Researching a Better World: Personal Experiences Inspire Senior’s Study of Anti-Malarial Drugs

Only 6 years old when her family moved to Michigan in 2009, Ifeoma Uwaje ’24 retains a deep love for her home in Nigeria and remembers the pain of losing young classmates to malaria due to a lack of resources and access to healthcare. Emotional visits back home in 2017 and 2022 elicited a deep desire in Uwaje to improve circumstances for her first community. 

As she anticipates graduating from Kalamazoo College this spring with a degree in biochemistry, Uwaje hopes eventually to combine her commitment to community with her love for science—and her Senior Integrated Project (SIP), currently underway, represents one possible path forward. 

Starting college virtually, in the midst of a pandemic, brought home to Uwaje how essential community is for her, and how lonely she was without it. Once she got to campus, she jumped right in, becoming involved with Sukuma Dow, which supports and empowers students of color in STEM, and Kalama-Africa, which creates space to engage with African and Caribbean cultures and experiences. 

“The isolation of the pandemic motivated me to find my community here on campus, which made my experiences so much better,” Uwaje said. “I’m grateful for the community I was able to find here.” 

Through Kalama-Africa, Uwaje has been part of building a close-knit community and sharing culture and food from different parts of Africa and the Caribbean, both within the organization and with the larger campus community, particularly through events like Afro Fiesta Desi Sol. Both her work as a resident assistant and her involvement with Sukuma Dow have allowed her to experience receiving and offering support. 

Ifeoma Uwaje, who works to fight malaria, poses with Regina Stevens-Truss while they wear protective face masks and white lab coats
Ifeoma Uwaje ’24 poses with Dorothy H. Heyl Professor of Chemistry Regina Stevens-Truss during Dress Like Your Professor Day in summer 2022.
Ifeoma Uwaje, who researches drugs to fight malaria, points to a computer screen
Uwaje drew on childhood experiences in Nigeria, where she remembers classmates dying of malaria, to inspire her Senior Integrated Project. Her SIP is an extension of a small-group project for her medicinal chemistry class involving computational research on improving a pharmaceutical drug.
Six students at Afro Fiesta Desi Sol
Participation and leadership with the executive board of student group Kalama-Africa, pictured during Afro Fiesta Desi Sol, has offered community and fellowship at K for Uwaje, far right.
Six students from the Kalama-Africa student organization
Uwaje, fourth from left, with the executive board of student group Kalama-Africa, cherishes the opportunities she has found at K to share and learn about different African and Caribbean cultures.

“I love interacting with my residents and getting to know their stories and connecting with them on a personal level,” Uwaje said. “It warms my heart when my residents come and talk to me about anything, and I’m happy that I can create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for them.  

“Sukuma Dow has also been a rewarding experience because when I was a sophomore, it was nice that I had older students that I could go to for advice on how to be a better student or how to do well in a class and for a listening ear those days where things were really stressful. Now that I’m a senior, I’m happy that I can also give advice to younger students, tell them things that I did, reassure them and make them feel supported, and let them know, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. You can do this. You’ve got this. I believe in you.’” 

Uwaje has also volunteered at Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and participated in science outreach for elementary, middle and high school students in Kalamazoo. 

Coming to K, Uwaje intended to major in biology. Quickly, however, classes with Dorothy H. Heyl Professor of Chemistry Regina Stevens-Truss deepened her interest in chemistry, and Uwaje settled on a new major offered from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

“Being a biochemistry major has been so rewarding,” Uwaje said. “It made everything in my science education make sense. Biology is amazing, and understanding the chemical aspect really exhilarated me because I could learn all of these different reactions that are going on in our bodies and see how they apply to and affect our daily lives.”  

Throughout the summer after her sophomore year and the fall of her junior year, Uwaje conducted research in Stevens-Truss’ biochemistry lab. 

“It’s a dual research project with Dr. [Dwight] Williams’ lab,” Uwaje said. “In Dr. Williams’ lab, they synthesized a series of potential antibiotic hybrid compounds, while in Dr. Truss’ lab, we tested the ability of these antibiotics to inhibit growth of different strains of bacteria.” 

While she was specifically testing these antibiotic hybrid compounds on Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli, Uwaje was absorbing a larger lesson and inspiration. 

“Working in Dr. Truss’ lab taught me that it’s OK to make mistakes,” she said. “I was very scared coming in because I didn’t want to mess up, but Dr. Truss created an atmosphere where it was OK to make mistakes and I was able to learn from making those mistakes. I’ve been able to take the lessons that I learned and remind myself that things happen, life happens, and the main thing is to keep going and keep learning. Dr. Truss was very calm. Anytime I would mess up something, she’d be like, ‘Oh, that was not quite what you had to do, but that’s OK. Here’s how we’re going to solve that,’ and she was very welcoming and not judgmental about it.” 

Stevens-Truss suggested that Uwaje, who was interested in medicinal chemistry, could complete her SIP in tandem with her medicinal chemistry class. In the class, students learn how to run computational design and research before choosing a pharmaceutical drug to explore and attempt to improve in small groups. 

Uwaje’s group is researching changes that could make anti-malarial drugs more effective and potentially longer-lasting. 

“I am looking to derivatize anti-malarial compounds—basically increasing the binding affinity of these anti-malarial drugs to the specific receptor it binds to,” Uwaje said. “I’ll test three to five derivatives to see how these derivatives bind to the receptor, and potentially see if my derivative fits into the receptor well and if it binds tighter to the receptor.” 

Although this is a “dry lab,” without actual synthesis and without testing these compounds on biological agents, Uwaje is excited to approach the same basic question of her previous research experience—how can we make this medicine better?—from the other end. 

“When I was doing research for Dr. Truss, I was testing compounds that were already synthesized in the Williams lab. The data we produced in the Truss lab would help inform what modifications could maximize the antibiotic’s activity, potency and selectivity. For my SIP, although I’m not synthesizing compounds, I am modifying the structure of these anti-malarial drugs in hopes of increasing the drug’s affinity. In both cases, we’re putting already-known compounds together to potentially make a better drug. 

“During the wet lab, we were actually testing these compounds, which is pretty cool. With the computational research, we’re using all of the tools on the computer to modify and make the compounds, thinking, ‘If I add this certain group here, how will it change my compound? Will it make it stronger? Will it make it weaker?’ The technology is cool. I like that I’ve been able to test compounds in the lab, and with my SIP, I like that I’m able to explore different ways I could strengthen and make a better compound.” 

And of course, improvements to anti-malarial drugs hold personal meaning for Uwaje. 

“There’s certain things that you will never forget in a lifetime,” she said. “I remember my classmates passing away from malaria, so coming into K and given the opportunity to study and design a potential improvement for any drug that I want, those memories ultimately motivated my SIP, because I’ve had many losses from malaria which could have been preventable. Seeing things like that as a young child, I remember feeling so helpless. I knew there were drugs out there that can help prevent malaria, so I decided, what if I look at these drugs, see how their mechanism of action works and see if I could increase the affinity of these drugs to potentially make them even better?” 

