Meet our student fundraisers

Each year, the phone-a-thon 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 2013-2014 phone-a-thon student fundraising team.

Alan Sachnowski (Phone-a-thon Manager)
Alan Sachnowski is a 4th year Russian Language and Literature / Sociology AOC from Delray Beach, FL. His thesis is about dehumanization in the Gulag labor camps, as described by the short story writer/ gulag survivor Varlam Shalamov.

At New College, Alan holds two jobs as the Student Intern for the New College Alumnae/i Association and Event Assistant for New College Campus Space Scheduling. He also manages the fundraising database for LegalAid of Manasota and serves on the Steering Committee for New College’s Educate for Change Initiative. Last year Alan published two scholarly articles: "The Biomedicalization of Cardiac Risk" in the Stanford Journal for Science, Technology, and Society as well as "The Grotesque Fetishism of the Overcoat" in the UCLA Slavic Studies Journal.

After New College, Alan will continue to work for LegalAid of Manasota until he applies to graduate school for Science, Technology, and Society Studies.

Asked about what New College means to him, Alan said: “I am the first member of my family to attend college, and so I see every new experience and opportunity as a privilege and am grateful for my success here thus far. With the freedoms and privileges of being a student here, I am able to find out more about myself, my heritage, and the world at large.”

Catherine Wolfe (Phone-a-thon Manager)

Catherine is a 4th year Psychology/Sociology AOC from Jacksonville, FL. During her time at New College, Catherine has demonstrated her interest for crime and legal justice in her thesis and in a series of Independent Study Projects. In January 2012 Catherine completed a research project in which she used the Casey Anthony trail to examine gender roles and women’s reputations in legal trials.

Last year, Catherine worked with local Neighborhood Association Presidents and Vice Presidents to design an ISP exploring how perceptions of crime and safety differ depending on the homogeneity of the neighborhoods’ racial and class makeup. Both of these ISPs have informed Catherine’s current senior thesis on perceptions of crime.

In addition to her job as phonathon manager, Catherine also works on campus as a Student Writing Assistant (SWA) and on student government as a Student Representative on the Education Policy Committee (EPC). She volunteers at the local library and in the past has served as a volunteer counselor to inmates at the Sarasota County Jail.

She hopes after New College to continue to fight for legal justice by pursuing a career in public policy, crime, or equal rights for marginalized groups.

Catherine believes that the New College liberal arts curriculum “creates an engaging space that challenges students. This type of curriculum encourages students to grow. I know that I have grown and benefited from my education and I want the same to happen for every student. I support New College. You should too.”

Lauren Brenzel (Phone-a-thon Manager)

Lauren is a recent Sociology/Gender Studies graduate from Palm Harbor, FL. She completed her thesis on how the birthing experience is affected by setting and care provider. Lauren currently works from Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida in Sarasota as the Student Trainees Coordinator and Lobby Receptionist.

Lauren hopes to continue working for Planned Parenthood, and also to pursue a joint degree in Social Work and Public Health, with a focus on Maternity and Early Childhood, at the University of South Florida.

When asked why someone should give to New College Lauren responded: “New College is a small school which holds very unique opportunities for its students. Overall, I would say that students are much more active within both our community (evident by our various student run social justice groups) and our academics (evident in our Fulbright awards and graduate school entrance rates) than other larger universities. I believe every dollar that is given to New College goes further here, than it would at other schools.”

Alex Nicoleau

Alex is a 4th year Political Science AOC from Miami, FL. He is President of the New College Fencing Team and is the former First Year Representative for the New College Student Allocations Committee. He is also actively involved in soccer and tango. Last year Alex completed an Independent Study Project (ISP) on the 2012 Presidential primaries. His research will inform his thesis this year which is on a comparison of the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Presidential elections.

After New College, Alex wishes to go to law school and work on Capitol Hill. He will be following in the footsteps of his sister (and New College alumna) Audrey Nicoleau who worked as the Communications Advisor to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and as the Program Officer for the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs before striking out her own as an independent political communications strategist.

Alex says that his New College education is valuable because it has provided an opportunity for him to “focus on academics without competing with other students in the class or taking a class just to get an A”. Instead, he says it has been allowed him to focus on his own self-improvement.

