Meet the Diversity Admissions Council
The Diversity Admissions Council is a group of current students who work closely with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to plan on-campus programs, create web content, and represent Tufts at events for prospective students. We invite you to contact these students to learn more about the many facets of diversity represented on our campus.
Iman Ali ’22
Hometown: Malden, MA
Major: Community Health
Activities: Tufts Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), Black Student Union, FIRST Resource Center Peer Leader, University Chaplaincy Student Staff, 180 Degrees Consulting, Tisch Scholars, Admissions Diversity Council
I fondly remember stepping foot into Alumnae Lounge for the Diversity Overnight program during Jumbo Days and being in awe of the amalgamation of prospies from diverse backgrounds including those that I identified with. I was impressed with not only the space that facilitated connections that helped compel me to choose Tufts but also the openness to uplifting our identities as many students who were of color, first-gen, and low-income. As a freshman who’s been involved with the SQUAD pre-orientation, the FIRST Seminar, and Muslim Students’ Association, I can attest to the important role that the continued availability of support and modes of communication surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, have played in making my first year memorable.
I remember feeling a bit of anxiety about how I would manage my first college finals season and fasting for Ramadan at the same time, in early May. But to my delight, that first day (and week) of Ramadan, the Muslim House hosted a pre-fasting meal, suhoor, bringing together and nourishing several Muslim students across campus at 3 am. It didn’t stop there, as we broke our fasts in a community iftar at the Interfaith Center later that day, and continued checking up on each other in person and via text. I felt so full being able to break bread and be supported by members of my faith community, and allies like my friends who would also check in and try fasting in solidarity. For me, that is representative of the beautiful community at Tufts.
Uyen Chu ’22
Hometown: Boston, MA
Minor: Japanese and Child Studies and Human Development
Activities: United for Immigrant Justice, Building Engagement and Access for Students (BEAST)
20 minutes away from my small apartment in Boston is another home away from home, Tufts. Going to college so near seemed strange in a society that championed individual freedom, moving far away from stuffy homes and having crazy escapades of youth. But for me, I’ve already moved around so much and desired a new and refreshing atmosphere that didn’t sacrifice proximity. I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US at the age of 8. I moved from North Carolina, to South Carolina, and finally to Boston (I am a northeast kid at heart!) and I was not ready to leave the insane traffic but loveable streets of Boston. I am also a proud first-generation and low-income college student, which puts me in a unique place in this institution.
As the first in my family to even dream of higher education, nonetheless attend an elite institution, Tufts did not become the daunting challenger that I feared before attending. Don’t get me wrong, Tufts was my top choice, my ED school but the challenges of higher education was a big roadblock. I feared of looking stupid with my mediocre public-school education compared to students attending amazing private schools with the money to afford tutors and networks. All I had was a supportive family that spoke no English and a small group of friends who all love me dearly. Stepping foot into Tufts joined by fellow first-gen low income students of the BEAST pre-orientation program, I remember distinctly feeling a huge rush of adoration and happiness for these amazing people in my community. Even though I do not know all of them, my introverted self still felt the desire to get to know everyone. That is what makes me love Tufts. The students—who are all crazily intelligent with a wide myriad of interests that never cease to amaze me. Who are all kind and want to help. It feels empowering to go to a school where I do not feel alienated. Where I feel empowered to be first-gen and low income. Nonetheless, I am only entering my second year, but it feels like I have already grown so much, I am excited to see where the hustle of the couple of years takes me.
Harrison Clark ’22
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: International Relations and Arabic
Activities: Tufts S-Factor, Black Men's Group, Africana Center Peer Leader
My college search was very much driven by my desire to be in a place where I felt like I could be my true self. In high school, I found myself deprived of spaces in which I could learn and grow without fears of being judged. My Tufts experience has given me the opportunity and confidence to be my authentic self unapologetically. I have found new avenues to express myself creatively and new friends that share my drive and intellectual curiosity. I feel so fortunate to have found a place that makes me feel wanted and loved.
