Meet our student fundraisers
Each year, the phonathon student fundraisers raise important unrestricted dollars in support of the New College Fund. In addition to calling alums and parents to ask for gifts, the team also supports student philanthropy by educating their classmates about the importance of giving back to New College and helping to secure matched student donations for the giving challenge each year. Please meet our 2014-2015 phonathon student fundraising team.
Kierra Boyd is a second-year General Studies AOC from Jupiter, Fla. She is passionate about animals and children. In high school, Kierra was a part of the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy where she was able to explore many of Florida's ecosystems during 50 field trips, volunteer with a variety of organizations to complete 250 service hours, and travel to Panama to further appreciate the world's magnificence through exploring caves, bird watching, hiking and staying with an indigenous tribe overnight.
Kierra likes the idea of teaching young children language and the arts someday, preferably on a mountain, paired with a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and complete with a studio in which she will create children's books and stuffed monsters.
Kierra has completed an Independent Study Project about animal care and betterment, which included CPR training for dogs and cats. She has volunteered for various animal care organizations, learning about the relationships between the homeless and their pets.
She has performed a music piece with her friend for their Electronic Music class, sparked many crafting sessions on Z Green, and seen approximately 278 impeccable sunsets.
Caterina Duffy is a first-year student from Deltona, Fla., who plans to focus her studies in Neuroscience. She is involved in different performance-based clubs on campus such as the Windmill Theater Company and the Improv Club. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, singing and participating in philosophical debates with fellow Novo Collegians.
Caterina is hopeful about her future endeavors at New College and is sure that this school is the right place for her. She hopes to become a residential advisor and wants to study abroad before receiving her degree. She also is looking forward to watching performances at the Asolo Repertory Theater.
Caterina appreciates that the school is "a perfect environment to discuss fresh concepts and a place where societal expectations can be constructively challenged."
Oliver Goldsmith is a second-year student at New College from Orlando, Fla. He is concentrating in Psychology and considering adding German as well. Oliver is planning on staying abroad in either Germany or Austria so that he can hone his language skills, and hopes to pursue a German Fulbright Scholarship.
This semester, Oliver plans on getting involved with the Literacy Council of Sarasota, which will involve tutoring and teaching English to adults, and the NCSA mentor program. In addition to his academic interests, Oliver is interested in yoga, seeing it as a therapeutic and spiritual exercise. Oliver plans on working with Healsci, a local yoga studio working with at-risk youth by providing them with a combination of yoga and tutoring in order to set them on the right path in life. "I would say one of my favorite things about New College is the incredibly unique community cultivated by its interesting and quirky members," Oliver said. "There has never been a place where I have felt more comfortable to be myself than here."
Annie Gordon is a second-year Biology AOC from Highland, N.Y. Annie is involved in the CKI club on campus, an offshoot of the Kiwanis Club on Longboat Key. She also is an active member of the flag football team and is their No. 1 (out of 2) cheerleader.
After New College, Annie wishes to obtain a master's degree in Museum Studies. She hopes to work as a curator in a natural science museum.
Rowan Holop is a second-year Environmental Studies AOC from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rowan's academic interests include ecology, entomology and urban farming. At New College, Rowan founded the Vegan Club, a gathering place for vegans and those interested in veganism to share thoughts, ideas and food. Rowan also serves as the Food Service representative working to improve New College's dining center, making it more accommodating for students with allergies and other needs. In 2014 during an ISP, Rowan also worked on installing Permaculture projects in the Caples Organic Garden.
After New College, Rowan plans to go to law school and pursue a degree in Environmental Law. Outside of school, Rowan writes a popular vegan makeup blog, providing resources about cruelty-free makeup. Rowan also enjoys solving Rubik's cubes competitively and playing board games.
Rowan appreciates the sense of community at New College. "Even though New College has it's rough moments, there really is a strong communal feeling here, everyone smiles and waves, many of the professors are alums, our mailboxes are open; I could go on! One time a stranger made me tea at 4 a.m., because I was sick with a cold! I would never want to be anywhere but here with these incredible people."
Saif Iqbal is a second-year Political Science/History AOC from Tampa, Fla. He is a student intern at the New College Alumnae/i Association, and is an event assistant. His interests include political campaigns, poetry and football. He has accumulated vast amounts of experience working with political campaigns, nonprofit organizations and fundraising.
New College holds a special place is Saif's heart; he has come to love the atmosphere, the professors and the other students on campus. His favorite professor is Jack Reilly, and his favorite class is American Elections. He hopes to write his thesis on the conflict in Iraq and its failed transition to democracy. After college, Saif is looking to go to law or business school, work for the government and perhaps one day run for office himself.
"New College changed my life," Saif said. "It changed my perspective on the entire world, that's why I'm so glad I'm here. It has given me the opportunity to look at the world in a different light."
