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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. 

Alex DiGennaro

Year: First Year

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Binghamton, New York

RC Language: German

Major: Music; Computer Science

Email: adigenna@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: LSA Honors Program, Michigan Pops, Music for Dementia, Video Game Music club, Wolvereads, GEECS

What do you enjoy most about the RC?
I personally enjoy the many different diverse voices and ideas found within the Residential College! There's always someone to reach out to for advice or just to hangout, from people who identify as LGBTQ, to science majors, to others who just really love tea. People are genuinely accepting and excited to hear about all kinds of activities their friends do, and no matter where you go on campus, you're bound to pass an RC friend who says "hello." The space in the Residential College has made the transition to college so much easier, and I enjoy the safety and inclusiveness of this space which has made the entire college experience much more welcoming.

What is it like being an RC student studying STEM? As someone who is currently not taking any humanities courses besides the first-year writing seminar, I have not found any major difference in my experience than my roommate for example, who is a history major. I have many friends to hangout with who are always genuinely happy to listen to me talk about Math295, and many of us eat together in the dining hall all of the time. My major has not separated me from my peers, which is what I was nervous about upon entering the Residential College, and my friends make time for me if our schedules don't align all that well. Plus, there's way more STEM majors than I thought there would be within the RC! Many of my first-year classmates are interested in neuroscience or cognitive science, for example, and some of the people I look up to the most are environmental science and math majors! Students within the RC have been accepting no matter what my major might be, which has completely erased the fear I had when I decided to focus on STEM classes for this semester.

 

Anastasia Papageorgiou

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

RC Language: Modern Greek (LSA)

Major: Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, and Modern Greek

Minor: Computer Science

Email: amzpapag@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: I am a member of Hellenic Student Association, DMUM and OCF. I play piano, sing, draw(sometimes), and I love dancing. I am also an RA in East Quad!

What is a typical RC student? There is no such thing as a "typical" RC student! Everyone is different and that's what makes the sub-college so interesting. RC students have the same extra requirements in terms of language and distribution but there is no one way to accomplish those. RC students span many majors from STEM to the RC Majors. All RC students make their own path but have the opportunity to share their experiences with a bunch of other people doing something similar. A "typical" RC student is unique across many aspects of characteristics and that is what makes the RC such a special program.

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? I wish I could have told myself that being in the RC was the best decision I could possibly make for college. I would explain that my mind would change on career path and when I would feel lost, the RC would be there to help me figure out what my options are. The RC provides a community unlike any other at the university, it gives you a chance to connect with likeminded people and really kind faculty. I would tell myself that I will eventually love learning and will actively seek out more information through my professors because they like talking to me about interesting resources/information that I find.

 

Elizabeth Schriner

Year: Senior

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Olivet, MI

RC Language: Japanese

Major: Sociology; Creative Writing & Literature

Minor: Asian Languages and Cultures

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: I work as a research assistant for the U-M Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Center. Besides being an RC Ambassador, I'm a member of the U-M Women's Glee Club and Japanese Language Club. Additionally, I write for the Michigan Daily, WTF magazine, and Arts, Ink. under Arts at Michigan. Feel free to also ask me about my past experiences in East Quad Hall Council, RC MAP, RC Players, RC singers, or SURO (sociology undergraduate research)!

Future Goals: Master of Public Health (MPH)

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!

 

Emily Ripper

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: Howell, MIRC Language: Spanish

Major: History

Minor: STS (Science, Technology, & Society)

Email: emripper@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: RC MAP mentor, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Student Advisory Group, Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, Polish Club, Associate Artist at Ballet Chelsea, volunteer choir member at St. Mary Student Parish.

What do you enjoy most about the RC? I most enjoy the sense of community.  I had an amazing group of friends in my hall freshman year, and we still get together and catch up 2 years later.  Coming from a background in homeschooling and a tiny charter school, the RC's close-knit vibe helped me better adjust to a larger university environment.  I also love how there is always someone sharing their talents with the community through projects, seminars, or even playing on the piano in the lounge.  It's a great space for inspiration and creativity.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? Fantastic!  I love how immersive it is, and I particularly miss the vibrant discussions during the lunch tables and coffee hours.  The 8 credits per semester can seem very intimidating at first, but I had wonderful professors who helped me get myself oriented and were supportive whenever I felt overwhelmed.  Even though I had 3 years of Spanish study before coming to the RC, being in the language program was where I really ended up mastering the language, and I am so grateful for that as I now use Spanish frequently in both work and academic life.

