Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2011 (August 4, 2011 at 12:00 am)

We are Beloiters


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July 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

Students 

As the latest to have fretted over exams, hung out at The Wall, eaten at Commons, made lifelong friends, and pushed themselves to the limit while often, simultaneously, having the time of their lives, the members of the class of 2011 are uniquely qualified to tell us a thing or two about Beloit. Who are some of these newly minted Beloiters? And what was Beloit like for them? After cornering several soon-to-be graduates between events on a busy senior week, we asked them to tell us in their own words. 

Deborah MasseyDeborah Massey

Hometown: Rosemount, Minn.

Majors: Russian Language and Literature; Economics and Management

Next: Working with a startup company based in Tampa, Fla., that she helped launch through the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB).

What was Beloit like for you? I met people and had friends from all over the world. We cooked together in large groups and enjoyed food from countries like Senegal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and Russia. I was lucky to be able to study abroad twice—first a semester in Senegal, then another in Russia. I also worked as an au pair in Turkey during two summers. Four years at Beloit opened my eyes to the world.

When did you laugh the hardest? Every Saturday and Sunday at noon brunch in Commons, when all the girls sat around a table and recounted stories from the weekend nights. Texts at 11:45 said only: “BRUNCH!!”

Recall an epiphany: I was always proud of Beloit when I compared it to the liberal arts colleges of my siblings, cousins, and friends. It was a great realization to find out that not all schools are the same, and not everyone has similar experiences. Beloit provides opportunities that other schools don’t, such as CELEB, the entrepreneurship center. Beloit allows everyone to be exactly who they are or who they want to be. Some students role-play, some don’t wear shoes, some sleep in the labs where they stay doing work all night, and some never leave their fraternity. As different and diverse as the campus is, we tolerate each other and work together and make up one community.

Finish this sentence: I am …. a traveler, a world thinker, a social planner, an idealist. I am friendly, social, good with languages, caring, tolerant, and a person who searches for diversity and people whose beliefs, values, religions, cultures, and histories are different from mine.

What does it mean (to you) to be a Beloiter? Scott Bierman coined the phrase “it is a great day to be a Beloiter,” and I am so proud when I hear someone say that. To be a Beloiter is to be a part of a community that lasts your entire life. It means having a broad and educated view of the world and understanding and tolerating differences among people. Being a Beloiter means everyone is addressed by their first name and all doors are always open. Beloit College is freedom; a place for freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom to make your own choices and learn from your mistakes. Learn more about Massey's international experiences with her video, Four Countries, Many Cups of Tea.

 

Roland MaliviertRoland Malivert 

Hometown: Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Major: Economics and Management

Next: University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Advice for your first-year self? This is not high school anymore: You have to put in real effort to get the results you want—in the classroom, weight room, on the football field, in relationships. I struggled my first year to balance my new relationships with the ones from home, my school work, practice, faith, fun, and everything else that required my attention. Once it all clicked, I was able to succeed beyond anything I expected and add more to my plate and handle it with relative ease. The load I took on during my last semester was intense, including classes, a role in the play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, president of Black Students United, intern for the Help Yourself scholars’ program, captain of the intramural basketball championship team, ultimate Frisbee player. It went far beyond anything I had done before.

When did you work the hardest? Hands down in the Quantitative Methods of Economics and Management course facilitated by Jeff Adams (Allen-Bradley professor of economics). I say “facilitated” because six hours spent in class every week were nowhere near the amount of time I spent in that very same location on a nightly basis. After long hours in Kemper Lab and all my struggles on the exams, I realized I’d learned a lot. I was able to gain Jeff Adams’ approval on my final project presentation, which consisted of around 35 pages of charts, graphs, and analyses. I got an A, which put me on cloud nine! I still remember handing in that final project and being so reluctant to drop it in the box outside his office, because the moment I placed it there, all of the hard work would be over. For some reason,I wasn’t ready for it to be over.

Any surprises? My circle of friends all gravitated toward one another despite our very different stories and backgrounds, because we initially didn’t feel we fit into Beloit’s culture. In the end, I think we ended up being partly responsible for not only turning around the football program but also breaking down some barriers between the larger campus and the student-athletes, especially the football team. None of us joined a fraternity, for example, leaving all bridges open between other athletes and members of the campus community.

When did you laugh the hardest? With my football teammates, especially the guys I clicked with right away (Julian Ross’11, Odin Grina’11, Valdemaras Raizys’11, Tony Baratti’11, Kurtis Carlson’11) and Breann McCord’11, my girlfriend since day-one at Beloit (and number one cheerleader). The seven of us had great times, whether we were in Commons, on Chapin third or Brannon ground, Strong Stadium, hotels all over the Midwest, or on the various trips we’ve taken to other campuses together.

