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ASEPBIANNUAL The Newsletter for the Academic Success and Enrichment Programs at Barnard College

A Biannual Newsletter

Issue 8, Spring 2015

Student Government Leadership By Alejandra Figueroa, HEOP ’16

Before entering college, one of the most common pieces of advice you receive is: “Do not overcommit.” Still, once you are a first-year in college the amount of clubs and organizations you can join is astounding and you find yourself wishing that you had time to be a part of all of them. Before arriving at Barnard, I knew that I wanted to be very involved on campus and I knew that I wanted to be a part of Student Government. Freshman year, I decided to run for First-Year Class President—along with about 7 Alejandra other candidates. Although I did not Figueroa , obtain the position, I was not HEOP 2016, has been on discouraged. The process allowed the SGA me to see that I had the support of board since my peers, many of whom I had just freshman year. met during NSOP, and many of whom were running for the same position I was. I tried again during my sophomore year, but did not obtain the Sophomore year, I mustered the courage to position. Still, I was not discouraged. I had run for a position again. I was all too been a part of committees and class familiar with the process of creating flyers council, including the Housing Advisory and writing my speeches, but I was Board and the Furman Counseling nervous. I tried to learn as much as possible Committee. I had the chance to help about the position I was running for, and I organize a blood drive and our annual reached out to the person who was in that Winter Wonderland Dance during my first position at the time, asking questions about year. Even though I was not the president their duties and what exactly the position of my class during my first or second year, entailed. During the voting process, I I was enjoying the work I got to do as part remained calm, waiting to hear the results. of a class council and two committees. I If I did not obtain the position, I knew that I met some fantastic individuals, including would still want to remain involved and students and administrators who really contribute to SGA in any way that I could. wanted to hear what I had to say. When I got the email stating that I had been elected to be the Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees, I was thrilled. I ASEP BIANNUAL

would be working with my co-council, who was also the future Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, and I would be a member of SGA’s Representative Council. This is now my third year in SGA and my second semester holding this position. Next year, I will become the Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees. As the current Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees, I am responsible for quite a few things. Along with the Senior Representative, I have to keep my eyes and ears open on campus at all times. What are the most important issues? What are the thoughts of the general (continued on page 2) 1


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Student Government Leadership [continued] student body? Along with Ashiana, I meet with members of different organizations, committees, clubs and other individuals throughout the semester so as to be informed. Each semester, I attend meetings with the Board of Trustees with Ashiana, and together we present the most important information we have gathered. This means presenting all perspectives and angles regarding a particular issue as concisely as possible. I meet regularly with Dean Wong and Dean Hinkson, and also have the chance to meet with President Spar at least once each semester. I am a part of the Elections Committee and organize elections for Barnard. I intend to stay a part of SGA until I graduate, because SGA continually allows me to immerse myself in the Barnard community. My position has allowed me to meet with many individuals on campus and to learn about their perspectives. That is truly the best of both worlds because it has greatly impacted my college life. I feel more confident about my leadership skills and my communication skills, and I have met individuals I might not have met otherwise who have shaped my college experience in a positive way. Students know to contact me when they wish to talk about issues that are important to them. My role is

“Being on SGA makes me all the more proud to be a student here at Barnard: to know that we can help make a change on campus, and that this will be our legacy for future students.” -Alejandra Figueroa

Alejandra Figueroa, giving a semesterly presentation to the Board of Trustees

best served when I am helping to strengthen the connection between students and the Board of Trustees. All the trustees are truly interested in listening to what the student body has to say, and having the chance to meet with them and speak with them is always a rewarding experience. As a representative of SGA, I have always felt that my voice

matters and I am happy to see that I am surrounded by so many individuals making positive changes on campus. It makes me all the more proud to be a student here at Barnard: to know that we can help make a change on campus, and that this will be our legacy for future students. 0

On Freedom & Brooklyn’s History By Sydney Santamaria, STEP 10th grader

What does freedom mean to me? Freedom to me means to have a choice, to be able to express what you think and speak your mind without anyone holding you back. It means being allowed the space for people to hear what you think. Everyone has his or her own opinion of what freedom is, and being able to discover our freedom is freedom in itself. My trip to the Brooklyn Historical Society was a great experience, where I learned a lot about the history of slave-holding Brooklyn and freedom. The trip began with a discussion on each exhibit and the history of Brooklyn as a slave-holding society. Specifically, we learned about the landscape, rules, and slave laws.

