Meet the Student Staff

Students Coming From Abroad Pre-Orientation Staff

Rhea PatilRhea Patil

Major: Communication
Minor: Anthropology/Sociology
Home: Mumbai, India
Language Skills: English, Hindi, Marathi

Favorite Food: Ramen (but the good kind not the college kind)
Favorite Class: Media Theory with Dr. Hollis Griffin because we got to watch Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Office for homework and analyze it! It was intriguing to deconstruct something as funny as Jersey Shore. It was that moment where I truly understood what a liberal arts education meant.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I am part of Outlook, the queer-straight alliance on campus which has helped me learn so many new things about the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, +) community and allyship. I also love attending DISA (Denison International Student Association) events where we get to learn more about different parts of the world and chill and hang out with friends. I am also an active member of the Cross-Cultural Communities, a place where people from different cultures and find home! I also love to travel and listen to music!
Favorite Experience at Denison: Honestly, my first year when I went through Pre-Orientation for Students Coming from Abroad because I got to meet friends that I can now call family. I was unsure about how I would fit in to Denison as an international student but Pre-O helped me navigate through some of the difficulties and provided a support system that got me through my 3 years at Denison!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Attend LeaderShape!
  2. Have conversations with your friends at the beach on East Quad and take in the great view!
  3. Go to the Bandersnatch and try their very weirdly tasty Snagel which is a bagel with cream cheese and brown sugar
  4. Challenge yourself by taking part in Naked Week!
  5. Explore Granville and it’s beauty! It is a great town to walk around and grab Whits, especially on the Weekends when there are puppies!

Philosophy on Life: Live and let live. Be empathetic. Live life to the fullest.
Something people would find interesting: I had 3 peanuts in my lungs for like 3 months when I was 8 years old. (weird fact I know)
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am excited to challenge myself through the opportunity to mentor other incoming students!


Eizo Lang-EzekielEizo Lang-Ezekiel

Major: Political Science
Minor: Spanish
Home: Toulouse, France
Language Skills: French, English, Spanish

Favorite Food: Raclette, pasta, chocolate, passion fruit and red wine
Favorite Class: Stop Motion Animation. It was so fun and probably the most unexpected class I ever took.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Soccer, Rugby, Denison International Student Association
Favorite Experience at Denison: Joining the rugby club my first semester at Denison. It was unexpected but it helped me settle into the university. I had so much fun and I met amazing people!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Go on a semester abroad program.
  2. Naked week.
  3. Force yourself to be outgoing, no matter how shy you are.
  4. Play a sport.
  5. Walk around in the Bio-Reserve.

Philosophy on Life: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Something people would find interesting: If I could have any superpower, it would be to understand and speak all languages.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Having fun with everyone during Pre-O, learning from incoming students, and making everyone feel at home from the moment they step on campus!


Vatsal JhawarVatsal Jhawar
Staff Training Coordinator

Major: Economics
Minor: Math
Home: Kolkata, India
Language Skills: English, Hindi, Bengali

Favorite Food: North Indian cuisine
Favorite Class: Astronomy 100 with Dr Wesley Walter. Amazing professor and the class was so much fun. From being in the observatory to going to the Bio-Reserve at night to stargaze. Best class I have ever taken!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Leadership Fellows, Club Soccer and DISA. I have been a part of these organizations since freshman year, and I have met some of my best friends through these two groups.
Favorite Experience at Denison: International Pre-O 2015 as a participant, and then International Pre-O 2017 as a staff member!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Go to DU Lead. One of the best experiences I have had. A weekend away with around 70 of your classmates and learning about leadership. Couldn’t get better.
  2. Go to the Bandersnatch. Take your homework with you, get a milkshake and a pizza bagel. End up doing no homework, but enjoy the company of the people there! (You will probably see me there.)
  3. Sit in on a DCGA Meeting. Even if you are not a senator, the DCGA meetings get interesting sometimes.
  4. Hijack a friend’s radio show. The Doobie is the campus radio, and hijacking a show is always fun!
  5. Don’t be scared to try new things! Step out of your comfort zone. Talk to your peers, staff and faculty. Everyone has something different to offer, make the most of it!

Philosophy on Life: “Embrace the glorious mess you are,”- Elizabeth Gilbert
Something people would find interesting: I am ambidextrous. Sometimes I get confused which hand to use when I’m doing things.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Meeting the next class of Denisonians, and helping their transition be as good as the one I had!


