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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. RC Ambassadors are here to help! You can also email rescollege@umich.edu with a question. 

Aarushi Ganguly

Year: First-Year

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Canton, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Public Health Studies

Minor: Spanish

Email: aargan@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I'm hoping to join a few public health clubs, Michigan Parliamentary debate, work as a videographer for the Michigan Daily, and join Film Forum in the RC.

Future Goals: Law School

What first interested you in the RC? I had not even heard of the RC until a senior at the University told me about this opportunity. As soon as she described, I immediately began to do some more research. It didn't take me too long to fall in love with the idea of the program because it had everything I could imagine as a student. The two aspects that really drew my eye were the heavy emphasis on proficiency in a language and the living requirement. Before entering university, I knew I wanted to study Spanish more extensively and become as close to fluent as possible. Additionally, I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who were interested in a liberal arts education. The Residential College just seemed like the place for me.

What is the “vibe” of the RC? The vibe of the RC is genuinely whatever you want it to be, but first and foremost it is a group of welcoming students who are interested in an interdisciplinary education. We come from all backgrounds and want to study a huge variety of things, and the vibe of the RC reflects that notion. There is no set background, intended major, or personality type. It is both academic and fun, and there is always a chance to connect and meet new people.

 

Caroline Oster

Year: First-Year

Pronouns: She/Hers or They/Them

Hometown: St. Clair Shores, MI

RC Language: French

Major: Cognitive Science or Linguistics

Minor: French

Email: cjoster@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Music (piano and guitar), community volunteering, musical theater, tennis

Future Goals: Graduate School - Doctorate

What first interested you in the RC? I wanted to have a small, liberal arts college experience with the resources of a large university. I was also very interested in the language programs; I always wanted to learn more after my high school French classes! I knew that I'd find fellow creatives and musicians, but also people with interests I've never heard of before.

What is a typical RC student? It's easy to say there is no typical RC student, as everyone I've met has such different interests! Most of us appreciate the study of foreign languages, as it was a draw for us to join in the first place. RC students are always open to try new things with new people, whether it's drinking tea in the basement or getting milkshakes from Ben and Jerry's. Even if someone has a very niche interest/passion, everyone is interested in hearing what they have to say and learning about their world. We are people who think that fun and intellectualism aren't mutually exclusive.

 

Dylan Burford

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Communications and Media

Email: dburford@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I have a job with the football team in the video department, Film Forum, and Artsy Forum.

What first interested you in the RC? I first became interested in the RC because when I was applying to colleges, I wanted a small college experience, and I mostly applied to small liberal arts colleges. A big reason why I decided to come to Michigan was because I was able to have the resources of a big university while still having a small community experience within the RC.

What have your experiences been like so far with the RC virtually and/or UM virtually? My RC Spanish class has been handling the transition to being online quite well. My discussion teacher is actually in Colorado and is teaching all of us through Zoom. My other classes are doing asynchronous lectures, and I really like getting to know my RC professors, even if it is through Zoom.

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM? I applied to the RC because I wanted a small college feel within a large university, and the RC community has really shaped my experience here. I have gotten to know my RC professors much better than any LSA professor because I feel really comfortable going to their office hours, and they get to know me better because of the small class size. I also have gotten to know a lot of people in my RC class through classes, forums, and the people in my hall. In my LSA lectures, I have bonded with other RC students more easily because we know we have a common experience. Walking through East Quad and seeing familiar faces is a much different experience than walking through the rest of campus.

 

Elizabeth Schriner

Year: Junior

Hometown: Olivet, MI

RC Language: Japanese

Major: Sociology  & Creative Writing

Minor: Asian Languages & Culture (Japanese)

Email: eschrine@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: My current extra-curricular activities include RC MAP, RC Players, and UM Women's Glee Club. Additionally, I occasionally write for various student publications and am a paid blogger for Arts, Ink. under Arts at Michigan. Feel free to also ask me about my experiences in East Quad Hall Council, RC forums, RC singers, UM Yoni Ki Baat, or SURO (sociology undergraduate research). 