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? I would tell myself not to stress so much.  I am a person who likes to have multiple plans and backup plans, and who likes to have a set path.  I was so sure of what I was going to do at U-M, but ended up changing my path so many times.  It's okay to want to have a plan (a sense of direction is necessary, and organization is always your friend), but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes the best opportunities and the place where you feel the most at home are nothing that you expected.  Explore.

Emmy Snyder

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Communications

Minor: Spanish

Campus Involvement: Working on it right now, but so far, Michigan Snowboard Club, She's the First, and Tea Forum

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? The RC was more or less the reason I chose Michigan, when I decided to transfer. Not only does the RC emphasize all the things I love (art, music, language, and writing) but it prides itself on creating community, something I desperately wanted. Although I didn't get to have the RC experience I envisioned of living in East Quad, I have still reaped the benefits of RC courses and RC community. All my favorite classes and favorite friends come from the RC <3

What have your experiences been like so far with the RC virtually and/or UM virtually? I spent an entire year as an online student of the RC, and a transfer. Still, I made multiple friends in my RC classes, even though I was remote and they weren't. One of them FaceTimed with me about twice a week for a year (we would use Netflix party and watch Queer Eye :)) before we actually lived in the same city or even the same state and we're really close now. All the friends I've made online we're the first to say "Let's do it!" when I reached out to make plans and tell them I'd finally arrived.

Holly Holland

Year: First Year

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Holt, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Political Science

Email: hmhollan@umich.edu

Extra-Curriculars and Campus Involvement: UROP; Currently, I am a part of Leim Irish Dance and Christians on Campus at Umich, but still on the lookout for more clubs! I am also active in RCMAP and the University Mentorship program. Finally, I am a volunteer with the RAMS Tutoring Program, from my hometown of Holt, MI.

Future Goals: After graduating from LSA, I plan on applying to the Ford School of Public Policy and staying with the Michigan community as I get my master's degree!

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? I became interested in the RC after I was admitted to the University of Michigan. When I got my acceptance letter, I also received a flyer talking about all the MLCs (Michigan Learning Communities) I could join, including the RC. As I researched the RC, I learned about the amazing and extremely helpful faculty, the small class sizes, and of course, the opportunity to live in the best dorm on campus. The RC so interested me that it was the deciding factor in why I chose Umich!

What is a typical RC student? RC students are fun, friendly, and ready to learn! My first night in the RC, I ran into a group of Rc-ers who invited me to a spontaneous game night, and because of that, I immediately met 20+ students right off the bat. Whenever I run into someone in the hall, we always say "hi" to each other, and sometimes even strike up a random conversation! In the classroom, RC-ers come prepared to learn and engage with the rest of the class and professor. Classes are always so stimulating and thought-provoking, and I have yet to attend a class where every single student is bored!

Jordan Preston-Forte

Year: First Year

Hometown: Warren, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: International Studies

Minor: Business

Campus Involvement: Fraternity and Sorority Life

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? I chose to join the RC for the sense of community it had and for the emphasis on foreign language education. I went to a small-medium sized school, where everyone knew each other and being in the RC put my mind at ease. The foreign language education was very important to me, I haven taken a foreign language class every year since sixth grade and I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue in college. The RC gave me the opportunity to feel a part of a community on such a big campus and gave me the opportunity to pursue something important to me. 

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? My experience in the RC language program has been above and beyond my expectations. The methods of instruction and curriculum are so impactful in the aspect that the material is integrated in everything you do, it never goes away and it builds in a way that makes sense. 

What is it like being an RC student pursuing an LSA major or minor? Being an RC student pursuing a LSA major has been a great experience. The advisors and faculty, both in the RC and LSA, are so supportive and truly want to see you be the best you can be. Professors and faculty are never out of reach and are always an available resource.

 

Katie Wiatrak

Year: Senior

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Gender and Health

Minor: Music

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! 

Kye Lynne

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: Any/All

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Social Theory & Practice; Arts & Ideas in the Humanities

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: LEAD Scholar, LSA Honors Program, UROP, Team Leader for African American Education Initiative, longboarding

What first interested you in the RC? The RC had the two degrees that sounded perfect for me. I get bored doing the same things fairly easily and these majors would give me all the freedom to research what I'm passionate about, even if it changes.

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 at least once. I would get so bogged down trying to figure out what I should do before I even tried it without realizing that I didn't even know who I was or what I truly enjoyed. I don't even think I fully know myself now; I am always learning more because I am constantly pushing myself to experience more. College is the perfect place to do this learning.

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM? It's given me a home base to come back to where I am familiar with the energy and faces of a space. It's easy to get lost with how big the campus is and how many people are in it, so this is really helpful in gaining a sense of security.