Stronger medicine alone won’t fix the problem. Knowing that, Uwaje’s plans include a couple years off school before applying to medical school, and eventually returning to Nigeria to improve conditions in any way she can. 

“Going back home, seeing the lack of adequate health care and the lack of resources that people have, motivated me from a young age to pursue medicine. My mom was one of the main doctors in my community back in Nigeria. Her contributions to the community actually inspired me to fully commit and pursue this role. I don’t know how just yet, but I know that I’ll do something to help increase access to health care for all back home, because the community needs it. Research, advocacy, medicine—if I could do all of that I would 100 percent do it.” 

Student-Athlete, Business Major Finds Passion for Filmmaking

Story by Social Media Ambassador Blagoja Naskovski ’24

In a pivot prompted by Kalamazoo College’s flexible curriculum, Ian Burr ’24 heeded a call for “lights, camera, action” in New York while discovering a potential lifelong passion. 

Burr, a business major, recently participated in the New York Arts Program, a winter-term study away opportunity, where students learn about acting, musical theatre, dance, play writing, directing, vocal music, instrumental music, improvisation and children’s theatre—or in Burr’s case—filmmaking. 

His interest in photography pushed him to take Framing Differences, a sophomore seminar taught by Genevieve U. Gilmore Professor of Art Richard Koenig, which gives K students a working knowledge of the tools used in photography before leaving for study away or study abroad. Burr then bought his first camera and worked on sports videography for the women’s soccer team and recreational hockey games.  

These experiences convinced Burr to add a film and media concentration to his K-Plan and seek opportunities in New York. There, he worked as a production assistant intern for an upcoming Netflix show, American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders, and at Green Point Pictures, an advertising company where he helped create pitches for clients. The time in New York also gave Burr an opportunity to shoot his first film. 

“The New York Arts Program was an amazing opportunity for me to gain hands-on experience as someone who is interested in the film industry,” Burr said. “It is very hard to get into the industry and participating in this program while taking classes and working for two companies was a very valuable way to gain skills for something that I am very passionate about.” 

Since, Burr has developed a Senior Integrated Project (SIP)—not in business, but in filmmaking—with a production titled I Love You, Bro, dedicated to his friend Jake, who died in a car accident. The short film focuses on the mental health of Rhett, who loses his best friend, Avery, in a crash. 

“I wanted to show how people deal with loss,” Burr said. “Some people push their feelings off, so they don’t seem weak, but no one should be alone, and it’s totally OK to share your feelings with someone.” 

Last fall, Burr had a chance to present the film—which takes place in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee—to the K community while emphasizing the importance of mental health awareness. 

“The idea to turn my movie into a SIP came while I was attending the New York Arts Program,” Burr said. “Without the opportunity that K gave me and the collaboration with Professor Koening, I wouldn’t be able to do something that means so much to me. The professors are so great and welcoming. The small size class made me establish close relationships with the professors and my classmates easily. Professors here care about your progress and your ability to use your whole potential.” 

Burr also credits a close friend for his assistance with the movie. 

Aidan Baas ’24, “who also participated in the New York Arts Program, was very supportive during this journey,” Burr said. “When I was with him during the study away program in New York, he helped me to come up with the idea of I Love You, Bro. Furthermore, he came from Michigan to Nashville during the summer of 2023 and helped me with shooting and editing, which made the movie to be successfully completed.” 

Elsewhere at K, Burr is a punter and kicker on K’s football team, through which he’s established lifelong connections with his teammates. He also has drawn inspiration to achieve excellence in academics through faculty members such as L. Lee Stryker Associate Professor of Business Management Amy MacMillan, Visiting Professor of Business David Rhoa and Visiting Instructor in Art Daniel Kim, who have provided Burr with real-world experiences related to his coursework. And although he’s been dedicated to undertakings such as football and more, Burr strongly encourages his peers who are interested in filmmaking to find their own opportunities through faculty and coursework. 

“Dive into it,” he said. “Ask professors for many opportunities to grow. Filmmaking is building portfolios. If you want to be a director, direct something. Go and create. The only way you fail is if you never try. Be dedicated. Collaborate with your friends, classmates and professors. Create the films you want to see.” 

Ian Burr ’24 (left) works with actors Graeme Cadaret and Jayden Scheer while filming a scene of “I Love You, Bro.”
Filmmakers collaborate in a studio
While participating in the New York Arts Program on study away, Burr found his passion for filmmaking while working as a production assistant intern for an upcoming Netflix show, “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,” and at Green Point Pictures, an advertising company where he helped create pitches for clients.
Ian Burr prepares to punt during a Kalamazoo College football game
Burr prepares to punt during a Kalamazoo College football game. Photo by Kimberley Moss.
Ian Burr focuses on filmmaking with two actors
Burr films Cadaret and Scheer in the making of his film, “I Love You, Bro.”

‘Cauldron’ Co-Editors Invite Artists, Writers into a K Tradition

Co-editors Lana Alvey ’24 and Greta Salamun ’25 are reminding students to submit personal creative written projects and visual artwork to this year’s Cauldron, a printed publication produced by its student organization at Kalamazoo College.

College Archives show The Cauldron has been published annually, except for a hiatus during the pandemic, since 1962. As two students who are passionate about writing, Alvey—an English and psychology double major—and Salamun—an English major—are honored to play a part in the reconstruction of The Cauldron and hope that this year’s edition will reflect K’s population of talented writers and artists.

Most of the editorial staff is composed of English and art majors along with many STEM-focused students, too. They work with Alvey and Salamun to select the content from submissions and organize each edition with support, advice and design services provided through College Marketing and Communication. Categories within the publication include poetry, nonfiction, fiction and art. Professor of English Andy Mozina, the magazine’s faculty advisor, provides guidance and advice to the co-editors; his help ensures that the official unveiling of the hard copies during spring term of ninth week’s Community Reflection at Stetson Chapel runs smoothly.

“When we hold the finished product during the reflection, there will be a moment of thinking ‘we did it,’ with all the students’ hard work toward this piece of art and literature, especially when we can flip through it,” Alvey said. “It will be powerful to see it. We’re proud to be this vessel for creative writing and art.”

In a nod to its former years, the co-editors plan to release this edition as a bound book, suitable for coffee tables, bookshelves and keepsakes.

Portrait of Cauldron Co-Editor Lana Alvey on campus
Lana Alvey ’24, an English and psychology double major, is a co-editor of the 2023-24 edition of The Cauldron.
Cover of 2022-23 Cauldron
Last year’s edition of The Cauldron was a spiral-bound book that co-editors Alvey and Salamun are upgrading to a bound book this year.
Cauldron Co-Editor Greta Salamun
Kalamazoo native Greta Salamun ’25 said she has always wanted to attend K and major in English.
Inside the 2022-23 Cauldron
Pages from past editions of The Cauldron show work of alumni such as contemporary artist Julie Mehretu ’92 and Tony Award winner Lisa Kron ’83.

“It will be a testament to how The Cauldron has returned and evolved,” Salamun said. “We had a spiral-bound book last year, which still felt great, but we’ve wanted to get back to the old format. If that much can change in a year, imagine what else might happen in 10 years’ time. You never know.”

