Meet the Student Staff
Students Coming From Abroad Pre-Orientation Staff
Abhishek Henry ’20
Home (city and country): Mungeli, India (recently moved to Chittoor)
Language Skills: I know just enough Hindi to talk. I have taken classes in Tamil, Spanish, and Arabic but talking to me in English is the best (And highly recommended because I forgot everything else)
Favorite Food: Donuts (but I’m trying to stick to my diet and it’s really hard)
Favorite Class: Intro to Theatermaking
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I love playing Basketball so hit me up! And other things I like to be a part of are the Denison International Student Association and America Reads.
Favorite Experience at Denison: I have had a lot of really nice experiences here at Denison so I can’t really distinguish a favorite. But I do know that all these memories were with my friends. So I guess that finding my friends here at Denison has been my greatest experience here. Ohhhh, and late night donut runs! those are cool too.
Philosophy on Life: Just be nice to others. People are busy fighting their own battles in life and we shouldn’t add on to that. Besides, being nice just puts a smile on everyone’s faces and seeing that means a lot to me :)
Something people would find interesting: I have a twin brother on campus so try not to get confused!! We also won a badminton tournament together recently and Chad keeps calling us the champions of the world (which is just not true). But I love to play that too so if you guys ever want to play some badminton then let me know!
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: About meeting all of the new international Students! I can’t wait to hang out with you guys to make so many more awesome memories here at Denison!
Aditi Singh ’22
Home (city and country): Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Language Skills: Hindi, English, Broken Malay
Favorite Food: Indian food!
Favorite Class: Writing
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Running, Watching anything with Trevor Noah
Favorite Experience at Denison: Cooking with friends in the Open House
Philosophy on Life: Sometimes it be like that
Something people would find interesting: I’m pretty sure Amy Santiago’ personality from Brooklyn 99 was based on me.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Meeting and getting to know all the incoming first-years from all around the world!
Ana Ballivian ’22
Home: La Paz, Bolivia
Language Skills: Spanish, English, French
Favorite Food: Churrasco (Bolivian barbecue)
Favorite Class: French
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Working at the Bandersnatch
Favorite Experience at Denison: Performing for Sazón (the latin dance group on campus)
Philosophy on Life: Travel as much as you can and surround yourself with good people. Don’t take life too seriously, do what you like and enjoy it as much as you can.
Something people would find interesting: I am the only Latin American legacy on campus (as of right now)
As a Pre O Staff member I am most excited about: Getting to know and connecting with the incoming freshmen and learning more about them and where they come from and welcoming them to Denison!
Dasni Lakpriya ’20
Home (city and country): born in Sri Lanka, raised in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Dallas, Texas my junior year of high school
Language Skills: English, Sinhalese, French
Favorite Food: Sri Lankan rice and curry
Favorite Class: women of color activism, women’s voices in Africa (French 330), race and ethnicity
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: DISA, Amnesty International, America Reads
Favorite Experience at Denison: overall, some of my favorite experiences at Denison have been coming back from breaks, or even just from spending the weekend away from campus. I love seeing everyone I know when I come back, having that sense of familiarity, catching up, and honestly just going around campus to meet all my friends.
Philosophy on Life:
- “without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” - Frank Zappa
- “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” –Nelson Henderson
Something people would find interesting: My grandfather taught at Denison about 50 years ago and my mom was born at Licking Memorial!
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: meeting new students, introducing them to the place I’ve gotten to call home, and being someone they can rely on
Derek Sun ’22
Home (city and country): Vancouver, Canada
Language Skills: English & Mandarin
Favorite Food: Dumplings & Curry
Favorite Class: CS 109, PSYC 100
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: University Programming Council
Favorite Experience at Denison: Pre - Orientation & WOW
Philosophy on Life: To have a balanced lifestyle and live in the moment.
Something people would find interesting: I was born in Canada but lived in Qingdao, China for 7 years.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Meeting my mentees for the first time!
Jeffrey Guo ’22
Home (city and country): Vancouver (Canada)
Language Skills: English, Mandarin, Spanish
Favorite Food: Ramen
Favorite Class: O-Chem
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: TA (Teaching Assistant) and Tutor for Biology and Chemistry
Favorite Experience at Denison: Summer research with the Chemistry Department (Dr. Katz) on Solar Energy
Philosophy on Life: Don’t worry about what others say behind your back, because those are the people who are looking for faults in your life rather than faults in their own lives.