Kamar Godoy ’22
Hometown: Hawthorne, CA
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Activities: Tufts S-Factor, Caribbean Student Organization (CSO), STEM Ambassadors, Bridge to Engineering Success (BEST) Scholar
Growing up in a very diverse community around Los Angeles and being a person of color, coming to a PWI, such as Tufts, was a culture shock. Luckily, I had numerous on-campus support systems that helped me adjust to my new environment. Through the Center of STEM Diversity programming, I was able to find friendship in people within the engineering community who also were of diverse backgrounds. The CSD has also provided a substantial amount of academic and social support throughout my first year by exposing me to other resources that would aid in my success as an engineer at Tufts. With the help of the Africana Center, I was also given the opportunity to unite with a strong cultural and family-based community by spending my down time at the Capen House. Capen is where I learned about other black communities such as CSO and the Tufts Pan African Alliance. In addition, I also found brotherhood within Tufts S-Factor, an all-male vocal experience that sings music of the African Diaspora a capella. S-Factor often performs with other cultural based performance groups such as our sister group “The Ladies of Essence” and the only all male step team, “BlackOut”. All in all, what I love most about Tufts is that it creates spaces on campus for students of color to, not only feel supported, but to thrive both academically and socially.
Samuel Joseph ’20
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Majors: Sociology and Political Science
Activities: Tufts TASTE, DREAM, Civic, Tufts Dems, Tufts ACLU
One of my favorite Tufts moments surprisingly enough occurred during finals week. A blizzard had just passed over the campus and I was returning to my dorm after studying all night in Tisch. My neighbors must have seen me walking down the hill because right as I turn the corner to my dorm, I get ambushed in all directions and the next thing I know I am embroiled in one of the most intense snowball fights of my young life. This goes on for about a solid 30 minutes before ending in a truce. My neighbors weren't the most social kids so to see them all come together during finals week of all times to have a little fun definitely made this one of my more memorable moments at Tufts.
Kella Merlain-Moffatt ’20
Hometown: Wellington, FL
Major: International Relations and Africana Studies
Activities: Africana Center Peer Leader, Tisch Scholar, Admissions Tour Guide, Caribbean Students Organization, COCOA Dance Team Member, Diversity Admissions Council
I remember coming to Tufts for the Voices program in October of my senior year of high school and being amazed that Tufts had cheeseless pizza (I've never liked cheese). In that moment, I felt that I had finally found an university that understood me. When my tour guide told me that she loved Tufts because of the people, I thought she sounded rather cliché. However, with time, I would soon understand her sentiment. When I was doing less than stellar in EC-5 I had classmates who were willing to explain concepts to me in their free time. I found myself debating with friends at 3am about the most existential subjects and having sleepovers where we would share about our respective cultures and just laugh together. At Tufts, I am blessed to be surrounded by people that support me and to be provided with amazing opportunities from being a Tisch Scholar to traveling abroad for a year in Ghana and Hong Kong. Most of my time has been spent in Capen House, also known as the Africana Center. It is where I have met many of my close friends and have been able to find solidarity and comfort.
One of my favorite things about Tufts is the ability to create space. My sophomore year my friends and I put together a party weekend. One the parties was named "Ivory on Ebony." Picture this: A room full of Black people dressed in all white bopping to "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire. There are Chick-Fil-A, crepes, and pancakes to accompany the brunch theme and when you look around you feel like you're at the cookout. There was so much joy and peace in the room. Tufts is far from perfect, but it's the place I've continued to choose over and over again. I've found community at Tufts in ways that I could not have imagined. My Tufts experience has allowed me to grow unapologetically and I could not be more thankful for the experience.
Kelsey Narvaez ’20
Hometown: Miramar, FL
Major: International Relations
Activities: Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), Tisch Scholars, Association of Multi-Racial People at Tufts (AMPT), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
My Caribbean and Latino identities mean everything to me. Although Tufts was my first choice, I was a little scared that I would lose part of who I am to the PWI. That didn’t happen. I love Tufts because of the incredible communities I am apart of and the opportunities I have had to explore and grow closer to my identities within those communities. With spaces such as the Latino center and AMPT, Tufts has allowed me to bring my full self onto campus. These are the same communities that helped me work through my imposture syndrome and continue to empower me. I hope to provide the same support for other students, current and prospective!