Annie LuAnlin Lu
Mentor Co-Coordinator

Major: Biochemistry
Home: Xiamen, China
Language Skills: English, Chinese

Favorite Food: Anything spicy
Favorite Class: Organic chemistry. It’s a very challenging class, but Dr. Joe made it very entertaining and enjoyable.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Naked week. It is about spreading body positivity by running around naked in different quads on campus.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Participating in and being a staff member for International Pre-O has seriously been my favorite experience here. :)
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Use the gym as often as you can.
  2. Run in Granville.
  3. Try Los Guachos Taqueria (a fantastic taco place) in New Albany.
  4. Participate in Naked run.
  5. Take a class you thought you were not going to like.

Philosophy on Life: Love yourself before loving anyone else.
Something people would find interesting: I ran a marathon in pouring rain at the beginning of this year!
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Making my last ISS Pre-O fun and memorable.


Takaharu HiguchiTakaharu Higuchi
Mentor Co-Coordinator

Major: Health, Exercise and Sports Studies
Home: Osaka, Japan/ Colombo, Sri Lanka
Language Skills: English, Japanese, very basic Sinhalese

Favorite Food: I love food, so probably any kind? But I have to say my favorite is Japanese.
Favorite Class: HESS 302 -Nutrition. This class made me understand and realize the true value of eating a well balanced and nutritious diet to live a healthy life :). Yes, I sound cliché… but it’s true!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I love basketball so I play pick up games for club basketball every Tuesday and Thursday nights. DISA (Denison International Student Association) is a fun organization to be around students from abroad and others who want to learn more about different cultures around the world.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Any DISA event (e.g: Holi, Korean BBQ).
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Explore the Bio-Reserve.
  2. Enjoy the summer and whatever the sun is out.
  3. Go to events around campus (look for free food!).
  4. Talk to President Weinberg.
  5. Attend D-DAY (a music concert held on campus).

Philosophy on Life: Enjoy life the way you want to :)
Something people would find interesting: I was born in Japan, lived more than half of my life in Sri Lanka and now living/studying in the US.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m very excited to learn where everyone comes from and get to be one of the first few people the new students will meet and help them settle in Denison!


Ayaan MajeedAyaan Majeed

Major: Economics
Minor: Spanish
Home: Faisalabad, Pakistan
Language Skills: English, Urdu, and a little bit of Spanish

Favorite Food: Biryani (Pakistani dish)
Favorite Class: Introduction to Econometrics because it involved a lot of practical application of the subject field that I’m passionate about.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I like to read, play soccer, write about sports, catch a fun movie with friends, and a nice walk in a nice park is always a yes.
Favorite Experience at Denison: While I have had a lot of fun with activities organized by clubs on campus, my favorite experience was a personal one. It was an end of the year BBQ that I had with my close friends. It was fun to share some fresh cooked food and talk about our experiences that Denison made possible for us over the year. It was a bittersweet moment because I was not going to see these people for a few months but I cherished the time we got to spend together.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Visit the Bio-Reserve.
  2. Watch a Football game.
  3. Enjoy the wonderful gallery down at the Art Museum in South Quad.
  4. Have a picnic with your friends on the IM fields behind the senior apartments.
  5. Go to a concert in the Swasey Chapel.

Philosophy on Life: Try to make the best of every event in your life. Cherish the good times and learn from the the bad ones.
Something people would find interesting: That I can understand Spanish.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Working with a wonderful group of colleagues, and obviously the free food.


Christien KellyChristien Kelly

Major: Data Analytics (Psychology concentration)
Home: Toronto, Canada
Language Skills: English, French, Un poco de español

Favorite Food: Ruffles Original Chips
Favorite Class: Post Colonial Criticism (w Diana Mafe) or Data Systems (Computer Science 181 with Dr. Bressoud)
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Swimming//Sitting in the Mitchell hot tub
Favorite Experience at Denison: Preston House’s end of year cooking activity!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Get to know a professor/faculty member, they’re very cool people
  2. Eat at Dragonville at least 4 times
  3. Go to the Knowlton Center
  4. Go to any on campus performance (if you want to know of some good ones come find me)
  5. Call home, staying in touch with family is important!

