Diversity: The art of thinking independently together

Servet Bayimli ’16

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Name: Servet Bayimli '16
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
High School: Brooklyn Technical High School
Major: Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought
Activities on campus: Student Government (AAS), Diversity Intern, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Community Engagement Orientation (CEOT) Trip Leader, Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow
Hobbies: Cooking, traveling, photography, volleyball, street magic
Email: sbayimli16@amherst.edu

Hey everyone! My name is Servet Bayimli and I am a senior from Brooklyn, New York. I spent my junior year studying abroad and chasing my various interests around the world. Last fall I was in Madrid, Spain studying Spanish, art, and Mediterranean politics. Soon after, I greeted spring in Osaka, Japan where I studied Buddhism, Japanese sub-cultures, the tea ceremony, and meditation. After my travels, I'm super excited to be back at Amherst and return to the Admission Office where I am a Diversity Intern and a Telementor. I'm also energized to compete again with the Mock Trial and Model UN teams. The great thing about Amherst is that no matter your intellectual or personal curiosities, it does everything it can to help you discover and share them. That's why I'm here. Please feel free to contact me.

Elizabeth Lefever ’16

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Name: Elizabeth Lefever ‘16
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
High School: The Fieldston School
Major: Computer Science and Asian Languages & Civilizations
Activities on campus: Women in Computer Science, the Ultimate Frisbee Team, the Knitting Club, the Electronics Club
Hobbies: Painting, knitting, reading, traveling
Email: elefever16@amherst.edu

Hey guys! My name is Elizabeth and I'm a senior from New York. Last year I studied abroad at Doshisha University, our partner school in Kyoto, Japan. I currently work in the Admissions Office as both a Tour Guide and Diversity Intern, and work as a TA in the Computer Science Department. My activities at Amherst have included the Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team, the Electronics Club, and the Knitting Club (Much Ado About Knitting). I also co-founded and lead the Women in Computer Science club. In my free time, I like to paint and travel as much as I can. I've really enjoyed my time at Amherst and hope you come to love this place as much as I do! Feel free to reach out anytime.

Matt Randolph ’16

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Name: Matt Randolph ‘16
Hometown: Towson, MD
High School: Gilman School
Major History and Spanish
Activities on campus: Black Student Union, Pride Alliance
Hobbies: Traveling, writing, biking, running
Email: mrandolph16@amherst.edu

Hey everyone! My name is Matt and I am a senior from Towson, MD. I went to school in Baltimore City (Go Orioles! Go Ravens!). I am very passionate about history—I love studying U.S., Latin American, and environmental history. I also love to travel! Through Reader to Reader, a non-profit hosted by Amherst College, I have volunteered in Costa Rica as part of a student-run literacy initiative called Beyond El Campo. I spent the spring of my junior year abroad in Santiago, Chile and it was a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in a Latin American society and culture.

 Throughout my time at Amherst, I have been involved in affinity groups and resource centers. During my sophomore year, I was a Co-Chair of Pride Alliance, Amherst’s LGBTQIAP student group that meets in the Queer Resource Center. During my sophomore year, I lived in the Spanish Language House where I spoke Spanish with fellow students as well as with visiting, international teaching assistants. I really appreciated the chance to practice Spanish in an informal way outside of an academic environment. For the fall semester of my junior year, I lived in Charles Drew Memorial Cultural House, a residential community dedicated to celebrating the cultures, identities, and stories of the black diaspora.

I think it’s incredibly important and rewarding for Amherst students to get involved in the local community. This year I’m the historian for the Black Student Union and I love thinking about the ways history can work outside of the classroom to empower communities. By volunteering as an ESL tutor at Jones Library in town, I have been able to appreciate how the international character of Amherst extends beyond the student body and the college campus. Throughout my time at Amherst, I have contributed to a variety of campus publications. I am the Co-Founder and General Manager of a student-run online publication for writing and art called Amherst Soul. Check it out!

