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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. 

Sanya Bhatia

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Cognitive Science and RC Drama

Minor: Computer Science

Email: sabhatia@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: Michigan Gaan; NERDS; Basement Arts; Michigan Sahana; RC Players  

More about Sanya

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.

Paige Bost

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: Any/all

Hometown: Brownsburg, IN

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Psychology, Spanish

Minor: RC Crime & Justice

Email: pbost@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: Delta Gamma Phi, Michigan Games and Cards, University Mentorship Program, CAPS Student Advisory Board

More about Paige

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.

Eleanor Durkee

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Grasslake, MI

RC Language: German

Major: German, Linguistics, Earth & Environmental Science

Minor: Creative Writing

Email: edurkee@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: Kessler Scholar, WTF Magazine (artist), Campus Tour Guide, Red Cross blood drives, bartender, theater, RC forums

More about Eleanor

Future Goals: I would either like to attend Law School or Graduate School and end up in some branch of the government making environmental policies and change. My biggest goal is the National Parks Service but I am also really interested in research and would love to contribute to the research of my field.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program?
I came into the RC with little to no German knowledge and was interested in seeing how the RC's "intensive" course would compete with regular language curriculums. Though the work was challenging, I felt that the RC intensive language courses gave me a jump start on German and even other types of college classes because they were just as the name describes, intensive! I felt that I had a very strong relationship with both of my professors, we met multiple times a day and had other weekly meetings that helped promote communication and involvement. Other students in my class ranged in fluency starting with me coming from realistically zero experience and others with multiple years studying. I felt that the range in fluency allowed for better discussions because students were not always relying on professors to fill in the gaps, sometimes other students were able to be that additional support. Since finishing my RC language requirement, I have elected to major in German and will be traveling to Germany next year to study abroad, so all in all, I believe my experience in the RC language program has been nothing short of incredible and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to pursue language in this class-style.

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 say this all the time on my tours and I honestly feel it is something so crucial, yet simple. My high school fostered a very competitive atmosphere. I remember tests and exams were as cutthroat as entrance exams like the SATs were. Students would constantly compare their results with each other, and if someone did not make the grade it was like the world was ending. I come from a very small town with a very small population, so the chances of every person in that school who wants to make it into a university such as Michigan would be fairly slim. I remember my senior year was especially difficult because this is when everyone was on edge in anticipation for that acceptance letter. I definitely felt a wave of relief when I was accepted into the University of Michigan, but I remember that fear of competition and "not being good enough" mentality set back in and deepened. I felt that I could not compare to the students at Michigan and if I thought the competition back home was bad, there was no way I could compete here. However, after my first year I came to realize just how backwards my view on college as a whole was. I expected tests to be handed back and students to immediately be curious about each other's grades so they could see where they fare with the rest of class. Yet I saw nothing of the sort. Classmates would talk about how difficult the exam was and how glad its over and that they just need to get a certain grade in the class to pass. I was surprised to learn that in college, competition does not really exist in the classroom setting. After I got to know other students in my classes, I realized that they were all pursuing different majors and we would most likely rarely interact in classes for the rest of our time here. That's when I realized that the only person you need to worry about in college is yourself. There is no point agonizing over everyone else because to be honest, you do not have the time. College has given me that opportunity to learn more about myself and learn about what I like rather than what I think will help me be the "best" and I wish I had known that before.

What is it like being an RC student pursuing an LSA major or minor?
As an LSA triple major, I have a lot on my plate in terms of classes and workload. I have decided to space my time out and will most likely take an extra year or two to complete my majors with the most care. Something that I really value about being an RC student and an LSA student is that I am able to participate in an abundance of programs and opportunities regardless of my direct involvement in the program. Though I am not an RC major, I still feel like I am a part of the community because I lived in East Quad for a year, I got to meet so many other RC students, and I was able to see the different clubs and organizations that run through the RC, all while being an LSA major. I have especially enjoyed my time in the RC Forums where I have had the opportunities to talk about things I love while also talking with other RC students that I would not have the chance to meet otherwise. I really value getting involved in the programs offered to me by the RC because they allow me to still make those connections with the program even if I do not have an RC major.

Suparna Hande

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Canton, MI

RC Language: Japanese

Major: Creative Writing & Literature, Asian Studies

Email: suparnah@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: New Movement Dance Company, Ballroom dancing, violin, RC Creative Writing Forum

More about Suparna

Future Goals: Graduate School (and getting my stories published)

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC?
The creative writing program! A lot of other colleges that I was applying to didn't have a specific Creative Writing major. Just going for an English major felt too broad. I needed a space that focused on honing my writing skills. And the RC had that! With one-on-one writing tutorials with professors and small classroom settings, I felt that I could really grow as a writer along with my peers. Spoiler alert! I am!