Something people would find interesting: I played saxophone in high school for 5 years and went to Cuba last year with my jazz band.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m most excited to get to know everyone and to embark on their journey as Denisonians together.
Joy Zhou ’22
Home: Guangzhou, China
Language Skills: Mandarin, English
Favorite Food: shrimp dumplings and all other kinds of dim sum in Guangzhou
Favorite Class: all Chemistry classes and Physics 125
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Summer Research
Favorite Experience at Denison: Pre-O for international students; taking the classes that I am interested in; hanging out with my friends at weekends.
Philosophy on Life: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”—Socrates
Something people would find interesting: I listen to classical music when I am doing chemistry.
As a Pre-O staff member, I am most excited about: to know my mentees! I hope we can be friends and I can help them transit into college life successfully.
Ken Noguchi ’22
Home (city and country): Osaka, Japan
Language Skills: Japanese, English, and intermediate Mandarin
Favorite Food: Ramen
Favorite Class: Economics
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: my club activity, GCC (I’m currently an event coordinator of the organization)
Favorite Experience at Denison: socializing with people who have different background
Philosophy on Life: I believe that there is something to be learned from all people. Being judgmental only limits your opportunities to improve and broaden your horizons.
Something people would find interesting: Even though I am Japanese, I am fluent in Shanghainese.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am very excited about meeting all international students, the class of 2023. I want to not only build up a really good relationship between mentor and mentees but also I want to help their transition from high school, especially from abroad, to college.
Kobina “Kobi” Ocran ’21
Home (city and country): Washington D.C., USA / Accra, Ghana
Language Skills: English and French
Favorite Food: Banku and Tilapia
Favorite Class: Introductory Macroeconomics
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Club Soccer and Denison Community Association
Favorite Experience at Denison: Wednesday Worship at Herrick Hall
Philosophy on Life: “Life is very hard. The only people who really live are those who are harder than life itself.” - Nawal El Saadawi
Something people would find interesting: Spent a large part of my childhood speaking a foreign language
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Expanding my network
Manshi Zhou ’20
Home (city and country): Hong Kong/ Macau
Language Skills: Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Travel and conference
Favorite Experience at Denison: Attending speeches and doing research—both direct study and summer research
Something people would find interesting: The first time traveling by myself was at my age of 12, to Australia
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Meet new friends and show them about the campus I know of.
Mayank Kumar ’21
Home (city and country): Calcutta, India
Language Skills: English, Hindi, Bengali
Favorite Food: Fish fingers and custard (they go great together, trust me! :3)
Favorite Class: My favorite class would have to be ‘History of Cinema’ taught by Dr. Schlotterbeck because I got to learn all about how cinema was invented and how feature-films became a part of mainstream media entertainment. A major plus point is that I got to watch a lot of old movies, which I love doing.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I really enjoy being involved with DISA (Denison International Students Association) and DCGA (Denison Campus Governance Association). Through DISA, I love being able to play a role in highlighting the diversity of our international community and global culture by organizing festivals from all over the world. As a Class of 2021 Senator for DCGA, I am deeply committed to debating on campus issues and coming up with ways to make the Denison experience better for all students.
Philosophy on Life: My philosophy on life can be pretty much summed by this short poem, ‘The Road Not Taken,’ by Robert Frost:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Something people would find interesting: Although I am a very ‘social-sciencey’ person, I love cinema, music, and literature. I’ve taken 3 cinema courses at Denison, and I’m about to take a music course this semester. On any given day you will find me walking across A-Quad with headphones in, listening to my favorite indie artists, or sitting in Slayter reading my favorite classic novel.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: As a Pre-O staff member, I’m most excited about meeting and getting to know all of you amazing kids from the Class of 2023! I am so glad that I get to be your guide, mentor, and friend for your first few days at Denison, and of course, for the next few years on the Hill! Favorite Experience at Denison: Being a part of the organizing committee of Refugee Awareness Week last semester was one of my favorite things that I have done at Denison so far. We organized a week of events around shedding awareness of refugee crises around the world and de-stigmatizing what it means to be a refugee.
Nha Le ’21
Home (city and country): Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam
Language Skills: Vietnamese (it’s getting worse) and English (working on it!!!)