Sydney Santamaria, STEP 10th grader

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We also learned about exemplary activists and abolitionists who fought for

freedom. The activism and work of abolitionists such as William J. Wilson and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Through writing, sermons, and other forms of protests, they fought for freedom for African-Americans living in Brooklyn. We also learned that Brooklyn became one of the largest cities in the U.S. and home to a very diverse population: German and Irish immigrants, Dutch, English, and African settlers were among many of the residents and descendants living in the city. Therefore, competition over low-wage jobs during this period was high and racial tensions often resulted in violence. In learning about the history Brooklyn, we learned about freedom from different standpoints: What freedom was to slaves, abolitionists, and what it meant to immigrants.0 ASEP BIANNUAL


Barnard College proudly celebrates the achievements of our

ASEP Scholars

Ooh La La...Letters from Paris Fashion, Culture, Travel and study abroad in Paris By Zinnat Ferdous, HEOP ’16

I’ve always had an affinity for fashion since I was ten years old. From eyeing brand names to dressing up in trends, I saw myself having a career in the fashion industry. That led me to fall in love with the most prominent fashion hub: Paris. The dream of living the day and life of a Parisian led me to learn French in my undergraduate career and take French language and literature classes. Having these initial motives, studying abroad in Paris is the comme il faut chapter to my life. I wanted to study abroad in Paris for a couple of reasons. For one, there was no better and more effective way to learn a language than to be immersed in a culture that speaks the language that I am learning. Currently, I am surrounded by the language on a daily basis and I’m hearing and seeing it in the proper cultural context. I believe language comprehension develops most quickly under such circumstances as I am currently experiencing in Paris. Secondly, a person’s culture reflects very deep perspectives, beliefs, and values that influence the way of one’s life and the way they view the world. As a student who is passionate about the French culture as an American. Lastly, the study abroad program in France affords me the opportunity to make friends around the world. I not only met natives of France, but also other international students who I am developing long lasting friendships with. Presently, I think the advantages of studying abroad are immersing myself in a totally foreign culture. Being the outsider, I am adapting to the norms of the locals and simultaneously developing an openness to a new way of doing things. I’m definitely learning a thing or two about time management as I am juggling a full course ASEP BIANNUAL

“Paris is really what everyone imagines: mesmerizing, romantic, and memorable.” -Zinnat Ferdous

load, attempting to go out every night, and traveling every weekend. Also, from host families to teachers to store owners to new French friends, I’m interacting with a vast array of people as I am honing my interpersonal skills. Lastly, living overseas has built my independence— my main support network is thousands of miles away and I am forced to develop more selfreliance such as handling my own expenses or making my own meals for the first time. Simply, as I write from Paris, I can say that it’s going fantastic! Being on my own I learned how to take responsibility for myself and prioritize what I wanted to gain from the experience such as learning the language and sticking strictly to the idea of speaking French (which I still need to work

on) or visiting a new place every week. While in Paris, I am continuing to gain a useful perspective on the French culture. Paris is really what everyone imagines: mesmerizing, romantic, and memorable. Even though I’ve only been here for two months, my study abroad experience thus far has changed my college experience for the better. There are many firsts I experienced: having bread every single morning for breakfast (way too yummy to resist), chugging down two-dollar wine, tasting the hot chocolate of the gods, and so much more! I still can’t believe two months flew by already!0

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American Museum of Natural History STEP students explored the science through internships at the American Museum of Natural History. In groundbreaking and engaging classrooms, students were given the opportunity to explore different aspects of science ranging from evolution to gravity. The project classes involved and incorporated an understanding of the science, natural history, and how knowledge of these studies are pertinent to human society today.

THE INTERNS: Ashara Bell

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My internship was based on culture, society, and language in the 21st century. In my class we studied humans—how they lived, who they worshipped, what language they spoke, their government, and whether their living environment was stable. We observed the Somoan people, without judgment and learned how they went about their daily lives. Through class, we were able to think as anthropologists, meaning when we observed people we had to make conclusions based on fact rather than opinion.

Cristian Cortes

Tai Cruz

CRISTIAN CORTES I enjoyed studying volcanoes and was able to analyze the 4 different types of volcanoes: Shield, Strato, Lava Dome, and Cinder. I studied the Shield Volcano and learned that it has low levels of gas and silica, ensuring that lava doesn’t explode from it’s stop, but rather just oozes and runs on

Aissatou Kante

it’s slopes. I also spent time studying the Stratovalcono, which has a very deadly eruption because it’s high gas and silica content which makes for a huge explosion with ash and dust.

Rehnuma Rinti

TA I C R U Z I studied human evolution and looked at

Caleb Vargas

films observing primate behavior and how DNA is extracted. The exhibits allowed me to examine the human and primate relationship, and how our

Fatoumata Wague

primitive ancestors affect the way we do things today. We tackled the essential questions: Where do humans come from and where are we going?”