Alexandria Wells

Alexandria is a 4th year biology/ chemistry AOC from Fort Myers, FL. At New College Alex has worked with Dr. Amy Clore on a grant funded by the National Science Foundation looking at early endosperm development in maize. She also conducted an Independent Study Project with Dr. Clore examining the role of cell motility proteins in sea urchin coelomocytes (white blood cells). Since sea urchins are distant relatives of the chordate, this knowledge can be translated to our understanding of the immune system in higher vertebrates, such as humans.

Alex's research experience is not limited to New College. She has spent two summers researching at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At LRRI she worked on a project aiming to understand the molecular mechanisms contributing to an acquired resistance to chemo-therapy that many lung cancer patients exhibit. This work has resulted in a publication that is currently under revision at Cancer Research, and will lead to a second publication in the coming year. Her time spent researching at New College greatly prepared her for these experiences at LRRI and she plans to write her senior thesis on the data she collected at LRRI over the past summer.

During the school year, Alex serves as the teaching assistant for Dr. Gilchrist's Introduction to Genetics. Additionally, she serves as the 4th year student representative to the Student Allocations Committee. In previous years she has served as both the secretary and the chair for this allocating body. Alex has also volunteered as an orientation leader for 3 years, helping to introduce new students to the New College environment.

After New College, Alex plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology, with the ultimate goal of continuing cancer research in either academia or in industry. Currently she is applying for two Fulbright Grants: one that would allow her to conduct breast cancer research at the University of Alberta, and the other that would fund her entire graduate education (leading to a Ph.D.) in Canada. She is also applying to various graduate schools in the U.S.

Amanda Bragg

Amanda is a 3rd year Literature/Political Science AOC from Brooksville, Florida. At New College, Amanda has held various positions on campus, such as a Black Box Theater TA, an Admissions Telecounselor, Phoneathon Caller for the Alumni Association, and a RA for Z Dorm. Her interests include the intersections of gender and law within literature, as well as the interplay of class and politics. She has worked for various political campaigns, such as Vote No on 6 and Obama for America. She is currently the President of New College’s College Democrats chapter, Co-President of Circle K International, and representative for Buddhism on the Interfaith Council.

Amanda’s passions come together in her thesis, which she will write in her fourth year. This thesis will focus on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and examine Tolstoy’s depiction of women and the laws that affect women in Russia during that time period, particularly in regards to divorce and childcare laws. After New College, Amanda hopes to go to Law School and either work in publishing or as a lawyer for international nonprofits.

When asked about her experience at New College, Amanda responded: “New College has given me the chance to help those who are disadvantaged, while giving me the education to better my life through my own means.”

Clifford Lundin

Cliff is a 2nd year psychology AOC from Hopatcong, NJ. While at New College, he has been active in the New College Student Fellows program, which he is the co-president of. This program helps students to develop their oral presentation skills while speaking with members of the Sarasota-Bradenton community about the research they have completed while at New College. In addition, Cliff works as a tele-counselor in the admissions office where he enjoys speaking with prospective students.

Upon graduating from New College, Cliff plans to further his education at graduate school where he wishes to receive his masters in clinical social work or pursue a degree in mental health administration. From there, he plans on becoming either a counselor or an administrator and manager in a mental health facility. Eventually, he desires to become a licensed battlefield guide in Gettysburg, PA.

When asked about his favorite aspect of New College, Cliff replies with "the strong academics of the school and its ability to help students mature and become independent." He enjoys the overall community and ambiance of the school.

Dmitriy Istomin

Dmitriy Istomin is a 4th year English/History AOC from West Palm Beach, FL. He is the current Russian Language Teaching Assistant at New College where he helps students with difficult concepts and conducts a review of the material learned in class. Dmitriy is also involved in Circle K International in which he participates in a variety of service projects around the local Sarasota-Bradenton community.
After New College, Dmitriy hopes to continue his education and find work in the publishing industry.
Asked why someone should donate to New College Dmitriy responded: “It is important that New College remains affordable to everyone who seeks an education here. Donations enable New College’s unique and welcoming culture to be kept alive.”

Emily Brown

Emily is a 4th year Public Policy/Neurobiology AOC from Tampa, FL. She currently serves as Vice President of Relations and Financial Affairs for the New College Student Alliance. Through her position, Emily helps create and implement student government policy, and serves as liaison to numerous college departments including the Foundation, Student Affairs, and the Provost’s Office.