Future Goals: Graduate School

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? I had a phenomenal experience with the RC language program. With no prior knowledge of Japanese, taking two 10-credit classes of the language my freshman year was daunting; however, I made close friends, learned three new writing systems, and grew close to a great professor through taking Japanese in the RC. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take more Japanese classes and pursue the minor! Learning Japanese is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I've ever done, and I highly recommend taking language classes through the RC.

What is it like being an RC student pursuing an LSA major or minor? The great thing about the RC is that each student decides the extent of their involvement. Depending on their own schedules and ambitions, a student may decide to participate in a bunch of RC clubs and classes. Or, they might decide to do just the essential requirements and pursue their interests elsewhere. Either way, an LSA major or minor outside of the RC is definitely attainable. As someone with an LSA minor and two majors (one of which is outside the RC), my advice would be to roughly plan ahead and not feel limited to just the RC community. Utilize the vast amount of resources and opportunities that the university as a whole provides!

What challenges you the most about the RC? Taking 10-credits of Intensive Japanese each semester during my freshman year has definitely been my biggest RC challenge thus far. I started the class with no prior knowledge of the language, which was daunting; however, I made some great friends, learned three new writing systems, and grew close to an amazing professor through taking Japanese in the RC. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take more Japanese classes and pursue the minor! Learning Japanese continues to be one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I've ever done, and I highly recommend the RC's intensive language programs.

Katie Wiatrak

Year: Junior

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Gender and Health

Email: kwiatrak@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I work for Michigan Hillel as a tele-fundraiser, and I’m also starting a new job at Michigan Medicine as a Patient Attendant. I sing in the Women’s Glee Club, where I also hold a leadership position as Wellness Chair, which I created! I also love to knit :) 

Future Goals: I plan on becoming a Physician’s Assistant! Some PA programs offer a dual degree with a Master’s of Public Health, which is a primary interest for me. I love clinic work, but I also want to work at a community level. 

What first interested you in the RC? I attended a small liberal arts high school with only 300 students! I’ve loved Umich for my whole life, but the size of the school intimidated me. I chose the RC because it allowed me to have the large-school experience, while also giving me the amenities of a small liberal arts college. 

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? I would probably tell myself not to rely on a rigid plan. No matter how much you  try to control your path, things will change, and the path will take you in unexpected directions. My plan has changed a lot over the years, and it is important to keep an open mind! 

What is it like being an RC student studying STEM? I have LOVED being in the RC while studying STEM! I have many STEM friends who overload their schedules with science classes. In the RC, language and liberal arts classes give me a necessary break from STEM. I haven’t had any issues meeting requirements due to my RC Language. If anything, my RC classes have helped me succeed MORE in my STEM classes!

 

Janna Girotto

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI / Rochester, NY

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Global Health

Minor: Spanish and Business

Email: jgirotto@umich.edu

Future Goals: I'm planning on applying to a business minor in Ross, I want to get a masters in Public Health.

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: LSA Honors Program, RC forums- Artsy and Film, RHA, MLEAD, RC MAP, Art Ambassadors, Hall Council, Multicultural Council

What first interested you in the RC? I was first interested in the RC because of the Language Program. I knew I really wanted to work in the international sector and wanted to learn at least one other language since it's sometimes a requirement for some job positions, and I also just love learning languages! 

What do you enjoy the most about the RC? The people for sure. It is impossible to not meet incredibly kind and funny people in your classes, events, or just in your dorm hall. Everyone I've met (both professors and students) have been some of the most amazing people I've ever met, and have become some of my best friends

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? Absolutely amazing!!! The professors are incredible and really want you to succeed and I met some of my really good friends through those classes because of lunch tables or just my discussion group. My discussion class even did a secret santa together last year that was super fun!