Philosophy on Life:
Something people would find interesting:
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about:


Kate PiscettaKate Piscetta

Major: Communication
Minor: Environmental Studies
Home: Wadsworth, USA
Language Skills: English

Favorite Food: Ice cream
Favorite Class: Theorizing Communication. It pushed me to rethink how I view the world and generated fascinating discussions each class.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Improvisation (acting on the spot), DJ for radio station, member of Delta Gamma
Favorite Experience at Denison: Being a member of Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company. It has been amazing to collaborate and perform with such creative people and build friendships that will last a lifetime.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. See guest speakers and artists! Denison invites amazing people to perform and speak. It’s not often this easy to have access to such amazing people.
  2. Get involved in something you never would have tried at home. Take an art class, join a club sport, perform in a show. This is the time to challenge ourselves, grow, and HAVE FUN.
  3. Try out the Mitchell Center. The gym is beautiful and and making healthy habits can shape our college experience. No need to be nervous if you haven’t been; nobody cares what other people are doing, we all use it for our own reasons!
  4. Utilize Denison’s resources. Oftentimes students don’t fully explore the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration until they are upperclassmen. Don’t wait, you would be surprised how many options we have and opportunities we can discover.
  5. Enjoy the outdoors. Visit the Bio-Reserve. Sit outside on a nice day. Explore Granville. There is so much beauty to be found on our campus and the land around it!

Philosophy on Life: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” -The Beatles
Something people would find interesting: I love tap dancing.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: New students are going help shape the Denison experience for the next 4 years and I’m excited to help shape the beginning of theirs.


Khue Minh LeKhue Minh Le

Majors: Computer Science, Economics
Home: Hanoi, Vietnam
Language Skills: Vietnamese, English

Favorite Food: Fresh fruit
Favorite Class: CS 111: Discovering Computer Science: Scientific Data and Dynamics. In this class, I met a great professor who is now my academic advisor!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: My jobs! I work as a Scene Shop Assistant in the Theater Department and as a Maintenance Technician in Media Tech Services.
Favorite Experience at Denison: I dropped my phone down the sewage system on my first day to work and retrieved it using a hanger, duct tape, and a gardening fork. I’m still using that phone currently.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Chat with President Weinberg while walking around A-quad (Academic Quad).
  2. Watch the sunset at the Homestead while chopping wood for dinner.
  3. Go to a symphony in Columbus.
  4. Go to the Bandersnatch at 1 am on Saturday night with your friends.
  5. Study.

Philosophy on Life: YOLO
Something people would find interesting: I enjoy labor work a lot!
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am thrilled to see how you all grow during your first year at Denison!


Kobina OcranKobina Ocran

Major: Data Analytics
Minor: Economics
Home: Washington, D.C./Accra,Ghana
Language Skills: English and French

Favorite Food: Banku and Tilapia
Favorite Class: Economics 101. Dr. Kaboub’s Introductory Macroeconomics lectures created a sense of community and contributed to my growing passion for economics. This class helped me develop the ability to ask insightful questions. Also, it increased my discipline and seriousness towards my academics.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Club Soccer, African Student Association and Denison Community Association (DCA)
Favorite Experience at Denison: D-Day. Every year, A concert is held on campus that features a well known prominent artist. Waka Flocka Flame, T-pain and KYLE all performed here live!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Network and chose your friends wisely.
  2. Make occasional visits to the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration.
  3. Always ask questions in class.
  4. Get involved on campus by joining an organization or club sports.
  5. Gain some work and leadership experience.

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: I believe the fact that I spoke French in an Anglophone country and grew up in a multicultural environment.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am looking forward to share my personal experiences, that are concerned with the academic and social aspects of college. In other words, this position enables me to provide valuable advice to students in making decisions when selecting classes, taking advantage of professors’ office hours and presenting themselves professionally in a social setting. It is important for a strong support system to be laid for the incoming students. This may be formed by their friends, but it must also include staff and faculty. These will help the incoming students appreciate the value of seeking help and approaching professors without anxiety.
International students may feel intimidated by fellow US students. This is why I would like to remind international students to stick to their values and moral principles, so that their fellow US students may eventually appreciate them for who they are. In addition, it may spark interest for the US students to learn more about other countries.