In addition to her position in student government, Emily has worked as an intern for ACHIEVE in which she assisted Health Department officials, community leaders, and businesspeople to pilot special exercise, diet, and tobacco-cessation initiatives in Sarasota, FL.

In January 2012, Emily completed an Independent Study Project in Honduras where she served as a Unite for Sight Global Impact Fellow. During a month long stay, Emily helped run a pre-clinic, distributed eye glasses, and found free cataract surgery candidates in poor, rural communities.

After New College, Emily hopes to continue to work in public health and receive her MD/MPH from Stanford University or University of California, Berkeley.

Asked what she loves about New College, Emily responded: “I love New College's uniquely small community. I love knowing every face I see on the overpass in the morning, and I love the comfort of being in classes with my friends and neighbors. When all of the students know each other, all of the professors know us too, and I love that I am held accountable for my actions by this intricate web of relationships.”

Erin Kent

Erin Kent is a 5th year Chemistry and Classics AOC from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. At New College Erin has worked as a Research Assistant on a National Science Foundation Grant with New College Professor Stephen Shipman where she helped to rebuild a microwave spectrometer, a powerful tool that is used to detect chemicals and determine molecular structure in gas phase molecules. Her research assistant experience helped inform her completed thesis on the microwave spectra of interstellar weeds. This is the first of two theses Erin will write at New College in order to complete her degree requirements. The second thesis, to be completed for her Classics degree this year, is entitled: “The Politics of Power in Ovid's Heroide.”

In addition to her research assistant position, Erin serves as the New College Student Alliance Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Representative to the New College Educational Policy Committee, Student Representative to the New College Academic Standing Committee, Student Representative to the New College Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs, and Chair of the New College Student Council for Academic Affairs.

After New College Erin plans to pursue a Master's in Public Health. Upon completion of her Master's, she would like to enter medical school to study obstetrics and gynecology. Ultimately, she plans to work in public healthcare policy.

Asked what she enjoys about New College Erin responded: “My New College education gives me the freedom to pursue the subjects I love. I have to be able to engage both my analytic and creative abilities and that is not possible at other institutions. It means that I get the well-rounded education of a liberal arts college along with intensive research training from professors who truly know and value me. These are experiences that will benefit me all my life.”

Jake Schneiderman

Jake Schneiderman is a 2nd year transfer student from Miami, FL studying Pre-Veterinarian Sciences. Since arriving at New College, Jake has worked as a Production Assistant and Extra for Renegade Films during the production of the film "Wind Walkers” and completed an Independent Study Project (ISP) working on Animal Betterment and Homelessness. In this ISP Jake learned animal CPR and First Aid and studied the interrelationships between domestic and homeless companion animals with humans while doing volunteer work for animal shelters in Sarasota County.

Jake hopes to intern with Sea World and plans on starting volunteer work at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Sarasota. His dream is to study non-domestic Veterinary Science and one day work with polar bears.
Asked his favorite thing about New College, Jake responded “The personal relationships that grow between the staff and the students.” He noted that his New College education “is what makes me stand out among all of the students at all of the rest of the state's public universities. The educational experience is so personal and rigorous here.”

Jessica Loeb

Jessica Loeb is a 3rd year English Literature major from Hollywood, FL. Since arriving at New College, Jessica has served as Researcher for the New College Provost Office, Student Admissions Representative for New College Admissions, Phonathon Caller for the New College Alumnae/i Association, and 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.

In her spare time, Jessica runs the New College Unitarian Universalists Club and is an active member of the Interfaith Club Council, Students Fighting for Equal Rights, and Food Not Bombs.

After graduating from New College, Jessica hopes to obtain a Master’s degree in Education and become a public high school English teacher.

When asked her feelings about New College, Jessica stated, “New College's education has allowed me to truly unlock all the potential both intellectual and personal I always had inside me. 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.”

Katherine Cottrell

Katie is a 2nd year Natural Sciences AOC from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a lead member of the New College Student Fellows where she develops her oral presentation skills by speaking to the Sarasota-Bradenton community about her research and New College experience. In her spare time, Katie volunteers with the Veteran Affairs Hospital in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She is also an avid scuba diver, horseback rider, and soccer player.

Katie is passionate about advancing medicine and alternative resources with the use of Nanotechnology. She plans to go on to graduate school to study engineering. After completing her degree she hopes to travel around the world teaching different cultures how to synthesize their own medicines and electricity.