What have your experiences been like so far with the RC virtually and/or UM virtually? It can be really awkward for sure, but I've found that over time it gets better. It can be really intimidating to talk to a bunch of people you don't know over zoom since you can't really see them and interact like you would in person and usually you're just talking to silence which feels super disorienting. However, I've found that slowly but surely people start to relax and the conversations flow better as we all get used to this crazy new system.  

 

Madison Krumins

Year: Junior

Hometown: Waterford, MI

RC Language: Russian

Major: Sociology (Law, Justice and Social Change) and RC Drama

Minor: Russian

Email: mkrumins@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: LSA Honors College, Fraternity and Sorority Life, MAC: Alternative Spring Break, Dance Marathon, Michigan Marching Band, University Band, Guitar, Community Matters First Year ExperienceFuture Goals: Law School, Social Work

What first interested you in the RC? I was interested in the RC because I was originally interested in attending a small liberal arts school. The RC was the perfect solution--a smaller college within a larger Big Ten environment. I truly felt that I've gotten the best of both worlds: smaller class sizes and football games, a personal connection with professors and the huge campus setting.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? The RC language program was an enriching experience for me. I came into the RC not speaking a word of Russian and left the program proficient and able to use the language. Here's a (maybe) shallow reason to be involved in the semi-immersion program: it's fun to be able to tell people about my language experience in the RC, everyone from friends to family to employers are always amazed when I tell them about how fast I've learned.

What do you enjoy most about the RC? What I enjoy most about the RC is that it's really whatever you want to get out of it. I think the RC is an amazing academic program, I love East Quad and I love the community, but I also have a lot going on outside of the RC. While I do recommend getting involved and being part of the community, there are varying levels of involvement which really makes the RC experience one of your own creation.

 

Maria LoCicero

Year: Senior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Ypsilanti, MI

RC Language: Spanish & French

Major: History & Arts and Ideas in the Humanities

Email: mllocic@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I am an active member of the RC Players, a LEAD scholar, a tutor, a Shakespeare in the Arb performer, and I work off-campus.

What first interested you in the RC? I am part of a long line of U of M students. My great-great-grandmother graduated from U of M in 1892. My parents met in East Quad food service. My mom was an RC student and my dad was in the Honors Program (when honors halls were still in East Quad), and so I grew up with great stories about Michigan and the RC specifically. When I applied to Michigan, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to do both RC and Honors. In addition to what I had heard about the RC from my family, the RC's dedication to arts, languages, and providing a small liberal arts feel inside a large university appealed to me greatly.

 

Mariam Alshourbagy

Year: First-Year

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Stevensville, MI

RC Language: French

Major: International Studies

Email: marialsh@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Girl Up, Michigan Parliamentary Debate, LiNK, College DemocratsFuture Goals: Law School

What first interested you in the RC? I joined the RC primarily for its intensive language program! I am a person with multiple and VERY different interests so I joined the RC knowing that I could retain multiple languages in half the time without worrying about fulfilling my other graduation requirements.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? The RC intensive language programs may seem intimidating at first. If you are not a complete beginner, you should expect your professor to address you exclusively in the language you're studying (in my case, French). This could be a challenge for many, as it was for me, but I was surprised by how quickly I could get used to it, and as a result, I get out of every class with a new word or skill that takes me in the direction of proficiency even faster than expected!

 

Mia Turco

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Film, TV, Media & UX Design (Information School)

Minor: Spanish

Email: turcoa@umich.edu

Future Goals: I would like to study abroad, counselor for Overland Summer Camps and be fluent in Spanish!

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Sopranos A Cappella, Musket Marketing Team, photography business, School of Information

What first interested you in the RC? I was first interested in the language component of the Residential College. I always wanted to study Spanish and study abroad, and I knew the intensive environment would be the best fit to improve my Spanish quickly. I was also interested in the smaller, themed First Year Writing Seminars instead of the general, required ones in LSA. In addition to academic reasons, I was interested in living in the same place as my classmates and thought that I'd be a great environment to make friends- which it has been!