Miu Suzuki '16

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Name:  Miu Suzuki ‘16
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
High School: Green Valley High School
Major: Political Science and English (Film and Media Studies Concentration)
Activities on campus: Co-chair, choreographer, and dancer for Dance and Step at Amherst College, Tour Guide, Asian Student Association Affinity Group Coordinator, Member of the Black Student Union, Coffee Club Member 
Hobbies: Creating and viewing visual and performance art (photography, film, dance), coffee and cheese tasting, antiquing
Email: msuzuki16@amherst.edu

Hey guys, my name is Miu, and I’m a senior from Las Vegas. Coming from a large city, I was wary of the transition to a small town, but since I'm surrounded by roughly 30,000 college students and the subsequent resources within the Pioneer Valley, any doubts I originally had have disappeared. Amherst has provided me numerous opportunities to develop myself as a dancer: I currently participate in the 5-College Dance Program and co-chair and choreograph for Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), and in the past I was a member of Amherst Dance, a shop technician for the Theatre and Dance Department, and a resident of Marsh, the arts theme house. I have also tutored K-6 grade girls and adults through the Adult Literacy Center at a neighboring city called Holyoke, have participated in the Black Student Union and the Asian Student Association, have researched for the Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies Department, have lived in the co-op on campus, and have studied film theory and Central European politics in Prague, Czech Republic (ooof so many lists). I love talking about Amherst almost as much as I love cheese (the holy trinity: brie, halloumi, and manchego), hummus, and coffee, so feel free to ask me anything! 

Zeina Amhaz '17

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Zeina is away on study abroad this semester, but returning soon to the Diversity Intern team!

Name: Zeina Amhaz ‘17
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
High School: Green Valley High School
Major: Computer Science and Economics
Activities on campus: Hip-Hop Club, Amherst Women in Computer Science, First Generation Student Association
Hobbies: Tasseography, watching foreign films and/or reality TV, long walks on the beach
Email: zamhaz17@amherst.edu

Hello! My name is Zeina, and I’m a junior from Las Vegas, NV. My parents are Lebanese immigrants, and after my older sister, I’m the second person in my family to go to college. I’m an Economics and Computer Science double major, but thanks to the open curriculum, I’ve been able to take classes across the board from Asian Languages and Math, to Russian Literature and Philosophy. Aside from being a Diversity Intern, I cofounded Hip-Hop Club, I’m an organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine, I work for the Mead Art Museum, and I’ve tutored at Girls Inc. I’m also an active member of “Hello, Girl!”, a group for Amherst women in Computer Science, and the First Generation Students Association. I love to talk Middle Eastern politics and Amherst College, but, much like Kanye West, my favorite topic to discuss is Kanye West, so let’s grab a coffee and chat!

Carlos Johnson-Cruz '17

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Name: Carlos Johnson-Cruz ‘17
Hometown:  San Jose, California
High School: The Harker School
Major: Neuroscience
Activities on campus: Hip-Hop Club, DJing, Neuroscience research
Hobbies: Reading, music, video games
Email: cjohnsoncruz17@amherst.edu

Hey everybody! Why travel 3000+ miles to go to school in Massachusetts? Because when I visited Amherst during the 2012 Diversity Open House, I got the feeling that I could be immersed in a culture of intellectual sharpness that could also foster personal growth. I’m a Neuroscience major, but I've still been able to take a range of other interesting and exciting classes, thanks to the awesome open curriculum (another part of why I came here!). Outside the classroom, I've had a dizzying array of opportunities to grow and learn about myself and the world around me. That awareness has come through all sorts of means: half-serious talks with friends in Valentine Dining Hall, late nights in Frost Library, movies in Keefe Campus Center, or even a walk through the Freshman Quad on a beautiful fall afternoon. The diversity of experiences available here is remarkable. Speaking of remarkable experiences available here: this Winter Break, I’ll be traveling to Sarnath, India to study Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy through a 5 College Consortium program! Throughout the ups and downs of college life, I think that Amherst has still been a pretty good fit for me; so if you've got questions about the place, let me know.

Brittanie Lewis '17 

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Brittanie is away on study abroad this semester, but returning soon to the Diversity Intern team!