Mayank KumarMayank Kumar

Majors: International Studies & Political Science
Minor: Economics
Home: Calcutta, India
Language Skills: English, Hindi, Bengali

Favorite Food: I rather enjoy a fine bowl of Cookies and Cream ice-cream on occasion.
Favorite Class: My favorite class to date was History of Cinema with 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!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: My favorite co-curricular activity is being a Class of 2021 Senator for DCGA (Denison Campus Governance Association). We debate about campus issues and come up with ways to make the Denison experience better for all students. If you are interested in Political Science or are passionate about student activism you should definitely run for Senate.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Besides my own pre-orientation last year, ice-skating on A-quad during Winter Fest (celebrating the holiday season towards the end of fall semester) was my favorite experience so far.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Get a milkshake at the Bandersnatch (the student-run cafe).
  2. Sunbathe on Campus Commons.
  3. Explore the Bio-Reserve.
  4. Attend Doobiepalooza (Denison’s version of Lollapalooza).
  5. Study on the 4th floor of Slayter. (There’s always free food!)

Philosophy on Life:
“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.”
-Robert Frost, The Road not Taken
Something people would find interesting: I carry my Kermit the frog stuffed toy almost everywhere I go!
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 from the Class of 2022! I’m so glad that I get to be your guide, mentor and friend for your first few days at Denison and for the next 3 years!


Medha LallbeeharryMedha Lallbeeharry

Majors: Physics and Computer Science
Minor: Astronomy
Home: Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius
Language Skills: Mauritian Creole, French, Hindi, some Spanish and Russian

Favorite Food: Indian food and all red fruits.
Favorite Class: Intro to Japanese Genre Fiction with Dr. Tangeman. We discussed a lot about the Japanese culture and the stories we analyzed in class were scary, weird and funny. It was a very interesting and funny class!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Being a member of the ASA (African Student Association) and working at the Knowlton Center (I get free coffee there!).
Favorite Experience at Denison: My Africa Night organized by the African Student Association. I got to participate in a dance performance and walk for the fashion show. It was a really fun and exciting event!
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Go to a planetarium show!
  2. Do a photoshoot on campus! Denison has amazing scenery.
  3. Cook and have movie nights with friends.
  4. Attend a dance performance! They are always fun to watch.
  5. Go to a play at the theater.

Philosophy on Life:

  1. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
  2. You shall never refuse ice cream.

Something people would find interesting: I learnt some muay thai back in my country.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am really excited to learn about the different cultures of the incoming students and their favorite food from their country. Also, I want to help get started with their new adventure in the best way possible!


Nha LeNha Le

Majors: Communication, Economics
Home: Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Vietnam
Language Skills: English

Favorite Food: Bún bò Huế (a type of noodles)
Favorite Class: Dreams and Fantasies in East Asian Literature. I got the chance to read super interesting texts from Japanese and Chinese literature, and above all, Lian Laoshi!!!
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities:

  1. K-pop Dancing with AADG (a dance group that does K-pop dance covers, really a must-try for anyone who loves Kpop).
  2. Working at the library.
  3. Making posters for GSS (Global Studies Seminars).
  4. The Leadership Fellows!!!

Favorite Experience at Denison:

  1. The Leadershape Institute!!!!!!!
  2. Meeting cool upperclassmen.
  3. Hanging out with my Communication Professor

5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Attend The Leadershape Institute (the best decision I have ever made)!!!
  2. Befriend upperclassmen (they’ve got the best college advice ever).
  3. Go to Bandersnatch with your favorite people (a place for late night snacks).
  4. Decorate your room (and visit your neighbors’ place).
  5. Sleep in the Library’s President Room.

Philosophy on Life: “Aging is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Something people would find interesting: My library supervisor said, “I’m pleasantly surprised by how outgoing you are,” which is…hm… weird because I never stop talking about myself.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m excited to see myself being a staff member.


Rahul ShresthaRahul Shrestha

Major: Physics, Mathematics
Home: Bharatpur, Nepal
Language Skills: English, Nepali

Favorite Food: Watermelon
Favorite Class: It’s a tie between the first Physics class I took in Denison with Dr. Olmschenk and Linear Algebra with Dr. Wolff.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities:

  1. I am fairly active in SPS (Society of Physics Students). We do a lot of fun physics stuff
  2. I am using this opportunity to inform all the first years that a Denison Yearbook exists. I am a Yearbook staff.

Favorite Experience at Denison: Every Spring, Physics Outreach (Society of Physics Students with the Department of Physics) invites 2nd graders from Granville to be a part of the student-run show. It spans several weeks and has demonstrations of various everyday physics and not-so-everyday physics. My favorite moments are always after the show ends, when we pour the excess liquid nitrogen on the Olin hallway floor and it creates this fantastic, cool misty floor. We run through it; it is pretty fun.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Befriend your professors, classes will be more pleasant.
  2. Go to events happening on campus that interest you.
  3. Join a club, it is easier to meet new people with your interests.
  4. Go out with a few friends to the Bio-Reserve on the weekend.
  5. Use the 3D printers in Olin.