No Tufts experience is the same or easy. Throughout mine, I have cried, stressed and felt frustrated with Tufts, but my experience has also been transformative. Most of my transformative moments haven’t happened in the classroom but have happened through relationships, late night talks and a lot of reflection. I’m excited (and nervous) to graduate next May but my Tufts experience wouldn’t be the same without my campus families.
Kishandra Anne Patron '21
Hometown: San Bruno, CA
Major: Cognitive Brain Sciences
Minor: Computer Science
Activities: Peer Health Exchange, QuestBridge Scholar, Public Harmony, WMFO Freeform Radio, ARC Tutoring
What I love most about Tufts is how no day is like any other. Whether I am conducting a neuroscience lab experiment or practicing a foreign music technique, I am continually growing in my understanding of the world and my role in it. My learning occurs beyond the walls of classrooms, for instance in the hall of a last-minute-plan concert. At the Javanese ensemble concert I attended, the xylophonists' layered and interwove their harmonies, and their soft, varying notes traveled through the hall like small orbs. The musicians chuckled about their lack of a preplanned setlist, which they explained is culturally praised as serendipitous beauty. It was wondrous to indulge myself in the ensemble's musical cycles that cannot be replicated in the same way. Likewise, it is extraordinary to immerse myself in Tufts' diverse opportunities that challenge and captivate me each day.
Mathew Pena '21
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Major: Computer Science
Activities: Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC), Tisch Scholar, Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere Ambassador, Tufts College Access Initiative, BLAST Scholar
Tufts has become a home to me. Being from NYC, the Medford/Somerville area felt small as if it was lacking the vibrancy of the big city, however at Tufts I found a way to circumnavigate this feeling. Music at Tufts became my crutch. The spaces I inhabited and people I was around had very different music tastes but I was able to use these differences to craft my own understanding of Tufts culture and music. In spaces like the Latino Center and the Africana Center I was able to express myself with the music I blasted through my speakers. Tufts is a place that both allows this and embraces this. I brought New York and the Dominican Republic to this campus and expect to continue doing so for the rest of my time here.
Daniela Pozos Nicolau '21
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Major: Education and Psychology
Activities: United for Immigrant Justice (UIJ) and Encendido (formerly known as Tufts La Salsa)
Tufts has a lot of lovable qualities, although not perfect, it has a lot to offer. My favorite thing about Tufts is the campus itself. Although I have a hate/love/hate relationship with the hill that divides the campus into uphill and downhill, I find so much joy in walking the campus. I was so overwhelmed during my first few weeks, and I never knew where I was on any given day. But as I continuously got lost on my way to class, I began to discover the beauty of the campus. I appreciate the historic nature of all of the buildings, all of the green space in the Academic and Residential Quad, which allowed me to enjoy the fall weather, and I especially love President’s Lawn. These were spaces where I could sit with my friends to take time to slow ourselves from the hustle of the week and take it all in.
Maycon Cesar de Paula Santos ’22
Hometown: Janaúba, Brazil
Major: Education and Computer Science
Activities: Brazilian Student Association (BRASA), Breakthrough Academic Journal, Tisch Scholars, Tisch Summer Fellows, Career Center Grants, Tufts Financial Group
I am a first-generation student from a small town in Brazil called Janaúba. My whole high school was at a Brazilian public state school where the primary language of instruction was Portuguese. Until my senior year, I had no clue about studying in the U.S. Fortunately, everything changed after I got selected by Education USA to have my college application process fully funded through their Opportunity Funds Program. Having college websites as the only tool to get to know U.S universities, I chose Tufts because its willingness to support research, internships, study-abroad, and civic leadership initiatives was clearly stated on its website. While at Tufts, I am working to modernize the Brazilian educational system through democratizing the access to educational simulators, which are electronic games with academic purposes. My biggest dream is to increase the attractiveness and quality of pedagogical methodologies in Brazilian public schools and, consequently, decrease the inequality between private and public educational institutions. Indeed, education has given hope for my future and I plan to use it to improve others’ lives and circumstances as well.