The funniest times of my life at Beloit have been shared with any combination of these people in addition to many others who have given me the privilege of getting to know them and sharing part of my life. I not only laughed with them, but I also cried, confided, cherished, lived, argued, studied, and partied. I love every one of them, and I couldn’t imagine not knowing they existed in this great big world.

 

Ahmad JivadAhmad Javid

Hometown: Kabul, Afghanistan

Major: International Relations

Currently: Program coordinator for Asia Program/Foreign Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, D.C.

Future Plans: Law school

How you came to Beloit: I was intrigued by the international relations and political science programs and was concurrently offered a full scholarship from the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation, so I immediately took it before Beloit changed its mind! It was a good move.

Advice for your first-year self? Stop sitting across from the computer and get out of your room to explore, socialize, and get to know the surroundings, your peers, classmates, faculty members.

Your most ambitious dream? Afghanistan-related work is my future goal. I work on Afghanistan and Pakistan-related issues at the German Marshall Fund now. I also work with an Afghan organization called the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan (WADAN). WADAN works at the grassroots level with local leaders and tribal elders across Afghanistan on issues ranging from national unity to peace-building and drug control. I volunteer with WADAN and help draft reports, grant proposals, and concept papers. I intend to return to Afghanistan after graduate studies and help in the reconstruction process. I understand it is a long shot to get Afghanistan back on track, but I will certainly contribute my work to the process.

When did you laugh the hardest? The first time I saw the Vagina Monologues [at Beloit]. I came from a society where talking about pornography and situations such as those portrayed in the play are taboo.

What project really challenged you? I worked hard on several projects during my time at Beloit, but one in particular was my senior honors thesis. I wrote it on the security relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and looked closely at the “trust deficit” between the two countries. It was relatively hard to complete because it was an honors thesis that required extra work, and it came at a time when I was transitioning from school to work during my last semester.

Finish this sentence: I am … grateful to Beloit for the opportunity and support it has provided me over the years. It was an enlightening learning experience for me.

What will you miss the most? I already miss Beloit. I will continue to miss the wonderful, welcoming, and supportive small community. I learned a great deal and made many lasting relationships with friends and faculty. I will also miss the long and informative conversations with the always-cheerful crowds sitting across the dining tables at Commons.

 

Kiera HayesKiera Hayes

Hometown: Seattle, Wash.

Majors: Anthropology and Biochemistry

Next: Travel, looking for a job, eventually medical school

Recall your classic Beloit moment. I still can’t decide if this was good or bad, but my classic Beloit moment is sitting in front of my computer, micro-analyzing a paper, writing a lab report, or making a study sheet for a test at 9 or 10 o’clock on a Saturday night while my phone is buzzing with what many called “the tinkerbell ring.” My friends would be texting me, asking why I wasn’t out yet and telling me how much fun they were having dancing. I often made it out after 10, but people always thought it entertaining that I would do homework that late on a Saturday night.

What’s your most ambitious dream? To work for Doctors Without Borders, providing medical services for underserved communities. I hope to study health systems (as I did during study abroad) to assess their effectiveness. Although I’m interested in becoming a doctor, I don’t think many health care systems in the world adequately provide for the people they serve. Many improvements are possible and necessary. I also know that my opinion is not always applicable to other people’s lives. It is important to talk to people about their health care systems to learn their opinions. I’m most interested in mother and child health (my Women’s Health class solidified my interest).

Who’s your biggest [Beloit] cheerleader? I have many, actually. The thing I loved about Beloit is that so many of my teachers were always available, willing, and excited to encourage me and help me with any problems I was facing. This year, when I was struggling with my anthropology thesis and was late on the first draft, my FYI advisor, Kathy Greene (professor of education/youth studies), offered to read the whole thing and help me organize it, even though she is very busy, not an anthropology professor, and was no longer my advisor.

Finish this sentence: I am … A turtle, through and through. Awkward, slow moving, dedicated. The reason everyone loves Scott Bierman’s speeches on turtles and Beloit College students is that they are all so true! Everyone really epitomizes the turtle.

What will you miss most? I thought it would be my friends, and I will miss them a great deal, but I’ll stay in contact with the people who are most important to me. What I will miss most is less tangible. As I walked around campus finishing my last errands, I experienced an intense feeling of loss that I couldn’t quite describe. I never thought I would say it, but I am going to miss college. There is an entire culture of college life that you never get back after you leave and—as is typical with many things—you never appreciate until it is gone. You have the freedom to live independently, but also a chance to do and try crazy things that you don’t get to do in the real world (without significant consequences), like running naked across campus, climbing buildings, dressing up in onesie pajamas for no reason, or sneaking whole plates of food out of Commons. The best part is that no one really judges you for it. Most of the time, when people do something crazy at Beloit, people just say, “Well, that’s Beloit for you. It’s where all the super weird kids go.” I will miss being a part of that and having the freedom to act crazy whenever I want to.

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