Meet our team!
Joanna Booth ‘19
Name: Joanna Booth
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
High School: Germantown Friends School
Major: Black Studies and Studio Art
Activities on Campus: Senior Chair of Black Student Union, Queer Resource Center
Hobbies: Sketching, reading, listening to music, blogging
Hey! My name is Joanna Booth and I’m a senior here at Amherst from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Coming from such a big and bustling city, Amherst town was definitely a change of scenery, but such a lovely break from the noise of Philly. This semester I am the Senior Chair of the Black Student Union, and work in the Queer Resource Center as the Special Projects Coordinator. These are just a few of the communities that are present here on campus and they have played a huge role in keeping me grounded and helping me feel integral to the Amherst student body.
Currently I’m a Black Studies and Studio Art double major. One of my favorite aspects of Amherst is the fact that there are so many options in courses you can take either here on campus, or one of the other colleges in the Five College Consortium. Amherst definitely offers a rich range of majors it sometimes makes it hard to choose! Please if you have any questions, feel free to email me, I would love to talk to you!
Jonathan Jackson ‘19
Name: Jonathan Jackson
Hometown: Detroit, MI
High School: Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Early College of Excellence
Major: Art & The History of Art
Activities on Campus: Diversity Intern, Photographer for the Office of Communications
Hobbies: Art and music enthusiast
Hello, my name is Jonathan Jackson and I am a fourth-year student at Amherst College. Here at Amherst, I am a Studio Art major focusing in Photography and lens-based art making. If I’m not working away in the studios of Fayerweather hall, you can find me running around town making photographs and drinking coffee. I was drawn to Amherst in the pursuit of an education in the arts that would be independently led and that would allow enough room in each semester to pursue other course material.
In October of 2013, I was able to visit campus for the Diversity Open House. I was drawn in by the college’s academic rigor and the energy of the students that I got to meet during that weekend. Nearly three and a half years later, and some of those students have become my closest friends. I was also struck by the beautiful landscape of western Massachusetts. Coming from a predominantly urbanized city, Amherst’s diverse nature between seasons –even winter - offered a needed change. I look forward to meeting you soon! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Bobby Shogren ‘19
Name: Bobby Shogren
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
High School: Southwest High School
Major: Economics and Environmental Studies
Activities on campus: Swimming & Diving, Divest Amherst, Green Athletics, Amherst Dance
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, being outside
Hey everyone! My name is Bobby and I’m a senior from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m an Economics and Environmental Studies double major. Coming from a big public high school in Minnesota, the focus of many college searches was primarily on huge universities in the Midwest. While these schools were perfect for a lot of people, I knew I wanted a smaller and more connected learning environment. Fortunately, through the help of my parents and other mentors, I was able come to Amherst and discover that it is possible to both study the things you are passionate about and do the things you love outside of school at the same time. My favorite part of Amherst is the people I’ve met. The Amherst community is made up of brilliant people with countless different experiences and perspectives, and I’ve tried to interact with and learn from as many of them as possible. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about Amherst or your college search!
Alyssa Snyder ‘19
Name: Alyssa Snyder
Hometown: North Ogden, Utah
High School: Weber High School
Activities on Campus: QuestBridge, Reader to Reader, Orientation Leader, Outing Club, World Reads, Yoga Club, Research Assistant
Hobbies: Traveling, photography, reading, cats, hiking, camping, Zumba
Hi! My name is Alyssa and I am a senior from Utah. I came to the Admitted Students Weekend hosted by the Diversity Interns my senior year of high school and fell in love with Amherst. Now I’ve come full circle by becoming a Diversity Intern! I hope to make all prospective students feel as welcome and included as I did when I came. Coming from a public high school in Utah, Amherst’s rigorous classes have been an adjustment, but they are a challenge I can't wait to get back to every semester. I love Amherst’s open curriculum because I have been able to take classes from many different majors, and now I am writing a Sociology thesis. If you have any questions, I’d love to talk (really, it makes me so happy to get emails from prospective students)!