Favorite Food: boba tea, bun bo Hue (must-try Vietnamese noodle), freshly baked pretzel, spaghetti
Favorite Class: Cancer Biology, Intro to Data Analytics, Theorizing Communication, Pain, Healing & the Body, Intermediate Microeconomics
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: ISS Tea Time, all Asian Culture Club events, UPC Gala, Aestavalia, Rico Suave, practicing with Denison K-pop Dance Group (DKDG)
Favorite Experience at Denison: LEADERSHAPE (a life-changing Denison experience, believe me!), working at ISS, staying on campus during breaks, crashing parties with my favorite people
Philosophy on Life: *googling “humorous quotes”*
Something people would find interesting: “Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem.” People procrastinate because they don’t wanna deal with the horrible emotions associated with the workload, not because they’re lazy. If ever you’re in the same situation, ask for help!
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: witnessing the great changes y’all will be making to your college experience throughout four years at Denison!
Piotr Kurleto ’22
Home (city and country): Krakow, Poland
Language Skills: English, Polish, German, studying Spanish
Favorite Food: Oriental or Italian
Favorite Class: International Politics and economics
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Team sports, swimming
Favorite Experience at Denison: All the sports events, the Denisonian community
Philosophy on Life: We’re all human, and we’re all different- don’t be afraid to be yourself, ask questions, be brave and embrace all your imperfections.
Something people would find interesting: I love traveling both to big cities and places with beautiful nature. I like debating on politics and economics worldwide.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: meeting all the new people and giving them the same opportunity and privilege of introducing them to the American culture and Denison- hopefully they quickly adjust and feel like at home.
Sherry Xu ’21
Home (city and country): Guangzhou, China
Language Skills: Chinese, English
Favorite Food: Cantonese Cuisine
Favorite Class: Postmodern Dance I by Prof Michael Morris
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Going to concerts
Favorite Experience at Denison: LeaderShape Institute 2019
Philosophy on Life: Appreciate things as what they are
Something people would find interesting: I like sci-fi
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Meeting new Denisonians :)
Simon (Mingsheng) Li ’22
Home (city and country): Hangzhou, China
Language Skills: Chinese, English, a little bit Italy and French.
Favorite Food: Whit’s and waffle fries.
Favorite Class: All psychology classes are interesting except the intro.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Lunar New year and trip to Cedar Point.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Coming to Denison and made a lot of friends. Being the staff for June-O, Pre-O and other departments.
Philosophy on Life: Always with a smile, it will bring you good luck.
Something people would find interesting: I am afraid of riding Ferris wheel.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Since this is my first time being a Pre-O staff, I think it will be an amazing experience for me. I will try my best to answer and help all the problems incoming students have. Being friend with them as well. Wish they all will have a wonderful memory for Pre-O.
Takaharu (Taka) Higuchi ’20
Home: Osaka, Japan / Colombo, Sri Lanka
Language skills: English, Japanese, basic French and basic Sinhalese.
Favorite food: Any Japanese food :)
Favorite class: So far my favorite class has been Therapeutic Exercises in Athletic Training.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Eating, Exercising and basketball.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Any DISA (Denison International Student Association) events hosted, for example, Holi and Korean festival.
Philosophy in Life: Do things that make yourself happy.
Something people would find interesting: I have had dengue fever twice.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: meeting the new students and leaning about different background and cultures that i still have not learnt. I am also looking forward to seeing changes and improvements to the program and going through different challenges during Pre-O since I have been a staff member before.
Tianyi Zhang ’20
Home (city and country): Jiangyin, China
Language Skills: English, Mandarin, basic Danish
Favorite Food: Omelette
Favorite Class: Issues in Feminism
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Asian Culture Club; Denison Community Association
Favorite Experience at Denison: volunteering with Food Recovery Network;
Philosophy on Life: Carpe Diem
Something people would find interesting: I buy teddy bears as souvenirs when I travel.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Having a great time with new students and helping them transition.
Tung (Steve) Nguyen ’20
Home: Hanoi, Vietnam
Language Skills: English, Vietnamese, Spanish
Favorite Foods: Sushi, Black Pepper Crispy Chicken, and Cuñapes
Favorite Classes: Issues in Feminism and Spanish
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: dancing, singing, weightlifting, and learning new languages
Favorite Experience at Denison: My favorite experience at Denison was when I was nominated to participate in Rico Suave, a men beauty pageant at Denison. I had the opportunity to show my talents and perform in front of the audience. More importantly, I received many supports from friends, who made the experience more memorable.