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My internship is focused on the study of the earth since it’s inception 13 million years ago. This study includes the biodiversity of the earth and the different species of “phylum,” which is another word used to

AIS S ATO U K A N TE

classify species. In researching, I have found that some of these species are important to human existence and everyday use as we use some of them to help us make medicine. Some of these species, however, are a nuisance to humans, as they carry disease.

I took a course called, “The Ape In You,” which was centered on the evolution of humans. In doing so, I was able to learn about anthropology , the classification of organisms, and evolutionary splits. My class took place in the Hall of Biodiversity, an exhibit that was organized according to the evolutionary splits of species.

REHNUMA RINTI My classes were based on cosmology, in which we studied Quasi Stellar Radio Sources, dark matter, and gravity. I had always been curious about dark matter— its invisibility to humans, its interesting effects on gravity, and the mystery of its ability to travel backwards in time—and wanted to know more. We learned that dark matter and dark energy composes about 90% of our universe.

C ALEB VARGAS I studied cosmology, a difficult concept which involved the study of the big bang theory and how many particles and elements existed. We made a timeline, in which each step of the scale was 100,000 years. For each of phase of the earth, we recorded earth’s important events such as when humans evolved or when heavy atoms were formed.

FATOUMATA WAGUE ASEP BIANNUAL BIANNUAL

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A Career in Immigration Law By Shirley Urena, HEOP ’15

Shirley Urena, a senior majoring in economics is interested in pursuing a career in immigration law after college.

When I was younger, I never understood why my relatives from the Dominican Republic could not easily come to the United States. I dreamed that one day there would be a bridge that could easily connect me to them. When I realized that no such bridge could be built, I dreamed of working as an immigration lawyer and helping them with their papers. Eventually, I learned of the complications regarding immigration matters but my dream of being a lawyer never changed. When I came to Barnard, I decided to major in economics because it combined my love of theory with quantitative aspects that could help improve my understanding of the world around me. In my Introduction to Economics class, we discussed topics ranging from rent prices in New York City to theories on distributive justice and what an economist can do to solve issues of inequality. The summer after taking a course on theories of economic justice—one in which we focused on healthcare reform, social justice, and the problems affecting urban youth —I worked as an intern investigator for the Legal Aid Society’s Brooklyn Criminal Defense Practice. It was out on the streets of Brooklyn that I saw the impact of economic policies come to life. I noticed how supply and demand was gentrifying Williamsburg and that health care reform, if

ASEP Poll

executed appropriately, could greatly benefit the urban poor. Most importantly, the internship bolstered my belief that some form of economic distributive justice needed to occur. The summer thereafter I worked at the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Immigrant Protection Unit (NYLAG). Again, I noticed a connection between the people who needed help with immigration issues and the economic patterns of their home countries. The semester before I worked at NYLAG, I had taken a course on development economics. Clients would speak to me about their reasons for coming to the United States: lack of economic opportunities, an increase in crime, etc. Their reasoning behind why they wanted to come to the United States aligned with the countless articles I had read on the problems with contemporary economic policies and how those policies had stifled the economies in many developing countries. As a result of these experiences, my passion for law still remains. While I now know that no magical bridge can be made to decrease the distance between my relatives and I and that the perfect economic policy to bridge the gap between those that are economically disadvantaged and the wealthy does not exist, I do hope that one day by pursuing a career in law, I can give a voice to those that feel marginalized and provide them with some sense of justice. 0

Poll Results:

Can social media be used for academic purposes?

Yes........................................34%

a.) Yes b.) No c.) At times (both)

No..........................................48%

34%

48%

At times................................18% Yes

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18%

No

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SENIOR WORDS OF WISDOM “College is an exciting time for exploration, self-growth, and new experiences in all parts of your being-academic, social. or spiritual. Do not shy away from this, but take hold and seize the moment.” -Elsie Ennin, HEOP ‘15

Elsie Ennin, HEOP 15’

Tatiana Vera, CSTEP ’15 “Make sure you reach out to professors early to build relationships with them. That way you can contact them easily to work in labs, get letters of recommendations, and strengthen an amazing network.”