Aaron Yang ‘19
Name: Aaron Yang
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
High School: Germantown Friends School
Activities on campus: Ultimate
Hobbies: Cooking, Eating, Binging Netflix
Hello world. It’s me, Aaron. I am a senior here at Amherst majoring in sociology while navigating the premed track. I was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia (FLY EAGLES FLY!) and come from a low-income, first-gen background. Before I applied to Amherst, I really did not know anything about this place. When I visited for my accepted students weekend, however, I fell in love with this campus and its people and knew this was where I wanted to study. I am a captain of the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team ‘Army of Darkness,’ (I know, kind of a corny name). On campus, you can catch me tossing on the quad, procrastinating in Frost Library, or Val-sitting.
For me, the college application process was one that I had to navigate mostly on my own, as my parents were not very knowledgeable about the college admissions process in the US. If you have any questions about Amherst, the stresses of applying to college, or just want to have a conversation, please shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you around campus!
Trenati Baker '20
Name: Trenati Baker
Hometown: Chicago, IL
High School: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Major (or potential major): Black Studies and Political Science
Activities on Campus: DASAC, ASCU, ACSU Dance, BSU, Resident Counselor
Hobbies: Dancing, painting my nails, spilling tea
Hey! My name is Trenati, and I am from Chicago (SOUTHSIDE!!!). I finally declared Black Studies and am slowly but surely pursuing Political Science. I spend most of my days running from class, to dance practices, to DIVOH planning meetings, and to different affinity group meetings.
My college search process was short, but very hectic. I applied to over 12 schools and sent out all my applications by mid-October. I applied to so many schools because I was a part of QuestBridge and Chicago Scholars (and my family urged me to apply to several HBCUs). With this being said, however, I found out about Amherst through Questbridge and was accepted to Amherst as a Questbridge Match Scholar.
Please feel free to reach out and email me with any questions you might have about the college application process, Amherst, the college experience of a black woman at a historically white institution, the college experience of a low-income student, and whatever else comes up. Best wishes, xoxo!
Rachel Chaffin '20
Name: Rachel Chaffin
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
High School: Stanford Online High School
Major: Psychology and French
Activities on Campus:Amherst Christian Fellowship (ACF), Indigenous and Native Citizens Association (INCA), Culinary Club, Tour Guide
Hobbies: Running, baking and cooking, watching people bake and cook much better and more beautifully than me on The Great British Baking Show and Chef's Table, finding new places near Amherst for picnicking and stargazing, and making new friends
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm a junior from Sacramento, California, majoring in Psychology and French. On campus, I spend a lot of my time at the wonderful Admissions Office, tour guiding and working alongside my fellow Diversity Interns. I'm also involved in the Amherst Christian Fellowship and the Indigenous Native Citizens Association, both of which have provided me with dear friendships, as well as support and resources to take on life at Amherst.
Being a Diversity Intern has been a precious part of my experience at Amherst for several reasons, but primarily because I actually attended DIVOH as a prospective student myself in October, 2015. I left that visit totally in love with Amherst, and wanting to be a Diversity Intern almost as much as I wanted to just be an Amherst College student. As soon as I got here, I started looking for ways to stay connected to the program that so impacted me so much, and three years later, the work I've been able to do as a Diversity Intern and the interactions I've had with our amazing prospective students have been the highlights of every semester I've had here. There are few things I like doing more than helping people learn more about the college I love so much, so please reach out if you have any questions specific to my experience or about anything!