For students uncertain whether they want to submit their personal work, Alvey and Salamun encourage everyone to participate.

“I think we’re removing the high stakes from sharing your work, considering that no one is graded for it,” Salamun said. “If we just submit something, knowing it doesn’t have to be hard, it can be light-hearted and fun because this campus is full of great students.”

In fact, students can think of participating in The Cauldron as being part of a legacy because many accomplished alumni such as the world-famous contemporary artist, Julie Mehretu ’92, and Tony Award winner, Lisa Kron ’83, contributed to The Cauldron as K students. In addition, the Stephanie Vibbert Award will honor select pieces of writing that best exemplify the intersection between creative writing and community engagement. The final award is the Divine Crow Award where recipients will be selected blindly by a member of the greater Kalamazoo community.

“I feel that seeing your name in print and in an actual bound book is a big incentive for submitting your work,” Alvey said. “We have shown that we are good writers when we were accepted into K. This is a cool way to show what you can do, especially during the Community Reflection, where some students read their work aloud and we pass it out as a physical copy.”

Students who want to see their names and work published as writers and artists should use The Cauldron’s Google Docs form to submit before 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 26. All students, regardless of their majors and minors, are encouraged to participate.

“I’m from Kalamazoo and I’ve always wanted to attend this College and major in English,” Salamun said. “What I love about The Cauldron and writing is that it gives students, like myself, a creative outlet for expression. I know we have a lot of STEM majors here, and it can be a little nerve racking for students to try taking on poetry, short stories, art, or whatever it may be. But that creative outlet is so valuable.”

“To the students who have submitted, thank you,” Alvey said. “We know submitting can seem very daunting, but we are so excited to read your work and get it out there because the student population is very talented. We hope more people will submit their work to The Cauldron, so it can return to its bound form. I think being a part of such a great historical magazine and legacy is very powerful and it’s an honor.”

Compete for a Cause Helps K Students Support Local Charities

Two students in red Compete for a Cause t-shirts watching a volleyball game at Kalamazoo College
Ty Horky ’24 (left) and Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci ’24 are co-presidents of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, which created Compete for a Cause to support local charities and foundations.
Two football players in pink t-shirts warming up on the field
Kalamazoo College’s football team joined the women’s soccer team in fall by raising breast cancer awareness and supporting the West Michigan Cancer Center with pink t-shirt sales.
Two students wearing red t-shirts that say Compete for a Cause 2023
Kalamazoo College volleyball spectators supported women’s health and the YWCA by purchasing red t-shirts at a match last fall.

Kalamazoo College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) developed an idea last fall that is supporting local charities and foundations with the help of students, faculty, staff, parents and the community.

SAAC representatives, including co-presidents Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci ’24 and Ty Horky ’24, created Compete for a Cause, which allows K athletic teams that play in a specific season to select a beneficiary to back and a cause to amplify during a chosen Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) game on their schedule. Starting last term, student-athletes collaborated with local nonprofits, donning custom warm-up shirts on game day to raise community awareness. These custom shirts were available for sale, with all proceeds benefitting their partner organizations.

“Savera and I have been on the SAAC board since we were sophomores and we’ve moved up the committee together along the way,” Horky said. “Doing this was about how we can make something for the SAAC organization that lasts longer than us being here and how we can implement a plan to give back to the communities around us.”

SAAC’s first steps toward such efforts involved meeting with MIAA Commissioner Chris Brown and K athletics administrative representatives with the hope of getting the entire conference involved and initiate introductions with local charities. Their support proved to be inspiring.

“I think the support from administration, from the MIAA Commissioner all the way down, was nothing but positive,” Horky said. “Right off the bat, they just asked, ‘How can we help you? What can we do to get the ball rolling?’ Everybody being behind us has been a huge help.”

Then, despite weathering some in-game storms, the first season of Compete for a Cause was successful. Rajendra-Nicolucci’s women’s soccer squad, for example, chose breast cancer awareness as its cause, selected a game that coincided with a football contest, and conducted a united breast-cancer awareness day between the teams to benefit the West Michigan Cancer Center (WMCC).

Compete for a Cause Games

  • Kalamazoo College’s volleyball team raised women’s health awareness by supporting the YWCA of Kalamazoo with red t-shirt sales last fall.
  • In October, the football and women’s soccer teams raised breast cancer awareness by supporting the West Michigan Cancer Center with pink t-shirts.
  • The men’s soccer team raised food insecurity awareness by supporting Loaves and Fishes in Kalamazoo with orange t-shirt sales in October.
  • K’s men’s and women’s basketball squads are teaming up to support the houseless and the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission in their games on February 3.
  • K’s swimming and diving teams will raise mental health awareness and support Gryphon Place during their home meets on February 3.

    A special thank you to Capital National Bank, HAP, Miller Johnson Attorneys of Kalamazoo and Underground Printing of Kalamazoo for their support. 

Two women's soccer players warming up in pink Compete for a Cause t-shirts before a game
K’s fall athletics teams secured well more than $1,000 in t-shirt sales and online donations for the West Michigan Cancer Center, the YWCA of Kalamazoo and Loaves and Fishes through Compete for a Cause events.
Several football players with backpacks wearing pink t-shirts that say Compete for a Cause in the rain
The Student-Athlete Advisory Council met with MIAA Commissioner Chris Brown and K athletics administrative representatives to generate their support for Compete for a Cause.
Kalamazoo College football players wearing pink t-shirts gather as a team in the rain before their Compete for a Cause game
K’s football and women’s soccer teams endured a rain storm during their Compete for a Cause events, but still successfully raised funds for the West Michigan Cancer Center.

WMCC Director of Development Anne Witherspoon was invited to attend, raise awareness, share information and accept donations to support their mission.

“It was wonderful to see the student-athletes support the community through this initiative,” Witherspoon said. “Beyond just being incredible students, who I enjoyed spending time with, their impressive organization and professionalism fostered a meaningful connection with the K community, letting us share the WMCC mission with parents, fans and donors.”

Athletes were gratified by the support they received and the end result.

“It was definitely more work than we thought, especially with the business aspect of things, but we’ve learned that there’s so much in the Kalamazoo community to love,” Rajendra-Nicolucci said. “It was interesting to see how much we can do just by talking to people. Anne Witherspoon, who works at the West Michigan Cancer Center, said one of her best memories of the day was sitting with Ty and getting to know him and our school. Those connections go a long way and show there’s more to playing a college sport than the gear and winning.”

Student-athletes in dress clothes posing in front of a sculpture
Horky (second from left) and Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci (fourth from right) are co-presidents of SAAC.

In serving SAAC, Rajendra-Nicolucci and Horky have consistently organized campus events for students, including student-athletes. But the first Compete for a Cause events have been special as they’ve reached out to the at-large community. And now, it’s time for K’s winter athletics teams, including Horky’s men’s basketball team, to take the effort’s reins.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams are combining their efforts to support homelessness awareness and the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission during their home games on Saturday, February 3. The same day, the swimming and diving teams will spread mental health awareness and donate all of their proceeds to Gryphon Place.