Ginicka Ezeude, CSTEP ’15 “You must participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

“Make sure to explore what New York has to offer. Step outside of what you’re used to and take risks from time to time to take a break from all the rigor. Selfcare should always come first.” — Ashley Terry , BOP ’15

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“Expect yourself to become the woman you never thought you’d become. The transition is worth your blood, sweat, and tears. You’ll leave Barnard knowing that you are capable of competing not just with other women, but also with other men.” -Amanda Eerraky, HEOP ’15

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Did you Know? STEP Students’ Internship at the American Museum of Natural History “There are different kinds of volcanoes-- Shield, Strato, Lava Dome, and Cinder-. They are distinguished according to levels of gas and silica.” —Cristian Cortes “When anthropologists observe people, they keep a safe distance and must take notes with limited interaction.” —Ashara Bell “Human evolution tackles the essential questions: Where do humans come from and where are we going?” — Tai Cruz “The misconception about gravity is that it pulls you down.” — Fatoumata Wague “Our observable universe comprises about a few light years of space at the most. Every existing galaxy takes up about a few hundred light years of space. — Caleb Vargas “Evolutionary splits are a part of the evolutionary process in which every species diverges.” —Rehnuma Rinti “Eurakyrote are complex, single, and sometimes multicellular organisms, which have a nucleus.” — Aissatou Kante 8 8

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Beyond Biology

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By Danah Screen, CSTEP ’15

Danah Screen is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Biology who has done extraordinary research. As a senior at Barnard College, I am currently conducting research in the Mansfield Laboratory in the Biology Department under the mentorship of Professor Jennifer H. Mansfield. Research has always been a passion of mine. When I was younger, it was not called research, it was called exploring. Whether it was exploring dirt or exploring how flexible I was, I was constantly exploring my environment hoping to find answers by testing and testing until I was proven right or wrong. The person who sparked my early interest in science was my mother. She is a doctor and because of her, I decided that I would like science. I wanted to be like my Mommy. In high school, I developed a love of engineering. At that time, I realized that being a doctor was not in the cards for me. Machines were fantastic, but finding a way to help people with machines was the next level. My senior year of high school I made a decision. I decided to attend a liberal arts college and pursue a Biology major instead

Danah Screen CSTEP ‘16

of going straight into an engineering undergraduate program. Why? I I wanted to become a biomedical engineer focusing on either prosthetics or robotic surgery. I wanted to learn more about humans and how they function before I started creating artificial limbs, and because of my curiosity, as a senior I worked in a developmental biology lab. I spend my days learning and researching about specific genes in embryonic development and the (continued on page 10)

Memory, Lizards, & Research By Elsie Ennin

The following is an excerpt from Elsie Ennin’s senior thesis as a Neuroscience Behavior major.

and dorsal cortices. For my senior project, I investigated how a change in habitat and how difference in the sex of the subject affect the medial, dorsal, and lateral cortex volumes in Memory storage is an evolutionarily two populations of Holbrookia Maculata favored mechanism for the processing and lizards inhabiting drastically different reuse of learned skills. It is one’s ability to environments – the ancestral environment of encode, store, retain and subsequently recall the Chihuahuan Desert, and the geologically past information and experiences. Memory recent habitat of the White Sands National encoding and processing is largely dependent Monument. on the hippocampus, the part of the brain My results revealed that the relative volume which aids heavily in spatial navigation and of the medial cortex depended on the lizard’s spatial memory. In reptiles, the the medial and sex and habitat. In other words, what I dorsal cortices (the outer layer of the brain) discovered was the basic “lose it or use it function as the hippocampus as they are theorem,” much like with humans. If I were to implicated in the facilitation of reptile take a city human and place them in North cognitive functions. The lateral cortex of a Dakota, what this means is their hippocampus reptile has been implicated in relaying sensory or spatial navigation skills could potentially information on spatial navigation to the medial shrink. 0 ASEP BIANNUAL


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The Color of Schizophrenia Psychology Research By Mikiko Thelwell, BOP ’15

