House Team Introductions: Jake Sottak

Name: Jake Sottak
Position: Student Fellow (1-East)
Class: 2017
Major: Psychology or Neuroscience/Spanish
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Extracurriculars/hobbies: Friendship, The Retreat

Favorite fictional character: ‘Jerem’ of 30 Rock fame
2014 Summer Jam: Problem by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Guilty pleasures: Bro tanks, people who wear bro tanks, mozzarella sticks, Problem by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: A table to myself on the library 2nd floor
Favorite thing about Cushing: Almost everyone’s down to cuddle
One advice for incoming Vassar students: Take all the chances you can as long as you’re completely comfortable; ‘fomo’ is a social construct.

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House Team Introductions: Paul Younger

Name: Paul Younger
Position: Student Fellow (2-East)
Class: 2017
Major: Econ/compsci
Hometown: DC area
Extracurriculars/hobbies: frisbee team, video games, writing & reading

2014 Summer jam: Salad Days by Mac Demarco
Guilty pleasures: watching entire storage wars marathons and/or eating whole sleeves of double stuffed Oreos
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: THE MUG
Favorite thing about Cushing: the lovely people
One advice for incoming Vassar students: do extracurriculars and make lots of new friends also go to class

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House Team Introductions: Brianna Lear

Name: Brianna Lear
Position: TVE (Transfer, Visiting, Exchange) Student Fellow
Class: 2017
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior?
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Extracurriculars/hobbies: Vassar College Night Owls (the nation’s oldest continuous all-female a cappella group! Meryl was in it too), Ultimate Frisbee, any cute animal, actually it doesn’t have to be cute (Womp Womps particularly, you’ll get to know them)

Favorite fictional character: Nigel Tufnel (from Spinal Tap)
2014 Summer Jam: Honestly, been bumpin’ to “Down Under” by Men at Work. Super tropical-sounding song, great for summer. Also, “Elephant” by Tame Impala.
Guilty pleasures: I feel no shame in loving Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: I love sitting on the quad with friends when it’s beautiful out. The trails behind Sunset Lake are also beautiful.
Favorite thing about Cushing: Our love for each other! Though Cushing may not have the NICEST facilities on campus, it feels like home, looks like a mini Hogwarts, and I feel nothing but love walking through these halls.
One advice for incoming Vassar students: Embrace change of all sorts. It is unavoidable and your life will be richer for it (at least in the long run)

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House Team Introductions: Elijah Winston

Name: Elijah Phillipe Calixte Winston
Position: Student Fellow (2-West)
Class: 2017
Major: Physics
Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona
Extracurriculars/hobbies: I am an avid manga reader and I play basketball!

Favorite fictional character: Manga: Ma Gangryong (Veritas), Cartoon: Sokka (Avatar the Last Airbender), Movie: Robert Frobisher (Cloud Atlas), Book: Roran Stronghammer (Inheritance Cycle), Anime: Llouch Lamperouge (Code Geass) TV Show: Prince Oberyn (Game of Thones) <All are Subject to Change…Hardest question ever>
2014 Summer jam: Pusha Man by Chance the Rapper
Guilty pleasures: Honey Buns, Ramance films, Sleeping In, Skipping Class
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: Meditation Room in the Library
Favorite thing about Cushing: The Kitchen is the homiest looking part of Cushing and it makes cooking in there with friends even more fun.
One advice for incoming Vassar students: Take some time to go on a walk or be by yourself. What I didn’t understand about college is that it is a great place for self discovery. So take sometime to be alone and think about how you feel about things and develop your own ideas.

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House Team Introductions: Allie Dunham

Name: Allie Dunham
Position: Student Fellow (2-East)
Class: 2017
Major: Media/Film Studies (unofficially)
Hometown: Princeton Junction, NJ
Extracurriculars/hobbies: horseback riding, reading, binge-watching shows on Netflix

2014 Summer jam: I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers
Guilty pleasures: Candidly Nicole, Freaks and Geeks, Ben & Jerry’s, Nilda’s (hardcore missing them rn)
Favorite place on campus besides Cushing: the Retreat or the Library
Favorite thing about Cushing: the people!! everyone is super friendly and welcoming and we all look out for one another
One advice for incoming Vassar students: College provides an amazing opportunity for figuring out what exactly interests you and what you want to be doing with your life. Don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself every once in awhile–it can teach you a lot about who you are and how you think!