Separately in their time at K, Rajendra-Nicolucci played women’s golf for two years and taught biology and English to children in Spain during her study abroad experience. After graduating, she hopes to develop a career in medical or pharmaceutical sales. Horky also wants to build a career in medical and pharmaceutical sales and might consider playing basketball as a graduate student to fulfill a final year of eligibility. But Compete for a Cause’s effectiveness will be what they and other SAAC participants point to as they define their legacies at K.

“Students are busy all year, whether it is with school responsibilities, work responsibilities, athletic responsibilities or extracurriculars,” Rajendra-Nicolucci said. “Something as simple as this initiative can remind us that there is always more to be done. Giving back is something you will never regret. Whether it is the connections that you make along the way or the touching moments, these feelings are just as good or even better than the feeling of winning a double overtime game. Everyone is welcome to these games, and we hope to see you and the rest of the Kalamazoo community continue to give back to something greater than just a game.”

Counseling Center Strengthens Access to Mental Health Services

This year, the Kalamazoo College Counseling Center has been working on changes to its offerings with the goal of providing more equitable access and more tailored services to students when they need it most.

Starting winter term, the center will eliminate its seven-session limit for individual on-campus counseling, instead adopting a more flexible customized clinical care model. This approach helps ensure students receive the amount of support that best suits their needs.

“Having a session limit tends to put pressure on the student to use all the sessions available to them right away, whether they need them all at that time or not. This may not be the best approach for them, and it can also limit availability for other students seeking support,” said Erica Pearson, director of the counseling center. “Some students may only need three sessions to get the support they’re seeking, while some students may benefit from 10 sessions. Some students may come to us looking for coping strategies, get the info they need, and not need us again until later in the year if something else comes up for them. By introducing a customized clinical care model, the staff is better able to address the needs of more students more effectively.”

Another major enhancement for the center was the introduction of its partnership with Uwill this fall. With Uwill telehealth counseling services, students can receive secure and confidential access to a therapist in addition to what is offered on campus. Students can choose a therapist based on their preferences regarding gender, language, ethnicity and focus area; and schedule a session for video, phone, chat or messaging. “I think some people may worry that because it’s telehealth, the level of care is not equivalent to the services we offer on campus. However, that’s not the case. They’ll have access to licensed professionals, just as they would here, and they’ll have an opportunity to choose someone based on their personal preferences,” Pearson said.

Portrait of Counseling Center Director Erica Pearson
Counseling Center Director Erica Pearson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

In addition to telehealth counseling services, the center’s partnership with Uwill has expanded crisis services with a 24/7 support line staffed by licensed therapists. “It’s important that students know that this is a support line, not just a crisis line. Now students can talk with a licensed therapist any time of day, between academic quarters, when they’re out of town,” said Pearson. With this service significantly expanding student access to on-demand mental health support, the counseling center will be eliminating walk-in hours on campus and utilizing that time for additional pre-scheduled appointments.

“We hope these changes help address an important need at a time when students are really prioritizing their mental health,” Pearson said. “Offering around-the-clock accessibility through Uwill breaks down barriers of time and availability that often hinder access to services, and it allows our staff to dedicate more time to scheduled appointments on campus. And by utilizing a customized clinical care model, the center is better equipped to provide effective, empathetic and personalized care on campus.”

Top 2023 Student Stories Celebrate SIPs, Research, Work Abroad

Kalamazoo College students exemplified academic excellence and achieved amazing accomplishments around campus and around the world in 2023. Based on your clicks, here are the top 10 K student stories from the past year. Watch for our top news stories of faculty and staff, alumni and the College itself coming soon.

10. Math Meets Poetry to Form Distinctive Senior Project

Lizzy Rottenberk is merging her passions of math and poetry. Together, they form “Academic Tangents,” where she integrates calculus theorems with poetry structures and contexts. The Senior Integrated Project (SIP) consists of reflective poems related to academic struggles with five different math concepts represented: functions, limits, derivatives, sequences and series, and anti-derivatives.

Lizzy Rottenberk ’24

9. K Student Builds Notable Voice in Sustainability

Lauren Crossman ’23 visited 22 small businesses in Kalamazoo to discuss their environmental practices, present an environmental report card, and help them create sustainability-related goals for her SIP. With happy business owners saving money, she presented her work at the Kalamazoo State Theatre in March during Green Drinks Kalamazoo, a monthly networking event of city businesses and friends.

Lauren Crossman presents her sustainability SIP at Green Drinks Kalamazoo
Lauren Crossman ’23 presented her work at the Kalamazoo State Theatre in March during Green Drinks Kalamazoo, a monthly networking event of city businesses and friends that addresses sustainability.

8. Senior Earns First Sherbin Fellowship, 10 Months Abroad

Elle Waldron ’23—a women, gender and sexuality (WGS) major—is visiting a variety of feminist and gender-equity organizations to witness the tools and strategies they use to execute their work and complete their goals thanks to a new fellowship established by Robert Sherbin ’79.

She hopes those investigations will yield long-term relationships with people from around the world and allow her to consult those people regularly in the future. She would also like it to help her become a better critical thinker and define feminism from a global perspective as it’s influenced by a variety of historical and cultural contexts.

Elle Waldron ’23

7. Future Physician Targets Tropical Diseases in Ghana

Rachel Kramer ’23 completed 10 weeks of research to investigate Neglected Tropical Diseases and health inequities in Ghana, Africa. She since has moved on to attend the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

Rachel Kramer in a classroom full of children
Rachel Kramer ’23 collecting blood samples from schoolchildren for tropical disease research.

6. Search for Better, Safer Cycling Leads Class to Local Partners, Denmark

The class Wheels of Change, offered for the first time, worked closely with community partners, including the City of Kalamazoo, the Open Roads Bike Program and K’s own Outdoor Programs, to explore how communities can build cycling infrastructure to better support residents. They then traveled for a week to Copenhagen, Denmark, to see how one of the world’s best for cycling infrastructure can provide lessons for Kalamazoo.

The Wheels of Change class pictured in Denmark inspired A Better Way to K Day
To top off the class, Professor of English Amelia Katanski’s Wheels of Change first-year seminar traveled for a week to Copenhagen, Denmark.

5. Holy Cow! That Baseball Broadcaster is a K student

When significant sports moments are celebrated, fans turn to broadcasters for the words that will help make those moments historic. Zach Metz ’25 doesn’t yet have something like “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” to call his own, but he’s been preparing to be a broadcaster for years. And this summer, he interned as the play-by-play livestream broadcaster with the Grand Lake Mariners in Celina, Ohio, one of 14 cities with a Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League team.

Grand Lake Mariners Broadcaster Zach Metz
Zach Metz ’25 was the livestream broadcaster for the Grand Lake Mariners, a Great Lakes Summer Baseball League team in Celina, Ohio.