Interest in the relationship between culture and mental health is of intense importance. Psychology has always been culturally driven and socially determined. “I wanted to tackle a Although the idea of cultural influence in fundamental psychology has been less recognized in question my senior Western clinical protocol, much of any patient’s year: why is behavior is grounded in their cultural schizophrenia so background and social surroundings. Beliefs over-diagnosed in may vary widely from culture to culture, the black producing a wide range of mental disorder population?” characterization, symptomology, treatment processes. Over the past decades, the emphasis -Mikiko Thelwel, BOP ’15 on a move from static western protocols to multicultural counseling methods have created a movement for understanding culturally bound disorders and their origins. However, there is a disparity surrounding the diagnosis of standardized disorders within a single society. Thus in my research, I was particularly were seen as more necessary for people of color, interested in how racism and racialized notions enters though their symptoms were judged as less severe in the clinical encounter, specifically in the diagnoses of comparison to their white counterparts. Schizophrenia. In further investigating this phenomenon, I In researching the work of clinical explored what the repercussions of over-diagnoses psychologists, I found that doctors diagnose are. Because Black Americans are disproportionally schizophrenia in African American patients, likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, particularly men, four times as often as white patients, misdiagnoses of mental illness among racial and even though they uncovered no evidence that black ethnic minorities is a major public health concern. In patients were any sicker than whites or more likely to addition, because psychotic disorders are more highly suffer from drug addiction, poverty, depression, or a stigmatized by the American public, this pattern of host of other variables. More specifically, what I also over-diagnosis has critical implications for social discovered from a series of literature reviews is that status and life chances of the labeled individual. In African American people are more likely to receive a recent decades, the mental health and criminal justice diagnosis of schizophrenia and less likely to be systems have becoming increasingly intertwined, with diagnosed with depression than whites with similar greater numbers of black people with mental illnesses characteristics. Thus, these discoveries led me to being incarcerated. What’s even more shocking is that tackle a fundamental question my senior year: Why? many blacks are more likely to be brought for Specifically, why is Schizophrenia so over-diagnosed psychiatric treatment by legal means, meaning that in the Black American population? Further, how does there is an increased risk that they will end up in the this over-diagnosis compare to diagnoses outside of criminal justice system. In the words of Dr. Metzl, the United States? To thoroughly investigate my “something is deeply wrong with a system that questions, I looked at three major themes in overincarcerates so many mentally ill persons, or that diagnosis: clinician biases, the historical context of posits prisons as primary treatment centers.” racism, and comparative cultural findings. Far too often, American culture, as well as There is no simple, straightforward answer as many others that emphasize the individual, forgets to why over-diagnoses are often racialized. However, that there is an abundance of individuals that create a through my research I found two central themes in larger cultural context. Because of the general apathy clinician biases: ignorance of ethnic differences and towards ethnic realities, American psychology leaves the notion of a colorblind society. Dr. Gushue, for no room for their mental health issues to be example, is a psychologist who observed that white recognized. In furthering my studies in psychology counselors may view the behaviors and values of after graduation, my aspiration is to break this cycle members of other cultural groups as deviant rather and provide care that caters to a group often denied than as simply different from their own. Thus, most validation and proper care. 0 evaluations for people of color were based on lower standards that reflected stereotypes. Thus, evaluations ASEP BIANNUAL

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Beyond Biology [continued] mysteries behind them and I am fascinated by the results that I get daily. The road to my aspirations has not always been easy. It has been a lot of tough work, discipline, and leaning on my mentors and advisors for help. Now that I am at the end of this chapter in college, I can say that it has been a rewarding one. I have had the chance to learn about so many fascinating projects underway at Barnard. Namely, I’ve learned so much from the professors in the science department. Professor Jonathon Snow, for example, is conducting research on honeybees and colony collapse while Professor Glendinning is trying

to better understand taste and the relationship to obesity by using mice. My best advice for any student who want to conduct research, would be to first gain textual knowledge about the subject one is interested in. Then find a mentor or professor to conduct research with by asking them or showing them your interest in the field, and finally get ready to be frustrated, overjoyed, and ultimately pleased by what you have and will achieve. Research takes time and you do not always get the results that you desire, but it is always an opportunity to ask new questions and uncover new things.0

Coding with Henzley An experience at Code Now By Henzley Pierre-Louis, STEP 10th grader

Code Now was a very insightful experience for me. It was interesting learning how to use a computer beyond the ways I already knew how to. If coded correctly, the computer can allow you to do almost anything: play games, take questionnaires, and even change the color of text. Code Now was a great experience, however it wasn’t easy because good coding takes puzzle solving skills. Just one small textual error can cause the entire code to fall apart like a stack of dominos! Imagine just one tiny letter messing up an entire program and hours of frustration trying to fix the error. Despite coding’s difficulty and frustration, it is extremely rewarding when a code is completed correctly. In my opinion,

Danah Screen, CSTEP ‘15

coding is something everyone should give a try, especially if given the opportunity to be under the tutelage of the instructors at Code Now. Code Now is as user friendly as possible. The instructors teach you the basics on what is required to get anywhere and they are with you every step of the way. They always make sure that the student knows and understands what to do. They understand the frustration of coding and give students five minute breaks every 45 minutes to help us recollect our thoughts. During recreation and break time, we are provided with music instruments, video games, and even a ping pong table to relax. Furthermore, Code Now is a teamwork experience. You’re working with a partner in addition to the administrators. Code Now sparked my interest in coding and truly showed all the wonders technology has to offer. 0