Elinton Park '20
Name: Elinton Park
Hometown: Springfield, MO
High School: Central High School
Major: Neuroscience and Sexuality, Women & Gender Studies (SWAGS)
Activities on Campus: Subbing for the Morgan Music Library and for Frost Library, QuestBridge Eboard, Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), Charles Drew Health Professionals Society
Hobbies: driving in AAS vehicles, playing piano, scrolling through Facebook (8 hours a week according to my phone)
Hello! My name is Elinton and I’m a junior from good ol’ Missouri (try saying it “misery,” it makes so much more sense). Born and raised in the Midwest, I was dying to get out. So naturally, I came to Amherst. Actually, it was the QuestBridge program, which focuses on low-income and/or first generation students getting to college that led me to know about Amherst. Low and behold I applied and got in and still didn’t know what I signed up for. I got a strange email asking if they would pay for me to come visit their school and of course I said “free vacation? Okay!” Honestly, visiting during the Admitted Students Weekend was a huge deciding factor to come to Amherst. Coming into my junior year, I have already learned so much, won so much, failed so much, and grown so much. Amherst itself has become my community and being able to go to school here has meant so much. Utilizing all the resources available, I am on the pre-med track doing a double major. I also have taken piano lessons and even dance which I’ve never done before (the dancing part). Amherst, to me, is a place to explore and expand yourself, challenging your limits and learning from your mistakes. Please feel free to send me an email or reach out if you want to know more! I am more than happy to try and help other people get to experience Amherst in their own way, just as I have.
Olivia Zheng '20
Name: Olivia Zheng
Hometown: Fremont, California
High School: Mission San Jose High School
Major: American Studies
Activities on Campus: Education Coordinator at the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), Asian Students Association (ASA), Asian American Studies Working Group, Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC)
Hobbies: Dancing, reading, looking for new restaurants on Yelp, watching Youtube videos, online window shopping
Hi hi! My name is Olivia and I'm a junior American Studies major from the Bay Area. I didn't hear about the DIVOH program until after I was accepted to Amherst, but I got to visit campus for Admitted Students Weekend and fell in love. (Amherst paid for my travel and I learned how to salsa dance from some first years - ask me about it!) Coming from a big public school, Amherst gave me the small seminar style classes, close professor-student relationships, and a wide access to resources that I had always hoped for. It still blows my mind all the things Amherst funds for its students, from summer internships to dinners with your professors to ski/zip-line/caving trips.
I care a lot about making sure Amherst is doing everything it can to support its students, practicing not just cosmetic diversity but also equity and inclusion. I've definitely found my community at Amherst through the Multicultural Resource Center and the Asian Students Association, which have been great sources of support and friendship.
Feel free to email me and ask about my college application process, where to get the best Asian food (and boba) near campus, or what it was like adjusting to life (aka winter) on the East Coast! I love talking about my experiences at Amherst so please please hit me up!
Michael Gibson '21
Name: Michael Gibson
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
High School: Moravian Academy
Major: Political Science and Art History
Activities on Campus: Orientation Leader, BSU, Company Manager for DASAC
Hobbies: Drawing and painting, online shopping, Instagram
Hello! My name is Michael and I’m current sophomore pursuing a double major in Political Science and Art History. Coming from a small private school in the small town of Bethlehem, I knew that Amherst wouldn’t be too drastic a change, but would still provide me with a familiar environment to diversify my interests and continue growing. On campus, I frequently inhabit the Multicultural Resource Center and participate in groups like Mock Trial and Club Soccer.
Although I wasn’t able to attend diversity events before coming to Amherst, I ultimately chose to attend because of the school’s dedication to inclusivity. I am so excited to be a part of the Diversity Intern Team because it’s communities like this one and the other groups here that create spaces for Amherst students to succeed and increase their self-awareness. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about the application process, navigating this space, or you just want to chat! Best of luck!
Maya Hossain '21
Name: Maya Hossain
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
High School: Westfield High School
Major: Prospective Political Science and English
Activities on Campus: Artistic Director of The Green Room (Theatre), Debate Team, Program Coordinator for Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), Muslim Student Association, South Asian Student Association
Hobbies: Acting, writing, listening to music, complaining on Twitter
Hi! My name is Maya Hossain and I’m a sophomore from the D.C. Area. I haven’t declared a major, but I’m narrowing down between Political Science, English, and American Studies. I spend most of my time in the CDSL, a resource center that supports low-income, first-gen, DACA/undocumented, transfer, and veteran students.