What has your experience been like in the RC language program?
My freshman year I chose to take intensive Japanese (I joked with my mom that since I don't know my own Asian language, I'll learn another!). It KICKED my butt for sure, but I grew because of it. I've never been so passionate about learning a language before! Okuno Sensei, the head of the Japanese program in the RC, is a fantastic professor! She's so much fun, and so were the rest of my peers. Most of the friends I made here in UM are from Intensive Japanese! Because of all this I'm now aiming to major in Asian Studies with a focus in Japanese!

Holly Holland

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Holt, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Political Science

Email: hmhollan@umich.edu

Extra-Curriculars and Campus Involvement: I am the president of the Residence Halls Association (RHA) and Dance Director for Léim Irish Dance, which are my two main extracurriculars on campus. This year, I am also a RC MAP Mentor in addition to being an RC Ambassador.

More about Holly

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 UM. 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 interested me so much that it was the deciding factor in why I chose UM!

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM?
The RC has impacted my UM experience in so many positive ways! The required RC classes helped ease my transition into college, partly because of their small size and the easy access to the professor's office hours! My first semester professors -- shout out to Jon, Olga, and Wendy -- were always accessible and willing to answer my numerous questions. Although my classes were on the harder side, I never felt overwhelmed because I knew I was supported by my professors, and that has continued to be true.

In addition, the RC has introduced me to my amazing friend group here at UM. We all met either through our Intensive Spanish class or RC MAP, and our bond has only continued to grow. My friends and I have supported each other through our classes (especially the Intensive program). Taking the same rigorous classes and living in the same dorm has made it extremely easy to spend plenty of nights studying and talking until midnight, which is a connection and basis for friendship that I think only the RC can provide.

Maeson Linnert

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Biopsychology, Cobnition, and Neuroscience (BCS); Film, Television and Media

Campus Involvement: RC Players, NERDS, UROP  

More about Maeson

What has your experience been like in the RC language program?
The RC language program is built up to be this daunting, credit heavy program that only the most dedicated students could go through. I want to assure anyone interested in the RC that this is not the reality. I completed the RC Spanish program my first year and am continuing into readings. While it is 8 credits per semester, it is a great support system to get to know the RC. I met a lot of new students like me through the program, and I found myself genuinely enjoying discussion sections and conversation circles. When you find the right people, the rest of it doesn't seem as challenging, and your professors are always there to help you.

What is a typical RC student?
There's no typical "model" for an RC student, but I know that we're always juggling a lot. Most of my peers in the RC are talking about STEM courses and cramming every class they can into their schedules. We all want to make the most of our time here, which is why you'll see so many of us in the Blue Café studying. I've seen computer science students take writing courses for the fun of it, and STEM majors join theatre organizations and music classes. If I had to describe the RC students in one word, it would be interdisciplinary.

What is it like being an RC student studying STEM?
STEM is challenging in its own way, and in my experience I found that the RC doesn't make it any easier or harder. There is the language program that requires its own time and dedication, but it doesn't stop me from taking the courses I need for a BS major. I get a healthy spread of humanities and sciences in my schedule that I'm ultimately proud of. I'm even joining UROP this semester to pursue medical sciences. It's not uncommon for an RC student to study STEM or even major in it -- going back to my earlier response, we have a wide range of interests. The RC gives us the resources to keep that range while pursuing an undergraduate major, even in STEM.

Kye Lynne  

Year: Junior

Pronouns: Any/All

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI

RC Language: Spanish

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

Email: adigenna@umich.edu

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

More about Kye

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

Camille Nagy

Year: First Year

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Ferndale, MI

RC Language: Spanish

Major: English, Creative Writing & Literature

Email: camnagy@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: The Michigan Daily, RC Review, Creative Writing Forum

More about Camille

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC?
Coming from a smaller high school, the size of U-M really intimidated me; I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find a community or have access to individualized resources in college, but the RC makes U-M feel small and provides an immediate community to fall into on campus, which drew me to it. I was also very interested in the language immersion program and creative writing degree the RC offers!

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?
Letting go is the scariest part. Be organized and prepared, and put your best foot forward, but don’t worry too much about what’s out of your control. The outcome might not be what you expect or hope for, but you will adapt and find your place again.

Peace Odiase

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Benin City

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Community and Public Global Health & Psychology

Email: peaceodi@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: HAIL Scholar, Diversity Peer Educator, CURIS Public Health Advocacy Committee Leader  

More about Peace

Future Goals: I hope to transfer to the School of Public Health for my Junior and Senior Year

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC?
I joined the RC for the community. The University of Michigan has all kinds of opportunities to find a community that you feel is right for you. However, searching for the right fit can feel like an overwhelming task in a university of this size. So, during my freshman year, I appreciated that the Residential College was a welcoming community with an opportunity to meet people with similar interests. It allowed me to find a sense of community on such a large campus.