Sami is a fourth-year with an AOC in Fine Art from Gainesville, Fla. Sami is passionate about early childhood education. During her senior year of high school she worked as a caretaker at Flowers Montessori Preschool and in 2011 served as caretaker for the New College Child Care Center. She currently works as a New College residential advisor.
After graduation, Sami plans to hike the Appalachian Trail before receiving a master's degree in Early Childhood Education. Her dream is to one day direct a Montessori preschool.
New College is “like a small family," Sami said. "We’re all so different but it really is a community, and no one is left out.”
Jessica Loeb is a fourth-year English Literature major from Hollywood, Fla. Since arriving at New College, Jessica has served as a researcher for the Provost's office, student admissions representative for the Admissions office, a Phonathon caller for the New College Alumnae/i Association, and as a camp counselor at Camp Monroe. She has held many of these jobs simultaneously while attending school full-time.
Jessica is passionate about education, which is reflected in her extensive volunteer work in the Sarasota community. She has volunteered for Next Step, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and the Y Young Achievers Mentoring Program. Jessica also completed an internship at St. Stephen's Episcopal School observing and participating in middle and high school classes, teaching, tutoring and creating lesson plans. She currently works at the Financial Aid office. In her spare time, Jessica runs the New College Unitarian Universalists Club. After graduating from New College, Jessica hopes to obtain a master's degree in Education or Social Work.
"New College's education has allowed me to truly unlock all the potential both intellectual and personal I always had inside me," Jessica said. "Professors at New College give students a wealth of freedom and personal responsibilities, and I have responded by meeting those challenges with equal zeal. New College has not only taught me how to read, write, speak and think critically, but also how to be a citizen of the world and a passionate human being."
Paula Munera is a first-year student with an International Studies AOC. She was born in Colombia and moved to Miami at the age of 5. She has a plan of graduating from New College to find a job with a U.S. Embassy in South America. She then plans to attend law school with a concentration in International Law.
During her time in New College, Paula wishes to get involved in the community with different mentoring and tutoring programs. Paula has worked as a book editor, a preschool teaching assistant, a law assistant and tutor. "Being a student at New College isn't just about academic liberty and rigor," she said, "it is about a time of exploring, testing and growing up. New College provides the most unique college experience as you learn and test ideas, habits and predispositions of yourself."
Paula is looking forward to what the next four years have to offer and is hoping to get involved with starting Model UN on campus.
Elizabeth Sockol is a fourth-year student from the Vero Beach, Fla., area. Her concentration is International Studies, but her real passion is human rights.
She is also president of the International Criminal Court Student Network Club and the Peer Mediation Club. She recently got a position as the New College police liaison, which ties in nicely with the fact that her father is a police officer and her mother a firefighter.
In her free time, Elizabeth tutors students ages 8 to 18 in English, math, French, and the ACT. She is a strong advocate for sexual health education and sexual equality. Going back to her younger years, she has an undying love for soccer and finds a way to play whenever she can fit it in her schedule. Perhaps most importantly, she loves to binge watch "Dr. Who," eat copious amounts of food and sleep for extended periods of time.
Elizabeth has something called an ideal world plan, where if the stars aligned and she got everything she wanted, she would be an international human rights lawyer and international human rights expert. Her ultimate dream is to be the first person the UN thinks of to call when they have to deal with issues pertaining to human rights.
Patrick Tonissen is a fourth-year History/German Language and Literature AOC from Panama City, Fla. At New College, Patrick has competed across the Southeast with the sail team, sailed to the Bahamas during an Independent Study Project and continues to mentor at-risk youth on the water through New College's Sail Future program. He has also worked in multiple student government capacities, such as third-year student allocations representative and is also employed by the New College Police Department as a student dorm patroller. He enjoys spending an early Saturday morning working at Hope Landing, Manatee County's Habitat for Humanity build site and offering his time to Meals on Wheels of Sarasota. Patrick's senior thesis will consist of three essays examining the intersection of international and domestic politics of race and human rights in the early Cold War. He has also been recognized for Excellence in German Studies with a scholarship from the German American Club of Sun City Center and hopes to put his German language acquisition to work with a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in September 2015.
Allya Yourish is a second-year Art History/Gender Studies student from Portland, Ore. During her time at New College, Allya has been active in club life, serving as the community outreach coordinator for Hillel and the club coordinator for Windmill Theatre Company, as well as directing and acting in productions at New College's own Black Box Theatre. Allya works part-time as a student library assistant and holds the Mimi Edlin Journalism Internship with the Jewish News of Sarasota.
Allya has a passion for travel, having spent her January term in Israel last year completing a project on contemporary art. After graduation, she would like to continue her studies in great art outside the paradigm. Eventually, she would like to get a master's degree in Creative Writing or Art History.
When asked about her favorite aspect of New College, "I love the small class sizes and the rigor of the course material," Allya said. "The work we do is challenging but so rewarding."