Coming from a bustling metropolitan area and a public high school that had a population bigger than Amherst’s was quite a shock for me – I was about to put a deposit down for another school before I came for my Admitted Students’ Weekend at Amherst. I instantly fell in love Amherst’s incredibly unique, brilliant, diverse student body and their passionate faculty and staff. My decision process wasn’t easy, though. Amherst was a huge change from what I was used to, and most of the kids from my high school ended up at state schools. I didn’t have much help in the college application or decision process, so I can definitely pass on some of the things I learned! I also have some info on what it’s like to be a Muslim/South Asian student at Amherst. Feel welcome to shoot me an email about anything.
Rachel Kang '21
Name: Rachel Kang
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
High School: Seoul International School
Major: Undeclared – Sociology maybe?
Activities on Campus: Asian Students Association, student staff at Center for International Student Engagement (CISE), International Student Association, Active Minds
Hobbies: graphic design, Facetiming my dog, cooking mediocre food, playing violin
Hi! I’m Rachel and I grew up mostly in Seoul, South Korea. I’m a sophomore and I don’t know what I’ll be majoring in just yet – hopefully I’ll have figured out my favorite departments by the time I meet you all! I’m usually around the Resource Centers at Keefe Campus Center looking up student discounts, bus tickets, or AirBnBs.
Looking back, I realize I really knew nothing about what life in college (or life in a new country) would be like. I was lucky to have wonderful professors, staff, and friends who helped me every step of the way, from managing credit cards to building better work habits to coping with homesickness. The huge cultural transition also gave me an opportunity to learn more about myself. Coming from a huge city, I was worried Amherst would be boring, but I’ve come to fall in love with the Pioneer Valley’s fresh air and views! I stayed on campus this summer working at CISE (thanks to funding from Amherst’s Center for Community Engagement) and it was the best summer I could have ever had. Ask me where the best food places are!
Lea Morin '21
Name: Lea Morin
Hometown: San Antonio, TEXAS
High School: Young Women’s Leadership Academy at San Antonio
Major: Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) and potentially Sociology
Activities on Campus: Tour Guide, Student Staff in the Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), Residential Counselor of La Casa and the Spanish Language House
Hobbies: Talking about TEXAS, meeting new people, running (away from my problems)
Hey y’all! My name is Lea Morin and I am from San Antonio, Texas (or the best city and state in the United States). As a senior in high school, I was grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Amherst through the DIVOH Program. DIVOH was incredible on so many different levels, from my fellow DIVOH participants to the Diversity Intern Team. The Diversity Interns were mammoth-ly influential in my decision-making process about Amherst and I am excited to be a part of the team and your Amherst experience.
On campus, I have found joy and strength in exploring my identities through academics and on-campus resources, especially the Resource Centers and particularly the Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL). The CDSL is just one example of the exceptional communities that have helped me through my messiness and provided me with a sense of purpose on campus and a dedication to uplift the voices of the students behind the statistics of diversity touted by the college and the Office of Admissions.
Feel free to contact me about the admissions process or any other questions you may have about Amherst! I look forward to meeting you!
Manuel Rodriguez '21
Name: Manuel Rodriguez
Hometown: San Angelo, TX
High School: Lake View High School
Major: Economics and Mathematics
Activities on Campus: Jazz Ensemble/Combo, Orchestra, La Causa, First-Gen Low-Income Student Advisory Board
Hobbies: Listening/Playing music, reading, working out, laughing at memes
Hello everybody! My name is Manuel and I am a sophomore from San Angelo, Texas. At Amherst, I am planning to study Economics and Mathematics, but the college’s open curriculum has allowed me to take classes in Music, Political Science, English, History, and Latinx and Latin American Studies. On campus, you’ll usually catch me with my headphones in blasting some jazz.
Before my senior year began, I had never heard of Amherst College. Luckily, I was able to attend DIVOH in September 2016 where I was immediately drawn by the college’s academics and its generous financial aid. When I was heading back home after DIVOH, I told myself that I had to come back. My DIVOH experience was one of my main motivations to become a Diversity Intern, so that I can provide a similar experience to prospective students.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have about the application process, being a First-Gen and Low-Income student, the Amherst Latinx community, and anything else.