Henzley PierreLouis, is a STEP high school Junior

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Following the Footsteps of Ghandi

Advocating for black lives while abroad in New Delhi, India By Alycia Gideon, MMUF student

As if overnight, I woke up one morning in New Delhi, India to find my Facebook newsfeed inundated with information, pictures and support for the protests taking place in Ferguson, MO. Over the next few days, these posts intensified in content and quantity, and it became clear that these protests were spreading across the country. While they may have begun as a response to the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, they had tapped into larger feelings of rage over the criminalization of people of color in the United States and feelings of rage over the discriminatory practices and racist institutions in the United States. I watched this happen from my computer in New Delhi, India, a city in which I spent last semester on study abroad. I had the privilege to attend Jawaharlal Nehru University, or JNU, an institution that is well known for its high level of student activism. It seemed as if every day on campus, students were organizing protests and voicing agitations, demanding rights and raising awareness of issues happening both in the city and around the country. The American friends and I who were attending JNU felt helpless as we watched our friends and colleagues in the United States take to the streets, while we were halfway around the world. But we drew inspiration from our environment: a university in which a large majority of students were constantly mobilizing, supporting one another’s causes, meeting at all hours of the night to move issues forward, marching through the streets as they invoked the names of revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh and Malcolm X, yelling, “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, we shall fight, we shall win!” We decided to organize a protest on campus in response to the events in Ferguson. We had no idea whether 10 or 100 people would show up, or if students had heard about the issue or would care about what was going on in the United States. Yet despite student exams being underway, we were overwhelmed with the student support: we had around 200 students join us in our protest to stand in solidarity with

“We decided to organize a protest on campus in response to the events in Ferguson. The criminalization of black and brown bodies in the US is not unlike the criminalization of Muslim, Dalit, Adivasi, and African immigrant bodies in India.” -Alycia Gideon, MMUF student

those in Ferguson. This support stemmed from the way in which students at JNU connected with what was happening in the US. The criminalization of black and brown bodies in the US is not unlike the criminalization of Muslim, Dalit, Adivasi, and African immigrant bodies in India, the persistent discrimination of which calls into question the very notions of American and Indian “democracy.” The antiracist struggles in the US are not unlike the anti-racist, anticaste, and anti-communal struggles happening in India and around the world. The following week, we built off of that momentum to organize a protest to the US Embassy, an area in which protests are not allowed. After 6 hours of negotiations with Delhi police, we were allowed 15 minutes in front of the Embassy. Surrounded by police in riot gear and water canons, we held our signs, gave our speeches, and celebrated this small victory for free speech: that we had made it to the Embassy, without being arrested, beaten, or coerced to turn around by the police. Myself and my 3 American friends never could have made headlines or physically made it to the Embassy without the support of so many comrades in Delhi, comrades who connected with the cause enough to put themselves in harms way. We did it with our heads held high, our fists outstretched, and our message to the American and Indian state clear: black lives matter.0

Alycia Gideon, MMUF student particpating a peaceful protest in response to recent events in Fergueson, MO

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Pre-med and Beyond Elizabeth Dalchand (ED) is a senior and exemplary premed student who plans to continue her aspirations as a doctor at the StonyBrook School of Medicine upon graduation. Below is an interview conducted by Naomi Dubissette (ND) as Elizabeth discusses her time at Barnard and how CSTEP prepared her for her pre-med journey.

but it wasn’t until I volunteered that I realized that I wanted to have more communication with people. That’s when I decided that there needs to be more minority doctors out there.