Do you have any future goals you'd like to share? Grad School

Maeson Linnert

Year: First Year

Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Psychology and Film, Television and Media

Campus Involvement: RC Players, NERDS, viola, rollerblading

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? I originally heard about the RC through a friend who had already gotten accepted into the program. Ultimately the RC made me choose UM because it had everything a small liberal arts college could offer within the larger community. I wanted to be around a group of like-minded people with the same passions for the humanities and arts that I could get to know in a close-knit environment.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? My experience in the Spanish intensive program has been amazing. My first semester with Olga and Wendy was fast paced, but they made it manageable and fun for me to be in their classroom. The conversation circles I was originally opposed to, but once we had our first in-person it was infinitely better. That was probably the best part of my day, relaxing in the Greene Lounge and casually talking with my friends in Spanish.

Do you have any future goals you'd like to share? Grad School

Morgan Palmer

Year: Senior

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Charlotte, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Spanish; Psychology

Email: morganpa@umich.edu

Campus Involvement and Hobbies: Club figure skating, PALMA, and research, Comprehensive Studies Program

Future Goals: Graduate School for Clinical Psychology

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. 

Mya Strayer

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Hers

Hometown: Clarkston, MI

RC Language: French

Major: Statistics

Minor: French

Campus involvement and Hobbies: I'm currently the Treasurer for U-M's intersectional sorority, Zeta Omega Eta and am also an Advocacy Chair for The Dot Org! Last year I worked at Matthaei and I currently work at the UMMA! I've also been a part of RC MAP, Eco and Film Forum in the RC!

Future Goals: I'm planning on getting my Master's in either Data Science or Statistics, and hoping to work on making the industry more ethical!

What first interested you in the RC? I actually had no idea what the RC was until I signed up for my Campus Day, and thought RC meant people who would be living in the residential halls! Thankfully, I had a really good RC spokesperson that brought me up to speed, and completely sold me on the program. The biggest draw for me was the intensive language, since I had always felt like my French skills were too "school-taught", but I also loved how friendly everyone was. It was really easy to tell that the RC truly had its own community, and that RC staff/students will do whatever they can to support each other, which made me so excited to join!

What has your experience been like in the RC language program? I have absolutely LOVED my experience in RC French. Even after a week or two, I could easily tell that my French skills were a thousand times better and I felt so much more comfortable speaking and understanding French. The lunch tables also allowed me to meet some of my closest friends and have genuine conversations with them (even if they were a little uncomfortable at first), which is something that really helped me to feel at home at Umich and in the RC. And of course, all of the staff is amazing! It's very obvious that they genuinely care about me and my well being alongside my French skills and I've never had a problem talking to them about my concerns (in and out of class). 

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM? The RC has been instrumental to my time at UM for two reasons: community and academic pursuits. In high school, I was in a pretty tight knit program and I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to find "my people" (especially since UM is such a big school), but being in the RC made everything a lot more manageable because my class friends lived in my hallway, and I would have multiple classes with the same people, AND we shared common interests. On top of that, though, the RC has also given me more opportunities to broaden my thinking on certain topics and have a more creative/ethical approach to everything I do. I've found that this has been incredibly helpful as I try to find out what I want to do post-grad, and makes me a better candidate for numerous opportunities!

What is it like being an RC student studying STEM? I think a lot of people assume that the RC and STEM are the foils of each other, but I've found that that couldn't be further from the truth. Inherently, there isn't a lot of overlap class-wise with the RC and STEM fields but that doesn't mean that the knowledge isn't applicable to both. Some of the things I've learned in my RC classes have made me more globally aware and conscientious, while some of the things in my other classes play an impact on how I think about my RC classes. A perfect example of this is poetry and code, two things that I'm learning simultaneously. Due to my exposure of both, I have a better understanding of how to see code as a creative measure (like poetry) as well as how to understand poetry as a methodical process.

 

Paige Boost

Year: First Year

Pronouns: She/They

Hometown: Brownsburg, IN

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Psychology

Minor: Spanish

Email: pbost@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: RC MAP, a handful of RC Forums (not for credit), LSA Mentorship, Community Matters Cohort Program, Animania, etc.

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? I was worried that being the only person from my out-of-state high school to go to the University of Michigan this year I wasn’t going to make any friends or at least have someone with some shared experience to me. The idea of going to a school with over 40,000 students and not knowing a single person terrified me and almost convinced me not to attend in the first place. Fortunately, I looked into learning communities and the Residential College stuck out to me as being more than just a learning community. I was immediately drawn in by the language side of the RC because I was taking AP Spanish my senior year of high school and I was loving it. I was also intrigued by the arts side of the RC too - I had been into art for most of my life and at that point I was really in love with painting and sculpting. The variety of classes that I could take to expand my love of art might’ve been the selling point of the RC for me, as well as the intensive language classes so that I would be able to have as much immersion as possible at the collegiate level without taking a semester abroad. I chose the RC because I loved the class options, the way current students spoke so highly of it, and because I knew I was bound to make friends with people who also share my love of languages and the arts.

