Student Life

Peer Mentors

Sam Perricci

Major: Digital Humanities & Social Sciences

Email: sxp3804@rit.edu

Minor/Immersion: Museum Studies, Russian

Hometown: Red Hook, NY

 

Explore all of your options! DHSS is so broad, and can have a specialization in almost anything. It's okay if you don't know what you want to do just yet with your life - I just figured it out after taking a museum studies course this past spring. So explore your options!

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

One of my favourite experiences in DHSS was taking the class Cyborg Theory with Dr. Blizzard. The class opened the floor to so many questions, and I honestly left with more questions than answers, but it allowed me to question the grey areas of life more than I ever have before, as well as question my own existence. The class in undoubtedly my favourite class I have ever taken, and very well may stay that way! DHSS has also helped me to realize how much I love museum studies, and led to me getting a minor in it!

Campus involvement:

I am involved with the COLA Student Advisory Board, as the Board's DHSS Representative as well as its Chair Pro Tempore (essentially its Vice President). Other than that, I used to be a part of RIT Kendo Club my first year at RIT.

Favorite hobby:

Photography

Favorite thing about Rochester:

How historic of a city it is! Rochester has such a rich history, and so many museums and sites to explore.

Natalie Williams

Major: Psychology

Email: nxw7222@rit.edu

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Minor/Immersion: Sociology & Anthropology, Social Inequalities

Always ask for help. Its just that simple there is always someone there to help you.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

My best experiences in my degree program is being able to learn different aspects of psychology. I don't care for research but this program really wants it so you can grow to like it and understand it better and therefore be better at it. Research isn't that easy to do but this program makes it so you always have someone in your corner willing to help.  

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Project Runway

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Orange Sherbet

Favorite thing about Rochester:

So many different things to do and see in Rochester-- there is never an excuse to be bored!

Jenna Rahrle

Majors: Public Policy and Political Science

Email: jmr9673@rit.edu

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Minor: German

Never be afraid to ask questions! If you don't know enough about a class, professor or assignment, ask your Peer Navigator or faculty in your department. It's hard to be successful in your program if you don't have all of the necessary information.

Best experiences in Liberal Arts:

I really appreciate all of the different classes I have taken in my degree programs. One of my favorites was Money, Power, Politics which is a special topics Public Policy course about political relationships, government structure, budgets and lobbyism. Another one of my favorite classes was International Law & Organizations which taught about the evolution of law and international relations through various political writings from Aristotle to Vattel.

Campus involvement:

I sing in Proof of Purchase, one of the A Cappella groups on campus, I'm a student director for RIT New Student Orientation, and I'm an Advanced Project Student Research Assistant.

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Gilmore Girls

Favorite thing about Rochester:

Rochester has a very large vegan community! If you are vegan, dairy-free or vegetarian, there are a lot of options and resources for everyone!

Hayley Foran

Majors: Journalism and Political Science
Email Contact: hgf3766@rit.edu
Instagram: @hayley_foran
Hometown: Bridgeport, NY

Network, network, network! There are many opportunities to start building your professional network right here on campus. Always keep track of any email addresses and phone numbers that you may get while working on assignments or from guest speakers in your classes. You never know who you might meet and who may come in handy down the road!

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

One of the best experiences afforded to me throughout my time in the journalism program was the opportunity that I had to work at WROC-TV in Rochester for my summer co-op. It was here that my passion for reporting and writing really took flight. I was able to edit packages that aired on TV, travel with the professional reporters to breaking news scenes all over the city and really be a part of the action. I saw so many incredible things, wrote numerous stories and even scored my very first byline! 

Campus involvement:

I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha.

Favorite hobbies:

I love running, going to drive-ins, performing on stage in musicals and plays and exploring new places.

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

The Office

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Favorite thing about Rochester:

The endless number of restaurants to explore!

Kayla Swenszkowski

Major: Criminal Justice
Email: kls8988@rit.edu
Facebook: @Kayla Lynn Swenszkowski
Minor/Immersion: Psychology, Chemistry, and Biology
Hometown: Oswego, NY

Get to know your professors! They are a great help when looking for internships, they know who you should reach out to when you're looking to apply.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

The professors I've had in the classroom have made it such a positive experience. They try to get everyone involved in discussions and make themselves available to help students that may have questions. They also make sure we know whats going happening on campus and try to get us involved in things outside the classroom as well. If you ever need help, don't wait to contact them!

Campus involvement:

RIT Vegan Club, RIT Pep Band

Favorite hobby:

Softball

Favorite thing about Rochester:

The different foods & activities you can try here.

Matt Altobelli

Major: Psychology
Email:mga4278@rit.edu
Facebook: @Matt Altobelli
Minor: Creative Writing
Hometown: Rochester, NY

This should be a no-brainer, but read the syllabi for all of your classes. Your professors want you to succeed and they give you all the information needed to be able to do so. Know what is expected of you, and if you are unclear about anything do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

The best thing about my degree program is the exposure I get to the professors. They make themselves very available to students, and are extremely supportive. Being able to network with people who will one day be my peers, and to be able to work in labs, doing real research is an amazing experience.