Philosophy on Life: There is nothing you cannot achieve with continuous, creative effort.
Something people would find interesting:

  1. I was an introvert, but I decided to change my outlook on things the night I stepped on Denison and partially succeeded.
  2. I paint, I came in as a Physics and Studio Art major; now my majors do not sound as fascinating.

As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: To be on the welcoming side of things, instead of the excited and nervous, new student.


Sanaya AttariSanaya Attari

Majors: English (Creative Writing) and Communication
Home: Mumbai, India
Language Skills: English, Hindi, Gujarati, basic Spanish

Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite Class: My favorite class was COMM 115 “Relating Through Narrating” with Laura Russell. I particularly enjoyed this class because we were able to hear our peers tell their stories and be able to share our own. We also got to write a three chapter book on meaningful connections, which reopened past events and made me feel nostalgic.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I’ve enjoyed being an editor for the Denisonian, because reviewing other people’s writing helps me improve my own. I also enjoy volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters, because spending a few hours every week with my ‘little’ helps me relax and take a break from classwork.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Going on Denison’s cultural exchange program to Sri Lanka, which was a two week trip where we learned about the island’s cultural and artistic landmarks. We also had the chance to visit the University of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo, where we participated in workshops and befriended some of the local students and professors.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Join at least one club/organization on campus that sparks your interests.
  2. Learn how to play a new game or sport.
  3. Take a walk in Denison’s Bio-Reserve filled with acres of lush greenery.
  4. Visit every restaurant in Granville.
  5. Take a shuttle to Columbus and spend the entire day exploring the city.

Philosophy on Life: Practice gratitude and you’ll never be unhappy.
Something people would find interesting: I enjoy binge-watching classic horror movies.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m excited to make Pre-O a fun way for students to transition into college life here at Denison.


Shanti BasuShanti Basu

Majors: Communication & Studio Arts
Minor: Narrative Journalism Concentration
Home: Salem, Oregon, USA
Language Skills: English, conversational Spanish, and a little Hindi/Bengali… but I’m learning!

Favorite Food: Sushi! Or any kind of sour candy. Also ramen, bubble tea, aloo paratha, and tandoori chicken. And a good dark chocolate, or anything passionfruit. I could go on for a while…
Favorite Class: I took a journalism course with the editor of the Dispatch (the Columbus newspaper publication) this spring, and it was incredible! It was really eye opening to learn about so many issues affecting the community around Denison, and then go out and write about them in hopes of creating further awareness both locally and on campus. There’s so much more happening in the area than I thought, and it was so cool to explore this in such a hands-on way.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I love attending celebrations put on by the Denison International Student Association, like Holi or Korean Fest. There are so many cultural organizations that regularly hold events, from karaoke to cook-offs to trips off campus to museums in the area. I also have enjoyed going to Zumba classes with friends.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Honestly, celebrating Diwali with all my new friends my first fall was an experience that really meant a lot to me. I would never have expected to see such interest and involvement in something I’d grown up celebrating with my family.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Explore the Bio Reserve on a sunny day! Denison has a huge, beautiful wooded area just a short walk from campus. It’s a great place to get lost in nature, hike, or even have a picnic. While you’re there, check out the Homestead, an independent living community students can sign up to be a part of! It runs on solar power, has an impressive set of compostable toilets, and cooks a mean vegan dinner for the rest of campus a few times a semester.
  2. Sign up for the first year connect trips! The First Year Office does an amazing job of giving students opportunities to get off campus. I got to go to the Dawes Arboretum, several art museums in the area, and the North Market (favorite place!!!) for great food! I also got closer with several people through these trips, because we’d signed up based on shared interests.
  3. Go to the involvement fair at the start of each semester! There are so many cool organizations and clubs on campus, many of which fly under the radar. At involvement fairs, they all come out and table-meaning you can meet people involved, and ask any questions. Put your name down on email lists to stay in the know! It’s easy to overcommit but always great to keep your options open.
  4. Come to chai time at the Open House! This cozy spot on South quad welcomes all faiths and religious practices, but operates day to day as a comfy spot to study or hangout with friends. Chai time is a weekly event with authentic Indian tea, homemade snacks, and great company. I love stopping by to refuel from the stress of classes and commitments mid-week.
  5. Look up the athletic center’s hours, and relax in the spa! Winding down a stressful week in the hot tub is a little known secret.