ND: As a minority woman, what or who inspires you to push for this field? ED: In Queens, I went to a high school that instilled and ND: Why did you choose Barnard College? pushed for minorities to go into higher fields. They ED: A close friend, Ginika, introduced me to Barnard. At exposed me to the hospital in 7th grade, where we the time, I was pre-engineering, not pre-med. Regardless learned about different doctors and what goes into caring of my major, I loved the campus and especially the fact for a patient. When I came to Barnard and became that it was all female. Being from Queens, Barnard was a involved with the ASEP department, this only further good fit for me and my family as the school is just a train fueled my passions as a pre-med minority scholar. ride away. ND: Can you recall a time where Barnard especially ND: Flashback to freshman year, what was your first encouraged these passions in pre-med? impression of the campus? ED: I was given a research position here at Barnard. ED: When I arrived on campus, everyone was so nice, Believe it or not, my first day of research went terribly. everyone wanted to be here, and everyone had so much However, my professor was so encouraging and never pride in being a Barnard woman. I knew then that I had lost faith in my role as a researcher. This gave me made the right choice. It also had a perfect studentconfidence as an organic chemist, and as a person. She teacher ratio, and this was especially important for me gave me a leadership role, even when I didn’t feel sure being in the sciences, knowing that I would have of myself and this reaffirmed my strength that I can do adequate assistance in learning complex material and this and more. (continued on page 14) would be able to develop a relationship with my teachers. ND: What is your major? Why did you choose it? ED: My major is chemistry, but it’s funny because I hated it in high school! I was originally going to be a math major. ND: So how did you transition from math to chemistry? ED: When I took chemistry to fulfill a pre-med requirement, I ended up majoring in it because it was a challenge. I love challenges. Chemistry was kicking my butt at first, but I loved doing it and despite the tears and the many phone calls crying to my parents, at the end of the day, I really enjoyed it. I knew that if I pushed myself I could do better and I loved being in the lab and doing something in which I was not memorizing, but learning. ND: Why do you want to be a doctor? ED: I think when we are little, we are always exposed to the choices of becoming a “doctor or lawyer.” When I came to Barnard, I wanted to be a biomedical engineer, 12

Elizabeth Dalchand is a HEOP ’15 senior and majored in Chemistry

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Perfect Painting By Danielle Quick-Holmes

Danielle Quick-Holmes

“When I painted this I really wanted to focus on the different textures you can create with paint. At first I thought my painting was going to be a landscape painting of a blue sky. However, over the course of the month, I continued to change my idea for this painting as I painted. I finally concluded that it would be interesting to experiment with the blending of different colors. After I added new colors I struggled to think of a theme that could tie the whole painting together, and finally I realized the inclusion of different types of materials could be really interesting. So I decided to attach a paintbrush on to my canvas, and I then altered some of the colors a little so it started to look like a color palette.”  ASEP BIANNUAL BIANNUAL

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Pre-med and Beyond [Continued] ND: So what is the next chapter for you? Where are you going for med school? ED: Next year, I am going to StonyBrook School of Medicine in Long Island and I’ll be starting in August.

from Guyana, I’d like to aid the sick people in the Caribbean. Ideally I want to travel beyond New York and help the underprivileged people who don’t really have adequate healthcare. I’d like to establish my own clinic outside of America and give those the care they deserve ND: Congratulations! How has Barnard prepared you as humans. for the challenges you think you will face at medschool? ND: Elizabeth, you are amazing! Best of luck to you ED: Thank you! Barnard is tough and it has showed me ED: Thank you! 0 how to push myself and accept my limitations. Being a chemistry major and pre-med while working five jobs, I had little time for myself but I’ve done well. Barnard has also taught me a sense of self and independence as I have become acclimated to being on my own, which will definitely make the transition into grad school a lot smoother. ND: Wow. 5 jobs!? What were some of these jobs? ED: I was the publicity officer for the Barnard Chemical Society, an ASEP tutor for intermediate chemistry, calculus, and physics, I was a peer tutor, a Teaching Assistant, and a babysitter. ND: How did you handle your stresses? What advice would you give to those in similar shoes? ED: Well, the first thing I had to learn is don’t think about your grade! If you are solely grade focused, this adds an unnecessary pressure that prevents you from doing well and experiencing the class. I also learned to make a little time for myself. Taking a break, walking to the park, babysitting, can be productive breaks that refresh your mind. And I also quickly learned that I should never try to memorize a book! The good grades came as soon as I relaxed and tried to enjoy what I was learning. ND: Where do you see yourself five years from now? ED: Five years from now, I plan on being in a residency program, traveling to india and probably Africa on a global health brigade project. Most likely, I’d like to become a pediatrician.

Elizabeth and parents at Stony Brook’s white coat ceremony

ND: Is there a target country that you’d like to work in? ED: Honestly, I’d go anywhere that needs me. Being 14

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International Outreach: Bahamas Bound “The children were very receptive to our curriculum and it was an unforgettable experience.” -Sashani Rose

Sashani Rose, (5th on the right) with volunteers in the Caribbean.