Name: Brittanie Lewis ‘17
Hometown: Modesto, California
High School: Fred C. Beyer High School
Major: History
Activities on campus: Research in the History Department, Reader to Reader Inc., Amherst Women’s Club Soccer, Community Engagement Orientation Trip (CEOT) Leader
Hobbies: Drawing portraits, playing soccer, following/discussing current events, taking naps
Email: blewis17@amherst.edu

Hello! My name is Brittanie Lewis and I am a first-generation sophomore from semirural Modesto, California. If you’re wondering where Modesto is, it’s about an hour and a half east of San Francisco in California’s Central Valley. I was actually the first student in my high school’s 30+ year history to both apply to and be accepted by Amherst College, a statistic that highlights how few students from my region consider schools like Amherst. Don’t let the distance scare you! Moving across the country to rural Western Massachusetts was no simple task, but now that I am here, I know that I could not have made a better decision.

I’m studying History in an intellectually stimulating environment that encourages unprecedented personal growth. I really could not ask for a more all-encompassing experience. My time here has, of course, been fraught with challenges, but I feel like the community here at Amherst grows and learns in part through the hardships its students face individually and collectively. Why did I choose Amherst, you ask? While I could go on and on answering that question, most simply put, I’m here because of the small size. At a school with less than 1800 undergraduate students, I have had absolutely no problems developing meaningful relationships with my professors, finding research opportunities, or getting the personalized help I need in classes. With so few students and such a large endowment, Amherst absolutely has the resources to help you realize any goal you may set for yourself during your undergraduate experience. I truly believe that!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I look forward to helping you in any way that I can!

Noah Morton '17


Noah is away on study abroad this semester, but returning soon to the Diversity Intern team!

Welcome to Amherst College! I hope that you will find the best environment, one that fits; as a result, you will grow and develop to reach your potential, which is limitless. I am grateful for this opportunity to meet and have conversations with you. First, please allow me to introduce myself:

My name is Noah Morton. I am from Harlem, New York. At Amherst College, I have made it my goal to make the most of my time here by increasing my awareness of the resources offered such as writing center, sport classes, and the museums. Consequently, I will be able to take advantage of these resources, improve, and tell others about them. I am eager to help you on your journey to make the most of your time as well. Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting you soon. Remember, The Best is Yet to Come!!

Elaine Vilorio '17

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Name: Elaine Vilorio ‘17
Hometown: Hackensack, NJ
High School: Hackensack High School
Major: Black Studies and Latinx Studies
Activities on campus: Research on migration to and from Hispaniola, member of Charles Drew Memorial Culture House
Hobbies: Running, writing, watching Battlestar Galactica, listening to The Read
Email: evilorio17@amherst.edu

As a low-income, first-generation Dominican American, navigating college admissions was rough. While a wonderful person, my high school guidance counselor could only do so much with hundreds of other students assigned to her. My parents were strong supporters of my applying to college, but they didn’t know much about the U.S.’s college admissions process. Thankfully, visiting Amherst during the Diversity Open House (DIVOH) helped. DIVOH didn’t just help me understand the process of applying to Amherst, but the process of applying to colleges in general. I was particularly inspired by the Diversity Interns I met, so much so I had to become one myself. I love the College’s intimate size, its array of talented and passionate people, its open curriculum and academic rigor, and the beautiful Pioneer Valley. In my time here, I’ve written for The Amherst StudentAC Voice, and Amherst Soul and have served on the executive boards of the Black Student Union and the Latinx student organization La Causa. Alongside La Causa and affiliated students, I’m currently fighting for the establishment of a Latinx Studies major on campus. I’m currently only able to major in Latinx Studies through our Interdisciplinary Major option. For fan mail, videos of Drake, or questions, hit up my inbox.

