Letter from the 2013-2014 Yale Quest Liaison
"Look up into the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a Yalie Questie!"
... and you have found our campus chapter's QSN page! Hooray!
Welcome, Yale Questies! My name is Mahir Rahman and I will be serving as your Quest Liaison for the 2013-2014 academic year. I'll be showing you how you can easily be both a fantastic Bulldog and a wonderful Questie by letting you be yourself and making sure your experience with the Quest Scholars Network is an awesome one.
Yale's campus is both breathtaking and historic. Established in 1701, it has played a dominant role in global academia and the growth of scholarly capital for ages. In 2007, it became the pinnacle of awesome when it became a QuestBridge Partner College. Coming to Yale, I thought I was entering an exciting and prestigious world. Yale proved to be above and beyond all my expectations. The students are all gifted and inspirational. The professors are all experienced and engaging. The campus is diverse and eye-catching. The culture is immense and eye-opening. A single conversation would not be enough for me to describe Yale in all its facets. In fact, a lifetime of discussion may not be enough.
Days that are normal at Yale will probably involve meeting two people that motivate you to push yourself beyond your limits, having a delicious treat from one of Yale's many fine dining halls or New Haven's restaurants, having your professor create a connection that completes your understanding of a topic, having yourself manage to finish an assignment you did not think you could handle, and meeting a person who is probably already greatly changing the world in spectacular ways. That being said, I welcome you into becoming a part of it all by the activities and opportunities the Quest Scholars Network will have to offer and the ones Yale will also provide for you. I hope you're excited for this ride as much as I am because this is going to be an awesome year!
Mahir Rahman, Yale '16
Mahir Rahman, '16
Ellie Dupler, '16
Ellie Dupler is a Yale sophomore from a rural area in northern Michigan. As a prospective global affairs major, Ellie is interested in the field of international development as it pertains to disparities in both global health and education. After embarking on a spring break trip last year to Kabuwoko, Uganda, Ellie decided to pursue a 9-week internship at an eye clinic in Ghana, where she also conducted research on the economic implications of cataract surgeries in rural Ghana. Ellie looks forward to returning to Africa as often as possible in the future, beginning with a second trip to Uganda this spring as the leader of the trip that she went on last year. At Yale, Ellie conducts research in developmental psychology, trying to understand and improve the ways that children learn science and math, works as the program assistant for the education studies department, serves as the vice president of Yale's Quest Scholars Chapter (a group dedicated to improving the educational experiences of low-income college students) and the outreach coordinator for the Uganda Hope Network, and enjoys dancing with the Yale Ballet Company and Danceworks as well as racing with the Yale Alpine Ski Team. Ellie also writes for the Yale Journal of Public Health and works as the trip policy director on Dwight Hall's International Network board, overseeing the efficacy and ethicality of Yale-sponsored service trips. In the future, Ellie hopes to earn a Master's in Public Health or join an M.D./Ph.D. program and eventually work to improve the intersection between academic research and public policy, as the fields relate to global health and human rights.
Greeshma Rajeev-Kumar, '16
Born in a village in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, nicknamed “God’s Own Country,” my life was confined to my immediate surroundings-the forest of “rubber” trees and coconut trees, the rice paddies, the temple on top of the hill- and my traditional upbringing. I was unaware of the outside world: everything outside of Kerala, including the rest of India, held strange and unfamiliar sights. I realized this as I visited my dad every summer in Dubai, where he held a good job and where I had spent my most enjoyable summers. I liked exploring the new land, and I also liked the changes in my life for two months.
Therefore, I expected my life in the United States to be just as simple and luxurious. With my family, I made the journey to Texas at the age of nine. It was quite difficult to get accustomed to the culture and the language, but it was especially difficult for my parents. My dad had to sacrifice his Dubai-based job and start working at a low-wage job. My mom, who had never held a job before, had to find work. With all the hardships at home, I had never imagined attending an ivy league. I neither considered myself as qualified for an Ivy League education nor did I realize such program, as QuestBridge, exists to ease the financial burden of those financially disadvantaged. Nonetheless, I worked hard, at first to improve my English speaking skills, and later to earn merit scholarships and attend a good college. I never even considered applying to an ivy league until the QuestBridge brochure for the College Prep Scholarship came in the mail.
Currently, I am a pre-med and a prospective Psychology major at Yale. I have been able to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds with various experiences. I remain in touch with my culture by being the publicity chair of the Yale Hindu Students’ Council. I also volunteer at an AIDS clinic, spending time with the residents afflicted with such a debilitating illness. It continually motivates me to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. For someone who hails from a small village in India, who grew up with small dreams, attending such a prestigious, world-renown school as Yale still seems like a fantasy.
Jenny Nguyen, '16
Having moved around quite a lot over the years, I have often felt as if I were floating along with no place to anchor myself. Freshman year I felt hopeful anxiety for starting anew in such a magical place, but as soon as I stepped on campus for my sophomore year, I could genuinely say that Yale is my home. Yale is something that I know will stay constant in my life, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to be here!
I am pre-med and thinking of majoring in molecular biochemistry and biophysics; I have always enjoyed learning about the little details that make up our world, so I hope to be able to use that knowledge to piece together the pieces and gain a deeper understanding of how it all works.
I am secretary of the Vietnamese Students Association and the Yale Quest Scholars Chapter, and social chair of the Yale Undergraduate Choral Society. I am also involved with the Yale Precision Marching Band (I play the flute and ukulele sometimes and love hockey), Undergraduate Women in Science, STEM Sibs, and JE Sibs. Basically I really like to reach out to others and make them feel welcome here!
Serena Lau, '17
Helloooo! My name is Serena Lau (I also go by Sil), and I'm this year's Freshman Liaison! In these last few weeks since stepping onto campus, I have only just begun to experience all that is amazing and wonderful about Yale. From discovering swings in residential college courtyards to trying that famous New Haven pizza, I can honestly say that it's starting to feel like home (though I'm originally from Sunnyvale, California, where - as you might imagine - it's quite sunny!)
Here, I'm involved with the Yale Precision Marching Band, as a violist in the Straaangs section. I'm also a rookie on the Yale Women's Rugby Football Club team! Mainly, I'm just your typical frosh ready and excited for the new opportunities and experiences to come in the next 4 years!