4. Walking Alone, Gathering Together: Solitude and Community on the Camino de Santiago

Fiona O’Rielly ’23 set out on a sweltering, 500-mile hike across Spain along the ancient pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. The interviews she conducted with other walkers along the way, formed the basis for her Spanish SIP, Caminando el Camino: Una experiencia de comunidad. 

Fiona O’Rielly ’23 stops at one of the albergues, or hostels, along the Camino de Santiago to stay the night.

3. Student Openly Shares Her Research to Tackle Chagas Disease

Erin Somsel ’24 is working with Associate Professor of Chemistry Dwight Williams and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative on developing a treatment for Chagas disease, which spreads through a parasite often called the kissing bug, as it damages the heart and other vital organs when the bug bites humans.

Erin Somsel researching Chagas disease
Erin Somsel ’24

2. Six New Heyl Scholars Choose K

Six Kalamazoo County students seeking to major in STEM-related fields earned Heyl Scholarships last spring and chose to attend K beginning in the fall.

Heyl scholarships have enabled hundreds of high school graduates from Kalamazoo County to attend Kalamazoo College for STEM-focused majors or Western Michigan University for nursing, with renewable benefits for up to four years that cover tuition, fees, housing and a book allowance. 

2023-24 Heyl Scholars in a group photo
Riley Sackett (from left), Kelcey Briggs, Ava Schwachter, Jason Krawczyk, Pauline Hawkes, Abigail Eilertson, Benjamin Whitsett and Anthony Valade are this year’s Heyl Scholars. Schwachter, Krawczyk, Hawkes, Eilertson, Whitsett and Valade matriculated at Kalamazoo College.

1. Kicker’s Catch Makes College Football History

Madison Barch ’24 had already been the first woman to score a point for the K football team by booting an extra point in a 2021 game. But an improvised two-point conversion in her last game this year gave her what are believed to be the first non-kicking points tallied by a woman at any level in the history of NCAA football.

Student-athlete Madison Barch ’24 recognizes the support she receives from family when she discusses her football achievements. They include (from left) brother-in-law, Josh Abate; second-oldest sister, Mackenzie Abate; dad, Peter Barch next to Madison; her mom, Michele Barch; oldest sister, Meaghan Barch; younger sister, Marissa Barch; and cousin, Amanda Krieger.

Kicker’s Catch Makes College Football History

The last points of the 2023 Kalamazoo College football season might be among the most significant in team history even if they didn’t get tallied as planned.

Madison Barch ’24, No. 48 in orange and black, thought she was about to attempt her last kick in college on November 11 at Trine, when—in the final minute—the snap on an extra point was bobbled, forcing her to improvise. She scrambled and unexpectedly ran wide open at the left side of the end zone with a pass from holder Josh Nichols ’24 on its way.

“I could just see the ball coming in, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘Madison, of all the times to catch a ball, you have to catch this ball right now,’” Barch said.

She had already been the first woman to score for the K football team two years prior by booting an extra point on September 4, 2021, in a game at Oberlin. But now, as Barch wrapped her fingers around the ball, she tallied a two-point conversion, recording what are believed to be the first non-kicking points by a woman at any level in the history of NCAA football.

“It was completely unplanned,” Barch said. “Coach joked around afterward asking me how much I had to pay Josh to get him to do that. I said, ‘Nothing, I swear!’ We always practiced it as a team just in case of emergencies, but it felt like an out-of-body experience. I don’t remember feeling anything when it happened. I just remember catching the ball. I then was so excited. There were so many emotions. It took all the self-control I had in me not to spike the ball like Rob Gronkowski. I didn’t think coach would be happy if we got a penalty from that.”

The Hornets lost 42-29 that day, but the team celebrated as though it had won a conference championship. Barch finished the game 3-for-3 on extra point attempts. Plus, all the young girls who showed up at K football games year after year to see Barch play had another reason to look up to her.

“I remember some of the guys running on the field and hitting my helmet, yelling, ‘Oh, my gosh!’” Barch said. “I was so excited that I almost forgot to give the ball back to the referee. I ran back, gave the ball to the referee and there was just a huddle of teammates.”

Barch’s football pursuits began in seventh grade while growing up in Utica, Michigan. Her sisters always had tried a variety of sports, and her male peers, after seeing her play soccer, encouraged her to try kicking for the football team. Her dad, Peter, was excited to let her try it, but Barch’s mom, Michele, needed to be convinced.

“I don’t know how I convinced her, but I did somehow,” Barch said. “I’m sure she was frightened, but now, she’s my number one fan by far.”

In being that top fan, Mom convinced Barch to pursue football through high school—where ESPN once showed her practicing field goals of more than 50 yards—and even into college. That led Barch to attend a prestigious prospect camp in Tennessee where she was its first-ever female invitee, and make spreadsheets that listed prospective schools along with the names and email addresses of their head coaches and special teams coaches.

“I’m so glad she pushed me through that,” Barch said. “She knows me better than I know myself.”

After hearing from a few Division II and III schools, Barch visited K and fell in love. A subsequent visit to another school didn’t go well.

“I remember sitting in the car with my dad on the way home from that visit, and I told him that I wanted to go to Kalamazoo,” Barch said. “I didn’t see myself going anywhere else. I’ve had so many good experiences over the past few years at K and it’s been life changing. I made so many good friends, so many good connections and I just don’t know where I would be if I never went to K.”

Barch still had some challenges on the road to her biggest accomplishments. Her K experience began with distance learning as a result of COVID-19 in fall 2020. The football team then attempted to move its fall 2020 season to spring 2021, but injuries forced them to cancel after two games. Barch also had a hip injury and a couple of personal illnesses along the way.

Regardless, Barch went on to elect a biochemistry major and stuck with football. She’s been on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll the past three years. She also became a President’s Student Ambassador—representing the College at formal events for community leaders, alumni and donors as an extension of the president’s office—and an Admission employee who leads prospective students on campus tours.

While she may have just wrapped up her collegiate football career, she’s looking forward to starting the next phase of her life. After graduating next spring, she would like to follow her dad’s lead into law enforcement and work in forensics, possibly starting with an internship with the Michigan State Police.

“I was in a 400-level chemistry class with Dr. Jennifer Furchak this fall called instrumental analysis, and we got to meet with an alumna from K who works in forensics in Tennessee,” Barch said. “Hearing from her and having that class was interesting. I think I would like working in ballistics and firearms analysis. Thinking about how I can trace one little shell casing back to wherever it came from seems cool to me. And yet I’m not too stressed about what I’m going to do. Whatever God has planned for me is going to work itself out.”

Kicker Madison Barch celebrates catching a two-point conversion that made college football history
Kicker Madison Barch ’24 caught a two-point conversion against Trine on November 11, representing what are believed to be the first non-kicking points tallied by a woman at any level in college football history. Photo by Laura Moat.
Barch recognizes the support she receives from family when she discusses her football achievements. They include (from left) brother-in-law, Josh Abate; second-oldest sister, Mackenzie Abate; dad, Peter Barch next to Madison; her mom, Michele Barch; oldest sister, Meaghan Barch; younger sister, Marissa Barch; and cousin, Amanda Krieger.
Madison Barch kicking
Barch completes a kick in a Kalamazoo College football game. Her recent two-point conversion against Trine made college football history. Photo by Kimberley Moss.
Madison Barch with family at 50-yard line
Barch stands with some of her family members on Senior Day. Photo by Kimberley Moss.