CSA: Caribbean Students Assoc

A HEOP Junior’s Community Service By Sashani Rose, HEOP ’16

Last year, we followed Sashani Rose in her community service outreach program to help educate students in St. Lucia. This year, Sashani has continued her initiative in the Bahamas.

needs of the students. When we were not busy guiding module workshops, we actively sought the counsel of education administrators at the Ministry of Education, where we learned about catering to the needs of students and how we could I am a proud volunteer of The There is Hope Campaign positively impact their educational development. (THC), an initiative that allows me to incorporate my passion In order for the students to truly benefit from the program, we for education with my interest in mentoring youth in the ensured that they received sufficient school supplies. Thus, we broader Caribbean community. Having been raised in Jamaica, brought with us books and other educational materials such as I endeavor to promote positive self-image and support the pencils, crayons, chalk, and paper, as well as gifts donated by sharing of Caribbean identity with the wider world as it was sponsors to help the children of the Bahamas. Such resources, taught to me as a child. In doing so, my colleagues and I are although they may appear small, made a significant difference inspired by Frantz Fanon, who taught that the “embracing of in the lives of less fortunate children who do not always have one’s own indigenous culture is a powerful means of access to these things. To see the smiles on their faces when reclaiming human dignity and combatting the residual effects receiving their gifts, was a heart-warming experience that was of colonialism in the Caribbean.” worth the many months of planning, organizing, and This year, we headed to the breathtaking island of the Bahamas fundraising that we did in preparation for our trip. and worked in the classroom with grades 3-6, encouraging the Thus far, this is the sixth successful project completed by development of determined students, spending time outside the THC. We have gone to Jamaica (2010), Grenada (2011), classroom, and teaching workshops on identity, environmental Dominica (2012), Barbados (2013), St. Lucia (2014), and now sustainability, and skills for academic success. These the Bahamas in (2015). After years of volunteering, I have workshops emphasized critical thinking while promoting become more and more dedicated each year. Working with the positive self-image and reinforced their already strong sense of children is an unforgettable experience and I plan to continue natural pride and culture. Indeed, because each island has a my global outreach program as a senior next year. 0 distinct and unique culture, we tailor our curricula to suit the ASEP BIANNUAL

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About ASEP Programs The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at Barnard College is a New York state funded program for current Barnard undergraduates, designed to increase access for historically underrepresented minorities or economically disadvantaged students, who demonstrate interest in and show potential for, scientific, technical, health and health-related fields or the licensed professionals. The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) is a program for high school students that provides comprehensive science and mathematics enrichment and college preparatory support for historically under-represented and academically undeserved high school students who show promise in math and science.

Congratulations to our Seniors!

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a statewide program put in place by the New York State legislation in 1969. Barnard College started its program in 1970 and is funded by both the New York State Education Department and Barnard College. Barnard and The Arthur O. Eve HEOP Scholars Program give the bright and motivated students who are economically disadvantaged access to higher education. Once a student is admitted to Barnard as an Arthur O. Eve HEOP Scholar, the Program provides academic support services to ensure her success in college. The Barnard/Spelman Domestic Exchange Program: Established in 1996, the Barnard and Spelman College Domestic exchange program offers an opportunity for current Barnard and Columbia undergraduate students to undergo a semester or year-long course of study at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF): Established in 1996 for current Barnard undergraduates, the MMUF program encourages minority students, and other with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity, to pursue academic careers. Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MMUF provides opportunities for the talented undergraduates to work with faculty mentors in research and other activities designed to encourage the pursuit of the PhD in the humanities and sciences. The Intercollegiate Partnership (ICP): Established in 1991, the ICP program is a collaboration between Barnard College and LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York that seeks to facilitate the transfer of community college students to four-year colleges. Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ICP focuses on students interested in the natural sciences.

Message from ASEP

ASEP Staff

The Academic Success and Enrichment Program (ASEP) staff proudly presents the sixth issue of the biannual newsletter. We are committed to providing opportunities that will enrich and compliment the intellectual life of all students. We work in collaboration with various College offices to achieve its objectives in recognition of Barnard’s mission: to engage students in rigorous academic experiences while providing the support needed to meet academic challenges and to discover their own capabilities. Since its inception in 2008, this newsletter has been a medium to display the incredible accomplishments of the students within the ASEP programs. This issue is no different. It features the spring 2015 accomplishments of our scholars. As you read our stories and hear our experiences, you will understand how ASEP has played a vital role in student discovery and academic fulfillment. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy our newsletter!

Michell Tollinchi-Michel — Associate Dean of Academic Enrichment & Community Initiatives Nikki Youngblood Giles — Director, ASEP Elida Martinez-Gaynor — Associate Director, Collegiate Programs Kevin Collymore — Counselor, Collegiate Programs Jason Wolfe— Associate Director, Pre-Collegiate Programs Nyoka Joseph— Counselor, Pre-Collegiate Programs

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Contact Us ASEP Office 105 Milbank Hall Tel: 212-854-2024 Pre-Collegiate 5 Milbank Hall Tel: 212-854-1314

Collegiate 001 Milbank Hall Tel: 212-854-3583

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