When asked why someone should support New College she responded: “If you want to be a part of a community that will change your life then you want to support New College. Learning shouldn’t be about putting a number to a name and leaving you to fend for yourself. Learning should be about helping to shape a member of society who may eventually shape the entire world. A New College education provides that opportunity.”

Kellie Cox

Kellie is a 2nd Year Economics and Applied Math AOC from Largo, Florida. She is a Co-Secretary for New College’s Circle K International Club which is a club dedicated to community service, leadership, and fellowship. Through this club, Kellie has participated in leadership training and numerous service projects in the community such as Miracle League Baseball, Make-A-Difference Day, and Trick-Or-Treat for Hunger. Kellie is also a member of New College’s Student Fellows program where she develops her oral presentation skills by speaking to the Sarasota-Bradenton community about her academic work and experiences at New College.

This past summer, Kellie spent two months at the University of Cambridge studying International Management and Ethics, Finance and Quantitative Methods, and Globalization. In her past ISP, she has interned at Gulfcoast Legal Services, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to vulnerable individuals. After completing her education at New College, Kellie would like to travel the world before attending graduate school where she intends to further her studies in Economics. After receiving her degree, she hopes to one day work in international business or law.

When asked why she loves New College, she responded: “I love that I am challenged and encouraged to grow on so many levels here: academically, intellectually, socially, and personally. I feel that New College is directly responsible for helping me discover and hone my independence and courage to make a difference in my school, community, and in myself. The people at New College are all so unique and supportive that it feels like a family and I’m inspired by them every day. I don’t think there’s any other place like New College and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Niko Segal-Wright

Niko is a 4th year Sociology AOC from Arlington, MA. After graduating from the Cambridge School of Weston, he took a gap year during which he traveled in Argentina for four months volunteering on farms via the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program. Niko currently serves as the Vice President of Green Affairs for the New College Student Alliance where he collaborates with other students and faculty to improve campus sustainability. He has also worked as an intern for Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates and the Southern Energy Network where he assisted in convening meetings regarding the construction of coal processing plants.

In his spare time, Niko volunteers with Students Working for Equal Rights, Food not Bombs—a local organization aimed at ending hunger in Sarasota, and All Power to the Imagination—a yearly student run conference held at New College which aims to bridge the gap between radical theory and practice.
In 2011 Niko completed an Independent Study Project on the Social Movement Organizations involved with Occupy Boston. He is now working on completing his thesis project on the criminalization of homelessness in Sarasota.

After New College, Niko says he would like to continue his involvement in the grassroots struggle against resource extraction using community organizing, nonviolent direct action, and civil disobedience to impinge on the fossil fuel industry. He is especially interested in tar sands extraction, hydrofracturing, mountaintop removal, and Arctic oil drilling.

He says that New College is “a rare gem that has given me the wherewithal to back my opinions and approach social change from a critical yet radical perspective.”

Madeleine Yount

Madeleine is a 2nd year student concentrating in Latin American Studies from Fort Pierce, FL. Madeleine is an active member in the dance community and is a choreographer for Dance Tutorial and takes classes with the Sarasota Ballet. This fall, Madeleine will be earning her Adult English Teaching Certification and will be tutoring adult native Spanish speakers in the community. Madeleine is currently an intern for the Sarasota Ballet Company's Dancing's Next Generation program which provides free dance and tutoring classes for Sarasota's at-risk youth.

This past summer Madeleine worked at a summer camp in New York where she realized her passion for teaching. Recently Madeleine participated in her first ISP "Speech and Presentation" with New College Writing Resource Director John Gillette where she gained critical speech skills and confidence in her ability to engage an audience. Madeleine is currently working on spending the fall of her 3rd year in a Spanish speaking country.

In her spare time, Madeleine enjoys playing Capoeira, soccer, volunteering, and salsa dancing. After graduation Madeleine plans on spending a year abroad in Brazil teaching English and then going to graduate school for International Relations and Education.

Madeleine credits New College with giving her the confidence to have a voice in her community and in her education. She says she has never felt more welcomed, loved, challenged academically, or accepted than at New College.