Grant Supports Inclusivity, New Chemistry Lab Experiences

A National Science Foundation grant for almost $250,000 is boosting inclusivity and access to lab experiences in the Kalamazoo College Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Daniela Arias-Rotondo, known around campus as Dr. DAR, was awarded $249,972 under the foundation’s Launching Early-Career Academic Pathways in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (LEAPS-MPS). The LEAPS-MPS grant emphasizes helping pre-tenure faculty at institutions that do not traditionally receive significant amounts of NSF-MPS funding, including predominantly undergraduate institutions, as well as achieving excellence through diversity. 

Arias-Rotondo will use the grant funding primarily to pay her student researchers—typically eight to 10 per term, known as DARlings—and to bring more research experiences into the classroom.  

While the chemistry and biochemistry department is typically not able to pay students to work in the lab during the school year, “This grant lets me do that, so my students can work in the lab instead of having to take another job on or off campus,” Arias-Rotondo said. “That’s a great way to ensure that more people can have access to this experience, as opposed to only the people who have free time they can volunteer.” 

The grant will also pay students who work in the lab over the summer (usually four or five), freeing up departmental and College funding that would normally pay those stipends. 

“Not having to pay those four or five students through the provost’s office or the chemistry and biochemistry department means we will have money for other students to do research with us here in our department, or maybe in biology or physics, so that benefits not just my group, but the department and the College as a whole.” 

The other primary focus of the grant is a re-design of the lab portion of the inorganic chemistry course CHEM 330. 

“While we have some good lab courses here in our department where students get to learn a lot of techniques and a lot of concepts, many of those lab experiences are what we call canned experiments, meaning that they are not open ended,” Arias-Rotondo said. “You are making X compound, or you’re running Y experiment, and we know what you’re going to get in the end. We have some courses where we do more open-ended labs, which the students tend to enjoy more because there’s more of the unknown and problem solving. It’s very transformative because it shows you a different side of chemistry.” 

Inspired by the work of colleagues in the department, particularly Dorothy H. Heyl Professor of Chemistry Regina Stevens-Truss, Arias-Rotondo has been able to use the grant to revamp the lab for CHEM 330, inorganic chemistry, to more closely resemble research. 

 “That’s really good for the students,” Arias-Rotondo said. “It’s more work, but it’s also more rewarding, because now they are doing things that are new, and they are making molecules that no one made before.” 

Providing access to lab experiences for more students at K truly changes lives. 

“It gives them the opportunity to see what research is really like,” Arias-Rotondo said. “It also gives them a challenge that is theirs. I’ve seen students who were very unsure of what to do—not because they are not good, but because they’ve never had the opportunity to prove themselves—and you give them this task. You support them, you tell them, ‘This is hard, but I trust that you can do it,’ and they rise to the challenge. It’s amazing to see the transformation in them. They learn a lot about chemistry. They learn a lot of techniques. They get a better idea of what a career in research could look like. And they learn a lot about themselves, about asking for help and working independently, but also working as part of a team, about troubleshooting, and they gain a lot of confidence.” 

Working in a lab also increases students’ sense of belonging. 

“They make friends,” Arias-Rotondo said. “They meet people within our department, further ahead or behind, depending on who they are. They meet more professors and students, and they feel more a part of the department, even before they declare their major. They’re like, ‘Oh, this is my place. These are my people.’ And it helps them see themselves as scientists.” 

In addition to paying student researchers and improving lab coursework experiences, the grant is paying for supplies in Arias-Rotondo’s lab, where she and her DARlings work on making compounds that can absorb solar energy and turn it into electricity using manganese, a low-cost, low-toxicity alternative to the materials currently used in solar energy conversion, which tend to be rare, expensive and difficult to mine. 

The grant will also provide a summer salary for Arias-Rotondo’s research, help fund travel for students to attend conferences and share their results, and potentially purchase or update small instruments for the lab. 

Arias-Rotondo applied for the LEAPS-MPS grant in January 2023, with the help of Director of Grants, Fellowships and Research Jessica Fowle and colleagues in the chemistry department. 

“Jess is amazing; I don’t think I could have done this without her,” Arias-Rotondo said. “I also had a lot of support from my department with writing, reading drafts, giving feedback.” 

In August, she learned she had been awarded the grant, and it started Sept. 1. Arias-Rotondo has two years to spend the money, with an option to extend it to a third year if needed. 

“It’s just under a quarter million,” Arias-Rotondo said. “Sometimes I can’t believe that anyone would trust me with that. I say this because a lot of times, I look around and think, ‘Who thought that I could do this?’ It’s a dream come true, and this grant is amazing, but it’s also like, ‘Wow, someone thought that I could do it.’  

“A lot of times students don’t trust themselves. Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and students look at me and think, ‘Oh, she’s got it. Professors know what they’re doing.’ It’s important to me to let people know that’s not true. It’s not like one day your feelings of inadequacy just lift off, and now you feel so confident that everything is great. You keep having doubts. I care about letting them know that, so if they get to grad school, or they get their Ph.D., or whenever, and they still feel like they are faking it, they still feel like they are not good enough, they know that doesn’t mean that they are not good enough. That’s just the way our brains work. You can be great and still feel like you’re not. I keep talking about that because it’s important to normalize it.” 

Experiences like those afforded by the LEAPS-MPS grant go a long way toward building students’ confidence in themselves. 

“I’m really excited for all the things that this grant is doing for students,” Arias-Rotondo said. “It gives them a lot of opportunities. You can see how excited they are when they present posters, or when they talk about research with their friends, not just learning chemistry, but also self-confidence that they can do hard things. You can see the progression. It doesn’t matter how good they were when they started. At the end of it, they are so much tighter with each other, they have learned so much, and they are so much better.” 

Two students work with chemistry professor supporting their lab experiences
A grant from the National Science Foundation will help Assistant Professor of Chemistry Daniela Arias-Rotondo pay students who work in her research lab, such as Maxwell Rhames ’25 (left) and Caelan Frazier ’23, pictured during the summer of 2022.
Chemistry students in holiday outfits surround Daniela Arias-Rotondo
Arias-Rotondo took a holiday photo before the end of term with her fall 2023 student researchers, the first group to be paid for their school-year work in her lab.
Chemistry students accompany Daniela Arias-Rotondo at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership
Arias-Rotondo is pictured with her summer 2023 lab group, (from left) Maxwell Rhames ’25, Maddie Coffman ’24, Deepa Jha ’24, Arias-Rotondo, Sam Ewald ’24, Mirella Villani ’24 and Will Tocco ’26.
Daniela Arias-Rotondo poses for a picture with a model of a molecule
Arias-Rotondo is pictured with a 3D-printed version of one of the molecules her lab has made.
Students and faculty in graduation attire
Arias-Rotondo is pictured at Commencement 2023 are graduating DARlings (from left) Shay Brown ’23, Chloe Lucci ’23, Arias-Rotondo, Mia Tucci ’23, Zekie Mulder ’23 and Caelan Frazier ’23.