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? During my senior year of high school, I got caught up in regretting all of the things I had “missed out on” throughout my high school career. I made myself feel terrible because I hadn’t joined as many clubs as I thought I should’ve, I regretted not going to a high school football game or social events. I didn’t realize that there is definitely still time for that in college, and in a lot of aspects being involved with your school in college is way more fun than it is in high school. I wish I could’ve told myself my senior year of high school that there’s still time and that I’ll join plenty of clubs in high school, be able to go to so many football games, and that there’s going to be thousands and thousands more people to get to know and have fun with. High school will not be the end of having fun, in fact, it’s only just the precursor to college.

What is the "vibe" of the RC? The vibe of the RC is difficult to describe in words, but there’s definitely a comfortable feeling that comes with living in and being a part of the RC. I love that wherever you go in East Quad, there’s always an RC student doing something creative - whether it be playing music, making art, or displaying their own form of expression. The students in the RC are incredibly brilliant and studious, but they also know how to have fun with their friends. All of the RC faculty I’ve met have been just as unique as the program, and they’ve all been awesome in their own ways. The environment and the people of the RC demonstrate great passion and I think the passion is one of the strong feelings you get from the RC.

Peace Odiase

Year: First Year

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Benin City

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Public Health Sciences

Email: peaceodi@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: HAIL Scholar, Abeng Multicultural Council (co-president), Diversity Peer Educator (beginning fall 2022), Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), CURIS Public Health Advocacy, Detroit Phoenix Center tutor

What is the "vibe" of the RC? The RC is comprised of people with all kinds of backgrounds and social identities. Each person has their own thing to bring to the community, whether it's their passion for music, love for theater, etc. Yet, we can all come together to form a diverse, inclusive, and creative community. So, I would describe the "vibe" of the RC as exciting because the unique attributes that each person brings to the RC always allow something new and interesting to happen in East Quad.

What do you enjoy most about the RC? What I enjoy most about the RC is the community. People in the RC are so welcoming and open-minded, making it easy to find friends and people to hang out with. I've met most of my closest friends at the university through the RC. Whether it's to destress from a long week with a movie night, practice for a language class, or tour one of the museums, you have a good chance of finding someone with that same interest in the RC. Amid all the difficulties that come with being a college student, these experiences are part of what has made my time at the university enjoyable. So, I believe that finding a supportive community and friends that you have similar interests with significantly improves one's college experience. Finding this community in the general LSA can be difficult, but just being a member of the RC already guarantees you a diverse group of people that you can become friends with. I truly appreciate this aspect of the RC and how inclusive and friendly the community always feels.

What is one thing you wish you could tell yourself during senior year of high school, having the experiences and knowledge you do now? I would tell myself not to burn myself out so much. I often felt really stressed in high school, but I wish I had realized that high school is only one of the many steps toward reaching our goals. I thought that I needed to have my entire life figured out by the end of high school, and I thought I did have it figured out. However, within my first two weeks at the university, those plans that I thought I had perfected in high school were completely destroyed. I realized that there are other options in life besides the ones I had imagined in high school. So, I would myself not to worry too much in high school because whether I like it or not, plans will change, and that's perfectly fine. It's okay to explore, and we can't expect our lives to always follow a plan that we imposed on ourselves years ago.

Do you have any future goals you'd like to share? I would like to join the UM School of Public Health in the future, whether it's through their undergraduate program or their graduate program.

Sanya Bhatia

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Cognitive Science and RC Drama

Minor: Computer Science

Email: sabhatia@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: Women's Glee (Social Chair); Michigan Sahana; RC Players

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC? Initially what interested me about the RC was that the RC offered their own majors, I joined the RC mostly because of the Drama major and I really was drawn to the text-to-performance model.

What do you enjoy most about the RC? I love the people: the students and the professors. The students are all so warm and the community is so accepting. I have never once felt out of place or judged in an RC environment. Additionally, I have loved every RC class I have ever taken. The professors are absolutely wonderful and the small class sizes make the classes far more intimate than any other course I have taken on campus. Even virtually, I was able to connect with my peers and my professors. I have never felt disconnected or ignores. All the professors truly wish to be there and wish for us to succeed, which I really appreciate.