Julie Xia '17


Name  Julie Xia ‘17
Hometown  Mukilteo, WA
High School  Kamiak High School
Major  Computer Science and Environmental Studies
Activities on Campus  Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, Green Amherst Project, Outing Club, WAMH Radio
Hobbies  running, hiking, thrifting, crossword puzzles
Email  jxia17@amherst.edu

Hey guys! My name is Julie and I’m a sophomore from Mukilteo, WA about ten miles north of Seattle (PNW pride!). I’m a computer science and environmental studies double major. Leaving high school, I knew I loved studying the environment and I loved building code but I was nervous that the rigors of college academics were going to make me choose between the two. It’s now three years later and Amherst has not only supported me in continuing with both, but has also helped me start figuring out how to combine them.

On campus I’m a member of the environmental activism club, the Green Amherst Project, a player on the women’s ultimate team “Sparkle Motion” and an avid runner/hiker/be-outsider, so I spend a ton of time exploring beautiful Western Mass. When I’m not communing with nature you can find me TA-ing for the Computer Science department, hosting my time-travel themed radio show, or doing a crossword over breakfast in the dining hall. I had the chance to spend fall semester of my junior year abroad in Budapest, Hungary (egészségedre!) and both semesters of my sophomore year living and performing in our arts-themed dorm, Marsh Haus. Sometimes I study too. I was drawn to Amherst by the people and the possibilities; everyone here cares deeply about something or another, and they are always able to find some part of the Amherst community that will support that passion. Email me if you have any questions – I’d love to chat!

Miriam Ferede '18

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Miriam Ferede ‘18
Hometown: Champaign, IL
High School: University Laboratory High School
Major (or potential major): German; Political Science
Activities on campus: Reader to Reader, African and Caribbean Students’ Union, German Language House
Hobbies: Traveling, listening to music, online shopping, foreign languages
Email: mferede18@amherst.edu

 Hi, my name is Miriam and I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk to you all about Amherst and the college search!  I’ve moved around a lot but I spent my teenage years in Champaign-Urbana, IL. My high school was pretty quirky and small with only fifty-eight students in my graduating class.  When looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to be at an institution where I was seen as an individual, not just as a number, and I’m happy to say that Amherst has exceeded my expectations!

In addition to being a Diversity Intern, I am also an online mentor with Reader to Reader, Inc, a non-profit that brings books to under-resourced school libraries and gives students the chance to discuss books with mentors.  I am also a member of the African and Caribbean Students’ Union (ACSU) on campus.  As the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, I am grateful for the sense of community and feeling of being at home that I have found through ACSU.  I am also passionate about learning about foreign languages and cultures.  I took a gap year in between high school and college and lived in Germany for one year through a State Department scholarship.  I wanted to continue to immerse myself in the culture and practice my German when I got to college, so I became involved with the tight-knit German department and now live in and am the co-president of the German House.     

Amherst has a lot to offer and I was sold after attending Admitted Student’s Weekend because I got to see the qualities that I had read about on paper (such as the small classes and the diverse student body) come together to create a unique environment where I could picture myself for the next four years.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about Amherst or the college search in general!

Lehua Matsumoto '18

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Name: Lehua Matsumoto ‘18
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
High school: Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Major (or potential major): Computer Science
Activities on campus: Book & Plow Farm, Diversity Intern, Native American Students Organization, Green Amherst Project, Sparkle Motion (Women’s Ultimate)
Hobbies: Reading, traveling, writing, running, hanging out at the beach
Email: mamatsumoto18@amherst.edu

 Coming from Hawaii, so many things about Amherst were new to me: the changing colors of the leaves in fall, the harsh cold of winter, and all the people! The people are my favorite part about being at Amherst. I also attended DivOH during my senior year of high school. Stepping foot on campus, I instantly fell in love with everyone and everything offered here. Interacting with the students, the beautiful fall foliage, and making my way through all of this unfamiliar territory made me feel ready to take on this college experience. Two years later, it’s all very familiar to me now, but I still love it! I enjoy going on hikes nearby, running through the bird sanctuary, or just hanging out on the quad (when the weather isn’t freezing). I came to Amherst with a slight interest in Computer Science, and now I’m majoring in it! I’m also interested in Environmental Studies, and the intersectionality of people, technology, and the environment. Beyond academics and my work as a Diversity Intern, I harvest vegetables and clean the greenhouse at our campus organic farm, Book & Plow, and I’m the Communications Officer for the Green Amherst Project, our student-run environmental group. I also help out with the Native American Students Organization, and I’m a member of Sparkle Motion, our Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. There is an infectious energy everywhere on campus, fueling students to take charge of their education and make the most out of their time at Amherst. If you have any questions, or just want to talk, feel free to email me. Hope to see you soon!