Kalamazoo College Announces Fall 2023 Dean’s List

Congratulations to the following Kalamazoo College students who achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or better for a full-time course load of at least three units, without failing or withdrawing from any course, during the Fall 2023 academic term. Students who elect to take a letter-graded course on a credit/no credit basis (CR/NC) are not eligible for Dean’s List consideration during that term. Nor are students who receive an F, NC or W grade for that particular term. Students with incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grades will be considered for the Dean’s List upon receipt of their final grades. Dean’s List recognition is posted on students’ transcripts. Kudos to the entire group for Fall 2023.

Upper Quad with students in hammocks surrounded by fall color for fall 2023 dean's list
Congratulations to the students who qualified for the Fall 2023 Dean’s List.

Fall 2023


Shannon Abbott
Fuzail Ahmed
Maya Alkema
Caleb Allen
Randa Alnaas
Mahmoud Alsafadi
Altanshagai Altankhuu
Fanny Alvarado
Lana Alvey
Farida Amini
Zahra Amini
Paige Anderson
Eleanor Andrews
Unayza Anika
Michael Ankley
Connor Anspach
Madison Anspach
Maya Arau
Peyton Arendsen
Kaelyn Arlington
Alexandra Armin
Emily Auchter
Edith Aviles
James Azim


Annalise Bailey
Poppy Balkema
Elizabeth Ballinger
Evan Barker
Ethan Barnes
Brianna Barnes
Shyane Barnes-Taylor
Lena Barrett
Gabriella Barry
Joseph Basil
Nathan Bauer
Emma Becker
Justin Beckrow
Saniyah Bedell
Conner Bell
Shelby Bennett
Aubrey Benson
Jane Bentley
Thomas Bentley
Alexandrea Bernal
Eleanor Bernas
Jonah Beurkens
Thalia Bills
Katherine Black
Henry Black
Douglas Blackwood
Preston Blanzy
Axel Bodeux
Lukas Bolton
Alexandra Bonebrake
Dylan Bonnett
Jack Boshoven
Sotirios Bougioukos
Eleni Bougioukou
Juliette Bournay
Jaylen Bowles-Swain
Yvette Boyse-Peacor
Allison Bozyk
Aerin Braunohler
Jay Breck
Chloe Briggs
Avery Brockington
Blair Brouwers
Jonathan Brunette
Chloe Bryant
Jaden Buist
John Bungart
Leah Bunnell
Victoria Burnham
Ian Burr


Erendira Cabrera
Isaiah Calderon
Kennedy Campbell
Eleanor Campion
Olivia Cannizzaro
Luis Castro-Limon
Emma Caulkins
Abigail Caza
Daniel Celedon
Ashley Chance
Josetta Checkett
Yongwan Cho
Trustin Christopher
Noah Chun
Eva Clancy
Thomas Clark
Maya Clarren
Kai Clingenpeel
Mai Elise Code
Madeleine Coffman
Logan Coller
Quinn Collins
Courtney Cotter
Cate Cotter
Holden Coulter
Lucy Cripe
Maeve Crothers
Gwendolyn Crowder Smith
Chase Cummins
Isabel Curtis


Erik Danielson
Claire Davis
Hillary Davis
Jasmine Davis
Zachary Dean
Tara Dean-Hall
Shruti Debburman
Lillian Deer
Carson Deines
Jacquelline Del Raso
Jair Delgado
Enrique Delzer
Lina Denney
Olivia Depauli
Maansi Deswal
Zachary DeVito
Devi DeYoung
Alexander Di Dio
Michaela Dillbeck
Mariam Diouf
Shane Dong
Alexia Dowell
Jordan Doyle
Charles Doyle
Isaac Duncan


Matthew Edwards
Sally Eggleston
Abigail Eilertson
Sara Elfring
Evelyn Ellerbrock
Owen Ellis
Marvin Ernst
Dilynn Everitt
Caleb Ewald
Chad Ewing


Blake Filkins
Bridget Finco
Sara Finks
Ava Fischer
Morgan Fischer
Vincent Fodale
Robyn Foley
Kirsten Formell
Daniel Foura
Hillary Fox
Kinga Fraczkiewicz
Emma Frederiksen
Matthew Freels
Landrie Fridsma


Dillon Gacki
Lucy Gallagher
Ethan Galler
Ana Garcia
Aliza Garcia
Brynna Garden
Grey Gardner
Ingrid Gardner
Roberta Gatti
William Geiger
Grace Getachew
Maira Ghaffar
Aidan Gillig
Abigail Gilmore
Georgios Gkolois
Samuel Gladhill
Laura Goia
Maxwell Goldner
Lukas Graff
Cecilia Gray
Natalie Greene
Cameo Green
Kaitlyn Grice
Natalie Gross
Fiona Guikema-Bode
Kendra Guitar
Oliver Gutierrez


Sophia Haas
Marissa Haas
Aiden Habboub
Emily Haigh
Blu Haney
Alison Hankins
Geneva Hannibal
Abel Hansonbrook
Madeline Hanulcik
Rachel Harman
Sophie Hartl
James Hauke
Isabelle Hawkes
Pauline Hawkes
Willow Hayner
Jacob Hazlewood
Zachary Heikka
Megan Herbst
Litzy Hernandez
Sophia Herold
Maya Hester
Ashlen Hill
Hadley Hilner
Bijou Hoehle
Jacob Hoffman
Annika Hokanson
Olivia Holmes
Julia Holt
Ronin Honda
Jaelyn Horn
Joseph Horsfield
Tyler Houle
Gavin Houtkooper
Ethan Huebsch
Alek Hultberg
Megan Hybels
Kennedy Hynde


Carson Ihrke
Jasmine Ivy


Gloria Jackson
Angela Jacobo
Colton Jacobs
Teddy Jacobson
Kai James
Rex Jasper
Morgan Jenkins
Halley Johnson
Anne Catherine Johnson
Cloe Johnson
Johe Newton Johnson
Hayden Johnston
Zane Jones


Amalia Kaerezi
Jessica Kaplan
Eliza Karlin
Samuel Kartes
Isabelle Kastel
Emilia Kelly
Alyson Kemery
Mphumelelo Khaba
Harriet Khamisi
Hibah Khan
Hyunwoo Kim
Dong Eun Kim
Vivian Kim
Lily Kindle
Caleb Kipnis
Kendyl Kirshman
Claire Kischer
Alexander Kish
Kathryn Klahorst
Noah Kleiner
Mart Klenke
Steven Kloosterman
Melody Kondoff
Maxine Koos
Daniel Koselka
Emma Kovacevic
Julia Kozal
Jason Krawczyk
Jack Kreckman
Molly Kreibich
Loden Krueger
Annabelle Krygier
Clayton Kryszak
Kieya Kubert-Davis
Ealin Kubicki
Laryn Kuchta