Campus involvement:

Psychology Club, PsiChi

Hobbies:

I'm a certified personal trainer and nutirtionist.  I also love to write and wrote a book that is coming out in Fall 2018.

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Most Marvel shows

Favorite ice cream:

Panda Paws or Rocky Road

Favorite thing about Rochester:

There is a lot to do, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!  Rochester has something for everyone.

Brenna Multala

Major: Economics
Email: bjm3206@g.rit.edu
Hometown: Rochester, NY

Keep pushing through. At the end of each semester, students begin to feel like things are falling through the cracks, myself included. Find the strength to follow through, whether it is support from an advisor or talking to a friend.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

In my program, it is highly recommended that a student performs research with a professor in a field he or she is interested in. The reason behind this is to help a student build confidence in his or her writing skills, and to also offer a unique experience that graduate programs and future employers will be impressed to see.

Reason for being a Peer Navigator:

I became a peer navigator because the one before me was extremely helpful. I was a transfer student from Nazareth, and the switch was a difficult and strenuous one to say the least. My peer navigator was there to talk casually or about anything academia related. I hope to be this type of resource to other Economics students.

Campus involvement:

Economics Club, WiC, CCore

Favorite hobby:

Musical theatre. I grew up performing in musicals and theatre, and my passion for singing, acting, and dancing has helped me significantly deal with the amount of stress from school.

Favorite ice cream flavor:

None, because I'm lactose intolerant.*sadface*

Favorite thing about Rochester:

Park Ave!  There is so much to do there.

Sojourner Coles

Major: Political Science
Email: slc6354@g.rit.edu
Facebook: @Sojolee
Immersion: Italian
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Get to know as many people as possible because diversity is a vital part of having a well-rounded experience. You get to interact with so many different thoughts and people.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

I just finished my first year in the political science department the best part was being welcomed into the program. I was given the information and resources I needed to succeed in my first college semester. My first political science course was American politics, where I was able to get a feel for the type of information and pace that courses at RIT provide. At first, my classes were hard for me, and it wasn't easy going through the material. But I enjoyed going to office hours and getting to know my professor. In college, you have the ability to learn and study subjects that interest you which makes learning a lot more enjoyable. When studying subjects that you enjoy you also are able to surround yourself with others who share the same love for a subject. My department also does a lot of fun social activities such as dinner, cookouts, and people coming in to give talks. I look forward to enjoying more experiences and meeting new in my department.

Campus involvement:

I'm part of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

Favorite hobby:

One of my passions is Traveling, and I love exploring new places and meeting new people. I want to spend my life exploring and always discovering something new.

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

The Nanny, Doctor Who, or Jersery Shore

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Vanilla or Cookies and Cream

Favorite thing about Rochester:

Part of family my family lives in the Roc, and I am glad that I can be close to them now.

 

Kaye Knoll

Majors: Museum Studies, Sociology & Anthropology (Cultural Anthropology track)
Email: kck6994@g.rit.edu
Facebook: @Kaye Knoll
Hometown: Albany, NY

Keep an open mind, and take each challenge as a learning experience. Things may seem difficult and you will often find yourself facing something more ambitious than you thought. However, you will learn from it one way or another and it will benefit you in the end.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

Overall, my experience with the Museum Studies program has been a blast. I really like spending time with my classmates and other people in my major. Both of my internships have been really fun and rewarding. Plus, it’s been really nice to work with a team of faculty that really enjoy what they do and the field they work in.  Some of my favorite experiences were projects I got to work on in my Museum Studies classes. I’ve done a few on the history of Heavy Metal and a few learning about categorization about my garden. Those were really fun projects to work on with some great people!

Campus involvement:

Archery Club

Favorite hobbies:

Archery, Fencing, Gardening, Belly Dance, Heavy Metal

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Avatar the Last Airbender

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Mint Chocolate Chip

Favorite thing about Rochester:

The climate... strange, right? But I really dislike heat.

Emily McIndoe

Major: Advertising & Public Relations
Email: ejm1909@rit.edu
Hometown: Walworth, NY

Reach out to your professors! They have tons of knowledge and are a great source of information!

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

By far the best experiences in my program have been my classes. The environment created by my professors has been supportive and constructive. The constant positive energy in the classroom definitely has made all of my 8AM classes worth it. The professors not only created a great class environment but enticed me to expand my knowledge outside of the classroom. Finding information in the real world that correlates to what I am learning in my classes helps me to expand my knowledge, plus it excites me for the next class session so we can talk about as a class.

Reason for being a Peer Navigator:

Last year, I went to numerous events hosted by the School of Communication peer mentors, and they helped me so much from creating my schedule for the upcoming semester, to helping me get over writers block with papers, and even helping me de-stress. I benefited so much from my peer mentor I wanted to be able to do the same for other students.