What do you enjoy the most about the RC? So far in the Residential College, I've enjoyed my Intensive Spanish class the most! My professors were very approachable and kind, the lunch tables were fun and very helpful to improve conversational Spanish, and I made lots of close friends from being in class with them 4 days a week.

What challenges you the most about the RC? I think the RC is primarily left-sided political views. I consider myself liberal as well, but I grew up in a very conservative community so it has been very engaging to learn about others viewpoints and why they, too, identify with a liberal political platform. I think it can be challenging to adjust to this environment and still keep an open mind to other sides of politics when the grand majority is liberal and very vocal about their beliefs. But I think the people in the RC, at least all that I've met, have been very open to discussing all perspectives in politics.

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? I would tell myself to join clubs for things that general interest me, not just things my friends are doing, so that I could branch out more independently and make new friends with similar interests than me!

 

Molly Duplaga

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI

RC Language: Russian

Major: Russian and Psychology

Email: duplagam@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: MAC-ASB, CAPS in Action, Michigan Aikido

What do you enjoy the most about the RC? I have really enjoyed the community the RC provides and the amazing mentors/advisors.

What have your experiences been like so far with the RC virtually and/or UM virtually? Overall quite positive! I finished the winter semester online and have taken spring and summer courses. It's a learning process for everyone so patience and communication are key. 

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM? Being in the RC has allowed me to foster my love for language and become involved in my major (Russian) faster!

What challenges you the most about the RC? Balancing an intensive language with my other courses.

Morgan Palmer

Year: Junior

Hometown: Charlotte, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Psychology and Spanish

Email: morganpa@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Club figure skating, PALMA, and research, Comprehensive Studies ProgramFuture Goals: Graduate School for Clinical Psychology

What first interested you in the RC? I wanted to take a more intensive Spanish class!

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? At first it was a huge adjustment from High School Spanish. And not going to lie, it was a little stressful - but that’s a given with any new college transition. The stress didn’t last long as I had great support from all of my professors. Now, I’ve made such great bonds with all of the Spanish professors and even now that I’ve “finished” the program I’m still in contact with them going to office hours (virtually) and chatting over email. They are life long friends and mentors which is very common for the RC language programs - to connect with the instructors and students in a personal way.

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? I would tell myself that the most important thing to carry with you into your college career is your empathy for other people and your determination to be the best you can be. Your grades, your extracurriculars, your one bad exam freshman year... none of that carries with you. But who you are as a person and how you treat other people continues to grow. Keep that.

 

Paul Treder

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Undecided

Email: trederpa@umich.edu

Future Goals: Go to law school or pursue an MBA

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: My current extra-curricular activities include UMich quiz bowl team, dining worker at Oxford Twigs, PALMA, RC MAP, RC ambassadors in winter of 2020, RC Creative Writing forum, WeListen.

What do you enjoy most about the RC? I enjoy the closeness and intimacy the RC offers. It can be very overwhelming being a student at a university as large as U of M, but the RC's small size, sense of community, and East Quad living experience has really helped me to connect with people easier and get involved in things that I am passionate about.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? Coming into college from high school, I always found foreign language classes incredibly easy (I won the award for both the top Spanish and German student at my high school). RC intensive spanish was the total opposite of this, as it was the first time I had experienced a difficult and semi-immersive program like the RC offers. Although I struggled at times during intensive spanish, I feel that the experience was highly beneficial for me as my spanish skills improved exponentially. I found it especially amazing that I could write complex academic texts in spanish and have conversations with native speakers after my time in intensive spanish. In other words, my experience in the RC language program has been tough at times but extremely rewarding; I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves languages! I liked it so much that I'm hoping to take RC intensive German sometime down the line as well!

What challenges you the most about the RC? the intensive languages classes; however they also greatly improve your ability to speak the language

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? I would tell myself to be less stressed and to look more into the specifications of various majors