Rylee Lambert
Olivia Laser
Annmarie Lawrence
Elijah Layne
Grace Leahey
Huin Lee
Margaret Lekan
Kelsey Letchworth
Kael Lewicki
Sage Lewis
Luis Lizardo-Rodriguez
Alex Lloyd
Alondra Lopez
Jose Lopez Bernal
Grace Lounds
Teresa Lucas
Lee Lum
Jacob Lynett


Ellie Mace
Lauren MacKersie
Brett Manski
Lesly Mares-Castro
Ana Marín Vintimilla
Ariadne Markou
William Martel
Cassidy Martini-Zeller
Isabelle Mason
Hollis Masterson
Virginia Matta
Lillian Mattern
Matthew Matuza
Zachary Maurice
Benjamin Maurice
Cedric May
Carter Mayne
Lauren McColley
Vincent McCollum
Grace McGlynn
Kira McManus
Ethan McNertney
Raven Medina
Rachel Meston
Eva Metro-Roland
Estelle Metz
Gabriel Meyers
Allison Meyers
Carter Miller
Brittany Miller
Ella Miller
Jade Milton
Gloria Mireles
Lauren Mitchell
Elana Mitchell
Lina Moghrabi
Jana Molby
Jacques Monchamp
Dylan Montross
Eliana Moreno
Wyatt Mortensen
Sarah Morton
Maren Mosher
Lorelei Moxon
Fadi Muallem
Mary Ellen Muenzenmaier
Claire Mullins
Anna Murphy
Madison Murphy
Braden Mussat
Ella Myers


Elias Nagel-Bennett
Nailia Narynbek Kyzy
Blagoja Naskovski
Ryan Neihsl
Chloe Nelund
Robert Newland
Nguyen Nguyen
Vinh Nguyen
Yen Giang Nguyen
Joshua Nichols
Theodore Niemann
Dustin Noble
Savannah Norman
Will Norwood
Haleigh Nower


Ileana Oeschger
Amara Okoro
Gabriel Olivier
Alexander Olsen
Reece Omodio
Kevin Oneill
B Osborne
Aryka Ostroski


Chelsea Paddock
Maren Palmer
Astrid Parker
Eleanor Parks-Church
Hannah Parsons
Rachael Pashturro
Juniper Pasternak
Eric Paternoster
Audrey Pegouske
Mia Pellegrini
Isabella Pellegrom
Kaitlin Peot
Alex Pepin
Addison Peter
Maya Peters
Noah Peters
Margaret Peters
Paige Peterson
Indigo Philippe
Mia Pierce
Isabella Pimentel
Madison Pisano
William Plesscher
Alex Plesscher
Madelyn Portenga
Bea Putman


Suha Qashou
Matthew Quirk


Elizabeth Rachiele
Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci
Leah Ramirez
Sara Reathaford
Emily Reece
Liam Regan
Lissette Reynoso
Maxwell Rhames
Claire Rhames
Cody Rigley
Sheldon Riley
Narelle Robles
Jocelyn Rodriguez
Ash Rodriguez
Olivia Roncone
Amelia Rooks
Luke Rop
Brigid Roth
Elizabeth Rottenberk
Oliver Rubin
Nathaniel Rulich
Elliot Russell


Sophia Sajan
Richard Sakurai-Kearns
Abigail Samson
Ryan Sanborn
Leslie Santos
Olivia Schleede
Sophia Schlotterer
D.J. Schneider
Annika Schnell
Cyanne Schuitema
Arden Schultz
Ava Schwachter
Amalia Scorsone
Keven Sedano Ordonez
Jacinda Servantes
Alison Settles
Brendon Shaffer
Morgan Shearer
Tillie Sheldon
Riley Shoemaker
Cassidy Short
Clara Siefke
Mo Silcott
Zachary Simmons
Colby Skinner
Dawson Skupin
Maja Smith
Grace Snyder
Anoushka Soares
Allison Sokacz
Harry Spark
Jonah Spates
Ella Spooner
Sophia Sprick
Florian Stackow
Marlee Standke
Adam Stapleton
Joseph Stein
Taylor Stephens
Molly Stevison
Helen Stoy
Donovan Streeter
Abbygale Stump
Drake Suggs
Hannah Summerfield
Kaleb Sydloski
Brandon Sysol


Madison Talarico
Levi Thomas
William Thomas
Minh Thu Le
Jayden Thurmond-Oliver
Emily Tiihonen
William Tocco
Jose Torres-Rios
Phoebe Tozer
Vincent Tran
Vincent Tremonti
Danielle Treyger
Frances Trimble
Maria Tripodis
Joshua Troxler
May Tun


Zachary Ufkes
Hannah Ulanoski


Tony Vaisanen
Anthony Valade
Lucy Vandemark
Hannah Vander Lugt
Cameron VanGalder
Cate VanSchaik
Laila Vincent
Madison Vrba
Jessalyn Vrieland


Kaytin Waddell
Ava Wagle
Ipsa Wagle
Annslee Ware
Charles Wester
Jack Wheeler
Benjamin Whitsett
Jay Wholihan
Alicia Wilgoren
Hannah Willit
Siona Wilson
Zoe Wilson
Reagan Woods
Maximilian Wright
Emma Wrobleski


Yan Yazhuo


Jacob Zeller
Sofia Zeller
Maggie Zhu
Rebecca Zoetewey
Margaret Zorn
Lee Zwart

Report Shows K Among National Leaders in Study Abroad

An annual report released last month from the Institute of International Education (IIE) shows that Kalamazoo College remains among the top higher-education institutions in the country for study abroad opportunities thanks to student participation.

The Open Doors Report surveys more than 2,000 institutions including doctoral universities, master’s colleges and universities, baccalaureate colleges, associate’s colleges and special-focus institutions, and ranks K 18th among baccalaureate colleges for having 233 students abroad in 2021-22. The College is also ninth among baccalaureate institutions across the country for the percent of undergraduates who went to international sites in the same year.

K students choose from 58 study abroad programs of varying lengths and emphases in 29 countries on six continents over three, six or nine months. The ventures allow students to challenge their assumptions about themselves and other cultures in a rigorous experiential education environment.

“It’s thrilling to see the College’s strong study abroad placement in the Open Doors Report as it reflects the strengths of our global programs, our commitment to international immersion, and our dedication to worldwide partnerships,” Center for International Programs Executive Director Margaret Wiedenhoeft said. “This is a solid showing, especially considering that programs in the period analyzed were still affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions. We’re proud that our faculty and staff remain resolute in continuing our long-valued tradition of ensuring overseas experiences for our students.”

Kalamazoo College study abroad students outside a school in Spain
Kalamazoo College students on study abroad pose outside the main building at the Universidad de Extremadura in Caceras, Spain. Photo by Resident Director Victoria Pineda.

IIE shares the Open Doors Report yearly through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The organization, founded in 1919, is a private, not-for-profit leader in the global exchange of people and ideas as it creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors in collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors. Those programs include the Fulbright Program and Gilman Scholarships administered for the Department of State.

For more information on this report, visit the study abroad section of the Open Doors website.