Philosophy on Life: Nothing ventured, nothing earned.
Something people would find interesting: I’m only 5’2”… Gotta compensate with personality ;)
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I can’t wait to share all the things I’ve discovered that make this school unique, with the newest round of Denisonians! It sounds cheesy, but college really is what you make it, and starting the year off with familiar faces is a recipe for fun!


Tung (Steve) NguyenTung (Steve) Nguyen

Majors: Computer Science and Data Analytics
Minor: Economics
Home: Hanoi, Vietnam
Language Skills: English, Vietnamese

Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Class: CS181 Data System. I learned a lot of practical CS skills that are applied to my future career.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I am a part of Chi Sigma Tau Fraternity. We do a lot of social events on and off campus and collaborations with other organizations.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Joining Sazón (the Latin Dance team).
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Go to the gym.
  2. Take Computer Science classes.
  3. Join a social organization.
  4. Make friends.
  5. Sleep 8 hours a day.

Philosophy on Life: Leader not follower.
Something people would find interesting: I play piano and guitar, and sing.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: Being a leader and leading a group of people, being able to show my good qualities to other people.


Yayuan WangYayuan Wang

Majors: Mathematics & Women’s and Gender Studies
Home: Xi’an, China
Language Skills: Mandarin & English

Favorite Food: All kinds of Asian food
Favorite Class: Intro to Psychology: the content of this class can be applied to many fields that I’m interested in, such as philosophy, math, feminist theories, etc. Moreover, the professor, Dr. Weis is pretty awesome, so I enjoyed every class.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: I love the Laura C. Harris Series. Topics change every year, but all of them are inspiring and motivating, such as Activism Performance, Transnational Feminist Solidarity Panel, etc.
Favorite Experience at Denison:

  1. Pre-O for Students Coming from Abroad.
  2. Watching the Theater shows is one of my favorite parts here. The students are so professional and they make you feel like you are watching a Broadway show.
  3. In Swasey Chapel, watching the Christmas concert provided by the Gospel Choir is unforgettable for me. Even though I’m an atheist, I can feel that I’m blessed by God.
    But honestly, I enjoy everyday spent at Denison.

5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Go to watch a Hockey game (organized by First Year Office).
  2. Dress up and go to the Gala (organized by CLIC).
  3. Watch a show by the Denison Theater.
  4. Go to watch the Christmas concert provided by Gospel Choir in Swasey Chapel.
  5. Watch the swimming championships in the Mitchell Center.

Philosophy on Life: YOLO (You only live once)
Something people would find interesting: I went through a depopulated zone in Sinkiang, China by riding a horse with my equestrian instructor. We spend average six hours per day to ride the horse for five days.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I’m excited to help the students coming from abroad as much as I can, and I also believe that there are things that I can learn from them.


Yow Yong TanYow Yong Tan

Major: Biochemistry
Minor: Computer Science
Home: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Language Skills: Chinese, Malays and English

Favorite Food: Malaysian food
Favorite Class: African Dance Class. In this class we learned Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art with dance, acrobatic and dance components.
Favorite Co-Curricular Activities: Taekwondo club, work out or have karaoke night with friends.
Favorite Experience at Denison: Doing summer research on campus. You can apply to get funding from Denison to do full-time research on a topic that you are interested in. In the summer, you also get a lot of time to hang out with friends.
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Pull an all-nighter with friends.
  2. Have a late-night snack at the Bandersnatch.
  3. Take a dance class.
  4. Live in an apartment.
  5. Learn how to cook.

Philosophy on Life: I don’t really have one.
Something people would find interesting: I am big fan of K-pop, K-drama, anime and manga.
As a Pre-O Staff Member, I am most excited about: I am excited to share my experience in Denison so far with the new students.


Zehui (Betty) XuZehui (Betty) Xu

Majors: Psychology and Education
Home: Shanghai, China
Language Skills: Chinese and English

Favorite Food: Rice, all kinds of veggies, shrimp, ice-cream… (there’s way too many food I love)
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
5 “Must Do’s” at Denison:

  1. Learn to manage your time wisely.
  2. Balance yourself between study and rest.
  3. Know what events are happening and try to go: lectures, shows or talks on campus!
  4. Try Whit’s Frozen Custard!
  5. Avoid the seal in front of Swasey Chapel.

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 have never been to the capital of my country. I have no siblings. 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.



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