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.

Anastasia Papageorgiou

Year: Junior

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

RC Language: Modern Greek (LSA)

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

Minor: Computer Science

Email: amzpapag@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: I’m a Resident Advisor(RA) in EQ. I’m a UM tour guide! I’m in the Hellenic Student Association (HSA). I volunteer for a Hellenic nonprofit. I like dancing, listening to music and reading. 

More about Anastasia

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 tell myself that everything works out as long as you roll with what you have at the moment. I spent so much time worrying about what I would do in the future while I was doing all I could do to get towards my goal, I was spending energy unnecessarily. I think a lot of the worrying subsided once I trusted myself and my work, and understood that everything I do cannot be the best thing ever or else nothing would be special. So I guess I wish I knew to trust myself a bit more! 

How has being in the RC changed/shaped your experience at UM? The
RC has been a really big part of my experience at UM. The RC has been a
big support system for me and it made this big university feel a little
bit smaller. The professors(who are also advisors) help you through
your classes, scheduling your college experience, and brainstorming
career paths. Along with that the RC is a built in community where you
can see your friends and attend fun RC events as a study break. The RC
is the whole package of a college experience: the living-learning
community, incredible staff, engaging class material and a very
supportive environment!

Matthew Peal

Year: First Year

Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Commerce, MI

RC Language: German

Major: Communications & Media

Minor: German

Email: pealm@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: MRun - running club for physical health and social aspects. Student Government - assisting and representing undergraduate students. Building a Better Michigan - advocating for the refreshing of buildings on campus. Salt Company - Christian youth organization for spiritual growth.

More about Matthew

Future Goals: I am considering options available to me at Ross. I would also like to learn more about resident assistant opportunities!

What first interested you in the RC? Or, why did you choose to join the RC?
I first heard about the RC following my Campus Day tour in the spring of 2022. Before hearing a presentation about the RC, the thought of being in a sea of 30,000 undergraduate students without a direct community group sounded intimidating. The concept of the RC drew me in because it provided a smaller community of students who all lived together and learned together (in the beautiful East Quad, of course!).

Additionally, the language requirement was responsible for a significant portion of my interest. My favorite classes in high school were my German classes, and I knew I wanted to continue studying foreign languages in college. The RC provided the perfect opportunity to do so!

Because of both the built-in community and the foreign language study, the RC was a perfect fit for me.

What has your experience been like in the RC language program?
The RC language program is what gets me excited every single day.

When I walk into class, I am surrounded by a small group of students who are both passionate about the language and capable of speaking it. This provides a perfect environment for personal growth.

In addition, the activities outside of class are one of my favorite parts about the RC language program. I enjoy eating lunch with my class and professors every day, and we have coffee hour once per week. These lunches and gatherings make the language seem practical and real, and it allows me to develop everyday conversation skills.

Overall, the RC language program is very immersive and enjoyable, and I have noticed significant improvement!

What is the "vibe" of the RC?
There is definitely a distinctive vibe in the RC. Every time I walk into East Quad, I hear the grand piano and see the art display. At a university that is busy and bustling, I feel a vibe of calmness and comfort. When I gather with RC students either in class or at the dining hall, I get a sense of enthusiasm, excitement, and acceptance from all of my peers.

From my experience, the perfect event to define the RC "vibe" was karaoke night. When I entered the classroom, I was happily greeted by upperclassmen, and I felt like I fit into the group perfectly. Everyone was laughing and having a wonderful time together. It was an uplifting experience, and I felt that the vibe allowed me to truly be myself.

Emily Ripper

Year: Senior

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: Howell, MIRC Language: Spanish

Major: History

Minor: STS (Science, Technology, & Society)

Email: emripper@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: History Honors Program, Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, Polish Club, Professional Company Artist at Ballet Chelsea, volunteer vocalist at St. Mary Student Parish.  

More about Emily

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.

Myles Ware

Year: Sophomore

Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

RC Language: Spanish

Major: Sociology

Minor: Entrepreneurship

Email: mlware@umich.edu

Campus Involvement: Hoops 4 Hope, HEADS, Comprehensive Studies Program

Hobbies: basketball, video games, music

More about Myles

Future Goals: Getting my MBA in Business after I get my Bachelors degree

What has your experience been like in the RC language program?
The RC language program is one that absolutely helps their students. They will reach out first a lot of the time giving you resources and options to do better and all they really want to do is help you pass and do the best that you can in the class. The language program can be stressful but it can also be made way easier with the resources provided by professors.

What is the "vibe" of the RC?
The RC as a whole is a very inclusive and open minded community to be a part of. Most people here are always open to making a new friend or helping if you need something real quick and if not they may know someone else who can help a bit better. It’s a community that helps you feel comfortable with your new surroundings in no time.

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