Michael Long

Michael Long is a 4th year Public Policy/Environmental Studies major from Sarasota, FL. Mike is the former New College student body president, the youngest ever to serve in this position. He is also the former president of the Florida Student Association and a former student appointee to the Florida Board of Governors of the State University System in which he was responsible for managing a $2 billion budget and overseeing and implementing policies for 11 state universities.

Michael is currently a member of the White House National Campus Leadership Council Executive Committee in which he helps organize a national summit attended by over 150 student body presidents across the United States. He is also as member of the National Youth Association Inc. Board of Directors in which he helps advocate for youth-related issues in politics and businesses across the U.S.

Mike has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in student policy. In 2012, he received an invitation to a National Youth Leadership Dinner by President Barack Obama and received a National Kremlin Fellowship from the Center for American-Russian Engagement of Emerging Leaders where he was one of sixteen students selected from around the country to meet with high-ranking officials of the Russian Federation and young emerging leaders to bridge U.S.-Russia relations.
In addition, Michael was one of fifty young global leaders invited to attend the Hesselbein Global Leadership Academy to receive leadership training under Frances Hesselbein, recipient of the United States Medal of Freedom. Mike also was named the Tampa Tribune 2012 Florida Politics Runner-Up for Winner of the Year, received the Florida Gubernatorial Award: Youth Success of the Year, and received a $1,000 grant from Youth Service America to support at risk youth through a sailing-based mentorship program.

In his spare time, Michael serves as a mentor for the New College first-year mentoring program and works as a volunteer and motivational speaker for AMI Kids, an at-risk youth program. He is also captain of the New College sailing team and volunteers as a Member of Circle K International (Kiwanis).

When asked his thoughts about New College Michael responded: “New College taught me how to think, and particularly how to problem solve. My liberal arts education from New College gives me comfort as I enter an uncertain and intimidating workforce. With the skills and knowledge I have built while at New College, I feel confident in my ability to adapt to a changing workforce and prepared for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Paige Pellaton

Paige is a 1st year Political Science AOC from Brimfield, MA. She currently serves as the first year Student Allocations Committee Representative. Though new to the college, Paige helps to allocate funds in the interest of the general student body.

Paige is also actively involved in the performing arts programs on campus, taking part in the Windmill Theatre Company and various dance clubs. She hopes to start her own show choir (a simultaneous choral-dance group) during her time here.

After New College, Paige wishes to obtain a Master's degree in International Relations. She hopes to work for the federal government as a political leadership analyst specializing in Middle Eastern government diplomacy.

When asked about her experience at New College, Paige responded: "It has been an adjustment, but New College has helped tremendously with the transition for first years. Though I'm new to the school, I already enjoy the independence allowed to students in their studies. I am looking forward to my first Independent Study Project (ISP) on campus as the first test of my innovation and perseverance as a researcher and true Novo Collegian. This college is so conducive to creativity in the classroom and out. I already know I'll love these next four years."

Samantha Kreeger

Sami is a 3rd year with an AOC in Fine Art from Gainesville, FL. 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 Masters in Early Childhood Education. Her dream is to one day direct a Montessori Preschool.

Asked about her New College experience, Sami said that she believes New College is “like a small family. We’re all so different but it really is a community, and no one is left out.”

Claude Chianesse
Claude is a 4th year Spanish/Political Science AOC from Miami, FL. In addition to phone-a-thon, he works in the admissions office as a tele-recruiter where he informs prospective students about New College. In his spare time Claude enjoys working out at the gym, doing yoga, cycling, and spinning poi with the empty set circus. He has also participated in dance tutorial for both salsa dancing and tango. After New College, Claude plans to attend law school.

Claude says that “New College has been an excellent place for me to develop both creatively and constructively. Its openness in terms of fields of study and the accessibility of it are unmatched in my opinion. This year I am in my fourth year and expect to be saying goodbye soon, but the experiences I have had here will stay with me for the rest of my life. “

Elizabeth Sockol is a 3rd year student from the Vero Beach, FL area, and this is her 2nd year as a resident advisor for the 1st year dorms on campus. 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 just recently got a position as the New College police liaison, which ties in nicely with the fact that her father is a cop 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.

Jessica Rogers
Vice President of Alumnae/i Affairs
(941) 487-4900

Glen van der Molen
Alumnae/i Coordinator
(941) 487-4676

New College Alumnae/i Association
The Keating Center
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243

Phone: (941) 487-4900