Philosophy on life: Always be yourself
Something people would find interesting: I can move my ears without touching them
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: getting to know all the first year, as well as preparing them for their college careers
Urvi Garg ’21
Home (city and country): Mumbai, India
Language Skills: 8/10
Favorite Food: Chipotle! (extra spicy)
Favorite Class: Intermediate Cinema Production
Favorite Co-Curricular Activity: Cinema Crew Member, Volunteering at Shelters, Watching movies!!
Favorite Experience at Denison: International Pre-O, Summer on campus, and Gala!
Philosophy on Life: Live it to the fullest!
Something people would find interesting: I love animation! Anything animated and I am there 100% (plus I love emojis too!)
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Getting to know all you awesome humans!
Yayuan Wang ’20
Home Country and City: Xi’an, China
Language Skills: Mandarin & English
Favorite Food: All kinds of Asian food
What is your favorite class to date and why?: Intro to Psychology: the contents of this class are related to many fields that I’m interested in, such a philosophy, math, feminism theories, etc. Moreover, the professor, Dr. Weis is pretty awesome, so I enjoyed every class.
What are some of your favorite co-curricular activities?: I love Laura C Harris Series. Topics change every year, and all of them are inspiring and motivated, such as Activism Performance, Transnational Feminist Solidarity Panel, etc.
Favorite experience at Denison to date:
- Pre-O for Students Coming from Abroad
- Watching theater shows is one of my favorite parts here. The students are so professional that make you feel like you are watching a broadway show.
- In Swasey Chapel, watching the Christmas concert provided by gospel choir is unforgettable for me. Even though I’m an atheist, I can feel that I’m blessed by God. But honestly, I enjoyed every day spent at Denison.
List 5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:
- Watch hockey game in Columbus (organized by First Year Office)
- Dress up and go to GALA
- Watch a show in the theaters
- Attend the Christmas concert provided by gospel choir in Swasey Chapel
- Watch swimming championship in Mitchell Center.
Quote or Philosophy on Life: YOLO (You only live once)
Something people would find surprising about you: I went through a depopulated zone in Sinkiang, China by riding a horse with my equestrian instructor. We spend on average six hours per day to ride the horse for five days.
As a Pre-O Staff member, what are you most excited about? I’m excited to help students coming from abroad as much as I can, and I also believe that I can learn from them as well.
Zehui (Betty) Xu ’20
Home (city and country): Shanghai, China
Language Skills: English, Chinese, French, Danish
Favorite Food: Yogurt, all kinds of fruit and vegetables；dark chocolate, ice-cream…..
Favorite Class: It’s really hard to pick my favorite class. I loved Intro to Psychology because in that class I thought, “This is what I feel passionate about”. I feel like I could even hear my heartbeat when I learned things I felt interested about. Intro to Queer Studies provided me the chance to look at the world and look at myself in a different kind of way. It taught me what diversity and social justice is. (I literally learned so much from that class). Also by doing research, I feel I’ve gained so much knowledge. The US Legal System class under Education gave me the chance to do a semester long research on a single case and dig deep in the subject which helped me learn a lot. Also, by learning about the injustice in the legal system and how the system is like is just really interesting to me.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I joined SHARE (Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education) which is a semi-private resource here in Denison which help students if they experience sexual harassment or sexual assault. I value it quite importantly because I think it is a place or a resource a college campus should have and let students know that they have support. Volunteering is one of my favorites as well. I have volunteered by translating for some people in Garfield elementary and help teach during a Mental Health Day event in another school in Newark.
Favorite Experience at Denison: My favorite experience at Denison is actually quite simple. It’s not a specific event or anything. Just surrounded by a group of friends I love and feeling included will make me feel great and it is basically my favorite experience here in Denison
Philosophy on Life: If you do what you need, you’re surviving. If you do what you want, you’re living. Something people would find interesting: I lived in a dorm throughout my educational experience (since elementary school).
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m super excited to meet new students from all over the world! I can’t wait to learn about who they are and their cultural backgrounds. I’m also excited that I could be with them in their first few days’ experience in Denison.