challenge is wanting but not being able to do everything!
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? Do your research! Look for more than the stats of schools you are interested in, find what it is like to live there, find what activities you can do there, and find what speaks to you and what you love (or want to learn about)!

Molly Duplaga

Year: First Year
Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI
RC Language: Russian
Major: Undecided (something STEM)
Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Quiz Bowl, CAPS in action, reading, French, classical music
What first interested you in the RC? The intensive language program seemed really exciting to me and I wanted to make sure the humanities were still a large part of my education.
What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The strong sense of community and openness.
What challenges you the most about the RC? Balancing an intensive language with my other courses.
What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during your senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? The university of Michigan IS the right choice for you. And take more risks/care less what others think.