Campus involvement:

Delta Phi Epsilon

Favorite hobbies:

Dance and fashion design

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Gossip Girl

Favorite thing about Rochester:

The artwork!  Wherever you go, there is art in Rochester.

 

Emily Tichonuck

Majors: Sociology and Anthropology, Industrial Design
Email: ekt5116@rit.edu
Immersion: Urban Studies
Hometown: Addison, VT

My biggest piece of advice would be to pursue whatever subject matter interests you, not just what you think you're supposed to take, even if that takes you across disciplines.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

One of the best experiences I've had in my degree program is studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark over the summer. I stayed in Scandinavia for ten weeks, taking courses on Urban Livability and Furniture Design. Both of these programs gave me a chance to immerse myself in Danish culture as well as explore the ways that Copenhagen makes urban life as heathy and happy as possible for it's citizens. I would absolutely recommend that anyone interested in any sort of public policy or urban planning study abroad in Denmark - I've never had such a great chance to reflect on our own society.

Reason for being a Peer Navigator:

As an underclassman, I was very reluctant to attend any events with older students. I felt uncomfortable engaging with my college and campus in that way and looking back I wish I had done so much more. I became a peer navigator because I hope to make students feel comfortable and welcome in the COLA community. This college provides such an amazing structure for students to connect and I'm looking forward to being able to get to know and guide my peers.

Campus involvement:

I work as a graphic designer at the Academic Support Center

Favorite hobbies:

I love biking, board games, and going on adventures (big and small)

Favorite thing about Rochester:

The Public Market on a Saturday morning. And garbage plates!

Vaidehi "Vee" Shah

Majors: International and Global Studies, Medical Illustration
Email: vss4986@g.rit.edu
Instagram: @vaidehi_shah15
Immersions: Italian and Arabic
Hometown: Surat, Gujarat, India

My biggest advice is to learn a new language and stick with it. I know it can be difficult, but to have the skill to understand and communicate with a whole new group of people makes you feel incredibly powerful and worthy.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

Being an international student, it blew my mind that I could still go on a study abroad from RIT. And even though it was quite a process to handle all of the paper work, I ended up with a scholarship award to go study abroad. My chosen destination was Rome, Italy, and RIT impresses me with the selection and standard of the schools that they are affiliated with. It broadened my horizon a huge deal since RIT gave me the opportunity to live in a country for half a year and actually be able to practice my lingual skills. It also taught me how a different college experience would feel like. I encourage each and every one of you to go on a study abroad while you are here, whether you are required to or not. You definitely won't regret it.

Favorite hobbies:

I am a Dancer and a Painter, and I love to read and travel. My life goal is to be involved with internationally focused social service as a Physician.

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Friends, and Grey's Anatomy

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Cookies and Cream

Favorite thing about Rochester:

My favorite thing about Rochester is RIT and its diverse culture and community. I also love all the amazing restaurants that Rochester has to offer, because I love to go out and spend time with my friends over a delicious meal.

Simran Singh

Majors: Applied Modern Language and Culture (Spanish), International and Global Studies
Email: sks9273@g.rit.edu
Instagram: @simxshady
Minor/Immersion: Business Administration, Language Science
Hometown: Queens, NY

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

My favorite thing about the AMLC program is the fact that it exists!  It's a new degree program for RIT.  I have been learning Spanish since I was in high school, and continued it in college, using it as the language requirement for the INGS program, my other major. When I heard that a degree program was in the works, it was no question that I wanted to enroll in it. I had already completed some Spanish classes before enrolling in the program, and they've been some of my favorite classes at RIT. Additionally, the Spanish professors are diverse, with native and non-native speakers who have an abundance of experience in the language and travel.

Campus involvement:

I'm President of International House, and art of Spanish Club, OASIS, and volunteer at Goodbye, Goodbuy!

Favorite hobbies:

Traveling, listening to music, Netflix, dancing, and spoken word poetry

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Grey's Anatomy and a Spanish-language show called Grand Hotel

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Brownie Batter

Favorite thing about Rochester:

Mighty Taco

Libnah Rodriguez

Major: Criminal Justice
Email: lyr1744@rit.edu
Facebook: @Libnah Libby Rodriguez
Immersion: Communication
Hometown: Rochester, NY

There are so many amazing opportunities within the Criminal Justice program and you should totally get involved.

Best experience in Liberal Arts:

One of my best experiences in the Criminal Justice program is being able to work for the Center for Public Safety Initiatives. The Center for Public Safety Initiatives is a research center within the Criminal Justice department that allows students to work on research projects. I am currently working on a three-year research project that aims to disrupt an open-air heroin market in the Rochester area. Being able to work on a professional research project as a freshman has given me an advantage in classes because working for the center has become a learning experience.

Campus involvement:

Criminal Justice Student Association

Favorite TV show to binge watch:

Bob's Burgers

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Chocolate

Favorite thing about Rochester:

RIT, of course.