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House Team Introductions: Essie Asan


(sry abt the pic i promise  i’m normal)

Name: Esin (Essie) Asan
Position: President
Class: 2017
Major: English (… and Psych, hopefully…)
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Extracurriculars/hobbies: I’m a CARES counselor and I sometimes write for the Misc and attend loooong VSA meetings, but mostly watch TV shows and drink coffee tbh.

Favorite fictional character: Daenerys Targaryen, Sirius Black (from the books, Gary Oldman’s still the boss tho), Tony Stark, Boo (Monsters, Inc.), Seth Cohen and Elizabeth Bennet
2014 Summer jam: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (plays in every club in Istanbul) and Walcott by Vampire Weekend
Guilty pleasures:  binge-watching The O.C. and Grey’s Anatomy all night and binge-eating chocolate
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: Blodgett Courtyard/Kiosk (the only place you can find an espresso before classes on campus but it’s only open for like 2 hours 4 days a week. the triple espresso in UpC is good for late nites)
Favorite thing about Cushing: it’s v v cozy and v v welcoming. it’s home. and Cush Crew ™ is da best.
One advice for incoming Vassar students: start using the stir-fry station at the Deece early in the year (use honey to caramelize your onions). hang out in the parlors and the study hall. we have huge common spaces in Cush! use them to study (but mostly to socialize let’s be honest).

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House Team Introductions: Melanie Donnelly


Name: Melanie Donnelly
Position: House Fellow Intern
Class: 2017
Major: Undeclared, but hoping to do an independent linguistics major
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Extracurriculars/hobbies: WoCo (Women’s Chorus), student theatre (aka Rocky Horror), procrastination, rescuing flying squirrels from Cushing’s great hall

Favorite fictional character(s): Chandler Bing and/or Kvothe the Bloodless and/or Book Hermione Granger
2014 Summer jam: Strawberry
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: Skinner Hall
Favorite thing about Cushing: The community and the wildlife
One advice for incoming Vassar students: For the optimal college experience, do some smart things and some stupid things. Remember that no one else has any clue what they’re doing either. Take care of yourself. Call your mom.

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House Team Introductions: Gabrielle Anspach


Name: Gabrielle Anspach
Position: House Fellow Intern
Class: 2017
Major: Possibly political science
Hometown: Chicago
Extracurriculars/Hobbies: Cooking, Drawing, Reading, Vassar After School Tutoring

Guilty pleasure: chocolate chip banana bread
Favorite Place in campus besides Cushing: The lake and woods
Favorite thing about Cushing: The great hall
One advice for incoming freshmen: Don’t stress out if you don’t make friends right away; it can take time. You may meet your best friends after orientation through classes or extracurriculars.

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House Team Introductions: Emily Platt

Name: Emily Platt
Position: Student Fellow (2-Trans)
Class: 2017
Major: Psychology (unofficially)
Hometown: Monroe, Connecticut
Extracurriculars/hobbies: Habitat for Humanity enthusiast and fall Co-President *come build homes with me!*, terrible runner, and intern for the VSA President

Favorite fictional character: Atticus Finch (endless love for Holden Caulfield though)
2014 Summer jam: Riptide by Vance Joy, but never not jamming to Vampire Weekend
Guilty pleasures: excessive napping
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: the lake
Favorite thing about Cushing: joining the family this year!
One advice for incoming Vassar students: During your first few weeks on campus, be as friendly as possible to every single person you meet, and more importantly, maintain that friendliness. No matter how long or how short your first interaction is, embrace it! You just made a potential friend. No one is going to judge you for being friendly, and you’ll feel way more awkward avoiding eye-contact, I promise!

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House Team Introductions: Sophie Gonsalves-Brown

Name: Sophie Gonsalves-Brown
Position: House Student Advisor (Fall)
Class: 2016
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Extracurriculars/hobbies: I am in Democracy Matters, a non-partisan activist club devoted to campaign finance reform.  I play violin in the orchestra.  I watch a lot of bad reality tv.

Favorite fictional character: Josh Lyman (from the West Wing)
Guilty pleasures: Spicy Cheeze-its, C-Span, Clue (the board game and the movie)
Favorite place in campus besides Cushing: Skinner Hall
Favorite thing about Cushing: We have the best vending machines
One advice for incoming Vassar students: Bring an umbrella

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