Emmanuel Osunlana '18

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Name: Emmanuel Osunlana ‘18
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
High School: College Academy at Broward College
Major (or potential major): Economics and Philosophy
Activities on campus: Resident Counselor, Mock Trial, Jazz Combo, AAS Judiciary Council, Black Student Union
Hobbies: Drumming, debating inconsequential things with consequential people, reading fantasy and science fiction
Email: eosunlana18@amherst.edu

 Hello guys! My name is Emmanuel but most people call me Manny. I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria but I moved to the U.S. at a young age. I am a prospective Economics and Philosophy double major from the “too hot to handle” South Florida. I am the Assistant Captain of the Amherst Mock Trial team, a Diversity Intern, a Resident Counselor, and the drummer for three different musical groups on campus. I am a big believer of taking advantage of all the resources available here to fully maximize individual success. Amherst College offers the opportunity for continuous self-improvement through constant learning.  I love watching and helping other people succeed, so feel free to reach out to me with any of your questions!

 Obinna Ukogu '18

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Name: Obinna Ukogu ‘18
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Secondary School: Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja
Major (or potential major): Undeclared
Activities on campus: Teaching Assistant for Intermediate Calculus and Introductory Chemistry (Lab), Museum Docent at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Fencing Team
Hobbies: Photography, having conversations, biking, writing poetry
Email: oukogu18@amherst.edu

 Hi! My name is Obinna and I am a Nigerian from Lagos, Nigeria. Before coming to Amherst, I went to boarding school in my nation’s capital (Abuja) for six years. Coming to Amherst was my first journey out of my country; it has definitely been worth it. I currently do not know what I will be majoring in, but my interests range from the hard sciences, like Physics and Neuroscience, to the social sciences and humanities, like Political Science and French. Since I’m an international student, I often get asked, “Why Amherst?” My response is usually always about “the fit”. I wanted to go to college at a small liberal arts institution where I could pursue my many interests. Amherst stood out to me as the one place that I considered where I could get small class sizes, engaging professors and a rigorous education. I read the student blogs extensively to figure out what life at Amherst really was like. I liked what I found. In the end, my love for Amherst was strong enough to compel me to make this trip far away from home.

One important thing I like people to know about me right off the bat is that I am a huge Coldplay fan, and as a result, I embody all the good traits of a decent human being that are not found in your average person (just joking…well not really). Finally, I love long conversations and I am a terrific listener so feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

 Sophia Salazar '18

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Name: Sophia Salazar ‘18
Hometown: Carson, CA
High school: Cerritos High School, CA
Major (or potential major): Completely undecided!
Activities on campus: Tour Guide, WAMH Radio, The Amherst Student (newspaper), Education Professions Fellowship, Center for Community Engagement
Hobbies: Volunteering, traveling, discovering new music, reading, watching TV
Email: ssalazar18@amherst.edu

 Hi everyone! My name is Sophia and I am a sophomore originally from Southern California, though my father now lives in New York City so I get the best of both coasts. Yearning for a refreshing out-of-state college experience, yet lacking the funds to visit the gorgeous New England campuses I only saw in photos, I was lucky to discover online Amherst College's DIVOH program during the fall of my senior year. It was the awesome Diversity Intern staff and programming that made my DIVOH trip so memorable, and inspired me to apply to become a Diversity Intern. Being an Amherst College student has been a transformative experience so far, and has allowed me to not only learn from world-class professors, but also from my infinitely awesome and interesting peers. Outside of class, you can catch me in La Casa (Amherst’s Latin@ Culture House), working my way around campus as a tour guide, or jamming in the WAMH Radio station booth. As my childhood heroine Kim Possible once said, "Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me”—I’d love to hear from you!